On this day in music history: October 18, 1989 – “11”, the third album by The Smithereens is released. Produced by Ed Stasium, it is recorded at Rumbo Recorders in Los Angeles, CA in Early – Mid 1989. Scoring their first chart single “Only A Memory” (#92 Pop) and also landing on the charts with their second album “Green Thoughts”, The Smithereens return to the studio in early 1989 to begin work on their next release. Having previously worked with producer Don Dixon (R.E.M., Guadalcanal Diary) on the first two albums, the New Jersey based rock band work with engineer and producer Ed Stasium (Living Colour) on the new album. The third release features Belinda Carlisle, The Honeys and Maria Vidal providing background vocals on various tracks. It spins off four singles including their first top 40 hit “A Girl Like You” (#38 Pop, #3 Modern Rock, #2 Mainstream Rock). “A Girl Like You” was originally written for inclusion in the Cameron Crowe film “Say Anything”, but the producers end up passing on the song when they feel the lyrics reveal too much of the films’ storyline. The album cover art (designed by Mick Haggerty) is inspired by artist Saul Bass’ iconic movie poster designed for the film “Oceans Eleven”. “11” peaks at number forty one on the Billboard Top 200.
On this day in music history: October 18, 1988 – “Everything”, the third album by The Bangles is released. Produced by Davitt Sigerson, Walker Ingleheart, John Philip Shenale and Phillip White, it is recorded at Ocean Way Studios in Los Angeles, CA and Studio 55 in Hollywood, CA from Late 1987 – Mid 1988. Issued as the follow up to their breakthrough release “Different Light”, it is another successful project for the L.A. based female rock quartet, but it ends up being their last album of new material for fifteen years. Internal band friction that began during the recording of the previous album intensifies during the recording of “Everything”. With CBS Records placing more and more emphasis and media focus on Susanna Hoffs rather than on the band as a whole, leads to the demise of The Bangles in 1990. It spins off three singles including “In Your Room” (#5 Pop) and “Eternal Flame” (#1 Pop). The album is remastered and reissued by Wounded Bird Records in 2007, including the extended 12" mix of “In Your Room” as an added bonus track. “Everything” peaks at number fifteen on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: October 18, 1988 – “Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1”, the debut album by The Traveling Wilburys is released. Produced by Otis Wilbury and Nelson Wilbury, it is recorded at FPSHOT in Henley-On-Thames, Oxfordshire, UK, Lucky Studios and Dave Stewart Studios in Los Angeles, CA from April – May 1988. In early 1988, George Harrison is enjoying the success of his album “Cloud Nine”. Appearing on the radio show Rockline, he is asked about unreleased material. George says, “What I’d really like to do next is… to do an album with me and some of my mates… a few tunes, you know”. “It’s this new group I got: it’s called the Traveling Wilburys”. Planning to issue “This Is Love” as a single, he decides to record a new song for the B-side. This and a private in-joke results in one of the most successful and acclaimed albums of the year. While working with former ELO leader Jeff Lynne, Harrison coins the name “Wilbury”, joking that “we’ll bury ‘em in the mix”, to cover any mistakes. At the time Lynne is working with rock legend Roy Orbison, and they all meet for dinner one evening. Orbison, who Harrison has known since 1963, is invited to participate in the session George is planning. Needing a studio, George calls Bob Dylan to ask if they can use his. Dylan agrees and is added to the fold. Having lent a guitar to friend Tom Petty, Harrison goes to retrieve it and tells him about planning to record with Dylan, Orbison and Lynne, then also invites Petty. Meeting at Dylan’s studio in early April of 1988, the five musicians joined by drummer Jim Keltner write and record “Handle With Care” (#45 Pop). When George plays it for his label Warner Bros Records, they tell him it’s too good for a B-side, and request a full album to go with it. Enjoying the initial session, they quickly write and record more songs. Adapting the name Traveling Wilburys and referring to themselves as “half-brothers” and the sons of “Charles Truscott Wilbury, Sr.”, they take the names “Nelson” (Harrison), “Otis” (Lynne), “Charlie T., Jr.” (Petty), “Lucky” (Dylan) and “Lefty” (Orbison). The resulting album is a huge success. Sadly, Roy Orbison dies less than two months after its release. His band mates pay tribute to him in the video for the second single “End Of The Line” (#63 Pop), showing a framed picture of him, and his guitar sitting in a rocking chair. “Volume 1” wins a Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group in 1989. It spins off a sequel titled “Traveling Wilburys, Vol. 3” in 1990, but is less successful than its predecessor. Falling out of print, the albums are remastered and reissued as a limited edition box set (on CD and vinyl) in 2007, six years after George Harrison’s death. The first album pressed on 180 gram vinyl, is issued as a stand alone release in 2016. “Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1” peaks at number three on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 3x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: October 18, 1983 – “Rock ‘N Soul Part 1”, the fourteenth album by Daryl Hall & John Oates is released. Produced by Daryl Hall, John Oates, Bob Clearmountain, Christopher Bond, Neil Kernon and Arif Mardin, it is recorded at Atlantic Recording Studios, Advantage Sound Studios, The Hit Factory, Electric Lady Studios in New York City, Larrabee Sound Studios in West Hollywood, CA, and Western Sound Recorders in Hollywood, CA from March 1973 – September 1983. The duos’ first greatest hits album, the twelve track compilation covers material recorded between 1973 and 1983, including two newly recorded songs (“Say It Isn’t So” #2 Pop, #45 R&B, and “Adult Education” #8 Pop), plus a live recording of “Wait For Me”. The original cover art features a caricature of the duo and comes in three different color variations along with a calendar/poster. Two music videos are shot for “Say It Isn’t So”. The first is a “concept” clip featuring the original LP/45 mix is only aired once on MTV at the time of the song’s release. That first video is later posted on YouTube. The video that is widely seen is a performance clip shot on the roof of a building in New York City, and uses an edit of John “Jellybean” Benitez’s 12" dance remix. The second clip is released on the video compilation “Video Collection – 7 Big Ones” in 1984. On a limited basis, some record stores give away a free 7" of their newly recorded version of the holiday classic “Jingle Bell Rock” (pressed on either red or green vinyl and packaged in a picture sleeve) with purchase of the LP. Initial printings of the LP sleeve do not mention the two new songs by name, and instead state “Plus Two New Songs (Recorded In September 1983)” in large block print. Subsequent pressings also add "Say It Isn’t So” and “Adult Education” in large print, with the original blurb reduced in size. When the album is originally issued on CD in the 80’s, the illustrated cover artwork is replaced with a still photograph of Hall & Oates (taken from the “One On One” music video shoot) also used for the US picture sleeve for “Say It Isn’t So”. The album is remastered and reissued on CD in 2006, restoring the original cover artwork (red, yellow and black cover), reproducing the calendar/poster (as a fold out in the CD booklet), with “Family Man” and ‘You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling" added as bonus tracks. It is also reissued as a hybrid SACD and 180 gram vinyl LP by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab in 2015. It is also reissued on vinyl by RCA Sony/Legacy in 2017. It also contains all of the original vinyl packaging, including the hype sticker found on the first release, and comes with an mp3 download card of the full LP. “Rock ‘N Soul Part 1” peaks at number seven on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: October 17, 1980 – “The River”, the fifth album by Bruce Springsteen is released. Produced by Bruce Springsteen, Jon Landau and Steven Van Zandt, it is recorded at The Power Station in New York City from March 1979 – August 1980. Following the release of his previous album for “Darkness On The Edge Of Town” (recorded after forced three year layoff, due to legal issues with former manager Mike Appel) and the extensive tour, Bruce Springsteen wastes no time composing material for his first album of the new decade. Block booking himself and The E Street Band into The Power Station in New York City, initially the project is to be a single LP titled “The Ties That Bind”, and is originally scheduled for a Fall 1979 release. Always known as a prolific songwriter, Springsteen ends up writing more than fifty new songs for the album, and spending a year and a half in the recording studio. The material is a mixture of exuberant upbeat rockers and serious darker songs reflecting on relationships, and the personal and economic hardships many are facing during the late 70’s and early 80’s recession. The album is expanded to two LP’s, paring it down to twenty tracks. Considered a risky move to release a double album at a time when the music industry is experiencing a major downturn in business, CBS Records releases it as Bruce wishes it to be. The album is proceeded by the single “Hungry Heart” (#5 Pop), a song that Springsteen writes and intends to give to the Ramones to record. His manager Jon Landau convinces him to record it himself. Also featuring background vocals by Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman (aka “Flo & Eddie”) of The Turtles, the song is an instant smash, becoming “The Boss’” first US top ten single. The album is heralded as an artistic and commercial triumph, becoming Springsteen’s most successful to date. It spins off an additional single with “Fade Away” (#20 Pop), several other tracks including “Out In The Street”, “Independence Day”, “Sherry Darling”, “Stolen Car”, “Cadillac Ranch”, and the title track all become fan favorites and staples of Springsteen’s epic live performances. “The River” is remastered and reissued on CD and vinyl in November of 2014, initially issued in a box set collection, though the vinyl LP release is made available individually in April 2015. A four CD/three DVD (or two Blu-ray discs) box set titled “The Ties That Bind: The River Collection” is released to commemorate the thirty fifth anniversary of the landmark album. The box set is released on December 4, 2015, and is proceeded by release of the outtake track “Meet Me In The City”, which Springsteen and The E Street Band perform on Saturday Night Live on December 20, 2015. “The River” spends four weeks at number one on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 5x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: October 17, 1964 – “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” by Manfred Mann hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 2 weeks. Written by Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich, it is the biggest hit for the London based pop quintet. Formed in 1962 by South African born keyboardist Manfred Mann, the band originally call themselves The Mann-Hugg Blues Brothers. They establish themselves as part of the thriving British blues scene in London along with contemporaries including The Yardbirds, Alexis Corner, and The Rolling Stones. When they land a record contract with EMI Records HMV label in 1963, Manfred Mann’s producer John Burgess insists on a name change, and adapt their keyboardist and bandleaders name as their new moniker. After scoring a handful of hits in their native UK, they record a cover of the song “Do Wah Diddy Diddy”, written by the husband and wife songwriting team of Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich. Newly married at the time it was written, Barry and Greenwich perfectly express their newly wedded bliss, with the title being a clever euphemism for a “sexual dalliance”. Originally written for and recorded by The Exciters (“Tell Him”) as “Do-Wah-Diddy”, their version is only a minor hit, peaking at #78 on the Hot 100 on January 25, 1964. Manfred Mann records their version after lead singer Paul Jones discovers the song in his record collection. Issued in the UK first in July of 1964, it is an immediate smash, leaping to number one on August 13, 1964. Licensed to Ascot Records (distributed by United Artists) in the US, it quickly becomes a hit on American radio. Entering the Hot 100 at #58 on September 5, 1964, it streaks to the top of the chart six weeks later. Regarded as one of the great party anthems of all time, “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” is covered by a wide variety of artists including Jan & Dean, Andrew Gold, and the 2 Live Crew. Bill Murray and Harold Ramis sing the song during a marching sequence in the film “Stripes” in 1981.
On this day in music history: October 17, 1964 – “12 x 5”, the second US album by The Rolling Stones is released. Produced by Andrew Loog Oldham, it is recorded at Regent Sound Studios in London and Chess Studios in Chicago, IL from February 25, May 12, June 10 – 11, 24 – 26 and September 28 – 29, 1964. The album includes the first songs written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards (under the pseudonym “Nanker Phelge”), after manager Andrew Oldham tells them that if they want to build on their success, that they have to come with original material. Oldham literally locks the pair up in a kitchen and tells them that they can’t come out until they’ve written a song. While on their first trip to the US in the Summer of 1964, the band records several tracks at Chess Records studio in Chicago. The five songs the band records in the US are released in the UK as an EP titled “5 x 5”. The Stones US record label London takes those songs and expands it to a full LP with the singles “It’s All Over Now” (#26 Pop), and “Time Is On My Side” (#6 Pop), along with their respective B-sides and three other songs that are included on their second UK album “Rolling Stones No. 2”. When the album is remastered and reissued in 2002, it includes the full unedited version of the instrumental “2120 South Michigan Avenue”. It is also remastered and reissued on LP in 2014 pressed on clear vinyl, with the original mono version being re-released as part of the “Rolling Stones In Mono” box set on September 30, 2016. “12 x 5” peaks at number three on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: October 17, 1963 – The Beatles record “I Want To Hold Your Hand” at Abbey Road Studios in London. Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, it is the fifth UK single release for “The Fab Four”. The song is written in the Fall of 1963 while Paul McCartney is living at the home of his girlfriend, actress Jane Asher and her family, with John and Paul writing it together on the piano. “Hand” is recorded during sessions for the band’s second album “With The Beatles”, and is completed in seventeen takes. It is the first Beatles song recorded on Abbey Road’s four track multi-track tape machine, with previous recordings by the band being recorded using a two track machine. When it is released in the UK on November 29, 1963, it is an immediate smash, receiving advance orders of over one million copies. The single enters the chart at #2, at first unable to dislodge their previous release “She Loves You” from the top, finally taking the top spot two weeks later on December 12, 1963, spending five weeks at number one. The UK single is backed with the ballad “This Boy” which is recorded during the same session as “I Want To Hold Your Hand”. “Hand” becomes one of the best selling singles in history, selling over twelve million copies worldwide.
On this day in music history: October 16, 1976 – “Johnny The Fox”, the seventh studio album by Thin Lizzy is released. Produced by John Alcock, it is recorded at Musicland Studios in Munich, Germany, Ramport Studios in Battersea, London, UK and Olympic Studios in Barnes, London, UK in August 1976. The band begin work on the album while lead singer and bassist Phil Lynott is recovering from a bout of hepatitis, causing the band to abort a tour of the US for the “Jailbreak” album. Lynott composes the songs while in the hospital with an acoustic guitar. Thin Lizzy decides to record in Germany rather than in the UK for tax purposes, but return home to the UK after only two weeks when the band members have disagreements over musical direction. The album spins off two singles including the title track that later becomes a staple in Hip Hop culture when its opening drum break becomes a favorite of DJ’s and B-Boys. The album is remastered and reissued on CD in 1996, with an expanded double CD deluxe edition released in Europe and Japan in 2011. The first CD contains the original ten track album, with the second disc featuring remixes, previously unreleased tracks and live performances recorded for the BBC in November of 1976. It is also reissued as a 180 gram vinyl LP in 2011 on the Back On Black label, and by Mercury Records in 2014. “Johnny The Fox” peaks at number eleven on the UK album chart, and number fifty two on the Billboard Top 200.