Category: self titled album

On this day in music history: May 21, 1982 – &…

On this day in music history: May 21, 1982 – “Jeffrey Osborne”, the debut solo album by Jeffrey Osborne is released. Produced by George Duke, it is recorded at Le Gonks West Studios in West Hollywood, CA, Westlake Audio in Los Angeles, CA, A&M Studios in Hollywood, CA, George Massenburg Studios in West Los Angeles, CA and Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, CA from November 1981 – March 1982. After spending ten years as the drummer, then lead singer of R&B/Funk band L.T.D., Jeffrey Osborne leaves the band in late 1980 for a solo career. Remaining with A&M Records, the singer takes his time selecting the right producer for his first solo album. Osborne chooses to work with musician George Duke, who surrounds the singer with an exemplary group of the best studio musicians in L.A. including Brothers Johnson bassist Louis Johnson, former Average White Band drummer Steve Ferrone, Larry Graham, Abraham Laboriel (bass), David T. Walker, Charles Fearing, Michael Sembello (guitar), George Duke, John Barnes (keyboards), Jerry Hey, Gary Grant, Lou McCreary, Larry Williams (horns), Lynn Davis (background vocals) and Paulinho Da Costa (percussion). Osborne also writes or co-writes eight of the albums ten songs. The sessions are highly productive, marking the beginning of a successful collaboration between Jeffrey Osborne and George Duke, which lasts over the course of four albums. Osborne’s debut release spins off three singles including “I Really Don’t Need No Light” (#3 R&B, #39 Pop), “On The Wings Of Love” (#13 R&B, #29 Pop) and “Eenie Meenie” (#76 Pop). “Jeffrey Osborne” peaks at number three on the Billboard R&B album chart, and number forty nine on the Top 200.

On this day in music history: May 10, 1994 – &…

On this day in music history: May 10, 1994 – “Weezer” (aka “The Blue Album”), the debut album by Weezer is released. Produced by Ric Ocasek, it is recorded at Electric Lady Studios in New York City from August – September 1993. Formed in 1992 by lead guitarist and vocalist Rivers Cuomo, drummer Patrick Wilson, bassist Matt Sharp and rhythm guitarist Jason Cropper, Weezer are playing live gigs only months afterward. Continuing to rehearse and write songs, within a year, the band begin drawing major label attention and are signed to Geffen subsidiary DGC Records in 1993. The band are paired with Cars co-founder and lead singer Ric Ocasek who signs on to produce their debut album. During the recording, Jason Cropper quits the band and he is replaced by Brian Bell. Weezer’s unique musical sensibility which combines punk and metal attitude with strong power pop guitar riffs and hooks, are counterbalanced by the band’s own shy and nerdy demeanor. The first single “Undone – The Sweater Song”, is supported with a quirky and innovative low budget video directed by Spike Jonze (“Being John Malkovich”, “Adaptation”), that becomes an immediate hit on MTV. Jonze also directs the video for the follow up single “Buddy Holly” (#2 Modern Rock, #18 Hot 100 Airplay), in which the band are digitally morphed into clips from the classic sitcom “Happy Days”, playing on stage in Arnold’s Drive-In. Using the same green screen techniques employed by Industrial Light & Magic on the film “Forrest Gump”, Weezer’s performance footage is seamlessly blended in with the film clips from the series. Also featuring a cameo appearance by actor Al Molinaro, the video is another huge MTV favorite, winning four MTV VMA awards in 1995 including Best Alternative Video and Breakthrough Video. The album spins off a third and final single with “Say It Ain’t So” (#7 Modern Rock, #51 Hot 100 Airplay). In time, Weezer’s debut album will come to be regarded as one of the best albums of the 90’s. In 2004, it is remastered and reissued as a two disc Deluxe Edition. The first disc features the original ten track album, with disc two containing fourteen tracks, including B-sides, unreleased track, live acoustic recordings and alternate mixes. Originally released on vinyl in very limited quantities in 1994, it is reissued briefly in 2002 by Geffen Records. In 2012, it is released as a 180 gram vinyl LP by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, pressed on blue marbled vinyl, and by Back To Black (UK & Europe on standard black vinyl). A hybrid SACD is also issued by the label in 2014. Another vinyl reissue released by Geffen/UMe with Direct Metal Mastering, and includes a poster is released in 2016. “Weezer” peaks at number sixteen on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 3x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

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On this day in music history: May 6, 1972 – &l…

On this day in music history: May 6, 1972 – “Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway” by Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway is released. Produced by Joel Dorn and Arif Mardin, it is recorded at Altantic Recording Studios in New York City from March, August 12 and October 15, 1971. It is the first of three collaborations from the two friends and label mates. The idea for the pairing is suggested by Atlantic executive and producer Jerry Wexler, to heighten the profile of both artists. The album features a plethora of first class musical support including musicians Chuck Rainey (bass), Bernard Purdie (drums), Eric Gale, David Spinozza (guitars), Joe Farrell (saxophone), Hubert Laws (flute) and Ralph MacDonald (percussion). Months prior to its release, it is proceeded by the release of two singles, including covers of James Taylor’s then recent hit “You’ve Got A Friend” (#8 R&B, #29 Pop) and The Righteous Brothers’ “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling” (#30 R&B, #71 Pop). The Spring 1972 release of the album coincides with Flack’s breakthrough smash “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”, which was still holding the number one spot on the Hot 100 at the time. The album is also issued simultaneously with the single “Where Is The Love” (1 R&B, #5 Pop), which becomes a huge crossover hit, winning Flack and Hathaway a Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance By A Duo Or Group in 1973. Originally released on CD in 1989, it is remastered and reissued in 1996, and again in 2013, as a limited edition SHM-CD (Japan only). “Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway” peaks at number two on the Billboard R&B album chart, number three on the Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

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On this day in music history: May 2, 1988 – &l…

On this day in music history: May 2, 1988 – “Melissa Etheridge”, the debut album by Melissa Etheridge is released. Produced by Melissa Etheridge, Niko Bolas, Craig Krampf and Kevin McCormick, it is recorded at Cherokee Studios in Hollywood, CA from October 19 – 23, 1987. Developing an interest in music at an early age, Melissa Etheridge begins playing guitar at eight years old. By her teens, she’s performing in country music clubs in and around her hometown of Leavenworth, KS. After graduating from high school, she moves east to attend the Berklee College Of Music in Boston. Playing in local bars at night, she eventually gains the confidence to pursue her dream of a career in the music business. Dropping out of school, Etheridge leaves Boston for Los Angeles. Once in California, she lands a gig at a local Pasadena bar and begins performing there regularly. During this time she meets Karla Leopold whose husband Bill is a music artist manager. Inviting to see her perform, Leopold is impressed by Etheridge’s strong stage presence and voice, and he offers to become her manager. Melissa accepts, and the decision is one that will change the course of her life and career. Continuing to play the bar circuit in Southern, CA, Island Records founder Chris Blackwell sees her perform one night, and offers to sign her. Now under contract to Island, she initially spends months recording the initial version of her album, which is rejected by Island Records as being “too polished and slick”. She returns to the studio and records a much more stripped down version in just four days. The resulting album perfectly captures the Kansas born singer and songwriter’s raw and intimate style, garnering critical acclaim and attracts a loyal fan base. It spins off the single “Bring Me Some Water” (#10 Mainstream Rock), written about the jealousy she feels when her girlfriend at the time, says she wants a “non-monogamous relationship” with her. At the time, Etheridge’s sexuality is not common public knowledge, and therefore is not discussed openly. The intense, passionate and fiery song begins receiving radio play, and earns a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female. Asked to perform on the live Grammy telecast in February of 1989, Etheridge turns in an electrifying performance of “Bring Me Some Water”. Though she does not win the Grammy, her appearance on the show greatly heightens her public profile, and gives album a major sales boost. It is remastered and reissued on CD in 2003 as a two disc Deluxe Edition. The first disc contains the original ten track album, with second disc featuring live concert and radio broadcast performances. “Melissa Etheridge” peaks number twenty two on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

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On this day in music history: April 30, 1982…

On this day in music history: April 30, 1982 – “A Flock Of Seagulls”, the debut album by A Flock Of Seagulls is released. Produced by Mike Howlett, it is recorded at Battery Studios in London from Summer – Late Autumn 1981. Formed in Liverpool, UK in 1980 by brothers Mike (keyboards and lead vocals) and Alister “Ali” Score (drums), the original line up also includes Frank Maudsley (bass). They take the name A Flock Of Seagulls from a lyric in the punk rock band The Stranglers song “Toiler On The Sea”. They add guitarist Willie Woo to the band. A hairdresser by day, Mike Score and the band rehearse in a room above the hair salon where he works. They see changes in personal shortly after when the Score brothers have a falling out, with Ali being replaced by Mark Edmondson. Woo departs as well. At Maudsley’s suggestion, they replace Woo with Edmondson’s friend Paul Reynolds on guitar. Only seventeen years old at the time, Reynolds unique playing style is augmented with numerous effects including digital delay and echo, becoming an essential part of A Flock Of Seagulls sound. When Ali Score returns, Mark Edmondson leaves and the band’s line up is finally set. They begin playing clubs throughout England and land a recording contract with Jive Records. Recording and releasing the singles “It’s Not Me Talking”, “Modern Love Is Automatic” and “Telecommunication”, the band finish their debut album near the end of 1981. When it is released in the UK in the Spring of 1982, it initially does not make a big impression in their home country. However, pockets of support develop elsewhere. Having made a low budget music video for “I Ran (So Far Away)” (#9 Pop, #8 US Club Play, #43 UK), it begins airing on MTV in the US during the Summer. The immediately catchy new wave/pop song, grabs the attention of American music fans, and by the Fall it hits the top ten in the US, and number one in Australia. The follow up “A Space Age Love Song” (#30 Pop, #34 UK) cements the band’s sound and visual image, punctuated by Mike Score’s dramatically coiffed hair, styled to make him look like a bird of prey. The instrumental track “D.N.A.” also wins them a Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance in 1983. The album is also well received by critics and fans, and is regarded as an 80’s new wave classic. The US version differs somewhat from the UK release, featuring a shifted running order, and omitting the track “Tokyo”. Originally released on CD in 1987, it is remastered and reissued by Cherry Red Records (on the Cherry Pop imprint) in 2011, with four additional bonus tracks. It is also reissued as a 180 gram vinyl LP by Music On Vinyl in 2013. “A Flock Of Seagulls” peaks at number thirty two on the UK album chart, number ten on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

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On this day in music history: April 27, 1987 -…

On this day in music history: April 27, 1987 – “Living In A Box”, the debut album by Living In A Box is released. Produced by Richard James Burgess, it is recorded at AIR Studios in London and Galaxy Sound Studios in Los Angeles, CA from Mid 1986 – Early 1987. Formed in Sheffield, UK in 1985, the band consists of Richard Darbyshire (lead vocals, guitar), Anthony “Tich” Crichlow (drums) and Marcus Vere (keyboards). They meet while Crichlow and Vere are in a studio working on song demos. Darbyshire, then working as a solo artist at the same studio, is invited to join the band. Their name and the song “Living In A Box” (#5 UK, #17 US Pop, #6 US Club Play), are inspired by a friend who lived in a council flat so small, that it was akin to “living in a cardboard box”. Featuring Richard Darbyshire’s robust and soulful vocals up front, the song gets them signed to Chrysalis Records. Recording in London and Los Angeles, the band are supported by a number of veteran R&B musicians including Paul Jackson, Jr. (guitar), “Ready” Freddie Washington (bass) and Paulinho da Costa (percussion). Their backing vocals are also augmented by several vocal greats including Lisa Fischer, Paulette McWilliams, Myrna Smith-Schilling (The Sweet Inspirations) and Tessa Niles. Released in the UK in March of 1987, “Living In A Box” becomes a top five smash in their home country, and a US top 20 hit a few months later. The single is supported by a video, featuring eye catching visual effects, including jump cutting, fast and slow motion framing, and entire shots running in reverse. It grabs the attention of soul legend Bobby Womack, who records his own cover of the song. When the album’s third single “So The Story Goes” (#34 UK, #81 US Pop) is remixed for release as a 12", it features additional vocals by Womack. The original LP and 7" versions do not feature the added vocals. Following the success of their debut album, the members of Living In A Box begin to have “artistic differences” as well as problems with their record label, after their second album “Gatecrashing”. The friction causes them to split in 1990 before finishing their third album. Darbyshire resumes his career as a solo artist and as a songwriter, penning songs for Lisa Stansfield, The Temptations, and Jennifer Rush. More than twenty five years after their break up, Crichlow and Vere reform the band in 2016, with new lead singer Kenny Thomas. LIAB are presently performing live, and working on new music. The band’s name sake song has enjoyed enduring popularity over the years. It is featured in the films “Can’t Buy Me Love” and “Masters Of The Universe”, as well as the video game “Grand Theft Auto V”. “Living In A Box” peaks at number twenty five on the UK album chart, number eighty nine on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Gold in the UK by the BPI.  

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On this day in music history: April 26, 1983 -…

On this day in music history: April 26, 1983 – “Weird Al Yankovic”, the debut album by “Weird Al” Yankovic is released. Produced by “Weird Al” Yankovic and Rick Derringer, it is recorded at The Men’s Room at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, CA , KMET-FM in Los Angeles, and Cherokee Studios in Hollywood, CA from Mid 1979, 1980 – 81, and Early 1982. After releasing several stand alone singles both independently and for record labels such as Capitol and TK Records, “Weird Al” Yankovic is signed to the Scotti Brothers label Rock ‘N Roll Records (then distributed by CBS Records’ Epic subsidiary) in 1982. The first album by the comedy parody artist includes his first two singles “My Bologna” (re-recorded version appears on the album) and “Another One Rides The Bus” as well as parodies of songs by Toni Basil, Joan Jett and Tom Petty. “Weird Al Yankovic” peaks at number one hundred thirty nine on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

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On this day in music history: April 23, 1976 -…

On this day in music history: April 23, 1976 – “Ramones”, the debut album by the Ramones is released. Produced by Craig Leon, it is recorded at Plaza Sound, Radio City Music Hall in New York City from February 2 – 19, 1976. Fixtures on the New York punk rock scene since forming in 1974, the Ramones come to the attention of Sire Records A&R man Craig Leon (Blondie, Joshua Bell), through their manager Danny Fields, by way of a demo album the band records with producer Marty Thau. Leon signs the band to the label in November of 1975. The first album by Forest Hills, Queens, NY punk quartet is recorded in just seven days (spread over a two week period) for a cost of $6,400. Consisting of both covers and originals, it is widely praised by rock critics and the Ramones solid fan base. The album goes on to help define and popularize the punk music genre and culture, inspiring and influencing numerous bands and artists that follow in their wake. The album is remastered and reissued in 2001 with eight additional bonus tracks added, including demo versions and the single mix of “Blitzkrieg Bop”. It is also reissued as a 180 gram vinyl LP in 2011, pressed on blue vinyl with a bonus 7" of “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend” b/w “California Sun/I Don’t Wanna Walk Around With You” that is limited to only 500 copies. To commemorate the album’s fortieth anniversary in 2016, it is released as a limited three CD + LP Deluxe Edition. The CD’s include stereo and mono mixes of the original album on disc one, with the second disc containing outtakes and demos. Disc three features two live performances recorded at the Roxy Theater in Los Angeles, CA on August 12, 1976. The set also comes with a 180 gram vinyl LP featuring the mono mix of the album, and a 12" x 12" hardbound book with photos and extensive liner notes. The anniversary box is remastered by Sean Magee and Sam Okell, and executive produced by Bill Inglot. “Ramones” peaks at number one hundred eleven on the Billboard Top 200.

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On this day in music history: April 21, 1975 -…

On this day in music history: April 21, 1975 – “ABBA”, the third album by ABBA is released. Produced by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, it is recorded at Glen, Metronome and Ljudkopia Studios in Stockholm, Sweden from August 22, 1974 – March 16, 1975. It is the Swedish pop quartet’s first release following their chart breakthrough with “Waterloo” which also wins the top prize in the Eurovision Song Contest. The album spins off three singles including “SOS” (#15 Pop), “I Do, I Do, I Do” (#15 Pop) and “Mamma Mia” (#32 Pop). The latter song is the inspiration for a long running stage musical featuring the music of ABBA which is also adapted into a hit film in 2008. “ABBA” makes its CD debut in Japan in 1986 with an alternate mix of the track “Man In The Middle”, that is replaced after the initial pressing with the original mix. “ABBA” peaks at number one hundred seventy four on the Billboard Top 200.

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On this day in music history: April 21, 1975 -…

On this day in music history: April 21, 1975 – “ABBA”, the third album by ABBA is released. Produced by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, it is recorded at Glen, Metronome and Ljudkopia Studios in Stockholm, Sweden from August 22, 1974 – March 16, 1975. It is the Swedish pop quartet’s first release following their chart breakthrough with “Waterloo” which also wins the top prize in the Eurovision Song Contest. The album spins off three singles including “SOS” (#15 Pop), “I Do, I Do, I Do” (#15 Pop) and “Mamma Mia” (#32 Pop). The latter song is the inspiration for a long running stage musical featuring the music of ABBA which is also adapted into a hit film in 2008. “ABBA” makes its CD debut in Japan in 1986 with an alternate mix of the track “Man In The Middle”, that is replaced after the initial pressing with the original mix. “ABBA” peaks at number one hundred seventy four on the Billboard Top 200.

Help support the Behind The Grooves music blog with a donation by clicking on the link at: PayPal.Me/jharris1228