Saturday, September 19, 2020

Music History Today: September 20, 2020

September 20, 1975: David Bowie had the top tune on Billboard's singles chart with a song co-written by John Lennon, "Fame," Lennon can be heard singing near the end of the record.

Bowie wrote the song alongside Lennon and former James Brown guitarist Carlos Alomar as a direct middle finger to the business of rock and roll and, more notably, the middlemen at Mainman Management—Bowie’s former management company.

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It was released in 1975 to quickly become Bowie’s best selling single (to that point) in the US and allow Lennon another chance to rattle the music business. Featuring on Bowie’s Young Americans album, though allegedly Bowie’s least favourite song on the record, it became the flagship of the album’s sound.  
Read more:  Far Out Magazine

September 20, 1973: Jim Croce is killed in a plane crash in Natchitoches, Louisiana, at age 30. Only a week before, Croce finished recording his third album, "I Got a Name."

The year 1973 should have been great for Jim Croce. His songs were used in movies and television, had landed his folk-rock albums were on the pop charts and he had his first No. 1 smash hit with "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown." 

But Croce was starting to get burned out. An extensive tour earned him rave reviews throughout the U.S. and Europe. In the midst of touring Croce was recording his next album, I Got a Name. The singer wrapped up the recording sessions and neared the end of his tour when tragedy struck. Following a gig at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana, Croce boarded a small chartered plane to travel to his next show in Sherman, Texas. Sadly, the plane never made it much past the runway.  
Read more: Ultimate Classic Rock

September 20, 1969: Elvis Presley had his biggest song in years when "Suspicious Minds" moved from number 77 to 36 on this date.

The song "Suspicious Minds" was written and first recorded by American songwriter Mark James. It's about a dysfunctional relationship, and various feelings of mistrust within it, and how the couple need to move on in order to survive.

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Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley
James later explained that one night, he was playing around on his Fender guitar and using his Hammond organ pedals for a bass line, and came up with a catchy melody. At the time, he was married to his first wife, but still had feelings for his childhood sweetheart, who was also married. James's wife had suspicions of his feelings to the other woman, and James felt it was a tricky time as all three were "caught in this trap and they could not walk out."
Read more: Smooth Radio

September 20, 1975: Neil Sedaka and Elton John moved from 66 to 32 with "Bad Blood."

In 1975, Neil Sedaka made ‘Bad Blood,’ written with Phil Cody, part of his spectacular chart comeback. After years in the wilderness following his original success of the late 1950s and early ‘60s, 

Sedaka reached a whole new generation with the help of Elton, a huge admirer who had met him at a party in 1973 and signed him for the US to his new Rocket label.Neil’s ‘Laughter In The Rain,’ released on Rocket in America, became a US No. 1 in 1975, and soon afterwards, Sedaka had another chart-topper as a writer, when ‘Love Will Keep Us Together’ hit the top for the Captain & Tennille.  
Read more: U Discover Music

September 20, 1980: The Game by Queen was number 1 on the U.S. Album chart. It produced two hit songs: "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" and "Another One Bites the Dust."

“Another One Bites The Dust” is a variation on a riff from another song that had topped the charts a year before “Another One” made its ascent. 

John Deacon’s hard-pulsing bass riff is the heart of “Another One Bites The Dust,” and it’s basically a version of Bernard Edwards’ descending bass-line from Chic’s 1979 #1 “Good Times.” Deacon’s version of the riff is simpler and less syncopated, but it’s the kind of thing that would’ve earned Chic a songwriting credit if it happened today.  
Read more: Stereogum


Fame
David Bowie

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