Sunday, November 22, 2020

Music History Today: November 23, 2020

November 23, 1981: AC/DC release the album For Those About to Rock We Salute You.

As immensely successful as AC/DC’s 1980 album Back in Black was (it has sold around 50 million copies worldwide), the band didn’t have a No. 1 record until their seventh North American release, For Those About to Rock We Salute You came out on Nov. 23, 1981.

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The band came out of the gate with a full arsenal – literally. “For Those About to Rock (We Salute You),” now a traditional show-closer, is a mid-paced stormer about the band’s appreciation for its fans, and about three-and-a-half minutes in, the music is punctuated with cannon blasts that continue until the end of the song.

Read more: Loudwire

November 23, 1963: Dale & Grace stormed up to number 1 with "I'm Leaving It Up To You."

Dale Houston was a rocker from Mississippi whose career was going nowhere and who, after writing a few singles, found himself singing at a Louisiana bar.  

There, Sam Montel, Houston’s label boss, introduced him to Grace Broussard, a Louisiana native who was also singing in area bars. Montel thought to put Houston and Broussard together. The song that took them to #1 was “I’m Leaving It Up To You,” written and recorded by the Californian duo Don & Dewey back in 1957. 
Read more: Stereogum

November 23, 1968: Glen Campbell shot up from number 23 to 10 after just four weeks with "Wichita Lineman."

Imagine pitching this song idea in 1968: There’s this guy who works on telephone poles in the middle of Kansas. He’s really devoted to his job. Rain or shine, he’s committed to preventing system overloads. It’s really lonely work, and he misses his girlfriend. Does this sound like a hit to you?

 

When Jimmy Webb wrote the first lines of “Wichita Lineman," not only did he not think he had a surefire hit, he didn’t even think the song was finished. An inauspicious beginning for a song that sold millions of records for Glen Campbell, has been recorded by everyone from Johnny Cash to James Taylor to R.E.M., and appears on several lists of the greatest songs of all time.  

Read more: American Songwriter

November 23, 1970: Cat Stevens releases his breakthrough album, Tea For The Tillerman, in the US. The song "Wild World" becomes his first hit.

Cat Stevens had already released one album in 1970, Mona Bone Jakon back in April, when Tea for the Tillerman arrived on Nov. 23, 1970. And almost immediately, things changed for the 22-year-old London singer-songwriter born Steven Demetre Georgiou. And then they just didn't stop.

Cat Stevens

Stevens had been kicking around the British folk scene for quite some time, penning songs for other people and just trying to make a living when he started recording his fourth album in London during the summer of 1970. Nobody, not even Stevens, had any reason to believe that Tea for the Tillerman would sell any better than his other LPs. 

Read more: Ultimate Classic Rock

November 23, 1974: Billy Swan moved from number 6 to 1 with "I Can Help."

“I Can Help” was a noted “groove” record, powered by a cascading guitar riff, a singable melody and a prominent organ passage. 

Billy Swan
In fact, it was the keyboard part that launched the entire composition for Billy Swan after Kris Kristofferson and then-wide Rita Coolidge presented him with a portable RMI organ for a wedding present.  
Read more: Facebook

For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)
AC/DC

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