Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Music History Today: November 25, 2020

November 25, 1984: In London, Bono, George Michael, David Bowie, Paul McCartney and a passel of other stars record vocals for "Do They Know It's Christmas?." 

On Nov. 25, 1984, dozens of the biggest U.K. musicians — past and present — gathered in Trevor Horn's London studio under the moniker Band Aid to record the now-classic holiday song "Do They Know It's Christmas?" 

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The idea for this star-studded project arose earlier that same year, after Bob Geldof saw news footage of the famine in Ethiopia. Shaken by what he saw, he enlisted Ultravox's Midge Ure to put together a song, with the goal of raising funds to benefit the country.

While Geldof typically receives the most credit for "Do They Know It's Christmas?," Ure was actually the catalyst — from shaping the hushed synth-pop song and recording the original demo, to convincing the Boomtown Rats frontman that the charity song was a viable idea.  

Read more: Ultimate Classic Rock

November 25, 1940: R&B singer Percy Sledge is born in Leighton, Alabama.

Percy Sledge grew up in Leighton, Ala., a town close to the Muscle Shoals studios. "When a Man Loves a Woman" was the first song that he recorded, and it's the first No. 1 hit to come out of Muscle Shoals. 

Percy Sledge

He continued to record for Atlantic and had a number of hits in the Top 10 R&B charts, but "When a Man Loves a Woman" was the song that created the sound of Southern soul and the studio sound of Muscle Shoals. 
Read more: NPR

November 25, 1967: "Incense And Peppermints" by Strawberry Alarm Clock hits number 1 in America. 

It was one of the biggest hits of 1967 and remains one of the most memorable; an intoxicating psychedelic-lite feel-good tune dripping with kaleidoscopic organ, taut and tough guitar licks, uplifting vocal harmonies, a bit of cowbell and prototypical opaque Summer of Love lyrics urging listeners to “Turn on, tune in, turn your eyes around.” 

Strawberry Alarm Clock

It was called “Incense and Peppermints,” and the group, in the spirit of the times (Vanilla Fudge, Chocolate Watch Band, Peanut Butter Conspiracy), was Strawberry Alarm Clock.  

Read more: Best Classic Bands

November 25, 1989: Phil Collins entered the Top 10 with "Another Day In Paradise."

Written by Phil Collins, who co-produced the track with Hugh Padgham, “Another Day in Paradise” found the frequent Genesis front-man attempting to say something about the plight of the homeless, singing about seeing a man crossing the street to avoid a homeless woman, pleading for people to do something about the situation and not simply turn a blind eye. 

Phil Collins

It was only inevitable that the song would endure some snark about how far Collins was from homelessness, but listeners loved it, taking the song to #1 in America,  
Read more: Rhino

November 25, 1995: Whitney Houston debuted at number 1 with "Exhale (Shoop Shoop.)"

"Exhale (Shoop Shoop)" is a song by American recording artist Whitney Houston, featured on the soundtrack for the film Waiting to Exhale. 

Whitney Houston

In the United States, it became the third single to debut on top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart in Billboard's history, and Houston's eleventh (and final) number one single. It was later certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), for shipments of one million copies. 

Read more: Wikipedia

Do They Know It's Christmas
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