Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Music History Today: December 2, 2020

December 2, 1995: The Guinness Book of World Records announced that The Sign by Ace of Base was the top-selling debut album of all-time with 19 million copies sold worldwide.

Ace of Base, a four-piece pop group from Gothenburg, Sweden, released their debut album, Happy Nation — renamed The Sign for its U.S. release — in 1993.

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On the strength of three monster singles, “The Sign,” “All That She Wants,” and “Don’t Turn Around,” the album would sell over 9 million copies. While the band has, amazingly, remained active in some form or another up until the present day, if you have any feelings of nostalgia toward them, they are almost definitely derived from The Sign. 
Read more: Vulture

December  2, 1972: Steely Dan make the Billboard 200 for the first time when their debut album, Can't Buy a Thrill, lands at number 197. 

Donald Fagen didn’t want to sing. He didn’t think he had a voice – limited range, low power – that was worthy of fronting a rock ’n’ roll band, despite the encouragement of Steely Dan’s own members.

After meeting in the late ’60s as students at New York's Bard College, Fagen and his buddy Walter Becker formed a musical partnership. After years of unfulfilling gigs and humiliating rejection, Fagen and Becker had finally convinced a record label to allow them to put together a band, record a full-length studio album (Can’t Buy a Thrill) and put it in stores. 

Read more: Ultimate Classic Rock

  

December  2,  1963:  Roy Orbison released the single "Pretty Paper."

It’s not exactly a Christmas standard on the order of “O Holy Night” or “Jingle Bells,” but “Pretty Paper” – written by Willie Nelson and first recorded by Roy Orbison – is one of the best-known Christmas songs in the country and popular music canons. 

Roy Orbison

Nelson wrote “Pretty Paper” in the early 1960s about a disabled man who sold Christmas wrap from the sidewalk in Fort Worth. When Nelson played the song for the legendary Nashville label owner Fred Foster in 1963, Foster sent the demo off to one of his acts, Roy Orbison. According to the 2017 book The Authorized Roy Orbison, Orbison was severely under the weather when he went into the studio to cut the song. After several takes he finally got it. 

Read more: American Songwriters 

December  2, 1972:  The Band broke into the top ten with their LP The Band with Rock of Ages at number 10.

Recorded during the Band’s four-night gig at the end of 1971 at New York’s Academy of Music, "Rock of Ages" is a live-in-person double LP concert album.

The Band

Live albums do not always work in electric music because of the complexity of set up and the usual necessity for precise control of the sound. But this album, even on first hearing immediately joins the ranks of such celebrated in-person recordings as Mingus at Monterey, Count Basie in Sweden, Duke Ellington’s Seattle Concert, Miles at the Blackhawk and Ray Charles at Atlanta. 
Read more: Rolling Stone

December 1, 1995:  One of the hottest songs on this date was "The World I Know" by Collective Soul, which moved from 62 to 51.

"The World I Know" was originally released on their 1995 eponymous album. 

Collective Soul

Written by lead singer and guitarist Ed Roland and guitarist Ross Childress, it peaked at number 19 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart when released as a single and spent four weeks at the number-one spot on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. 
Read more: Wikipedia

 

I Saw the Sign
Ace of Base

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