Saturday, December 19, 2020

Music History Today: December 20, 2020

December 20, 1971:  The Rolling Stones released their first compilation album Hot Rocks 1964-1971.

Hot Rocks 1964-1971 is the Rolling Stones’ most successful release, and they had nothing to do with it. Well, not nothing – they made the recordings, after all. 

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But the compilation was conceived as a cash-in for the 1971 Christmas season by the Stones’ former manager, with no input on track selection or sequencing by the band. The Stones’ most famous hits collection was the result of a split between the group and its infamous manager Allen Klein, who had worked with them since 1965.  

Read More: Ultimate Classic Rock

December 20, 1969:  The Shocking Blue's new song, "Venus," moved from Number 77 to 31.

Shocking Blue
Shocking Blue

The Top 40 charts during the classic rock era are filled with one-hit wonders. But what if the outlier in your recorded output is a #1 pop smash in the U.S. and many other countries that holds up today and still receives airplay? For the Dutch rock band, Shocking Blue, that song was 1969’s out-of-this-world “Venus.” 
Read more: Best Classic Bands


December 20, 1973: Bobby Darin dies at age 37 after surgery to repair his ailing heart.

Boob Darrin's music career started out with writing songs and taking demos around to different music producers. In 1958 he performed the song "Splish, Splash" on Dick Clark's American Bandstand. It was a huge hit and eventually would sell over one million copies. 

Bobby Darin

The last year of his life was spent dealing with health problems related to his heart, yet he continued to work when he could. He died at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles on December 20, 1973, following open heart surgery.  

Read more: IMDB

December 20, 1975: Neil Sedaka had gone 12 years without a Top 10 hit, and now he was bidding for his third in the last two years as "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do" moved from 79 to 59.

"Breaking Up Is Hard to Do" is a song recorded by Neil Sedaka, and co-written by Sedaka and Howard Greenfield. Sedaka recorded this song twice, in 1962 and 1975, in two significantly different arrangements, and it is considered to be his signature song.

Neil Sedaka

Sedaka, in the midst of a comeback in his native United States after several years in career decline and a detour through the United Kingdom, re-recorded his signature song. Sedaka's slow version peaked at #8 in February 1976 and went to number one on the Easy Listening chart. 

Read more: Wikipedia

December 20, 1980: Twelve days after John Lennon was shot dead, "Just Like Starting Over" became his first UK solo Number 1.

The day John Lennon was murdered, “(Just Like) Starting Over” was on a steady climb up the Billboard charts. That day, “Starting Over,” the last single that Lennon would release during his lifetime, was at #6 and rising. 

Yoko Ono & John Lennon

There’s no reason to think it wouldn’t have eventually hit #1. As the first John Lennon single in five years, “(Just Like) Starting Over” certainly had public curiosity working for it. It’s a modest shrug of a song, but plenty of modestly shrugging Paul McCartney songs had ascended to the top of the charts after the Beatles’ breakup.  

Read more: Stereogum

Under My Thumb
Rolling Stones 

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