Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Music History Today: December 30, 2020

December 30, 1946:  Patti Smith ("Because The Night" from 1978) was born in Chicago, Illinois.

Patty Smith's 1975 debut album, Horses, featuring the iconic singles "Gloria" and "Land of a Thousand Dances," was a huge commercial and critical success for its manic energy, heartfelt lyrics and skillful wordplay. 

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Re-billing her act as the Patti Smith Group to give due credit to her band—Lenny Kaye (guitar), Ivan Kral (bass), Jay Dee Daugherty (drums) and Richard Sohl (piano)—Smith released her second album, Radio Ethiopia, in 1976. 

The Patti Smith Group then achieved a commercial breakthrough with its third album, Easter (1978), propelled by the hit single "Because the Night," co-written by Smith and Bruce Springsteen.  

Read more: Biography

December 30, 1937:  Paul Stookey of Peter, Paul & Mary and also a solo artist ("The Wedding Song"), was born in Baltimore, Maryland.

Noel Paul Stookey is best known as one-third of the folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary. Stookey balanced his involvement with the trio with myriad activities as a solo singer/songwriter, record producer, and political and spiritual activist.

l-r: Peter Yarrow, Mary Travers, & Paul Stookey

In 1968, Stookey underwent a religious transformation and became a born-again Christian. Two years later, after the release of a greatest-hits album, Ten Years Together, the trio disbanded, with each member going on to pursue solo projects. Stookey's debut solo album, Paul And..., included "The Wedding Song (There Is Love)," and was the most successful of his solo efforts.  

Read more: Allmusic

December 30, 1974: Bob Dylan records  "Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts," "If You See Her, Say Hello," and "Tangled Up In Blue."

Dylan’s “Tangled Up in Blue” strikes a middle point between his more surreal lyrics of the ‘60s and his more straightforward love songs, and as Polyphonic’s recent video taking a deep dive into this “musical masterpiece” shows, that combination is why so many count it as one of his best songs.

Bob Dylan

Blood on the Tracks is one of the best grumpy, middle-age albums, post-relationship, post-fame, all reckoning and accountability, a survey of the damage done to oneself and others, and “Tangled” is the entry point. 

Dylan’s marriage to Sara Lowndes Dylan was floundering after eight years–affairs, drink, and drugs had estranged the couple. Dylan would later say that “Tangled” “took me ten years to live and two years to write.”  

Read more: Open Culture

December 30,  1979: Emerson Lake & Palmer broke up.

Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s Works Volume 1 represents the boldest move the band ever made and the beginning of their undoing. By the time ELP came off the tour for its previous album, 1973’s Brain Salad Surgery, the group was at their peak in both popularity and artistry. But the trouble was the band members were the furthest thing from one big, happy family.

Emerson, Lake & Palmer

You don’t make musical statements as elaborate and daring as theirs without having a decent-sized ego, and the three alpha males of ELP were no strangers to locking horns with each other over their work. 

So when they got off the road from supporting Brain Salad Surgery in 1974, they jumped at the chance for a long vacation from each other, not reconvening again until 1976, when they began the sessions for Works Volume 1.

Even then, the three were apparently so uninterested in functioning as a unit that they did so for only one quarter of what turned out to be a double album. The rest of Works was each member’s opportunity to strut their solo stuff instead. 

Read more: Ultimate Classic Rock

December 30, 1999: George Harrison is nearly killed when the mentally disturbed Michael Abram breaks into his home and stabs him in the chest. 

Former Beatle George Harrison thought he had been fatally wounded by a psychotic intruder who believed he was on a mission from God to kill the pop star, an Oxford court heard yesterday.

George Harrison is attacked at his Friar Park home

The jury was told how Harrison and his wife Olivia fought with Michael Abrams who was armed with a knife and part of a stone sword broken from a statue of St George and the Dragon at the couple's Oxfordshire mansion.  

Read more: The Guardian

Because The Night
Patti Smith 

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