Sunday, December 6, 2020

Music History Today: December 7, 2020

December 7, 1991: U2 debuted at Number 1 on the Album chart with Achtung Baby, their follow-up to The Joshua Tree. 

The first year of the 1990s was one of both individual adventure and collective achievement for U2. 


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They were named Best International Group at the BRIT Awards for the third straight year, collected a slew of Rolling Stone awards, and covered Cole Porter’s “Night and Day” on the compilation album Red Hot + Blue to support the fight against AIDS.

Read more: U Discover Music


December 7, 1942: Harry Chapin was born in New York City. 

Harry Chapin's career as a popular singer/songwriter was cut short by an auto accident in 1981, yet he left behind a series of recordings that his fans continue to treasure decades after his death. Chapin was never a critically acclaimed singer/songwriter. 

Harry Chapin

Critics accused him of over-sentimentalizing his subjects and attaching heavy-handed morals to his socially aware story-songs; the heavily orchestrated arrangements that accompanied many of his songs didn't help his case with the critics, either. 
Read more: AllMusic

December 7, 1974: Carl Douglas' "Kung Fu Fighting" hit Number 1 in America for the first of two weeks.

Carl Douglas was a Jamaican-born session singer. Biddu Appaiah, usually just known as Biddu, was an Indian-born record producer. Both of them were living in London when they got together to make “Kung Fu Fighting.”

It was supposed to be a B-side. Douglas and Appaiah had been recording a single called “I Want To Give You My Everything.” They needed a B-side, so Appaiah asked Douglas if he had any other songs, and Douglas showed him a few lyrics. They recorded “Kung Fu Fighting” in two takes, when they only had 10 minutes left in their studio session. 

Read more: Stereogum

December 7, 1985: "Broken Wings" by Mr. Mister hit Number 1 in the US for the first of two weeks.

If you’re looking for reasons to make fun of ’80s pop music — the fashion, the keyboards, the blaring guitar leads, the almost disarmingly terrible band names — then Richard Page’s band Mr. Mister makes for a great target. Mr. Mister didn’t rock. They made ultra-produced, vaguely worded expensive-digital-studio music.

Read more: Stereogum


Paul McCartney & Wings

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