Sunday, January 31, 2021

Music History Today: February 1, 2021

February 1, 1987: Journey wrapped up their Raised on Radio tour with a show in Anchorage, Alaska.

Journey were partway through a U.S. tour when they performed on Feb. 1, 1987 at the Sullivan Sports Arena in Anchorage. So it may even have come to a surprise to them that it was the last show they’d ever play with singer Steve Perry.

Journey group color publicity photo

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When they completed their performance of “Faithfully” that night, they closed the book on their rise to fame. And even though there would be one more album with Perry, and a 10-minute guest appearance at an all-star concert in 1991, it was the last time he led them through a full performance 

Read more: Ultimate Classic Rock

February 1, 1969: Tommy James and the Shondells hit Number 1 for the first two weeks with "Crimson and Clover."

The first sound on “Crimson And Clover” is Tommy James’ voice, and it’s just a sound: a sigh, an aah.

Tommy James $ the Shondells single Crimson & Clover cover

From there: A spindly glistening tremolo guitar, a wash of cymbals, a nervous descending bassline. “Crimson And Clover” has riffs, just like so many Shondells songs, but James dissolves them into puddles of feeling, using studio effects to turn the ’60s garage rock that made him famous into a dreamlike reverie. 
Read more: Stereogum


February 1, 1969: Brooklyn Bridge moved from Number 8 to 3 and peaked there with "Worst That Could Happen."

“The Worst That Could Happen” came from the prolific songwriting pen of Jimmy Webb, who was inspired by the actual experience of having a former flame marry someone else. Webb did his own version, as did The Fifth Dimension. 

Brooklyn Bridge music group black and white publicity photo
Johnny Maestro & The Brooklyn Bridge

But it was only when The Brooklyn Bridge, with their golden-lunged lead singer Johnny Maestro, got hold of the song that it reached its full potential. It had to be a winner; how else to explain a song by a vocal group soaring to the Top 5 in 1969 in the midst of an era dominated by psychedelic rock and gritty R&B. 
Read more: American Songwriter


February 1, 1975: After eleven years without a hit on the Billboard Pop chart, Neil Sedaka was back with the second Number 1 song of his career, "Laughter In The Rain."

Neil Sedaka recorded “Laughter In The Rain” in Los Angeles, with folk-rocker types like James Taylor’s buddy Danny Kortchmar backing him up. It’s a perfectly sleepy and toothless soft-rock amble. It isn’t nakedly nostalgic, the way previous #1 hits “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” and “Please Mr. Postman” had been. It’s worse than that. Nostalgia, at the very least, is an emotion. “Laughter In The Rain” is numb with self-satisfaction.  

Read more: Stereogum

February 1, 1988: After an arduous year of touring and recording, The Cars officially disband.

The Cars played their first gig at Pease Air Force Base in New Hampshire on Dec. 31, 1976, and spent the next year playing all over New England including at the legendary punk/new wave/alternative music club The Rat in Kenmore Square; honing the songs that would later become their first album.

The Cars group color photo publicity picture
The Cars

In 1987, The Cars released a sixth album, Door To Door, which contained their last major international hit “You Are The Girl.” The group announced their breakup in February 1988. 

Read more: Music Museum of New England


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