Sunday, February 14, 2021

Music History Today: February 15, 2021

February 15,  2004:  Norah Jones had the Number 1 album in the U.K.; Feels Like Home.

Norah Jones’ debut Blue Note album Come Away With Me had been the archetypal word of mouth hit. It entered the Billboard 200 in March 2002, and completed its climb to No.1 all of 11 months later, in January the following year. 

Norah Jones Feels Like Home album cover
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Feels Like Home, produced by Jones with one of the co-producers of Come Away With Me, the masterful Arif Mardin, was released on February 10, 2004. It made its chart debut on the 28th, at the very top of the American chart. Its first-week performance was breathtaking even by the standards of the time, with US sales alone in its first seven days of 1,047,000. 

Read more: U Discover Music

February 15, 1969: Sly and the Family Stone's "Everyday People" hits Number 1 for the first of four weeks.

Sly & The Family Stone were a great utopian experiment in pop music. This was a band born out of the cultural chaos of the late-’60s that reflected that chaos back on the world and turned it into something positive. 

Sly and the Family Stone  color group photo
Sly & The Family Stone

The Family Stone had black members and white members, men and women, everyone playing different roles. Rock ‘n’ roll and R&B had been traveling in different directions for a few years before the Family Stone came along but this band brought them back together, turning them into a wild stew where everything bled into everything else. 
Read more: Stereogum


February 15, 1974: "Rebel, Rebel" by David Bowie was released in the UK.

The first single from David Bowie’s eighth album Diamond Dogs, ‘Rebel Rebel’ was his valediction to the glam rock movement which he had helped lead since 1972.

David Bowie art lithograph red hair orange glasses

The central riff, which loops throughout the song aside from the pre-chorus bridge and the line “Hot tramp, I love you so”, owes a clear debt to the Rolling Stones, whose guitarist Keith Richards spent time with Bowie during the recording of Diamond Dogs. 

Read more: Bowie Bible

February 15, 1975: Linda Ronstadt had her only Number 1 hit in America with "You're No Good." 

“You’re No Good” was written by Clint Ballard Jr. and originally performed by soul singer Dee Dee Warwick in 1963. Although other covers charted, it was Linda Ronstadt’s version that took the top spot on the US Billboard Hot 100 in 1974.

Linda Ronstadt face close up in color
Linda Ronstadt

Even before recording it, Ronstadt already incorporated “You’re No Good” into her setlist in early 1973 at the suggestion of band member Kenny Edwards. She even performed it on an episode of The Midnight Special which aired on December 1973. 

Read more: Society of Rock

February 15, 1986: "How Will I Know" by Whitney Houston mover to the top of the chat for a two week stay.

“How Will I Know” only fell into Houston’s hands because Janet Jackson said no. The song came from George Merrill and Shannon Rubicam, a married couple from Seattle who sang backup on Deniece Williams’ 1984 chart-topper “Let’s Hear It For The Boy” and who recorded as the duo Boy Meets Girl. 

Whitney Houston full length photon in a black dress bending slightly forward
Whitney Houston

Boy Meets Girl had just signed to A&M, and they’d released their not-that-successful self-titled debut in 1985. (Later on, Boy Meets Girl peaked at #5 with 1988’s “Waiting For A Star To Fall.” That one is a 7.) Merill and Rubicam wrote “How Will I Know” specifically with Janet Jackson in mind, so when her managers turned it down, they were severely bummed. 
Read more: Stereogum


Norah Jones

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