Thursday, February 4, 2021

Music History Today: February 5, 2021

February 5, 1983: "Africa" by Toto replaces "Down Under" by Men At Work at Number 1 in the United States.

Since the soft-rock, synth-heavy “Africa” was released in 1982, the Toto masterwork has made appearances on countless television shows, internet memes, and, as of late, been reimagined on the airwaves by the likes of Weezer and Pitbull. 
Continent of Africa clock face for Toto song "Africa"

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Now, the Karaoke standby that you either love to love or love to hate is set to play on an endless loop in the continent of Africa, in the nation of Namibia, specifically. 
Read more: Smithsonian

February 5, 1966: Petula Clark scored her second Number 1 song with "My Love," which jumped from 9 to 1. 

Petula Clark had a pretty decent run after “Downtown,” charting with bright and friendly studio-pop songs through most of the ’60s. None of those songs were anywhere near as good as “Downtown,” but one of them did manage to get her back to #1. Clark recorded “My Love” in Los Angeles, with the hired guns of the Wrecking Crew backing her up, and it sounds very much like a Wrecking Crew song. 

Read more: Stereogum


February 5, 1972: Badfinger peaked at Number 4 with "Day After Day."

Badfinger liked January. The Apple Records signings had three UK Top 10 hits, each of which hit the British bestsellers in the first month of the year, for three years straight. On January 29, 1972, they debuted with the third of them, “Day After Day,” marking the second time they had a hit produced by a Beatle.

The four members of the Badfinger band

After having their debut chart entry “Come And Get It” written and produced by Paul McCartney, “Day After Day” (written by the group’s Pete Ham) was produced by George Harrison. He played some of the lead guitar on the track, while Leon Russell added piano. 

Read more: U Discover Music


February 5, 1977: Mary MacGregor's "Torn Between Two Lovers" hit Number 1 for the first of two weeks.

Mary MacGregor’s “Torn Between Two Lovers,” basically the most Ice Storm song that could ever exist, spent two weeks at #1. Pop songs about cheating have been around for as long as pop songs have existed, and they were especially huge in the ’70s, as past #1 hits like “Kiss And Say Goodbye” and “Me And Mrs. Jones” can attest. 

But “Torn Between Two Lovers” feels like an extreme example: partly because the music is so sedate and sleepy, and partly because “Torn Between Two Lovers,” unlike the others, suggests that the whole cheating thing should just keep happening. 

Read more: Stereogum 


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