Friday, March 12, 2021

Music History Today: March 13, 2021

March 13, 2007: Amy Winehouse's second album, Back to Black, is released in the US.

Back to Black came out of nowhere – in a sense. Of course, Amy Winehouse had already released her debut album, 2003’s Frank, but it could not prepare the listener for Back to Black.

Amy Winehouse

Nothing about Frank suggested that its creator was going to make a genuinely epochal masterpiece. Something had happened to Amy Winehouse in the three years that separated her second album from her debut. Skinny, covered in tattoos, dressed like a cartoon of a 60s girl-group member – complete with a vertiginous beehive modelled on that of the Ronettes’ Ronnie Spector – she was almost unrecognizable. 
Read more: The Guardian

March 13, 1965: The Beatles land their seventh number 1 hit in America with "Eight Days A Week."

The Beatles' laid-back "Eight Days a Week" has become one of their signature singles: a widely covered No. 1 hit that even inspired the name of a band documentary. 

The Beatles black and white Getty image sitting close together and lifting champagne glasses
The Beatles

So it's surprising to learn that John Lennon, the song's co-writer and lead vocalist, hated it — describing it as "lousy" in a 1980 interview. In the beginning, though, it was just another tune — the latest from a Lennon/Paul McCartney song factory that, by 1964, could churn out product with minimal effort.  

Read more: Ultimate Classic Rock

March 13, 1972: Cat Stevens released the single "Morning Has Broken."

First published in 1931, “Morning Has Broken” is a popular and well-known Christian hymn. It has words by English author Eleanor Farjeon. 

Young Cat Stevens color publicty photo in white suit on white background
Cat Stevens


To note, it was inspired by the village of Alfriston in East Sussex, then set to a traditional Scottish Gaelictune known as “Bunessan.” Most often, the song is sung in children’s services and in funeral services. Included on his 1971 album, Teaser and the Firecat, English folk singer Cat Stevens made this “Morning Has Broken” popular. In addition, the song became a trademark of Stevens due to the popularity of this recording. 

Read more: Country Thang Daily

March 13, 1976: The Four Seasons hit number 1 in America with "December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)," making them the only act to chart number 1 hits before, during and after The Beatles.

"December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)" is a song by the Four Seasons, written by original Four Seasons keyboard player Bob Gaudio and his future wife Judy Parker, produced by Gaudio, and included on the group's album, Who Loves You (1975).

Original Four Seasons singing group color  photo wearing reddish brown shirts against a matching background shi
Original Four Seasons singing group

The song features drummer Gerry Polci on lead vocals, with the usual lead Frankie Valli singing the bridge sections and backing vocals, and bass player Don Ciccone (former lead singer of The Critters) singing the falsetto part (And I felt a rush like a rolling ball of thunder /Spinning my head around and taking my body under). 

Read more: Stone Age Institute

 

March 13, 1999: Cher started a four week run at number 1 on the US singles chart with 'Believe,' making the singer the oldest woman to top the Hot 100 at the age of 53. 

For most of the year, it looked as though Celine Dion's track 'My Heart Will Go On' was going to be the best-selling single of 1998.  

But this accolade was snatched from the Canadian Queen of AOR at the 11th hour by another female vocalist who not only launched a successful challenge for the title, but did so with a song that was massively different from anything she had ever done before. For those of you who've been stuck on a radio-less desert island for the last two months, the single in question is Cher's dance hit, 'Believe.' 

Read more: Sound on Sound

 Back to Black
Amy Winehouse

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