Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Music History Today: March 18, 2021

March 18, 1967: The Beatles "Penny Lane" reaches number 1 on the US Hot 100. 

‘Penny Lane’ was released in February 1967 as a double a-side with ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’, in what has been described as the greatest single ever released.

The Beatles black and white publicity photo
The Beatles

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The single found The Beatles at their artistic and creative peak, and ‘Penny Lane’ – as much as any of their songs released in 1967 – summed up the technicolor world that burst forth from the monochrome early 1960s, and the positive spirit that anything was possible. 

Read more: Beatles' Bible

 March 18, 1972: "I Gotcha'" by Joe Tex moved into the number 1 slot on the R&B chart.  

You could never say Joe Tex didn't live an interesting life, if being shot at by James Brown - who said Tex was copying his moves - constitutes something "interesting".

Things weren't always quite so high profile and dangerous, none of his singles in his first decade caught the public's imagination but in the mid Sixties he started to score radio play with singles like Skinny Legs And All and Ain't Gonna Bump No More With No Big Fat Woman. His biggest hit however was this one, I Gotcha which topped the US r'n'b charts and went to number two on the main chart. 

Read more: Elsewhere

March 18, 1977:  The Commodores released the single "Easy."

Written by Commodores lead singer Lionel Richie, Easy is a slow ballad expressing a man's feelings as a relationship ends. Rather than being depressed about the break-up, he states that he is instead "easy like Sunday morning"—something that Richie described as evocative of "small Southern towns that die at 11:30pm" on a Saturday night, such as his own Tuskegee, Alabama.  
Read more: Wikipedia

 

March 18, 1985: Tears for Fears released "Everybody Wants to Rule the World."

Tears for Fears were under intense label scrutiny throughout the recording of their sophomore album. 

The Hurting, the group's debut, went to No. 1 in the U.K., and reached the Top 20 in four other countries. There was momentum to keep, and America still to be conquered. At first, the studio suits wanted more of the same. Then they drilled in on a possible hit single. Tears for Fears pushed back – hard. 

Read more: Ultimate Classic Rock

 

March 18 2000: Destiny's Child tops the charts for the next three weeks with "Say My Name."

"Say My Name" hopscotches through various sonic elements, shifting from a slow, sexy bass to syncopated, synth-heavy strings and DJ scratches.

Destiny's Child
Destiny's Child
Adlibs, vocal riffs and stunning harmonies from the Texas songbirds are peppered in throughout the over four-minute song. The track, which hit No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 after 12 weeks on the chart, permits listeners to eavesdrop on a woman confronting a triflin', good-for-nothin' type of brotha who she suspects is fooling around behind her back. 
Read more: Grammy Awards

Penny Lane
The Beatles

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