Thursday, March 25, 2021

Music History Today: March 26, 2021

March 26, 1983: Thanks to heavy rotation on MTV, Duran Duran have their first American hit when "Hungry Like The Wolf" hits number 3 on the Hot 100.

Composed collectively by the members of Duran Duran and produced by Colin Thurston, “Hungry Like the Wolf” was actually written and recorded in the basement of EMI’s HQ in London, apparently put together piece by piece, with each band member adding their respective part when they got there. 


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Nick Rhodes reportedly came up with the idea for the backing track while in the car on the way over to the studio, Simon Le Bon’s lyrics were inspired by Little Red Riding Hood and penned while Rhodes was futzing around with the keyboard, and once Rhodes had his bit down, Andy Taylor got all T. Rex-y with his guitar while also offering a little Les Paul action, and then John Taylor and Roger Taylor made with the bass and drum. 

Read more: Rhino

March 26, 1944: Diana Ross is born in Detroit, Michigan.

Diana Ross began singing with friends as a teenager, and eventually formed the groundbreaking 1960s trio the Supremes, going on to have hits like "Come See About Me" and "You Can't Hurry Love." 

Diana Ross
Diana Ross

Ross left for a solo career in 1969, later reaching No. 1 with hits like "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" and "Love Hangover." She starred in the films Mahogany and Lady Sings the Blues as well, earning an Oscar nomination for the latter. Despite personal and professional ups and downs, Ross has withstood the test of time as a performer with a career that spans more than four decades. 

Read more: Biography

March 26, 1948: Steven Tyler is born Steven Tallarico in Yonkers, New York. He becomes lead singer of Aerosmith and a judge on American Idol.

Steven Tyler took up drums and singing before becoming the bombastic, colorful leader of the rock band Aerosmith. 

Aerosmith
Aerosmith

The group would enjoy major chart success with hits like “Dream On,” “Walk This Way,” “Love in an Elevator” and “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing,” having more than four decades worth of staying power. Tyler also served as an American Idol judge for two years. 

Read more: Biography


March 26 , 1975: One week after it's American debut, the movie version of Tommy premieres in London. Elton John has a huge hit in the UK with the song Pinball Wizard from the the film.

Some rock standards should never be remade, but others lend themselves brilliantly to another distinctive treatment. So it was when Elton John was persuaded by director Ken Russell, after his initial refusal, to play the role of the Pinball Wizard in the 1975 film adaptation of Pete Townshend’s Tommy.

Elton John as the Pinball Wizard
Elton John as the Pinball Wizard

Elton duly set about recording his take on Townshend’s “Pinball Wizard,” calling on his usual team of producer Gus Dudgeon and his band featuring Davey Johnstone, Dee Murray, Ray Cooper and Nigel Olsson. After a choral introduction, Elton put his unmistakable piano style in place of Pete’s original lead acoustic guitar lines, while Johnstone contributed strident lead guitar. 

Read more: U Discover Music

 

March 26 1977: "Rich Girl" hits number 1 in America, giving Hall & Oates their first of six chart-toppers on the Hot 100.

There are a lot of American pop songs about money, but there aren’t many about class. “Rich Girl,” the first of many #1 singles for the duo of Daryl Hall and John Oates, is a rare case. 

Daryl Hall and John Oates
 Daryl Hall & John Oates

It’s not an especially complex song — we’re not dealing with “Common People” here — but it does directly attack someone with money for acting like nothing matters. That’s probably the best thing about the song, honestly. But then, the success of “Rich Girl” opens up a whole lot of questions about race, another fraught subject in American life. 
Read more: Stereogum

Hungry Like The Wolf
Duran Duran

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