Monday, March 8, 2021

Music History Today: March 9, 2021

March 9: 1985: "Can't Fight This Feeling" by REO Speedwagon hits number 1 for the first of 3 weeks.

REO Speedwagon had already been around for more than a decade before they had their one glorious year of commercial dominance. In 1981 — the last year before the advent of MTV reshaped American pop-music tastes — REO Speedwagon eclipsed all their studio-rock peers.
REO Speedwagon 1980s publicity color picture
REO Speedwagon

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Their album Hi Infidelity was the best-selling album in America that year, and they scored their first #1 hit with the lighters-up power ballad “Keep On Loving You.” That same year, they made it into the top 10 once more with the similarly soaring Hi Infidelity single “Take It On The Run,” which peaked at #5. 
Read more: Stereogum

March 9, 1968: Grammy Awards are presented to The Fifth Dimension for "Up, Up and Away;" Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals, Best Performance by a Vocal Group, Best Performance by a Chorus and Best Contemporary Song. 

"Up, Up and Away" was written by Jimmy Webb and recorded by the Fifth Dimension in 1967. The instrumental backing was performed by members of the Wrecking Crew, It reached No. 7 in July 1967 on the U.S. Pop Singles chart and No. 9 on Billboard's Easy Listening chart. The song placed No. 43 on BMI's "Top 100 Songs of the Century." 

Read more: Wikipedia

 

March 9, 1968: The Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" is named Album of the Year, Best Contemporary Album, Best Engineered Record and Best Album Cover, Graphic Arts.

"Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" has been hailed by critics and listeners as the greatest in the history of rock music. 

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band picture of the Beatles
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

It has also been recognized as a groundbreaking work that pushed the recording-studio technology of the late 1960s to the limit. While The Beatles were testing themselves musically, their engineer, Geoff Emerick, was stretching the limits of what was then considered acceptable recording technique — and pushing the equipment in Abbey Road studios to the breaking point. 

Read more: NPR

A Day in the Life
The Beatles 

 

March 9, 1970:  Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young released the single "Woodstock."

Joni Mitchell composed the song based on what she had heard from her then-boyfriend Graham Nash about the Woodstock Music and Art Festival. She had not been there herself. She composed it in a hotel room in New York City, watching televised reports of the festival. 

Woodstock

The lyrics tell a story about a spiritual journey to Max Yasgur's farm, the place of the festival, and make prominent use of sacred imagery, comparing the festival site with the Garden of Eden ("and we've got to get ourselves back to the garden"). The saga commences with the narrator's encounter of a fellow traveler ("Well, I came upon a child of God, he was walking along the road") and concludes at their ultimate destination ("by the time we got to Woodstock, we were half a million strong"). 

Read more: Wikipedia

March 9, 1993: Sting releases his fourth solo album, Ten Summoner's Tales, which contains the hit "Fields of Gold."

Sting wrote the track after he bought a house near a barley field. The sunsets and the colours of the field helped inspired the lyrics, along with his love for wife.

Sting publicty photo out in a field of gold
Sting

Despite being one of Sting's signature songs, it surprisingly wasn't ever a big hit for the former Police frontman. The single only reached number 16 in the UK, and number 23 in the US in 1993. 

Read more: Smooth Radio

 

Can't Fight This Feeling
REO 
Speedwagon

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