Sunday, April 25, 2021

Music History Today: April 26, 2021

April 26, 1969: Walter Carlos' album Switched-On Bach reached Number 10 on the Billboard Albums chart. 

The 1968 album by composer by Wendy Carlos (released under her birth name Walter Carlos) seemed innocent enough at the time of its release, but it went on to have a seismic effect on music throughout the 1970s and beyond.

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The album is a collection of pieces by German composer Bach, performed on Robert Moog’s prototype synthesizer. Switched On Bach won three gongs at the 1970 Grammys and by June 1974, it had sold over one million copies. 

Read more: RNZ

April 26, 1975: B.J. Thomas' "(Hey Won't You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song" hit Number 1 in America.

After “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” became the first Hot 100 #1 of the ’70s, B. J. Thomas went on a successful run, scoring a bunch of big singles that straddled the line between country and adult contemporary and did well on both charts.

B.J. Thomas
BJ. Thomas

But that run came to an end, and when he made “(Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song,” it had been a few years since he’d been in the top 20. Thomas was also deep in the throes of addiction, blowing thousands every week on Valium, cocaine, and speed. 
Read more: Stereogum

April 26, 1969: The Soundtrack to "Hair" was the new Number 1 album.

Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical is a rock musical with a book and lyrics by Gerome Ragni and James Rado and music by Galt MacDermot. 

The work reflects the creators' observations of the hippie counterculture and sexual revolution of the late 1960s, and several of its songs became anthems of the anti-Vietnam War peace movement. 
Read more: Wikipedia

April 26, 1975: "Emma" by Hot Chocolate peaked at Number 8 on the Hot 100 chart.

Hot Chocolate were a peculiar band. They were a hugely successful chart act that had hit singles over three decades, but their albums barely scraped into the top 30, unless they were greatest hits collections. 

Hot Chocolate
Hot Chocolate

They were best known for fluffy, hook-laden pop disco, but their back catalogue was packed with other stuff: music that was far weirder, darker and more intriguing. Errol Brown was a great singer, possessed of the ability to convey anguish with a chilling falsetto shriek, but it was a sound he rarely used: instead. 
Read more: The Guardian

April 26, 1980: "Ride Like the Wind" by Christopher Cross peaks at Number 2 for four consecutive weeks on the US music chart. 

It’s a pretty well-known fact that songs written while on acid produce the best music we have. Which is how we were gifted with Christopher Cross’s “Ride Like the Wind,” a song about a criminal on the run to Mexico, written in 1979 immediately after the songwriter dropped some acid. 
Read more: Robot Butt

Walter Carlos
Switched-On Bach

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