Thursday, May 13, 2021

Music History Today: May 14, 2021

May 14, 1982: The Clash released the album Combat Rock which contained "Rock the Casbah."

“Rock the Casbah” was The Clash’s biggest hit in the United States, one of only two of the band’s songs to reach the Top 40 (the other was “Train in Vain”) and its only top 10 single there.

Combat Rock album cover photo shoot
Combat Rock album cover photo shoot

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The video was filmed in Austin in June 1982, showing both the band performing the song – even though Mick Jones’ face is covered for the vast majority of it, allegedly because he was in a bad mood – and a Muslim hitchhiker and a Hasidic Jewish driver becoming friends on their way to a Clash concert. 

Read more: Geeks and Beats

May 14, 1966: Paul Revere & The Raiders made it to number  4 with "Kicks."

Considered one of the earliest anti-drug songs, "Kicks" was composed and released during an era in which pro-hippie, pro-experimentation, and other counterculture themes were gaining popularity on U.S. FM radio stations.

Paul Revere & The Raiders
Paul Revere & The Raiders

The song's message was consequently perceived as outdated by the emerging youth counterculture, as popular artists ranging from the Beatles to Jefferson Airplane had written songs whose themes sharply contrasted that of "Kicks." However, the song has received generally positive reviews by music critics in the decades since its release. In 2004, "Kicks" was ranked number 400 on Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. 

Read more Wikipedia

 

May 14, 1966: In other music news this week, The Lovin' Spoonful shot up from 65 to 25 with "Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind?"

Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind?" is a song written by John Sebastian and first released by his band The Lovin' Spoonful on their 1965 debut album Do You Believe in Magic.

The Lovin' Spoonful "Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind?" photo shoot
The Lovin' Spoonful

It was the second single released from the album and the most successful, reaching number 2 on the American Billboard charts for the week of June 11, 1966 (number 1 was "Paint It Black" by The Rolling Stones). It also reached number 2 in Canada. In New Zealand, the song charted at number 5. 
Read more: Wikipedia

May 14.  1971: Honey Cone's "Want Ads" is certified Gold.

Edna Wright, the lead singer of the early 1970s R&B group Honey Cone, died Saturday at the age of 76.

Honey Cone
Honey Cone

In 1969, Wright formed Honey Cone as a trio comprising herself, Carolyn Willis and Shelly Clark. In 1971, the group topped the Billboard Hot 100 with the melodically funky hit “Want Ads" from the album “Soulful Tapestry.” The song spent one week at No. 1, bumping off The Rolling Stones' “Brown Sugar.” The single also spent three weeks atop the R&B chart. 

Read more: NY Daily News

May 14, 1988  "Anything for You" by Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Anything For You” is a fine, solid sentimental normie ballad. But its production choices anchor it to a deeply boring moment for pop balladry. The original plan for “Anything For You” was to record it with just Estefan’s voice and a piano, and that version of the song would’ve unquestionably been infinitely better. But someone had enough ’80s-pop savvy to know that this thing would be a hit if you piled canned instrumental gloop all over it. 
Read more: Stereogum

 

Rock the Casbah
The Clash

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