Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Music History Today: July 1, 2021

July 1, 1967: The Beatles hit number 1 on the Album chart with Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Finally free of touring, the Beatles next sought to be free of themselves, hitting on the rather daft concept of recording as an alias band. 

The Beatles Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band photoshoot
The Beatles Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band photoshoot
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The idea held for all of two songs, one coda, and one album sleeve, but was retained as the central organizing and marketing feature of the band's 1967 album *Sgt. Pepper'*s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Hailed on its release as proof that popular music could be as rich an artistic pursuit as more high-minded media such as jazz and classical, the record's reputation and sense of ambition ushered in the album era. 
Read more: Pitchfork

July 1, 1959: Dave Brubeck recorded "Take Five" at the CBS Recording Studio in Manhattan, New York.

In 1961, Dave Brubeck told Ralph Gleason on the TV program Jazz Casual that jazz had lost some of its adventurous qualities. He said it wasn't challenging the public rhythmically the way it had in its early days.

Dave Brubeck Quartet
Dave Brubeck Quartet

"It's time that the jazz musicians take up their original role of leading the public into a more adventurous rhythm," he said. Brubeck said it's a good idea to shake things up a bit, and that's exactly what he did with the song "Take Five." 

Read more: NPR

July 1, 1967: "Let's Live for Today" by The Grass Roots peaked at number 8.

The Grass Roots released “Let’s Live For Today” in the summer of 1967  and it became their first Top 10 hit. The original Italian version is about a girl going through a rough time, with the singer offering comfort. The song’s hook, however is universal: “Sha, la, la, la, la…” leading into the title. This is sung with a huge group chorus – a songwriting technique that would remain timeless. 
Read more: Do You Remember?

July 1, 1968: The Band release Music from Big Pink, their debut studio album.

Given that Music From Big Pink came out in the turbulent summer of 1968, it’s tempting to frame the album as a set of soothing sounds for troubled times. Don’t believe it. 

The Band
The Band

The Band‘s debut LP was quietly radical. In a period when the musical landscape was overrun with psychedelic whimsy, their synthesis of country, blues, gospel, Western classical, and rock was enriching and inspiring. While Jimi Hendrix, Cream and the Who split eardrums with overdriven amplification, Robbie Robertson, Levon Helm, Garth Hudson, Rick Danko and Richard Manuel turned down the volume, revealing the intricacies of their arrangements and complexity of their lyrics. 
Read more: Rolling Stone

July 1, 1972: "I Need You" by America makes it to number 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

"I Need You" was the second single by the band America from their eponymous debut album America. Written by Gerry Beckley, spent 10 weeks in United States Billboard Hot 100 charts wherein it peaked at number 9. It was the band's second top ten single, following the success of their previous hit "A Horse With No Name." 
Read more: Wikipedia

 

Lucy in the Sky (with Diamonds)
The Beatles

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