Monday, June 14, 2021

Music History Today: June 14, 2021

June 14, 1980: Billy Joel started a six-week run at Number 1 on the Billboard Hot 200 album chart with "Glass Houses."

The back-to-back success of The Stranger and 52nd Street may have brought Billy Joel fame and fortune, even a certain amount of self-satisfaction, but it didn't bring him critical respect, and it didn't dull his anger. 

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He didn't take this lying down -- he recorded Glass Houses. Comparatively a harder-rocking album than either of its predecessors, Glass Houses still displays the hallmarks of Billy Joel the pop craftsman. Even its hardest songs -- the terrifically paranoid "Sometimes a Fantasy," "Sleepin' With the Television On," "Close to the Borderline," the hit "You May Be Right" -- have bold, direct melodies and clean arrangements. 

Read more: Allmusic

June 14, 1965: The Statler Brothers released the single "Flowers on the Wall" from the album of the same name.

When their 1966 crossover hit "Flowers on the Wall" was used in the 1994 movie Pulp Fiction, the Statler Brothers enjoyed a deserved career resurgence.

Statler Brothers
Statler Brothers

The song's ironic denial ranks with George Jones' "She Thinks I Still Care" as one of country music's most vivid descriptions of a bitter reject trying to convince himself of his indifference toward his ex-lover. As Flowers on the Wall aptly demonstrates, the Statler Brothers' influence on country music extends to nearly every vocal harmony act that followed them. 
Read more: Allmusic

June 14, 1974: David Bowie's Diamond Dogs tour began in Montreal. 

When David Bowie dramatically announced at the end of the Ziggy Stardust tour in July 1973 that it was "the last show we'll ever do," many thought it was Bowie's retirement. It wasn't.

He was merely putting his glittery space-age character named Ziggy to bed. And then about one year later, the world got to see Bowie after he'd shed the sparkling jumpsuits and did away with the flamboyant makeup and hairstyles. After a few rehearsals the week before at the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, N.Y., Bowie kicked off the Year of the Diamond Dogs tour on June 14, 1974, in Montreal. 

Read more: Ultimate Classic Rock

June 14, 1971: Emerson, Lake & Palmer released their second album, Tarkus. 

For Emerson, Lake & Palmer the year 1971 represented an opportunity to establish that this union of three giant talents was more than a mere supergroup, but the chance for the band to become a firm fixture on the prog scene.

Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Their self-titled debut album from the previous year had displayed some spectacular performances, even if the songs themselves had been a little uneven. Tarkus was their opportunity to address that. 
Read more: Louder Sound

June 14, 1986: "On My Own" by Patti LaBelle & Michael McDonald reached the Number 1 spot on the Billboard chart.

Patti LaBelle and Michael McDonald never met each other until after their duet “On My Own” had hit #1. When they recorded the song, LaBelle and McDonald were on opposite coasts — LaBelle in Philadelphia, McDonald in Los Angeles. 

Producer/songwriters Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager took the two singers’ vocal takes and blended them together, making the two of them sound like they were singing to each other. For the video, director Mick Haggerty filmed LaBelle and McDonald in split-screen, their poses mirroring each other. The two of them were never in the same place until they sang “On My Own” on The Tonight Show together. 
Read more: Stereogum

You May Be Right
Billy Joel

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