Monday, June 21, 2021

Music History Today: June 22, 2021

June 22, 1973: David Bowie releases the single "Life on Mars?" from the album Hunky Dory.
Hunky Dory, perhaps the most integral album that Bowie ever released, signaled a shift towards the art-pop sub-genre and showed the musician’s unstoppable versatility.

David Bowie
David Bowie

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The album proved that Bowie was much more than just a traditional rock artist and marked the beginning of a career like no other. While it failed to achieve commercial success upon its initial release, only shifting 5,000 copies in the first quarter which prevented it from breaking into the UK charts, the material successfully gained recognition in the years that followed. 
Read more: Far Out Magazine
June 22, 1968: Richard Harris takes the eccentric song "MacArthur Park" to number 2.
Jimmy Webb learnt his trade as a songwriter while he was a teenage contract-writer at Motown. Within a few years he had huge success with “Up, Up and Away”, “By the Time I Get to Phoenix”, “Wichita Lineman”, “Galveston” and “MacArthur Park.”  
Richard Harris in 1968
Richard Harris in 1968
It was offered originally to California pop group The Association, but they didn’t fancy being associated with such a peculiar song. Which is where Richard Harris comes in. Decades before he became Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter films, Harris was a major film star, with a solid reputation as an off-screen hellraiser. He had recently starred — and sung — in the big-budget movie Camelot when he bumped into Webb in Hollywood. 
Read more: Life of a Song

June 22, 1993:  The soundtrack from American Graffiti is released on CD.
American Graffiti—directed by some newbie named George Lucas and produced by his old film school buddy Francis Ford Coppola—was set in one glorious night in 1962, the beginning of the end of the innocence.
Soundtrack from American Graffiti
The soundtrack—like the film—rocks, rolls, and inspired not only the manic '50s nostalgia that engulfed the rest of the '70s, but the oldies format that radio stations cynically developed, and profited from, by the 1980s. 
Read more: Albumism

 

June 22, 1985: "Walking on Sunshine" by Katrina & The Waves peaks at number 9 on the Hot 100.
If you’re looking for a song that defines good cheer and positive vibes, “Walking On Sunshine” is a prime candidate.

Katrina & The Waves
Katrina & The Waves

The ecstatic tune was the biggest hit for Katrina and the Waves, a band that had their greatest success in that faraway era of the 1980s. The group grew out of a cover band called Mama’s Cookin’ which featured Katrina Leskanich on keyboards and vocals, Vince de la Cruz on guitar, Bob Jakins on bass, and Alex Cooper on drums. 
Read more: Culture Sonar

June 22, 2002: "The Middle" by Jimmy Eat World makes it to number 5 on the US music chart.
A "throw-away song" which took less than an hour to create, The Middle has become one of Jimmy Eat World's most enduring anthems.

Jimmy Eat World
Jimmy Eat World

"The Middle is a song that happened in like an hour. It felt like it was just so simple and complete in itself, and it didn’t seem like it needed a whole lot, so it got created really quickly. It’s interesting to compare to some of the other songs on Bleed American that were more labored over." 
Read more: Louder Sound

 

Life on Mars?
David Bowie

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