Monday, August 30, 2021

Music History Today: August 31, 2021

August 31, 1991: "Wind of Change" by the Scorpions peaks at number 4 on the US music chart.

In the 1980s and very early Nineties, every hard-rock and metal act worth their leathers scored big with a power ballad or two. But only Germany’s the Scorpions can say that one of theirs — in this case, 1990’s “Wind of Change” — also served as a soundtrack of sorts to a political and cultural revolution. 

Scorpions

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The song’s sentiments of hope and peace, broadly stated by vocalist Klaus Meine, not to mention an accompanying, Wayne Isham–directed video that employed footage of the construction and tearing down of the Berlin Wall, led to its being inextricably linked to the end of the Cold War and the reunification of East and West Germany. 

Read more: Rolling Stones

August 31, 1968: Canned Heat first single to chart, "On the Road Again," made a big move from 72 to 46 in the US.

"On the Road Again" by the American blues-rock group Canned Heat was adapted from earlier blues songs and includes mid-1960s psychedelic rock elements. Unlike most of Canned Heat's songs from the period which were sung by Bob Hite, second guitarist and harmonica player Alan Wilson provides the distinctive falsetto vocal. It became Canned Heat's first record chart hit and one of their best-known songs. 
Read more: Wikipedia

 

August 31, 1968: "The Weight" by the Band entered Billboard's Hot 100 single's chart.

In his memoir Testimony, Robbie Robertson recalls the first time he played a new song called “The Weight” for Bob Dylan. “This is fantastic — who wrote that?” Dylan said. 

The Band
The Band

When Robertson replied that he had, Dylan “shook his head, slapped me on the arm and said, ‘Damn! You wrote that song?’” Robertson wrote. That exchange would just be the beginning of a peculiar relationship between Dylan, Robertson and one of the most enduring standards of classic rock. 

Read more: Rolling Stone

August 31, 1974: Blue Swede's "Never My Love" moved from number 77 to 50 on the US music chart.

The first recording of "Never My Love" to achieve success was by The Association, an American sunshine pop band from California. The Swedish rock band Blue Swede covered it in 1974. Their's was an upbeat take on the song. It peaked at number seven on the Hot 100 and remained in the Top 40 for eight weeks. It reached #7 in Canada. 
Read more: Wikipedia

 

August 31, 1985: Mick Jagger & David Bowie debuted on the US chart at  47 with "Dancing in the Street."

From the moment David Bowie and Mick Jagger's exceedingly ill-advised promotional clip for their cover of Martha and the Vandellas' 'Dancing in the Street' made its debut, rock fans knew they were witnessing a bad music video for the ages.

David Bowie and Mick Jagger
David Bowie & Mick Jagger

In a way, it's the perfect visual counterpart for the song, which pulls off the admittedly rather extraordinary feat of managing to sound both haphazardly tossed off and calculatedly overproduced. 
Read more: Ultimate Classic Rock

Wind of Change
Scorpions

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