Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Music History Today: September 8, 2021

September 8, 1980: Times Square: The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack is released.

The soundtrack to Allan Moyle's 1980 teen runaway adventure Times Square is a rather solid mix of new wave and punk. In fact, it's a rare example of Hollywood getting things right when it comes to representing a subculture of sorts.

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Spread across these two LPs is new wave from the likes of XTC ("Take This Town"), Gary Numan ("Down in the Park"), Pretenders ("Talk of the Town"), and Talking Heads ("Life During Wartime"); punkier efforts from Ramones ("I Wanna Be Sedated") and Ruts ("Babylon's Burning"); and some material from some of the era's innovators, including Lou Reed ("Walk on the Wild Side"), Patti Smith ("Pissing in the River"), and Roxy Music ("Same Old Scene"). 

Read more: Allmusic

September 8, 1962: "Limbo Rock" by Chubby Checker enters Billboard's Hot 100 single's chart.

The song “Limbo Rock,” which was written by Kal Mann (as Jan Sheldon) and Billy Strange, is about, well, limbo dancing. The first recording of the piece was an instrumental by The Champs (of “Tequila” fame) in 1961. The version by Chubby Checker, which has lyrics, became very popular in 1962, going to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, #1 on the Cash Box Chart, and #3 on the R&B Chart. 
Read more: Daily DooWop


September 8, 1979: Electric Light Orchestra peaks at number 4 with "Don't Bring Me Down."

You've probably listened to the Electric Light Orchestra's Top 5 1979 hit "Don't Bring Me Down" and thought: So, who's Bruce? After all, singer-songwriter Jeff Lynne calls out his name right after the song's title line.

Electric Light Orchestra

But there was no Bruce. Lynne used a made-up place-keeper word when the song was still unfinished, only learning later that it perhaps had an actual translation in another language. "When I was singing it, there was gap in the vocals, so I just shouted out 'groose,'" Jeff Lynne told Rolling Stone in 2016. "It was a word that came to my head." 

Read more: Ultimate Classic Rock


September 8, 1990: INXS' "Suicide Blonde" debuts at number 62 on the US chart.

The lyric was inspired by Kylie Minogue, who was INXS lead singer Michael Hutchence's girlfriend at the time. 

Michael-Hutchence-of-INXS
Michael Hutchence of INXS 

When she told him she was planning to dye her hair "suicide blonde," he used it as the title.  One of Hutchence's favorite hobbies was "corrupting Kylie" because of her wholesome image. When they attended the premiere of Kylie's film The Delinquents, she wore an extreme look with the "suicide blonde" hair that made her unrecognizable to many. 

Read more: Songfacts

September 8, 1997: The legal dramedy Ally McBeal premieres on FOX. Vonda Shepard, an unknown singer, catches her big break with the theme song "Searchin' My Soul." 

During the 1997 pilot season, Fox was searching for a companion series to follow its fading favorite Melrose Place. 

Ally McBeal Season 1

Writer-producer David E. Kelley obliged, creating the quirky Ally for a fall launch. However, he balked when the then-head of the network, Peter Roth, suggested they hold off premiering it until spring 1998 so as to avoid the usual glut of fall debuts. Still stinging from ABC’s reneging on a deal to give The Practice a guaranteed time slot, Kelley insisted Ally McBeal stick with its premiere on Sept. 8, 1997. 

Read more: Hollywood Reporter

I Wanna Be Sedated
Ramones

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