Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Music History Today: April 20, 2023

April 20, 1973: David Bowie released his sixth studio album Aladdin Sane, the follow-up to his breakthrough The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.

Most of the tracks for Aladdin Sane were written on the road in the US and are influenced by Bowie's perceptions of America. The record features a more brutal, heavier glam rock sound than its predecessor. 

David Bowie as Aladdin Sane
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Bowie described the album's title character, a pun on "A Lad Insane," as "Ziggy Stardust goes to America." Accompanied by the UK top five singles "The Jean Genie" and "Drive-In Saturday," Aladdin Sane was Bowie's most commercially successful record up to that point. 
Read more: Wikipeida

April 20, 1959: Twenty-two-year-old Bobby Darin released the single "Dream Lover." 

Bobby Darin wrote "Dream Lover."It appealed to adults who appreciated the conservative lyrics and the singer's wholesome image. He came off as a guy you wouldn't mind dating your daughter at a time when Elvis was singing "A Big Hunk O' Love." Neil Sedaka played piano on this track. Sedaka had a song on the charts called "The Diary" but was not yet widely known as a solo artist. 
Read more: Country Thang Daily

April 20, 1963: Jimmy Soul moved into the top 40 section of Billboard's singles chart on the way to the top with "If You Wanna Be Happy."

You would think that a song with lyrics like "An ugly woman cooks meals all the time, she'll always give you peace of mind" would cause considerable outrage, but "If You Wanna Be Happy" never got much upbraiding from women's groups. The feminist movement wasn't well organized in 1963, but even subsequent covers and uses of the tune have escaped criticism. The island rhythm and delivery make it impossible to take it seriously. 
Read more: Songfacts

April 20, 1968: Tommy James and the Shondells made a big move, from Number 72 to 50, with "Mony, Mony."

Tommy James and the Shondells
Tommy James and the Shondells
"Mony, Mony" by Tommy James reached Number 3 in the US and the top of the UK music chart. A music video was made featuring the band performing the song amidst psychedelic backgrounds. 
Read more: Wikipedia

April 20, 1985: "Nightshift" by The Commodores peaked at Number 3 in the US.
 "Nightshift" by the Commodores peaked at Number 3 in the US. "Nightshift" is a tribute to singers Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson, who both died in 1984. The track was conceived as a soul version of "Rock And Roll Heaven," the 1974 Righteous Brothers hit where they picture fallen stars like Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin forming a band in heaven. In The Commodores song, Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson are on heaven's nightshift, playing some sweet sounds. 
Read more: Songfacts

Drive-In Saturday
David Bowie

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