Bill Clinton, Mall of America, Euro Disney…1992, you had me at “Bonjour.”
47 years ago today, Gram Parsons' brief tenure as a member of The Byrds came to an abrupt conclusion when he decided to stand up for his political beliefs.
After building his reputation as a folk musician via his work with the International Submarine Band and relocating from Boston to Los Angeles with the rest of the members, Parsons found himself out of a gig when the band broke up. (Sadly, their album Safe at Home didn't see release until after they were already defunct.) As such, when Chris Hillman found himself in need of additional Byrds members after David Crosby and Michael Clarke left the band, Parsons found himself joining their ranks. That wasn't how the band's label saw him, unfortunately: contractually speaking, he was only a salaried sideman, which - according to Hillman - “was the only way we could get him to turn up.” But if you look at the credits of The Byrds' 1968 album Sweetheart of the Radio, he's credited as if he was a member, and there's no question that he had a lot to do with the overall sound of the album as well as the songs contained therein, most notably “Hickory Wind” and “One Hundred Years from Now.”
24 years ago today, Metallica released the first single from their self-titled album and officially began their transformation into worldwide superstars.
They say listening to Air makes you 100% sexier and we are inclined to agree. Amplify your wattage when you enter to win the vinyl reissues of Premiers Symptomes,The Virgin Suicides, 10,000 Hz Legend, Talkie Walkie, Pocket Symphony, and Moon Safari!
It seems a bit odd to say this, given how long they’ve been defunct, but it’s true: 2015 has been a big year for Joy Division. On June 27, the band’s classic single “Love Will Tear Us Apart” celebrated its 35th anniversary, a momentous occasion which inspired us to go 180-gram crazy and do vinyl reissues of four of the band’s albums. Last month, you may recall that 1979’s Unknown Pleasures and 1980’s Closer hit the LP bins of your friendly neighborhood record store, and if you pay them a visit now, you’ll be able to find the other two albums we promised you.
If Rick Wright was still with us, he would’ve been 72 years old today, but he left the world behind on September 15, 2008, having succumbed to cancer. When he made his departure, however, he did so having imparted no small amount of classic music unto audiences, making a mark on rock ‘n’ roll which won’t soon be forgotten.
Wright’s contributions to Pink Floyd as keyboardist did as much to define the band’s sound as David Gilmour’s guitar, but he also contributed several songs as well, including “Remember a Day,” “See-Saw, “Sisyphus,” “Summer ’68,” and the concluding portion of the “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” saga. Mind you, he also wrote and sang “It Would Be So Nice,” Pink Floyd’s fourth single, which apparently everyone else in the band pretty much loathed, but, hey, Captain Sensible liked it enough to cover it for his album The Power of Love, so there’s that.
When (and what) constitute the dog days of summer vary from region to region, but (like irony) one knows it when they see it. The nights get a little longer and things tend to get slower, funkier. As we round out July into August, this week's playlist is designed to help transition into said dog days...as in a month, we'll all be lusting for fall color and cooler temps. Take us away, Al Green.
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38 years ago today, The Grateful Dead released their ninth studio album overall and their first for Arista Records, the label which would remain their home through their thirteen and final studio album, 1989’s Built to Last.