50 years ago today, the Hollies released the single in the UK which would, when it finally saw US release the following month, provide the band with their very first top-40 hit in America.
Written by Graham Gouldman and Charles Silverman, “Look Through Any Window” came on the heels of “I'm Alive,” a track which - ironically enough - failed to make a dent on the American charts despite having been written by an American: Clint Ballard, Jr., also known for having composed “Game of Love” (Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders) and “You're No Good,” which was recorded by Dee Dee Warwick, Betty Everett, and the Swinging Blue Jeans before Linda Ronstadt turned it into a #1 hit.
1999 saw the world’s population crack the 6 billion mark. This of course meant that is was time to party like it was the very year we were living in…let the music play, maestro!
42 years ago today, Bobby Darin performed what would prove to be his final concert.
It took place at the Las Vegas Hilton, the last date in a residency Darin had maintained at the hotel since the previous month, but his health was beginning to fail even more than it already had in the previous months. As TK Kellman, a member of Darin's band recalled of the Hilton stint on TVParty.com, “Bobby, who was unquestionably the consummate performer, would incorporate false exits and 'bows' in the show so he could duck briefly backstage and suck on an oxygen mask for a few seconds before returning to the stage.”
Today we kick off with the original 1970s version of Ghanian highlife guitar legend Ebo Taylor's "Love And Death." As the polyrhythms fade out things quickly turn hoodoo with Nora Dean's "Angie La La (Ay Ay Ay)" - a thick slice of Jamaican psychedelia from 1969. Up next is Tom Waits take on Skip Spence's "Books of Moses." With its ambient indeterminate clanking amidst pouring rain and thunder, the Spence original is already otherworldly. Here, Waits further injects the track with a kind of backwoods Pentecostal deliverance sounding as if snake handling and Glossolalia are imminent. Bo Diddley makes a brief appearance before we switch gears with F.J. McMahon's "Sister Brother," a track that sets the pace for a bit before Peter Sarstedt enters the fray with "Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)" - setting the stage for Jacques Dutronc. We close out stateside catching up with Emitt Rhodes beofre finally landing in Memphis with Alex Chilton's "The EMI Song (Smile For Me)" off the recently reissued !970 Sessions. Until next time...
New this week in the Rhino Room at iTunes:
Luna, The Best of Luna: After the dissolution of Galaxie 500, one of the greatest cult bands ever to emerge from Boston, Dean Wareham – who was directly responsible for the dissolution, having told bandmates Damon Krukowski and Naomi Yang that he was bailing on the band – dived headlong into another musical endeavor pretty much right off the bat. That new endeavor was called Luna, and this compilation serves as a 17-track summation of the time the band spent within the Warner Brothers family, featuring songs from Lunapark (1992), Bewitched (1994), Penthouse (1995), Pup Tent (1997), and The Days of Our Nights (1999). It may not be every fan’s definition of the band’s best, but it’s certainly strong enough to sway newbies into being Luna aficionados.
45 years ago today, Aretha Franklin released an album which is considered by critics to be one of the best of her entire career, even if its initial commercial response wasn’t quite as strong as that of the albums that bookended it.
Released late in the summer of 1970, Spirit in the Dark certainly wasn’t ignored by Aretha’s fans: when all was said and done, the first single, “Don’t Play That Song (You Lied),” had provided her with a #1 R&B hit and a #11 pop hit, and the second single – the title track – went to #3 on the R&B Singles chart and made it to #23 on the Hot 100. As an album, though, it became Aretha’s first effort for Atlantic Records to miss the top 20, something she’d managed with the previous six albums. As to the reason, consider that it was Aretha’s second album of the year – This Girl’s in Love with You had only just been released in January – and then keep in mind that when she came back in 1972 with Young, Gifted and Black, she was right back in the top 20 again, which is really all that matters.