35 years ago today, Van Halen released their fifth studio album, an LP which provided them with the highest chart placement of their career up to that point and required the least amount of songwriting on their part.
When DIVER DOWN hit record store shelves in 1982, one thing was very obvious about its contents just from looking at the track listing: it was filled with cover songs, including The Kinks’ “Where Have All The Good Times Gone,” Roy Orbison’s “(Oh) Pretty Woman,” and Martha and the Vandellas’ “Dancing in the Street,” along with a take on “Bad Bad Bill (Is Sweet William Now)” and, to close things out, a Van Halen version of “Happy Trails,” best known as the farewell tune for Roy Rogers and Dave Evans.
Glorious, gifted, groovy…it’s the one & only letter ‘G’!
Today marks the Billboard Hot 100 debut of the most successful US single of Howard Jones’s career.
Written by Jones and co-produced by Phil Collins and Hugh Padgham, “No One Is To Blame” was originally released on Jones’s second studio album, DREAM INTO ACTION, but it took the aforementioned pair of gentleman to turn it into a hit single. The original track to the song was re-recorded to make it more radio-friendly, with Collins adding backing vocals as well as drum work, and if you haven’t heard the original version in awhile, you might want to check it out, because the differences are definitely notable.
45 years ago today, Stephen Stills released the self-titled debut album by his short-lived band Manassas.
Manassas came into existence in the wake of Stills touring behind his second album, STEPHEN STILLS 2, which made it into the top 10 of the Billboard 200 but was received far less rapturously by critics than his self-titled debut. Following that tour, however, Stills got in touch with Chris Hillman and Al Perkins of the Flying Burrito Brothers, who he’d met up with on the road –and invited them and fiddler Byron Berline to join him for a studio jam. Also in the mix were members of Stills’ touring band: keyboardist Paul Harris, percussionist Joe Lala, bassist Calvin “Fuzzy” Samuels, and drummer Dallas Taylor.
Word reached us here at Rhino HQ on Tuesday afternoon that guitarist John Warren Geils, Jr., a.k.a. J. Geils, founder of The J. Geils Band, died at the age of 71.
Although he was born in New York City on February 20, 1946 and grew up in Morris Plains, New Jersey, if there’s a city with which Geils was most associated, it was Boston. He attended Northeastern University, where he played trumpet in the marching band, but he soon transferred to Worcester Polytechnic to study mechanical engineering. It was while he was in Worcester that Geils formed the musical collective known then as the J. Geils Blues Band with Stephen Jo Bladd, Danny Klein, Magic Dick Salwitz, and Peter Wolf, with Seth Justman joining up just before the band – now without the word “Blues” in their name – released their self-titled debut album in 1970.
47 years ago today, Fleetwood Mac founding member Peter Green announced in New Musical Express that he was leaving the band.
Although Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac featuring Jeremy Spencer may have had a slightly unwieldly name when they first started out, once they shortened it, they quickly found success with such singles as “Black Magic Woman” (later to become a much bigger hit when covered by Santana), “Albatross,” “Oh Well,” “Man of the World,” and “The Green Manalishi (With the Two Prong Crown),” with “Oh Well” and “Man of the World” both hitting #2 in the UK and “Albatross” actually topping the UK Singles chart. Unfortunately, Green was not handling the band’s success well.