On this day in music history: June 18, 1996 - “Secrets”, the second album by Toni Braxton is released. Produced by Babyface, Antonio “L.A.” Reid, R. Kelly, David Foster, Tony Rich, Soulshock & Karlin, and Keith Crouch it is recorded at Bosstown Recording Studios, Studio LaCoCo in Atlanta, GA, Ocean Way Recording in Hollywood, CA, The Record Plant in Los Angeles, CA, and The Tracken Place in Beverly Hills, CA from October 1995 - May 1996. The follow up to Braxton’s self-titled debut will equal the success of her first effort, cementing her status as one of the premier female vocalists of the era. Featuring tracks produced by Babyface and David Foster, the album will spin off four hits including the #1 singles “You’re Makin’ Me High” (1 week on the Hot 100, 2 weeks on the R&B singles chart (non-consecutive) and “Un-Break My Heart” (11 weeks on the Hot 100 and #2 R&B). “Secrets” will be Braxton’s most successful album, selling over 8 million copies in the US alone, winning two Grammy Awards including Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. “Secrets” will peak at #2 on the Billboard Top 200, spending 1 week at #1 on the R&B album chart, and is certified 8x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: June 18, 1996 - “Odelay”, the fifth studio album by Beck is released. Produced by Beck Hansen, The Dust Brothers, Mario Caldato, Jr, Brian Paulson, Tom Rothrock, Rob Schnapf, it is recorded at PCP Labs and G-Son Studios in Los Angeles, CA, The Shop, Sunset Sound and Conway Studios in Hollywood, CA and Sun Studios in Memphis, TN, from March 1994 - February 1996. Beck will initially begin recording with Tom Rothrock and Rob Schnapf in early 1994, intending it to be more acoustic based than the previous album. He end up will scrapping much of the work recorded during those sessions, starting over with The Dust Brothers. The albums’ title is pun on the phrase “Oh Delay”, with Beck making a subtle, self-effacing statement on how long it had taken to record the album. It will spin off five singles including “Where It’s At” and “Devil’s Haircut”. The album will become Hansen’s most successful and acclaimed album, winning two Grammy Awards including Best Alternative Music Album and Best Male Rock Vocal Performance for the single “Where It’s At. “Odelay” will peak at #16 on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: June 18, 1984 - “Camouflage”, the thirteenth studio album by Rod Stewart is released. Produced by Michael Omartian (Christopher Cross, Donna Summer) it is recorded at Lion Share Studio in Los Angeles, CA from Late Winter - Early Spring 1984. Following the critically maligned “Body Wishes”, the album will return the veteran rocker to commercial prominence in the US. Sporting a slick, pop oriented sound, it will spin off three singles including the top 10 hits “Infatuation” (#6 Pop) and “Some Guys Have All The Luck” (#10 Pop). The video for the first single “Infatuation” (featuring Stewart’s friend and former band mate Jeff Beck on lead guitar, also making a cameo appearance in the video) is directed by Jonathan Kaplan (“The Accused”, “Truck Turner”). The film noir styled black & white clip features actress Kay Lenz and veteran character actor Mike Mazurki (the old man). At the time of the singles’ run on the charts, there are two versions of the clip that are shown, each with an alternate ending. “Camouflage” will peak at #18 on the Billboard Top 200 and be certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: June 18, 1977 - “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 1 week. Written by Stevie Nicks, it is lone chart topper for the Anglo/American rock band led by drummer Mick Fleetwood. During the sessions for “Rumours” album, Stevie Nicks will find herself with time on her hands while her bandmates are recording overdubs in one of the other rooms. She will take an electric piano with her into the room built for musician Sly Stone, and begin playing around with some chords. Nicks will write “Dreams” in about 10 minutes, later showing it to Lindsey Buckingham who will assist her in arranging the song’s final structure. The band will record it the following day, with the basic track being cut while Nicks sings her vocal live. Though only the lead vocal and drum will be all that are used from that initial session on the finished record. The other instruments and vocals will be overdubbed in Los Angeles at later sessions. Released as the follow up to “Go Your Own Way” (#10 Pop) on March 24, 1977, “Dreams” will quickly become a smash. Entering the Hot 100 at #77 on April 16, 1977, it will climb to the top of the chart nine weeks later. “Dreams” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: June 18, 1967 - The Jimi Hendrix Experience will make their now legendary American performance debut at The Monterey International Pop Music Festival. Hendrix will be booked to perform on the recommendation of Paul McCartney, having seen Hendrix and the Experience perform at the Saville Theatre in London two and a half weeks earlier (opening their set with The Beatles “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”). The bands’ set at Monterey will climax with Hendrix setting fire to his Fender Stratocaster and smashing it on the stage. The performance, captured in the D.A. Pennebaker film “Monterey Pop” will quickly launch Hendrix into rock superstardom in the US and worldwide.
On this day in music history: June 18, 1966 - “Hold On, I’m Comin’” by Sam & Dave hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for 1 week, also peaking at #21 on the same date. Written and produced by Isaac Hayes and David Porter, it is the first chart topping single for the dynamic R&B duo. The song’s title will be inspired when one day while working in the studio, Isaac Hayes will yell at his songwriting partner David Porter to hurry up and come out of the bathroom, and Porter will respond with “hold on, I’m comin’”! After hearing Porter utter the phrase, Hayes will immediately think that it would make a good song title and they will get right to work. The pair will sit down at the piano and write the song in about five minutes. Recorded at Stax Studios in Memphis, TN, the track features Booker T. & The MG’s providing instrumental support. At first, the duo are not fond of the song, feeling that the title and lyrics are too “corny and hillbilly”. Sam Moore can be heard laughing out loud when Dave Prater sings the lyric “I’m on my way, your lover, if you get cold yeah, I will be your cover”, on the finished record. Released as a single in March of 1966, “Hold On, I’m Comin’” will quickly rise up the charts, becoming their first R&B #1 and first top 40 pop hit.
Born on this day: June 18, 1961 - Singer and songwriter Alison Moyet (born Geneviève Alison Jane Moyet in Billericay, Essex, UK). Happy 52nd Birthday, “Alf”!!
Born on this day: June 18, 1942 - Pop music icon Sir Paul McCartney (born James Paul McCartney in Liverpool, UK). Happy 71st Birthday to one of the greatest musicians of all time and one of my biggest musical heroes. We ♥ you, Paul!
On this day in music history: June 17, 1991 - “For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge”, the ninth studio album by Van Halen is released. Produced by Andy Johns, Ted Templeman, and Van Halen, it is recorded at 5150 Studios in Hollywood, CA from March 1990 - April 1991. The albums’ title is inspired when Sammy Hagar, wanting to stir things up and make a statement against the tide of censorship sweeping the media at the time, suggests that the band title their latest album “F***”. Hagar’s friend, boxer Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini will tell him that the expletive “f***” is actually an acronym for the phrase “for unlawful carnal knowledge”. The album will also mark the return of the bands’ original producer Ted Templeman, whom the band had been estranged from for many years. In spite of mostly mixed reviews from critics upon its release, it will be warmly received by the bands’ loyal fans. It will spin off four singles including “Poundcake” (#1 Album Rock) and “Right Now” (#2 Album Rock, #55 Pop). The latter will be supported by a music video (directed by Mark Fenske) whose unique concept and graphic style will make it an instant staple on MTV, winning three Video Music Awards including Video Of The Year in 1992. The album will also win Van Halen their first (and so far only) Grammy Award for Best Hard Performance in 1992. “For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge” will enter the Billboard Top 200 at #1, spending 3 weeks at the top and is certified 3x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: June 17, 1985 - “Crush”, the sixth studio album by Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark is released. Produced by Stephen Hague and Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, it is recorded at Amazon Studios in Liverpool, UK from Late 1984 - Spring 1985. It will mark the beginning of a new musical direction for the Liverpudlian synthpop band, moving away from their experimental electronic dance music on previous albums, towards a more accessible mainstream pop sound. It is the bands’ first album to be co-produced by Stephen Hague (The Pet Shop Boys, New Order, Erasure), and is aimed primarily at the US record market. It will grow their previously underground fanbase in the US giving them their first taste of mainstream success. The album will spin off two singles including “Secret” (#63 Pop) and their first US top 40 hit “So In Love” (#26 Pop). “Crush” will peak at #13 on the UK album chart and #38 on the Billboard Top 200.