BEHIND THE GROOVES: a music blog by Jeff Harris

On this day in music history: September 1, 1989 - “Dr. Feelgood”, the fifth album by Mötley Crüe is released. Produced by Bob Rock, it is recorded at Little Mountain Studio in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada from Early - Mid 1989. The album is first release from the band following several members going to rehab for various substance abuse problems. Though sober by the time they begin work on the album, working together in the studio will prove difficult. Producer Rock will alleviate this problem by having the band record their parts separately which will speed up the recording process significantly. A critical and commercial success upon its release, it will spin off five singles including “Kickstart My Heart” (#27 Pop), “Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)” (#19 Pop) and the title track (#6 Pop). “Dr. Feelgood” will spend two weeks at number one on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 6x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

On this day in music history: September 1, 1984 - “Tonight”, the sixteenth studio album by David Bowie is released. Produced by David Bowie, Derek Bramble, and Hugh Padgham, it is recorded at Le Studio in Montreal, Quebec, Canada in Early - Mid 1984. Issued as the follow up to his smash comeback “Let’s Dance”, it features guest appearances by Tina Turner and Iggy Pop. Bowie will use many of the same musicians featured on “Let’s Dance” but it will be without the creative guidance of producer Nile Rodgers. Instead, Bowie will ask former Heatwave member Derek Bramble to oversee much of the production (with co-producer/engineer Hugh Padgham), having heard demos he had produced on British R&B singer Jaki Graham. Bowie will also enlist songwriting assistance from his old friend and collaborator Iggy Pop (who co-writes five of the album’s nine songs). Unlike the rapturously positive reviews that greeted the previous album, reaction will be largely mixed from fans and critics. It will spin off three singles including “Blue Jean” (#8 Pop) which will be promoted with a short film/music video directed by Julien Temple. “Tonight” will peak at number eleven on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

On this day in music history: September 1, 1984 - “What’s Love Got To Do With It” by Tina Turner hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 3 weeks, also peaking at #2 on R&B singles chart on September 8, 1984. Written by Terry Britten and Graham Lyle, it is the biggest hit for the legendary R&B singer. Britten and Lyle originally write the song for British pop legend Cliff Richard but he will pass on recording it. The duo will also offer the song to Donna Summer, who will also turn it down. Recorded during the whirlwind sessions for the “Private Dancer” album in London, Turner is not initially not fond of the song when she first hears it. It is only after Britten rewrites the lyrics that she’ll consent to record it. Released as the second single from “Private Dancer”, it will follow closely on the heels of her cover version of “Let’s Stay Together”. Entering the Hot 100 at #92 on May 19, 1984, it will make a gradual climb up the charts, gaining momentum through the summer until it reaches the top of the chart fifteen weeks later. The single will win three Grammy Awards including Record and Song Of The Year in 1985. The song will also become the title of a 1993 biopic about Turner based on her autobiography (written with Kurt Loder) “I, Tina”. “What’s Love Got To Do With It” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA, and is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 2012. 

On this day in music history: September 1, 1981 - “Private Eyes”, the tenth album by Daryl Hall & John Oates is released. Produced by Daryl Hall, John Oates, and Neil Kernon, it is recorded at Electric Lady Studios in New York City from March - June 1981. Following up the successful “Voices” album, Hall & Oates next release will see the duo really hitting their commercial stride, which will make them one of the top selling artists of the decade. Sporting supremely well crafted and catchy songs, bolstered by tight, clean production, it will be regarded as one of their definitive albums. It is an immediate success upon its release, spinning off four hit singles including the title track (#1 Pop), “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)” (#1 Pop and R&B, and “Did It In A Minute” (#9 Pop). “Private Eyes” will hit number five on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

Born on this day: September 1, 1946 - Singer, songwriter, producer, and musician Barry Gibb (born Barry Alan Crompton Gibb in Douglas, Isle Of Man, UK). Happy 68th Birthday, Barry!!

On this day in music history: September 1, 1962 - “Sheila” by Tommy Roe hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 2 weeks. Written by Tommy Roe, it is the first chart topping single for the Atlanta, GA born singer, songwriter, and musician. Roe will come to the attention of record producer Felton Jarvis (Elvis Presley) through a local Atlanta DJ named named Paul Drew. While still in high school, Tommy Roe and his band will play sock hops hosted by Drew. “Sheila” is recorded as a tribute to one of Roe’s musical heroes, the late Rock & Roll pioneer Buddy Holly. First released on the small independent Judd record label, it will be picked up for national distribution by ABC-Paramount Records. Entering the Hot 100 at #73 on July 28, 1962, it will rocket to the top of the chart five weeks later. Even with the record’s huge success, Roe is reluctant to quit his steady day job working for General Electric, until ABC-Paramount advances him $5,000 to go on the road to make live appearances to support the record. “Sheila” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

Born on this day: September 1, 1944 - R&B vocal legend Archie Bell (born Archie Lee Bell in Henderson, TX). Happy 70th Birthday, Archie!!

On this day in music history: September 1, 1887 - German American inventor Emile Berliner files for a patent with the US Patent Office for the Gramophone, beating Thomas Edison to the punch. Berliner’s invention will use flat discs rather than wax cylinders used by Edison’s machine. One of the other major issues Edison’s phonograph is consistent playback speed. While Berliner is developing the gramophone, he will enlist the help of engineer Eldridge Johnson who will design a low cost, clock-work spring wound motor that spin the discs consistent speed. With a group of investors backing them, Berliner will start the Berliner Gramophone Company in 1895. By 1901, Berliner and Johnson will establish the Victor Talking Machine Company (later known as RCA Victor), marking the beginning of the modern music industry.

On this day in music history: August 31, 1987 - “Bad”, the seventh solo album by Michael Jackson is released. Produced by Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson, it is recorded at Westlake Audio Recording Studios in West Hollywood, CA from January 5 - July 9, 1987. Issued as the long awaited follow up to the massively successful “Thriller”, the final track listing for album (ten on the original LP, eleven on the CD release) will be selected from sixty songs (nearly all written by Jackson himself), with thirty of them being recorded, nine of the eleven songs are written by Jackson. Pre-production on “Bad” begins in November 1986 with the first session taking place on January 5, 1987. The album will also be Jackson’s first to be recorded, mixed, and mastered entirely on digital recording equipment. Following the enormous sales of “Thriller”, anticipation and expectations for the new album are high. The album will spin off seven hit singles including an unprecedented five number one Pop and R&B singles (“I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”, “Bad”, “The Way You Make Me Feel”, “Man In The Mirror”, “Another Part Of Me” (#1 R&B, #11 Pop) and “Dirty Diana” (#1 Pop, #8 R&B). At the time of its release, American critics will be shortsighted in their critique of the album, calling it “a disappointment” when it sells less half of what “Thriller” sold initially in the US. Internationally, it will more than surpass its domestic sales performance. To date, the album has sold more than thirty million copies worldwide, winning two Grammy Awards, including one for Best Short Form Video for the track “Leave Me Alone” and for Best Engineered Recording (non-classical) (awarded to engineer Bruce Swedien). The album will be reissued twice. In 2001, a remastered edition with seven bonus tracks, including interview clips with producer Quincy Jones on the making of the album. In 2012, a 25th anniversary edition including the bonus tracks from the 2001 release (w/out the Jones interviews), adding seven more unreleased tracks, and remixes of the title track and “Speed Demon”. It is also released as a deluxe boxed edition with a live concert DVD filmed at Wembley Stadium in London in July of 1988 (also sold separately).  ”Bad” will debut at number one on the Billboard Top 200 spending six weeks at the top, eighteen weeks at number one on the R&B album chart, and is certified 8x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

On this day in music history: August 31, 1978 - “Live And More”, the seventh album by Donna Summer is released. Produced by Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte, it is recorded the Universal Amphitheater in Universal City, CA (live tracks), Rusk Sound Studios, and Westlake Audio in Hollywood, CA (studio tracks) in early 1978. Her second double album, the first three sides are taken from a live concert (during the “Once Upon A Time Tour”) recorded at the Universal Amphitheater in early 1978. The fourth side of the album contains the “MacArthur Park Suite”, a seventeen minute long medley of three songs (“MacArthur Park”, “One Of A Kind”, and “Heaven Knows”). The album will further demonstrate Summer’s musical versatility beyond her “disco diva” image by covering jazz standards in her set, including “The Man I Love” and “I Got It Bad And That Ain’t Good”, as well as the pop ballad “The Way We Were”. It will spin off two singles including a cover of the Jimmy Webb penned pop classic “MacArthur Park” (#1 Pop, #8 R&B) (originally sung by actor Richard Harris in 1968 (#2 Pop) ), and “Heaven Knows (w/ Brooklyn Dreams) (#4 Pop, #10 R&B). “Live And More” will hit number one on the Billboard Top 200, number four on the R&B album chart, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.