Born on this day: May 27, 1957 - Punk and alternative music icon Siouxsie Sioux of Siouxsie & The Banshees and The Creatures (born Susan Janet Ballion in London, UK). Happy 56th birthday, Siouxsie!
On this day in music history: May 27, 1977 - “God Save The Queen” by The Sex Pistols is released. Written by Paul Cook, Steve Jones, John Lydon, and Glen Matlock, it is the biggest hit for the seminal English punk rock band fronted by lead singer Johnny Rotten. Issued their first single for their new label Virgin Records after A&M Records (with those copies now valued at between £500 to £13,000 / $785 to 20,387 in US dollars) signs then quickly drops the band before releasing the song. “Queen” is strategically released to coincide with the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II’s Coronation, and will immediately spark controversy. Both the BBC and the IBA will ban it from any radio airplay or television exposure, feeling that it is disrepectful and a direct assault on the monarchy. But the ban will not prevent the single from being a huge seller right out of the gate. It will peak at #2 on the UK singles chart despite the ban though it is widely disputed that the single was indeed the #1 selling record in England at the time. Rod Stewart’s “I Don’t Want To Talk About It/The First Cut Is The Deepest” will be listed as the #1 single on the official charts. The single’s picture sleeve artwork is designed by artist Jamie Reid and features a portrait of the Queen with the song title and band name covering her eyes and mouth.
On this day in music history: May 20, 1977 - “In The City”, the debut album by The Jam is released. Produced by Vic Smith and Chris Parry, it is recorded at Stratford Place in London in March 1977. Heavily influenced by the 60’s mod culture in London and by bands like The Kinks and The Who, the punk/new wave trio from Woking, Surrey, UK led by guitarist and vocalist Paul Weller will stand out significantly from their contemporaries. Unlike other British punk bands of the era, The Jam will often dress in sharp tailored suits, (rather than the ripped and safety pinned clothing that many other bands wore), and are more musicially influenced by the 60’s pop and R&B music that mod teens of the era listened and danced to. The band will immediately make their impact felt in their home country with their critically acclaimed and commercially successful debut, also earning them a solid cult following in the US. “In The City” will spin off two singles including “All Around The World” (#13 UK) and the title track (#40 UK). “In The City” will peak at #20 on the UK album chart.
Born on this day: May 19, 1951 - Ramones lead vocalist Joey Ramone (born Jeffry Ross Hyman in Forest Hills, NY). Happy Birthday to this punk rock icon on what would have been his 62nd Birthday.
Remembering Beastie Boys co-founder, musician, and human rights activist Adam Yauch (born Adam Nathaniel Yauch in Brooklyn, NY) - August 5, 1964 - May 4, 2012
“Behind The Grooves” has just past a major milestone! The blog has gained its 1,000th follower here on Tumblr!! Thank you to everyone for your support and feedback as this thing continues to grow everyday!! - Jeff H.
On this day in music history: April 23, 1976 - The self-titled debut album by the Ramones is released. Produced by Craig Leon, it is recorded at Plaza Sound, Radio City Music Hall in New York City from February 2 - 19, 1976. Fixtures on the New York punk rock scene since forming in 1974, the Ramones will come to the attention of Sire Records A&R man Craig Leon (Blondie, Joshua Bell), through their manager Danny Fields, by way of a demo album the band records with producer Marty Thau. Leon will sign the band to the label in November of 1975. The first album by Forest Hills, Queens, NY punk quartet will be recorded in just seven days (spread over a two week period) for a cost of $6,400. Consisting of both covers and originals, it will be widely praised by rock critics and the Ramones solid fanbase. The album will go on to help define and popularize the punk music genre and culture, inspiring and influencing numerous bands and artists that follow in their wake. “Ramones” will peak at #111 on the Billboard Top 200.
On this day in music history: April 8, 1994 - “Smash”, the third album by The Offspring is released. Produced by Thom Wilson, it is recorded at Track Record in North Hollywood, CA from October - December 1993. Working once again with producer Thom Wilson (The Dead Kennedys, Social Distortion), The Offspring will begin work on their third release in the Fall of 1993. With their previous album having sold only 15,000 copies, neither the band’s or their record labels expectations for their next album will be very high. While still firmly rooted in punk rock, the edginess of the songs with also have a pop sensibility and appeal that will set them apart from many of their contemporaries. The album will be the breakthrough release for the Orange County, CA based punk band, becoming a runaway hit at both Modern and Mainstream Rock radio. It will spin off four singles including “Come Out And Play” and “Self Esteem”, with its sales topping over 16 million copies worldwide, making it the best selling indie label album of all time. “Smash” will peak at #4 on the Billboard Top 200 and is certified 6x Platinum by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: March 31, 1992 - The self-titled debut album by Body Count is released. Produced by Ice-T. and Ernie C, it is recorded at One-On-One Recorders and Syndicate Sound West in North Hollywood, CA from September - December 1991. A side project of rapper/actor Ice-T. fronting a hardcore thrash/punk band, the album will become instantly infamous for the track “Cop Killer” which will lead certain groups to boycott Time-Warner, the parent company of Ice’s record label. The song will generate such major controversy that it will be removed from future repressings of the album, after supplies of the initial press run have been sold through. “Body Count” will peak at #26 on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Gold by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: March 17, 1978 - “This Year’s Model”, the second album by Elvis Costello is released. Produced by Nick Lowe, it is recorded at Eden Studios in London from Late 1977 - Early 1978. It is the first album to be credited to Elvis Costello & The Attractions, it will spin off three singles including “Pump It Up”, “Radio, Radio” (included on the US pressing), “(I Don’t Want To Go To) Chelsea”. Early pressings of the LP will come with a bonus 7” featuring “Stranger In The House” b/w a cover of The Damned’s “Neat Neat Neat”. Original UK album covers will feature a deliberate error on them (designed by F-Beat Records graphic artist Barney Bubbles), with the “E” from Elvis and the “T” from This cropped off on the left, and the color registration marks clearly visible on the right. The US album cover will use an alternate cover photo and will not have the deliberate graphics error. “This Year’s Model” will peak at #4 on the UK album chart and #30 on the Billboard Top 200.