Our friends at This Day in Music are bringing us some of the most relevant events that happened this week, along with a playlist for each day. Read along and enjoy these musical flashbacks.
7th February 1970, one hit wonders Shocking Blue went to No.1 on the US singles chart with “Venus”, making them the first Dutch act to top the US charts. The track was first released in 1969 where it was a big hit in the Netherlands, reaching No.3 in the charts. It subsequently sold 350,000 copies in Germany, reached the top 10 in the UK and topped the US chart for three weeks.
All girl group Bananarama took the song to No.8 on the UK chart in 86. Nirvana covered the Shocking Blue song “Love Buzz” as their debut single in 1988 and it also appeared on the re-release of their 1989 album Bleach. Both The Prodigy and Lil’ Kim have sampled Shocking Blue.
8th February 1990, American singer songwriter Del Shannon died of self inflicted gunshot wounds at his home in Santa Clarita, California. The singer who had been taking the anti-depressant drug Prozac had been suffering from depression. Shannon scored the 1961 UK and US No.1 single “Runaway”, as well as 12 other Top 40 singles.
Shortly before his death, he’d been working with Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne and was rumored to be replacing Roy Orbison, (who had recently died), in the Traveling Wilburys supergroup. Following his death, The Traveling Wilburys honored him by recording a version of “Runaway”.
9th February, Born on this day in 1960, Holly Johnson, singer, songwriter, artist who was a member of Liverpool based groups Big In Japan and Frankie Goes To Hollywood. FGTH took their name from a poster which had the headline “Frankie Goes to Hollywood” in a reference to singer Frank Sinatra.
With Frankie he scored the 1984 UK No.1 single “Relax” which was banned by the BBC and subsequently topped the UK chart for five consecutive weeks, and ultimately becoming the seventh best-selling UK single of all time. FGTH became only the second act in the history of the charts to reach No.1 with their first three singles; (the first being another Liverpool band – Gerry & the Pacemakers in 1964).
As a solo, artist Johnson scored the 1989 UK No.4 hit “Love Train” and the 1989 UK No.1 album Blast. Since the mid 1990s, Johnson has worked primarily as a painter. His works have been exhibited at the Tate Liverpool, and The Royal Academy.
Playlist: 10 great Liverpool groups.
February 10th, 1967, The Beatles recorded the orchestral build-up for the middle and end of “A Day in the Life” for their forthcoming album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. At the Beatles’ request, the orchestra members arrived in full evening dress along with novelty items. One violinist wore a red clown’s nose, while another a fake gorilla’s paw on his bow hand. Others were wearing funny hats and other assorted novelties.
The recording was filmed for a possible Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band television special, which was ultimately abandoned. Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Mike Nesmith (The Monkees) and Donovan were also all present during the session.
Playlist: Killer closing album tracks
February 11th 1963, Born on this day, Sheryl Crow, American singer, songwriter, who had the 1994 US No.2 & UK No.4 single “All I Wanna Do”, from the 1993 album Tuesday Night Music Club.
Crow toured with Michael Jackson as a backup vocalist during his Bad World Tour from 1987–1989, performing with Jackson on “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You.” Crow has also recorded background vocals for various artists including Stevie Wonder, Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton, Kid Rock, John Mellencamp and Don Henley.
Click here to listen to this day’s playlist.
February 12th 1967, 15 police officers raided Redlands the West Sussex home of Rolling Stone Keith Richards during a weekend party. The police who were armed with a warrant issued under the dangerous drugs act took away various substances for forensic tests.
George and Pattie Harrison had been at the house, but it was said that the police waited for them to leave before they raided the house in order not to bust the holder of an MBE.
Playlist: Cops and robbers
13th Feb, 1961, Frank Sinatra launched his own record label, Reprise Records, in order to allow more artistic freedom for his own recordings. Hence, he garnered the nickname “The Chairman of the Board.”
One of the label’s founding principles under Sinatra’s leadership was that each artist would have full creative freedom, and at some point complete ownership of their work; including publishing rights. Reprise later became the home of many influential US acts such as Neil Young, Jimi Hendrix, Joni Mitchell, Randy Newman and The Beach Boys.
10 hits from the 60’s on Reprise
14th Feb, Who said romance was dead? On this day in 1984 Elton John married recording engineer Renate Blauer in Sydney, Australia. The couple divorced three years later. Other stars who married on Valentines day include: Lou Reed, Jerry Garcia, Oasis singer Liam Gallagher,
And in 1996, T.A.F.K.A.P. married Mayte Garcia in a Minneapolis church, he also composed a special song for his wife, “Friend, Lover, Sister, Mother, Wife”, which she heard for the first time when they had their first wedding dance. Garcia had appeared on the US television program That’s Incredible! at the age of 8 as the world’s youngest professional belly dancer. She came to the attention of Prince in 1990 when her mother submitted a video cassette of Mayte performing. The couple split in 1998.
Click here to enjoy this playlist.