Month: October 2014

Some magic from above

Rock the Day Classic, Really

October 30, 1965: A Lover’s Concerto by The Toys peaks at #2 on the charts. The melody is adapted from Minuet In G, a composition written by Christian Petzold. Minuet In G is often thought to be by Johann Sebastian Bach because it is included in a book of sheet music kept by Bach’s wife Anna Magdalena. The song is written by Denny Randell and Sandy Linzer. Some say the “girl group” sound never gets any better than this tune by The Toys. Agree.  A Lover’s Concerto has been covered by many artists, none more beautifully than Kelly Chen. Here’s the Minuet, The Toys and Kelly:

Glowing like the metal on the edge of a knife

Rock the Day Perfectly ’70s

October 29, 1977: Meat Loaf’s major-label debut LP, Bat Out of Hell, is released. A collaboration with composer Jim Steinman, it will become one of the biggest-selling albums in the history of rock: More than 43 million copies to date. Its musical style is influenced by Steinman’s appreciation of Richard Wagner, Phil Spector, Bruce Springsteen and The Who. Bat Out of Hell has been certified by the Recording Industry Association of America as a platinum album 14 times over. The album is one of the most influential and iconic of all time and its songs are classic rock staples, including the theatrical duet with Ellen Foley, Paradise by the Dashboard Light. Phil Rizzuto‘s baseball play-by-play call for Paradise by the Dashboard Light is recorded in 1976 at The Hit Factory in NYC by producer Todd Rundgren, Meat Loaf, and Steinman. As an Italian Catholic, Rizzuto publicly maintains he is unaware that his contribution will be equated with sex in the finished song. However, Meat Loaf asserts that Rizzuto only claims ignorance to stifle criticism. How could anyone criticize this little ditty?

I’ll let you be in my dream if I can be in your dream

Rock the Day Age of Angst

October 28, 1962: It appears that we’re stepping back from the brink of nuclear war. The news media in the USSR report that Soviet missiles in Cuba are deactivated and President John F. Kennedy receives a letter from Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev proposing an agreement: We take our weapons out of Cuba and you remove yours from Turkey. We are deep in the era of nuclear holocaust angst. We laugh. Or cry.

We’re riding out tonight to case the promised land

Rock the Day Hype Backfires

October 27, 1975: Bruce Springsteen is on the covers of both Time and Newsweek magazines as his third studio album, Born to Run, peaks at #3 on the Billboard 200 chart. In Time, Jay Cocks praises Springsteen, while the Newsweek article takes a cynical look at the “next Dylan” hype that haunted Springsteen until his breakthrough. Hype becomes a story in itself as critics begin wondering if Springsteen is for real or the product of record company promotion. Upset with Columbia’s promotion department, Springsteen says the decision to label him as the “future of rock was a very big mistake and I would like to strangle the guy who thought that up.” When Springsteen arrives for his first U.K. concert at the Hammersmith Odeon, he tears down the “Finally the world is ready for Bruce Springsteen” posters in the lobby and orders that the buttons with “I have seen the future of rock ‘n’ roll at the Hammersmith Odeon” printed on them not be given out. Cowed by the hype backfire, Columbia suspends all press interviews with Springsteen. When the hype dies down, sales taper off and the album is off the chart after 29 weeks. But Springsteen’s national fan base is in place. You have your favorites from this LP. Mine are Tracks #1 and #2, Thunder Road and Tenth-Avenue Freeze-Out. (Born to Run is great but overplayed).

Fantasy will set you free

Rock the Day Magical

October 26, 1968: Magic Carpet Ride by Steppenwolf peaks at #3 on the charts. The bass line for the song is created by the group’s bass player Rushton Moreve. Frontman John Kay writes the lyrics. It’s the second big hit for Steppenwolf and the second to be included in a movie soundtrack. The first hit, Born to Be Wild, is on the Easy Rider soundtrack. Magic Carpet Ride is on the soundtrack of Candy. In 1988, Kay teams with Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five on an old school hip-hop cover. Here’s the original and the cover:

Time, time, time is on my side, yes it is

Rock the Day Oh, C’mon, Ed!

October 25, 1964: The Rolling Stones make their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, performing Time Is On My Side. Sullivan is shocked and vows he’ll never invite them back. Of course, he changes his mind and the Stones are Sullivan headliners time, time, time after time. Starting with the 1964 appearance that gives Ed heartburn, here are a few of the Stones’ Sullivan show appearances:


 

1966:

 

1967: