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On this day in music history: December 27, 1975 - “Love Rollercoaster” by The Ohio Players hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for 1 week, also topping the Hot 100 for 1 week on January 31, 1976. Written and produced by James Williams, Clarence Satchell, Leroy Bonner, Marshall Jones, Ralph Middlebrooks, Marvin Pierce, and William Beck, it is the second consecutive R&B chart topper and fourth number one single overall for the R&B/Funk septet from Dayton, OH. Written by the entire band during a jam session, the song’s clever word play will use the amusement park ride as metaphor to describe a wildly unpredictable woman that the protagonist is involved with. “Rollercoaster” will become controversial when a DJ in Berkeley, CA starts a rumor that a woman was killed in an adjoining recording studio while the band was recording the track, and is audible on the finished record. In truth, what sounds like a muffled scream is actually the voice of keyboardist Billy Beck. When asked about the rumor, the band will take a vow of silence, refusing to even discuss it. Issued as the second single from their seventh studio album “Honey”, “Rollercoaster” will follow “Sweet Sticky Thing” into the number one spot on the R&B chart, also becoming their second and final number one pop single five weeks later. In 1996, The Red Hot Chili Peppers will cover the song for the soundtrack and film “Beavis And Butt-head Do America”. “Love Rollercoaster” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

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On this day in music history: December 27, 1971 - “Greatest Hits” by The Jackson 5 is released. Produced by The Corporation, Hal Davis, and Bobby Taylor, it is recorded at The Sound Factory, Hitsville USA West Studios in Hollywood, CA and Motown Studio A in Detroit, MI from July 1969 - October 1971. The eleven song LP is the first hits compilation of the group’s work released on Motown Records from 1969 to 1971. It also features the newly recorded track “Sugar Daddy” (#3 R&B, #10 Pop) which will become another million selling single for the superstar family group. Original LP pressings will also contain a stereo mix of the single “Mama’s Pearl” featuring the re-recorded vocals used for the mono single version. However, at some point, this version will be replaced by the original LP version from the “Third Album” on later repressings. The LP’s cover art features a portrait of the Jacksons with initial pressings featuring embossing on the portrait’s frame and is perforated so that it can be punched out of the cover and framed. “Greatest Hits” will also be issued as a quadraphonic stereo LP in 1975 (in Japan only), featuring noticeably different mixes of the tracks. Highly sought after by collectors, copies of this very rare version can sell for up to $500 today. The compilation will go in and out of print over the years as more comprehensive collections of the groups’ hits are issued in its place. It will be remastered and reissued on CD one final time in 1998 before being deleted again in the mid 2000’s. “Greatest Hits” will peak at number two on the Billboard R&B album chart, number twelve on the Top 200, selling over four million copies in the US alone.

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On this day in music history: December 27, 1975 - “Let’s Do It Again” by The Staple Singers hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 1 week, also topping the R&B singles chart for 2 weeks (non-consecutive) on November 22, 1975. Written and produced by Curtis Mayfield, it is the second pop and third R&B number one single for the Chicago, IL based R&B/gospel family group. Written as the theme song for the comedy of the same name (the sequel to “Uptown Saturday Night”) starring Bill Cosby, Sidney Poitier and Jimmie Walker. Curtis Mayfield will be approached by the films’ producers to write the score and songs for the film. Mayfield in turn will ask The Staple Singers if they would perform on the soundtrack album in which they will agree. Recording at the songwriter and producers’ Curtom Studios (formerly RCA Studios where “Superfly” was recorded) in Chicago, the track features musicians such as guitarist Phil Upchurch, drummer Quinton Joseph, and Mayfield himself on guitar. Veteran Motown arranger Gil Askey will arrange and conduct the strings on the song. An across the board smash, “Let’s Do It Again” will simultaneously climb the pop and R&B charts, becoming the groups’ fourth and final million selling single. In 1993, the R&B vocal group Xscape will sample the track for their hit single “Just Kickin’ It”. (#1 R&B, #2 Pop). The song will also be sampled by John Legend and Kanye West for the single “Number One” (#86 R&B) in 2005. “Let’s Do It Again” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

Did you know it?
#49. Channel Orange was named the best album of 2012 by The A.V. Club, Billboard, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune, Consequence of Sound, Entertainment Weekly, The Guardian, Los Angeles Times, musicOMH, The Sydney Morning Herald Now, Paste, PopMatters, Slant Magazine, Spin, The Washington Post, and Jon Pareles of The New York Times.
The album was also ranked #2 by Allmusic, Ann Powers, BBC, Complex, Exclaim!, Filter, Mojo, Pitchfork Media, and Rolling Stone, #3 by Clash, Jim DeRogatis, NME, State, and Time, and #5 by Uncut. The album was named “Album of the Year” by HMV’s Poll of Polls, an annual survey of UK critics and music writers from national print and online publications. Metacritic cited it as both the “top-ranked” and “best-reviewed major album” of 2012, as well as “one of the best-reviewed albums of the past decade”.