Vacation is the second studio album by American rock band The Go-Go’s, released in 1982 on the I.R.S. Records label. The album reached No. 8 in the Billboard 200, and was certified Gold. The title track was a U.S. summer smash, reaching No. 8 on the Billboard pop singles chart. The Go-Go’s were riding high at the time of the album’s first release, their prospects to all outward appearances looking bright. Future problems were beginning to take shape, as the members’ drug use and internal fighting began to escalate. [Wiki]
Michael Jackson was an international superstar, and many in the black community herald him for breaking down racial barriers in the music industry.
Michael Jackson was one of the first black global superstars.
“Michael Jackson made culture accept a person of color way before Tiger Woods, way before Oprah Winfrey, way before Barack Obama,” said the Rev. Al Sharpton. “Michael did with music what they later did in sports and in politics and in television. And no controversy will erase the historic impact.”
As the Jackson 5, Michael Jackson and his brothers “became a cutting-edge example of black crossover artists,” said Mark Anthony Neal, a professor of black popular culture at Duke University’s Department of African and African American Studies.
“You basically had five working-class black boys with Afros and bell bottoms, and they really didn’t have to trade any of that stuff in order to become mainstream stars,” Neal said.
Young Michael Jackson was the first black “bubblegum teen star” in the vein of Monkees singer Davy Jones, Neal said.
Jackson continued as a pioneer in the black culture when he broke barriers by appearing on MTV, and by breaking sales records with the 1982 album, “Thriller.” Timeline: The life of a “King” »
“At the time that he releases ‘Thriller,’ I always argue that MTV was arguably the best example of cultural apartheid in the United States,” Neal said.
The former president of CBS Records, Walter Yetnikoff, remembered with scorn that MTV would not play “Billie Jean” or “Beat It” because it billed itself as a rock station.
Looking back on that era, a 1991 Los Angeles Times article quoted MTV founder and then-CEO Robert Pittman as saying the channel’s format didn’t lend itself to other musical styles, including R&B and country. And Pittman accused his critics of attempting to impose their musical pluralism on the channel’s die-hard rock fans.
But Yetnikoff said he threatened to pull videos of his other artists unless MTV played Jackson’s videos.
Soon Jackson’s videos were heavily in rotation on MTV. Showcasing a black artist paved the way for the popular show, “Yo! MTV Raps,” and other black artists, Neal said.
In turn, Jackson became one of the first African-Americans to be a global icon.
He also influenced a new generation of black musicians, including Usher, Ne-Yo and Kanye West, according to Joycelyn Wilson, a professor of African-American studies at Morehouse College, who specializes in popular culture and hip-hop studies.
On this day in music history: May 10, 1982 - “Rio”, the second studio album by Duran Duran is released. Produced by Colin Thurston, it is recorded at Townhouse Studios and AIR Studios in London from in October 1981, and January - February 1982. Achieving success in the UK and other parts of the world with their self-titled debut album, Duran Duran begin the process of writing and recording their follow up release toward the end of 1981. Once again, the band work with producer and engineer Colin Thurston (David Bowie, The Human League), moving into AIR Studios in October of 1981. The first track completed is “My Own Way” (#14 UK), and is released as a stand alone single in November of 1981. The rest of the album is completed in two months when the sessions resume in January of 1982, following a brief tour of Germany, Sweden and the UK. Released in the Spring of 1982, is the breakthrough album for the Birmingham, UK based pop/rock quintet on a worldwide basis. It continues Duran Duran’s success at home (quickly spinning off four hit singles), but initially gets off to a slow start in the US. Producer David Kershenbaum (Joe Jackson, Tracy Chapman), is brought in to remix five tracks on the album with the aim of promoting them at dance clubs. Four of those tracks (“Rio” (#9 UK, #14 US Pop), “Hungry Like The Wolf”, “Hold Back The Rain”, and “My Own Way”) are released as a 12" EP titled “Carnival” in September of 1982. Its success motivates Capitol Records in the US to reissue the album in November with the remixed tracks replacing the original mixes, and re-releasing the first single “Hungry Like The Wolf” (#5 UK, #3 US Pop), which is one of the last songs completed for the project. To help promote the album, the band film several music videos, mostly with Australian director Russell Mulcahy, including a clip for the title track filmed on location on the Caribbean island of Antigua. Three more clips, made for “Hungry Like The Wolf”, Save A Prayer" and “Lonely In Your Nightmare” are filmed in Sri Lanka shortly after “Rio” is completed. By this time, MTV have begun playing the bands videos in heavy rotation which give them major exposure, leading to radio adding the single. The albums iconic cover art, painted by artist Patrick Nagel (graphics by Malcolm Garrett of Assorted Images) also become synonymous with the bands image. In 2001, a remastered CD of the album is released in a mini gatefold jacket, with the disc featuring enhanced CD content including the music videos for “Hungry Like The Wolf” and the title track. It is reissued again in 2009 as a two CD expanded edition that also contains the Kershenbaum remixes and other bonus tracks. The making of the album is documented in an episode of the “Classic Albums” series in 2008. “Rio” peaks at number two on the UK album chart, number six on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: June 10, 1983 - “The Wild Heart”, the second studio album by Stevie Nicks is released. Produced by Jimmy Iovine, Gordon Perry and Tom Petty, it is recorded A&R Recorders, The Record Plant in New York City, Goodnight Studios in Dallas, TX, The Record Plant, and Studio 55 in Los Angeles, CA from Late 1982 - Early 1983. Issued as the follow up to her multi-platinum solo debut “Bella Donna”, Nicks begins recording after completing the “Mirage Tour” with Fleetwood Mac during the Summer and Fall of 1982. The album features a number of guest musicians including Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, drummer Mick Fleetwood, Toto guitarist Steve Lukather, Eagles guitarist Don Felder, E Street Band keyboardist Roy Bittan, guitarist David Williams, and an uncredited contribution from Prince, who plays synthesizers on the first single “Stand Back” (#5 Pop, #2 Mainstream Rock). Nicks is inspired to write “Stand Back” after she hears Prince’s hit single “Little Red Corvette” on the radio. The initial clip for “Stand Back” directed by Brian Grant (“Physical”, “Shock The Monkey”), is scrapped after Nicks is unhappy with how she looks in it. The second clip directed by choreographer Jeffrey Hornaday (“Flashdance”, “A Chorus Line”) is the one that is widely seen, and becomes an MTV favorite. It spins off two other singles including “If Anyone Falls” (#14 Pop, #8 Mainstream Rock), and “Nightbird” (#33 Pop). The album is remastered and reissued as a two CD deluxe edition in 2016. The first disc contains the original ten song album, with disc two featuring unreleased tracks, alternate versions, non album B-sides, demos and session recordings. It is also reissued as a 180 gram vinyl LP, making it available in that format for the first time since 1989. “The Wild Heart” peaks at number five on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
Prince was another artist who noted Stevie’s lifestyle with concern — she was, after all, a “drug addict”, as she put it, while he was as “straight as an arrow”. They would get on well, however, and share a “special” friendship — one which didn’t involve going to bed, Stevie would insist, despite the inevitable rumours. But Prince was “a strange and beautiful guy”, there was no doubt about that. Prince had just returned from touring his massively successful 1982 album 1999 when he received a call from Ms Nicks. [Iovine had been setting up the studio at Sunset Sound, Los Angeles, to record ‘Stand Back’, the song inspired by Prince’s own 'Little Red Corvette’, and Stevie wanted to see if the man himself would join the session. Stevie hummed the melody down the phone to him and within an hour His Purpleness was in the studio with her. “He listened again, and I said, 'Do you hate it?’ He said, 'No,’ and walked over to the synthesisers, was absolutely brilliant for about 25 minutes, and then left. He was so uncanny, so wild, he spoiled me for every band I’ve ever had because nobody can exactly re-create — not even with two piano players — what Prince did all by his little self.” Electronic drums were used, Toto guitarist Steve Lukather was brought in to add a guitar part and that Prince magic would ensure 'Stand Back’ would be the most successful single from the album, later being nominated for a Grammy. The sound of that heavy bass and voluminous synth against Stevie’s husky voice would soon be heard booming out of many a nightclub, an underground hit as well as a mainstream smash.* Prince had just one piece of advice for Stevie: sex up your lyrics. Prince’s own lyrical content was always notorious for its explicit sexuality, while Stevie’s words were often obscure, never literal. As Stevie explained, a sudden injection of overt raunchiness into her lyrics would make no sense because “that’s not the way I am in real life. I am not a person who walks naked through the house. I will always have something beautiful on, and it will enhance me. I believe there is a certain amount of mysticism that all women should have. Even in my journals, I don’t ever write about sex.” And before Prince could protest any further, Stevie concluded the argument by stating: “You have to write about sex, so you must not be intrinsically sexy. I don’t have to write about sex because I am intrinsically sexy. That shut his mouth right up.” In your face, Prince. Stevie was a sex symbol by default, but she hadn’t forgotten the one time she had bowed to pressure and gone topless on the cover of Buckingham Nicks — it left her embarrassed and the record barely sold any copies anyway. Stevie just had to be herself. To Prince’s credit, he cared deeply for Stevie and ran rings around her when she suffered one of her many bouts of the flu, plumping her pillows and tidying up around her. “He would bring me cough medicine,” Stevie recalled to The Telegraph’s Craig McLean, “and then I’d ask for another spoon of it, and he’d go, 'I didn’t come here to start you on a new drug!’ So I realised that was not gonna work out: we’re two really famous rock'n'roll stars, and I’m a drug addict and he’s not*, so these paths are not gonna meet well. But if I needed Prince I’m sure he would come and help me.”
Zoe Howe: “Stevie Nicks: Visions, Dreams and Rumors”