On this day in music history: March 23, 1978 - “Kaya”, the tenth album by Bob Marley & The Wailers is released. Produced by Bob Marley & The Wailers, it is recorded at Island Studios in London, UK from January - April 1977. The album consists of tracks recorded during sessions for Marley’s previous release “Exodus”. The album features more laid back, relaxed songs standing in stark contrast to the bands’ more militant, politically motivated material. The release of the album will also coincide with Marley’s return to Jamaica after more than a year of living in London, leaving the country after an attempt is made on his life in December of 1976. It spins off two singles including “Is This Love” and “Satisfy My Soul”. Originally released on CD in 1986, it is remastered and reissued in 1994, with another remaster in 2001 that includes one bonus track. It is also released as a double CD Deluxe Edition in 2013, with the original ten track (plus one bonus track) album on disc one. The second disc features a full concert recorded at Ahoy Hallen, Rotterdam, Netherlands on July 7, 1978. The album is also remastered and reissued as a 180 gram vinyl LP in 2013. “Kaya” peaks at number four on the UK album chart, and number fifty on the Billboard Top 200.
A cautious recommendation: The only upside to being home sick for the umpteenth time in a row is that I forced myself to watch something with a plot. And though it meanders straight into anodyne close to the end, they captured the spirit of 1985 just about perfectly. My age mates will totally get it, and it might be fun for the rest of you, too.
On this day in music history: March 23, 1985 - “Dream Into Action”, the second album by Howard Jones is released. Produced by Rupert Hine, it is recorded at Farmyard Studios in Cotswolds, UK from Late 1984 - Early 1985. Differing from his successful debut “Human’s Lib”, in which the British synth-pop musician had been a virtual “one man band”, his follow up features more outside musicians including the TKO Horns (Dave Pleurs, Alan Whetton, Jim Patterson, Brian Maurice), background vocalists Afrodiziak (featuring Claudia Fontaine, Naomi Thompson, and a pre-Soul II Soul Caron Wheeler), and The Effervescents. The album is the worldwide commercial breakthrough for Jones, spinning off three singles in the US including “Things Can Only Get Better” (#5 Pop), “Life In One Day” (#19 Pop), and “Like To Get To Know You Well” (#49 Pop). The albums’ success is such that it spins off a six track EP titled “Action Replay” featuring five remixed versions of songs from “Dream” along with a re-recorded version of the album cut “No One Is To Blame” (produced by Phil Collins). “Blame” is released as a single a year later in March of 1986, becoming his biggest US hit (#4 Pop). The tracks “Specialty” & “Why Look For The Key” on the UK version of the LP are pulled from the US edition, and are replaced with “Like To Get To Know You Well” and “Bounce Right Back”. “Why Look” is issued as the B-side of “Things Can Only Get Better”, while “Specialty” makes its US debut on the “Action Replay” EP. “Dream Into Action” peaks at number two on the UK album chart, number ten on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: March 23, 1985 - “Centerfield”, the third solo album by John Fogerty hits #1 on the Billboard Top 200 for 1 week. Produced by John Fogerty, it is recorded The Plant Studios in Sausalito, CA from July - September 1984. Following acrimonious break up of Creedence Clearwater Revival in 1972, bandleader John Fogerty begins a solo career in earnest in 1973, recording under the name The Blue Ridge Rangers. Hindered by the stress of legal problems with his former label Fantasy Records, Fogerty’s musical output grinds to a halt by the mid 70’s. Eventually he cuts ties with Fantasy, and his contract with Asylum Records is transferred to Warner Bros Records in 1984. Finally over his writer’s block, legal problems, and able to create freely once again, Fogerty goes right back to work. Block booking himself into The Plant Recording Studios in Sausalito, Fogerty plays all of the instruments himself on the project. The album is praised as an artistic triumph among long time fans and critics, also winning the rock legend a new generation of fans. It spins off three singles including “The Old Man Down The Road” (#10 Pop) and “Rock & Roll Girls (#20 Pop). Original pressings of the album feature the track "Zanz Kant Danz”, a a swipe at his former label boss, Fantasy Records founder Saul Zaentz. When he threatens to sue over the song, Warner Bros affixes a sticker to the back cover of existing copies with the title being amended to “Vanz Kant Danz”. Subsequent repressings of the album carry the title change. However, Fogerty still finds himself in a protracted legal battle with his former label boss over “The Old Man Down The Road”. Zaentz claims the chorus of “The Old Man” has the same chord changes as the CCR hit “Run Through The Jungle” which Zaentz controls the song publishing to. Fogerty is fully exonerated in court when it is decided that the two compositions are different from each other. “Centerfield” is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.