On this day in music history: July 1, 1963 - The Beatles record “She Loves You” and its B-side “I’ll Get You” at Abbey Road Studios in London. Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, it is the second chart topping single in the UK for the Liverpool based rock band. John and Paul begin writing the song while on a bus while touring the UK as the opening act for Roy Orbison, finishing it off at their hotel later that evening. The two songs are completed in one session though neither the original two track session tapes (only the final mono masters) or any documentation of the session survives due to EMI Records policy of discarding session tapes after mixdown masters were prepared. Released on August 23, 1963 in the UK, the record is an instant smash, spending a total of six weeks at number one on the UK singles chart. It becomes the largest selling single in British record history (a record it holds until 1984). “She Loves You” also becomes The Beatles second US number one single in March of 1964.
On this day in music history: June 25, 1967 - The Beatles perform “All You Need Is Love” on the program “Our World, which is the first world satellite television broadcast. Chosen to represent the United Kingdom on the program, The Beatles are asked to come up with a song that can be understood by the millions of people that will be watching. Written mostly by John Lennon, the band record the basic track for “All You Need Is Love” at Olympic Studios in London on June 14, 1967, with additional tracking sessions at Abbey Road Studios on June 19, 21-24, 1967. Their performance of the song takes place inside the huge expanse of Studio Number One at Abbey Road Studios with the band backed by an orchestra and performing their vocals live on the broadcast. The performance is seen by an estimated two hundred million people in twenty six countries around the world. It is rush released as a single on July 7, 1967, hitting number one on the UK singles chart on July 19, 1967, and on the Billboard Hot 100 on August 19, 1967.
On this day in music history: September 25, 1967 - “Strange Days”, the second album by The Doors is released. Produced by Paul A. Rothchild, it is recorded at Sunset Sound Recorders in Hollywood, CA from May - August 1967. With their debut album finally taking off with the release of “Light My Fire” the same month, The Doors begin recording the follow up.This time, the band have more advanced technology at the their disposal, recording on an eight track multi-track tape machine. They also have one of the first Moog synthesizers built to experiment with. Having previously covered Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill’s “Alabama Song (Whisky Bar)”, many of the songs on “Strange Days” have a darker and moodier feel like that German cabaret song. That feel is most apparent in the first single “People Are Strange” (#12 Pop), though many of the songs were written at the same time as their debut and represents what they have in reserve. Those songs include “Moonlight Drive”, based on a poem written by Jim Morrison and “My Eyes Have Seen You”. The cover photos are taken by photographer Joel Brodsky, though do not feature The Doors themselves. Instead it uses a group of street performers including a strong man, a musician, a juggler, acrobats and twin dwarfs (seen individually on the front and back), in an alley way. With these type of performers hard to come by even in New York, a cab driver is commandeered and paid $5 to participate in the photo shoot, with Brodsky’s assistant standing in as the juggler. The Doors themselves are represented on the cover in the form of a poster on the alley wall with the album title posted underneath it. In spite of this, Elektra Records affixes a sticker to the shrink wrap to make it more easily identifiable as a Doors album. Released only nine and a half months after their debut, “Strange Days” starts off strong but quickly loses momentum and sells considerably less. It spins off two singles including “Love Me Two Times” (#25 Pop), with the closing track “When The Music’s Over” also becoming an airplay favorite. Issued with both dedicated mono and stereo mixes, part of the original press run of mono LP jackets are printed in error with the stereo LP prefix “EKS” on the sleeve spine instead of “EKL” as indicated on the front and back. Originally issued on CD in 1985, it is remastered and reissued in 1999, and is reissued again for its fortieth anniversary in 2007 with new remixes. The album is also reissued as a 180 gram vinyl LP by Rhino Records in 2009. “Strange Days” is also issued with 5.1 surround remixes (and the original stereo mixes) as a hybrid SACD by Analogue Productions in 2013. The mono mix of the album, out of print since 1968, is reissued as 180 gram vinyl LP on Record Store Day in April of 2015, individually numbered and limited to 12,500 copies. “Strange Days” peaks at number three on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.