On this day in music history: March 16, 1964 - “Can’t Buy Me Love” by The Beatles is released. Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, it is issued in both the US and the UK as the official follow up to “I Want To Hold Your Hand”. The single earns a place in the Guinness World Book Of Records when it racks up sales of over 2.1 million copies in advance orders. It enters the chart on March 28, 1964 at #27 and leaps to #1 the following week, making history again for the fastest rise to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 where it spends 5 weeks, residing over a top five in which the other four singles are also by The Beatles. Queens Litho in New York print up a picture sleeve to go along with the single, using the same photo of the band included on the sleeve for “I Want To Hold Your Hand”, packaging them with copies of the single manufactured at Capitol Records’ east coast pressing plant in Scranton, PA. The picture sleeve is printed in relatively small quantities with the Los Angeles plant not manufacturing the sleeve, opting to ship them in generic Capitol sleeves. Over the years, it becomes the rarest commercially issued Beatles picture sleeve with near mint copies valued at nearly $1000 today. Backed with track “You Can’t Do That” (#48 Pop), both songs make their album debut on the soundtrack to the bands’ first film “A Hard Day’s Night” in June of 1964. In 2011, US retail chain Target issues a limited edition reissue of the 45, complete with a reproduction of the picture sleeve, packaged in a box with a T-shirt.
On this day in music history: May 17, 1969 - “Brother Love’s Travelling Salvation Show”, the fourth studio album by Neil Diamond is released. Produced by Tom Catalano, Chips Moman, Tommy Cogbill and Neil Diamond, it is recorded at American Sound Studios in Memphis, TN from Late 1968 - Early 1969. Diamond records the album with the studios famed rhythm section led by musician and producer Chips Moman who is also working with Elvis Presley at the time. The albums big hit single “Sweet Caroline (Good Times Never Seemed So Good)” (#4 Pop) is actually recorded after the album is completed and released. The singles great popularity leads Uni Records to add the song to subsequent pressings of the album, which is also re-titled “Sweet Caroline”, and reissued with different cover artwork. “Brother Love’s Travelling Salvation Show” peaks at number eighty two on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
Jacob Banks blew me away when the Nigerian born UK singer songwriter made his San Francisco debut at Popscene earlier this year. We were expecting it, having so eagerly shared incredible songs like Chainsmoking, Unholy War, and Monster 2.0, yet his performance exceeded even our highest expectations. With his rugged soulful voice, full of power and passion, he belted out his nostalgia laden, emotion ridden songs and drove home the fact that he’s obviously poised for great things ahead. A few days ago, Jacob Banks released his The Boy Who Cried Freedom EP, a collection of five incredible songs, some new, some previously shared. Among the fresh gems is this slow swaying ballad named Part Time Love. It’s vintage soul, retro gospel, and mellow rock are an immediate must for the plenteous people out there who love Michael Kiwanuka and Leon Bridges (both of whom I’ve had the pleasure of re-visiting lately due to my recent addiction to HBO’s Big Little Lies). Jacob Banks needs to be on season 2′s soundtrack, don’t you agree? Stream Jacob Banks’ The Boy Who Cried Freedom EP in full on Soundcloud. Purchase from iTunes, here.
On this day in music history: April 24, 1965 - “Game Of Love” by Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 1 week. Written by Clint Ballard, Jr., it is the biggest hit for the Manchester, UK band fronted by singer Wayne Fontana (born Glyn Geoffrey Ellis). Formed in 1963, the band take their name from a British film titled “The Mind Benders” starring actor Sir Dirk Bogarde. Not long afterward, they are signed by Philips subsidiary Fontana Records. The track features future 10cc vocalist and guitarist Eric Stewart on lead guitar. A major success in their home country first, the single peaks at #2 on the UK singles chart earlier in 1965. Released in February of 1965 by the American arm of Fontana Records, it is their first stateside release. Entering the Hot 100 at #63 on March 20, 1965, it shoots to the top of the chart five weeks later. Ironically, “Game Of Love” replaces Freddie & The Dreamers’ “I’m Telling You Now”, another Manchester band at the top of the US singles chart. “Game Of Love” is later featured in the film and soundtrack to “Good Morning Vietnam” in 1988.