80's pop music

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UK project Fickle Friends present us with an ode to one of the hippest towns on this side of the world for the band’s latest neon pulsing delight. Incandescent glowing Brooklyn even comes with some eye popping retro visuals by way of a ruddy captivating music video. The Brighton based outfit pull me in ever deeper into their world of warm synths and throbbing beats with the sumptuous gem, a must for fans of bands like Muna, HAIM, The 1975, and Say Lou Lou. The rising band just played their biggest ever headline gig at London’s Heaven earlier this month. Perhaps their adventures will take them to San Francisco somewhere down the road. 

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On this day in music history: December 7, 1991 - “Black Or White” by Michael Jackson hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 7 weeks. Written by Michael Jackson and Bill Bottrell, it is the twelfth solo chart topper (sixteenth overall) for “The King Of Pop”. Issued as the first single from Jackson’s eighth album “Dangerous” on November 11, 1991, the single is premiered on radio just days before its arrival in stores. The track is supported by an elaborate eleven minute long short film directed by John Landis (“Thriller”). The clip has its broadcast debut simultaneously on MTV, BET, VH1, and the Fox television network on November 14, 1991, drawing a record breaking viewing audience. However, the extended dance sequence of the film draws controversy due to several scenes of Jackson rubbing and grabbing his crotch as well as destroying a car and breaking windows. The singer issues a statement the next day apologizing, stating that “the violent and suggestive behavior was an interpretation of the black panther’s animal instincts”. The controversy does not hurt the songs’ airplay or sales. It becomes the fastest rising single on the Hot 100 since The Beatles “Get Back” in 1969. Entering the Hot 100 at #35 on November 23, 1991, it pole vaults to the top of the chart two weeks later. Jackson also becomes the first artist in history to have number one singles in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. On the UK singles chart, it is the first single to enter the chart at number one since Elvis Presley’s “It’s Now Or Never” in 1960. “Black Or White” also tops the charts in seventeen other countries, and is ranked the top single of 1991 by Billboard Magazine. “Black Or White” is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

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Born on this day: December 8, 1943 - The Doors lead vocalist, lyricist and poet Jim Morrison (born James Douglas Morrison in Melbourne, FL). Happy Birthday to “The Lizard King” what would have been his 73rd Birthday.

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On this day in music history: December 8, 1976 - “Hotel California”, the fifth album by the Eagles is released. Produced by Bill Szymczyk, it is recorded at Criteria Studios in Miami, FL and The Record Plant in Los Angeles, CA from March - October 1976. Having scored their greatest success to date with the album “One Of These Nights”, the Eagles are more than aware that the pressure is now on to come up with a strong follow up. Recording begins in Los Angeles in March of 1976, before the sessions  move to Miami, with the band traveling back and forth between the two cities during the months spent writing and recording. “Hotel California” is a concept album reflecting on themes of the hedonistic 70’s lifestyle, using “California” as a metaphor for the entire country.  The title track begins as an instrumental demo written by guitarist Don Felder, who then shows it to Don Henley and Glenn Frey. Intrigued by the unique musical hybrid, sounding like a cross between Spanish flamenco music and reggae, Henley and Frey write the lyrics and melody to Felder’s music. With the song designated the album’s centerpiece, the other songs fall into place around it. In pursuit of perfection, the tension between the band members intensifies, particularly between Don Felder, Don Henley and Glenn Frey, when Felder begins to press them to sing lead on “at least two cuts” of the new album. Specifically, Felder initially insists on being allowed to sing lead on the song “Victim Of Love”, which he has written the music for. After several attempts at recording a suitable lead vocal, the others decide that it is better for Henley to sing it instead, causing bad feelings between Felder and the others. In spite of this, the sessions continue forward until the album is completed in the Fall of 1976. It is the band’s most successful album spinning off three hit singles including “New Kid In Town” (#1 Pop), “Life In The Fast Lane” (#11 Pop) and the title track (#1 Pop). Original vinyl LP copies come packaged in a gatefold jacket with a poster taken by photographer Norman Seeff. The original vinyl pressings also come with custom picture labels of the album’s title logo featured on the front cover. The phrase “Is It 6 O'Clock Yet?” is etched into the runout groove of side one, and “V.O.L. Is Five-Piece Live” etched into the runout of side two. Remastered and reissued on CD in 1999, it is also issued as a DVD-A disc, featuring a new 5.1 surround mix remixed by Elliot Scheiner. It is also reissued as a 180 gram vinyl LP in 2009, replicating the original packaging including the inner sleeve and poster. “Hotel California” spends eight weeks (non-consecutive) at number one on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 16x Platinum in the US by the RIAA, earning a Diamond Certification, and is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 2008.

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Remembering music icon John Lennon (born John Winston Lennon in Liverpool, UK) - October 9, 1940 - December 8, 1980