On this day in music history: January 19, 1980 - “The Wall”, the eleventh studio album by Pink Floyd hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 15 weeks. Produced Bob Ezrin, David Gilmour, James Guthrie and Roger Waters, it is recorded at Super Bear Studios, Studio Miraval in La Val, France, The Village Recorder, Cherokee Studios, and The Producers Workshop in Los Angeles, CA from January - November 1979. The project has its genesis in an incident at a concert in Montreal on Pink Floyd’s “Animals Tour” in 1977. Exhausted by the bands’ grueling tour schedule, Waters becomes agitated by a group of fans in the front row and spits on one of them. Later feeling regret over what had happened, Waters begins to reflect on where rock stardom had taken him personally, and to confront a number of unresolved issues in his past. The twenty six track double LP set, largely written by Waters (three songs co-written w/ David Gilmour and one with Bob Ezrin), centers around themes of alienation and struggles with various personal issues going back to childhood. Supported by a limited, but now legendary tour, the album goes on to be a huge critical and commercial success, spinning off three singles including their biggest hit “Another Brick In The Wall Part 2” (#1 US and UK Pop). “The Wall” certified 23x Platinum in the US by the RIAA, earning a Double Diamond Certification.
On this day in music history: January 19, 1980 - “The Pretenders”, the debut album by The Pretenders is released (UK release is on December 27, 1979). Produced by Chris Thomas and Nick Lowe, it is recorded at Wessex Studios and AIR Studios in London from Mid - Late 1979. Initially, recording is begun with Nick Lowe (Elvis Costello & The Attractions) who produces the bands’ UK debut single, a cover of The Kinks “Stop Your Sobbing”, but bows out of working on their first full length release, feeling that the band “wasn’t going anywhere”. Producer Chris Thomas (The Sex Pistols, The Beatles) steps in and takes over the production duties. The albums’ bold mixture of new wave, pop, and punk attitude topped by lead singer and guitarist Chrissie Hynde’s vocals immediately finds favor with rock fans, becoming a critical and commercial success upon its release. The album spins off four singles including “Brass In Pocket” (#1 UK, #14 US Pop). First remastered and reissued by Rhino Records in 2006, it is released as a two disc deluxe edition with the second CD featuring demo versions of several songs, single only B-sides, and five additional live recordings. The album is also issued as a hybrid SACD by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab in 2014. “The Pretenders” hits number one on the UK album chart, peaking at number nine on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
Born on this day: January 19, 1949 - Singer and songwriter Robert Palmer (born Robert Allen Palmer in Batley, Yorkshire, UK). Happy Birthday to this brilliant blue-eyed soul/rock vocalist on what would have been his 68th birthday.