capitol records

Wouldn't It Be Nice
The Beach Boys
Wouldn't It Be Nice

Song: Wouldn’t It Be Nice / God Only Knows

Artist: The Beach Boys

Record Label: Capitol Records 5706

Recorded: March 10 and April 11, 1966

Released: July 11, 1966

This song was first released as the opening track to The Beach Boys’ album Pet Sounds. Immediately, it identified with the public with themes of frustrations of youth and the need to have the freedom to be with anyone you liked. It peaked at No. 2 in the UK and Australia and No. 8 in the US.

It has a classic Wall of Sound feature that provides a feeling of pushing out as much music density as possible by doubling up instruments and recording in an echo chamber.

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On this day in music history: April 6, 1956 - The Capitol Tower in Hollywood, CA is dedicated. The newly opened headquarters for Capitol Records, located at 1750 Vine Street (near the famous corner of Hollywood and Vine) is a thirteen story circular building by architect Welton Beckett (Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, Pan Pacific Auditorium, The Beverly Hilton), designed to look like a giant stack of records on a spindle. The blinking light on top of the building spells out the word “Hollywood” in Morse Code since the buildings’ official opening. It was temporarily changed to blink “Capitol 50” to celebrate the labels’ fiftieth anniversary in 1992. Since then it has returned to its original message. Besides  the labels business offices, it also houses three world class recording studios (with echo chambers designed by musician and technical innovator Les Paul) that remain highly in demand to this day. Also known as “the house that Nat built” (after musician Nat King Cole), The Capitol Tower becomes an iconic structure in Hollywood, and is added to the List of Registered Historic Places in Los Angeles in November of 2006.

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We found another tape from this series of psychedelic designs of 1970s-era tape boxes. One of a series of designs made by Capitol Records for reel-to-reel home recording. This one features symbols for celestial bodies with the sun in the center!

☉ ☽ ☿ ♀ ♂ ♃ ♄ ♅ ♁ ♇ 

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“It does feel like I’m starting again in a way… it obviously helped when I was getting signed that I’d done stuff before, but I did get signed off – signed to my record label – off the back of the music I’d written. The record label signed me right after they heard music, they wanted to hear music before they signed anything. So it did help, but I’d like to think it feels like a new artist kind of vibe.” – Niall Horan, etalk 18.6.17

Niall with Capitol Chairman & CEO Steve Barnett, Capitol COO Michelle Jubelirer, Capitol President Ashley Newton, Universal Music Group (UMG) Chairman & CEO Lucian Grainge, and performing at Capitol and UMG industry events.

Orange Colored Sky
Nat King Cole with Stan Kenton and his Orchestra
Orange Colored Sky

Song: Orange Colored Sky / Jam-Bo

Artist: Nat King Cole with Stan Kenton and his Orchestra

Record Label: Capitol Records 1184

Recorded: August 16, 1950

Location: Diamond City Radio, Fallout: New Vegas TV spot

Looks like this song has been officially resurrected. It was first used in a TV spot for Fallout: New Vegas. But now the dulcet tones of Mr. Nat King Cole can be heard over the airwaves of Boston.

Nat King Cole’s version peaked at No. 11 on Billboard, lasting 13 weeks.

Oddly, this pressing credits Frank Loesser for writing the song. Later pressings correctly credit Milton DeLugg and Willie Stein.

A myriad of other artists have also recorded including Betty Hutton, Doris Day, Natalie Cole, and even Lady Gaga.

Left to right: Stan Kenton, Sarah Vaughan, Georgia Carr, Monica Lewis, and Nat “King” Cole.

This is one of the few times when both orchestra and vocalist have been given equal prominence in the same type size. Even rarer is to find an accomplished pianist playing along with the orchestra while not singing into the microphone.

Nat King Cole had just recorded his hit “Mona Lisa” back in March 11. Stan Kenton had returned from a year’s hiatus by putting together his largest lineup, a 39 piece band that included 16 strings, a woodwind section, and two French horns.

As Mr. Cole quips at the end of the song:

Wow! I thought love was much softer than that! What a most disturbing sound!

Listen to the flip side “Jam-Bo” here.

Blue Moon
Frank Sinatra with Nelson Riddle and his Orchestra
Blue Moon

Song: Blue Moon

Artist: Frank Sinatra with Nelson Riddle and his Orchestra

Record Album: Sinatra’s Swingin’ Session!

Record Label: Capitol Records W1491

Recorded: August 22 – September 1, 1960 

Released: 1961

Location: Radio New Vegas, Launch trailer

Today happens to be the 100th birthday of ol’ Blue Eyes himself.

Sadly, he only had one song in the Fallout: New Vegas soundtrack, but what a choice to be had echoing against the starlit skies and garish neon.

“Blue Moon” was written by the legendary songwriter team Rodgers and Hart with recorded versions by Mel Tormé, Elvis Presley, and as a doo-wop hit for The Marcels.

As Mr. New Vegas says:

“Gonna play a song for you right now, and it’s about that special someone you find only once in a Blue Moon.”

This was Sinatra’s 14th studio album under Capitol Records, peaking at No. 3 in Billboard.

The tracklist is as follows:

Side 1:

When You’re Smiling

Blue Moon

S’Posin’

It All Depends on You

It’s Only a Paper Moon

My Blue Heaven

Side 2:

Should I

September in the Rain

Always

I Can’t Believe That You’re in Love With Me

I Concentrate on You

You Do Something to Me

Many of these songs were jazz standards from the 20s and 6 tracks were re-recorded from his last Columbia album, Sing and Dance with Frank Sinatra.

With the help of rearrangements by Mr. Nelson Riddle, Sinatra certainly does make this a swingin’ session.