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.
On this day in music history: April 30, 1996 - “To The Faithful Departed”, the third album by The Cranberries is released. Produced by Bruce Fairbairn and The Cranberries, it is recorded at Windmill Lane Studios in Dublin, Ireland from November - December 1995. Coming off of the multi-Platinum success of their first two albums “Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?” and “No Need To Argue”, The Cranberries keep moving, even after the exhaustive grind of recording and touring over the previous two and a half years. After the tour for “Argue”, the band return the studio almost immediately after it concludes in the Fall of 1995. Looking to move away from the softer sound of their previous albums, they make an unpredictable choice in selecting the producer for their next release. Best known for his work with Bon Jovi, Aerosmith and AC/DC, Bruce Fairbairn seems like a highly unlikely choice for the Irish alt-rock band. The album’s title makes reference to losses experienced in The Cranberries inner circle, including mentor Denny Cordell and Dolores O'Riordan’s beloved grandfather who had both passed during the recording of the album, and is dedicated to their memories. The harder edge the band adopts on “Departed” meets with mixed results from the band’s fans. Receiving critical praise, it sells substantially less (1.5 million copies in the US) compared to five million for their debut and seven million plus for their sophomore release.
The album is reissued in 2002 as “To The Faithful Departed (The Complete Sessions 1996-1997)”, and features five additional bonus tracks from the original recording sessions, but left off the first release.
“To The Faithful Departed” peaks at number four on the Billboard Top 200 and is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: May 12, 1992 - “The Southern Harmony And Musical Companion”, the second album by The Black Crowes is released. Produced by George Drakoulias, it is recorded at Southern Tracks Studios in Atlanta, GA and Sunset Sound Studios in Hollywood, CA in January 1992. Following the huge success of their debut “Shake Your Money Maker” selling more than five million copies in the US alone, The Black Crowes are adamant about beating the sophomore jinx, but are not content with repeating themselves musically. In spite of touring relentlessly for more than a year behind their first album, they go right back to work. The band write new material and rehearse it extensively before entering the studio. Before they do, guitarist Jeff Cease is fired and replaced by Marc Ford, formerly of the blues-rock band Burning Tree. The band once again work with producer George Drakoulias with Brendan O'Brien (Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots) engineering and mixing. The title “The Southern Harmony And Musical Companion” is taken from a songbook of hymns compiled by William Walker and published in 1835. Unlike their debut, the new album is recorded almost completely live with few additional overdubs in only eight days. The fast pace is all the more impressive considering the often volatile relationship between brothers and band co-founders Chris and Rich Robinson. When the band deliver the album to their label American Recordings/Warner Bros, they tell them that they don’t hear a hit on it, and to record another cover like their version of Otis Redding’s “Hard To Handle”. The Crowes refuse and the label puts out the record as is. To launch the album, the label prepares a lavish package that is limited to only 100 individually numbered copies, and sent only to select radio and press people. The set comes with a book featuring the song lyrics, notation and guitar tabs, along with digi-pak versions of the full album and a promo CD single. The contents come housed in a black 12" x 12" box with gold hinges, emblazoned with The Black Crowes logo. Led by the funky, syncopated rocker “Remedy” (#1 Mainstream Rock, #48 Pop) which spends eleven weeks at the top of the Billboard Album Rock chart, “Southern Harmony” is a hit right out of the box. The tracks “Sting Me” (#1 Mainstream Rock), “Thorn In My Pride” (#1 Mainstream Rock) and “Sometimes Salvation” (#7 Mainstream Rock) also become favorites. The album is remastered and reissued on CD in 2007 with two additional bonus tracks. Originally released on vinyl on a limited basis, it is remastered and issued as a 180 gram LP in 2009 by Plain Recordings. It is reissued again in 2015, as a double vinyl 180 gram LP set as part of UMe’s “Back To Black” series. “The Southern Harmony And Musical Companion” debuts at number one on the Billboard Top 200, spending one week at the top, and is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
Psalm 62:1–2; 5–6 My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will never be shaken. Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken. There is one very important word that occurs four times in succession in those verses that we’ve just read. The word is “alone.” There’s only one ultimate source of salvation-Jesus Christ, and it’s very important that each one of us comes at some time in our lives to that place where we say, “He alone is my hope, my rock, my fortress, and the source of my salvation.” And, true enough, when we say that, it becomes true in our experience.
Oblivion // Bastille; Cold Coffee // Ed Sheeran; People Help The People; Birdy; Gasoline // Troye Sivan; This Life // Josef Salvat; Youth // Daughter; Comes and Goes // Greg Laswell; Gotta Get Out (Acoustic) // 5 Seconds of Summer; Four Walls // Broods; Overjoyed // Bastille; Over Again // One Direction; Broken Frame // Alex and Sierra; Burning Bridges (Acoustic) // OneRepublic; Carry You // Jeffrey James; I’m a Mess // Ed Sheeran; Sleep Paralysis // Bad Suns; Keep Me Dreaming // American Authors; I Love You // Alex and Sierra; Open Season // Josef Salvat; Skinny Love // Birdy; Endlessly // The Cab; Just Breathe // The Unlikely Candidates; Bleeding Out // Imagine Dragons; Out of My Head // John Newman; Fall // Cider Sky; Is There Somebody Who Can Watch You // The 1975