2D shows Murdoc Detroit and they have one of those rare moments where Mud isn’t being an asshole. I’m hoping for more of this in phase 4. Also Murdoc feels giddy after all this, so make of it what you will.
On this day in music history: April 18, 1987 - “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)” by Aretha Franklin & George Michael hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 2 weeks, also peaking at #5 the R&B singles chart on May 2, 1987. Written by Simon Climie and Dennis Morgan, it is the second pop chart topper for Franklin and the fourth US chart topper for Michael. The two singers are paired together by Arista Records chief Clive Davis after George Michael is quoted in an interview on his ambition to sing with Aretha. Working with producer Narada Michael Walden, the duo record their vocals at United Sound in Detroit, MI. Released as the third single from Franklin’s thirty-fourth studio album “Aretha” in early February of 1987, it is an immediate smash. Entering the Hot 100 at #59 on February 21, 1987, it climbs to the top of the chart eight weeks later. The single is Franklin’s first pop chart topper since “Respect” almost twenty years before (nineteen years and ten months to be exact), and wins Franklin and Michael a Grammy Award for Best R&B Vocal Performance By A Duo Or Group in 1988. “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)” scores a unique coup for producer Narada Michael Walden when it replaces Starship’s “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” (also produced by Walden) at the top of the Hot 100, placing him in the company of such legendary producers such as Quincy Jones, Phil Ramone, George Martin and the Bee Gees who have all achieved the same career milestone.
On this day in music history: March 20, 1986 - “Rapture”, the second album by Anita Baker is released. Produced by Michael J. Powell, Marti Sharron and Gary Skardina, it is recorded at Yamaha R&D Studios in Los Angeles, CA, Music Grinder Studios in Hollywood, CA and United Sound Studios in Detroit, MI from Mid 1985 - Early 1986. After making a solid impression with her debut album “The Songstress” in 1983, Anita Baker finds her career progress halted when she becomes mired in a lawsuit with Beverly Glen Records. Seeking to end her relationship with the label for non-payment of royalties, the label counter sues her for breach of contract. The case takes nearly two years to settle, but it is in Baker’s favor, allowing her to field offers from other record labels. Anita is signed to Elektra Records in 1985, giving her more autonomy and creative control. To produce her major label debut, Baker enlists Michael J. Powell, her former Chapter 8 band mate to work on the project. Initially, A&R at Elektra are not pleased, feeling that a “name” producer should work with her, but label president Bob Krasnow allows the singer to go with her original choice. Powell assembles a team of top studio musicians including bassists Louis Johnson (The Brothers Johnson), Jimmy Haslip (The Yellowjackets), Nathan East (Eric Clapton), “Ready” Freddie Washington (Patrice Rushen), Neil Stubenhaus, Earth, Wind & Fire saxophonist Don Myrick, guitarist Paul Jackson, Jr., drummers John Robinson (Rufus), Ricky Lawson (Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Steely Dan), and keyboardists Greg Phillinganes, Vernon Fails, Sir Dean Gant and percussionist Paulinho Da Costa. Spending six months in the studio, recording wraps in early 1986. When the first single “Watch Your Step” (#23 R&B) receives a muted response from radio, Elektra quickly follows it up with “Sweet Love” (#2 R&B, #3 AC, #8 Pop). The ballad is a multi-format smash, giving Anita Baker her long awaited breakthrough. The albums seamless blend of R&B, jazz and pop proves irresistible, standing out dramatically in an era dominated by sterile over-produced recordings. “Rapture” cements her status with her core R&B fan base, broadening her audience. It spins off a total of five singles including “Same Ole Love (365 Days A Year)” (#8 R&B, #6 AC, #44 Pop), “No One In The World” (#5 R&B, #9 AC, #44 Pop) and the title track “Caught Up In The Rapture” (#6 R&B, #9 AC, #37 Pop). Though not released as singles, “You Bring Me Joy” and “Mystery” also become R&B airplay favorites as well. The album wins Anita Baker her first two Grammy Awards including Best Female R&B Vocal Performance (for the full album) and Best R&B Song (“Sweet Love”) in 1987. “Rapture” spends three weeks at number one (non-consecutive) on the Billboard R&B album chart, peaking at number eleven on the Top 200, and is certified 5x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: April 16, 1983 - “Atomic Dog” by George Clinton hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for 4 weeks, also Bubbling Under the Hot 100 at #101 on the same date. Written by George Clinton, Garry Shider and David Spradley, it is the biggest solo hit for the R&B/Funk music icon. Following the disbanding of Parliament/Funkadelic at the beginning of the 80’s, and mired in various lawsuits and entanglements with the numerous record and publishing companies associated with the band, George Clinton finds himself at a career crossroads. In early 1982, he signs a deal with Capitol Records to release his first solo album. Enlisting the assistance of several former P-Funk musicians, they record at their usual home base, United Sound Studios in Detroit, MI. Working with a track written by keyboardist David Spradley (aka “David Lee Chong”, birth name Lee Seung Chang) and guitarist Garry Shider, Clinton steps behind the microphone and improvises the lyrics for “Atomic Dog” right on the spot. Issued as the follow up to the top twenty R&B hit “Loopzilla”, it is the second single from Clinton’s “Computer Games” album. Capitol Records initially puts no promotional support behind it, thwarted by Clinton’s virtual blacklisting within the music industry, and the general consensus by many that he is well past the peak of his career. However, it develops a huge ground swell of support from the street, which turn into large sales for the single without any radio airplay. Public support forces the record on to radio, building upward momentum as the weeks pass. The songs innovative and imaginative music video directed by Peter Conn puts it over the top, knocking Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” from the top of the R&B chart. “Atomic Dog” also becomes a cornerstone of Hip Hop music, becoming one of the most widely sampled tracks in history.
On this day in music history: March 25, 1978 - “Bootzilla” by Bootsy’s Rubber Band hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for 1 week. Written and produced by George Clinton and William “Bootsy” Collins, it is the biggest for the Cincinnati, OH based R&B/Funk band led and fronted by bassist and vocalist William “Bootsy” Collins. Bootsy writes the song after he gives “Flash Light” away to friend George Clinton for Parliament to record after he decides it’s not right for his own band. Inspired by his own outlandish sense of humor and his larger than life flashy image, “Bootzilla” is the nick name Collins gives himself after his fellow musicians call him “a monster” for his musical prowess. The basic track is recorded at United Sound in Detroit, MI, with Collins playing bass and drums himself. It is released as the first single from Bootsy’s third album “Bootsy? Player Of The Year” in January of 1978. In an interestingly ironic twist, “Bootzilla” replaces Parliament’s “Flash Light” at the top of the R&B singles chart.
On this day in music history: March 25, 1972 - “In The Rain” by The Dramatics hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for 4 weeks, also peaking at #5 on the Hot 100 on April 22, 1972. Written and produced by Tony Hester, it is the biggest hit for the Detroit based R&B vocal group fronted by lead singers Ron Banks and William “Wee Gee” Howard. The track is cut at United Sound in Detroit, MI in mid 1971, and features a number of prominent Detroit musicians such as Michael Henderson (bass), and Funk Brothers Dennis Coffey (guitar), Johnny Griffith (piano), and Uriel Jones (drums) playing on the rhythm track. For the songs’ distinctive echoed guitar, Coffey uses a Maestro Echoplex pedal between his guitar and amplifier. The unit which creates the effect by recording the sounds put through it on a magnetic tape loop. A control knob allows the speed of the delay to be manipulated by varying the speed of the loop and distance of the playback head. Released in February of 1972 as the third single from their debut album “Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get”, it is another smash. Like title track, “In The Rain” quickly becomes a pop radio hit on the heels of its R&B chart success. “In The Rain” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.