On this day in music history: June 28, 1974 - “Caribou”, the eighth studio album by Elton John is released. Produced by Gus Dudgeon, it is recorded at the Caribou Ranch in Nederland, CO and Brother Studios in Santa Monica, CA in January 1974. Completed in just nine days prior to starting a tour of Japan, it features some of John’s best known and most performed material. Producer Gus Dudgeon completes Elton’s background vocals on several songs, when the artist isn’t available to sing them himself. The album features additional musical support from guest musicians such as The Tower Of Power Horns, Dusty Springfield, Toni Tennille, and Billy Hinsche. The album spins off the top five hits “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” (#2 Pop) (featuring Beach Boys Carl Wilson and Bruce Johnston on background vocals) and “The Bitch Is Back” (#4 Pop). In 1995, an expanded CD reissue is released including four tracks recorded during the sessions including his cover of “Pinball Wizard” (from the film version of The Who’s “Tommy”), “Sick City” (the non-LP B-side of “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me”), and the holiday single “Step Into Christmas”. Elton scores a number pop single with “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me” in 1992, re-recording it as a live duet with George Michael. The profits raised from the sales of the second version are donated to the Elton John AIDS Foundation. “Caribou” spends four weeks at number one on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: June 28, 1980 - “Coming Up (Live At Glasgow)” by Paul McCartney & Wings hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 3 weeks. Written by Paul McCartney, it is the seventh solo chart topper for Liverpool, UK born singer, songwriter and musician born James Paul McCartney. Written in the Summer of 1979 while recording his album “McCartney II” at his farmhouse in rural Scotland, he performs all of the instrumental parts and most of the vocals on his own. Months prior to its release as a single, McCartney and his band Wings perform “Coming Up” to live audiences on a brief tour of the UK to rapturous response. The bands show at the Glasgow Apollo in Glasgow, Scotland on December 17, 1979 is recorded and includes a rousing performance of “Coming Up”. When the studio version is released as a single in April of 1980, that performance is also included on the B-side of the 45 with the “Venus And Mars” era track “Lunchbox/Odd Sox”. US radio stations immediately take to the live version, giving it more airplay than the studio version and creating a huge public demand for it. Initially, Columbia Records in the US wants to add the live recording to the “McCartney II” album, but Paul refuses. A compromise is reached with CBS by including a bonus 7" single (actually one sided white label promotional copies originally intended for radio stations only) of the “Live At Glasgow” version with the first pressing of the album. Entering the Hot 100 at #73 on April 26, 1980, it climbs to the top of the chart nine weeks later. “Coming Up” is also instrumental in McCartney’s friend and former band mate John Lennon coming out of his five year long retirement from the music business. While spending time at his and wife Yoko Ono’s beach house at Cold Spring Harbor in Long Island, NY, Lennon hears the song on the radio just days before its release. Impressed by the song and feeling the competitive urge once again, Lennon is immediately inspired to begin writing the songs that becomes the “Double Fantasy” album released in November of 1980.
After the chart success of the live recording of “Coming Up” in the US, an alternate live performance recorded at the Hammersmith Odeon in London on December 29, 1979 is released. That version is featured in the live concert film and soundtrack album “Concerts For The People Of Kampuchea” released in 1981.
“Coming Up (Live At Glasgow)” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.