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Following Paul McCartney’s Grammy-Award winning Wings Over America box set, on September 23rd, 1975’s Venus And Mars and 1976’s Wings At The Speed Of Sound will comprise the latest offerings in the ongoing Archive Collection series. Venus And Mars was released on May 27th, 1975 and topped the Billboard 200 album charts for a single week starting on July 19th, 1975. The album spawned three Top 40 hits, the chart-topping "Listen To What The Man Said," a remixed version of "Letting Go" -- which stalled at Number 39 -- and a heavily edited version of "Venus And Mars/Rock Show," which topped out at Number 12. The Venus and Mars album served as the backbone to Wings' 1975/1976 world tour.
Wings At The Speed Of Sound was released on March 25th, 1976 and hit Number One on April 24th, 1976 and spent seven non-consecutive weeks at Number One while McCarrtney was back in the States on his sold-out Wings Over America tour. The album's lead single, "Silly Love Songs" spent a whopping five weeks on top of the Top 40 charts. Its followup, "Let 'Em In," also achieved saturation airplay hitting Number Three.
David Crosby is over the moon with the success of Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young’s new vault release CSNY 1974, and can’t believe that they had the foresight to capture nearly a half-a dozen shows on multitrack tape. The new album, which was spearheaded by Graham Nash, chronicles the group’s legendary 1974 road trek.
Out today (July 29th) today is Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers’ new album, Hypnotic Eye, marking the band’s first new studio set since 2010’s Mojo. The album is produced by Petty, Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell, and longtime studio cohort Ryan Ulyate. Petty and the band kick off their 34-date tour on August 3rd at San Diego's Viejas Arena.
While promoting the new album, Petty took time out to slam the Las Vegas electronic music festival, Electric Daisy Carnival. Petty, a father of two, slammed the Festival, in which this year two young adults died from drug related deaths. Petty told USA Today, "Watch people play records? That’s stupid. You couldn’t pay me to go. I’m not oversimplifying it. That’s what’s going on. I don’t think it would be any fun without the drugs. It’s a drug party. You take that many kids to Vegas in the summer, what could go wrong? I knew it as soon as I saw the ad, I went, ‘Ooh, dead people.’ Do you need the money so bad that you’ll put some kid’s life at risk?"
It was 40 years ago today (July 29th, 1974), that "Mama" Cass Elliot of the Mamas & The Papas was found dead in a London apartment. Elliot, who had just performed two sold out performances at the London Palladium, died of what coroners ruled an apparent heart attack. Elliot, whose real name was Ellen Naomi Cohen, had been performing as solo act since the group began to splinter in 1968. That same year, according to legend, Crosby, Stills & Nash performed for the first time together in her Laurel Canyon living room -- and have dedicated their recent live set CSN 2012 to her.
In the following years, due to Elliot's obesity and a rumor that suggested a half eaten ham sandwich was found on the nightstand next to her bed, stories and jokes that she choked to death have cast a shadow on her legacy; despite the fact that it was noted in the coroner's report that no food was found in the singer's trachea. Another unfounded rumor was that Elliott died of a heroin overdose -- despite the fact that no narcotics were found in her blood stream.
Cass Elliot remains one of the most significant and brilliant voices of her generation, and was able to embody literally every type of music she sang. She will forever be remembered for the Mamas & The Papas' string of timeless hits, including "Go Where You Wanna Go," "California Dreamin’," "Monday, Monday," "I Saw Her Again," "Dedicated To The One I Love," "Creeque Alley," and her solo spotlight, "Dream A Little Dream Of Me," among countless others. There was quite possibly no other singer of the 1960's more highly revered than "Mama" Cass.
Coming on November 4th is the Doobie Brothers' latest album, called Southbound. The new set features the Doobies teaming up with country heavyweight for new renditions of their classic hits. Among the artists included on the set are Blake Shelton, Toby Keith, Brad Paisley, and the Zac Brown Band, among others. Also joining in is former full-time Doobie, keyboardist Michael McDonald.
The Doobie Brothers' co-founder Tom Johnston explained that the public’s love for the band has been awe inspiring over the years, telling, Lagniappemobile.com, "We’ve been very fortunate that we’ve had radio support for our music for years. That’s been great, and it’s been extremely helpful in many ways. As far as how the songs have withstood the tests of time. . . I know people come up to me often and say that a song got them through a rough time, or they associate it with their college years. They associate it with something that they did in their lives. It could big, or it could be small. It could have been fun, or it could have been a drag. Some guy went into the Vietnam War, and our music helped him get through it. It could be some gal that says that she got married listening to our songs. They all have something in common in that something that touched their lives is associated with a song."
It was 49 years ago today (July 29th, 1965) that the Beatles' second film Help! had its world premiere at the London Pavilion in Piccadilly Circus. The movie, which poked fun at the burgeoning British spy film genre made famous by the James Bond films, featured the comedic plot of a group of far-eastern fundamentalists trying to retrieve a "sacrificial ring" that a member of their congregation had sent to Ringo Starr in a fan letter.
In the film, the Beatles are chased through London, the Austrian Alps, and the Bahamas by both the religious cult and a pair of bumbling scientists who are convinced that possessing the ring would enable them to rule the world. Help! not only heavily influenced the TV show The Monkees, which debuted the following year, but also helped pave the way for MTV with its clever use of separate song clips throughout the movie.
John Lennon told Rolling Stone in 1970 that it was Richard Lester, who had also directed the group's first movie A Hard Day's Night, who had complete control of the film. Lennon recalled, "The movie was out of our control. With A Hard Day's Night, we had a lot of input, and it was semi-realistic. I realize now that (Help!) was a precursor to Batman's 'Pow!' Wow!' But Dick Lester never explained that to us." Lennon said in that same interview that he and the rest of the group, "Felt like extras in our own film." He also admitted that the group's performance was less than spectacular, due in part to them "smoking marijuana for breakfast."
Metallica's second album, Ride The Lightning, turns 30 years old this week and drummer Lars Ulrich and guitarist Kirk Hammett spoke with Rolling Stone about the record and its place in Metallica's history. Asked if Metallica was trying to make a different album from its debut, 1983's Kill 'Em All, Ulrich replied, "It was the first time that the four of us wrote together and we got a chance to broaden our horizons. I don't think it was a conscious effort to break away from anything musically . . . we were obviously still into the thrash type of stuff. But we were realizing you had to be careful that it didn't become too limiting or one-dimensional."