8 Jul, 2024

July 8 in Music History

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July 8 in Music History

On this day today:

1947 - The Roswell Daily Record in New Mexico reports an alleged crash of an alien aircraft near a local ranch with the headline "RAAF Captures Flying Saucer In Roswell Region." This event would inspire numerous songs about extraterrestrials and flying saucers in the coming decades, including David Bowie's "Starman," Megadeth's "Hangar 18," and Radiohead's "Subterranean Homesick Alien."

1961 - Andy Fletcher, a founding member of the iconic electronic band Depeche Mode, was born in Nottingham, England. Fletcher played a crucial role in the band's formation and success, contributing to their distinctive sound that blends synth-pop, new wave, and electronic music. As the band's keyboardist and occasional bass guitarist, he helped shape Depeche Mode's influential and enduring legacy in the music world.

1962 - Joan Osborne, the acclaimed singer-songwriter known for her soulful voice and hit single "One of Us," was born in Anchorage, Kentucky. Osborne grew up in a musical family and was influenced by a variety of genres, including blues, folk, and rock. She moved to New York City in the late 1980s to pursue a music career, performing in clubs and eventually signing with Mercury Records. Her breakthrough album, "Relish," released in 1995, garnered critical acclaim and commercial success, earning multiple Grammy nominations and establishing her as a prominent figure in the music industry.

1969 - Singer and actress Marianne Faithfull, who was Mick Jagger's girlfriend at the time, attempts suicide with barbiturates on the set of the film "Ned Kelly," in which Mick also starred. As a result, she is dropped from the cast. Faithfull eventually recovers and, upon waking from her coma, tells friends that "wild horses couldn't drag me away." This phrase inspires The Rolling Stones' song "Wild Horses."
1970 - Beck was born Bek David Campbell in Los Angeles, California. He chose to adopt his mother Bibbe Hansen's surname, Hansen, as a nod to her background as a former protégé of Andy Warhol, blending family history into his own artistic journey.

1971 - A mini-riot during a Mott The Hoople concert led to London's Royal Albert Hall temporarily banning rock groups from performing at the venue.
1972 - Bill Withers' "Lean On Me" reaches #1 in America, resonating as a timeless message of compassion and support. In 1989, it serves as the theme song for the movie "Lean On Me," which portrays the challenges faced by a troubled school and its determined principal.

1978 - After dominating the charts with a disco fever for six months at #1, the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack is finally dethroned by Gerry Rafferty's "City to City."

1981 - The Go-Go's release their debut album, "Beauty and the Beat," which achieves the remarkable feat of reaching #1 on the US charts. This milestone makes them the first all-female band to accomplish this achievement in music history.

1995 - TLC began a seven-week reign at No. 1 on the US singles chart with 'Waterfalls,' their second chart-topping hit in the US and a No. 4 hit in the UK. The music video for the song mirrored its socially conscious lyrics. With a substantial budget of one million dollars, the video became a fixture on MTV, significantly boosting the song's popularity. In 1995, the video won four MTV Video Music Awards, including Video of the Year, marking a historic achievement as TLC became the first African-American act to receive this prestigious trophy.

1996 - The Spice Girls release their debut single, "Wannabe," in the UK, quickly soaring to #1 and igniting Spice-mania worldwide. The single's success prompts its release in the US in January 1997, where it also climbs to the top spot on the charts.

1997 - Weezer fan club founders Mykel Allan, 31, and her sister Carli, 29, tragically lost their lives along with their younger sister, Trysta, in a car accident in Colorado while returning from one of the band's shows. The sisters, known for their support and friendship with many emerging Los Angeles-based bands, were commemorated through several tribute songs, including Weezer's "Mykel and Carli" and Jimmy Eat World's "Hear You Me."
2000 - "The Real Slim Shady" debuts at #1 on the UK Singles chart, marking Eminem's first chart-topper in the UK. It would take another two years before he achieved his first #1 single in America with "Lose Yourself."

2002 - Michael Jackson publicly criticized several music industry executives, accusing them of racism. He singled out Tommy Mottola, head of Sony Music at the time, labeling him as "very, very, very devilish" during his tirade.
2003 - A tooth from Elvis Presley's mouth, once belonging to former girlfriend Linda Thompson, was auctioned on eBay. Alongside a lock of his hair and a gold record, the tooth fetched over $100,000.
2007 - The Chemical Brothers achieved their sixth UK album chart-topping success with "We Are The Night," marking their fifth consecutive album to reach #1. The album also earned them a Grammy Award for Best Electronic/Dance Album at the 50th Grammy Awards ceremony.

2023 - Elton John concludes his farewell tour with a final show in Stockholm. Spanning from 2018, the tour captivated audiences in 22 countries, drawing more than 6 million fans. It achieved a landmark as the highest-grossing tour, amassing over $900 million, though this record was later surpassed by Taylor Swift's Eras tour just months afterward.

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