Simply Red – A new flame (The ’59) #190

The ’59 2018 #190: 180709

Simply Red – A new flame (1989)

Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, has now turned 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. Currently we’re at year 31 – 1989.

A New Flame was the third album from Simply Red, released in February 1989. It was a huge success worldwide, becoming the band’s first UK number one album and certified 7x Platinum by the BPI for sales of 2,100,000 copies in the UK alone.

The album’s lead single “If You Don’t Know Me by Now”, written by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, was originally written for Labelle but they never recorded it. However Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes made it a hit in 1972. Covered by a number of artists subsequently, the Simply Red version took it to No.1 in the UK and the US.

 

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Sade – Diamond Life (The ’59) #163

The ’59 2018 #163: 180612

Sade – Diamond Life (1984)

This year, Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, turns 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. Currently we’re at year 26 – 1984

Diamond Life was Sade’s  debut studio album  released in the United Kingdom on 16 July 1984 by Epic Records and in the United States on 27 February 1985 by Portrait Records.

After studying fashion design, and later modelling, Sade Adu began backup singing with a band called ‘Pride’ which, with Paul Anthony Cook, Paul Denman and Stuart Matthewman became ‘Sade’. Following various demos and performances, Sade received interest from record labels and later signed to Epic.

Recording for the album began in 1983 at The Power Plant in London and took a total of six weeks to complete.

Upon release, Diamond Life was met with acclaim from music critics and went on to win the Brit Award for Best British Album in 1985. Commercially the album was a success charting highly in the UK and US,  It spawned four singles including the hit singles “Your Love Is King” and “Smooth Operator”.

Grace Jones – Living my life (The ’59) #151

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Grace Jones – Living my life (1982)

This year, Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, turns 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. Currently we’re at year 24 – 1982

Living My Life is the sixth studio album by Grace Jones, released in 1982. It was the last of three albums she recorded at the Compass Point Studios in the Bahamas.

Michael Jackson – Thriller (The ’59) #145

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Michael Jackson – Thriller (1982)

This year, Jem of Jemtunes, born in 1959, turns 59. So ‘The ’59’ celebrates 59 years of cracking tunes with a few albums from each year – 1959 through 2018. Today we’ve reached year 24 – 1982.

The late Michael Jackson released his sixth album on November 30, 1982.

Then, in just over a year, Thriller became — and currently remains — the world’s best-selling album, with estimated sales of 66 million copies.

It won a record-breaking eight Grammy Awards in 1984, including Album of the Year and produced seven singles — “The Girl Is Mine”, “Billie Jean”, “Beat It”, “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin'”, “Human Nature”, “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)”, and “Thriller” — all of which reached the top 10.

Thriller also broke racial barriers in pop music, enabling Jackson’s appearances on MTV and meeting with President Ronald Reagan at the White House. The album was one of the first to use music videos as successful promotional tools, and the videos for the songs “Thriller”, “Billie Jean”, and “Beat It” all received regular rotation on MTV.

In 2001, a special edition reissue was released, which contains additional audio interviews, demo recordings and the song “Someone in the Dark”, a Grammy-winning track from the E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial storybook. In 2008, it was reissued again as Thriller 25, containing remixes with contemporary artists, previously unreleased songs, and a DVD with three music videos and Jackson’s performance of “Billie Jean” from the 1983 television special Motown 25.

In the same year, the album was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

The electrifying Aretha Franklin (“The ’59”) #030

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The Electrifying Aretha Franklin (1962)

Aretha Franklin’s third studio album, was released on March 19, 1962 by Columbia Records. It’s also known under its working title The Incomparable Aretha Franklin and was recorded at Columbia Recording Studios, 799 Seventh Avenue, New York. It was produced by John Hammond and arranged by Richard Wess.

Ben E King – Don’t play that song (“The ’59”) #028

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Ben E King – Don’t Play that Song (1962)

Don’t Play That Song! was the third studio album from Ben E. King. It was released by Atlantic Records as an LP in 1962 and was home to five notable singles: “Stand by Me”, “Ecstasy”, “First Taste of Love”, “Here Comes the Night”, and the title track, “Don’t Play That Song (You Lied)”

The Staple Singers – Swing Low (“The ’59”) #021

“The ’59” 2018 #021: 180121

The Staple Singers – Swing Low (1961)

“Swing Low” was the second album by The Staple Singers, released on VeeJay Records in 1961.

The Staple Singers were an American gospel, soul and R&B singing group. Roebuck “Pops” Staples (1914–2000), the patriarch of the family, formed the group with his children Cleotha (1934–2013), Pervis (b. 1935), and Mavis (b. 1939). Yvonne (b. 1936) replaced her brother when he was drafted into the U.S. Army, and again in 1970. They are best known for their 1970s hits “Respect Yourself”, “I’ll Take You There”, “If You’re Ready (Come Go with Me)”, and “Let’s Do It Again”, which with one exception (“I’ll Take You There”) peaked on the Hot 100 within a week from Christmas Day. While the family name is Staples, the group used “Staple” commercially.

Roebuck Staples moved from Mississippi to Chicago after his marriage, and worked in steel mills and meat packing plants while his family of four children grew up. The family began appearing in Chicago-area churches in 1948, their first public singing appearance being at the Mount Zion Church, Chicago, where Roebuck’s brother, the Rev. Chester Staples, was pastor.

They signed their first professional contract in 1952. During their early career, they recorded in an acoustic gospel-folk style with various labels: United Records, Vee-Jay Records (their “Uncloudy Day” and “Will the Circle Be Unbroken?” were best sellers), Checker Records, Riverside Records, and then Epic Records in 1965. “Uncloudy Day” was an early influence on Bob Dylan, who said of it in 2015…

It was the most mysterious thing I’d ever heard… I’d think about them even at my school desk…Mavis looked to be about the same age as me in her picture (on the cover of “Uncloudy Day”)…Her singing just knocked me out…And Mavis was a great singer—deep and mysterious. And even at the young age, I felt that life itself was a mystery.