The ’59 2018 #158: 180607
Prince – Purple Rain (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. Today we’ve reached year 26 – 1984.
Purple Rain was the sixth studio album from Prince, the first to feature his band the Revolution, and is the soundtrack to the 1984 film of the same name. It was released on June 25, 1984 by Warner Bros. Records.
The first two singles from the album, “When Doves Cry” and “Let’s Go Crazy”, topped the US singles charts, and were hits around the world, while the title track went to number two on the Billboard Hot 100.
Purple Rain is regularly ranked among the best albums in music history and is widely regarded as Prince’s magnum opus along with his 1987 double album Sign o’ the Times (featuring in ‘The ’59) on 26 June).
The ’59 2018 #114: 180424
Led Zeppelin – The song remains the same (1976)
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 18 – 1976.
The recording of The song remains the same and the film of the same name took place during three nights of concerts at New York’s Madison Square Garden, during the band’s 1973 North American tour. All songs were recorded by Eddie Kramer using the Wally Heider Mobile Studio truck, and later mixed at Electric Lady Studios in New York and Trident Studios in London.
The album was released on 22 October 1976, by Swan Song Records. The sleeve design depicted a dilapidated movie house located on Old Street film studios in London, which was used by the group for rehearsals prior to their 1973 tour.
Until both the album and the film were remastered and re-released in 2007, there were significant differences between the two in terms of the songs included on each.
- The film included “Black Dog”, but not “Celebration Day”.
- The soundtrack album included “Celebration Day”, but not “Black Dog”.
- The film also included “Since I’ve Been Loving You”, the introduction to “Heartbreaker”, the instrumental “Bron-Yr-Aur” (which appeared on Physical Graffiti) and a hurdy-gurdy piece called “Autumn Lake”, none of which were featured on the album.
In addition some of the recordings featured on the album were of different performances from those in the film. Other tracks which were recorded at Madison Square Garden, but omitted from both the film and the soundtrack album, included “Over The Hills and Far Away”, “The Ocean” and “Misty Mountain Hop”
The ’59 2018 #094: 180404
The Who – Quadrophenia (1973)
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. We’re currently at year 15 – 1973.
Quadrophenia is the sixth studio album from The Who, released on 26 October 1973 by Track Records. It is a double album and the group’s second rock opera. The story follows a young mod named Jimmy and his search for self-worth and importance, set in London and Brighton in 1965. It is the only Who album to be entirely composed by Pete Townshend.
Quadrophenia (the movie) was shot mostly on location in Brighton in 1978. And, one Thursday morning, my then girlfriend and I happenstanced on one of the mob scenes for the beach clashes between mods and rockers. Cutting through a little twitten between Little East Street and East Street, we found the road closed to traffic and a seemingly angry mob behind a barrier a little way up. A security guard led us discretely away from the film set to watch the acting army do their thing from a distance.
Little did we realise at the time, but that little twitten we’d used as a shortcut was also part of the filmset and would become, years later, one of the most visited cult places in Brighton.
The ’59 2018 #065: 180306
The Beatles – Yellow Submarine (1969)
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. We’re currently at year 11 – 1969.
Yellow Submarine was the Beatles’ tenth studio album released on 13 January 1969 in the United States and on 17 January 1969 in the UK. It was issued as the soundtrack to the animated film of the same name, which premiered in London in July 1968. The album contains six songs by the Beatles, including four new songs and the previously released “Yellow Submarine” and “All You Need Is Love”. The remainder of the album is a re-recording of the film’s orchestral soundtrack by the band’s producer, George Martin.
The project was regarded as a contractual obligation by the Beatles, who were asked to supply four new songs for the film. Some songs were written and recorded specifically for the soundtrack, while others were unreleased tracks from other projects. The album was issued two months after the band’s self-titled double LP (also known as the “White Album”) and was therefore not viewed by the band as a significant release. Yellow Submarine has since been afforded a mixed reception from music critics, some of whom consider that it falls short of the high standard generally associated with the Beatles’ work. It reached the top 5 in the UK and the US, and has been reissued on compact disc several times.
The ’59 2018 #043: 180212
The Beatles – Help (1965)
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. We’re currently at year 7 – 1965.
Help! was the fifth studio album from the Beatles and the soundtrack from their film of the same name. Produced by George Martin and released on 6 August 1965, seven of its fourteen songs, including the singles “Help!” and “Ticket to Ride”, appeared in the film and took up the first side of the album. The second side contained seven other releases including the most-covered song ever written, “Yesterday”.
The American release was a true soundtrack album, mixing the first seven songs with instrumental material from the film. Of the other seven songs that were on the British release, two were released on the US version of the next Beatles album, Rubber Soul, two were back-to-back on the next US single and then appeared on Yesterday and Today, and three had already been on Beatles VI.
In 2012, Help! was voted 331st on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “500 Greatest Albums of All Time” and in September 2013, after the British Phonographic Industry changed their sales award rules, it was declared as having gone platinum.
“The ’59” 2018 #019: 180119
Cliff Richard & the Shadows – The Young Ones (1961)
‘The Young Ones’ was a soundtrack album by Cliff Richard and the Shadows to the film of the same name. It was produced by Norrie Paramor, with music by Ronald Cass and Stanley Black and topped the UK Albums and Singles Charts in 1961.
Move on some 20 years and ‘The Young Ones’ is a British sitcom, broadcast in the UK from 1982 to 1984 in two six-part series. Shown on BBC2, it featured anarchic, offbeat humour which helped bring alternative comedy to British television in the 1980s and made household names of its writers (Ben Elton, Alexi Sayle & Ricv Mayall) and performers (Richard Mayall, Adrian Edmondson, Nigel Planar, Christoper Ryan and Alexi Sayle).
“The ’59” 2018 #016: 180116
West Side Story – the original soundtrack (1961)
West Side Story is the soundtrack to the 1961 film of the same name. Released in 1961, the soundtrack spent 54 weeks at No. 1 on the album charts, giving it the longest run at No. 1 of any album in history. Some lists, however, instead credit Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’, on the grounds that West Side Story was listed on a chart for stereo albums only at a time when many albums were recorded in mono.
In 1962, it won a Grammy award for “Best Sound Track Album – Original Cast” and Johnny Richards orchestrations of the movie score (on Kenton’s West Side Story) also winning a Grammy in 1962 for “Best Large Ensemble Jazz Album” further bolstering the popularity of the movie and soundtrack. In the United States, it was the best-selling album of the 1960s,certifying three times platinum by the RIAA on November 21, 1986.
Though the album was released just a few years after the release of the original broadway cast recording, it is preferred by some to the earlier version both sentimentally, as the film succeeded in establishing the musical as a “popular masterpiece”, and musically, as it contains “beefier orchestration.