Tuesday, June 27, 1972

Led Zeppelin recorded for live box set, How the West Was Won (June 25 and 27)

June 1972: Led Zeppelin How the West Was Won box set recorded
First posted 11/16/2020.

How the West Was Won

Led Zeppelin


Released: May 27, 2003


Recorded: live June 25 and 27, 1972


Peak: 11 US, 5 UK, 11 CN, -- AU


Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, -- UK, 2.0 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: classic rock


Tracks:

Song Title [time] (date of single release, chart peaks for original studio releases) Click for codes to singles charts. The raised numbers after the song indicate the original studio album from which the album is taken.

Disc 1:

  1. LA Drone [0:14]
  2. Immigrant Song [3:42] (11/14/70, 16 US, 8 CB, 10 HR, 1 CL, 4 CN, 16 AU) 3
  3. Heartbreaker [7:25] (3/4/70, 65 US, 1 CL) 2
  4. Black Dog [5:41] (12/18/71, 15 US, 9 CB, 10 HR, 1 CL, 11 CN, 9 AU) 4
  5. Over the Hills and Far Away [5:08] (6/9/73, 51 US, 28 CB, 31 HR, 1 CL, 63 CN) 5
  6. Since I’ve Been Loving You [8:02] (9 CL) 3
  7. Stairway to Heaven [9:38] (11/24/07, 30 US, 1 CL, 37 UK, 17 CN) 4
  8. Going to California [5:37] (1 CL) 4
  9. That’s the Way [5:54] (11 CL) 3
  10. Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp [4:55] (13 CL) 3

Disc 2:

  1. Dazed and Confused / (1 CL) 1
    Walter’s Walk /
    The Crunge (18 CL) 5 [25:25]
  2. What Is and What Should Never Be [4:41] (3 CL) 2
  3. Dancing Days [3:42] (6 CL) 5
  4. Moby Dick [19:20] (14 CL) 2

Disc 3:

  1. Whole Lotta Love / (11/15/69, 4 US, 2 CB, 4 HR, 1 CL, 21 UK, 2 CN, 1 AU) 2
    Boogie Chillun/Let’s Have a Party/Hello Mary Lou/Going Down Slow [23:07]
  2. Rock and Roll [3:56] (3/11/72, 47 US, 42 CB, 38 HR, 1 CL, 38 CN, 51 AU) 4
  3. The Ocean [4:21] (2 CL) 5
  4. Bring It on Home/Bring It on Back [9:30] (9 CL)

1 Led Zeppelin I (1969)
2 Led Zeppelin II (1969)
3 Led Zeppelin III (1970)
4 Led Zeppelin IV (1971)
5 Houses of the Holy (1973)


Total Running Time: 150:27


The Players:

  • Robert Plant (vocals, harmonica)
  • Jimmy Page (guitar, mandolin, backing vocals)
  • John Paul Jones (bass, keyboards, mandolin, backing vocals)
  • John Bonham (drums, percussion, backing vocals)

Rating:

4.221 out of 5.00 (average of 16 ratings)


Quotable: “For anybody who really loves hard rock & roll, it doesn’t get much better than this.” – Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide


Awards:

About the Album:

This recording was made from two live shows in California in 1972 – one at the L.A. Forum on June 25 and the other from the Long Beach Arena two days later. The two shows were bootlegged for years, but this was the first chance fans had to heard official soundboard recordings of the concerts. WK

“The end result is worth the wait.” AMG Jimmy Page, the band’s guitarist and the album’s producer, “has assembled a killer live album that captures the full, majestic sweep of Zeppelin.” AMG Page says in the liner notes that he considered the band to be at their artistic peak at this time. “For anybody who really loves hard rock & roll, it doesn’t get much better than this.” AMG This is an “absolutely essential” AMG “priceless souvenir.” AMG

Throughout the album, “songs that have grown familiar through years of play seem fresh and new because of these vigorous, muscular performances.” AMG The long numbers – Dazed and Confused, Whole Lotta Love, and Moby Dick – “are alternatingly fascinating and indulgent, yet even when they meander there is a real sense of grandeur, achieving a cinematic scale attempted by few of their peers.” AMG

However, “the real power of the band comes through on the shorter songs, where etheir sound is distilled to its essence.” AMG “Witness how Black Dog goes straight for the gut here, while the studio version escalates into a veritable guitar army – it’s the same song, but the song has not remained the same.” AMG

How the West Was Won debuted at #1 on the Billboard album chart, demonstrating the lasting power of Led Zeppelin that a three-decades old recordings could still reach the pinnacle.

It also showed how much Led Zep fans wanted a good, official live album from the band. The Song Remains the Same was a live soundtrack released while the band was still active, but “it was a choppy, uneven performance, lacking the majesty of the group at its peak.” AMG In 1997, a double-disc album of BBC sessions from 1969 was released, but it wasn’t recorded in front of a live audience.

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Saturday, June 24, 1972

Eagles chart with debut album

First posted 3/26/2008; updated 10/17/2020.

Eagles

Eagles


Charted: June 24, 1972


Peak: 22 US, -- UK, 13 CN, -- AU


Sales (in millions): 1.92 US, 0.06 UK, 3.0 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: country rock


Tracks: Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Take It Easy (6/3/72, 12 US, 1 CL, 12 AC, 8 CN, 49 AU)
  2. Witchy Woman (9/9/72, 9 US, 5 CL, 8 CN, 81 AU)
  3. Chug All Night
  4. Most of Us Are Sad
  5. Nightingale
  6. Train Leaves Here This Morning
  7. Take the Devil
  8. Early Bird
  9. Peaceful, Easy Feeling (12/30/72, 22 US, 5 CL, 20 AC, 35 CN)
  10. Tryin’


Total Running Time: 36:43


The Players:

  • Glenn Frey (vocals, guitar)
  • Don Henley (vocals, drums)
  • Bernie Leadon (guitar, vocals, banjo)
  • Randy Meisner (bass, vocals)

Rating:

3.681 out of 5.00 (average of 19 ratings)


Awards:

About the Album:

“Balance is the key element of the Eagles’ self-titled debut album, a collection that contains elements of rock & roll, folk, and country, overlaid by vocal harmonies alternately suggestive of doo wop, the Beach Boys, and the Everly Brothers.” AMG

“If the group kicks up its heels on rockers like Chug All Night, Nightingale, and Tryin’, it is equally convincing on ballads like Most of Us Are Sad and Train Leaves Here This Morning.” AMG

“The album is also balanced among its members, who trade off on lead vocal chores and divide the songwriting such that Glenn Frey, Bernie Leadon, and Randy Meisner all get three writing or co-writing credits. Fourth member Don Henley, with only one co-writing credit and two lead vocals, falls a little behind, while Jackson Browne, Gene Clark, and Jack Tempchin also figure in the writing credits.” AMG

“The album’s overall balance is worth keeping in mind because it produced three Top 40 hit singles…that do not reflect that balance. Take It Easy and Peaceful Easy Feeling are similar-sounding mid-tempo folk-rock tunes sung by Frey that express the same sort of laid-back philosophy, as indicated by the word ‘easy’ in both titles, while Witchy Woman, a Henley vocal and co-composition, initiates the band’s career-long examination of supernaturally evil females.” AMG

“These are the songs one remembers from Eagles, and they look forward to the eventual dominance of the band by Frey and Henley. But the complete album from which they come belongs as much to Leadon’s country-steeped playing and singing and to Meisner’s melodic rock & roll feel, which, on the release date, made it seem a more varied and consistent effort than it did later, when the singles had become overly familiar.” AMG

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Wednesday, June 7, 1972

Grease opened on Broadway

First posted 2/24/2008; last updated 10/23/2020.

Grease

Warren Casey & Jim Jacobs (composers)

The Albums: This page offers an overview of the Grease Broadway show as well as the two major albums it birthed:

You can click on one of the links above to go directly to that part of the page or simply read on for a more complete background of Grease.


About the Broadway Show:

Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey’s show was named after the working-class youth subculture known as greasers. It “was an affectionate little musical about the teenage lifestyle of the late 1950s — when rock and roll was aborning, the cool boys sported heavily gelled hair and motorcycle jackets, and their girls favored beehive hairdos and pedal pushers.” CA Set at the fictional Rydell High School in 1959, the story follows a group of adolescents navigating issues such as peer pressure, friendship, love, sex, teen pregnancy, and rebellion. “Grease skillfully walks the line between parody and homage.” CA

Jacobs explained that the basic plot in which the female lead transforms from a sensitive character into a more rebellious one was a “subversion of common tropes of 1950s cinema” W-C in which the tough male lead would become a more sympathetic character.

The show was first performed in Chicago in the Kingston Mines nightclub in 1971. On February 14, 1972, it opened Off-Broadway at the Eden Theatre in New York. On June 7, 1972, it moved to Broadway, first at the Broadhurst Theatre and then the Royale Theatre, where it ran until January 27, 1980. W-C Its 3,388-performance run there was the longest in history, until it was surpassed in 1983 by A Chorus Line. W-C

Grease

cast album


Opened on Broadway: June 7, 1972


Peak: -- US, -- UK, -- CN, -- AU


Sales (in millions): -- US, 0.3 UK, 0.3 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: show tunes

Tracks:

  1. Alma Mater
  2. Alma Mater (Parody)
  3. Summer Nights
  4. Those Magic Changes
  5. Freddy, My Love
  6. Greased Lightnin’
  7. Mooning
  8. Look at Me, I’m Sandra Dee
  9. We Go Together
  10. It’s Raining on Prom Night
  11. Born to Hand Jive
  12. Beauty School Dropout
  13. Alone at a Drive-In Movie
  14. Rock ‘N’ Roll Party Queen
  15. There Are Worse Things I Could Do
  16. Look at Me, I’m Sandra Dee (Reprise)
  17. All Choked Up
  18. We Go Together (Reprise)

All songs written by Warren Casey and Jim Jacobs.


Total Running Time: 46:38

Rating:

3.663 out of 5.00
(average of 4 ratings)

About the Cast Album:

A cast recording was made in 1972 which featured the original Broadway cast. “Barry Bostwick is terrific as lead greaser Danny, and Carole Demas sounds just right as Danny’s sweet girlfriend, Sandy. Among the other standouts in the cast are Katie Hanley, Walter Bobbie, and Kathi Moss.” CA

“The melodies, rhythms, harmonies, and arrangements of the songs are clever knockoffs of popular ’50s hits, very catchy and buoyed by some clever lyrics. (Example, from Freddy, My Love: ‘I treasure every giftie / The ring was really nifty / You said it cost you fifty / So you’re thrifty / I don’t mind.’).” CA

“Other highlights include Summer Nights, which amusingly presents a boy’s and a girl’s different descriptions of their summer romance; the infectious Those Magic Changes, sung by a kid who’s thrown himself wholeheartedly into guitar lessons; It’s Raining on Prom Night, an oddly touching, funny lament over a lost high-school love (sample lyric: ‘I don’t even have my corsage, oh gee / It fell down a sewer with my sister’s I.D.’),” CA and “We Go Together, ”a bouncy anthem of teenage unity.” CA

“The score does contain one serious number, and it’s a good one: There Are Worse Things I Could Do, sung by Rizzo, whose outward toughness masks her vulnerability. Adrienne Barbeau gives the song a moving, well sung performance.” CA

“This is a show for people who lived through the ‘50s and would now like to remember it only for its high school fashions, teenage emotional concerns, and bouncy rock & roll tunes.” WR

Grease

soundtrack


Released: April 14, 1978


Peak: 112 US, 113 UK, 17 CN, 114 AU


Sales (in millions): 14.0 US, 2.37 UK, 40.4 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: show tunes

Tracks:

Song Title (Writers) (PERFORMERS) (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Grease (Barry Gibb) (FRANKIE VALLI) (5/27/78, 1 US, 3 UK, 13 AC, 40 RB, sales: 1.0 m)
  2. Summer Nights (OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN / JOHN TRAVOLTA / CAST) (8/5/78, 5 US, 1 UK, 21 AC, sales: 0.5 m)
  3. Hopelessly Devoted to You (John Farrar) (OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN) (7/8/78, 3 US, 2 UK, 7 AC, 20 CW, sales: 0.5 m)
  4. You’re the One That I Want (John Farrar) (OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN / JOHN TRAVOLTA) (4/1/78, 1 US, 1 UK, 23 AC, sales: 1.0 m)
  5. Sandy(Louis St. Louis, Scott Simon) (JOHN TRAVOLTA) (10/7/78, 2 UK)
  6. Beauty School Dropout (FRANKIE AVALON)
  7. Look at Me, I’m Sandra Dee (STOCKARD CHANNING)
  8. Greased Lightnin’ (JOHN TRAVOLTA) (9/30/78, 47 US, 11 UK)
  9. It’s Raining on Prom Night (CINDY BULLENS)
  10. Alone at a Drive-in Movie (BILL OAKES)
  11. Blue Moon (Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart) (SHA NA NA)
  12. Rock & Roll Is Here to Stay (David White) (SHA NA NA)
  13. Those Magic Changes (SHA NA NA)
  14. Hound Dog (Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller) (SHA NA NA)
  15. Born to Hand Jive (SHA NA NA)
  16. Tears on My Pillow (Sylvester Bradford, Al Lewis) (SHA NA NA)
  17. Mooning (LOUIS SAINT LOUIS / CINDY BULLENS)
  18. Freddy, My Love (CINDY BULLENS)
  19. Rock & Roll Party Queen (LOUIS SAINT LOUIS)
  20. Look at Me, I’m Sandra Dee (OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN)
  21. We Go Together (OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN / JOHN TRAVOLTA)
  22. Love Is a Many Splendored Thing (Samm Fain, Paul Francis Webster) (BILL OAKES)
  23. Grease (Reprise) (Barry Gibb) (FRANKIE VALLI)

Songs are written by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey unless noted otherwise.


Total Running Time: 61:14

Rating:

4.300 out of 5.00
(average of 14 ratings)


Awards:

About the Soundtrack:

“Grease will always be the word for hopelessly devoted generations of girls who wore out their record players partying with their own Pink Ladies to this soundtrack.” ZS The “high-camp classic” ZS whisked listeners away “to the ‘50s teeny-bopper days” ZS by boasting “summer-loving hits that will be on karaoke playlists until the end of time.” ZS

“The movie is a 1970s take on 1950s musicals, providing all the kitsch anyone could hope for.” AZGrease was a huge success as a Broadway musical prior to hitting the big screen in 1978. That was the version that transformed Grease into a phenomenon – it was a runaway box office success, and then became a TV, cable, and video favorite.” STE The soundtrack, the sixth best-selling of all time, W-S “rivaled its film counterpart as a pop culture perennial, and it’s not hard to see why – its good-natured pastiche of doo wop and early rock & roll is infectious and charming, due in no small part to John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John’s charismatic, engaging performances.” STE

They actually only appear on 7 of the 24 tracks on the album, but “they sing the majority of the originals… which were the reason why the film and soundtrack became blockbusters.” STE The pair duet on You’re the One That I Want and sing with the cast on Summer Nights. Both sangs hit #1 in the UK and rank in the 20 best-selling singles of all-time in the UK. W-S

Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta took solo turns on Hopelessly Devoted to You and Sandy respectively. They were also hugely successful in the UK, both hitting #2. The former was a #3 hit in the US as well.

Songs by other cast members include Look at Me, I’m Sandra Dee, in which “actress Stockard Channing struts her, um, versatility.” AZ The rest of the soundtrack is filled out by “workmanlike performances” STE of 1950s’ chestnuts from Sha Na Na. While they are “over-represented,” AZ the soundtrack’s original songs, which “hold up better than the ‘50s tunes,” STE “are so giddily enjoyable…that everything works.” STE

Most of the songs from the original show are retained, but the hits which propelled the soundtrack into the stratosphere were largely new editions. That includes a pair of John Farrar contributions, including “You’re the One That I Want” and “Hopelessly Devoted to You.” The soundtrack also includes some rock and roll chestnuts such as Hound Dog, Blue Moon, and Tears on My Pillow performed by Sha Na Na.

The title song was sung by ‘50s heartthrob Frankie Valli and penned by Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees, fresh from his success from Saturday Night Fever. In that movie, Travolta became an internationally-known star strutting his disco white-suit-wearing stuff while dancing to four chart-topping songs penned by Gibb. In Grease, Travolta strutted his jeans-and-T-shirt-wearing stuff while dancing with Olivia Newton-John – and four more top-five US hits.

This soundtrack bears several interesting connections to that one. Only three weeks after Fever ended its six-month residency at the top of the US charts, the Grease soundtrack moved in for a summer-long stay. Fever was the best-selling album of 1977; Grease held the title for 1978. Both rank in the all-time top 100 worldwide best-selling albums with estimates as high as 40 million. Both soundtracks are also in the DMDB’s list of the top 50 soundtracks and rank amongst the biggest #1 albums in U.S. and U.K. chart history. Both albums are also in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame/NARM’s Definitive Albums list.

“The sleek pop production the movie’s soundtrack boasts and the cast’s enthusiastic performances go a long way in making this Grease the definitive Grease.” STE “This has become a touchstone in American culture.” AZ


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Tuesday, June 6, 1972

David Bowie released Ziggy Stardust

First posted 2/20/2008; updated 10/15/2020.

The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars

David Bowie


Released: June 6, 1972


Peak: 21 US, 5 UK, -- CN, 11 AU


Sales (in millions): 0.5 US, 1.5 UK, 7.5 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: glam rock


Tracks:

Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Five Years [4:43] (18 CL)
  2. Soul Love [3:33]
  3. Moonage Daydream [4:39] (12 CL)
  4. Starman [4:13] (4/14/72, 65 US, 3 CL, 10 UK, 37 AU)
  5. It Ain’t Easy (Davies) [2:57]
  6. Lady Stardust [3:21]
  7. Star [2:46]
  8. Hang on to Yourself [2:38]
  9. Ziggy Stardust [3:13] (11/24/72, 2 CL)
  10. Suffragette City [3:25] (4/14/72, 3 CL)
  11. Rock & Roll Suicide [2:58] (4/11/74, 27 CL, 22 UK)

Songs written by David Bowie unless otherwise noted.


Total Running Time: 38:29


The Players:

  • David Bowie (vocals, guitar, saxophone)
  • Mick Ronson (guitar, keyboards, backing vocals)
  • Trevor Bolder (bass, trumpet)
  • Mick Woodmansey (drums)
  • Rick Wakeman (harpsichord on “It Ain’t Easy”)
  • Dana Gillespie (backing vocals on “It Ain’t Easy”)

Rating:

4.593 out of 5.00 (average of 25 ratings)


Quotable: “A grand sense of staged drama previously unheard of in rock & roll.” – Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide


Awards:

About the Album:

“After flirting with heavy guitar rock (The Man Who Sold the World) and lighter pop (Hunky Dory), Bowie found middle ground on Ziggy Stardust.” AZ It was “constructed as a loose concept album about an androgynous alien rock star named Ziggy Stardust” AMG “whose mission is to offer sex and salvation to earthlings.” TL The character was inspired by British rock singer Vince Taylor, who, after a breakdown, believed he was “a cross between a god and an alien.” WK The persona allowed Bowie to to “explore and flaunt his own hunger for stardom.” JI

“The story falls apart quickly, yet Bowie’s fractured, paranoid lyrics are evocative of a decadent, decaying future, and the music echoes an apocalyptic, nuclear dread.” AMG However, the “Ziggy Stardust persona would live on well after Bowie shed the alien skin.” AZ As Bowie himself said, “I became Ziggy Stardust…David Bowie went totally out the window...I got hopelessly lost in the fantasy.’” TL

“That self-conscious sense of theater is part of the reason why Ziggy Stardust sounds so foreign. Bowie succeeds not in spite of his pretensions but because of them, and Ziggy Stardust – familiar in structure, but alien in performance — is the first time his vision and execution met in such a grand, sweeping fashion.” AMG

Musically, the album was a “glitzy array of riffs, hooks, melodrama, and style” AMG that allowed Bowie to pair his “arty, theatrical ambitions with crunching, arena-ready rock.” TL Mixed into his “off-kilter metallic mix” AMG were “dramatic strings, swaggering saxophones, jagged guitars, and theatrical arrangements” AZ which all resulted in “the logical culmination of glam.” AMG

Of course, Bowie didn’t invent glam, but Ziggy expertly blended “Marc Bolan’s glam rock and the future shock of A Clockwork Orange,” AMG effectively “setting in motion the glam rock movement that echoed from Alice Cooper to Marilyn Manson.” TL

Bowie’s stamp on glam came with the album’s first single, Starman. It “revealed an androgynous glam creation to a generation of young dudes eager for flamboyant imagery and hard-edged pop. The new fans lapped up such gestures as the key Top of the Pops appearance when Bowie, vermilion-haired in a skintight jumpsuit and painted nails, camply slung a provocative arm around Mick Ronson during the guitarist’s solo.” JI

Songs like that certainly “provided plenty of stage-worthy moments when Ziggy toured in the ‘70s, but years later they still thrill.” AZ The album also thrilled with other theatrics. “Lady Stardust, Five Years, and Rock 'n' Roll Suicide have a grand sense of staged drama previously unheard of in rock & roll.” AMG The latter is a dramatic climax in which “Ziggy is torn apart by the fans he inspired.” TL

In addition, “Ronson plays with a maverick flair that invigorates rockers like Suffragette City, Moonage Daydream, and Hang Onto Yourself.” AMG Songs like those and It Ain’t Easy “still serve as solid excursions into the future (then and now) of rock.” AZ

While the album does have a sense of gloom, songs like “the buoyant ‘Hang on to Yourself’ and the dreamy Star offer hints of optimism in Ziggy’s bleak world.” AZ


Notes: The 1990 Rykodisc reissue added an unreleased mix of non-album single “John, I’m Only Dancing,” B-side “Velvet Goldmine,” the unreleased “Sweet Head,” and previously unreleased demo versions of “Ziggy Stardust” and “Lady Stardust.”

In 2002, EMI/Virgin released a 2-disc package. The second disc contained the above tracks as well as alternate versions of “Moonage Daydream,” “Hang on to Yourself,” and “The Supermen” along with “Amsterdam,” “Round and Round,” and a re-recording of “Holy Holy.” The three latter cuts were all released as B-sides, but were intended at one time to be on the album.

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