Friday, September 25, 1970

The Partridge Family debuted on TV: September 25, 1970

Originally posted September 25, 2011.

This American TV sitcom lasted four seasons, running 96 episodes on ABC. The show focused on a widowed mother and her five children embarking on a music career. The show was loosely based on The Cowsills, a music family who’d earned fame in the late ‘60s. The Partridge family focused on a recently widowed mother played by Shirley Jones. Her five children enlist her help to record a pop song. Her ten-year-old son Danny even hires a manager and the family musical group even hit the road for a tour.

Jones’ real-life stepson David Cassidy played Keith, the oldest of the kids. The other Partridges were played by Susan Dey (Laurie), Danny Bonaduce (Danny), Jeremy Gelbwaks (Chris), and Suzanne Crough (Tracy). When Jeremy’s family moved out of the Los Angeles area after the first season, Chris was recast with actor Brian Forster.

The Partridge Family produced eight albums, six of which went gold and three of which went top 10. David Cassidy and Shirley Jones were the only cast members actually featured on the recordings, singing lead and backup respectively. Studio musicians rounded out the group. The group charted nine Hot 100 hits, including the top 10 hits “Doesn’t Somebody Want to Be Wanted” and “I’ll Meet You Halfway”. The group’s debut single, “I Think I Love You”, charted on October 10, 1970 and went to #1. The song was written by Tony Romeo, who had written some of the Cowsills’ hits.

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Friday, September 18, 1970

Black Sabbath released Paranoid: September 18, 1970

Originally posted September 18, 2012.

image from

Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.) War Pigs / Paranoid (8/29/70; #61 US, #4 UK, #25 AR) / Planet Caravan / Iron Man (1/29/72; #52 US, #32 AR) / Electric Funeral / Hand of Doom / Rat Salad / Fairies Wear Boots

Sales (in millions): 4.0 US, -- UK, 4.0 world

Peak: 12 US, 1 1 UK


Review: Black Sabbath’s second album is “monolithic and primally powerful,” AMG “heavier than seven lead elephants [and] metaller than a fork factory.” VB It was the group’s most successful record and “stands as one of the greatest and most influential heavy metal albums of all time.” AMGParanoid refined Black Sabbath’s signature sound – crushingly loud, minor-key dirges loosely based on heavy blues-rock – and applied it to a newly consistent set of songs with utterly memorable riffs, most of which now rank as all-time metal classics.” AMG The album “perfectly captured the rage, confusion and, yes, paranoia of the Vietnam era.” GW “Nearly every heavy-metal and extreme rock band of the last three decades…owes [it] a debt of worship.” RS It “set the standard against which all heavy music would forever be judged.” GW Quite simply, “Paranoid defined the sound and style of heavy metal more than any other record in rock history.” AMG

When the album was released, “the world was convinced that these working class chums from Birmingham, England (originally called the Polka Tulk Blues Band) were either satanists or an incredible facsimile.” TL Frontman Ozzy Osbourne’s biting-the-heads-off-bats incident didn’t come until he’d embarked on a solo career, but he had people nervous with his “declaration that he had sat through The Exorcist a gazillion times.” TL

Mostly, though, the band owed its infamous reputation to their creation of “a primal howl of fear and loathing” GW via “Tony Iommi’s crushing, granite-fuzz guitar chords, the Visigoth rhythm machine of Bill Ward and Geezer Butler’s” RS “massive bass riffs,” TL and Ozzy’s “agonized bray.” RS When he “screams, he sounds like he wants to drag you down to the bottom of the ocean and eat your brain.” VB

“The anxieties behind the music simply demanded that the band achieve catharsis by steamrolling everything in its path.” AMG “Iommi’s stump-fingered leads and down-tuned riffs provided the perfect platform for songs about war-mongering generals, boots-wearing skinheads and nuclear fallout.” GW Throughout the album “the subject matter is unrelentingly, obsessively dark, covering both supernatural/sci-fi horrors and the real-life traumas of death, war, nuclear annihilation, mental illness, drug hallucinations, and narcotic abuse. Yet Sabbath makes it totally convincing, thanks to the crawling, muddled bleakness and bad-trip depression evoked so frighteningly well by their music.” AMG

War Pigs

“Where the extended, multi-sectioned songs on the debut sometimes felt like aimless jams, their counterparts on Paranoid have been given focus and direction, lending an epic drama to now-standards like” AMG the “apocalyptic songs…War Pigs and Iron Man which are no less great for being totally incomprehensible.” TL The latter “sports one of the most immediately identifiable riffs in metal history” AMG and found a whole new audience as the title song for 2008’s super-hero movie, Iron Man, starring Robert Downey, Jr.

Iron Man

That song and the album’s title track even “scraped the U.S. charts despite virtually nonexistent radio play” AMG in an era “when it was far more fashionable to sing gentle acoustic songs about ‘getting back to the garden.’” GW The title cut, “a three-chord classic dashed off as last-minute album filler,” GW isn’t only a heavy-metal classic, but “presaged the coming of punk rock.” GW


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