Monday, December 10, 1973

CBGB Club opened.

CBGB’s was a famous club that opened on 315 Bowery in Manhattan’s East Village in 1973. The site had previously been home to a biker bar and, before that, a dive bar. As far back as the 19th century, the site was a former saloon on the first floor of the Palace Lodging House.

Hilly Kristal founded the club, giving it the full name of CBGB & OMFUG, which stood for “Country, Bluegrass, Blues, and other Music for uplifting Gourmandizers.” The intent was to showcase music from all kinds of genres, but it became the landing place for the American punk and new wave scene. The club is credited with launching the careers of the Ramones, Blondie, Talking Heads, Television, and Patti Smith.

A storefront next to the club became a record shop and cafĂ© known as the CBGB Record Canteen. It was replaced in the late ‘80s with a second performance space and art gallery.

The club closed after a final concert from Patti Smith on October 15, 2006. A retail store opened at the CBGB venue, operating there until the close of the month and then moving to 19-23 St. Mark’s Place on November 1. It stayed open until the summer of 2008. CBGB Radio was started in 2010 on the iheartradio platform and, two years later, the CBGB festival was launched. The latter was the largest music festival in New York City, producing free concerts in Times Square and Central Park and premiering rock movies in Manhattan theaters.

In 2013, the former home of the CBGB club was added to the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Bowery Historic District. That same year, the movie CBGB was released starring Alan Rickman as Kristal.

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First posted 12/6/2023.

Friday, December 7, 1973

Yes Tales from Topographic Oceans released

Tales from Topographic Oceans


Released: December 7, 1973

Peak: 6 US, 12 UK, 4 CN, 13 AU

Sales (in millions): 0.5 US, 0.1 UK, 0.6 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: progressive rock


Song Title (Writers) [time]

  1. The Revealing Science of God – Dance of the Dawn (Anderson, Howe) [20:23]
  2. The Remembering – High the Memory (Anderson, Howe, Squire, Wakeman, White) [20:35]
  3. The Ancient – Giants Under the Sun (Anderson, Howe, Squire) [18:37]
  4. Ritual – Nous Sommes du Soleil (Anderson, Howe) [21:33]

Total Running Time: 81:14

The Players:

  • Jon Anderson (vocals, harp, percussion)
  • Steve Howe (guitar, backing vocals)
  • Chris Squire (bass, backing vocals)
  • Rick Wakeman (keyboards)
  • Alan White (drums, percussion)


3.353 out of 5.00 (average of 11 ratings)

Quotable: “Either the finest record or the most overblown album in Yes’ output.” – Bruce Eder, All Music Guide

About the Album:

“Either the finest record or the most overblown album in Yes’ output. When it was released, critics called it one of the worst examples of progressive rock’s overindulgent nature.” BE Rolling Stone critic Gordon Fletcher called it “psychedelic doodling.” WK

“The album’s concept, a two-disc, four-piece work of symphonic length and scope (based on the Shastric scriptures, as found in a footnote within Paramahansa Yogananda’s book Autobiography of a Yogi), was their most ambitious to date. The four songs of the album symbolise (in track order) the concepts of Truth, Knowledge, Culture, and Freedom, the subjects of that section of text. According to drummer Bill Bruford in his autobiography (p. 72), former King Crimson percussionist Jamie Muir introduced vocalist Jon Anderson to Paramahansa Yogananda's work during Bruford's wedding in March 1973, and therefore had an indirect impact on the album’s concept.” WK

“Jon Anderson’s fascination with Eastern religions never manifested itself more clearly or broadly, but one needn’t understand any of that to appreciate the many sublimely beautiful moments on this album, some of the most gorgeous passages ever recorded by the band.” BE

“Wakeman has often expressed intense dislike of the album, stemming in part from the fact that vocalist Jon Anderson and guitarist Steve Howe constructed the bulk of the album entirely on their own (as the sleeve notes suggest), leaving the remaining three members with relatively little to contribute (which the sleeve notes dispute). The complaints about Anderson and Howe’s studio behaviour were not unprecedented: drummer Bill Bruford had left the band for King Crimson a year earlier for similar reasons.” WK “Wakeman, in frustration, spent much of the time playing darts with Black Sabbath members” WK who were “in the studio recording Sabbath Bloody Sabbath at the same time as Yes.” WK

Bassist “Chris Squire mentions listening to tapes of a live performance some years later and thinking ‘it does go on a bit,’ but then adding that he ‘really enjoyed it.’” WK Wakeman has acknowledged “that he enjoyed some of the musical content of The Ancient, and Wakeman has performed The Revealing Science of God and Ritual with the band often in the years since.” WK Howe has “stated that some of his best guitar work was to be found on Tales from Topographic Oceans.

Notes: A 2003 reissue added studio run-throughs of “Dance of the Dawn” and “Giants Under the Sun.” 2016 edition added a third disc of material, including single edits of each of the four songs.

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First posted 6/7/2011; updated 7/24/2021.

Wednesday, December 5, 1973

Paul McCartney & Wings released Band on the Run: December 5, 1973

Originally posted December 5, 2011.

“The consensus of critics, as well as cold hard sales figures, says that Band on the Run was Paul McCartney’s most successful solo album.” RG “Neither the dippy, rustic Wild Life nor the slick AOR flourishes of Red Rose Speedway earned Paul McCartney much respect, so he made the self-consciously ambitious Band on the Run to rebuke his critics. On the surface, Band on the Run appears to be constructed as a song cycle in the vein of Abbey Road, but subsequent listens reveal that the only similarities the two albums share are simply superficial.” STE

“McCartney’s talent for songcraft and nuanced arrangements is in ample display throughout the record, which makes many of the songs – including the nonsensical title track – sound more substantial than they actually are. While a handful of the songs are excellent – the surging, inspired surrealism of Jet is by far one of his best solo recordings, Bluebird is sunny acoustic pop, and Helen Wheels captures McCartney rocking with abandon – most of the songs are more style than substance. Yet McCartney’s melodies are more consistent than any of his previous solo records, and there are no throwaways; the songs just happen to be not very good.” STE

“Still, the record is enjoyable, whether it’s the minor-key Mrs. Vandebilt or Let Me Roll It, a silly response to John Lennon’s ‘How Do You Sleep?,’ which does make Band on the Run one of McCartney’s finest solo efforts. However, there’s little of real substance on the record,” STE although it should be noted that the album is “an artistic triumph over very trying conditions – the defection of two-fifths of Wings.” RG Still, “no matter how elaborate the production is, or how cleverly his mini-suites are constructed, Band on the Run is nothing more than a triumph of showmanship.” STE

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