Saturday, October 31, 1981

Bob Marley’s posthumous Chances Are charted

Chances Are

Bob Marley

Charted: October 31, 1981

Recorded: 1968-1972

Peak: 117 US

Sales (in millions): --

Genre: reggae


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

  1. Reggae on Broadway (5/72, 66 RB)
  2. Gonna Get You
  3. Chances Are (11/81, --)
  4. Soul Rebel (12/70, --)
  5. Dance Do the Reggae
  6. Mellow Mood
  7. Stay with Me
  8. Hurting Inside

Total Running Time: 32:03


2.883 out of 5.00 (average of 10 ratings)

About the Album:

“Record-industry grave robbers could scarcely wait until nightfall to cash in on the late Bob Marley’s scattered legacy. In this case, the culprits are the people at Cayman Music and Cissi Music…and the controllers of an obscure portion of Marley’s material, recorded between 1968 and 1972. During this period, Marley and various members of the then-regrouping Wailers made several trips to Europe in an attempt to broaden their base, find a post-rock steady direction and land a decent record deal outside Jamaica.” RS

Chances Are documents a number of demo sessions in which Marley and his musicians exhibited their new reggae sound…A chunk of Marley's publishing rights was quickly corralled in the process. By the time the Wailers signed with Island in 1972, their leader knew plenty about exploitation in Babylon.” RS

“This brittle, callous repackaging of outtakes and arcane singles comes complete with a truckload of perfunctory ‘special thanks’ to anyone connected with Marley (the names of close friends and even his own mother are misspelled). Furthermore, these tracks aren't ‘previously unreleased,’ as the liner notes insist. Reggae on Broadway was issued in England in the early Seventies on CBS International, while slightly different versions of Soul Rebel and Mellow Mood have been kicking around for years in the sleazy repackagings that Jamaican producer Lee Perry sold to England's Trojan label. And so forth. Granted, albums like this will always hold a certain value to archivists, biographers and music historians interested in tracing the evolution of Jamaican rock. But, in the future, one would hope for a scrupulously selected series of bargain-priced LPs, with scholarly notes and a percentage of the proceeds going to the Bob Marley Foundation.” RS

“There are two intriguing songs here: ‘Reggae on Broadway,’ a skanking bit of histrionic soul-funk that shows Marley's great fascination with black American rockers (he was captivated by Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone), and Gonna Get You, a bouncy, playful reggae love pledge of the sort that would reemerge, fully realized, on 1978's i>Kaya. The latter number also boasts the best – albeit still miserable – mix. The rest of the tunes sound like they were recorded at the bottom of Kingston harbor.” RS

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First posted 3/26/2008; updated 5/6/2021.

Saturday, October 24, 1981

Today in music (1881): The birth of vaudeville

October 24, 1881

The birth of vaudeville

The term “vaudeville” has been traced to two different French phrases – “Val de Vire,” which means “valley of the river Vire” and “voix de ville” which means “voices of the town.” Both are references to the valley and river where Olivier Basselin, a 15th century satirical song-writer lived. The word became a reference to “a catchy song lampooning a town and its people.” NWE As a result of the popularity of the form, the Theatre du Vaudeville opened in Paris in 1792. NWE

Vaudeville star Sophie Turner gives a completely different account of the origins of the term. William Morris, her legendary agent, said there was a red windmill in the Vire valley that served wine and cheese to farmers as they waited for their wheat to be milled. Travelling entertainers took advantage of the built-in audience and would perform and pass a hat. M101

In America, the form emerged after the American Civil War, influenced by the Industrial Revolution. The country had changed dramatically from “the once rural face of America” M101 to a population now characterized by more people living in towns and cities and working jobs that gave them some spare cash and leisure time. M101 That led to the rise of vaudeville by the turn of the century was “the first modern big business entertainment.” NWE

However, the birth of vaudeville is generally given as October 24, 1881. The date marks the first time Tony Pastor, a former ringmaster with P.T. Barnum’s circus, staged his first, self-proclaimed “clean” vaudeville show at his New Fourteenth Street Theatre. NWE Before that, the content in variety shows was often considered inappropriate for women and children. M101 The popularity of Pastor’s show, however, led to a more family-oriented form of entertainment influenced by “minstrel shows, circuses, medicine shows, and burlesque theater.” NWE A typical bill included multiple acts comprised of music, dancing, comedy, magic, and more.

Vaudeville reached a peak of roughly 25,000 artists working in 4000 theaters. NWE The form saw its demise in the early 1930s because of the rise of other forms of entertainment such as movies with sound. Many of the performers from vaudeville continued to find success in musical comedy, radio, movies, and television. NWE

For more important days in music history, check out the Dave’s Music Database history page.

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First posted 10/6/2023.

Friday, October 2, 1981

Foreigner “Juke Box Hero” released

Juke Box Hero


Writer(s): Lou Gramm, Mick Jones (see lyrics here)

Released: October 2, 1981

First Charted: July 25, 1981

Peak: 26 US, 34 CB, 23 HR, 2 CL, 3 AR, 48 UK, 39 CN, 53 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, -- UK

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 33.0 video, 139.6 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

“Juke Box Hero” has an interesting chart history. It first entered Billboard’s album-rock chart in July 1981 soon after the Foreigner 4 album was released. However, it wasn’t released as a single until October – and then in the UK. In the United States, the song wasn’t released as a single until January 1982, the third single from the 4 album.

The song, which Ultimate Classic Rock critic Matt Wardlaw ranks as Foreigner’s all-time greatest song, WK is about a boy who can’t buy a ticket for a sold-out concert. While listening from outside the venue, he is inspired to buy a guitar and learn to play. This ignites his dream of musical stardom, but then he struggles to stay atop the charts as a “Juke Box Hero.” Outside the stage door at one of his concerts, he meets a fan who reminds him of himself and his own beginnings. WK

Foreigner guitarist and songwriter Mick Jones said it was inspired by a real-life incident. He recalled going to an arena, he thought in Cincinnati, for a sound check. There were a bunch of fans waiting at the door when they arrived, but just one – waiting in the rain – when they came back for the show some five hours later. They took him backstage “And this kid was just mesmerized with everything…I just imagined what was going through his mind. And I’'d been toying with this title, ‘Juke Box Hero,’ I thought it was almost a satire on what we did and how it was perceived from an audience level.” SF

Lou Gramm has said this is one of his favorite songs to perform, but also the hardest to sing live. SF Gramm, who had been a drummer before he became a singer, says he starts with the beat when writing songs. The “menacing beat” which opens “Juke Box Hero” and “builds to combustion is his influence.” SF Gramm had originally been working on a song called “Take One Guitar” and it was combined with the portion of “Juke Box Hero” which Jones had developed. WK


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First posted 7/9/2022; last updated 7/24/2022.

The Police Ghost in the Machine released

Ghost in the Machine

The Police

Released: October 2, 1981

Peak: 3 US, 13 UK, 15 CN, 11 AU

Sales (in millions): 3.0 US, 0.3 UK, 9.5 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: new wave


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

  1. Spirits in the Material World [2:59] (12/5/81, 11 US, 15 CB, 17 HR, 9 RR, 7 AR, 2 CO, 12 UK, 13 CN, 50 AU)
  2. Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic [4:22] (9/25/81, 3 US, 6 CB, 8 HR, 3 RR, 1 AR, 1 CO, 1 UK, 1 CN, 2 AU)
  3. Invisible Sun [3:44] (9/26/81, 10 CL, 8 CO, 2 UK, 89 AU)
  4. Hungry for You (J’Aurais Toujours Faim de Toil) [2:53]
  5. Demolition Man [5:57]
  6. Too Much Information [3:43]
  7. Rehumanize Yourself (Copeland/Sting) [3:10]
  8. One World (Not Three) [4:47]
  9. Omegaman (Summers) [2:48]
  10. Secret Journey [3:34] (2/6/82, 46 US, 47 CB, 90 HR)
  11. Darkness (Copeland) [3:14]

Songs written by Sting unless noted otherwise.

Total Running Time: 41:03

The Players:

  • Sting (vocals, bass)
  • Andy Summers (guitar)
  • Stewart Copeland (drums, percussion, backing vocals)


3.992 out of 5.00 (average of 26 ratings)

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“For their fourth album, 1981’s Ghost in the Machine, the Police had streamlined their sound to focus more on their pop side and less on their trademark reggae-rock. Their jazz influence had become more prominent, as evidenced by the appearance of saxophones on several tracks. The production has more of a contemporary ‘80s sound to it (courtesy of Hugh Padgham, who took over for Nigel Gray), and Sting proved once and for all to be a master of the pop songwriting format.” AMG

“The album spawned several hits, such as the energetic Spirits in the Material World (notice how the central rhythms are played by synthesizer instead of guitar to mask the reggae connection) and a tribute to those living amid the turmoil and violence in Northern Ireland circa the early ‘80s, Invisible Sun.” AMG

“But the best and most renowned of the bunch is undoubtedly the blissful Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic.” AMG It topped the charts in the UK and reached #3 in the U.S.

“Unlike the other Police releases, not all of the tracks are stellar (Hungry for You, Omegaman), but the vicious jazz-rocker Demolition Man, the barely containable Rehumanize Yourself, and a pair of album-closing ballads (Secret Journey, Darkness) proved otherwise.” AMG

“While it was not a pop masterpiece, Ghost in the Machine did serve as an important stepping stone between their more direct early work and their more ambitious latter direction, resulting in the trio's exceptional blockbuster final album, 1983’s Synchronicity.” AMG

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First posted 3/22/2008; last updated 8/25/2021.