October 30: “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” Was Released By Marvin Gaye in 1967

I Heard It Through the Grapevine” isn’t a plea to save a love affair; it’s Marvin Gaye’s essay on salvaging the human spirit. The record distills four hundred years of paranoia and talking drum gossip into three minutes and fifteen seconds of anguished soul-searching.
~Dave Marsh (The Heart of Rock & Soul)

 

Wikipedia:

Released October 30, 1968
Recorded April 10, 1967
Hitsville USA (Studio A), (Detroit, Michigan)
Genre Psychedelic soul
Length 3:16
Label Tamla
Writer(s) Norman Whitfield
Barrett Strong
Producer Norman Whitfield

I Heard It Through the Grapevine” is a song written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong for Motown Records in 1966, and made famous by Marvin Gaye in a single released in October 1968 on Motown’s Tamla label.

Originally recorded by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles in 1966, that version was rejected by Motown owner Berry Gordy, who told Whitfield and Strong to make it stronger. After recording the song with Marvin Gaye in 1967, which Gordy also rejected, Whitfield produced a version with Gladys Knight & the Pips, which Gordy agreed to release as a single in September 1967, and which went to number two in the Billboard chart. The Marvin Gaye version was placed on his 1968 album In the Groove, where it gained the attention of radio disc jockeys, and Gordy finally agreed to its release as a single in October 1968, when it went to the top of the Billboard Pop Singles chart for seven weeks from December 1968 to January 1969 and became for a time the biggest hit single on the Motown label. The Gaye recording has since become acclaimed a soul classic:

  • in 2004, it was placed on the Rolling Stone list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time
  • On the commemorative 50th Anniversary of the Billboard Hot 100 issue of Billboard magazine in June 2008, Marvin Gaye’s “Grapevine” was ranked 65th
  • It was also inducted to the Grammy Hall of Fame for “historical, artistic and significant” value

Marvin gaye I Heard It Through The Grapevine2

Live at Montreux, 1980:

Whitfield recorded the song with Marvin Gaye over five sessions, the first on February 3, 1967, and the final one on April 10, 1967. Recordings of this version took more than a month due to Whitfield overdubbing Gaye’s vocals with that of the Andantes’ background vocals, mixing in several tracks featuring the Funk Brothers on the rhythm track, and adding the string section from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra with an arrangement by Paul Riser. The session featuring Gaye led to an argument between the producer and singer. Whitfield wanted Gaye to perform the song in a higher key than his normal range, a move that had worked on David Ruffin during the recording of the Temptations’ hit, “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg”. The mixture of Gaye’s raspy vocals and the Andantes’ sweeter harmonies, made Whitfield confident that he had a hit; however, despite approval from Motown’s Quality Control Department, Gordy blocked the release.

norman whitfieldNorman Whitfield

Personnel

  • Lead vocals by Marvin Gaye
  • Background vocals by The Andantes: Jackie Hicks, Marlene Barrow and Louvain Demps
  • Instrumentation by the Funk Brothers and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra
    • Organ by Earl Van Dyke
    • Drums by Richard “Pistol” Allen
    • String arrangement by Paul Riser

-Egil

October 25: Electric Ladyland by The Jimi Hendrix Experience was released in 1968

hendrix-electric-ladyland

undoubtedly a rock album, albeit rock on the point of evolving into something else.
– David Stubbs

one of the greatest double-albums in rock.
– John Perry

Electric Ladyland is the third and final album of new material by the Jimi Hendrix Experience, released in October 1968 on Reprise Records. It is the only Hendrix studio album professionally produced under his supervision. It topped the Billboard 200 album chart for two weeks in November 1968.

Released October 25, 1968 (some sources says October 16…worth celebrating anyhow)
Recorded Olympic Studios, London and Record Plant Studios, New York, July and December 1967, January 1968, April–August 1968
Genre Psychedelic rock, blues rock, acid rock, hard rock
Length 75:47
Label Reprise, Track, Barclay, Polydor
Producer Jimi Hendrix

 

All along the watchtower, the best Dylan cover of all time!:

This is a perfect Hendrix album. It is poppy and funky and original at the same time, and what a great soul singer Hendrix was! I also think it is very inventive, sonically speaking. Jimi Hendrix really searched for “new sounds” on this record, he produced an album that has stood the test of time marvelously.

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Van Morrison: 9 Great versions of “Listen To The Lion”

And all my love come down
All my love come tumblin’ down
All my love come tumblin’ down
All my love come tumblin’ down
Oh, listen listen
To the lion
Oh, listen listen listen
To the lion…
Inside of me
Oh, oh, oh


“And all my love come tumbling down….” An 11-minute journey into music as a distillation of spirit, as Morrison searches his “very soul” for the lion “inside of me”. The music is as delicate as breath on a window pane, looking out on a vision of hope and redemption. Van’s voice scats, breathes, roars, lilts and sways before finally dissolving in a rapturous journey into glossolalia. “And we sailed and we sailed….”
~The Telegraph

Listen To The Lion” is one of my favorite Van Morrison songs. Here are 9 different versions.

Wikipedia:

Listen to the Lion” is a song featured on Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison’s sixth album, Saint Dominic’s Preview (1972). Its poetic musings and “bass-led shuffle” lead back to Astral Weeks territory.

Released July 1972
Recorded Spring/Summer 1971, Columbia Studios, San Francisco
Genre Folk rock, R&B
Length 11:08
Label Warner Bros. Records
Writer Van Morrison
Composer Van Morrison
Producer Ted Templeman, Van Morrison

..but arguably the best due to Van’s most amazing vocal performance ever. The song is an 11:08 minute soul journey into finding and following your inner voice amid crashing piano, cascading acoustic guitar, and strumming mandolin. That alone makes it a good song, but what takes it to best of all time level is at about the five minute mark Van stops singing words and starts scatting non-stop for the next 3 minutes. He growls, wails, roars, and howls as if possessed and wrestling with the lion inside. After these vocal fireworks the exhausted Van finishes the song barely whispering about sailing on a journey to mystical Caledonia. A fascinating, one of a kind song.
~theframjak (hubpages.com)

Van-Morrison-Saint-Dominic-s-Preview-1972

Album version:

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October 23: The Jimi Hendrix Experience Recorded “Hey Joe” In London 1966

On October 23rd, 1966, Hendrix, Redding and Mitchell entered London’s De Lane Lea studios to record a soulful cover of Billy Roberts’ folk-rock standard “Hey Joe” with manager Chas Chandler producing. Released seven weeks later as a single, the recording – which would be included on the U.S. version of Are You Experienced – climbed all the way to Number Six on the U.K. charts, establishing Hendrix as a rising star in Britain and Europe. Incredibly, Hendrix had only just arrived in London on September 24th, hooked up with Redding on the 29th, and auditioned Mitchell on October 4th.
rollingstone.com

Folk rock singer Tim Rose’s slower version of the song (recorded in 1966 and claimed to be Rose’s arrangement of a wholly traditional song) inspired the first single by The Jimi Hendrix Experience.

The ex-bassist for The Animals, Chas Chandler, who was now focusing on managing other acts, had also seen Rose performing the song at the Cafe Wha? in New York City and was looking for an artist to record a rock version of “Hey Joe”. Chandler discovered Jimi Hendrix, who had also been playing at the Cafe Wha? in 1966 and performing an arrangement of “Hey Joe” inspired by Rose’s rendition. Chandler decided to take Hendrix with him to England in September 1966, where he would subsequently turn the guitarist into a star. Tim Rose re-recorded “Hey Joe” in the 1990s, re-titling it “Blue Steel .44” and again claimed the song as his own arrangement of a traditional song.

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