An 1890s tear-jerker
In 1953 a group of 33 ASCAP members — calling themselves ‘The Songwriters of America’ (not to be confused with Songwriters Guild of America, formed in 1931) — bring a $150 million anti-trust lawsuit against BMI (*) complaining that a conspiracy of broadcasters and manufacturers is keeping ‘good’ music from being heard. (R&B is starting to crossover into mainstream radio.) After 15 years, the case is dismissed in 1968. ▷The economics of Elvis ▹
Reportedly recorded in one day, it’s credited for pioneering heavy metal, stoner rock, doom metal, and goth. It reaches UK#8 and, despite being widely panned, reaches US#23 and sells a million. Title track
Second album Paranoid, released in September, will score their only UK#1 and sell 4 million in the US despite no airplay. Its first single Paranoid is an international top-10 hit (US#61), now ranked as a top heavy metal song. The second single is the infamous Iron Man, US#52 and a Grammy-award winner in 2000. Paris, 1970
To date the band has released 18 studio albums and 44 singles. Their latest, 19th album 13 will be released in June 2013.
The album will win two Grammies. The biggest single from the album (an international #1 hit) is Killing Me Softly with His Song, a cover of a 1973 Roberta Flack hit sung by Lauryn Hill. Another single is a Wyclef Jean cover of Bob Marley & The Wailers 1975 single No Woman, No Cry (UK#22).