June 22 – Pictures at an Exhibition, Radar Love, Coldplay

1874

Mussorgsky (Rein/ Van Looy, 1964)

Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky finishes the work he’s best known for, Pictures at an Exhibition.

The suite of ten alternately brooding and fantastic pieces for piano are written in honor of deceased friend Viktor Hartmann. They’re inspired by an exhibition of over 400 Hartmann works in Saint Petersburg following his sudden death from an aneurysm. Titles of the suite’s individual movements allude to those works.

It’s published in 1886, five years after Mussorgsky’s death, by friend Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (who ‘revised’ it) — and is first heard on November 30, 1891 as an orchestration by a student of Rimsky-Korsakov. Not until 1931 is an accurate piano score published.

The work becomes famously popular after a 1922 orchestral version is created by master colorist Maurice Ravel (best known for Bolero), which makes it into a perennial favorite.

In 1975 Japanese electronic music composer Isao Tomita releases a realization.

IMSLP: Performances, MIDIs, Scores
Solti, Chicago (1980)
Kissin (piano)

1974
Amsterdam rockers Golden Earring (founded in 1961, one of few Dutch acts to achieve international stardom) climb into the US top-40 charts for the first time with Radar Love(US#13).

It’s my baby callin’, says I need you here
And it’s half past four and I’m shifting gear

When she’s lonely and the longing gets too much
She sends a cable comin’ in from above
We don’t need no phone at all
We’ve got a thing that’s called radar love

The song also reaches the top-10 in parts of Europe. More than 500 cover versions exist. It’s from their 1973 album Moontan; in 2008 Dutch listeners vote it the best Dutch pop album ever. While similarities to Led Zeppelin are apparent, the Earring’s power as unique songsters is also.

After that it’s 9 years before their second top-40 hit Twilight Zone — ’equal parts hard rock and new wave’ (*) — arrives in 1983 (US#10,NL#1, album Cut) to own on MTV. It’s also a #1 on the Billboard Top Album Tracks chart. Its inspired by 1981 Ludlum novel The Bourne Identity, which becomes a film in 2002.

The band has been consistently popular in Holland, where it enjoys dozens of top-10 hits and performs to the present day.

( Website ) ( Radar Love fansite )

2005

Brit alt rock band Coldplay‘s album X&Y begins a second week at the top of the charts.

The band’s sold over 30 million albums; all have gone platinum several times over.

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