August 14 – Hawkwind, Who’s Next, Stiff Records, Commitments

1970

London (Ladbroke Grove) space rock group Hawkwind release their eponymous debut album.

Co-founder Dave Brock, Skyfest, 2009

Oct. 8, 1971 second album X In Search of Space (*) (UK#14, includes 24 page Hawkwind Log) makes the UK top-20, as do the 3 albums after it.

For over 40 years, while personnel and music styles and labels have changed repeatedly, Hawkwind has continued to perform and make albums — 27 studio albums and 10 live. Many make the UK top-50.

Other Ladbroke Grove, UK underground bands include The Deviants and Pink Fairies.

( Hawkwind site ) ( Starfarer fansite ) 1971 Seven by Seven
100 Top Tracks

1971

UK release of fifth studio album Who’s Next (UK#1,US#4) by Brit rockers The Who.

It’s been two years since their outstanding appearance at Woodstock, and famed producer Glyn Johns is at the helm. Two of the tracks that become widely popular are Baba O’Riley live studio (UK#55, often confused with Teenage Wasteland, originally 30 minutes long) and Won’t Get Fooled Again (UK#9,US#15) .

The ‘Baba’ backing track includes Pete Townshend playing a Lowrey Berkshire TBO-1 organ. Other synthesizers which make their Who debut on the album include the VCS3 and ARP 2600. In 2004 Rolling Stone ranks Who’s Next #28 in its Top 500 albums

Some of the songs originated in a scifi rock opera project Townshend called Lifehouse. In 2000 Townshend releases the ‘abandoned’ Lifehouse project as Lifehouse Chronicles.

The Who are inducted into the Rock HoF in 1990; in 2012 Johns joins them. A 2011 Rolling Stone readers poll crowns John Entwistle the #1 bassist ever.

Virgin O’Riley ( Website )

1976

Stiff Records (*) releases its first UK single, So It Goes by Nick Lowe (post Brinsley Schwarz; Lowe was an in-house producer). (*)

The sometimes competent label — which introduces the world to punk and New Wave acts like The Damned, Wreckless Eric, Elvis Costello, and Ian Dury — closes shop in 1985, but is reborn in 2007. Highly recommended: the 4-CD Box Set (which is actually, quite stiff!).

( Website )

1991

Killer R&B film The Commitments is released.

One of the best music dramedy films EVAR (dittos for the soundtrack), it tells the story of some unemployed Dubliners who form a soul band. The cast, chosen for musical ability, fashion some great performances. MCA’s soundtrack album — with solid covers of hits like Mustang Sally, Chain Of Fools_(song), Try A Little Tenderness, In The Midnight Hour — does deservedly well worldwide (AU#2,NO#3,UK#4,US#8). So much so that it engenders a sequel album!

Can you take that to the bank, Terry? Yes you can, Jimmy!

Based on a novel by a man named Doyle, it’s directed by Alan Parker. Parker’s other musical films include Fame (1980), Pink Floyd – The Wall (1982), and Evita (1996).

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