November 12 – Monkees, Madness, and Lionel Ritchie

1966

US pop band The Monkees begin 13 weeks at US#1 with their eponymous debut album.

It is the first of four consecutive US#1 (CA,UK,NO top-5) albums in just over a year. The phenomenon is first of all driven by music written by proven powerhouse songwriters like:

Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart (who write 1966 US#1 debut single Last Train to Clarksville )

Carole King and Gerry Goffin (1967 US#3,UK#11 Pleasant Valley Sunday )

Neil Diamond (author of 1966 international #1 I’m a Believer  — 1967’s biggest-selling record — as well as 1967 US#2 A Little Bit Me, a Little Bit You)

… and ex-The Kingston Trio member John Stewart (who writes 1967 US#1 Daydream Believer ).

The rascalish personalities of the lads contribute to the high popularity of their 58-episode NBC TV series The Monkees. Said to be inspired by Beatles film A Hard Day’s Night, it combines shenanigans with music on pre-recorded videos. In short, US entertainment moguls have finally gotten a clue about how to combat the British Invasion.

In the process they create a life-long fanbase which lasts far longer than the band. A number of on-again, off-again reunions in later years are ended by the Feb. 29, 2012 passing of the other British Davy Jones.

 ( Monkees site  ( Collectibles site ▷Classic Bands:Monkees ▹

1982

Camden Town, London ska/pop band Madness releases Our House on Stiff Records; it rises to UK#5, US#7. .

(It’s not a cover of the 1970 US#30 by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. )

Madness spawns Our House, a 2002 jukebox musical, featuring Madness songs, which runs in London’s West End for 10 months. It’s revived in 2008-9.
 ( Website ▷GTMT:Our House ▹

1983

Tuskegee, AL native, R&B singer/songwriter Lionel Richie tops the charts, for the third of five times, with All Night Long. ▷BB100 #76 ▹

Lionel joined funk/soul band The Commodores as lead singer in 1968. They had 10 top-40 albums in 1976-85; their biggest hit is 1978 US#1,UK#1 Three Times a Lady.
 ( Website