Today in Rock & Roll History: November 8th

1965: During a late night session, the Beatles recorded the George Harrison composition, “Think for Yourself,” under the working title “Won’t Be There With You.” Afterward, the group recorded their third Christmas record in three takes, all predominantly ad-libbed.

1965: The Beach Boys released their tenth studio album, Beach Boys’ Party!, consisting mostly of acoustic covers recorded earlier in September. The album reached #6 in the US, #3 in the UK, and spawned a single version of the group’s cover of the Regents’ “Barbara Ann,” which peaked at #2 in the US and became their highest performing single in UK yet, reaching #3 the next year. The original release of Beach Boys’ Party! included a sheet of photographs which misleadingly depicted the band at a party, whereas the album had actually been recorded in a music studio with Informal chatter by friends and family overdubbed later, to give the impression of an impromptu live recording. The album had been created to buy time for Brian Wilson to produce the group’s next studio album, Pet Sounds.

1965: Dusty Springfield and the Dave Clark Five performed for Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh at London’s annual Royal Variety Performance.

1971: Paul McCartney held a party to launch his new band Wings and their first album, Wild Life, at the Empire Ballroom in London’s Leicester Square. McCartney hand-wrote invitations for the 800 guests, which included Elton John, Keith Moon, John Entwistle, Jimmy Page, and Ronnie Wood. Originally titled Wings, Wild Life had been delayed several times and was finally released in the UK in November, followed by its American released a month later.

1971: Sessions began at Trident Studios in London for David Bowie’s fifth studio LP, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.

1971: The untitled fourth studio album by Led Zeppelin was released by Atlantic Records. After the band’s previous album received lukewarm reviews from critics, Jimmy Page decided their fourth album would officially be untitled, leading to it being referred to as a number of unofficial titles. The cover features no band name, as the group wished to be anonymous and to avoid easy pigeonholing by the press. The album became a commercial and critical success and features many of the band’s best-known songs.

1972: “You’re So Vain” by Carly Simon was released. It later became her first #1 single and biggest hit and features uncredited backing vocals provided by Mick Jagger.

1975: David Bowie made his US television debut performing “Fame” on the Cher’s prime-time variety show on CBS.

1975: “Over My Head,” the second single from Fleetwood Mac’s second self-titled album, written by keyboardist and vocalist Christine McVie, entered the Billboard Hot 100. It was the group’s first song to enter the Hot 100 since “Oh Well” six years earlier and peaked at #32 on the Hot 100 and #18 on the Cash Box chart.

2012: After the death of Davy Jones in February, the Monkees began a reunion tour at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido, CA. It was the first Michael Nesmith had publicly played with fellow members Peter Tork and Mickey Dolenz since 1997.

Birthdays Today

Bert Berns, 1960s songwriter and record producer who’s songwriting credits include “Twist and Shout,” “Piece of My Heart,” “Here Comes the Night,” “Hang on Sloopy,” and “Everybody Needs Somebody to Love,” and produced such hits as “Baby, Please Don’t Go,” “Brown Eyed Girl,” and “Under the Boardwalk,” was born in the Bronx, NY in 1929.

Rodney Slater, saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist with the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, was born in Crowland, Lincolnshire, England in 1941.

Johnny Perez, drummer for the Sir Douglas Quintet, was born in 1943.

Bonnie Bramlett, singer and solo artist who performed with her husband, Delaney Bramlett, as Delaney & Bonnie, was born Bonnie Lynn O’ Farrell in Alton, IL in 1944.

Roy Wood, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, solo artist, and co-founder of the Move, Electric Light Orchestra, and Wizzard, was born in Kitts Green, Birmingham, England in 1946.

Minnie Riperton, singer-songwriter, was born in Bronzeville, Chicago, IL in 1947.

Bonnie Raitt, singer-songwriter, was born in Burbank, CA in 1949.

Al Berger, guitarist and original bassist for Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes who later formed his own group, Al Doc Berger’s Nightheat, was born in 1949.

Rickie Lee Jones, eclectic singer-songwriter, musician, and producer, was born in Chicago, IL in 1954.

Steven Miller, guitarist, keyboardist, and record producer best known for his association with Windham Hill Records, where he helped create notable recordings by artists such as Michael Hedges, Mark Isham, and George Winston, was born in New Jersey in 1956.

Pearl Thompson aka Porl Thompson, guitarist, keyboardist, and saxophonist with the Cure, was born Paul Stephen Thompson in Surrey, England in 1957.

Tim DeLaughter, singer, songwriter, and frontman of both Tripping Daisy and the Polyphonic Spree, was born in Dallas, TX in 1965.