Released on March 7, 1983, New Order's "Blue Monday" was a smash. Designed by Factory Records' Peter Saville, the original 12-inch sleeve packaging cleverly replicated a floppy computer disk and included little information about New Order (neither the name of the group nor the single title appeared). Although rumored that the cost of producing the complex die-cut sleeve represented a loss on each single sold by Factory, the seven-minute-plus track would become among the best-selling 12-inch singles of all time. The original single is part of a special Joy Division/New Order exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.
"Blue Monday," which took nearly four months to record, was driven by a host of sequencer and synthesizer effects, including the throbbing synth bass line (overlayed with Peter Hook's lead bass stylings), and drum machine beat. The song contained no chorus, instead revolving around a series of verses. "It does come down to songwriting," said Hook of "Blue Monday" during a 2010 interview at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio . "Whilst everyone may have the equipment in their little box, not everybody [has] the ability to write a ...
Best known for her bold, rich and unparalleled emotionally expressive voice, Patsy Cline is one of the most inspirational, influential and impactful female vocalists of the 20th century. As a country music industry pioneer, Cline helped to blaze a trail for women to become headline performers in the genre. As a pillar of talent, Cline often encouraged and helped to support a number of female artists in country music, including Loretta Lynn, Barbara Mandrell, Brenda Lee and Dottie West. Cline also befriended her male counterparts, including Roger Miller, Faron Young, Harlan Howard and Carl Perkins – possessing the rare ability to be “one of the boys.” Cline could belly-up to the bar and tell a raunchier joke than any man. Her moxie and spunky attitude garnered the respect of the “good ole’ boy” Nashville network and allowed her to take charge of her own career in a way that other women at the time simply couldn’t do. Cline never backed down when it came to the business – “No dough, no show” was often her mantra and according to friend and fellow perfomer West, “It was common knowledge around town that you didn’t mess with ‘The Cline!’”
Born on March 4, 1944, Cleveland-native Bobby Womack grew into a soul and gospel legend whose contributions as a songwriter, singer and guitarist have kept him and his music relevant for decades.
The son of a steelworker, Womack and his siblings got their start as a gospel group. On tour with the Soul Stirrers, the Womack brothers – Bobby, Cecil, Curtis, Harris and Friendly Jr. – were introduced to the Stirrer's lead singer, Sam Cooke. With a move from gospel to secular soul, Cooke asked the Womack brothers to join him in California, and 16-year-old Bobby Womack made the trip.
Billed as the Valentinos, Bobby and his brothers cut two R&B classics: “Looking for a Love” (later covered by the J. Geils Band) and “It’s All Over Now.” The Rolling Stones’ cover of the latter song beat the Valentinos’ own version onto the charts, giving the Stones their second Top 40 hit in the States and first Number One hit in the U.K.
In the years following his work with Cooke, Womack would write songs recorded by Wilson Pickett (“I’m a Midnight Mover”), George Benson (“Breezin’”), Janis Joplin (“Trust Me”) and others. Pickett alone recorded 17 ...