March 29, 2005: Neil Young is treated for a brain aneurysm after his vision blurs during the induction ceremonies at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Getting old sucks–it used to be if your vision blurred at a rock and roll event, you were just high.
March 29, 1980: Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon appears on the Billboard 200 album chart for the 303rd straight week, breaking the longevity mark formerly held by Carole King’s Tapestry. It will ride the chart for eight more years–741 straight weeks in all. By one estimate, one out of every 14 Americans under age 50 in 2006 owns a copy of it. On the same day, easy-listening bandleader Mantovani dies at age 74, for reasons believed to be unrelated to Dark Side of the Moon.
March 29, 1975: All six Led Zeppelin albums released to date appear among the top 100 on the Billboard album chart.
March 29, 1973: Fulfilling a wish made in their most famous song, Dr. Hook appears on the cover of Rolling Stone.
Sax player Michael Brecker is 57. The Brecker Brothers’ band was a who’s-who of New York session musicians, and the Breckers themselves played on nearly every record containing a horn section–or so it seemed–between the mid-70s and the early 80s.
Terry Jacks is 60. Best known for “Seasons in the Sun,” of course. Lesser known for being in the Poppy Family during the late 60s and early 70s. Biggest hit: “Which Way You Goin’, Billy,” featuring the plaintive wail of Mrs. Jacks.
Vangelis is 65. Best known for the theme music to Chariots of Fire–but better remembered by me for his collaboration with Jon Anderson of Yes, which resulted in one gorgeous single, “I Hear You Now,” in 1980. (I thought I had it around here somewhere, and I’d post it if I could find it.)
Number One Songs on This Date:
1993: “Informer”/Snow. In which Canadian white-boy rap reaches its commercial pinnacle.
1989: “The Living Years”/Mike and the Mechanics. In which another baby boomer contemplates mortality, and realizes that life is too short to continue bearing grudges against his parents for things they may not even know they did.
1981: “Rapture”/Blondie. In which white kids get their first serious exposure to rap music, albeit quite lame rap music about an extraterrestrial creature who eats cars, bars, and guitars. Please.
1977: “Rich Girl”/Hall and Oates. In which H&O use the word “bitch,” giving radio stations a case of the fantods. When I got to college a year-and-a-half later, there was still a cart in the studio with a homemade “clean” version of the song.
1950: “If I Knew You Were Comin’ I’d’ve Baked a Cake”/Eileen Barton. In which much that is lame about post-WWII, pre-rock pop music is distilled into three very long minutes. A cranky rant about the song that manages to name-check both the German philosopher/sociologist Theodor Adorno and 1950s advertising pioneer Rosser Reeves is here.