Today in rock history: on this date in 1975, all-female pop singing group Labelle took over the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s pop singles chart with its sexy, suggestive hit, “Lady Marmalade.” The song was the tale of a New Orleans-based prostitute and featured a chorus sung in French: "Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir,” which translated to "Do you want to sleep with me tonight?" The single was produced by New Orleans musical legend Allen Toussaint who arranged to have The Meters, one of Nola’s best and funkiest bands, act as the backing group for this soul/disco classic. The song was already a No. 1 hit on Billboard’s R&B chart but its undeniable groove, catchy chorus and walloping vocals belted by the band’s namesake, Patti Labelle, made the song a monster crossover hit in America as well as in several countries around the world. The song was covered in 2001 by Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mýa, and Pink for inclusion on the "Moulin Rouge" film soundtrack and became a No. 1 pop single again, more than 25 years after it first occupied the top spot.
TODAY IN ROCK HISTORY
R.I.P. Freddie Mercury, The Kinks' Muswell Hillbillies and more
UPDATE: We totally meant Ray Davis of Parilament — sorry, friends.
Today in rock history: on this date in 1940, Ray Davis was born in Sumter, South Carolina. Although the name might not ring a bell, chances are you've, at one point, grooved to his sounds. Davis was an original founding member of The Parliaments, the singing group he started with George Clinton that originally morphed into Parliament and Funkadelic, a masterful funk music group whose greatest successes came in the 1970s. Davis provided the deep, booming bass as well as the deep vocal parts on all those P-Funk hits like "Flashlight" and "Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof Off the Sucker)" and remained as part of the collective with Clinton when other original members began to leave in the late 1970s. Davis later worked with another funk trailblazer, Roger Troutman and his soul/funk outfit Zapp. Davis passed away in 2005 due to respiratory issues but his famous bass licks and will live on forever and will continue to make people dance until the end of time.
Today in rock history: on this date in 1944, Ray Davies was born in London, England. The chief songwriter and vocalist of one of the best British bands of all time, The Kinks, Davies made a huge splash on English charts early on in the 1960s. High energy rock anthems like “You Really Got Me” and “All Day and All of the Night” helped launch the band on both British and American sales charts and made the band instantly successful. Davies is commonly regarded as one of the best and wittiest songwriters of all time and is often cited as a major influence by many bands and artists. With landmark albums like Muswell Hillbillies, The Village Green Preservation Society, and so many more, Ray Davies has cemented his place as one of the most important and influential figures in rock history.
Today in rock history: on this date in 1993, English pop-glam band Suede released its outstanding self-titled debut album. Hype and anticipation was incredibly high for this release in England and, as a result, the album debuted at the No. 1 spot on British album charts. Featuring an intriguing, androgynous, eye-catching front cover photo, the album became one of the fastest-selling debut albums of all time in England. The album contained four hit singles. “Metal Mickey,” “Animal Nitrate” and “The Drowners” were released before the album was released and helped build the eagerness for Suede's arrival. “So Young,” another hit from the album, was released in May of 1993 and helped keep the album’s momentum extremely high. Considered to be one of the integral albums of the early 1990s Britpop wave of exciting new bands, Suede is often referred to as one of the very best and most consistent albums of its era.
Today in rock history: on this date in 1979, British rock band Supertramp released its sixth album, Breakfast in America. The record became the band’s most successful album of its career and featured many hit singles that dominated pop radio airwaves for the majority of 1979 including “The Logical Song,” “Take the Long Way Home” and “Goodbye Stranger” which all charted very well in the United States. The album sold more than 4 million copies in the U.S. alone and wound up being one of the best-selling albums of 1979. Breakfast in America won the band two Grammy awards and occupied the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s pop albums chart for six weeks.