Today in rock history: The DeLand, Florida songwriter formerly known as Terence Trent D'Arby throws us into the "Wishing Well"

"Monday, Monday" goes No. 1, Aretha in Paris, and The Who's "Pinball Wizard," too.

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Today in rock history: on this date in 1969, The Who released “Pinball Wizard,” the very first single from its landmark rock opera, the 2-LP masterwork, Tommy. Written from the point of view from a fellow competitor, the song touts the incredible pinball skills of the album’s central character, Tommy Walker who is, as the lyrics indicate, “deaf, dumb and blind.” A monster hit for The Who, the single rose to No. 4 on British sales charts and cracked the Top 20 here in America. One of the band’s most popular and well-received songs in concert, Pinball Wizard was played live by The Who live at virtually each and every one of its concerts since the single's release in 1969. Other singles came from Tommy; “I’m Free” and “See Me, Feel Me” followed “Pinball Wizard” but non charted as well. The song was covered by Elton John for inclusion in the 1975 film adaptation of the rock opera and became a worldwide hit for Elton as well.

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Today in rock history: on this date in 1968, Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin performed a concert at the Olympia Theatre in Paris that would later become the very first live album she’d ever release. Included on the recording are several of the hits Franklin had scored to that point including “Chain of Fools,” “(You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman,” and her signature song, the Otis Redding-penned classic “Respect”. Additionally, the album captures fiery versions of the Rolling Stones staple “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” and Willie Nelson’s “Night Life” as only Franklin can deliver them. Aretha in Paris was released in October of 1968 and became a Top 20 album for Aretha and continued her hot streak of hit albums and singles that would carry her well into the 1970s.

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Today in rock history: on this date in 1966, California singing group The Mamas and The Papas rose to the No.1 spot on Billboard’s pop singles charts with its massive hit, “Monday, Monday.” Providing backing instrumentation was the legendary group of session musicians The Wrecking Crew which supplied the sounds for countess songs and albums throughout the 1960s. “Monday, Monday” was written by the group’s chief songwriter, John Philips, and, admittedly, the other three members of The Mamas and The Papas were less than thrilled with the composition. Allegedly written in just under 20 minutes, the single became the group’s only chart-topper in America and held the No. 1 spot for three consecutive weeks. Coming from its successful 1966 debut album, If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears (which also produced the singles “California Dreamin’” and “Go Where You Wanna Go”), “Monday, Monday” helped establish The Mamas and The Papas as one of the best-selling American acts of the late 1960s.

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Today in rock history: on this date in 1987, "Wishing Well," the second single released from Terence Trent D'Arby’s stupendous debut album, Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D'Arby, took over the No. 1 spot on two different singles charts: Billboard’s pop singles chart as well as the publication’s R&B singles chart. The dynamic New York-born singer who grew up in DeLand, Florida made waves instantly with the convincing soul revivalist approach on his first album and the heartfelt, raspy, emotive vocal talents he possessed. Introducing the Hardline also included the smash hits “Sign Your Name,” “If You Let Me Stay” and “Dance Little Sister,” but “Wishing Well” was its undisputed best-seller and was the song that got D’Arby noticed by listeners of several different genres and earned him a Grammy award. Although the outspoken singer felt some backlash after stating in a print interview that his debut album was the most important release since the 1967 Beatles milestone Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, that didn’t stop D’Arby and his takeover of sales charts throughout 1987 one bit. “Wishing Well” would be Terence’s most successful single of his career but it also exposed him to a newfound, loyal audience who would follow his career throughout the next several sparkling albums he’d release into the 1990s.

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