Today In Music, October 10 - Black Sabbath, The Police And R.E.M. Albums Hot #1 in the UK, But Not The USA? What's Up With That?


On this date in 1970, Black Sabbath's second album, Paranoid, hits #1 in the UK. Released a mere seven months after their self-titled debut album, Paranoid benefited from Tony Iommi's increasing prowess at creating one iconic riff after another. The album was originally titled War Pigs, but the band's UK label, Vertigo, felt there might be a backlash due to strong feelings in regard to the Vietnam War. The new title was taken from the last song the band had written during the sessions in response to the record company's request for a single. "Paranoid" went on to hit #4 in the UK, but only got as far as #61 in the USA. Little known fact: "Iron Man" was originally titled "Iron Bloke".

In 1981, the fourth album by The Police, Ghost In The Machine, goes to #1 in the UK, but only makes it to #2 in the USA. The album is notable for being the first Police album to feature heavy use of synthesizers and horns. It is also the first Police album not produced by Nigel Grey. New producer Hugh Padgham had been enlisted on the strength of his past work with XTC and Peter Gabriel.

On this day in 1992, R.E.M. reached #1 in the UK, but managed to only reach #2 in the USA. To date, the album had sold over 18 million copies worldwide. It was the second album (the first being Out Of Time) for which the band refused to tour to promote. The album spawned three Top 40 singles, "Man On The Moon", "Everybody Hurts", and "Drive".

BORN ON THIS DAY

David Lee Roth, lead singer of Van Halen, born in 1955. Roth came to know the Van Halen brothers while attending Pasadena City College. At the time, he was singer for a band called the Red Ball Jets and owner of an extensive PA system that was often rented out to other bands, including an L.A. band called Mammoth that featured Eddie and Alex Van Halen. When they offered him the chance to join the band as lead vocalist, Roth quickly accepted and the rest, as they say, is history.

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