Sunday, January 6, 2019

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2012Wiz Khalifa is sued for $2.3 million over his hit song "Black and Yellow." Max Warren, who raps under the name "Maxamillion," claims Khalifa, his producers, and his label stole the song from him. In the lawsuit, Warren states that the idea for the song was taken from his copyrighted 2007 song "Pink and Yellow." Khalifa claims he's never heard of Warren or his music.
2012NRBQ drummer Tom Ardolino dies of complications from diabetes at age 56.
2009Ron Asheton (guitarist for The Stooges) is found dead of an apparent heart attack in Ann Arbor, Michigan, at age 60.
2007"Sneaky Pete" Kleinow (pedal steel guitarist for The Flying Burrito Brothers), suffering from Alzheimer's, dies in Petaluma, California, at age 72.
1999Jazz pianist Michel Petrucciani dies at age 36. Born with a debilitating genetic condition, he became a top performer in his native France.
1999Photographed by Annie Liebowitz, the Backstreet Boys appear in a print campaign with milk mustaches to promote the beverage.
1996Eazy-E's posthumous single "Just Tah Let U Know" hits #45 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
1992Steve Gilpin (vocalist for MI-sex) dies after a severe car accident leaves him in a coma in Southport, Queensland, Australia, at age 42.
1980Georgeanna Tillman (of The Marvelettes) dies of lupus and sickle cell anemia a month shy of her 36th birthday.
1979The Bee Gees' "Too Much Heaven" hits #1 for the first of two weeks.
1979Barbra Streisand's Greatest Hits, Volume 2 album hits #1 in America.
1977KISSRock And Roll Over album is certified Platinum.
1968Gibson patents their "Flying V" electric guitar.
1964Mark O'Toole (bass player for Frankie Goes To Hollywood) is born in Liverpool, England.
1964The Rolling Stones begin their first headlining UK tour. Opening act: The Ronettes.
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A Talkbox Of Fun On Frampton Comes Alive

Peter Frampton's live double album, Frampton Comes Alive!, is released. Powered by his trusty talkbox sound, it becomes one of the best-selling live albums in history.

The fourth time's a charm for the British rocker: None of his four previous solo releases – Wind of Change (1972), Frampton's Camel (1973), Somethin's Happening (1974) and Frampton(1975) – were able to match the success of his former band Humble Pie. Expectations for his fourth effort are low, since contemporary live albums rarely perform well, even for more established acts. It's a risky move, but Frampton has a secret weapon: the talkbox.

The talkbox uses a device held in the mouth and modulates and filters the sound of the guitar in a similar way to a wah-wah pedal. Frampton gets his quasi-robotic sound by mouthing words into a tube which are then used to modulate the guitar's tone, making the sound resemble a human voice. The ground-breaking guitar effect grants his playing a natural, vocal quality, and the crowd goes bonkers every time he uses it.

The talkbox breathes new life into songs like "Show Me The Way" and "Baby, I Love Your Way," which flopped in their original studio incarnations. In this reinvigorated format, the cuts crackle with energy and with the release of heavily edited third single "Do You Feel Like We Do," radio stations are persuaded for the first time since The Beatles "Hey Jude" to grant significant airplay to a song running over seven minutes.

The album takes almost four months to climb to the top of the Billboard charts, as listeners gradually spread the word. It stays at the top for 10 weeks and sells millions of copies, thanks in large part to pricing: the double album costs only $1 more than most single-disc records at the time. 

Sales figures are notoriously unreliable, but the album almost certainly becomes the biggest-selling live album of all time (and the best seller of 1976). As Wayne Campbell explains, "Everybody in the world has Frampton Comes Alive. If you lived in the suburbs you were issued it. It came in the mail with samples of Tide."

Depending on who's counting, Eric Clapton's Unplugged from 1992 or Garth BrooksDouble Live from 1998 may have outsold it, but Frampton Comes Alive! remains the defining live album in rock.

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