40 years ago this week, the title track of Seals & Crofts’ fifth studio album made its debut on the Billboard Hot 100.
Like the majority of their material, the jazz-influenced “Diamond Girl” was written by Jim Seals and Dash Crofts. Alan Bershaw of Paste Magazine described the song as “the infectious title track” of the album, praising the way that its lyrics are “skillfully depicting the love for a woman or a commitment to God, depending on how one interprets them.” (The latter aspect is no surprise, given that the duo was famously affiliated with the Baha'i faith.)
32 years ago today, Madonna rose to the pinnacle of the Billboard Hot 100 for the second time in her career with a track from a film about a love story between a high-school wrestler and an older woman.
The success Joni Mitchell achieved on her wonderful run of hit albums in the early '70s (from LADIES OF THE CANYON through COURT AND SPARK) provided her with sufficient artistic credit to explore whatever avenues she desired. She chose jazz and with 1975's THE HISSING OF THE SUMMER LAWNS, began to devote her considerable creative energies to album-length dives into non-linear melodies and story-songs with open-ended plots and streetwise characters. To pull this off, Mitchell also employed some of the cool, (mostly) young players who were then pushing electric jazz into more atmospheric spaces.
47 years ago today, David Bowie performed “Space Oddity” for what was almost certainly the largest audience of his career up to that point, thanks to a little help from a satellite.
Although he wasn’t yet the superstar that he was destined to become, Bowie certainly did wonders for his profile when he appeared at the Ivor Novello Awards and – accompanied by the Les Reed Orchestra – delivered a live version of “Space Oddity.”
29 years ago today, Prince released his tenth studio album, an effort which featured nine tracks…unless you got the CD, that is, in which case it featured one really, really long track.