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Music History for March 7-13

Drake’s phenomenal 2015 mixtape, the release of “The Velvet Underground And Nico,” Britney Spears and her Circus tour and more: here’s what happened this week in music history!

March 7: Drake and his 14 songs in the Hot 100

Drake performing
Drake performing

In 2015 made what only the Beatles have been able to accomplish before. With his his mixtape album If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, the Canadian artist placed 14 songs in the Billboard Hot 100. Fans’ favourites like “Legend,” “Energy” and “Jungle” made their way to the top of the chart, bringing the artist to break yet another record.

The progressive and innovative album was a breath of fresh air in the hip hop scene when it was released in 2015. If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late received the approval of both the public and the critique, in vogue with its captivating fusion of introspective analysis and cheeky accusations and critiques.

Neil McCormick of The Daily Telegraph said:

“Drake is amongst the most musically and lyrical progressive proponents of his chosen medium, bringing a level of educated artiness and psychological self-awareness to a genre too often reliant on big beats and braggadocio.”

March 8: Alice in Chains bass player Mike Starr passes away

On March 8, 2011, Alice in Chains bass player Mike Starr dies of a prescription drug overdose at age 44.

Bassist in the Seattle grunge band since the beginning in 1987, Starr left the band due to his drug addiction. Starr was replaced on bass by Mike Inez. Alice in Chains continued to record, but lead singer Layne Staley’s addiction problems forced them into a hiatus in the late 90s. Staley began his complete downfall into heroin and cocaine, isolating himself in his Seattle apartment. Hanging out with friends became sporadic, and even his strong friendship with Starr dwindled to the bare minimum. Unfortunately, when the singer passed away in 2002, it was his best friend Mike Starr who saw him for the last time. In fact, ex Alice In Chains’ bassist tried tried to help his former vocalist. However, it quickly escalated in an argument when Starr offered to call 911. Staley became enraged, and Starr left, never to see his friend again.

The bassist never overcame this moment, blaming himself for the passing of his best friend. Some said this is also part of the reason for his unsolved problem with drugs, that led him to death in 2011.

Photo credits: Rex Aran Emrick

9 March: Britney Spears launches her Circus tour

On March 2009, Britney Spears launches her Circus tour in New Orleans. It was her first since 2004.

The Circus Starring Britney Spears, commonly referred to as the Circus Tour, was the singer’s seventh concert tour. The tour featured choreographies, as well as acrobats, clowns, magicians, Pussycat Dolls, and lots of hits, is a triumphant return for Spears. The singer performed 97 shows worldwide.

10 March: The first day of The Rocky Horror Show

On March 10, 1973, humorous science fiction musical The Rocky Horror Show made its way in New York from London. The musical opened on Broadway at the Belasco Theatre with Meat Loaf playing both Eddie and Dr. Scott. The musical received an outstanding support, and was soon turned into a movie. The movie came out in 1975 starring Tim Curry and Susan Sarandon.

March 11: Jim Morrison lands in Paris getting ready for the end

On March, 11 1971 The Doors’ singer and frontman Jim Morrison landed in Paris. For the first weeks he lived in The Hotel George’s, later moving to into an apartment at 17 Rue Beautreillis in Paris.

Paris would’ve become King Lizard’s last destination, where he died on July 3rd 1971.

The official cause was heart failure, although no autopsy was performed as it was not required by the French authorities. This led the public to believe that a heroin overdose still is the probable real cause behind his young passing at the age of only 27.

Morrison died two years to the day after Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones’ passing, and approximately nine months after Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin, reinforcing the theory of the 27 Club.

March 12: The Velvet Underground And Nico

On March 12, 1967, The Velvet Underground released one of the most iconic albums of the history of music. From the cover to the collaboration with German singer Nico, it was soon clear that The Velvet Underground And Nico would have become one of the most artistically significant albums ever.

With the solid lyrics base offered by the band’s singer and guitarist Lou Reed, and the interpretation left in Nico’s hands, the album is one of the most inspired yet sincere. Despite world hits now-turned classics like “Sunday Morning,” the album was at first a commercial failure by the pop music standards of the sixties. Controversial singles like “Venus In Furs,” which is a violent and unsettling narration of a sadomasochistic and preserve triangle between two lovers and the narrator who observes them in their servo-mistress game and “Run Run Run” needed more than a decade for the public to appreciate.

Drugs, sex and cynical protagonists led to a ban of the record. It’s only with time that music fans rediscovered the art hidden in every word and note of the probably too vanguard and modern work of art of The Velvet Underground And Nico.

March 13: Sex Pistols and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

On March 13, 2006, punk rock band Sex Pistols refused to attend their own induction into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Cleveland, Ohio, music institution is one of the most important and well-seen in the rock panorama, yet Sex Pistols were not having it. While Blondie, Herb Alpert and Black Sabbath were all inducted and joined the ceremony, Pistols posted a handwritten note on their website, criticising the organisations and industry. The group carried on their punk, rebel, provocative approach to the music industry that made them famous. “We’re not your monkeys, we’re not coming. You’re not paying attention,” wrote the group.

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