First this so it’s buried below more important posts to follow.
It’s been a busy week in musical notices. June 3rd marked the seventieth birthdays of two significant women in popular music. The same day in 1950, 400km apart.
Deniece Williams is an R&B singer with four grammies and multiple #1 hits. Williams’s two biggest hits were “Too Much, Too Little, Too Late”, a 1978 duet with Johnny Mathis, and “Let’s Hear It For The Boy” in 1984.
Suzi Quatro is credited as the first woman musician (not just singer) to lead a successful mainstream rock band. 1973’s “Can The Can” was her first hit, while “Stumblin’ In” (a duet with Chris Norman of Smokie) was her only US hit. She sold 50 million records worldwide, but is a one hit wonder in her own country (outside of Michigan). Quatro is more famous in the US for her appearances as Leather Tuscadero on “Happy Days”. A documentary on Quatro’s career will be released on July 1st.
Now for the sad notes….
Rupert Hine (born September 21, 1947) died of undisclosed causes on June 5th, age 72. Hine was one of the best and most high profile record producers of the 1980s and 1990s, his work crossing many categories and many best selling albums and artists: Tina Turner, The Fixx, Rush, Stevie Nicks, Saga, Chris de Burgh, Howard Jones, Suzanne Vega, etc. Some might describe Hine’s production as “sterile”, but his work aged well unlike a lot of 1980s producers. His sound was clean, instruments are distinct, and he used few or no dated effects (e.g. cheap synthesizers, gated drums).
Steve Priest (February 23, 1948) of The Sweet died on June 4th of undisclosed causes. He was the group’s bass player and sang on some songs like “Ballroom Blitz“, eventually taking over singing duties after Brian Connolly left the band. Other favourites of mine include “Action” and “Fox On The Run“.