21 December

Pick a Day

21 DECEMBER

In Music History

Page 1
1 2 3

2019 Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You" goes to #1 in America for the first time, 25 years after it was first released in 1994.

2014 With gay marriage now legal in England, Elton John marries David Furnish, exactly nine years after they were joined in a civil ceremony.

2013 "The Monster" by Eminem featuring Rihanna hits #1 in America. It's the first hit co-written by Bebe Rexha, who later emerges as an artist.

2012 Lee Dorman (bassist for Iron Butterfly) dies in Laguna Niguel, California, at age 70.

2007 Tim Burton's film adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim/Hugh Wheeler musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street opens in US theaters. Johnny Depp stars as the Demon Barber himself, and manages to earn the respect of critics for his singing performance on the film's soundtrack.

2001 The movie How High opens in theaters. The film stars Method Man and Redman as stoners who get into Harvard.

2000 The Chicago Sun-Times becomes the first newspaper to publish a story detailing R. Kelly's alleged sex crimes with underage girls.

1999 DMX releases his third album, ...And Then There Was X. Led by the singles "What's My Name" and "Party Up (Up in Here)," it goes to #1 in America, where it sells nearly 5 million copies.

1996 En route to a White House dinner with the Clintons, Tony Bennett suffers a ruptured hernia and is rushed to the hospital.

1996 Fourteen months after it was released, No Doubt's album Tragic Kingdom goes to #1 in America, where it spends nine weeks.

1996 Liz Phair and husband Jim Staskauskas welcome baby boy James Nicholas.

1992 Bluesman Albert King dies of a heart attack in Memphis, Tennessee, at age 69.

1989 Carlos Santana (of Santana) and his wife Debbie welcome their daughter Angelica Faith.

1988 Paul Avron Jeffreys (bassist for Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel) is killed en-route to his honeymoon when he and his wife, Rachel, become victims of the Lockerbie terrorist bombing (of Pan Am Flight 103). He was 36. The Four Tops were also slated to be onboard the plane but overslept after a late-night recording session.

1985 Dante Bonutto's Phil Lynott interview is screened. It would be the singer's last TV appearance before his death.

Page 1
1 2 3

The Cure Release Controversial Debut Single

1978

The Cure release their debut single, "Killing An Arab," an existential song about a man who contemplates the meaning of life after murdering an Arab on a beach. Based on the controversial title, the band faces accusations of provoking anti-Arab sentiment.

Cure frontman Robert Smith was inspired by Albert Camus' 1942 novel, The Stranger, when he wrote "Killing An Arab," particularly a scene when the main character reflects upon his murderous actions. He had no idea he would be fielding accusations of racism throughout the rest of his career because of it. It becomes a particularly thorny issue when the song is introduced to US audiences via the band's Standing On A Beach compilation in 1986. It's released a month after the US launches air strikes in Libya in retaliation for its leader, Muammar Gaddafi, allegedly orchestrating the Berlin discotheque bombing that leaves two American servicemen dead. As a result, some American deejays take the title quite literally and start using the single as a propaganda tool to stoke anti-Arab sentiment. When The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee gets wind of the situation, they demand Elektra Records pull the track from future pressings of the album. Instead, the copies feature a sticker bearing a disclaimer from Smith that decries the racist allegations. He writes: "The song 'Killing An Arab' has absolutely no racist overtones whatsoever. It is a song which decries the existence of all prejudice and consequent violence. The Cure condemn its use in furthering anti-Arab feeling." It's a message he'll continue to reiterate when the accusations during the Persian Gulf War and following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Categories

Comments

send your comment
Be the first to comment...

©2022 Songfacts®, LLC