Album charts: an interesting three decades look at what's what...

March 1970: George Harrison w/friends from a Hare Krishna temple who've just made a record! (Photo: McCarthy/Express/Getty Images)

6/23/1962 (55 years ago today) - An album that anticipated genre-mash-ups was way ahead of its time: Ray Charles begins 14 weeks at No. 1 (that's over three-and-a-half months!) with "Modern Sounds In Country And Western Music" -- Fact: nobody had ever heard anything like it before; produced by Ray himself (and in the process, making him one of the very first African-American artists to exercise total control of his own career), the LP marked a serious departure from his previous work, taking country, folk, and Western music standards and re-doing them in rhythm-and-blues, pop and jazz arrangements. Mind-blowing!!! A genuine American musical milestone/masterpiece; if you're a fan of honesty, you should own a copy...

6/23/1973 (44 years ago today) - George Harrison starts five weeks at No. 1 with his fourth solo album, "Living In The Material World" -- It was The Quiet Beatle's second chart-topping LP, notable for lyrics that reflected George's struggle for spiritual enlightenment vs. his status as "global superstar" -- The record is a much more intense listening experience than you might remember, and it features what many critics believed to be the finest vocal and guitar performances of his career: "Be Here Now", "Don't Let Me Wait Too Long",  "Who Can See It", "That Is All", definitely worth going back to and very rewarding indeed...

6/23/1984 (33 years ago today) - Duran Duran hit No. 1 here in the U.S. for the very first time with..."The Reflex"?!?! Apparently. The track was off their third studio album "Seven And The Ragged Tiger" which {somewhat oddly} was also the band's first and only Number One in their British homeland! (Weren't they supposed to be a bigger deal back then...?) Though "Hungry Like The Wolf", "Girls On Film" and "Rio" were much more memorable, it's kinda weird they never topped the American charts until this one came along -- It's certainly not a record you go back to often, really, plus there's the fact that the whole Duran Duran 'experience' is over 30 years old!!! It's a mystery...

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