A Look at Seven Massively Influential Albums Released in August During the Past Few Decades

WDET

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From Lady Gaga all the way back to Chic, some of the greatest albums have been released in August.

As the month begins, WDET’s Rob Reinhart takes a look back at some of the best albums that have come out late in the summer.

2008: Lady Gaga’s The Fame

The Fame marked Lady Gaga’s ascent into international superstardom.  

1998: Lauryn Hill’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill

Miseducation, one of the most successful debut albums ever, won five of the ten GRAMMY awards it was nominated for and went on to sell more than 20 million copies. It is, interestingly, the only solo record from Lauryn Hill.

1988: NWA’s Straight Outta Compton

A pillar of gangsta rap, NWA’s first album launched the careers of Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, and Eazy-E.

1978: Chic’s C’est Chic

C’est Chic, the second album from the group led by super-producer Nile Rodgers, embodies the funk and disco of the late 1970s and includes hits “Le Freak” and “I Want Your Love.”

1978: The Who’s Who Are You

Who Are You incorporated new sounds from the British rock group and received mixed reviews from critics. Three weeks after the album came out, Keith Moon, the band’s drummer, passed away.

1968: Smokey Robinson and the Miracles’ Special Occasion and In The Groove by Marvin Gaye

Both of these albums came out on August 26th, 1968. The interesting thing is both records contained the song, “I Heard It Through The Grapevine,” which was written by Norman Whitfield. The song had already been a hit when Gladys Knight and the Pips released their version. The Miracles put it on Special Occasion and it was also included on Gaye’s album, In The Groove. Of course, Gaye’s version of “Grapevine” went on to be the one for the ages.

Image credit: Chris Butcher / Public Domain

Aired on: CultureShift
About the Author

Rob Reinhart

Host, Rob Reinhart’s Essential Music & Acoustic Cafe

Rob’s been doing radio his entire life… he likes it, a lot. Now he does radio on the air, online and occasionally in far flung places. Join him!

rreinhart@wdet.org   Follow @RobReinhart

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