behindthegrooves:

behindthegrooves:

On this day in music history: November 30, 1991 – “Set Adrift On Memory Bliss” by P.M. Dawn hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 1 week, also peaking at #16 on the R&B singles chart on the same date. Written by Attrell Cordes and Gary Kemp, it is the biggest hit for pop/rap duo from Jersey City, NJ. Consisting of brothers Prince Be (Attrell Cordes) and DJ Minutemix (Jarrett Cordes), the duo make their debut in 1989 with the single “Ode to a Forgetful Mind”. The record flops in the US, but fares much better in the UK when their US label Warlock Records licenses it to Gee Street Records. After Gee Street is purchased by Island Records in 1990, P.M. Dawn begin work on their first album. While working on the album, Prince Be hears Spandau Ballet’s 1983 hit “True”, and comes up with the idea to base a new song around a sample of that songs’ intro. Calling it “Set Adrift On Memory Bliss”, they also add samples of hip hop staples like The Soul Searchers “Ashley’s Roachclip”, and Bob James’ “Take Me To The Mardi Gras” to the track. The lyrics make reference to a number of different songs including Joni Mitchell’s “The Boho Dance”, George Michael’s “Careless Whisper”, The Pointer Sisters’ “Neutron Dance”, A Tribe Called Quest’s “Bonita Applebum”, with the latter’s lyric altered to name check actress Christina Applegate. For its single release, the track is remixed by Youth (birth name Martin Glover) of the British post punk band Killing Joke.  Released in the UK first, it peaks at #3 on UK singles chart before it is released in the US in September of 1991, as the second single from PM Dawn’s debut album “Of The Heart, Of The Soul And Of The Cross: The Utopian Experience”. Entering the Hot 100 at #50 on October 19, 1991, it vaults to the top of the chart six weeks later. The music video for the song features a cameo appearance by Spandau Ballet lead vocalist Tony Hadley. “Set Adrift On Memory Bliss” makes history as the first single to hit number one on the US pop chart using the Soundscan and BDS (Broadcast Data Systems) computer systems to tabulate radio airplay (the actual number of spins on air) and sales information (the number of copies sold in record stores). “Set Adrift On Memory Bliss” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.