behindthegrooves:

behindthegrooves:

On this day in music history: October 13, 1973 – “Head Hunters”, the twelfth album by Herbie Hancock is released. Produced by Herbie Hancock and David Rubinson, it is recorded at Wally Heider Studios and Different Fur Studios in San Francisco, CA in September 1973. Having previously experimented with synthesizers, mixing jazz with R&B and funk rhythms on the albums “Mwandishi”, “Crossings” and “Sextant”, Herbie Hancock delves deeper into this area when it comes time to record his second album for Columbia Records in the Fall of 1973. Hancock assembles a new band for the recording of the album that includes Bennie Maupin (saxophones, wind instruments), Harvey Mason (drums), Bill Summers (percussion) and Paul Jackson (bass). Consisting of four extended tracks, the album’s centerpiece is the opening cut “Chameleon”. Running over fifteen and a half minutes, the epic track goes through many different moods and changes before returning to the opening vamp. Many jazz purists initially balk at Hancock’s extensive use of the ARP Odyssey and Moog synthesizers as well as the Fender Rhodes electric piano. But the new sound quickly finds favor with younger and more open minded fans, widening his fan base, and going on to become of the best selling jazz albums of all time. “Head Hunters” comes to be regarded as a defining moment in the genre of jazz/funk. A year after its initial release, it is remixed into four-track Quadraphonic stereo and released on LP and 8-Track tape. This multi-channel mix is briefly reissued as a high definition SACD (Super Audio Compact Disc) in 2001. First remastered and reissued on CD in 1997, it is remastered again in 2013 as part of the “Complete Columbia Albums Collection 1972 – 1988”. In 2007, it is added to the National Recording Registry by the Library Of Congress for its historic significance and ongoing musical influence. The album is also inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 2009. Out of print on vinyl since the late 80’s, it is remastered and reissued as a 200 gram LP by Analogue Productions in 2015, along with a hybrid SACD (w/ the multi-channel mix) of the classic title. AP also releases a limited edition two LP 200 gram vinyl set mastered at 45 RPM in June of 2017, with the album’s four tracks given their own individual LP side. “Head Hunters” peaks at number thirteen on the Billboard Top 200, number two on the R&B album chart, number one on the Jazz chart, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.