Has it really already been 50 years since The Grateful Dead released their debut album? My, my, those half-centuries certainly do fly by…
In commemoration of this momentous anniversary, we’re kicking off an equally-momentous, utterly epic album reissue series of the Dead’s back catalog, one which involves two-disc deluxe editions and limited-edition picture disc versions of all the group’s studio and live albums. The original albums will have newly remastered sound, the second disc of each will contain unreleased recordings, and the 12” picture discs will contain that same newly-remastered audio. Mind you, it’ll be a limited-edition situation with the vinyl reissues, so if you don’t rush to get one of the 10,000 copies we’re producing, you’ll be out of luck.
29 years ago today, The Drifters were officially inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
When it comes to the Hall of Fame inducting a group, there are certain rules that must be followed in terms of which line-up of the group – and the members therein – are going to officially be inducted. In the case of The Drifters, they went a slightly different route, picking and choosing from the various eras of the group: the lucky individuals to be selected were Clyde McPhatter, Bill Pinkney, Gerhart Thrasher, Johnny Moore, Ben E. King, Charlie Thomas, and Rudy Lewis.
30 years ago today, Hüsker Dü released their sixth studio album, a double-LP affair which served as both their sophomore effort for Warner Brothers as well as the final studio album that the band would ever record.
Given the evolution of both Bob Mould and Grant Hart as songwriters, it was perhaps always inevitable that Hüsker Dü was destined to either flame out or fade away, which – in case you don’t know the history of the band – was what happened after the trio finished their touring obligations for WAREHOUSE: SONGS AND STORIES, but at least they went out on a high note.
24 years ago today, the members of Fleetwood Mac’s classic ‘70s / ‘80s lineup put aside the differences that had led them to split in the wake of 1987’s TANGO IN THE NIGHT and reunited to perform at President William Jefferson Clinton’s inaugural ball.
45 years ago this month, Bread released their fourth LP, which proved to be the highest-charting studio album of the band’s career and provided them with four top-40 hits.
Produced by frontman David Gates, who also served as the band’s predominant songwriter, BABY I’M-A WANT YOU was a transitional album for Bread, as it was their first LP without founding member Robb Royer in their ranks. Although his departure was due to increasing tensions between him and Gates, Royer continued to write songs with Jimmy Griffin, who remained in the band, hence Royer’s name still turning up in the credits as the co-composer of “Dream Lady” and “Games of Magic.” From a musical standpoint, however, keyboard duties were handed over to new member Larry Knechtel, who arrived with an impressive résumé, having played on The Beach Boys’ PET SOUNDS, The Doors’ self-titled album, and Chet Baker’s BLOOD, CHET, AND TEARS.
39 years ago today, Warren Zevon released his third studio album, and while it featured a decidedly dark title track, it also offered up a tune about British lycanthropes which remains Zevon’s signature song.
Recorded at The Sound Factory in Los Angeles and produced by Jackson Browne and Waddy Wachtel, EXCITABLE BOY was the first time that Zevon found legitimate commercial success: it hit #8 on the Billboard 200. What was different about this album that led it to rise so high in the charts when its predecessors had not? For one thing, it was loaded with notable musicians, including Browne, Karla Bonoff, Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Linda Ronstadt, J.D. Souther, and Jennifer Warnes. More importantly, though, it featured a little ditty called “Werewolves of London.”
Last Tuesday kicked off our annual Start Your Ear Off Right reissue campaign, and if this is the first you’re hearing of it, then allow us to steer you toward what we wrote about it a week ago today. Go ahead and read it now. We’ll wait.
When it comes to The Stooges’ place in rock history, there’s more or less a consensus among rock critics – or as close to a consensus as you’re ever going to get with rock critics, anyway – that they’re among the greatest rock bands of all time.