Bowie completes "Berlin Trilogy," Jackson's Janet and more

Today in rock history.

Today in rock history: on this date in 1993, Janet Jackson released her blockbuster fifth solo album, the simply-titled Janet. As the youngest member of the musical Jackson family, Janet veered toward a more provocative image with this release — a shift that paid off tremendously. The front cover of the album depicts a cropped photo of Janet’s face but the original photo was much more seductive and revealing. When it appeared on the front cover of Rolling Stone magazine the same year, the photo actually showed the singer topless with her breasts covered by a pair of hands outstretched from behind her (which actually belonged to her husband at the time). Janet exceeded expectations by debuting at No. 1 on Billboard’s pop albums charts and, at the time, set a record for the highest first-week sales of any album by a solo female artist. Janet topped album charts in several countries around the world and is one of the very few albums in music history to boast six Top 10 singles, including classics like “If,” “Again” and “That’s The Way Love Goes.” Janet went on to sell 7 million copies in America alone and remains one of Ms. Jackson’s most beloved and well-received albums of her long career. Jackson recently announced an August 7 Tampa show.

Janet Jackson will play Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on August 7

Today in rock history: on this date in 1979, David Bowie released his 13th album, Lodger. The last installment in what’s considered the “Berlin Trilogy,” the album completed the cycle that included the Low and Heroes albums, which were both released in 1977. Although the record received very mixed reviews upon its release, it has since been hailed as an underrated and ambitious piece of work. Accused of being slicker and more pop-oriented than its two predecessors, Lodger contained the singles “Look Back In Anger,” “Boys Keep Swinging” and the quintessential classic, “DJ.” Mixing snatches of world music with unorthodox recording methods like utilizing tracks played in reverse for the final product, Lodger is undoubtedly one of Bowie’s most experimental and unique works. The album wasn’t a swift seller in the U.S. and charted lower than Bowie’s previous albums had. It climbed as high as No. 4 on sales charts in England, where it was a much bigger success.

Today in rock history: on this date in 1976, California singer and songwriter extraordinaire, the late Warren Zevon released his second solo album. The self-titled record was by no means a big seller and made little impact on sales charts, but it helped further Zevon’s status as one of the freshest and most critically acclaimed songwriters from the west coast. This fine record contained four Zevon compositions that 1970s pop hitmaker Linda Ronstadt would cover, which in turn would help Zevon achieve notoriety for his clever songwriting style. “Hasten Down The Wind,” “Mohammed’s Radio,” “Carmelita” and “Poor Poor Pitiful Me” all originated from this album before Ronstadt recorded her own versions for inclusion on some of her million-selling albums throughout the ‘70s. An all-star cast of musicians backed Zevon on the album, including Jackson Browne, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks from Fleetwood Mac as well as various members of The Eagles. Success would come for Zevon with his following album, 1978’s Excitable Boy, which included his signature song, “Werewolves of London.”

Today in rock history: on this date in 1950, Mark Mothersbaugh, the captivating lead singer of groundbreaking new wave band Devo, was born in Akron, Ohio. Forming the band in the early 1970s with his bandmates, Mothersbaugh and Devo created quite a buzz and started attracting a cult following that helped draw plenty of attention to the quirky outfit. The band’s first album, the revolutionary 1978 release, Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! was produced by musical pioneer Brian Eno and drew plenty of accolades and critical acclaim. Besides his time with Devo, Mothersbaugh is an exceptional visual artist who has also created plenty of music for film soundtracks and children’s shows. As one of the most magnetic and visually intriguing frontmen of the late '70s new wave movement, Mothersbaugh and Devo have been enormously influential on countless bands that have followed in their footsteps.

About The Author

Gabe Echazabal

I was born on a Sunday Morning.I soon received The Gift of loving music.Through music, I Found A Reason for living.It was when I discovered rock and roll that I Was Beginning To See The Light.Because through music, I'm Set Free.It's always helped me keep my Head Held High.When I started dancing to that fine, fine...
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