It's the 28th anniversary of Alice In Chains' debut LP, and that makes us feel old

Today in rock history gives 'Facelift' a brand new meaning.


Today in rock history: On this date in 1979, electronic music pioneer and new wave star Gary Numan released the song that would become the most popular and recognized single of his career, “Cars.” The record was the first to be credited to Numan alone as opposed to the records he’d released previously with backing band, Tubeway Army. The single preceded the album The Pleasure Principle, which would come out a few weeks later. “Cars” was a worldwide smash hit and went all the way to No. 1 in both England and Canada while charting also well in many other countries. In America, “Cars” climbed as high as No. 9 on Billboard’s pop singles chart and remains Numan’s only charting single in the States. The song is now widely considered to be a new wave classic.


Today in rock history: On this date in 1990, Seattle, Washington band Alice in Chains released its debut album, Facelift. The album was not an instant success upon its release but slowly and surely gained attention and a dedicated following. MTV’s regular airing of the band’s music videos helped the band get exposure and reach a wide audience. Several singles were released from the album including “We Die Young” and “Man in the Box.” The album is widely considered to be vital in the rise and popularity of grunge music and wound up becoming the very first album of the genre to crack the Top 50 on Billboard’s pop albums chart as well as being the first to achieve gold sales status with sales exceeding 500,000 copies sold. The album would eventually go on to sell in excess of 2 million copies in America alone and was the first in a line of successful hit records the band would enjoy before the untimely death of lead singer Layne Staley at the age of 34 in 2002.


Today in rock history: On this date in 1904, bandleader, musician and composer William James "Count" Basie was born in Red Bank, New Jersey. As a young man, Basie gained attention for his accomplished piano skills. He’d later find his way to the Harlem area of New York City where he’d find success and would begin his professional career in the 1920s. By the '30s, he’d form the renowned Count Basie Orchestra, an ensemble he’d lead for more than 50 years. A true legend in American music, Basie’s long and illustrious career would find him recording albums with some of the greatest singers of all time, like Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Billy Eckstine and Tony Bennett. His “One O’Clock Jump” from 1937 is probably his best-known song and has been inducted into the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry for its cultural and historic significance. A multiple Grammy Award-winner, Basie also appeared in a handful of feature-length films and is an inductee in the New Jersey Hall of Fame as well being a Kennedy Center Honors recipient. Count Basie continued to record late into his life and released his final album in 1983, only a year before his death in 1984 due to pancreatic cancer.


Today in rock history: On this date in 1990, Los Angeles-based rock band Jane’s Addiction released its second studio album, Ritual de lo habitual. Following the accolades and attention the band received after its major-label debut, 1988’s Nothing’s Shocking, anticipation was high for its follow-up. The album proved to be the band’s breakthrough thanks to the exposure the singles “Stop!” and “Been Caught Stealing” would receive. The band gained a wider audience thanks to the enormous success of the record but, sadly, Jane’s Addiction would experience its first breakup the following year in 1991. Other essential tracks on this fine album include “Classic Girl,” “Three Days” and “Ain’t No Right” among several others. The record eventually went on to sell more than 2 million copies in the U.S. alone and made it as high as No. 19 on Billboard’s pop albums chart. The original cover features intriguing, eye-catching artwork by the band’s lead singer and lyricist, Perry Farrell. Unfortunately, some retailers refused to carry the album as is so the band and its label created an alternate, safer cover that featured only black text on a stark white background that featured only the album title and the band name as well as a transcript of the First Amendment.  


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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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