Today in rock history: On this date in 1985, thrash metal band Megadeth released its debut album, Killing is My Business...and Business is Good!” Led by singer and guitarist Dave Mustaine, the album helped establish the band and became an integral release in the rise and popularity of the thrash metal genre. A one-time member of world famous metal band Metallica, Mustaine was dismissed from the band in its early days due to his disruptive drug and alcohol usage. Returning with a vengeance, Mustaine’s goal was to eclipse the success of the band from which he’d been fired. Released on indie metal label Combat Records, the album was well received by hard-rock critics and put Megadeth on the metal map. The record included a heavy cover of Nancy Sinatra’s 1960’s pop hit, “These Boots Are Made For Walkin’” and “Mechanix,” a song Dave originally wrote for Metallica to record.
Today in rock history: On this date in 1950, Cheap Trick drummer and original member, Bun E. Carlos was born in Rockford, Illinois. Born Brad Carlson, the reliable and steady drummer helped give Cheap Trick its raw and raucous sound and played a major role in the band's eventual breakthrough on a 1979 blockbuster live album, At Budokan. Bun remained an active touring and recording part of the band until 2010 when internal turmoil led to a rift within the band. After a long campaign by diehard fans to get the band inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cheap Trick was finally bestowed that honor in 2016 and Carlos performed with the band during its induction ceremony.
Today in rock history: On this date in 1984, British synthesizer player, songwriter and singer Howard Jones released his debut album, Human’s Lib in America. Released three months earlier in his native England, the album was a massive success in the U.K. where it reached No. 1 on the British album sales chart and stayed active on that chart for a full year. In America, two of the album’s four British hit singles made a big impact thanks to heavy airplay on music video channel, MTV. “What Is Love” and “New Song” both became Top 20 hits in the U.S. and introduced the positive, uplifting messages and the catchy pop sounds of Jones to a huge audience in America.
Today in rock history: On this date in 1973, Flint, Michigan powerhouse rock band Grand Funk Railroad recorded the anthem that would become its most successful hit single, “We’re An American Band.” The song was an homage to rock groupies, the young women who’d make rock and roll bands feel welcome when they’d visit their hometowns while on tour. Lyrics that celebrated interactions with the devoted female fans went as far as namedropping one of the most famous groupies of all, Little Rock, Arkansas’s Sweet Sweet Connie. The song hailed from the future No. 1, 1973 album of the same title. Produced by legendary singer-songwriter Todd Rundgren, original pressings of the 45 were manufactured on clear yellow vinyl.