Today in rock history: On this date in 1959, jazz legend Miles Davis released his milestone, classic album Kind of Blue. Often regarded as the greatest album of its genre, the record has served as a highly influential work of art not only for jazz musicians but for artists of all different disciplines. Recorded earlier in the year of its release, the record's personnel features luminaries like saxophone players John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley, pianist Bill Evans and the great Paul Chambers on bass, to name a few. Kind of Blue has sold in excess of 4 million copies in the United States alone and has been cited as the best-selling jazz album of all time. Containing Miles classics like "So What" and "Freddie Freeloader," Kind of Blue is another one of Davis's essential pieces of work and is an album that no home should be without.
Today in rock history: On this date in 1970, The Band released its third album, Stage Fright. Anticipation was high for The Band's third offering after the incredible success and accolades the group's first two albums received. More of a rock record than its two predecessors, Stage Fright contained two of the group's best-known songs: "The Shape I'm In" and the title track. The album was another critical triumph for the Canadian band and climbed as high as No. 4 on Billboard's pop albums chart (surpassing the chart success of both the group's 1968 landmark debut album Music From Big Pink and its 1969 self-titled album). Produced by The Band, Stage Fright was engineered by Todd Rundgren (who is playing a sold-out show at Clearwater's Capitol Theatre this weekend) during the early days of his career.
Peter Hook talks about his son, Substance and more before St. Petersburg show at State Theatre
Today in rock history: On this date in 1987, pioneering British dance music group New Order released its essential collection album, Substance. Released as a 2-LP set, a 2-CD set and a double cassette, the album compiled all of the group's singles up until that point along with "True Faith," a brand-new single that made its debut on this album. The CD and cassette versions of the album contained all of the singles on one disc or tape and all of the B-sides of those singles on the other. Simplistically and elegantly designed, the cover of the album is another example of New Order's iconic and timeless design work. As the group's best-selling and most recognized album, Substance has sold several million copies worldwide. Substance also cracked the Top 40 on U.S. sales charts and went all the way to No. 1 on England's independent albums chart. Read our interview with former New Order bassist Peter Hook here.
Today in rock history: On this date in 1984, Los Angeles-based shock-rock metal band W.A.S.P. released its self-titled debut album. Led by singer, songwriter and bassist Blackie Lawless, the band had already carved out a devoted following in Southern California by the time the record was released. The album and the group gained notoriety after being called out by the PMRC (Parents Music Resource Center), led by Tipper Gore, who listed one of the album's tracks as part of the "Filthy 15," a list of songs the organization deemed grotesque or offensive. The song in question, "Animal (F**k Like a Beast)," was removed from the album by the band's record label, Capitol Records, as a way to avoid the pressure PMRC threatened to apply. The song would be added to later pressings of the album once the controversy had died down. The album achieved gold sales status in America and is regarded as a true representation of the mid-'80s L.A. metal boom.