Neil Young's Sleeps With Angels paid tribute to Kurt Cobain on this day in 1994

Robert Johnson's death is also remembered today in rock history.


Today in rock history; On this date in 2018, the world lost the undisputed Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. She was 76 years old. Read more on that here.

Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, has died at age 76

Today in rock history: On this date in 1994, veteran rocker Neil Young released his 20th studio album, the somber Sleeps With Angels. The record's title track was written with the late Kurt Cobain — who’d passed away only four months before its release — in mind. Cobain’s suicide note made reference to some of Young’s lyrics and so Neil felt compelled to write a song in his honor. The record was positively received and was a welcomed return to Young’s association with his superb backing band, Crazy Horse. Sleeps With Angels was the seventh album of Young’s career to feature the group and is, in uncharacteristic form, more of a melancholy album. The album performed well; it climbed all the way to No. 9 on Billboard’s pop albums chart and featured one single, “Change Your Mind."


Today in rock history: On this date in 1966, the very first record by the made-for-television rock band The Monkees was released. The band’s debut single, “Last Train to Clarksville,” preceded the release of the debut album that would come in October of 1966. The song was written by songwriting duo Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart, who had penned several hit singles for the band. The single shot directly up to No. 1 on both American and Canadian sales charts as it was featured prominently in the group’s television series, which would debut a month after this release.


Today in rock history: On this date in 1957, at the height of his popularity as a teenage heartthrob, singer and actor Ricky Nelson released “Be-Bop Baby,” his first single on the Imperial Records label. As a regular on his real-life family’s weekly sitcom, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, Ricky developed a strong and voracious following mostly made up of teenage girls. The advance orders alone for the “Be-Bop Baby” single exceeded 750,000 copies and the record became another huge hit for Nelson, peaking at No. 3 on Billboard’s pop singles chart on the way to achieving sales of over 1 million copies sold.


Today in rock history: On this date in 1938, blues legend Robert Johnson passed away at the age of 27. Apparently, Johnson died as a result of poisoning. Legend has it that, due to his flirtations with a married woman at a dance, the woman soon gave him a bottle of booze that had been poisoned by her husband. The legendary musician’s recordings from the mid-1930s are considered to be some of the most important recordings of all time. He’s still widely considered to be the quintessential artist in the realm of Mississippi-based Delta blues and has proven to be a huge influence on various rock and roll and blues artists for decades. A famous myth alludes that Johnson sold his soul at the crossroads in exchange for his vast guitar skills. Johnson was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame among the very first round of inductees in 1986 and is widely considered to be one of the most important and influential musicians ever.

About The Authors

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...

Ray Roa

Read his 2016 intro letter and disclosures from 2022 and 2021. Ray Roa started freelancing for Creative Loafing Tampa in January 2011 and was hired as music editor in August 2016. He became Editor-In-Chief in August 2019. Past work can be seen at Suburban Apologist, Tampa Bay Times, Consequence of Sound and The...
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