Today in rock history: On this date in 1974, Santa Monica, California group The Hues Corporation went to No. 1 on Billboard’s pop singles chart with its hit “Rock the Boat.” The song was originally released in 1973 and made little impact on sales charts. It wasn’t until it began getting airplay in New York City that it became a hit and started to get played in various cities around the country. Widely recognized as the very first disco song to top the charts, “Rock the Boat” ushered in the era of the popular dance club genre and wound up selling over 500,000 copies making it a gold-selling single. The Hues Corporation was never able to replicate the success of this hit and is often referred to as a one-hit wonder act.
Today in rock history: On this date in 1987, Liverpool, England post-punk band Echo and the Bunnymen released its sixth album. The self-titled record included the singles "The Game,” “Bedbugs and Ballyhoo” and “Lips Like Sugar,” one of the group’s best-known songs and an alternative club dance-floor smash. The album was the last to feature original drummer Pete de Freitas, who would pass away two years after this album’s release as a result of a motorcycle accident. The album was another Top 10 hit for the band in its native England and sold well in America despite being met with mixed reviews from rock journalists who felt that the band had scaled back its sound and were going for a more commercial style for this release.
Today in rock history: On this date in 1985, sister-led rock and roll band Heart released its eighth album. The self-titled album marked the beginning of one of the band’s most commercially successful periods and helped make Heart popular with a whole new audience of listeners. Receiving heavy airplay on music video channel MTV, the album contained several hit singles that would reach the Top 10 on Billboard magazine’s pop singles chart including “Never,” “What About Love” and “These Dreams.” The album would climb all the way to No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 albums chart and is the only album the band, led by sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson, would have go all the way to the top of the charts during Heart's long career.
Today in rock history: On this date in 1971, legendary Detroit, Michigan proto-punk band The MC5 released its final album, High Time. The album received overall positive critical praise, but the band — whose records sold poorly despite eventually being considered essential stepping stones of the punk-rock movement — would soon disband. Less political than some of the band’s earlier work, High Time would ironically be viewed as the record with the most commercial appeal of the band’s catalog despite being its final release. No singles were released from this fine album as a result of its poor sales and the lack of interest this all-important rock and roll album.The band has a September show set for St. Augustine Amphitheatre — more info on the venue and show is available in CL's Summer Guide.