Smash musical Jesus Christ Superstar made its Broadway debut on this day in 1971

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Today in rock history: On this date in 1971, Jesus Christ Superstar, the rock opera written by songwriting duo Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Weber, made its debut on Broadway. Although met with some opposition from religious groups and protesters, the musical play opened to rave reviews and was widely embraced by theatergoers who welcomed the new, updated format of the play. Based on the last week of Jesus’s life, the play consisted of continual songs in place of dialogue and was written in a manner where dialogue wasn’t really necessary; the sung parts and the themes of the songs themselves were enough to keep the piece of work and plot flowing. Based on a concept album that was released the year prior, the idea to turn the album into a full-fledged onstage play came after the original album was met with such positivity. The play was a huge success on Broadway, adapted for a major motion picture and also spawned several revivals including runs in Great Britain and several other countries around the world. The accompanying soundtrack was a huge success that has gone on to become one of the best-selling and most revered Broadway original cast recordings of all time.

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Today in rock history: on this date in 1972, after recently parting ways with The Supremes, lead singer Diana Ross launched her career as a film actress. Stepping out on her own after leaving the best-selling girl group of all time, Ross scored several hit singles as a solo artist and seemed well on her way to carving out a successful music career on her own. What fans of her music may not have been aware of was the fact that Diana was also a gifted and talented actress. Her starring role in the biopic Lady Sings the Blues, which was based on the real life story of troubled jazz singer Billie Holiday, stunned critics and fans alike when the film opened to huge box office success on this date, 36 years ago today. Ross was acknowledged for her gripping, outstanding performance by being nominated for an Academy Award for her portrayal of Holiday. The film also starring Billy Dee Williams and comedian Richard Pryor was a massive box office hit raking in millions of dollars in ticket sales. The film’s soundtrack, album which featured many songs originally recorded by Holiday and sung by Ross was also a huge hit. The two-record soundtrack LP made it all the way to the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s pop albums chart and stayed in that slot for two straight weeks.

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Today in rock history: On this date in 1993, Boston-based indie rock band The Lemonheads released their sixth album, Come On Feel the Lemonheads. The band’s third album after being signed to major record label Atlantic Records was met with anticipation following the breakout success of its previous release, 1992’s It’s A Shame About Ray. The band was regularly featured on MTV’s alternative music video program, 120 Minutes, received loads of airplay on college radio stations and was at the height of its success during this period. The record included several singles including the pop gems “Big Gay Heart” and “The Great Big No” as well as the catchy, power pop classic “Into Your Arms,” which held the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s newly devised "modern rock tracks" chart for nine straight weeks. The album also reached the Top 50 on Billboard’s pop albums chart, proving to be the highest charting release this fine band would achieve.

INTERVIEW
Before Tampa show, Daryl Hall talks about the music press and why you won't hear deep cuts at Amalie Arena

Today in rock history: On this date in 1984, the most successful duo in pop music history, Daryl Hall and John Oates, released its 12th album, the monster hit, “Big Bam Boom.” The pair was on a roll of hit singles and top-selling albums at the time of this release, and that success was catapulted significantly with the arrival of Big Bam Boom. Climbing all the way to No. 5 on Billboard’s pop albums chart, the record helped launch the biggest and most successful world tour of the group's existence and furthered Daryl and John’s already strong presence on MTV. The record’s first single, “Out of Touch” was an unprecedented success; apart from rising all the way to No. 1 on pop singles charts, it also performed successfully on R&B and adult contemporary charts proving the wide and vast cross-section of listeners and record buyers Hall and Oates was able to attract. Other singles from the record included “Possession Obsession,” “Method of Modern Love” and “Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid.” Big Bam Boom went on to sell over 2 million copies in the U.S. alone and charted extremely well in several countries around the world proving the pair’s universal appeal.

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About The Author

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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