Today in rock history; 1978's Rock Against Racism, plus albums from Wings, Cheap Trick and The Cure

Because "Keep Britain White" is just an idiotic thing to say.

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Today in rock history: on this date in 1973, Paul McCartney released his second album with his post-Beatles band, Wings. Red Rose Speedway was much more successful than its predecessor, 1971’s Wild Life, which arrived with very little fanfare and featured no hit singles. “My Love,” one of McCartney’s biggest hits while fronting Wings, was released just before Red Rose Speedway and helped make the album a massive hit. The single as well as the album both reached No. 1 on their respective charts in America and made Wings a commercially successful outfit. Featuring ex-Moody Blues member Denny Laine on guitar and McCartney’s wife Linda on keyboards, the band became Paul’s second successful band following the demise of The Beatles. Performing better in the U.S. than in Paul’s native England, Red Rose Speedway was met with plenty of lukewarm reviews by critics but that didn’t stop the album from becoming a big seller. Wings would rise to new heights with its follow up album, the blockbuster Band on the Run which was released only eight months after Red Rose Speedway. McCartney dug into some Wings during his last Tampa stop. Read our review here.

Review: In Tampa, Paul McCartney and 17,000 fans revel in the simple, inimitable beauty of song (w/photos + setlist)

Today in rock history: on this date in 1984, British post-punk band The Cure released its quirky and ambitious fifth album, The Top. Experimenting with a variety of sounds and textures, the band created an album that showed off its psychedelic influences while still appealing to its dedicated current fan base. Lead singer, guitarist and chief songwriter Robert Smith was also busy serving as a member of one of The Cure’s contemporaries, Siouxsie and the Banshees but still managed to write and record a magnificent album in The Top. One of the band’s most memorable songs, “The Caterpillar” was the album’s only single and it performed well in England. The Top also contains Cure standout tracks like “Shake Dog Shake,” “Give Me It” and “Piggy in the Mirror” which all show off the band’s versatility and drastic stylistic capabilities. This eclectic album cracked the top 10 in the U.K. and is often referred to as one of The Cure’s most formidable and celebrated albums.


Today in rock history: on this date in 1982, Cheap Trick released its sixth studio album, One on One (the first record to include the band’s new bassist, Jon Brant, who joined after the departure of original bassist Tom Petersson). The album benefited from heavy exposure on music video channel MTV which kept the clips accompanying both of the record’s hit singles in heavy rotation. Both singles — the Beatlesque ballad “If You Want My Love” and the super-charged rocker “She’s Tight” — helped launch this record and introduced the powerhouse Midwestern rock band to a whole new audience. This no-nonsense, straightforward, rocking record was embraced by the band’s legion of fans and went on to achieve gold sales status.


Today in rock history: on this date in 1978, Rock Against Racism, a British organization formed to combat The National Front, a neo-Nazi group in the UK whose slogan was "Keep Britain White," staged the first of its outdoor concerts and rallies to raise awareness for the cause. The concert was held at London's Victoria Park and was headlined by The Clash who, to that point, had only one album to its credit. Also on the bill were fellow punk rock bands X-Ray Spex and  Buzzcocks, reggae legends Steel Pulse and reggae-inspired punk band The Ruts. This particularly turbulent time in Britain found strained race relations as The National Front was gathering power. The outdoor concert was attended by thousands of supporters who opposed the racism that was flagrantly starting to overtake Great Britain. An accompanying album comprising of some of the performances captured at the concert as well as contributions from other acts like The Mekons, Elvis Costello and Stiff Little Fingers was also released in an attempt to raise further awareness to this crisis.


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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