Today in rock history: on this date in 1976, rock innovator David Bowie released his 10th studio album, Station To Station. Often regarded as one of his most ambitious and consistent works, the album ushered in one of Bowie’s most striking and intriguing personas known as the Thin White Duke. Following in the footsteps of its predecessor, 1975’s Young Americans, Station To Station found Bowie experimenting with funk and soul music while incorporating elements of electronic music to create one of the most groundbreaking albums of his career. The album’s lead single, “Golden Years” was a slice of blue-eyed soul that performed well on sales charts (peaking at No. 10 on the U.S. Billboard pop singles chart) and earned the British rocker an invitation to perform on weekly syndicated music program, Soul Train. The album was a massive success too: it peaked at No. 3 on in the United Stated and proved to be David’s highest charting and best-selling album up to that point. One of the album’s highlights was Bowie’s interpretation of the moody ballad “Wild Is The Wind” which was originally made popular in the 1950s by both crooner Johnny Mathis and jazz legend, Nina Simone. The album’s dramatic black and white cover photo captures the artist in a scene from the 1976 film he starred in, The Man Who Fell To Earth.
Today in rock history: on this date in 1977, British rock band Pink Floyd released its 10th album, Animals. Inspired by the classic George Orwell book, "Animal Farm," the record’s common theme involves political commentary of the state of Britain in the late 1970s. Another massive success for the ingenious band, Animals fared extremely well in both England and America where it remained in the upper reaches of sales charts for most of 1977 in both regions. Containing Floyd classics like “Pigs on the Wing” and “Sheep,” the album is considered by many die hard fans of the band to be its finest release.
Today in rock history: on this date in 1978, the extremely talented yet sadly underrated lead guitarist of rock group Chicago, Terry Kath, died in a most unfortunate accident. Following a party, the skilled musician who regularly carried handguns was showing off a 9mm pistol to a member of the band’s road crew who’d warned him to be careful with the firearm. Assuring him that the gun was not loaded, Kath showed the chamber of the gun to the concerned gentleman to assure him there was nothing to worry about. To prove his point, Kath the held the gun to his temple and pulled the trigger, not realizing that one round remained in the pistol. The shot killed the gifted guitarist instantly and the band and their fans were left with a huge void in the dynamic of the group. Many felt that, had Kath been more of a showman, he’d have gotten more noticed within the large band and would have been better recognized for his superb guitar skills.
Today in rock history: on this date in 1981, Elvis Costello released his fifth studio album, Trust. As his fourth release featuring his stunning backing band The Attractions, the record was a major step in Costello’s career and showed his depth and versatility in grand fashion. After being characterized as the angry young man to emerge from the punk/new wave movement, Trust found the clever songwriter dabbling in a variety of genres including jazz, country, rockabilly and torch ballads. Another highly regarded and critically acclaimed album for Elvis, Trust made it as high as No. 28 on the U.S. Billboard albums chart and boasted the stylistic triumphs, “Clubland,” “New Lace Sleeves” and “Watch Your Step.” The album also contains “From a Whisper to a Scream,” a high energy duet with Squeeze lead singer Glenn Tilbrook that charted well as a single in England.