Today in rock history, on this date in 1980. Ohio-based new wave pioneers and innovators Devo released their third studio album, Freedom of Choice. On the strength of the catchy hit single that garnered plenty of radio airplay and television appearances, "Whip It", the band had a genuine hit record on their hands. The album also contains other Devo classics like "Girl U Want", "Gates of Steel" and the title track.
Today in rock history, on this date in 1970. The Who released their first live album, and the only live album they'd release while their original classic lineup was intact, Live At Leeds. Often referred to as the greatest live album of all time, this document captures one of the most powerful and incendiary rock and roll bands of all time at their strongest and most ferocious. The band's explosive rendition of the Eddie Cochran rockabilly classic "Summertime Blues" was culled from the album and released as a single and received plenty of airplay at the time.
Today in rock history, on this date in 1966. Two of the most vital and important albums of the rock era were released. The Beach Boys released their eleventh studio album Pet Sounds on the very same day that Bob Dylan released his seventh, the two-LP set Blonde On Blonde. These two brilliant albums capture two very different artists who'd created landmark albums that would not only change the course of their careers but would serve as great sources of inspiration for a countless number of musicians and for record buyers in general. Brian Wilson's genius songwriting and production techniques would lead to one of the most sophisticated pop records of all time that made their contemporaries, namely The Beatles, take note of the ground the Beach Boys were breaking. A masterpiece album that contains the essential singles "God Only Knows" and "Wouldn't It Be Nice" among several others.
Dylan's double album tour de force captures him at his absolute peak and is often cited as his very best album of his long and storied career. Taking rock songwriting to a whole new level, this album is chock full of great songs and was, for many, the very first rock double-album they'd ever purchased. Not a bum track in the bunch, this is undoubtedly one of the greatest rock albums of all time.
Today in rock history, on this date in 1976. New York City based poet and rock singer Patti Smith made her UK debut when she appeared at the Roundhouse in London, England. Being highly touted after the release of her landmark debut album Horses in 1975, Smith's appearance in England did plenty to inspire the then up and coming punk rock bands who were just getting started. Opening the show was a British band who'd soon be key players in the punk explosion in the UK, The Stranglers.