Today in rock history; Duran Duran's "Hungry Like the Wolf" hits the Top 10, Gorillaz arrives and more

The Heartbreakers' 'Southern Accents' and Thin Lizzy's 'Jailbreak' released, too.

Today in rock history: on this date in 2001, virtual band Gorillaz released its self-titled, debut album. The brainchild of Damon Albarn (lead singer of popular Brit-pop band Blur) and comic book artist Jamie Hewlett, the pair came up with the idea of creating a band made up of illustrated members after watching music videos on MTV together and reflecting on the banality of most promotional music clips. The idea blossomed into a full-fledged product that began with this, the very first release from the band. The record, which incorporated a series of genres like pop, hip-hop, world music and electronica, was a surprise hit in England and its success caught on in America too. Featuring a series of guest artists like rapper Del the Funky Homosapien,  DJ Kid Koala and producer Dan the Automator, the record featured the hit singles “Clint Eastwood,” “19-2000” and “Rock the House.” The album was a top five hit on British sales charts and broke into the top 20 on American charts as well as faring well all over the world. Gorillaz marked the start of this popular, innovative band which has gone on to release four more albums since and has also embarked on a series of virtual concert tours as well, including a recent stop at Miami's III Points Festival.

III Points sells out Mana Wynwood and lifts a storm-ravaged Miami off the ground

Today in rock history: on this date in 1976, Irish rock and roll band Thin Lizzy released its sixth studio album, Jailbreak. The band had been successful in its home country and all over Europe but success in America had eluded it. That all changed with the release of this breakthrough album. With the popularity of powerful hit singles “Boys Are Back In Town,” the record’s title track and the rock radio airplay both received, Thin Lizzy found itself with a hit album that achieved gold sales status in America. Thin Lizzy became a popular box office draw, too, thanks to the high-energy concerts it was known to perform. The influential band was never able to match the success of Jailbreak but, nonetheless, remained a consistent, well-loved band right up until its final album in 1983. Sadly, the band’s lead singer, bassist and primary songwriter, the dynamic Phil Lynott, passed away in 1986.

Today in rock history: on this date in 1985, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers released its sixth album, Southern Accents. The album was an instant hit thanks to its lead single, “Don’t Come Around Here No More” which became one of Petty’s highest charting singles. Co-written with Dave Stewart of 80s new wave band Eurhythmics, the song peaked at No. 13 on Billboard’s singles charts and had an accompanying music video created for it that featured several “Alice in Wonderland” inspired images. The album, which was originally intended to be a concept album until the idea fell through during recording sessions, also featured the hits “Rebels” and “Make it Better (Forget About Me).” The album peaked at No. 7 on Billboard’s pop albums chart and remains a favorite from the late Tom Petty’s catalog for many of his loyal fans. Tom Petty passed away last year at the age of 66.

Today in rock history: on this date in 1983, British dance/pop band Duran Duran scored the first of many top 10 hit singles in America. “Hungry Like the Wolf,” a song from the band’s 1982 sophomore album Rio had been released as a single soon after the album had come out, but made little impact in America. The band was doing well in England, and its albums and singles were charting high, but success in the U.S. had eluded it. That is, until MTV became a vehicle for breaking brand new, up and coming bands by way of the channel’s music video format. The single’s accompanying video was filmed in the exotic location of Sri Lanka and heavily featured the band’s five stylish members. The constant airplay the video received prompted the single to be re-released at which time it performed a lot better the second time around. Upon its second release, the single peaked at No. 3 on Billboard’s pop singles charts in America and started a long and steady string of hits the band would enjoy.

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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