Today in rock history; Eminem releases The Slim Shady LP, The Selecter gives us Pressure and more

Otis Redding remembered, and Queen's 10-minute No. 1 hit.

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Today in rock history: on this date in 1968, as the music world still mourned the recent death of superstar soul singer and songwriter Otis ReddingThe Dock of the Bay, a posthumous album that collected some of his music entitled, was released. Having passed away as a result of a plane crash in December of 1967, the death of the 26-year old musical giant was a huge loss. This album, containing songs recorded between July of 1965 right up until two days before his untimely death, compiled a variety of singles and B-sides and was incredibly successful. Containing Redding’s biggest hit, "(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay, " which rose to the No. 1 spot on the U.S. Billboard singles chart after Redding’s passing, the album also contained the singles “I Love You More Than I Can Say” and “The Glory of Love” which also performed well on singles charts. “The Dock of the Bay” reached No. 1 on the U.S. R&B album chart and No. 4 on the pop album chart. The record also reached No. 1 in England where Otis and his music were loved and admired.

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Today in rock history: on this date in 1999, hip-hop phenomenon Eminem released his first major label album (and his second album overall), The Slim Shady LP. Brought to prominence by hip-hop giant Dr. Dre, who signed Eminem to his division of Interscope Records titled Aftermath Entertainment, the record was a major hit and made the young, Detroit-based rap artist a major star almost overnight. Delivering the songs on the album from the viewpoint of his alter ego, Slim Shady, Eminem’s extremely profane and violent compositions raised eyebrows among skeptics and critics which translated to incredible record sales. Fueled by the huge hit “My Name Is,” the album rose to No. 1 on hip-hop albums charts and No. 2 on pop albums charts in America and sold more than five million copies in the States alone. The record also established Eminem as one of the most popular hip-hop artists in the world and began a steady stream of platinum-selling albums for the popular artist.

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Today in rock history: on this date in 1980, British ska revival band The Selecter released its debut album, the fantastic Too Much Pressure. As other ska bands like The Specials and Madness were all the rage in England at the time, this first album by The Selecter didn’t receive the attention or the popularity that its contemporaries did but, nonetheless, earned an important place in the burgeoning ska/2-tone scene that was exploding in Britain. Led by powerful lead vocalist Pauline Black, the band combined punk, reggae and soul influences to create its unique sound and style. While it was unusual to see a ska band with a female lead singer at the time, Black proved that her pipes and her soulful delivery overshadowed any gender biases that might have existed. Featuring the singles “Three Minute Hero” and “Missing Words,” the album is probably most associated with its title track, which is by far one of the defining songs of its time and genre. The album rose to No. 5 on the British albums chart and all three of its singles were top 20 hits in Britain as well.

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Today in rock history: on this date in 1980, British heavyweight rock band Queen scored its first No. 1 hit single in America. “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” a rockabilly throwback written by lead singer Freddie Mercury originated on the band’s eighth album, The Game. Mercury revealed later that the song took him a whole 10 minutes to write and that the idea came to him while taking a bath. The song stayed at the No. 1 spot for four straight weeks making it one of the band’s most successful singles in the U.S.  The song has since been covered by artists like Chris Isaak, Brian Setzer and Dwight Yoakam. A major hit all around the world, “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” fared well on sales charts in many countries; in Australia, the song remained at the No. 1 spot for seven straight weeks and showed that the band was capable of tackling different styles and genres other than the powerful, anthemic rock and roll they’d become known for.

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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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