Today in rock history: on this date in 1986, New Jersey hard rock band Bon Jovi released its third album, the multi-million selling smash hit Slippery When Wet. The record is still the band’s biggest success to date with U.S. sales topping the 12-million mark alone. Brimming with hit singles, the record occupied the no. 1 spot on Billboard’s album chart for eight weeks and wound up being the best-selling album of 1987. Some of the band’s best known songs, “Livin’ On A Prayer” and “You Give Love A Bad Name,” both appear on this blockbuster album and both were no. 1 singles as well. The original album cover concept featured a female model wearing a wet T-shirt with the album title emblazoned on it but was quickly withdrawn in favor of a safer, less controversial cover. Read our review of the band's February set in Tampa here.
Today in rock history: on this date in 1975, top selling duo Daryl Hall and John Oates released their self-titled album, an album commonly referred to as the “silver album” due to the shiny, silvery sleeve in which it was packaged. The album was the pair’s first in a long line of successful releases they’d record for the RCA Records label and it featured the duo’s very first top 10 single in the U.S. — the smash hit, “Sara Smile.” The cover depicts Daryl and John wearing a substantial amount of makeup and sporting an androgynous, glam rock look thanks to the work of makeup artist Pierre LaRoche, the man who helped David Bowie create his striking Ziggy Stardust look.
Today in rock history: on this date in 1977, after some personnel changes, the up and coming new wave band The Police settled on a lineup as a trio. The band played its very first show as the classic lineup of Sting, Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers on this date. This lineup that would soon become internationally known and loved around the world. The band’s very first live appearance as a three-piece band occurred on this date 40 years ago at a club named Rebecca’s in Birmingham, England. Sting is joining the Florida Orchestra onstage in December — details on that show are available here.
Today in rock history: on this date in 1978, celebrated rock giants The Who released its eighth studio album, Who Are You. The album was met with lukewarm reviews from critics but was a massive hit nonetheless both in England and in the United States. The record features the well-known title track, which was undoubtedly one of the band’s most recognizable and most familiar tracks before being used as the opening theme for popular television program CSI: Crime Scene Investigation in recent years. The record was the last to feature original drummer Keith Moon who died unexpectedly less than a month after the record was released. In an ironic and unfortunate coincidence, Moon is pictured on the front cover of the album at a chair with the words “Not To Be Taken Away” painted on it. Although the band’s future looked bleak after Moon’s death, the remaining members hired ex-Faces drummer Kenney Jones to replace him and continued to tour and record albums for many more years to follow in their post-Moon formation.