Today in rock history: on this date in 1976, the all-female Los Angeles based hard rock band The Runaways released their debut self-titled album. Formed and led by Los Angeles scenester Kim Fowley, the band of very young women was marketed by their record label as sexy bad girls but the record buying public in the States didn't seem to take much notice. Sales wise, the record (and their subsequent releases) didn't have much of an impact here but were all highly successful in Japan where the band was warmly embraced and welcomed. But the truth is, these ladies rocked. Led by lead singer Cherie Curie and anchored by guitarists and songwriters Joan Jett and Lita Ford (who'd both go on to successful solo careers), their sound was a cross between hard rock and pop with some punk influences creeping in there too. This album is best known for the anthem "Cherry Bomb", which is undoubtedly the song the band is most remembered by. Other standouts include Jett's "You Drive Me Wild" and a hard rock version of the Velvet Underground's "Rock and Roll". While sales for this one were light, the impact it has had, most specifically on female musicians and fans, is enormous.
Today in rock history: on this date in 1982, British art rock and glam rock pioneers Roxy Music released their eighth and final studio album, Avalon. A noticeable departure from the band's earlier sound, the album drifted more into lush, textured ballads and smooth, contemporary, slinky, bass-driven tunes. The band embarked on a successful tour in support of the album and got MTV airplay for the singles "More Than This" and the title track. The record reached the no.1 spot in their native England and in various parts of Europe and turned out to be the only million selling album the band would score here in the U.S. Lead singer Bryan Ferry carries the album with his warm and versatile crooning and makes listening to Avalon straight through a truly unique experience. While many Roxy Music fans prefer the band's earlier, more quizzical albums, a large number rank this one as their favorite. A gorgeous, exquisitely-produced album that still sounds fresh and modern today.
Today in rock history: on this date in 1963, pop vocalist Lesley Gore scored a no.1 hit with her song "It's My Party". While Gore would enjoy many hits throughout the 1960's, this single marks the debut of Quincy Jones as a producer. The legendary musician, composer and songwriter would go on to produce many more records throughout his long career but this one is credited as the very first one he ever produced.\\<\/iframe\>
Born on this date in 1947 in Hillingdon, Middlesex, England: guitarist, singer, songwriter, painter and artist Ron Wood. Starting out as a member of the Jeff Beck Band in the 1960's, Wood soon left with lead singer Rod Stewart to form Faces. As the band was deciding to call it quits in the mid-70's, The Rolling Stones were in need of a new guitarist in order to fill the spot of recently departed Mick Taylor. Wood got the call and he's been with them ever since. Wood has released his own collection of impressive solo albums and is a pretty accomplished painter and artist as well. Happy 70th to Ronnie Wood.