Today in rock history; Madonna makes her debut, New York Dolls helps forge punk, Stevie Nicks releases first solo record and more

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Today in rock history: on this date in 1973, groundbreaking New York City band New York Dolls released its self-titled, debut album. A classic example of a record that, despite selling poorly, is still a massively influential release. Said by many to be a catalyst in the creation of punk rock, the loose, Rolling Stones-influenced band had built up a huge following in New York City and its live shows were the stuff of legend. Fond of wearing women’s clothing and makeup, the band was considered outlandish and bizarre by radio and the record buying public but a handful of rock critics saw beyond the surface and widely praised the band for the rawness they were bringing back to rock and roll. Signed to Mercury Records and with the aid of renowned musician Todd Rundgren assigned to produce the album, the result was a ragged, loose rock and roll record that’s still considered to be one of the best and most important debut albums of all time. Containing signature songs like “Personality Crisis,” "Jetboy” and “Trash,” this record and the New York Dolls are without a doubt one of the gateways to the rise of so many other important New York bands (Ramones, Blondie) who’d follow their lead. 


Today in rock history: on this date in 1981, Fleetwood Mac singer Stevie Nicks released her first solo album, Bella Donna. After the release of Fleetwood Mac’s double-album Tusk in 1979 and the lengthy world tour that followed, Nicks assembled a band consisting of members of Tom Petty’s band and Bruce Springsteen’s band to record her first solo outing. The album was a huge success and went all the way to no.1 on Billboard’s sales charts.  Hit singles from the record included a duet with Tom Petty, “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” a duet with Eagles member Don Henley, “Leather and Lace” and one of Stevie’s signature songs, “Edge of Seventeen.” The album began a long line of successful solo records by Nicks and remains a fan favorite among her loyal followers. 


Today in rock history: on this date in 1983, underground New York City dance artist Madonna released her self-titled, debut album. Signed to cutting edge record label Sire Records by its president Seymour Stein, hopes were high for the seductive, sexy dancer and singer who’d made quite a name for herself throughout the late night New York City dance clubs. Relying heavily on disco sounds and synthesizers, the album was an infectious mix of pop and dance that, although not an immediate success, made Madonna a star almost overnight. Featuring the singles “Lucky Star,” “Burning Up,” “Holiday” and “Everybody,” it was a version of the song “Borderline” that dance producer John “Jellybean” Benitez remixed and made Madonna a viable chart success, beginning her rise as one of the most popular and best-selling female artists of all time. The album peaked at no.8 on Billboard’s Hot 100 album charts but has gone on to sell over five million copies in the U.S. alone.


Today in rock history: on this date in 1981, Blondie lead singer Debbie Harry released her first solo album, KooKoo. While on a break from a successful run of albums and singles with her band, Harry teamed up with the team of Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards from pioneering disco and R&B band Chic to produce her first solo outing. The record took Debbie in a totally different direction than her work with Blondie and saw her dabbling in funk and R&B. Although not a huge seller, the record contained hits “The Jam Was Moving” and “Backfired” which were released in extended, 12-inch dance mixes and were big dance club hits. The striking cover artwork consists of a facial close up of Harry with large skewers puncturing her face. The design was created by H.R. Giger, most associated with his work in the 1979 sci-fi thriller, Alien.

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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