Today in rock history; Purple Rain goes no.1, the world meets Dio, Ricky Nelson breaks in the Billboard Hot 100 and more

Kinks got us, too.

Today in rock history: on this date in 1975, a milestone heavy metal album was released. Originally intended to be a solo release by guitar hero Ritchie Blackmore, the recording sessions the Deep Purple axeman held for the project instead evolved into a brand new band. Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow, the self-titled, debut album by the metal guitarist’s newly assembled outfit, heralded the arrival of one of the genre’s most dynamic and powerful singers, Ronnie James Dio. Although he’d led hard rock band Elf before joining forces with Blackmore, it was this landmark album that introduced the world to the powerhouse vocalist. The record climbed as high as no.11 on U.K. sales charts and cracked the top 30 in the U.S. While sales were not through the roof for this release, its impact and its significance marking the new era of Blackmore’s post-Deep Purple work are undeniable. The album contains the Rainbow/Ronnie James Dio classic “Man On The Silver Mountain” which is highly regarded as one of the cornerstones of the heavy metal genre.

Today in rock history: on this date in 1984, Prince’s watershed album Purple Rain reached the no.1 spot on the U.S. Billboard and remained at that coveted spot for a whopping 24 weeks. The record-breaking soundtrack album produced five hit singles and made the Minneapolis genius musician a household name. The album has sold in excess of 25 million copies and is one of the most successful and largest-selling soundtrack albums of all time. 

Today in rock history: on this date in 1958, Billboard Magazine introduced the “Hot 100 Singles Chart” for the very first time. The first single to top the newly adopted chart intended to track the sales of 45 RPM records was “Poor Little Fool” by teen idol and television star, Ricky Nelson. The song topped the newly created chart for two weeks at the height of Nelson’s popularity as one of the stars of long-running prime time TV series, “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.” 

Today in rock history: on this date in 1964, British rock band The Kinks released its third single, “You Really Got Me.” The song, featuring heavy, fuzz-laden power chords courtesy of lead guitarist Dave Davies, proved to be the breakout single for the young U.K. band. Widely regarded as an early influence on heavy metal and punk rock, the hard rocking, energetic tune was a smash hit in the U.S. as well as in England and was the catalyst for making the band a viable part of the “British Invasion” that overtook America during the mid-1960s along with the The Rolling Stones, The Beatles and The Animals.

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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