Today in rock history: on this date in 1973, Queen released its self-titled, debut album. Receiving mostly favorable reviews from rock critics in both the U.K. and the U.S., the hard-rocking album drew a lot of comparisons to the sound of Led Zeppelin. While not an instant success, the record sold in greater numbers in England after the band had become more established. One single was released from the record (“Keep Yourself Alive”) although it made little impact on sales charts upon its release. This was the first chapter in a long and successful career of a band who soon after this release would become one of the most popular groups in the world.
Today in rock history: on this date in 1964, The Animals scored the no.1 single in Britain with their version of the standard, “The House of The Rising Sun." The single is significant in that it was the longest song to ever reach the top spot in England by clocking in at over four minutes in length. The legendary blues-influenced rock band recorded the song in only one take.
Today in rock history: on this date in 1985, the largest and most successful musical charity event ever took place on two continents; an event called Live Aid. Organized by Boomtown Rats vocalist Bob Geldof and Ultravox member Midge Ure, the day-long event was organized to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia. A virtual who’s who of artists and performers were quickly organized to participate in the marathon concerts that took place in both Wembley Stadium in London, England and JFK Stadium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Highlight performances were turned in by Queen, U2, David Bowie, Duran Duran, Mick Jagger, Tina Turner and a whole cast of others. Drummer and singer Phil Collins appeared at both events thanks to the time delay between the two countries and with the help of a speedy airplane ride aboard the Concorde. The historic event was one of the most watched events in television history and raised millions of dollars for the starving people of Ethiopia.
Today in rock history: on this date in 1985, Duran Duran scored the first-ever no.1 hit single in the U.S. with a James Bond film theme. Its song, “A View To A Kill," the theme for the Bond film of the same name, was the first to top the charts. Although Paul McCartney, Carly Simon and Sheena Easton all had hit singles with their own Bond themes before, none had ever reached the coveted no.1 spot.
Today in rock history: on this date in 1991, Canadian rocker Bryan Adams broke a long-standing record in the U.K. when his single “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You," the theme to the Kevin Costner film Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves spent a whopping sixteen weeks at the no.1 spot. The song spent seven weeks at the top spot in the U.S. as well. The British record had been in place since 1955.