Today in rock history, Sly Stone's Riot, Bo Diddley defies Ed Sullivan, Isaac Hayes' Shaft theme tops charts and more

Alice Cooper flexes his 'Muscle of Love,' too.


Today in rock history: on this date in 1971, R&B/rock and roll band Sly and the Family Stone released its fifth studio album, the incredibly important and socially relevant There's a Riot Goin' On. Following the band's triumphant performance at 1969's massive Woodstock festival, its popularity rose drastically which helped propel this record to great heights. Upon its release, this album, on which the band delved into darker, more socially aware territory than on previous releases, simultaneously debuted at the No. 1 spot on Billboard's pop albums chart as well as on the publication's R&B albums chart, a feat that indicated how popular the large, multi-racial band had gotten. The album cover, depicting what appears to resemble an American flag with suns replacing stars, came plainly packaged without any text or lettering on the front of the jacket. The album's lone single, "Family Affair," proved to be one of the best-selling and most enduring singles Sly Stone and his band would ever release. Like the album, the single went to No. 1 on pop and R&B charts as well, which helped to catapult the album to platinum sales status, marking more than one million copies sold, not long after its initial release.


Today in rock history: on this date in 1971, singer/songwriter Isaac Hayes was at the top of the U.S. singles chart with "Theme From Shaft," his composition that served as the theme song for the popular Blaxploitation crime drama film, Shaft. The single held the top spot for two weeks and brought Hayes accolades and notoriety as one of the best-selling R&B artists of the early 1970s and praise as a film score composer. Hayes wrote and created the entire soundtrack and score for the box office smash film and received an Oscar award for his musical contributions to the film, making him the first African American composer to ever win a prestigious Academy Award for his "Theme From Shaft" as the Best Original Song from a film for the year of 1971.


Today in rock history: on this date in 1955, up and coming blues-influenced rocker Bo Diddley was scheduled to perform on the popular weekly live entertainment program, The Ed Sullivan Show. Diddley was slated to perform his version of the Tennessee Ernie Ford hit "Sixteen Tons," but, instead, as his portion of the live program began, the man who'd soon be credited as being one of the true architects of rock and roll music instead broke into his song that bears his namesake, "Bo Diddley." Show host Ed Sullivan and the show's producers were not amused and there and then banned Bo from every performing on the popular program again. Reportedly Sullivan predicted that Bo Diddley's career would last no more than six months after this stunt; instead, he went on to be regarded as one of the most important and influential rock and roll performers of all time.


Today in rock history: on this date in 1973, Alice Cooper released his seventh album, Muscle of Love. The album marked the very last release with Cooper's red hot original backing band in tow; after this record, Cooper would become a solo artist and would release his incredibly successful album, Welcome To My Nightmare. Muscle of Love came packaged in a cover that resembled a brown cardboard shipping carton and had an intentional stain printed on it. The record peaked at No. 10 on Billboard's pop albums chart and achieved gold sales status which paled in comparison to the sales its predecessor Billion Dollar Babies, released earlier in '73 (that record went straight to the top of the charts and sold over a million copies not long after its release). Muscle of Love received lukewarm reviews and was for the most part considered to be the weakest of all of Alice's early records. One single from the album, "Teenage Lament '74" was a hit in the U.S. but fared much better all over Europe. Cooper is set to play Clearwater in March — details on that show are available here.

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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