Today in rock history; the birth of Freddie Mercury, Skinny Puppy arrives, Stevie Nicks' Bella Donna and more

Soundgarden releases 'Louder Than Love,' too.

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Today in rock history: on this date in 1946, Farrokh Bulsara was born in Stone Town, Sultanate of Zanzibar (the region of Eastern Africa now known as the country of Tanzania). Growing up in India before moving to England, the young man who was moved and inspired by rock and roll changed his name to Freddie Mercury, joined forces with guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor in 1970 and created the nucleus of what would eventually become one of the greatest and most globally popular rock bands of all time, Queen. Selling millions of records and concert tickets all over the world, Mercury was loved and idolized for his onstage charisma, his flamboyance, his amazing multi-octave vocal talents and the many hit songs he wrote throughout his long and fruitful career with Queen.  Mercury passed away at age 45 in 1991 but the indelible mark he left on rock music will never be forgotten. Freddie Mercury was a true original who will never be replaced.

Queen and Adam Lambert celebrate News of the World's 40th anniversary at Chicago's United Center

Today in rock history: on this date in 1986, Canadian industrial rock outfit Skinny Puppy released its second album, the ground-breaking, underground classic, Mind: The Perpetual Intercourse. The album features one of the band’s best-known songs “Dig it” which became an instant alternative dance club staple upon its release. Mixing deep politically motivated messages to the tune of sometimes brutal, grinding, hypnotic, heavy music, Skinny Puppy spawned a movement that influenced many artists and musicians to followed their path and create similarly confrontational and dark, challenging music; one of them being Trent Reznor who’d later form the wildly successful Nine Inch Nails. The cover artwork features a still shot of a pornographic film being shown on a television screen, an act that led to the record being added to Tipper Gore’s list of releases that she felt required parental intervention and led her to form the PMRC (Parents Music Resource Center) and the recommendation to affix warning labels on seemingly controversial albums.


Today in rock history: on this date in 1989, up and coming Seattle rock band Soundgarden released its second album, Louder Than Love. The record was the first the band would release on major label A&M Records after its stint with renown independent label Sub Pop. After making waves and creating quite a buzz on the strength of its unique sludgy, blues-influenced brand of metal, the band and its powerhouse lead singer, the late Chris Cornell, were the first to strike and draw attention to the rumbling that so many new bands were making in the northwestern part of the U.S. The record features Soundgarden singles “Loud Love” and “Hands All Over” and drew mostly positive reviews from critics upon its release although some of the lyrical content drew negativity from some retail outfits who refused to carry the record and some conservative groups who denounced the record. The band played Tampa as recently as April.

Chris Cornell's death ruled suicide by hanging — Tampa Bay locals react

Today in rock history: on this date in 1981, Bella Donna, the very first solo album from Fleetwood Mac co-lead vocalist Stevie Nicks reached the no. 1 spot on Billboard’s pop albums chart. Stevie’s very first solo outing included contributions from several of her contemporaries and musician friends and it spawned two incredibly successful hit singles that were recorded as duets with some of the most popular of the album’s guests: “Leather and Lace” with Eagles member Don Henley and “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Other album standouts include the country-influenced “After The Glitter Fades” and one of Stevie’s signature songs, “Edge of Seventeen." The record achieved platinum status a month after topping album sales charts and eventually went on to sell in excess of six million copies in the U.S. alone making it Stevie Nicks’ most popular and successful album as a soloist to date. Read our review of Nicks' rarities-laced November 2016 Tampa set 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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