Today in rock history; Wayne's World premieres, Heart debuts then releases Bébé le Strange four years later

Party on.

Today in rock history: on this date in 1977, the ultimate party band from Athens, Georgia, The B-52’s, performed for a live audience for the very first time. Having recently gotten together as a result of an impromptu jam session the prior October, the five-piece band played publicly together at a friend’s Valentine’s Day house party and soon developed a loyal, local following. The following year, the band would release its debut single, the surf-guitar inspired dance tune, “Rock Lobster.” By 1979, the band would release a self-titled debut album which has often been referred to as one of the greatest debut albums of all time and an integral part of the late 1970s new wave explosion. Click here to read our JUne 2017 interview with Cindy Wilson.

An interview with Cindy Wilson of the B-52's

Today in rock history: on this date in 1992, the rock and roll-inspired comedy film Wayne’s World premiered. Based on a popular Saturday Night Live sketch, the film exceeded all expectations and became a box office smash. The film topped $180 million in worldwide box office receipts and remains the most successful of every major motion picture released based on an SNL skit. The film featured a hilarious cameo from legendary shock rocker Alice Cooper as well as capturing a glimpse of Cooper’s highly visual live performance style. In one of the film’s most memorable scenes, lead actors Mike Myers and Dana Carvey portraying Wayne and Garth, respectively, rock out to the 1975 Queen epic, “Bohemian Rhapsody” while driving.  The usage of the classic tune in the film helped the song make another appearance on the U.S. pop singles chart and climb as high as No. 2 nearly seventeen years after its original release. The film’s soundtrack album was a No. 1 hit on U.S. pop charts and the film was popular enough to spawn a sequel, Wayne’s World 2 which was released in 1993.

Today in rock history: on this date in 1970, The Who, one of the most exciting and powerful live acts of the time, performed at the University of Leeds in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. With the success the band had found with its mind-blowing performance at the Woodstock festival in 1969 and the release of its landmark rock opera Tommy the same year, the band felt it was time to let the entire world know what it was capable of in concert by releasing a live album. The result was Live at Leeds, an album that received critical praise upon its release and one that has been continuously cited as one of the greatest rock and roll concert albums of all time. The record featured an explosive cover of Eddie Cochran’s rockabilly classic “Summertime Blues,” which was released as a single as well as the band’s revved up take on blues and jazz pianist Mose Allison’s “Young Man Blues.” The album was a fantastic seller as well, cracking the top five on album charts in both England and America and remains a solid document of one of the greatest rock bands of all time in its absolute prime.

Today in rock history: on this date in 1976, hard rock band Heart released its debut album, Dreamboat Annie in America (the record was released the previous August in Canada, the country where the band’s original record label, Mushroom Records, was based). Real life sisters and co-lead singers Ann and Nancy Wilson found great success upon the release of their first album in America. Dreamboat Annie was a huge success in the U.S. and featured the hit singles “Magic Man” and “Crazy On You” which instantly became rock radio staples. The album made it as high as No. 7 on America’s Billboard pop albums chart and went on to sell over a million copies making it Heart’s first platinum-selling album. One the same day in 1980, the band released its fifth studio album, Bébé le Strange. With an obvious fondness for releasing records on Valentine’s Day, the band scored another hit with this one which also cracked the top 10 on album charts in America.  Bébé le Strange also featured the hit single “Even It Up” which featured dazzling horn accompaniment by the renowned brass section of funk/jazz band Tower of Power.

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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