Today in rock history; Wilco's debut album arrives, Blondie's "Rapture" goes No. 1 and more

The Young Rascals and Led Zeppelin get some love, too.


Today in rock history: on this date in 1995, A.M., the debut album from American rock band Wilco was released. Following the demise of alt-country band Uncle Tupelo, two of its members went their separate ways and formed their own bands. Guitarist and singer Jay Farrar formed Son Volt and Jeff Tweedy created Wilco. A.M. preceded Son Volt’s debut record, Trace by six months and unfortunately, didn’t make much impact on sales charts. The band’s country-rock sound wasn’t exactly commercially viable at the time but the record nonetheless attracted a rabid fan base that has been loyal and dedicated to the still-active band since the very start. The album featured essential Wilco tracks like “Casino Queen,” “I Must Be High” and “Box Full of Letters” which was released as the album’s only single. Although A.M. was a slow seller, it's significant in being the very first release for a band that has become one of the most consistent and critically-lauded bands of the last two decades. To date, Wilco has released a total of 10 studio albums and remains an active recording and touring band. Son Volt recently played St. Pete's Et Cultura festival — see photos here.

Et Cultura’s musical weekend was a pioneering triumph that too many of you totally missed (w/photos)

Today in rock history: on this date in 1981, American new wave band Blondie took over the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s pop singles chart with its hit, “Rapture.” The song appeared on the band’s fifth album, Autoamerican which had already produced another massive hit, a cover of the reggae classic “The Tide is High,” which was originally recorded by Jamaican group The Paragons in 1966. “Rapture” featured the band and its sultry lead singer Deborah Harry experimenting with rap music when the genre was still in its infancy. Rather than attempting to crossover as a genuine rap act, the song was created as more of an homage to New York City hip-hop pioneers Grandmaster Flash and Fab Five Freddy who are directly referred to within the song’s rap portion. The song helped shed light on this up and coming style of music and drew plenty of attention to it as an art form. “Rapture” held the top spot in the U.S. for two weeks and was a top 10 hit in several countries around the world as well.


Today in rock history: on this date in 1966, the debut album by New Jersey blue-eyed soul band The Young Rascals was released. The self-titled record was a huge hit and peaked at No. 15 on Billboard’s pop albums chart. The album produced the major hit singles “I Ain’t Gonna Eat My Heart Out Anymore” and “Good Lovin'’” (which was a No. 1 hit) as well as the band’s versions of songs made popular by Bob Dylan, Wilson Pickett and Larry Williams. The Young Rascals achieved gold sales status by selling 500,000 copies in America alone. The album was the first in a long list of hit records by the band. By 1968, at the time its fourth album would be released, “Young” would be dropped from the group’s name and they’d simply be known as The Rascals.


Today in rock history: on this date in 1973, British hard rock giant Led Zeppelin released its fifth album, Houses of the Holy. Another big hit for the band who dominated rock charts at the time, the album was a No. 1 hit in several countries around the world including America, Australia, Canada and Great Britain. Although Led Zep was opposed to releasing singles from itsalbums, two were culled from this one and became chart successes in the U.S. — “Over the Hills and Far Away” and “D’yer Mak’er.” Houses of the Holy was a huge seller around the globe and achieved sales in excess of 10 million copies in America alone. Besides the singles, the album also features the Zeppelin classics “Dancing Days,” “No Quarter” and “The Rain Song.” The album’s striking cover features real life siblings, a brother and sister, who were used as models for the photos that were snapped in Northern Ireland. The cover was not without some controversy though: many retailers across southern states in the United States refused to carry the record due to the child models being nude on the album’s cover.


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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