Today in rock history; Yes finally releases a hit album, Breakfast Club soundtrack debuts and more

Mick Jagger goes solo and Smokey Robinson is born, too.

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Today in rock history: on this date in 1985, the soundtrack for the incredibly successful teen coming-of-age film, The Breakfast Club was released. Despite consisting of several forgettable songs and incidental instrumental tracks from the film, the real draw on the album was “(Don’t You) Forget About Me,” the memorable tune which lyrically, seemed to embody the theme of the film, and was played during both the opening and closing credits of the hit movie. Although the song was originally pitched to Billy Idol, Roxy Music’s Bryan Ferry and The Fixx (who all passed on recording it), veteran Scottish post-punk turned pop band Simple Minds got the nod (although, they too rejected the song at first but were later convinced to record it). Reluctant to record a song its hadn’t written itself, the band agreed to record the song which was written by the soundtrack’s producer and renowned new wave record producer, Keith Forsey. The gamble paid off and Simple Minds scored a massive hit with the song which topped sales charts in countries all over the world. As the band’s first bona fide hit single in America, Simple Minds was introduced to a whole new audience in the States despite already having six albums and several European hit singles to its credit. The band is still recording and touring. “(Don’t You) Forget About Me” remains one of its most recognizable songs and is still a regular part of Simple Minds’ live set lists.

SAY YES
Review: Yes conjures up its own 'Drama' at Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg (w/ photos + setlist)

Today in rock history: on this date in 1971, British prog rock band Yes released its third album, and it proved to be its breakthrough. After two albums that sold very modestly, the band was in danger of being dropped from its record label, Atlantic Records. Instead, the third time around was truly a charm for the band. With the addition of guitar whiz Steve Howe to the lineup, the band created The Yes Album, the record that would solidify its sound and style, and in addition, would prove to be the breakthrough Yes and its label were so anxious for. The album was a huge hit in the band’s native England where it made it as high as No. 4 on the British album chart and it was the group’s first album to crack the top 40 in the United States. Containing songs that would become integral pieces of the Yes canon like “Starship Trooper,” “Perpetual Change” and the catchy, almost-pop sound of “I’ve Seen All Good People,” Yes had its first bona fide hit record on its hands. Later in ’71, the band would release its magnum opus, “Fragile,” which would catapult them to becoming one of the most popular bands in the world.

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Today in rock history: on this date in 1940, William Robinson Jr. was born in Detroit, Michigan. Better known by his nickname Smokey, the gifted singer and songwriter was integral in helping legendary soul and R&B record label Motown Records rise to prominence. First as leader of popular singing group The Miracles which racked up several hit singles for the label, Smokey Robinson is also known as being one of the most prolific and talented songwriters in the history of pop music. Penning some of the biggest hits his labelmates Marvin Gaye, The Temptations and Mary Wells would enjoy, Robinson was jointly recognized for his arranging skills, his sweet falsetto voice and his own hits like “Ooo Baby Baby,” “The Tracks of My Tears,” “The Tears of a Clown” and so many others. A Grammy winner and an inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as well as the Songwriters Hall of Fame, Smokey Robinson (who was given his nickname as a small child from an uncle due to his love of western films) turns 78 years old today.

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Today in rock history: on this date in 1985, after more than 20 years as lead singer and co-songwriter with The Rolling Stones, charismatic frontman Mick Jagger released his very first solo album, She’s The Boss. Producing the album along with experimental musician Bill Laswell and ex-Chic guitarist and songwriter Nile Rodgers, Jagger was incredibly successful with his first solo outing. Containing the hit singles “Lucky in Love” and “Just Another Night,” the album featured an impressive array of guest musicians including rock guitar legends Pete Townshend and Jeff Beck as well as jazz great Herbie Hancock to name a few. The record was a top 10 hit in England and just missed that accolade in the States where it peaked at No. 13. The album went on to sell over a million copies in the U.S. alone making Mick’s first attempt away from the Stones an enormous success.

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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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