1) 1957 – Buddy Holly releases ‘That’ll Be The Day’
Written, sung, played and produced by Buddy Holly, ‘That’ll Be The Day’ turned out to be the singer’s first number one hit (also his first song that actually charted at all). The song’s title is an actual catch-phrase used by the western movie Searchers’ main character, John Wayne. Regarding the song itself? A true rock ‘n’ roll classic, full stop.
2) 1963 – Bob Dylan releases ‘Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan’
Only his second album – and he’s already seemingly at the top of his game. While listening to ‘Freewheelin’ now, in our dear present, one may not get what the big deal is all about. But all you have to do is place it back in time – in 1963, and compare it to any of its contemporaries. This 50-minutes completely-acoustic album is often pointed to as one of the first fully-realized social-commentaries in rock (folk, actually) music. Now, I don’t know for sure whether that is true or not, but what I do know is that ‘Frewheelin’ is an excellent, thematically-diverse and lyrically-captivating record that was way ahead of its time and deservedly influenced thousands of musicians.
3) 1966 – Paul McCartney plays ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ to Bob Dylan
“Before his concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London, Bob Dylan welcomes the Beatles again in his dressing room; Paul, anxious to impress the singer, plays him an early, electronic version of a track that would later become “Tomorrow Never Knows.” “Oh, I get it, you don’t want to be cute anymore,” Dylan laughs, and leaves the room.” (source here) Now I don’t know what “an electronic version of ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ is supposed to mean, nor whether this is a true story or not (even though it wouldn’t be impossible – Bob Dylan was doing his world-wide electric tour at the time and is even known for spending time with Lennon), but it sure is funny and intriguing to think about. If any of you mighty-Beatles-history-knowledgeables know anything about the story’s veracity, please leave a comment in order to clarify the situation. Meanwhile, here’s the finished song, a true psychedelic masterpiece:
4) 1977 – The Sex Pistols release ‘God Save The Queen’
In many ways this song represents most of what the Pistols were about: punk, attitude, anger, energy, spitful delivery, catchiness, political message transpossed in bashful lyrics and probably others. So it’s no wonder that the single reached to tops of the charts and is, to this day, regarded as one of the most influential songs ever. It’s also no wonder that it got banned from tons of radio stations at the time as well. Fact is, this is a classic tune and my opinion, that of a non-Sex Pistols fan, is totally worthless today and not worth the effort (though I don’t necessarily hate the song).
5) 1997 – Paul McCartney releases ‘Flaming Pie’
After a 4-year break that included his contributions to the famous Beatles’ Anthology project (documentaries + book + albums), Paul McCartney returned to the musical scene with ‘Flaming Pie’, an album that did very well in the eyes of both fans and critics. My opinion? I like the album, but I consider it to be a bit overrated. Paul tries his best to find a balanced combination of emotional acoustic ballads and groovy mid-tempo rockers, and, even though kinda succeeds in the first category, he fails to my ears in the second (meaning that I hate songs like ‘Used To Be Bad’). No more than a year after the album’s release, Paul’s wife, Linda, died of breast cancer after an almost 30-years-long relationship.
Categories: Today In Rock History