January 19th 1967, The Beatles began recording 'A Day In The Life' at Abbey Road studios London, recording four takes of the new song. According to Lennon, the inspiration for the first two verses was the death of Tara Browne, the 21-year-old heir to the Guinness fortune who had crashed his Lotus Elan on 18 December 1966 in Redcliffe Gardens, London.
January 19th 1998, American Rockabilly singer, songwriter Carl Perkins died aged 65 from throat cancer. He wrote the classic rock & roll song 'Blue Suede Shoes', the first record on the Sun label to sell a million copies.
January 19th 1943, Born on this day, Janis Joplin, US singer, who had a 1971 U.S No.1 single with 'Me And Bobby McGee' and the 1971 U.S No.1 album 'Pearl'. Janis died on October 4th 1970 after an accidental heroin overdose. Joplin was cremated in the Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Mortuary in Los Angeles; her ashes were scattered from a plane into the Pacific Ocean and along Stinson Beach.
Artist Biography by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Initially, .38 Special were one of many Southern rock bands in the vein of the Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd; in fact, the band was led by Donnie Van Zant, the brother of Skynyrd's leader, Ronnie Van Zant. After releasing a couple of albums of straight-ahead Southern boogie, the band revamped its sound to fall halfway between country-fried blues-rock and driving, arena-ready hard rock. The result was a string of hit albums and singles in the early '80s, highlighted by "Caught Up in You," "If I'd Been the One," "Back Where You Belong," and "Like No Other Night." .38 Special's popularity dipped in the late '80s as MTV-sponsored pop and heavy metal cut into their audience. Though the band had its biggest hit in 1989 with the ballad "Second Chance," it proved to be their last gasp -- they faded away in the early '90s, retiring to the oldies circuit.
Donnie Van Zant (vocals) formed the Jacksonville, FL-based .38 Special in 1975 with Jeff Carlisi (guitar), Don Barnes (guitar, vocals), Ken Lyons (bass), Jack Grondin (drums), and Steve Brookins (drums). Two years later, the band signed with A&M Records and released its eponymous debut. Neither 38 Special or its follow-up, Special Delivery, received much attention, but the group began to build up a following through its constant touring. Bassist Lyons left before the recording of 1979's Rockin' Into the Night, the album that demonstrated a more melodic, driving sound; he was replaced by Larry Junstrom. Rockin' Into the Night became a moderate hit, but 1981's Wild-Eyed Southern Boys was a genuine hit, going platinum and generating the Top 40 "Hold On Loosely." Special Forces, released in 1982, was even more popular, spawning the Top Ten single "Caught Up in You." Tour de Force (1983) and Strength in Numbers (1986) were both successes, and the band continued to be a popular touring outfit. Barnes and Brookins left in 1987; Barnes was replaced by Danny Chauncey.
While Strength in Numbers had been popular, it didn't stay on the charts as long as its predecessors. Flashback, the 1987 greatest-hits album, was moderately successful, but the band took precautions to retain its audience by recording the polished Rock & Roll Strategy. Released in 1989, the album slowly became a hit on the strength of "Second Chance," an adult contemporary-oriented ballad that reached the Top Ten. Rock & Roll Strategy became the band's final big hit. Barnes returned to the band in 1991 and the group added drummer Scott Hoffman and keyboardist Bobby Capps. Even with the extensive retooling and the support of a new label, Charisma, 1991's Bone Against Steel failed to gain much attention. .38 Special didn't release another album for six years. In the summer of 1997, they released a comeback effort titled Resolution on Razor & Tie Records. Live at Sturgis followed on CMC in 1999.(AllMusic)
Artist Biography by John Bush
The Ontario-based band Tokyo toured the province for several years before changing their name to Glass Tiger and signing with Capitol. Debut album The Thin Red Line became a hit when "Don't Forget Me (When I'm Gone)" reached the top of the national charts in the summer of 1986. After 1988's Diamond Sun, drummer Michael Hanson quit, leaving guitarist Al Connelly, vocalist Alan Frew, bassist Wayne Parker, and keyboard player Sam Reid. Released in 1991, Simple Mission was Glass Tiger's last album except for Best of Glass Tiger: Air Time (1993).(AllMusic)
Artist Biography by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
At a time when pop was dominated by dance music and pop-metal, Guns N' Roses brought raw, ugly rock & roll crashing back into the charts. They were not nice boys; nice boys don't play rock & roll. They were ugly, misogynistic, and violent; they were also funny, vulnerable, and occasionally sensitive, as their breakthrough hit, "Sweet Child O' Mine," showed. While Slash and Izzy Stradlin ferociously spit out dueling guitar riffs worthy of Aerosmith or the Stones, Axl Rose screeched out his tales of sex, drugs, and apathy in the big city. Meanwhile, bassist Duff McKagan and drummer Steven Adler were a limber rhythm section who kept the music loose and powerful. Guns N' Roses' music was basic and gritty, with a solid hard, bluesy base; they were dark, sleazy, dirty, and honest -- everything that good hard rock and heavy metal should be. There was something refreshing about a band that could provoke everything from devotion to hatred, especially since both sides were equally right. There hadn't been a hard rock band this raw or talented in years, and they were given added weight by Rose's primal rage, the sound of confused, frustrated white trash vying for his piece of the pie. As the '80s became the '90s, there simply wasn't a more interesting band around, but owing to intra-band friction and the emergence of alternative rock, Rose's supporting cast gradually disintegrated, as he spent years in seclusion.
Guns N' Roses released their first EP in 1986, which led to a contract with Geffen; the following year, the band released its debut album, Appetite for Destruction. They started to build a following with their numerous live shows, but the album didn't start selling until almost a year later, when MTV started playing "Sweet Child O' Mine." Soon, both the album and single shot to number one, and Guns N' Roses became one of the biggest bands in the world. Their debut single, "Welcome to the Jungle," was re-released and shot into the Top Ten, and "Paradise City" followed in its footsteps. By the end of 1988, they released G N' R Lies, which paired four new, acoustic-based songs (including the Top Five hit "Patience") with their first EP. G N' R Lies' inflammatory closer, "One in a Million," sparked intense controversy, as Rose slipped into misogyny, bigotry, and pure violence; essentially, he somehow managed to distill every form of prejudice and hatred into one five-minute tune.
Guns N' Roses began work on the long-awaited follow-up to Appetite for Destruction at the end of 1990. In October of that year, the band fired Adler, claiming that his drug dependency caused him to play poorly; he was replaced by Matt Sorum from the Cult. During recording, the band added Dizzy Reed on keyboards. By the time the sessions were finished, the new album had become two new albums. After being delayed for nearly a year, the albums Use Your Illusion I and Use Your Illusion II were released in September 1991. Messy but fascinating, the albums showcased a more ambitious band; while there were still a fair number of full-throttle guitar rockers, there were stabs at Elton John-style balladry, acoustic blues, horn sections, female backup singers, ten-minute art rock epics with several different sections, and a good number of introspective, soul-searching lyrics. In short, they were now making art; amazingly, they were successful at it. The albums sold very well initially, but while they had seemed destined to set the pace for the decade to come, that turned out not to be the case at all.
Nirvana's Nevermind hit number one in early 1992, suddenly making Guns N' Roses -- with all of their pretensions, impressionistic videos, models, and rock star excesses -- seem very uncool. Rose handled the change by becoming a dictator, or at least a petty tyrant; his in-concert temper tantrums became legendary, even going so far as to incite a riot in Montreal. Stradlin left by the end of 1991, and with his departure the band lost its best songwriter; he was replaced by ex-Kills for Thrills guitarist Gilby Clarke. GNR didn't fully grasp the shift in hard rock until 1993, when they released an album of punk covers, The Spaghetti Incident?; it received some good reviews, but the band failed to capture the reckless spirit of not only the original versions, but its own Appetite for Destruction. By the middle of 1994, there were rumors flying that GNR were about to break up, since Rose wanted to pursue a new, more industrial direction and Slash wanted to stick with their blues-inflected hard rock. The band remained in limbo for several more years, and Slash resurfaced in 1995 with the side project Slash's Snakepit and an LP, It's Five O'Clock Somewhere.
Rose remained out of the spotlight, becoming a virtual recluse and doing nothing but tinkering in the studio; he also recruited various musicians -- including Dave Navarro, Tommy Stinson, and ex-Nine Inch Nails guitarist Robin Finck -- for informal jam sessions. Remaining members were infuriated by Rose's inclusion of childhood friend Paul Huge in the new sessions when both Stradlin and Clarke were excluded from rejoining the band. And a remake of the Rolling Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil" was essentially the straw that broke the camel's back, as Rose cut out some of the other members' contributions and pasted Huge over the song without consulting anyone else. By 1996, Slash was officially out of Guns N' Roses, leaving Rose the lone remaining survivor from the group's heyday; rumors continued to swirl, and still no new material was forthcoming, though Rose did re-record Appetite for Destruction with a new lineup for rehearsal purposes. The first new original GNR song in eight years, the industrial metal sludge of "Oh My God" finally appeared on the soundtrack to the 1999 Arnold Schwarzenegger film End of Days. Soon after, Geffen issued the two-disc Live Era: '87-'93.
The year 2000 brought the addition of guitarists Robin Finck (of Nine Inch Nails) and Buckethead, and 2001 was greeted with Guns N' Roses' first live dates in nearly seven years, as the band (which consisted of Rose plus guitarists Finck and Buckethead, bassist Stinson, former Primus drummer Brian "Brain" Mantia, childhood friend and guitarist Paul Huge, and longtime GNR keyboardist Dizzy Reed) played a show on New Year's Eve 2000 in Las Vegas, playing as well at the mammoth Rock in Rio festival the following month. On New Year's Eve 2001, the band played almost the exact same set as the year before.
An appearance at MTV's 2002 Video Music Awards helped garner interest in the new lineup, but a rusty performance from Rose and an interview where he said his new album wasn't coming out anytime soon didn't do much to further their cause. That summer, GNR started on their first tour in almost eight years, and they managed to fulfill all of their commitments in Europe and Asia. Sadly, they caused a violent and destructive riot in Vancouver when Rose failed to show up for the first date of their North American tour. While he was up to his old shenanigans with the retooled lineup, former Stone Temple Pilots vocalist Scott Weiland, Slash, Sorum, and McKagan formed the successful Velvet Revolver in spring 2002.
And so years passed and still no new GNR album, to the point where it became one joke too many. The album was long billed as Chinese Democracy, and occasionally session recordings would leak and make their way onto Internet file-sharing networks. A fascinating article written by Jeff Leeds for The New York Times, published in March 2005, revealed how tangled and costly the making of the album had become. According to the article, titled "The Most Expensive Album Never Released," Rose began work on the album in 1994 and racked up production costs of at least $13 million dollars. Producers involved with the album at one time or another included Mike Clink, Youth, Sean Beavan, and even Roy Thomas Baker. (Curiously, Moby claimed to have been offered the job as well.) Marco Beltrami and Paul Buckmaster were allegedly brought in for orchestral arrangements, and there was a revolving door of guitarists. In 2006, the album seemed closer to release, as Rose began surfacing in public and even took his band on the road for some shows. The music industry's biggest boondoggle finally bore fruit in 2008 when Axl unveiled a record that was well over a decade in the making. While Chinese Democracy received many rave reviews, and the critical response was positive overall, the record underperformed (its almost impossible) expectations, debuting at number three on the Billboard 200 when it came out in November. A worldwide tour followed.(AllMusic)
18th Jan 1974, Former members from Free, (Paul Rodgers & Simon Kirke), Mott The Hoople (Mick Ralphs), and King Crimson, (Boz Burrell), formed Bad Company. The band went on to score a US No.1 album with their debut release.
18th Jan 1964, The Beatles made their US chart debut when'I Want To Hold Your Hand' entered the chart at No.45 just ten days after its release, making it the fastest-breaking and the fastest selling single in Capitol Records history. It went on to spend seven weeks at the No.1 position.
Artist Biography by William Ruhlmann
In the decades following his emergence on the national scene in 1975, Bruce Springsteen proved to be that rarity among popular musicians, an artist who maintained his status as a frontline recording and performing star, consistently selling millions of albums and selling out arenas and stadiums around the world year after year, as well as retaining widespread critical approbation, with ecstatic reviews greeting those discs and shows. Although there were a few speed bumps along the way in Springsteen's career, the wonder of his nearly unbroken string of critical and commercial success is that he achieved it while periodically challenging his listeners by going off in unexpected directions, following his muse even when that meant altering the sound of his music or the composition of his backup band, or making his lyrical message overtly political. Of course, it may have been these very sidesteps that kept his image and his music fresh, especially since he always had the fallback of returning to what his fans thought he did best, barnstorming the country with a marathon rock & roll show using his longtime bandmates.
Bruce Springsteen was born September 23, 1949, in Freehold, New Jersey, the son of Douglas Springsteen, a bus driver, and Adele (Zirilli) Springsteen, a secretary. He became interested in music after seeing Elvis Presley perform on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1956 and obtained a guitar, but he didn't start playing seriously until 1963. In 1965, he joined his first band, the Beatles-influenced Castiles. They got as far as playing in New York City, but broke up in 1967 around the time Springsteen graduated from high school and began frequenting clubs in Asbury Park, New Jersey. From there, he briefly joined Earth, a hard rock band in the style of Cream. Also in the hard rock vein was his next group, Child (soon renamed Steel Mill), which featured keyboard player Danny Federici and drummer Vini Lopez. (Later on, guitarist Steve Van Zandt joined on bass.) Steel Mill played in California in 1969, drawing a rave review in San Francisco and even a contract offer from a record label. But they broke up in 1971, and Springsteen formed a big band, the short-lived Dr. Zoom & the Cosmic Boom, quickly superseded by the Bruce Springsteen Band. Along with Federici, Lopez, and Van Zandt (who switched back to guitar), this group also included pianist David Sancious and bassist Garry Tallent, plus a horn section that didn't last long before being replaced by a single saxophonist, Clarence Clemons. Due to a lack of work, however, Springsteen broke up the band and began playing solo shows in New York City. It was as a solo performer that he acquired a manager, Mike Appel, who arranged an audition for legendary Columbia Records talent scout John Hammond. Hammond signed Springsteen to Columbia in 1972.
In preparing his debut LP, Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J., Springsteen immediately re-hired most of his backup band, Federici, Lopez, Sancious, Tallent, and Clemons. (Van Zandt, on tour with the Dovells, was mostly unavailable.) The album went unnoticed upon its initial release in January 1973 (although Manfred Mann's Earth Band would turn its lead-off track, "Blinded by the Light," into a number one hit four years later, and the LP itself has since gone double platinum). The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle (September 1973) also failed to sell despite some rave reviews. (It too has gone double platinum.) The following year, Springsteen revised his backup group -- now dubbed the E Street Band -- as Lopez and Sancious left, and Max Weinberg (drums) and Roy Bittan (piano) joined. (In 1975, Van Zandt returned to the group.) With this unit he toured extensively while working on the LP that represented his last chance with Columbia. By the time Born to Run (August 1975) was released, the critics and a significant cult audience were with him, and the title song became a Top 40 hit while the album reached the Top Ten, going on to sell six million copies.
Despite this breakthrough, Springsteen's momentum was broken by a legal dispute, as he split from Appel and brought in Jon Landau (a rock critic who had famously called him the "rock & roll future" in a 1974 concert review) as his new manager. The legal issues took until 1977 to resolve, during which time Springsteen was unable to record. (One beneficiary of this problem was Patti Smith, to whom Springsteen gave the composition "Because the Night," which, with some lyrical revisions by her, became her only Top 40 hit in the spring of 1978.) He finally returned in June 1978 with Darkness on the Edge of Town. By then, he had to rebuild his career. Record labels had recruited their own versions of the Springsteen "heartland" rock sound, in such similar artists as Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band (who actually preceded Springsteen but achieved national recognition in his wake), Johnny Cougar (aka John Mellencamp), Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Meat Loaf, Eddie Money, and even fellow Jersey Shore residents Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes, to name only some of the more successful ones. At the same time, the punk/new wave trend had become the new focus of critical devotion, making Springsteen seem unfashionable. Notwithstanding these challenges, Darkness earned its share of good reviews and achieved Top Ten status, selling three million copies as the single "Prove It All Night" hit the Top 40. (In early 1979, the Pointer Sisters took Springsteen's composition "Fire" into the Top Ten.)
Springsteen fully consolidated his status with his next album, the two-LP set The River (October 1980), which hit number one, sold five million copies, and spawned the Top Ten hit "Hungry Heart" and the Top 40 hit "Fade Away." (In 1981-1982, Gary U.S. Bonds reached the Top 40 with two Springsteen compositions, "This Little Girl" and "Out of Work.") But having finally topped the charts, Springsteen experimented on his next album, preferring the demo recordings of the songs he had made for Nebraska (September 1982) to full-band studio versions, especially given the dark subject matter of his lyrics. The stark LP nevertheless hit the Top Ten and sold a million copies without benefit of a hit single or a promotional tour. (Van Zandt amicably left the E Street Band for a solo career at this point and was replaced by Nils Lofgren.)
But then came Born in the U.S.A. (June 1984) and a two-year international tour. The album hit number one, threw off seven Top Ten hits ("Dancing in the Dark," which earned Springsteen his first Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance, "Cover Me," "Born in the U.S.A.," "I'm on Fire," "Glory Days," "I'm Goin' Down," and "My Hometown"), and sold 15 million copies, putting Springsteen in the pop heavens with Michael Jackson and Prince. For his next album, he finally exploited his reputation as a live performer by releasing the five-LP/three-CD box set Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band Live/1975-85 (November 1986), which topped the charts, was certified platinum 13 times, and spawned a Top Ten hit in a cover of Edwin Starr's "War." (In March 1987, "the Barbusters" -- actually Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, took Springsteen's composition "Light of Day," written for the movie of the same name, into the Top 40.)
Characteristically, Springsteen returned to studio work with a more introverted effort, Tunnel of Love (October 1987), which presaged his 1989 divorce from his first wife, actress Julianne Phillips. (He married a second time to singer/songwriter/guitarist Patti Scialfa, who had joined the E Street Band as a backup vocalist in 1984.) The album was another number one hit, selling three million copies and producing two Top Ten singles, "Brilliant Disguise" and the title song, as well as the Top 40 hit "One Step Up." The album earned him a second male rock vocal Grammy. (In the spring of 1988, Natalie Cole covered the Springsteen B-side "Pink Cadillac" for a Top Ten hit.)
Springsteen retreated from public view in the late '80s, breaking up the E Street Band in November 1989. He returned to action in March 1992 with a new backup band, simultaneously releasing two albums, Human Touch and Lucky Town, which entered the charts at numbers two and three, respectively, each going platinum. A double-sided single combining "Human Touch" and "Better Days" was a Top 40 hit. Of course, this was a relative fall-off from the commercial heights of the mid-'80s, but Springsteen was undeterred. He next contributed the moody ballad "Streets of Philadelphia" to the soundtrack of Philadelphia, film director Jonathan Demme's 1993 depiction of a lawyer fighting an unjust termination for AIDS. The recording became a Top Ten hit, and the song went on to win Springsteen four Grammys (Song of the Year, Best Rock Song, best song written for a motion picture or television, and another for male rock vocal) and the Academy Award for best song.
In early 1995, Springsteen reconvened the E Street Band to record a few new tracks for his Greatest Hits (February 1995). The album topped the charts and sold four million copies, with one of the new songs, "Secret Garden," eventually reaching the Top 40. Despite this success, Springsteen resisted the temptation to reunite with the E Street Band on an ongoing basis at this point, instead recording another low-key, downcast, near-acoustic effort in the style of Nebraska, The Ghost of Tom Joad (November 1995) and embarking on a solo tour to promote it. The LP won a Grammy for best contemporary folk album, but it missed the Top Ten and only went gold.
A much more prolific songwriter and recording artist than what was reflected in his legitimately released discography, Springsteen went into his vault of unreleased material and assembled the four-CD box set Tracks (November 1998), which went platinum. Whether inspired by the playing he heard on those recordings, bowing to constant fan pressure, or simply recognizing the musicians with whom he had made his most successful music, Springsteen finally reunited the E Street Band in 1999, beginning with a performance at his induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. All the members from the 1974-1989 edition of the group returned. (Characteristically, Springsteen sidestepped the question of whether to use Van Zandt or Lofgren in the guitar position by rehiring both of them.) They embarked on a world tour that lasted until mid-2000, its final dates resulting in the album Live in New York City, which hit the Top Ten and sold a million copies.
Springsteen's writing process in coming up with a new rock album to be recorded with members of the E Street Band was given greater impetus in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the resulting disc, The Rising (July 2002), contained songs that reflected on the tragedy. The album hit number one and sold two million copies, winning the Grammy for rock album, as the title song won for rock song and male rock vocal. Following another lengthy tour with the E Street Band, Springsteen again returned to the style and mood of Nebraska on another solo recording, Devils & Dust (April 2005), taking to the road alone to promote it. The album hit number one and went gold, winning a Grammy for Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance. One year later, Springsteen unveiled another new musical approach when he presented We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions (April 2006), an album on which he played new arrangements of folk songs associated with Pete Seeger, played by a specially assembled Sessions Band. The album reached the Top Ten and went gold as Springsteen toured with the group. It also won the Grammy for Best Traditional Folk Album. The tour led to a concert recording, Live in Dublin (June 2007), which reached the Top 40.
Once again, Springsteen recorded a new rock album, Magic (October 2007), as a precursor to re-forming the E Street Band and going out on another long tour. The album hit number one and went platinum, with the song "Radio Nowhere" earning Grammys for rock song and solo rock vocal. (Another track from the album, "Girls in Their Summer Clothes," won the rock song Grammy the following year.) Sadly, longtime E Street Band keyboardist Danny Federici succumbed to a three-year battle with melanoma on April 17, 2008, his death causing the first irrevocable change in the group's personnel (saxophonist Clarence Clemons would die on June 18, 2011 due to complications from a stroke). Federici was replaced by Charles Giordano who had played with Springsteen previously in the Sessions Band.
Springsteen finished the tour in 2008 and held several additional shows in support of Senator Barack Obama, whose presidential campaign had kicked into hyperdrive earlier that year. While playing an Obama rally in early November, Springsteen debuted material from his forthcoming album, Working on a Dream, whose tracks had been recorded with the E Street Band during breaks in the group's previous tour. The resulting album, which was the last to feature contributions from Federici (as well as his son, Jason), arrived on January 27, 2009, one week after Obama's historic inauguration. It immediately hit number one, Springsteen's ninth album to top the charts over a period of three decades, and it went on to win him another Grammy for solo rock vocal and to go gold. In February, Springsteen and the E Street Band provided the half-time entertainment at Super Bowl XLIII. The group's tour, which featured full-length performances of some of Springsteen's classic albums at selected shows, ran through November 22, 2009. In December, the 60-year-old was ranked fourth among the top touring acts of the first decade of the 21st century, behind only the Rolling Stones, U2, and Madonna. The same month he was a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors.
Springsteen's 2010 was devoted to a revival of Darkness on the Edge of Town, with the 1978 masterpiece receiving an expanded box set called The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town; the set contained a feature-length documentary and a double-disc set of outtakes which was also available separately. As Springsteen began work on a studio album produced by Ron Aniello, who previously worked with Patti Scialfa, Clarence Clemons died from complications from a stroke on June 18, 2011. Clemons' last recorded solo appeared on "Land of Hope and Dreams," one of many politically charged songs on the resulting album, Wrecking Ball. Supported by a major media blitz that included a showcase week of Bruce covers on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and the Boss delivering a keynote address at South by Southwest, Wrecking Ball appeared the first week of March 2012. Before the end of that month, he embarked on a mammoth world tour to promote the album, on which he eventually took in 26 countries over the course of 18 months.
Late in 2013, it was announced that the E Street Band would receive a belated induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in early 2014. Prior to the induction ceremony came High Hopes, Springsteen's 18th studio album. Inspired in part by Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello, who had temporarily replaced Van Zandt for the last six months of the Wrecking Ball tour and also played on the album, High Hopes was a collection of covers, reintepretations of old songs, and leftovers; it appeared in mid-January 2014 (AllMusic)