This Week In Classic Rock History

May 10-16: Historic events this week from George Harrison, Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and CSN&Y

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MAY 11, 1981: HARRISON RELEASES “ALL THOSE YEARS AGO”

Although written for and recorded by Ringo Starr, Harrison wrote new lyrics and re-recorded the song after John Lennon’s murder.

Harrison retained Ringo’s original drum track and brought in McCartney for backing vocals.

“All Those Years Ago” was the first post-Beatles song to feature 3 ex-Beatles, and went to #1 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary charts.

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MAY 12, 1967: JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE’S DEBUT ALBUM

One of the greatest debut albums of all time, Are You Experienced sold a million copies within months of its release due to instant classics such as “Purple Haze”, “The Wind Cries Mary”, “Fire”, and “Foxey Lady”.

Shortly after the album’s release, the Experience were back in the studio to record Axis: Bold as Love, which was released in December of the same year.

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MAY 12, 1972: ROLLING STONES RELEASE EXILE ON MAIN ST.

One of the best rock and blues-based albums of the 70s was panned by critics upon its release.

…it didn’t sell particularly well at the beginning, and it was also pretty much universally panned. But within a few years the people who had written the reviews saying it was a piece of crap were extolling it as the best frigging album in the world – Keith Richards from the book According to the Rolling Stones.

Featuring “Tumbling Dice”, the album sold 500,000 copies in its first 18 days.

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MAY 12, 1973: HOUSES OF THE HOLY IS #1

Led Zeppelin’s fifth album wasted no time going Gold, having sold 500,000 copies in less than two weeks.

A month later, it would begin a two week reign at #1 on the charts, before being unseated by a Beatles compilation (1967-1970, “The Blue Album”).

Houses of the Holy contains the classic rock radio staples, “Dancing Days”, “Over the Hills and Far Away” and “D’Yer Mak’er”.

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MAY 16, 1970: CSN&Y’S DÉJÀ VU IS #1

Recorded separately from one another while Crosby, Stills and Nash all dealt with (in one case, extreme) heartbreak, Déjà Vu spent a week at #1 thanks to strong songwriting from each member, and a cover of Joni Mitchell’s “Woodstock”.

With over 14 million sold worldwide, it is by far the biggest selling album in the Crosby, Stills & Nash oeuvre.

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