This Week In Classic Rock History

NOV 15-21: Historic events this week from The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Billy Joel, Tom Petty and REO Speedwagon

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NOVEMBER 15, 1969: PAUL IS DEAD THEORY
Two years after their release, Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and Magical Mystery Tour returned to the Billboard charts.

With the great Paul Is Dead theory gathering momentum, people were buying the albums to scour the covers and lyrics for clues to “prove” the theory.

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NOVEMBER 17, 1994: MTV UNPLUGGED
Dylan’s MTV Unplugged appearance occurred over two nights at Sony Music Studios in New York.

With a setlist dominated by classic tracks, the only new song in the set was “Dignity”.

“Dignity”, an outtake from Oh Mercy (1989), was released on Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits Volume 3 two days before the the Unplugged shows.

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NOVEMBER 18, 1978: 52ND STREET IS #1
52nd Street contained two of Billy Joel’s biggest singles: “My Life” (#3) and “Big Shot” (#14).

The album would spend the rest of 1978 (seven consecutive weeks) at #1.

52nd Street would go on to sell 7 million copies in the US.

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NOVEMBER 19, 1994: DAVE GROHL & THE HEARTBREAKERS
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers were without a drummer when they were booked for their 5th SNL appearance.

Heartbreakers drummer, Stan Lynch, had quit the band a month and a half earlier.

Petty tapped (former) Nirvana drummer, Dave Grohl for the gig, and offered him a permanent job afterwards.

After careful consideration, they both agreed Grohl needed to focus his burgeoning talent on his own project, which would come to be known as Foo Fighters.

• • •
NOVEMBER 21, 1980: HI INFIDELITY
REO Speedwagon’s 9th album featured their first Top 10 songs, with “Keep on Loving You” topping the charts, and “Take It on the Run” peaking at #5.

Hi Infidelity would go on to spend 15 non-consecutive weeks at #1 in 1982.

It’s REO’s only #1 album, and is far and away their biggest selling album, with over 10 million sold in the US alone.

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