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This Week In Classic Rock History

Historic events this week from Tom Petty, U2, Van Halen and Mick Ronson

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After 7 LPs with The Heartbreakers, Tom Petty decided it was time for a solo project.

Retaining Mike Campbell on lead guitar and enlisting Jeff Lynne as producer/co-writer, Full Moon Fever was arguably his best album since Hard Promises.

“Runnin’ Down a Dream”, “I Won’t Back Down” and “Free Fallin’” all went to #1

• • •
APRIL 25, 1987: U2’s THE JOSHUA TREE IS #1
The Joshua Tree was U2’s first of eight straight #1 albums in the US.

On the strength of US #1 singles “With or Without You” and “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”, The Joshua Tree spent nine-straight weeks at #1, on its way to eventually selling 25 million copies worldwide.

• • •
APRIL 26, 1986: VAN HALEN’S 5150 IS #1
There were several firsts for Van Halen with the release of their seventh album, 5150.

5150 was the first album with new lead singer, Sammy Hagar.

One month after its release, 5150 was the first Van Halen album to reach #1 on the Billboard 200.

Every studio album Van Halen did with Sammy Hagar went to #1, making 5150 the first of four straight #1 albums for the band.

• • •
Mick Ronson is best known as Bowie’s guitarist for The Man Who Sold the World, Hunky Dory, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, Aladdin Sane and Pin Ups.

A sought after session/touring guitarist, Ronson contributed production, guitar and string arrangements to Lou Reed’s Transformer, as well as guitar/vocals on Mellencamp’s #1 hit, “Jack & Diane”.

After his health began failing in the late 80s, he was diagnosed with liver cancer. He died in April 1993 at age 46.

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