Historic events this week from The Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, George Harrison, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and Soundgarden.
MAY 8, 1970: THE BEATLES’ FINAL STUDIO ALBUM
The Beatles’ final album, Let It Be, was released a 7 months after Abbey Road.
Producer Phil Spector omitted Lennon’s “Don’t Let Me Down” and added studio banter and string & choir arrangements to the final album.
33 years later, a stripped down version which Paul McCartney felt reflected the band’s original vision, was released as Let It Be…Naked.
• • •
MAY 9, 1992: BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN ON SNL
Nearly 20 years after the release of his debut album Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J., Bruce Springsteen made his US network TV debut.
Springsteen released two solo albums a couple of months before his Saturday Night Live appearance, and performed one song from each album.
“57 Channels (And Nothin’ On)” from Human Touch and “Living Proof” from Lucky Town.
• • •
MAY 11, 1981: GEORGE HARRISON’S “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.
• • •
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.
• • •
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”.
• • •
MAY 13, 1994: SOUNDGARDEN RELEASE “BLACK HOLE SUN”
Soundgarden scored their first of six #1 singles with the release of “Black Hole Sun.”
“Black Hole Sun” would spend 7 total weeks at #1 and earn the band a Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance.
After Chris Cornell’s passing, the song’s lyrics “No one sings like you anymore”, have become a lasting tribute to the vocalist.