This Week In Classic Rock History

Historic events this week from Stevie Nicks, ZZ Top, KISS, Billy Joel, The Beatles and Metallica

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AUGUST 6, 1981: STEVIE NICKS RELEASES BELLA DONNA
Stevie Nicks scored a #1 album with the release of her solo debut, Bella Donna.

The album has sold over 6 million copies worldwide thanks to strong singles like “Leather and Lace” featuring Don Henley, “Edge of Seventeen”…

…and “Stop Dragging My Heart Around” featuring Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers.

• • •
AUGUST 7, 1996: ELIMINATOR CERTIFIED DIAMOND
ZZ Top’s biggest album, Eliminator, is a stunner.

Expanded use of synthesizers brought a New Wave sound that appealed to a wider audience.

Eliminator has gone 10x Platinum in the US thanks to the hits “Gimme All Your Lovin'”, “Got Me Under Pressure”, “Legs” and “Sharp Dressed Man.”

AUGUST 9, 1995: KISS UNPLUGGED

The original members of KISS reunited for the band’s MTV Unplugged show.

It was the first time the original lineup performed without makeup; not counting Frehley’s wedding in ’76.

Ace Frehley & Peter Criss’ appearance on MTV Unplugged went over so well, they officially rejoined the band in ’96.

• • •
AUGUST 10, 1993: BILLY JOEL RELEASES RIVER OF DREAMS
Billy Joel’s 12th album went 5x Platinum and became his fourth and final US #1 album.

The album earned Joel Grammy nominations for Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Record of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Performance – Male.

He released an album of classical compositions in 2001, but 1993’s River of Dreams remains his most recent rock album.

• • •
AUGUST 11, 1964: BEATLES RELEASE A HARD DAY’S NIGHT
With its soundtrack already enjoying its third week at #1, the Beatles released their first movie, A Hard Day’s Night.

Released amidst Beatlemania, the comedy-musical did extremely well at the box office.

With a budget of £189,000, it grossed $1,664,617; which is equal to $16,383,536.40 in 2023.

• • •
AUGUST 12, 1991: METALLICA’S “BLACK ALBUM”
Each single from Metallica’s self-titled fifth album is a hard rock classic:

“Enter Sandman”, “The Unforgiven”, “Nothing Else Matters”, “Sad but True” and “Wherever I May Roam”.

The album sold 3 million copies in less than 3 months. It remains their biggest album with 17 million sold in the US.

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