23 years ago today, some of the biggest music performers in the business joined forces and took the stage of Wembley Arena to celebrate the life and work of one of rock ‘n’ roll’s most famous frontmen while also raising awareness and funds for AIDS research.
When Freddie Mercury died on November 24, 1991 from bronchopneumonia caused as a result of AIDS, there weren’t many who’d been paying attention to Freddie’s appearance who were legitimately shocked by the news: he was a shadow of his former self by the end, putting a famous face on the epidemic and making millions more aware of the devastating disease than ever before. To celebrate Mercury’s work in the form of a charitable endeavor, his former Queen bandmates – John Deacon, Brian May, and Roger Taylor – decided to throw a last bash for Freddie, bringing aboard artists who’d either known him, played with him, or simply been influenced by him.
45 years ago today, Jethro Tull released their third album…in America, anyway. Somehow or other, Benefit managed to make it into Stateside stores several days before it landed on shelves in the UK, which it didn’t see release until May 1.
It’s interesting that frontman Ian Anderson has described Benefit as being a darker album than 1969’s Stand Up, attributing the change in tone to the band’s frustration with the music business and the pressures of a massive American tour. Guitarist Martin Barre has actually described it as being an easier album to create than its predecessor, thanks to Stand Up having been such a success.
35 years ago today, Pink Floyd released the second single from The Wall, a track which in no way matched the #1 success of its predecessor, “Another Brick in the Wall (Part II),” but has still managed to become an album-rock staple.
A co-write between David Gilmour and Roger Waters, “Run Like Hell” doesn’t actually include its title within its lyrics, but it’s still a rather intimidating track, one which – although it certainly wasn’t composed for such – is a perfect song for fathers to pass along to their daughter’s new boyfriends. In reality, the song’s one of Pink’s big numbers, where he’s hallucinating and believes that he’s become a dictator who transforms an audience into an angry mob, but…have you read those lyrics? Seriously, play that for the young lad, and you’re sending a message that’s right up there with slipping the kid a note that says, “I’ve got a permit to carry a concealed weapon. Don’t make me have to prove it.”
Feeling old? Well, this’ll make it worse: another punk icon has crossed into his sixties, so please wish the happiest of birthdays to Mr. Pete Shelley, who hits the big 6-0 today.
Born in Leigh, Lancheshire in 1955, the future frontman of the Buzzcocks entered the world as Peter Campbell McNeish but later changed it to Pete Shelley, likely because Peter Campbell McNeish didn’t sound punk enough. (We haven’t actually confirmed this to be the case, but there was an awful lot of that going on at the time.) Although Shelley’s first major musical impact came when he joined forces with fellow Bolton Institute of Technology classmate Howard DeVoto, but it wasn’t actually his first musical endeavor: that honor goes to his 1974 solo album, Sky Yen, an experimental work which didn’t see formal release until 1980, and even then it was on his own label, Groovy Records. In other words, it would be certainly be fair to say that the Buzzcocks’ 1977 EP, Spiral Scratch, had the more long-term musical impact.
The big hit was "I'm No Angel."
That's right, Gregg Allman was free of Phil Walden and Capricorn. He signed a deal with Epic and lo and behold, nearly a decade after his last solo work, when MTV ruled and it looked like the game had totally changed, he broke through once again.
Chic were one of the big hits of Glastonbury 2013 - and their set comprised a medley of hits featuring tracks by the likes of David Bowie and Madonna alongside their biggest hits. Enjoy them all in this week's gig of the week update!
Given the sort of folks who frequent this site, it almost feels superfluous to offer a reminder about Record Store Day, but just to play it safe, here goes:
RECORD STORE DAY IS THIS SATURDAY!
Actually, you know, we’re kind of glad we did that. It was pretty cathartic.
We really don’t have a whole lot else to add, beyond the reminder that you can visit RecordStoreDay.com to confirm the location(s) of the nearest participating store(s) in your area, but in the interest of self-promotion, here’s a list of all 30 limited-edition 12-inch, 10-inch, and 7-inch releases that we’ll be putting out on Saturday, and if you want a sampling of the material that you can find on them, we’ve also put together a playlist to accompany this helpful reminder.