2008: 15 years after their last album, Guns ‘N’ Roses finally releases Chinese Democracy. Considered the most expensive rock record ever produced, it is released to disappointing sales and mixed critical reactions. If there was a time to release it, this did not seem like the right one.
1966: The Beatles record the legendary single “Strawberry Fields Forever.”
1991: The one and only Freddie Mercury dies after announcing he is HIV positive.
2002: Jay-Z gets his first No.1 album with The Blueprint 2: The Gift and the Curse.
1968: The Beatles release their self-titled album, also known as The White Album.
1974: Singer-songwriter Nick Drake dies at the age of 26; only decades after his death would his albums be more widely appreciated by music fans everywhere.
1978: Folk group The Band puts on their last performance with an all-star ensemble that included Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, and Van Morrison. The performance would be filmed and released as the movie The Last Waltz.
1984: Speaking of all-star ensembles, “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” was recorded on this day, featuring artists such as Bono, Sting, and George Michael. The song would go on to become one of the best-selling singles of all time.
1939: Legendary soul singer Tina Turner was born. What’s love got to do with it?
1976: The Sex Pistols begin their controversial recording career by dropping their first single, “Anarchy in the U.K.” through EMI. The record label would drop them shortly thereafter, inspiring their vicious album cut “EMI”.
1942: Birth of Jimi Hendrix. I heard that dude was alright at guitar.
1929: Berry Gordy, founder of Motown Records, is born on this day.
1943: Singer-songwriter Randy Newman is born. You may best know him for “You Got a Friend In Me”.
1974: John Lennon joins Elton John at Madison Square Garden for his last ever public performance.
1987: College radio heroes R.E.M. achieve their first top 10 single with “The One I Love”.
1992: Whitney Houston tops the charts with “I Will Always Love You”. The song would stay at No. 1 for fourteen weeks thereafter.
1999: Rage Against the Machine reach No. 1 with their third album, The Battle Of Los Angeles.