This Week in Music History | October 3-8

This Week in Music History | October 3-8

Who would’ve thought that a song about dying would be so successful? “Another One Bites the Dust” is a notable sensation of a song, prominent in films, TV shows and even sports commercials. This week in music history, Queen’s legendary anthem went No. 1 on Oct. 4, 1980.  Released on the group’s eighth album The Game, this hit was a huge success for Queen, charting on the Billboard Hot 100 for three consecutive weeks until Oct. 18. As what can be considered one of Queen’s most successful singles, “Another One Bites the Dust” was written by bassist John Deacon, who drew major inspiration from disco group Chic. As time has gone on, this song remains a masterpiece of funky rhythm — and an essential 110 beats per minute, which is frequently used for training in CPR by medical professionals to this day. Next time you feel the need to refresh your life-saving skills, have a listen to Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust” and perhaps you’ll find that another won’t bite the dust, this time.

~Mary Johnson


When are you gonna come down? /

 When are you going to land?”

49 years ago this week, apparently. This week in music history, on Oct. 5, 1973, Elton John dropped one of his most legendary albums, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. This added to a catalog that was already iconic, just three years after his self-titled debut. Having already found success with hits such as “Your Song,” “Rocket Man (I Think It’s Going To Be A Long, Long Time)” and “Crocodile Rock,” this album shows the continued and endless genius of Elton John and his songwriting partner Bernie Taupin. Along with the title track, this album includes “Bennie and the Jets” and “Candle in the Wind.” 

If you’re in the mood for some fun facts, “Candle in the Wind” was originally a tribute to Marylin Monroe, and the rewritten version for Princess Diana has literally only been performed once. And, as written by Today, it almost wasn’t performed; the funeral planners wanted something more classical and conservative for a royal service. Elton John and the People’s Princess had been friends for many years, however, and the song ended up being his longest-running No. 1 single on the Billboard charts. The title track is probably my favorite in an album full of amazing songs. It tells the story of someone who is tired of being used and is tired of the spotlight — someone who just wants to have a simple life and live for themselves and their happiness. What made me like the song even more was its use in his 2019 biopic, Rocketman, played over a scene where young Elton John finally decides to go to rehab and begin his life anew. 

This album is the theme of his final tour, Farewell Yellow Brick Road. The tour will conclude next year, 50 years after this album’s release. When I saw the tour in Detroit this summer, a nearly three hour set concluded with a celebratory performance of “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” where the 75-year-old rose from his piano and ascended the stage, disappearing as the big screens fade into the colorful landscape of the album cover, as a photo of today’s Elton John replaces the painting of his younger self in the foreground. Though it means he’s nearing the end of his music career, we can still look back on all of his music history-making moments, like this release 49 years ago this week.

~Madison Reinhold


This week in 1995, Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill Hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200. Although it took almost five months for the record to get there, Jagged Little Pill got quite comfortable in the No. 1 spot, remaining there for 12 weeks, later becoming the chart’s highest-ranking album of the ‘90s. It’s not difficult to understand why. The album is composed of songs that are made to get stuck in your head; a true no-skip album. Morissettes’ upbeat pop rock sound and her raw, relatable, electrifying lyrics captivated the nation. The album wouldn’t leave the Billboard 200 for 72 weeks. Jagged Little Pill won five Grammys and secured its spot as No. 69 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. It would hold the record of best-selling album by a female artist with over 30 million copies sold, later being overtaken by Shania Twain’s Come on Over in ‘97. Even after 27 years, Jagged Little Pill remains a classic album full of anthems for angsty teen girls everywhere.

~Claudia Braesch