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Ryan Reed

Ryan Reed is a freelance music / pop culture journalist / editor. Besides Diffuser.fm, he currently contributes to Rolling Stone, Paste, Billboard, eMusic, The Phoenix, Metro Pulse, Blurt, Relix, American Songwriter, and many other outlets. He's also an adjunct English and Communications professor. When he's not writing or teaching, he's probably recording his own music, record shopping, playing with his Brittany Spaniel (Tegan), eating copious amounts of chicken wings, or drinking girly beverages.
Virgin Records
Virgin Records
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40 Years Ago: Mike Oldfield’s ‘Tubular Bells’ Album Released

"I suppose I was advanced for my age." So said composer and multi-instrumentalist Mike Oldfield to The Guardian, reflecting on 'Tubular Bells,' the 1973 masterwork he composed at the age of 19. Some musicians toil for decades as they work toward their definitive album; Oldfield -- then a struggling, baby-faced guitarist with a minor role in a production of 'Hair' -- did the exact inverse, arriving out of nowhere with a groundbreaking musical monolith.

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Category: News
Frank Zappa
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45 Years Ago: Frank Zappa Releases ‘Lumpy Gravy’

Frank Zappa is often regarded as one of the most brilliant, idiosyncratic musicians in rock music. But, looking back at his eclectic, monstrous body of work as a composer, guitarist, vocalist, and bandleader, Zappa really wasn't a "rock" musician. That fact is cemented on 'Lumpy Gravy,' Zappa's first official solo album, which was released 45 years ago today (May 13, 1968).

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Category: Anniversaries, News Tags:
Hawkwind
Last.fm
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40 Years Ago: Hawkwind Release ‘Space Ritual’

Like many other '70s rock greats, British space-rock pioneers Hawkwind built their legacy on-stage, rather than in the recording studio. On May 11, 1973, the band released their defining masterpiece. 'Space Ritual,' their fourth overall LP and first live album, is a mind-numbing double-album behemoth that captures the Hawkwind experience in all its demented glory.

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Genesis
Graham Wood, Getty Images
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35 Years Ago: Genesis Release ‘. . . And Then There Were Three . . .’

How exactly did Genesis, progressive rock's defining band, manage to survive so much turmoil? The group weathered the loss of key members and a shifting musical landscape to produce '. . . And Then There Were Three . . .,' the 1978 album that introduced a leaner three-man lineup and helped them move from prog toward the poppier sound that would define their career in the '80s.

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Emerson Lake Palmer First Five
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Emerson, Lake & Palmer Announce Record Store Day Exclusive Box Set

 

This year's Record Store Day (April 20) is shaping up to be a classic rock extravaganza (emphasis on 'extra'): From Cream's triple-vinyl live set to David Bowie's string of singles to Paul McCartney's live EP, some of rock's most legendary acts are digging deep into their respective vaults and unleashing goodies.

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Category: News
King Crimson
Virgin Media
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King Crimson Announce Record Store Day Exclusive

If you love vinyl, semi-frivolous bonus tracks, and classic rock, this is gearing up to be one monster of a Record Store Day. So far, artists like David Bowie, Cream, Paul McCartney, Jimi Hendrix, and the Rolling Stones have all announced exclusive RSD releases, and now prog-rock's elder statesmen, King Crimson, are throwing their hat in the ring with the fittingly-titled 'Going Schizoid with King Crimson.'

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King Crimson
Classic Rock Forums
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40 Years Ago: King Crimson Release ‘Larks’ Tongues in Aspic’

King Crimson's fifth studio album, 'Larks' Tongues in Aspic,' is a pinnacle of progressive rock, even though its music is nearly unclassifiable. Now 40 years after its original release, it remains a genre unto itself -- a mish-mash of heavy and soothing, beautiful and unsettling, experimental and melodic.

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Fleetwood Mac
Keystone, Getty Images
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45 Years Ago: Fleetwood Mac’s Self-Titled Debut Released

There have been many Fleetwood Macs over the years: the late '60s blues-rock titans, the transitional folk-rock successors, and the unexpected crossover pop-rock mega-stars of the late '70s. But this complex game of musical chairs begins way back in February of 1968. That's when the band released their fascinating debut album, defining a new era of British blues.

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Examiner / Getty Images
Examiner / Getty Images
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45 Years Ago: Genesis Release First Single, ‘The Silent Sun’

Genesis are rightfully regarded as one of the most innovate and eclectic progressive rock bands of all-time. But -- a couple late-era Phil Collins belters aside -- they're not remembered as cookie-cutter pop balladeers. Timing is everything: On Feb. 23, 1968, these British lads got off to an awkwardly uncharacteristic start with debut single, 'The Silent Sun,' the most saccharine, lightweight ditty in their entire discography.

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