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Anniversaries

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30 Years Ago: Whitesnake Release ‘Slide It In’

Despite its far-from-stellar sales, Whitesnake’s sixth album, ‘Slide It In,’ which came out in late January 1984, is unquestionably the most pivotal record of the group’s long and storied career. It exists in two significantly different versions, due to a curious sequence of events that wound up drawing a clear line in the sand that, to this day, segregates the British band’s career into two, distinct periods: before and after its U.S. conquest, bluesy heavy rock instead of hair-metal and brunette vs. peroxide.

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Mercury Records
Mercury Records
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46 Years Ago: Blue Cheer Release ‘Vincebus Eruptum’

To describe Blue Cheer, the first word that comes to mind is . . . loud! It was said that the band's sonic blast could "turn the air into cottage cheese." The classic "power trio" lineup of guitar, bass and drums is more than capable of knocking down a house, as we easily find out on Blue Cheer's debut LP, 'Vincebus Eruptum,' released in January 1968.

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Velvet Underground
Michael Ochs Archives, Getty Images
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46 Years Ago: The Velvet Underground Release ‘White Light, White Heat’

If you look up the phrase "glorious racket," chances are a picture of the Velvet Underground's second album, 'White Light, White Heat' will appear. That description fits each and every one of its 40 minutes perfectly. Unlike the haunting beauty of their flawless debut album, 'White Light,' which was released on Jan. 30, 1968, drops a bit of the artiness and supplements it with rage and raw power.

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Kiss 1973
KissOnline.com
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41 Years Ago: Kiss Perform Their First Concert

On Jan. 30, 1973, fewer than 10 people witnessed the first live performances by Kiss at the Popcorn Club (soon to be renamed the Coventry) in Queens, N.Y. According to bassist Gene Simmons, the group was paid $50 for performing two sets that evening.

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YouTube
YouTube
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45 Years Ago: The Beatles Play Their Final Live Performance

As the Beatles gathered for what would be their final live set on Jan. 30, 1969, they hadn't performed in public since Aug. 29, 1966 -- a three-year period in which the group would reach new artistic heights, even as it began to fall apart.

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Bob Geldof
Frank Micelotta, Getty Images
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35 Years Ago: A School Shooting Inspires Boomtown Rats’ ‘I Don’t Like Mondays’

While Bob Geldof's philanthropic efforts remain his greatest contribution to humanity, it should also be remembered that he was also the frontman for the Boomtown Rats, who had a string of hits in their native Ireland and throughout the U.K. from the mid '70s to the early '80s. Their biggest, 'I Don't Like Mondays,' was inspired by a school shooting that took place on Jan. 29, 1979.

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MCA Records
MCA Records
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Five Years Ago: Lynyrd Skynyrd Pianist Billy Powell Dies

The ranks of legendary southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd were deprived of yet another member on Jan. 28, 2009, when the band's longtime keyboard player, Billy Powell, passed away suddenly at his home in Orange Park, Fla.

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John Lennon And Yoko Ono
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30 Years Ago: John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s ‘Milk And Honey’ Released

When John Lennon was killed on Dec. 8, 1980, he was in the midst of recording the follow-up to the recently released 'Double Fantasy.' Those songs, combined with some outtakes from the 'Double Fantasy' sessions, were compiled by his widow, Yoko Ono on their album 'Milk and Honey,' which came out on Jan. 27, 1984.

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Stevie Wonder and Jeff Beck
Kevin Winter, Getty Images
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41 Years Ago: Stevie Wonder Steals a No. 1 Song From Jeff Beck

When Stevie Wonder scored a No. 1 hit with 'Superstition' on Jan. 27, 1973, it announced a new sound for the brilliantly talented full-service singer, songwriter and musician who'd go on to record a string of the decade's greatest LPs. But for Jeff Beck, the song's success was a missed opportunity.

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Bruce Springteen Al Bello
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Five Years Ago: Bruce Springsteen Releases ‘Working on a Dream’

After a decade that saw him reunite the E Street Band, release two strong albums of new material, an acclaimed folk music project and seemingly endless touring, Bruce Springsteen took a step backward with his next project. ‘Working on a Dream’ hit stores on Jan. 27, 2009.

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David Lee Roth
Warner Bros.
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26 Years Ago: David Lee Roth’s ‘Skyscraper’ Released

The spring and summer of 1986 bore witness to one of the most hostile public airings of dirty laundry in rock and roll history, courtesy of Van Halen and their recently departed lead vocalist, David Lee Roth, whom they had of course recently replaced with successful solo artist, Sammy Ha

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Elton John
D. Morrison, Getty Images
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41 Years Ago: Elton John Releases ‘Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player’

Oh, to be Elton John in the early seventies!

Sex, money, cocaine, fame, cocaine, success, sex, adulation, sex, touring, cocaine, hobnobbing, sexy cocaine, cocaine-addled sex...quite the lifestyle.

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