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30 Years Ago: Judas Priest’s ‘Defenders of the Faith’ Released

Perhaps the definitive Judas Priest offering of the '80s, 'Defenders of the Faith,' their ninth studio album, was released on Jan. 4, 1983.

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Evening Standard/Hulton Archive,Getty Images
Evening Standard/Hulton Archive,Getty Images
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45 Years Ago: Jimi Hendrix Experience Banned From BBC

Jimi Hendrix wasn't one to play by the rules, and on Jan. 4, 1969, during a guest appearance on the Lulu television show, the guitar legend was up to the task. While Lulu was a great pop singer, she and Hendrix were pretty much worlds apart in the public eye,. Still, the producers of her BBC TV show booked the Jimi Hendrix Experience and approached Hendrix about singing a duet with Lulu on her big hit, 'To Sir With Love,' which was not first and foremost on Hendrix' mind, to say the least.

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The Doors
Express Newspapers, Hulton Archive, Getty Images
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47 Years Ago: The Doors’ Debut Album Released

When the Doors entered a Hollywood recording studio to make their debut album at the end of August 1966, they knew what they wanted. Months of serving as house band at the Whisky a Go Go had sharpened their playing and performing skills to the point where one member of the quartet could abruptly swerve toward a new direction and the others would follow without missing a beat.

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Phil Lynott
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28 Years Ago: Thin Lizzy’s Phil Lynott Dies

Thin Lizzy's hard-living frontman and bassist Phil Lynott escaped the grips of crushing childhood poverty in Dublin, but ultimately couldn't out run his own demons. He died at 36 from heart failure and pneumonia on Jan. 4, 1986, having been admitted to Salibury Hospital in Wiltshire, England on Christmas Day after "a drink and drug binge" at his home.

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Keith Moon
Ian Tyas, Getty Images
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44 Years Ago: Keith Moon’s Chauffeur Killed

The history of the Who is littered with tragic events. From Pete Townshend's abuse when he was a child to the 1979 deaths of 11 fans in Cincinnati to John Entwistle's overdose in 2000. One of the lesser known stories occurred on Jan. 4, 1970, when Neil Boland, who was Keith Moon's driver and bodyguard, was accidentally run over by Moon's Bentley.

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YouTube.com
YouTube.com
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40 Years Ago: Bob Dylan Returns to the Road With the Band

During the first week of January 1974, Bob Dylan went on tour with members of the Band for the first time since 1966, when their controversial shows heralded Dylan's move from folk music to rock. This new collaboration would prove to be no less volcanic.

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Bruce Springsteen
Hulton Archive/Getty Images
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32 Years Ago: Bruce Springsteen Records ‘Nebraska’

Following the massive success of 1980's double album 'The River,' many expected Bruce Springsteen to follow up his first No. 1 album with another set of radio-friendly rock songs. Instead, the songwriter released 'Nebraska,' a stark acoustic record that was mostly recorded in one session, on Jan. 3, 1982.

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Van Halen, 'Jump'
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30 Years Ago: Van Halen Debut ‘Jump’ Video

By waiting until January 1984 to release their '1984' LP, Van Halen broke an impressive one-album-a-year streak that dated back to 1978 -- but they made up for it by picking up their first No. 1 single in the U.S. with the record's lead-off single, 'Jump.'

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John Lennon Yoko Ono
Hulton Archive, Getty Images
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45 Years Ago: John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s ‘Two Virgins’ Seized by Police

It's arguably the most controversial album cover in rock 'n' roll history, and, if authorities in New Jersey had their way, every last one of them would have been destroyed.

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Kenney Jones
YouTube
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35 Years Ago: The Who Announce Kenney Jones as Keith Moon’s Replacement

Drummer Kenney Jones was already highly regarded in the British rock scene by the end of 1978, when he got the unexpected opportunity of a lifetime: being tapped to replace the late Keith Moon in the Who. The group announced its new drummer in January 1979, but Jones' tenure with the band would prove to be difficult and relatively brief, punctuated by internal strife and changing musical trends.

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YouTube.com
YouTube.com
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44 Years Ago: Jimi Hendrix Debuts Band of Gypsys

Jimi Hendrix's short-lived power trio Band of Gypsys made its debut appearances with a series of concerts held on Dec. 31, 1969, and Jan. 1, 1970, at New York City's Fillmore East. By the end of January, Hendrix had broken them up, but not before releasing a classic live set from the shows.

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Neal Schon, Angus Young
Richard McCaffrey / Michael Putland, Getty Images
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40 Years Ago: AC/DC and Journey Both Play Their First Concerts on the Same Night

It's impossible to predict the future, but it seems safe to say that no matter what happens this New Year's Eve in the world of classic rock, it won't measure up to Dec. 31, 1973, when future rock titans Journey and AC/DC both played their very first concerts on the same night.

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