Just like the feature’s previous installments, this list is not meant to be complete. And, yes, it fully reflects my taste and as such is arbitrary.
1944: Denny Laine was born in Birmingham, England. Denny was part of the original line-up of The Moody Blues and can be heard on the band’s 1965 debut album, The Magnificent Moodies. He co-wrote four of the album’s songs and was the lead vocal on the band’s first hit, Go Now. Laine also played with Paul McCartney as part of Wings from 1971-1981. Between 1973 and 1976, he recorded 11 solo albums. Happy birthday, Denny!
1963: George Martin mixed all the 14 tracks from The Beatles’ album With The Beatles in stereo, according to The Beatles Bible, which by the way is a terrific resource for Fab Four nerds like myself. Supposedly, all it took was three hours, and he only ended up spending some additional time on one song the following day, Money (That’s What I Want). I suppose it all reflects that The Beatles never cared much about the stereo mixes of their songs but would spend days on the mono versions. Even Martin once said, “You’ve never really heard Sgt. Pepper until you’ve heard it in mono.”
1965: The Who released their single My Generation, the band’s signature 60s song. Written by Pete Townsend, the tune captured the anxiety of teenagers at the time. The single hit No. 2 in the U.K., making it The Who’s highest charting single there. The song is also No. 11 in Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. The Who have released so much great music that I would be hard pressed to say which song is my favorite. My Generation is definitely among their tunes I like the most. One of its outstanding features is John Entwistle’s amazing bass solo.
1971: Duane Allman, one of the greatest rock guitarists of all time, was killed in a motor cycle accident at the young age of 24. Duane was a co-founder of The Allman Brothers Band and led them for two and a half short years. He played on the band’s first three studio albums and At Fillmore East, which some music critics have called one of the greatest live albums in rock music. Duane was also a highly sought after session musician. He can be heard on recordings from many famous artists, such as Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin, Percy Sledge, Boz Scaggs and, of course, Derek and the Dominoes. While Allman received no credit for Layla, he came up with the song’s epic guitar riff.
1983: Pink Floyd’s masterpiece The Dark Side of the Moon reached 491 consecutive weeks on the Billboard Album Chart, setting a new record. It would stay on the list for another 250 consecutive weeks before falling off. Altogether, Dark Side has been in the Billboard 200 for 923 weeks, making it by far the album with the most weeks on the chart. As a huge Pink Floyd fan, I like many of their albums, but if I would have to select my favorite, it would be this one.