ON THIS DAY IN MUSIC HISTORY: 11.19.20


1979 - Frank Zappa's one and only rock opera, Joe's Garage, is released. The opera mixes styles of blues, jazz, doo-wop, lounge, orchestral, rock, pop and reggae. It draws controversy for profane lyrics but is hailed as a cultural milestone and landmark album. The work also looks forward to Zappa's later crusade against the PMRC with its themes of government censorship, and introduces a few memes into the Zappa lexicon, including "The Central Scrutinizer," "a little green rosetta," and of course, the term "roto-plooker." (Photo JEAN BAPTISTE LACROIX/AFP via Getty Images)

1982 - Led Zeppelin release their final studio album, Coda, a collection of unused songs recorded before drummer John Bonham died in 1980. It cleared away nearly all of the leftover tracks from the various studio sessions of the 1960s and 1970s. As John Paul Jones recalled: "They were good tracks. A lot of it was recorded around the time punk was really happening... basically there wasn't a lot of Zeppelin tracks that didn't go out. We used everything. The word coda, meaning a passage that ends a musical piece following the main body, was therefore chosen as the title.

1994 - Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers play "You Don't Know How It Feels" and "Honeybee" on Saturday Night Live with Dave Grohl on drums, who considers joining the band full time. Grohl, was recently out of work after the death of Nirvana bandmate, Kurt Cobain, in April of that year. He joined Petty and company for a brief period in 1994. Tom allegedly offered him a permanent spot in the band, which he turned down (with some difficulty) to start his own new band: Foo Fighters. As Grohl told documentarian Peter Bogdanovich about those days, “I can’t think of any band that sounds like Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers…He’s just a badass.”

1990 - The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences strips the 1989 Best New Artist Grammy from Milli Vanilli because Rob Pilatus and Fabrice Morvan didn't actually sing on their debut album, "Girl You Know It's True." It is the first time a Grammy has ever been revoked.

1991 - U2's seventh studio album, Achtung Baby, was released in the United States. Seeking inspiration from German reunification, U2 began recording Achtung Baby at Berlin's Hansa Studios in October 1990. The sessions were fraught with conflict, as the band argued over their musical direction and the quality of their material. After tension and slow progress nearly prompted the group to disband, they made a breakthrough with the improvised writing of the song "One". Morale and productivity improved during subsequent recording sessions in Dublin, where the album was completed in 1991.

On This Day In Music History is sourced from This Day in Music, Paul Shaffer's Day in Rock, Song Facts, Live for Live Music, and Wikipedia.