1970 - Simon and Garfunkel's album Bridge Over Troubled Water started a ten-week run at No. 1 on the U.S. chart. The duo had split up by the time of release. The album includes two of Simon and Garfunkel's most critically acclaimed and commercially successful songs: "Bridge over Troubled Water" and "The Boxer."
Bridge Over Troubled Water, at its most ambitious and bold, on its title track, was a quietly reassuring album; at other times, it was personal yet soothing; and at other times, it was just plain fun. The public in 1970 -- a very unsettled time politically, socially, and culturally -- embraced it; and whatever mood they captured, the songs matched the standard of craftsmanship that had been established on the duo's two prior albums.
1975: David Bowie released his ninth studio album Young Americans which contained his first number one hit in the U.S. "Fame."
David Bowie had dropped hints that he was moving toward R&B, but the full-blown blue-eyed soul of Young Americans came as a shock. Surrounding himself with first-rate sessionmen, Bowie comes up with a set of songs that approximate the sound of Philly soul and disco, yet remain detached from their inspirations; even at his most passionate, Bowie sounds like a commentator, as if the entire album was a genre exercise. Nevertheless, the distance doesn't hurt the album -- it gives the record its own distinctive flavor, and its plastic, robotic soul helped inform generations of synthetic British soul. (Photo credit should read RALPH GATTI/AFP via Getty Images)
1983 - New Order released 'Blue Monday,' as a 12-inch single through Factory Records. The track went on to become the biggest-selling 12-inch single of all time.
1983 - Tears For Fears release their debut album, The Hurting, featuring the melancholic "Mad World." The album is inspired by the work of American psychologist Arthur Janov, founder of primal therapy. The idea of replacing fears with tears (and shouting) inspired Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith, saddled with their own troubled upbringings, to adopt the name Tears For Fears.
1985 - The song "We are the World" is released as a single, soon achieving massive chart success all around the world. The song, written by Lionel Richie and Michael Jackson, is recorded for charity to help battle famine in Africa. The supergroup USA for Africa brought together for the recording features a stunning list of big names in music - everyone from Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan to Ray Charles, Cyndi Lauper and Dionne Warwick.
1987 - The Beatles' first five studio albums were released on CD. This was the first time the original mono mixes of the first four albums were released in the U.S.
1987 - Beastie Boys became the first rap act to have a No. 1 album in the U.S. with their debut album, Licensed To Ill. It was also one of Columbia Records' fastest-selling debut records to date,
Perhaps Licensed to Ill was inevitable -- a white group blending rock and rap. The Beastie Boys fuel the record through their passion for subcultures, pop culture, jokes, and the intoxicating power of wordplay. Operating from the axis of where metal, punk, and rap meet, there never has been a record this heavy and nimble, drunk on its own power yet giddy with what they're getting away with.
Singer-songwriter Townes Van Zandt was born today in 1944. His music has been covered by such notable and varied musicians as Bob Dylan, Lyle Lovett, Steve Earle, Cowboy Junkies, Andrew Bird, Alison Krauss, and Gillian Welch. Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard covered his song 'Pancho and Lefty.'
Arthur Lee guitarist, songwriter with group Love, was born on this day in 1945. Love's Forever Changes made only a minor dent on the charts when it was first released in 1967, but years later it became recognized as one of the finest and most haunting albums to come out of the Summer of Love
Peter Wolf, lead vocalist for the J. Geils Band, is 76.
Ernie Isley of The Isley Brothers is 71.
On this day In Music History is sourced from Allmusic, This Day in Music, Paul Shaffer's Day in Rock, Song Facts and Wikipedia.