1981 -Kraftwerk release their eighth studio album, Computer World, featuring prescient songs about the influence of computers on society. Thematically, the electronic music pioneers explore the promises and pitfalls that go along with the increasing reliance on technology. "Computer Love" predicts the advent of online dating, while "Pocket Calculator" praises the convenience of the portable device that solves mathematical problems and makes music.
The title track, however, hints at a sinister side effect of a computerized world with the lyric "Interpol and Deutsche Bank, FBI and Scotland Yard," noting the international agencies that keep tabs on the public by storing their personal information in computers. Kraftwerk knew...
1994 - Weezer released their self-titled debut (aka The Blue Album). Under the direction of singer/songwriter Rivers Cuomo, Weezer synthesized alt-rock with a strong '70s trash-rock predilection and an unwitting gift for power pop, resulting in something quite distinctive. It's a record emblematic of its time, standing as one of the defining albums of the '90s. Produced by Ric Ocasek from The Cars.
1986 - Paul Simon played three songs from his upcoming Graceland album on Saturday Night Live. He was backed by South African musicians, including the vocal group Ladysmith Black Mambazo, who performed "Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes" with him. With South Africa under a cultural boycott in an attempt to stop apartheid, its music was sequestered. Simon's appearance with musicians from the country and the subsequent album introduced the sound to a global audience, but also caused problems for Simon when he faced criticism for violating the boycott.
1999 - Author and songwriter Shel Silverstein died at 66. Although he is primarily known for his cartoons, songs, and children's books, he also wrote Johnny Cash's 1969 hit "A Boy Named Sue" and a pair of 1972 hits for Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show: "Sylvia's Mother" and "Cover Of The Rolling Stone."
Dancer, singer, actor, choreographer, musician, and television presenter Fred Astaire was born today in 1899.
Donovan is 76.
Jay Ferguson is 75. He was in Jo Jo Gunne (Run, Run, Run), Spirit (I Got A Line On you), solo, (Thunder Island), and he composed the theme to the US version of The Office on NBC.
Sid Vicious, aka John Simon Ritchie, was born today in 1957.
Bono is 62. The U2 singer, is born Paul Hewson. He shortens his nickname from Bono Vox (Latin for "good voice") to simply Bono. Singer, poet, activist, believer: few icons in the history of rock & roll have created art with the consciousness and passion of Bono, and only a handful have done it as successfully. Whether preaching about "three chords and the truth" or donning ironic personas, he has always stood unequivocally for hope, faith, and love. Bob Dylan: "Spending time with Bono was like eating dinner on a train - feels like you're moving, going somewhere. Bono's got the soul of an ancient poet and you have to be careful around him. He can roar 'til the earth shakes." (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Sly Dunbar, one half of legendary Jamaican production and rhythm duo Sly & Robbie, is 70.
Young MC (Marvin Young - single "Bust A Move") is 55.
On this Day In Music History is sourced from This Day in Music, Allmusic, Song Facts and Wikipedia