1967 - The Beatles released Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts club band in the UK.
Writing in The Times of London in 1967, the critic Kenneth Tynan called the release of Sgt. Pepper “a decisive moment in the history of Western civilization,” but 30 years later, Paul McCartney called it a decisive moment of a more personal nature. “We were not boys, we were men,” is how he summed up the Beatles’ mindset as they gave up live performance and set about defining themselves purely as a studio band. “All that boy [stuff], all that screaming, we didn’t want any more,” McCartney said. “There was now more to it.” With Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, the Beatles announced their intention to be seen “as artists rather than just performers.”
It would be released in the U.S. on June 1st. More about the album on Thursday.
1967 - Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention release Absolutely Free, their second studio album. Leaping from style to style without warning, the album has a freewheeling, almost schizophrenic quality, encompassing everything from complex mutations of "Louie, Louie" to jazz improvisations and quotes from Stravinsky's Petrushka. Zappa's satire also grows more explicitly social, ranting against commercial consumer culture and related themes of artificiality and conformity.
1972 - Mott The Hoople, on the verge of breaking up, are offered help from David Bowie, who allows them to record two songs he wrote. They pass on "Suffragette City" but cut "All The Young Dudes," which becomes their biggest hit and revives their career.
2022 - Andy Fletcher, a founding member of Depeche Mode, dies at 60. He played keyboards in the band and also served at times as peacemaker and business manager.
Isaac Slade of The Fray is 42.
Lenny Kravitz is 59. Rock music in the 1980s had completely lost the gritty feel of earlier eras until Lenny Kravitz rediscovered the magic formula. Kravitz's sonic template combined good old-fashioned rock & roll with glam, soul, and psychedelia, making him a massive success. His mother was actress Roxie Roker, best known for her role as Helen Willis on the popular TV series The Jeffersons.
Stevie Nicks is 75. Famed for her mystical chanteuse image, Stevie Nicks enjoyed phenomenal success not only as a solo artist but also as a key member of Fleetwood Mac. Possessed of a raspy croon, Nicks had a duo with Lindsey Buckingham in the early '70s, releasing an excellent folk-pop album as Buckingham Nicks before the pair were absorbed into veteran U.K. group Fleetwood Mac. (Photo by Gaye Gerard/Getty Images)
Mick Ronson was born on this day in 1946. As someone once pointed out, he was the Keith Richards to David Bowie's Mick Jagger.
He was Bowie's guitarist and arranger starting with "Space Oddity" through the Diamond Dogs album.
Levon Helm was born on the day in 1940. The longtime drummer for the Band, Levon Helm wore many musical hats throughout his long career, including multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, singer, impresario, studio owner, studio engineer, and producer. As the sole American in the Band, the Arkansas-born Helm added credibility to their fascination with American blues, country, gospel, and rockabilly styles, and his unfailingly soulful and propulsive drumming drove their performances, while his occasional vocals and mandolin work were similarly powerful.
On This Day In Music History was sourced from Allmusic, Songfacts, This Day In Music, History Channel, and Wikipedia.