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This Week in Rock History: The Rolling Stones Record ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’

Also: The Ramones release their first LP and Grace Slick nearly doses Nixon

Andy Greene Apr 19, 2011
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April 23rd, 1976 ”” The Ramones Release Their Debut LP

Recorded in a span of seven days with a budget of just $6,400, the Ramones‘ self-titled debut kicked off the punk revolution when it hit stores on April 23rd, 1976. The LP contains some of their most enduring songs, including “Blitzkrieg Bop,” “Judy Is a Punk” and “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend.” The band cut the disc at Plaza Sound Studios, located at New York’s fabled Radio City Music Hall. When their manager, Seymour Stein, dropped in on the session, he was incensed when he heard Joey Ramone belting out the lyrics to “Today Your Love, Tomorrow the World”: “I’m a Nazi, baby; I’m a Nazi, yes I am/I’m a Nazi, schatzi, y’know I fight for the fatherland.” He begged them to change the words, but when they came up with the substitution phrase “shock trooper” it sounded so lame that Stein relented. Equally shocking was Dee Dee Ramone’s lyric for “53rd and 3rd,” which tells the story of a gay prostitute working the title’s Manhattan street corner who kills one of his clients with a razor blade. The debate still rages to this day about whether or not Dee Dee worked that intersection himself during his pre-Ramones days.

The LP peaked at Number 111 on the Billboard Album Chart, but today it’s widely regarded as one of the most important albums in rock history. In 2003, Rolling Stone ranked it as the 33rd greatest album of all time.

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April 20th, 1992 ”” Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert Held at Wembley

Five months after Freddie Mercrury died of AIDS-related complications, the surviving members of Queen held a gigantic all-star tribute concert in his honor at London’s Wembley Stadium. Mercury’s bandmates recruited an incredibly diverse roster of artists for the show, including Elton John, Metallica, Guns N’ Roses, Robert Plant, David Bowie, George Michael, Def Leppard and even Spinal Tap and Liza Minnelli. The show began with many of the groups playing their own sets, and after an intermission they all played Queen classics with the surviving band members. The highlights are too numerous to mention, but two most famous moments were Axl Rose and Elton John’s duet on “Bohemian Rhapsody” and George Michael’s emotional take on “Somebody to Love.” The show also marked the first time David Bowie and his Spiders From Mars guitarist Mick Ronson had shared a stage in many years. They played “All The Young Dudes” with Queen, members of Def Leppard and Mott the Hoople’s Ian Hunter. Ronson died almost exactly a year later, and Bowie drew a lot of heat when he didn’t show up at Ronson’s own tribute concert.

April 20th, 1993 ”” Aerosmith release Get a Grip

The grunge movement peaked around 1993, but looking back as to what actually sold that year may surprise you ”” especially when you realize that some of the biggest hits were by 1970s dinosaurs Aerosmith, Eric Clapton and even Meat Loaf. A decade earlier, Aerosmith were widely dismissed as washed-up junkies, but when they cleaned up and recut “Walk This Way” with Run-DMC in 1985 they pulled off one of the biggest comebacks in rock history. The band’s resurgence peaked with 1993’s Get a Grip, which produced six hit singles ”” including “Livin’ on the Edge,” “Amazing,” “Cryin'” and “Crazy.” The latter three introduced the world to Alicia Silverstone, who went from video vixen to movie star seemingly overnight. She teamed up with Steven Tyler’s daughter Liv for the “Crazy” video, which launched not only Silverstone’s movie career but Liv Tyler’s as well. MTV played these videos on what seemed like an endless loop and Aerosmith created an entire generation of fans, some of whom weren’t even born during the band’s initial burst of success. Aerosmith have released just two studio albums of original material since Get a Grip, and both of them failed to come close to matching its success.

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