21 August

Pick a Day

21 AUGUST

In Music History

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2021 Don Everly of The Everly Brothers dies of a heart attack at 84.

2017 During a historic solar eclipse, Bonnie Tyler sings "Total Eclipse Of The Heart," while Ozzy Osbourne performs "Bark At The Moon."More

2015 When the Westboro Baptist Church, famous for their anti-gay demonstrations, stage a protest before a Foo Fighters concert in Kansas City, the band responds by driving a truck in front of the demonstrators and Rickrolling them by blasting Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up."More

2013 Sid Bernstein (music promoter for The Beatles and manager for The (Young) Rascals and Tony Bennett) dies in Manhattan, New York, at age 95.

2012 Lynyrd Skynyrd release Last of a Dyin' Breed, their 14th studio album. Guitarist John Lowery, better known by stage name "John 5," contributes to a couple of the tracks.

2012 With 623,000 digital copies sold, Taylor Swift's hit "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" becomes the single with the most digital sales for a female artist.

2011 Rod Stewart's becomes a grandfather for the first time when his daughter Kimberly gives birth to her own daughter, Delilah Genoveva del Toro (the result of a liaison with actor Benicio del Toro).

2009 Doo-wop/R&B singer Johnny Carter (of The Dells and The Flamingos) dies of lung cancer in Harvey, Illinois, at age 75.

2008 Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale have their second child: a son named Zuma Nesta Rock.

2005 Electronic music pioneer Robert Moog, who invented the Moog synthesizer, dies of a brain tumor in Asheville, North Carolina, at age 71.

1998 Terence Trent D'Arby, not heard from since his 1995 album Vibrator, posts on his website: "I am a holographic representation in the third dimension of what was requested by your souls that one of your favourite artists be. I sent a portion of my soul to embody as an artist called Terence Trent D'Arby to favour that request." He later explains that he is using a new name: Sananda Maitreya, which came to him in a dream.

1997 Be Here Now, the hotly anticipated third album from Oasis, is launched to mixed reviews. Critical opinion is initially overwhelmingly positive but is later revised as the public find the album bloated and derivative. Britpop is beginning to fall out of favor, and despite entering the albums chart at #2, sales are much lower than expected.

1996 Rick James gets out of jail after serving two years of a five-year sentence for holding a woman hostage during a drug binge.

1994 John Denver crashes his 1963 Porsche into a tree near his home in Aspen, Colorado, exactly one year after a previous arrest for driving while impaired.

1993 John Denver blows a .14 when his Porsche is pulled over in Aspen, Colorado, where the legal limit is .10. He pleads guilty to driving while impaired and is sentenced to 28 hours of community service, which includes performing a benefit concert for the Tipsy Taxi service.

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Hey Alright! Jane's Addiction Release Ritual de lo Habitual

1990

Jane's Addiction release the alternative rock touchstone Ritual de lo Habitual, which frontman Perry Farrell describes as filled with "sex and violence and joy and happiness."


1990 is dominated by adult contemporary, teen pop, and hip-hop lite, but more adventurous listeners crave something with vibrant colors and rougher edges. Jane's Addiction oblige with Ritual, their third album (second on a major label). Produced by Dave Jerden (the man behind the band's debut studio effort, Nothing's Shocking), it features an eclectic blend of influences ranging from funk to punk to reggae to world beats. Grunge is about to take off, hair metal is on its way out, and Jane's Addiction sits poised to make their mark balanced in between. There's a psychedelic thread that runs heavy throughout the album, and there are times when listeners can almost feel as if they're living vicariously through the drug haze that underpins the band's songwriting process. It's a funhouse of an album, with distorted reflections and scary parts mixed with bright flashes of light and color. Critics are impressed. While Ritual draws critical acclaim and sends new fans flocking to the band, their aesthetic sense isn't quite as universally appealing. Conservative groups around the US find themselves up in arms over the cover of the album, which pictures a sculpture of three happy naked people, pubic hair and all. The sculpture was created by the band's lead singer, Perry Farrell, and his then-girlfriend, Casey Niccoli. It depicts Farrell and Niccoli flanking an effigy of Farrell's ex-girlfriend who died of an overdose. The artwork is a prelude to the dark B-side of the album, which centers around themes of addiction and suicide. Still, the symbolism isn't enough to keep the censorship hounds off their backs, and the band finally strikes a compromise, agreeing to release the album with two covers. The "clean" cover is done in plain text, simply stating the band's name and the album title on the front, along with an excerpt from the US Constitution, which reads, Article 1 Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people to peacefully assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. The back of the clean cover features Farrell's thoughts on the matter: Hitler's syphilis-ridden dreams almost came true. How could it happen? By taking control of the media. An entire country was led by a lunatic... We must protect our First Amendment, before sick dreams become law. Nobody made fun of Hitler??! In the wake of the cover controversy, Ritual de lo Habitual sells over 2 million copies in the US, fueled by the singles "Been Caught Stealing" and "Stop!," and the surprisingly sweet "Classic Girl." The album is the last studio effort for Jane's Addiction before the band parts ways for the first time, although they will reunite in various incarnations over the years and release two more studio albums: Strays in 2003 and The Great Escape Artist in 2011. Ritual de lo Habitual remains their masterwork.

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