1 July

Pick a Day

1 JULY

In Music History

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2016 30-year-old Lady Gaga finally gets her driver's license.

2009 Following Michael Jackson's death the previous week, he becomes the first act to sell more than 1 million song downloads in a week.

2008 Crüe Fest kicks off in West Palm Beach, Florida. The tour features Mötley Crüe, Buckcherry, Papa Roach, Sixx:A.M., and Trapt; it earns about $40 million.

2008 Mel Galley (former Whitesnake guitarist) dies of esophageal cancer at age 60.

2008 Gym Class Heroes' lead singer Travie McCoy assaults a fan who shouts out a racial slur just as their set finishes during the Warped Tour in St. Louis.

2007 In memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, a concert is held at the newly built Wembley Stadium in London. Acts include friends of the Princess Duran Duran and Elton John as well as artists she enjoyed such as Nelly Furtado, Tom Jones and Kanye West.

2006 The Bethel Woods Center for the Arts opens on the grounds of the 1969 Woodstock festival in Bethel, New York. The brainchild of Alan Gerry, who sold his company, Cablevision Industries, to Time Warner for $2.8 billion, the Center includes a performance venue, and later, a museum.

2005 Luther Vandross dies at age 54 after suffering a stroke two years earlier that left him in a wheelchair.

2003 Flute player Herbie Mann dies of prostate cancer at age 73. His best-known song is "Hijack," a dance tune that hit #14 in 1975.

2000 In London, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails overdoses on China white heroin that he believes is cocaine. Reznor, who has been battling addiction throughout the '90s, redoubles his efforts to get sober and eventually does a few years later.

1999 Guy Mitchell, '50s pop singer and TV host, dies of complications from cancer surgery at age 72.

1999 Jennifer Lopez releases her debut album, On The 6.

1995 Legendary DJ Wolfman Jack, who famously spun rock and roll records from a border blaster station in Mexico throughout the '60s, dies of a heart attack at age 57.

1986 Misfits issue their second compilation, a self-titled, 20-track release with two songs Metallica later cover: "Green Hell" and "Die, Die My Darling."

1982 Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five release the early rap classic "The Message." It's the first hip-hop hit with lyrics about struggle in the inner city.

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Bob Dylan Releases Blonde On Blonde, The First Double Album In Rock

1966

Bob Dylan releases the "thin, wild mercury" sound of Blonde on Blonde, rock's first double album. Minds are blown.


Note: bobdylan.com and most publications listed May 16, 1966 as the release date for Blonde On Blonde, but that has been disproven. There is no definite source for the actual release date, but piecing it together based on reviews and industry publications from that time, July 1, 1966 seems most likely. Blonde on Blonde is Dylan's seventh studio album released in less than five years of recording. The album is viewed by many as the peak of Dylan's creative genius and the culmination of the wild experimentation and prophetic lyrical potency that had been building with the two previous albums, Bringing It All Back Home and Highway 61 Revisited. Dylan says the album is the closest he has ever come to the "thin, wild mercury sound" he hears in his head. It shows influences of Memphis and Chicago blues, New Orleans processionals, pop, and good ol' rock and roll. The title comes from some free association between Dylan, Al Kooper, and others during a mixing session in the studio. Dylan says it has no particular meaning, although the first letters of each word spell out "Bob," and that the title resembles Brecht on Brecht, a play by Bertolt Brecht. Reactions suggest that Dylan has transcended the status of mere entertainer and become an almost mystical icon. Paul Nelson states, "Dylan in the end truly UNDERSTANDS situations, and once one truly understands anything, there can no longer be anger, no longer be moralizing, but only humor and compassion, only pity." The albums' cover features a blurred image of Dylan that many attribute to a hint at drug use. Photographer Jerry Schatzberg, however, claims it is simply a result of he and Dylan shaking on the cold street while taking the shot. Blonde on Blonde reaches #9 on the US Albums chart and #3 in the UK on its way to going double platinum. "Rainy Day Women #12 And #35" and "I Want You" hit the US Top 20. "Just Like A Woman" and "Visions Of Johanna" (of which Dylan says he'd "never done anything like that before") go on to become two of his most critically lauded songs. Years later, Andrew Motion, Britain's Poet Laureate, will call "Visions of Johanna" the greatest song lyric ever written. Side 4 of Blonde on Blonde features a single song, the 11+ minute winding, poetic odyssey that is "Sad Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands," which was recorded in a single take at 4 o'clock in the morning with the backing musicians having never rehearsed it and not knowing how or when it was going to end. The album's unique sound is largely credited to Dylan's orders to have tall dividers called "bafflers" taken out. These barriers usually separate the musicians working in studio, but their removal creates a spontaneous, collaborative atmosphere that shows up in the music. Blonde on Blonde mostly features songs recorded in Nashville, Tennessee, which has a very orthodox music culture very different from the one Dylan is used to working in. Al Kooper, who played a critical role in translating Dylan's plans during the recording of Blonde on Blonde, states, "[Bob Dylan] was the quintessential New York hipster - what was he doing in Nashville? It didn't make any sense whatsoever. But you take those two elements, pour them into a test tube, and it just exploded." The album proves to be a revolutionary work that raises the stakes for the popular music of the day, making even established musicians of the time more ambitious in both their sounds and their themes.

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