12 May

Pick a Day

12 MAY

In Music History

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2017 To commemorate the 30th anniversary of their acclaimed 1987 album, The Joshua Tree, U2 embarks upon The Joshua Tree Tour 2017, with an opener in Vancouver, Canada. The band plays through the entire album, including rare treats "Exit" and "Trip Through Your Wires," which haven't been performed since the '80s, and a live first for "Red Hill Mining Town."

2015 Twenty One Pilots release "Ride."

2011 The Monkees, minus Mike Nesmith, embark on a 45th Anniversary Tour with a date at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, England. It's the group's fourth and final reunion tour, as Davy Jones dies in 2012.

2011 Jamaican drummer Lloyd Knibb (of The Skatalites) dies of liver cancer at age 80.

2008 In preparation for Death Magnetic, their new album, Metallica launch their Website Mission: Metallica (http://www.missionmetallica.com).

2008 4AD Records release Bon Iver's debut album, For Emma, Forever Ago, in the UK.

2001 Perry Como dies in his sleep less than week before his 89th birthday.

1998 Lenny Kravitz releases his fifth studio album, aptly titled 5.

1997 Married country singers Tim McGraw and Faith Hill release their first duet, "It's Your Love."

1994 Garth Brooks guest stars on the "Up All Night" episode of the sitcom Mad About You.

1984 Lionel Richie's "Hello," a song inspired by his younger years when he was too shy to talk to the ladies, goes to #1 in America.

1983 Meat Loaf files for bankruptcy.

1981 Debbie Harry branches off from Blondie, announcing her solo career. She continues working with the band, which proves more successful.

1978 Alex Ebert, lead singer of Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, is born in Los Angeles. His mother is the actress Lisa Richards, who had a regular role on the soap opera Dark Shadows and appeared on episodes of Fantasy Island and Chips.

1977 The Sex Pistols sign with Virgin Records for £15,000 after being dropped by both EMI and A&M. This one takes, and Virgin issues their landmark album, Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols. "I've always liked Richard Branson because, pompous rich t--t that he is, he has a great sense of rebelliousness," lead singer Johnny Rotten says.

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Astronaut Plays "Space Oddity" In Space

2013

After the Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield records the David Bowie song "Space Oddity" on board the International Space Station, his sublime rendition is posted to YouTube, quickly garnering millions of views.

Along with, you know, science stuff, there is a guitar on board the International Space Station, and when Chris Hadfield takes his post as Commander, he puts it to use. A song that every astronaut knows quite well is "Space Oddity," which tells the story of Major Tom, an astronaut who travels to space and becomes adulated by folks back on Earth. Entranced by the tranquil expanse, he cuts himself loose and drifts away.

This exact storyline isn't appropriate for Hadfield, as he has every intention of returning home, but the song captured the majesty of space like no other. He alters the lyric so Major Tom doesn't float away and records the track, which is beamed down to Earth where Emm Gryner, a singer-songwriter who did time in Bowie's live band, compiles the song, adding various instruments along with some space station sounds Hadfield recorded. A video comes together with footage of Hadfield in space, and a legal team works out a one-year deal to use the song - a high hurdle because there's no protocol for obtaining rights to a song recorded in orbit.

When the video is posted to YouTube, Bowie posts on his Facebook page, "It's possibly the most poignant version of the song ever created." The video comes down when the agreement expires after a year, but it goes back up six months later when a new deal is struck.

After Bowie dies in 2016, Hadfield writes, "His art defined an image of outer space, inner self, and a rapidly changing world for a generation finding themselves at the confluence. Being able to record 'Oddity' on the International Space Station was an attempt to bring that art full circle. It was meant as a way to allow people to experience, without it being stated, that our culture had reached beyond the planet. We live in space. I thank him for allowing us the opportunity, and for being so kind since."

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