8 November

Pick a Day

8 NOVEMBER

In Music History

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2012 Tragedy strikes at a Linkin Park concert in Cape Town, South Africa, when high winds cause scaffolding to collapse. This sends an advertisement tower plummeting into the crowd of fans in the parking lot after the show, killing one and injuring 19 more.

2011 The singer Charlotte Church testifies to the Leveson Inquiry, which is investigating claims that reporters from News of the World hacked the phones of various celebrities.

2008 AC/DC starts a two-week run at #1 in the US with Black Ice, the band's 15th studio album. It goes to #1 in 29 countries, including Australia, Canada and England.

2007 At the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, Elvis Costello performs his debut album, My Aim Is True, with the band Clover. When Costello recorded the album in 1976, Clover was his backing band. Members of that group went on to form Huey Lewis & the News. The show is a benefit for the Richard de Lone Special Housing Fund.

2005 French female artist Camille receives the Prix Constantin during a show held at the Olympia venue in Paris. The 26-year-old singer-songwriter wins for her second album, Le Fil (Virgin). The prize jury includes 18 media and retail professionals and is chaired by French rocker Alain Bashung.

2004 Brad Paisley, Chris DuBois, Neil Thrasher, and Emmylou Harris and EMI Music Publishing are the top honorees at the 42nd Annual ASCAP Country Music Awards, held at Nashville's Opryland Hotel.

2002 David Gilmour, longtime guitarist for Pink Floyd, is made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Queen Elizabeth II.

2001 Limp Bizkit are the big winners at the MTV Europe Music Awards, winning Best Album for Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water.

2000 The Secure Digital Music Initiative announces that two of its proposed technologies did not survive being attacked as part of the "Hack SDMI" challenge. The competition invited all comers to attempt removal of copyright protection from particular files, based on a specific set of criteria.

1999 Jazz trumpeter Lester Bowie dies of liver cancer at age 58.

1997 Dr. Tommy Comeaux (of Beausoleil), age 45, is killed in a bicycling accident in Louisiana.

1997 After a series of scrapes with the law and other misfortunes, Johnny Paycheck is welcomed by the country music community as he officially joins the Grand Ole Opry.

1995 Sony gets control to the publishing rights to many Beatles songs when Michael Jackson merges his ATV Music Publishing with Sony Music Publishing in a deal estimated at $600 million. Jackson purchased the Beatles catalog in 1985 for $47.5 million.

1994 A&M Records releases Woodstock 1994, an album documenting the Woodstock '94 festival that took place in Saugerties, New York, three months earlier. The two-disc set includes live performances from 27 artists, including Joe Cocker ("Feelin' Alright"), The Cranberries ("Dreams"), Green Day ("When I Come Around") and Bob Dylan ("Highway 61 Revisited").

1994 A memorial service is held for legendary guitarist Fred "Sonic" Smith, late of the MC5 and The Sonics, at Mariner's Church in Detroit.

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Led Zeppelin IV Released

1971

Led Zeppelin IV - the one with "Stairway To Heaven" - is released.


The band explored a wide range of styles in their first three albums, delivering blues howlers, folk stompers, and straight-ahead rock. Their fourth album brings it all together in what many consider the greatest album in rock.

Like Led Zeppelin III, most of it is recorded in a mobile unit parked at Headley Grange, a dank mansion in the English countryside where they have little choice but focus on music. A black labrador wanders the grounds, so they name the first track "Black Dog" in its honor.

It's an animal, with an explosive Jimmy Page guitar riff and lascivious lyrics by Robert Plant. It stops and starts in fits of tension and release, something Fleetwood Mac did on "Oh Well":


Hey, hey mama said the way you move
Gon' make you sweat, gon' make you groove
...
Aha child way you shake that thing
Gonna make you burn, gonna make you sting


Other songs include the Tolkien-inspired "Misty Mountain Hop," and the Joni Mitchell tribute "Going To California."

But the pièce de résistance is a track Jimmy Page has been building in bits and pieces for years. The lyric comes together when Plant sits by the fire and struck by inspiration, writes the tale of a lady who is buying a stairway to heaven.

"Stairway To Heaven" is distinctly English, a medieval-sounding tune that builds to a fury, with a scorching guitar solo. It's pretty much the perfect rock song - so good that many fans feel there are other forces at play. When played backwards, it sounds something like "my sweet Satan," so perhaps it was the Devil who was moving the pencil when the words arrived.

The rumor spreads throughout high schools across America, becoming one of the great urban legends in musical history. The song is never released as a single and therefore doesn't chart, but it becomes the most-played song in the history of FM radio.

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