Frank Zappa was one of the most innovative and versatile rock musicians of his generation, creating a vast body of work that encompassed almost every genre of music -- but he wouldn't have wanted to hear it. The mercurial genius actively resisted those kinds of labels and effusive public praise, focusing instead on the work itself in a career that spanned more than three decades. He died on Dec. 4, 1993 at the age of 52 after a long battle with prostate cancer.
Aerosmith were coming off the peak of their success when they went into the studio for 'Draw the Line.' In the wake of back-to-back classics 'Toys in the Attic' and 'Rocks,' the group were positioned to deliver an album that would have cemented their legacy alongside '70s stalwarts like Led Zeppelin. Instead, they turned in an oddly dispirited album that heralded a dramatic reversal of fortunes in their career.
Gram Parsons was one of the most influential musicians of his generation -- though the true extent of his influence would not be felt until after his death.
48 years ago today, Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play . . .
Actually, that's not true, but it was 48 years ago -- on Sept. 25, 1965 -- that ABC first broadcast 'The Beatles,' a 30-minute Saturday morning cartoon that became an instant ratings smash for the network. Several years before they all lived in a yellow submarine (or so the song claimed), the legendary British rockers were first immortalized in animated glory, lending their music -- but not their actual speaking voices -- to the show.
Metal pioneers Black Sabbath were reaching beyond their heavy musical roots by the time they recorded their fourth album in 1972, coming up with an amalgam of classic heavy riffing, a growing sense of melody, and even some touches of progressive rock. The album endures as a classic today - even though it was almost derailed by the band's growing substance abuse.