By 1988, Led Zeppelin had been disbanded for the better part of a decade, its members having moved on to solo careers in a show of respect for their fallen drummer John Bonham. But as they'd shown in 1985 with their mini-reunion for Live Aid, they were willing to come together for the right cause.
Frank Zappa is often regarded as one of the most brilliant, idiosyncratic musicians in rock music. But, looking back at his eclectic, monstrous body of work as a composer, guitarist, vocalist, and bandleader, Zappa really wasn't a "rock" musician. That fact is cemented on 'Lumpy Gravy,' Zappa's first official solo album, which was released 45 years ago today (May 13, 1968).
Like many other '70s rock greats, British space-rock pioneers Hawkwind built their legacy on-stage, rather than in the recording studio. On May 11, 1973, the band released their defining masterpiece. 'Space Ritual,' their fourth overall LP and first live album, is a mind-numbing double-album behemoth that captures the Hawkwind experience in all its demented glory.
The Who were approaching the end of the recording sessions for their second concept album, ‘Quadrophenia,’ when Roger Daltrey’s first solo record was released in May 1973. And fans expecting a rock-god epic from the singer were in for a surprise. Unlike Pete Townshend’s and John Entwistle’s solo albums, which sounded enough like Who records if you wanted them to, ‘Daltrey’ was all about distancing the singer from his band.
‘Let It Be’ was supposed to be the album that would bring the Beatles back together. After an increasingly fractious couple of years that culminated in 1968’s self-titled (‘White’) album, which was basically four solo records for the price of a double LP, the four Beatles holed themselves up in London’s Twickenham Film Studios, and then at Apple Studios, during the first month of 1969 to re-spark their dying flame. No outside visitors, no BS -- just four guys hanging around playing music. Just like the old days. They called it ‘Get Back.’
On May 6, 1973 in Boston, Paul Simon kicked off his first tour as a solo artist. He and longtime partner in musical splendor Art Garfunkel parted ways in 1970 following a highly successful run as pop's premier duo. The Simon & Garfunkel musical relationship dated back to 1957 as Tom & Jerry, but it wasn't until the 1965 single of 'The Sounds Of Silence' that the gates swung open. Their final album, 'Bridge Over Troubled Water,' was released in early 1970, and despite its huge success, time had frayed the duo and they split.
Buffalo Springfield were always a house of cards caught in a hurricane. Neil Young was -- and still is -- famous for going wherever his muse takes him, others be damned. From the band's earliest days Young had issues to deal with, including the onset of epilepsy, constant drug use, and apprehension about the band management and the music business in general. On May 5, 1968, Buffalo Springfield gave their final performance as a group.