This Day in Rock History: October 17
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On this day in rock history, Keith Richards and Mick Jagger met, setting the Rolling Stones in motion. Three years later, on the same date, they’d release a classic with the Stones’ second U.S. album. 12×5 actually combined several previous overseas releases, including a five-song, Chicago-made U.K.-only EP from earlier that year called Five by Five, plus two singles and their B-sides and three songs from the Stones’ sophomore U.K. album, The Rolling Stones No. 2.
Lynyrd Skynyrd, meanwhile, seemed poised for even greater success with the arrival of Street Survivors. They’d already gone Top 10 with “Sweet Home Alabama,” while gathering a huge following out on the road. Three days after Skynyrd’s fifth album was released, however, the band’s plane went down. Killed were singer Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines and Gaines’ backup-singer sister, as well as a crew member and the two pilots.
Bruce Springsteen used the double-disc format to try something different on The River, also released on this date. More than any other Springsteen album, The River finds the E Street Band living up to their onstage reputation as uptempo rock numbers are brilliantly paired with slower, darker songs. Billy Joel later emerged with a more rock-focused album in Storm Front, after a period of career turbulence.
Watch an exciting recap of many of the day’s biggest rock anniversaries above, narrated by our radio host Zach Martin. And learn more about these and other important events by clicking the links below.
Keith Richards and Mick Jagger meet (1961)
Rolling Stones – 12×5 (1964)
Lynyrd Skynyrd – Street Survivors (1977)
Dire Straits – Making Movies (1980)
Bruce Springsteen – The River (1980)
Billy Joel – Storm Front (1989)
Kiss – Hot in the Shade (1989)
Rolling Stones Live Albums Ranked Worst to Best