With seminal releases by rock stalwarts AC/DC, Metallica, and Smashing Pumpkins, the 27th day of July is an important date on the rock calendar.
AC/DC released 'Highway to Hell' on July 27, 1979. It would be their final album with founding vocalist Bon Scott.
The album's title track was released as a single on the same day as the album, and some versions of the single have this cover, which was the original concept for the album's cover.
'Highway to Hell' was AC/DC's first album without Angus and Malcolm Young's older brother George behind the board. After butting heads with producer Eddie Kramer--who had produced Jimi Hendrix--the band ended up working on the album with Mutt Lange.
With singles "Girls Got Rhythm" and "Touch Too Much" hitting in late 1979, coupled with a successful U.S. tour in 1977, AC/DC was gaining momentum in the states. And even the tragic death of Bon Scott in 1980 wouldn't derail their inevitable success.
Flash forward five years and here we are on July 27, 1984: the date Metallica released their sophomore album 'Ride the Lightning.'
Critics of Metallica's "softer" side sometimes need to be reminded that the band was experimenting with acoustic sounds and balladry as early as their second album. "Fade to Black" was the album's first official single, released as a radio promo in September of 1984.
Like their debut album 'Kill 'Em All,' 'Ride the Lightning' was released independently on July 27, 1984 on Megaforce Records. Two months later, Metallica signed a deal with Elektra Records, who re-released the album.
To date, 'Ride the Lightning' has been certified six-times platinum in the U.S. and sold another million-plus copies worldwide.
Not quite a decade later--July 27, 1983--a Chicago band called Smashing Pumpkins released their sophomore album, 'Siamese Dream'
'Siamese Dream' is a personal album for me. I spent the entire summer and fall of 1993 with the cassette tape lodged inside my Walkman. I even had the artwork for lead single "Cherub Rock" in poster form in my room.
'Siamese Dream' kicked off my love affair with the pumpkins. I started collecting all the import singles--like this one for "Today"--so I could amass all the b-sides that hadn't made the album.
"Disarm" was a tricky one: there were TWO import CD singles with 2 extra tracks on each!
Did I shell out the cash to own them both? I sure did. I even bought a t-shirt with the "Smile" artwork.
Props to my friend Chris, who tracked down the Australian single for "Rocket" at Newbury Comics. The b-side? A cover of Depeche Mode's "Never Let Me Down."