September 20, 1968: Hunter Benedict Shepherd is born Okinawa. You know him as Ben Shepherd, bassist for Soundgarden. Also? Shepherd is the guy who introduced Krist Novoselic to Chad Channing, with the former bringing the latter into Nirvana as their drummer from 1988 to 1990. Shepherd was technically a member of Nirvana for a spell as well, touring with the band leading up to the release of Nevermind as their backup second guitarist, despite never making it on stage with the band. Let’s take a moment and appreciate his low end work on Badmotorfinger‘s “Rusty Cage.”
September 20, 1976: AC/DC releases Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, their third album. Of course, American rock fans wouldn’t get hands on it for another five years (unless you were savvy enough to pick it up as an import), because the album was only released in Australia and Europe. It wouldn’t see a U.S. release until 1981, more than a year after Bon Scott‘s death. To celebrate the 45th anniversary, we’ve ranked Scott’s 25 best tunes.
Released September 20, 1976.
September 20, 1980: Ozzy Osbourne releases his solo debut album, Blizzard of Ozz. Again, this was a U.K. release; the album was released in the U.S. in March of 1981. Last year, we marked the album’s 40th anniversary with this animated video, which is fun. But not as much fun as watching Ozzy, Randy Rhoads, Bob Daisley, and Lee Kerslake doing it live.
September 20, 2004: Green Day releases American Idiot. I can’t overstate what a huge deal this album was. Critics (and even some fans!) had all but written off the band after 1997’s Nimrod and 2000’s Warning, albums that found the band moving away from their earlier, signature sound. So what did they do? They wrote a concept album. A punk rock opera. And it worked. Long live Jesus of Suburbia, and long live Green Day.
September 12, 1952: Neil Ellwood Peart is born on a farm in Hagersville, Ontario, just outside of Hamilton. Despite his humble beginnings, Neil Peart would grow up to become who many call the greatest rock drummer of all time. I mean, it’s gotta be him, Bonzo, Moon the Loon, or Danny Carey from Tool, right? Anyway, Peart joined Rush in July of 1974 as their drummer, quickly became their primary lyricist, and the rest, as they say, is history. He would’ve turned 70 today.
September 12, 1975: Pink Floyd releases Wish You Were Here. I’m not going to sit here and say that Wish You Were Here is a better album than The Dark Side of the Moon, but I am going to sit here and tell you that I like Wish You Were Here better than Dark Side of the Moon. Of course, if you were lucky enough to be in the audience for this, one back in ’75, you got songs from both.
September 12, 1989: Aerosmith releases Pump, their tenth studio album. I remember getting Pump on cassette tape for Christmas in 1989. It was from my aunt and uncle, and they also gave me Disintegration by The Cure. I don’t think I touched Pump for months I was so obsessed with The Cure. I wrote about it for the 30th anniversary, in fact.
September 12, 1995: Red Hot Chili Peppers release One Hot Minute. This would be their first, last, and only album with Dave Navarro on guitar. And next to Blood Sugar Sex Magik, it’s my favorite RHCP album. I wrote about it for the 25th anniversary a couple of years ago. And my 14-year-old wrote about how they were bummed the band didn’t play any cuts from it at Fenway last weekend.