This Week In Rock History: R.E.M., The Beatles, Motley Crue

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rem ok1 This Week In Rock History: R.E.M., The Beatles, Motley Crue

R.E.M. in 2001 (Getty Images/Scott Gries)

This week in 1981, [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]R.E.M.[/lastfm] made its first recordings at Bombay Studios in Smyrna, Georgia. The band recorded eight songs that day, including “Radio Free Europe”; three of them would eventually appear, in different versions, on the group’s 1983 debut album Murmur.

This week in 1964, [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]the Beatles[/lastfm] made their legendary American TV debut on The Ed Sullivan Show, kicking American Beatlemania into overdrive. By April, they would hold down the top five spots on the American singles charts, an unprecedented achievement.

Next we have two acts who couldn’t be more different — in lifestyle, in career arc, in sound, you name it.

This week in 1961, [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Vince Neil[/lastfm] was born in Hollywood, California. During the same week in 1992, Neil was fired by his [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Mötley Crüe[/lastfm] bandmates. Although he later rejoined the band for a while, he claims to be estranged from his former mates today. Neil released an autobiography last fall called Tattoos & Tequila: To Hell and Back With One Of Rock’s Most Notorious Frontmen.

This week in 1952, [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Michael McDonald[/lastfm] was born in St. Louis. He was part of the constellation of musicians making up [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Steely Dan[/lastfm] in the mid 1970s before being recruited to join the [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Doobie Brothers[/lastfm] in 1978. The band’s sound changed significantly during his tenure — it’s a long way from songs like China Grove and Take Me in Your Arms to the 1980 single Real Love.

Rock music has a robust history, and each week J.A. Bartlett of the Hits Just Keep On Comin’ talks about the biggest and most intriguing moments from years past.

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