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30 Years Ago: Judas Priest’s ‘Defenders of the Faith’ Released

Perhaps the definitive Judas Priest offering of the '80s, 'Defenders of the Faith,' their ninth studio album, was released on Jan. 4, 1983.

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The Doors
Express Newspapers, Hulton Archive, Getty Images
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47 Years Ago: The Doors’ Debut Album Released

When the Doors entered a Hollywood recording studio to make their debut album at the end of August 1966, they knew what they wanted. Months of serving as house band at the Whisky a Go Go had sharpened their playing and performing skills to the point where one member of the quartet could abruptly swerve toward a new direction and the others would follow without missing a beat.

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Keith Moon
Ian Tyas, Getty Images
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44 Years Ago: Keith Moon’s Chauffeur Killed

The history of the Who is littered with tragic events. From Pete Townshend's abuse when he was a child to the 1979 deaths of 11 fans in Cincinnati to John Entwistle's overdose in 2000. One of the lesser known stories occurred on Jan. 4, 1970, when Neil Boland, who was Keith Moon's driver and bodyguard, was accidentally run over by Moon's Bentley.

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Kenney Jones
YouTube
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35 Years Ago: The Who Announce Kenney Jones as Keith Moon’s Replacement

Drummer Kenney Jones was already highly regarded in the British rock scene by the end of 1978, when he got the unexpected opportunity of a lifetime: being tapped to replace the late Keith Moon in the Who. The group announced its new drummer in January 1979, but Jones' tenure with the band would prove to be difficult and relatively brief, punctuated by internal strife and changing musical trends.

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Van Halen, 'Jump'
YouTube
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30 Years Ago: Van Halen Debut ‘Jump’ Video

By waiting until January 1984 to release their '1984' LP, Van Halen broke an impressive one-album-a-year streak that dated back to 1978 -- but they made up for it by picking up their first No. 1 single in the U.S. with the record's lead-off single, 'Jump.'

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Bruce Springsteen
Hulton Archive/Getty Images
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32 Years Ago: Bruce Springsteen Records ‘Nebraska’

Following the massive success of 1980's double album 'The River,' many expected Bruce Springsteen to follow up his first No. 1 album with another set of radio-friendly rock songs. Instead, the songwriter released 'Nebraska,' a stark acoustic record that was mostly recorded in one session, on Jan. 3, 1982.

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John Lennon Yoko Ono
Hulton Archive, Getty Images
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45 Years Ago: John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s ‘Two Virgins’ Seized by Police

It's arguably the most controversial album cover in rock 'n' roll history, and, if authorities in New Jersey had their way, every last one of them would have been destroyed.

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YouTube
YouTube
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31 Years Ago: Vinnie Vincent Plays His First Kiss Concert

On Dec. 29, 1982, Kiss played their first concert with guitarist Vinnie Vincent, who took over for founding member Ace Frehley during the recording of the band's 'Creatures of the Night' album.

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YouTube.com
YouTube.com
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44 Years Ago: Jimi Hendrix Debuts Band of Gypsys

Jimi Hendrix's short-lived power trio Band of Gypsys made its debut appearances with a series of concerts held on Dec. 31, 1969, and Jan. 1, 1970, at New York City's Fillmore East. By the end of January, Hendrix had broken them up, but not before releasing a classic live set from the shows.

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Pink Floyd.com
Pink Floyd.com
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40 Years Ago: Pink Floyd Try to Make an Album Without Musical Instruments

As 1973 drew to a close, Pink Floyd abandoned their plans for a highly experimental follow-up to 'The Dark Side of the Moon,' their smash hit album from earlier in that year. The new project was to be called 'Household Objects,' and true to that title, the group's plans were to record it without any musical instruments. 

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George Harrison
Hulton Archive, Getty Images
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14 Years Ago: George Harrison Attacked at Home

“They used us as an excuse to go mad, the world did," George Harrison said in the Beatles' 1995 'Anthology' documentary. "And then blamed it on us.” But even he could never suspect that, four years later, those words would ring true again when, on Dec. 30, 1999, a mad man attacked Harrison in his own house, nearly killing him.

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Neil Young
Hulton Archive / Getty Images
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31 Years Ago: Neil Young’s ‘Trans’ Album Released

What was Neil Young smoking in the ‘80s? He jumped from one lazy genre exercise to the next, trying on everything from rockabilly (‘Everybody’s Rockin’’) to old-school country (‘Old Ways’) to big-band swing (‘This Note’s for You’). He started and ended the decade strong, with 1980’s ‘Hawks and Doves’ and 1989’s ‘Freedom,’ respectively. But everything in between (except for 1981’s ‘Re-Ac-Tor’) was puzzling at best.

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