This Day in Rock History: October 19
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On this day in rock history, Tom Petty made good on all of the Heartbreakers’ early momentum. Their 1977 debut stalled outside the Top 50, but the following year’s You’re Gonna Get It! went to No. 23. Damn the Torpedoes, Petty’s third release, hurtled them higher. Way, way higher: The album has sold more than three million copies in the U.S. alone, powered along by setlist stalwarts including the Top 40 hit “Breakdown.”
Simon and Garfunkel found themselves at the other end of that trend line when Wednesday Morning, 3 AM appeared on this date. Their retrograde folky debut flopped so badly that it nearly derailed a hall-of-fame partnership. Luckily, the album’s enterprising producer Tom Wilson later decided to add electric guitars and drums to the existing acoustic version of “The Sound of Silence,” and a hit (finally!) was born.
You could have forgiven Rush for having low expectations when it came to their 15th studio album. After all, Counterparts arrived at the height of the grunge craze. In fact, it was issued the same day as Pearl Jam‘s highly anticipated Vs. Not only was Counterparts a hit, however, it shot to No. 2 on the strength of tracks like the perfectly named “Stick It Out,” Rush’s fifth charttopping song on the mainstream rock radio charts.
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 important events by clicking the links below.
See Tom Petty and Others in Our List of Top 100 Albums of the ’90s