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George Freston, Fox Photos, Getty Images
George Freston, Fox Photos, Getty Images
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48 Years Ago: The Beatles Finish ‘Rubber Soul’

On Nov. 11, 1965, the Beatles convened to finish recording their sixth album, 'Rubber Soul.' Entering the studio at around 6PM, they realized they were a couple songs short of the 14 tracks slotted for the new record. Believe it or not, John Lennon and Paul McCartney were having trouble writing enough material for the album. So they "tossed off" a few new songs and resurrected a cast-off from the 'Help!' sessions. 

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Led Zeppelin with jet
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16 Years Ago: Led Zeppelin’s ‘BBC Sessions’ Released

For many diehards, Led Zeppelin were even more mind-blowing onstage than they were in the studio. With 1997's 'BBC Sessions,' that argument was strengthened considerably, as it showcased the most powerful quartet in rock music at their most playful and hard-hitting.

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Billy Joel, 'Piano Man'
Columbia
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40 Years Ago: Billy Joel’s ‘Piano Man’ Released

Even the most distinguished career has to start somewhere. For Billy Joel's life as a chart-topping solo artist, that first step started in an L.A. piano bar.

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Byrds
Hulton Archive / Getty Images
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46 Years Ago: David Crosby Fired from the Byrds

The Laurel Canyon sound of the '60s and '70s was all about smooth harmonies and peaceful, easy feelings, but the bands making the music were notorious for their constantly shifting lineups and behind-the-scenes turmoil. Case in point: the Byrds, who announced founding member David Crosby's acrimonious firing 46 years ago.

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Metallica 1986
Metallica.com
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27 Years Ago: Metallica Plays First Show with Jason Newsted

With their career at a crucial stage, Metallica weren't able to wait very long before replacing original bassist Cliff Burton. On Nov. 8, 1986, roughly 10 weeks after the horrific bus crash that took Burton’s life, the soon-to-be metal giants played their first gig with Jason Newsted at the Country Club in Reseda, Calif.

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John Mellencamp, 'Uh-Huh'
Riva
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30 Years Ago: John Cougar Mellencamp Releases ‘Uh-Huh’

The first five records of John Mellencamp's career were recorded under heavy meddling, but after hitting it big with 1982's 'American Fool,' he finally had enough clout to ignore his label and his management. The result was an album that cemented his rock-star status while flashing the fierce populist streak that would come to define his music.

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Yes, '90125'
Atlantic Records
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30 Years Ago: Yes Release ’90125′

It's often said that it's always darkest before the dawn. This has proven particularly true for Yes fans, who endured the band's ugly 1981 breakup only to watch the prog legends rise from the ashes with one of their most popular albums two years later.

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Gram Parsons
YouTube
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40 Years Ago: Gram Parsons Body Theft Case Settled

Gram Parsons was one of the most influential musicians of his generation -- though the true extent of his influence would not be felt until after his death. The singer-songwriter, guitarist and pianist was a pioneer in country rock, and the unusual aftermath of his passing -- being burned in the desert by his friend and road manager -- cemented his legendary status. The court case from that incident was settled on Nov. 6, 1973, 40 years ago.

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Aerosmith
Aerosmith / It Books
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43 Years Ago: Aerosmith Plays First Concert

The gymnasium at Miscoe Hill School in tiny Mendon, Mass. (pop: 5,839) may seem like an inauspicious place for rock legends to get their start, but it's where Aerosmith played their first-ever show on Nov. 6, 1970.

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Paul Simon, 'Hearts and Bones'
Warner Bros.
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30 Years Ago: Paul Simon Releases ‘Hearts and Bones’

For a good long while, everything Paul Simon touched turned to gold or platinum, first during his years as one-half of Simon & Garfunkel, and continuing through a string of successful solo albums. But by the early '80s, he'd hit a bit of a rough spot.

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Martyn Goddard, Getty Images
Martyn Goddard, Getty Images
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35 Years Ago: The Police Release Their Debut Album

When the Police's debut album came out on Nov. 2, 1978, it sounded like little else on the music landscape at the time. The band was lumped in with punk and burgeoning New Wave groups at the time, but it played a mix of reggae and rock-inspired pop with all the time-shifting complexities found in prog and jazz.

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Kiss Neil Bogart
YouTube
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40 Years Ago: Kiss Sign Their First Record Contract

On Nov. 1, 1973, nine months after performing their first show together, Kiss fulfilled an important early career goal by singing their first recording contract.

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