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Today In Music History

December 5 in Music History: Paul McCartney releases "Band On The Run"

Paul McCartney performs during the first U.S concert of his "Out There" tour, in Orlando, Fla.
Paul McCartney performs during the first U.S concert of his "Out There" tour, in Orlando, Fla.AP Photo/John Raoux

December 05, 2023

History Highlight:

Today in 1973, Paul McCartney released Band On The Run marking its 50th Anniversary this year. This release was his fifth album since his departure from The Beatles and two hit singles from the album - 'Jet' and 'Band on the Run' – boosted its commercial performance making it the top-selling studio album of 1974 in the United Kingdom and Australia- establishing it as McCartney's most successful album to date and the most celebrated of this post-Beatles discography.

Also, Today In:

1960 - Elvis Presley started a ten-week run at No. 1 on the U.S. album chart with G.I. Blues. His fifth US No.1 album. Music on this album comprised songs that had appeared in the film of the same name.

1960 - Paul McCartney and Pete Best were arrested for pinning a condom to a brick wall and then igniting it. The two were told to leave Germany and The Beatles returned home, discouraged.

1965 - The Beatles played their last ever show in their hometown of Liverpool when they appeared at The Liverpool Empire during the group's final UK tour. Only 5,100 tickets were available, but there were 40,000 applications for tickets.

1973 - Paul McCartney released Band On The Run, his fifth album since his departure from The Beatles. Two hit singles from the album - 'Jet' and 'Band on the Run' - made it McCartney's most successful album.

1975 - Fleetwood Mac received their first Gold record for their second self-titled album, which was their first album with Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham.

1976 - Music weekly NME reviewed the Sex Pistols debut single 'Anarchy In The UK' saying "Johnny Rotten sings flat, the song is laughably naive, and the overall feeling is of a third-rate Who imitation."

1981 - Damaged, Black Flag's debut album, is released. It will go on to become one of the most influential albums in the hardcore punk genre.

1987 - The Jesus And Mary Chain were banned from appearing on a US music TV show after complaints of blasphemy when the group's name was flashed across the screen.

1987 - Belinda Carlisle went to No. 1 on the U.S. singles chart with "Heaven Is a Place on Earth", the ex Go-Go's member first solo No. 1, also a No. 1 hit in the U.K. Fun fact: The promotional video was directed by Diane Keaton and features an appearance of Carlisle's husband Morgan Mason.

1992 - Whitney Houston started a ten-week run at No. 1 on the U.K. singles chart with "I Will Always Love You".

2003 - David Bowie announced that he had to postpone the first five concerts of his first North American tour in eight years due to the flu.

2004 - U2 went to No. 1 on the U.S. album chart giving them their sixth U.S. No. 1 album, with How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb.

2006 - Beatles lyrics handwritten by Sir Paul McCartney to an early version of Maxwell's Silver Hammer sold for $192,000 at an auction in New York. A guitar owned by Jimi Hendrix fetched $168,000, a notebook containing lyrics written by Bob Marley, sold for $72,000 and a poem penned by Doors frontman Jim Morrison made $49,000 at the Christie's sale.

2011 - After spending 45 weeks at the top end of the UK charts, singer Adele's second album 21 become the biggest selling LP in Britain this century, surpassing the late Amy Winehouse's 2006 LP Back to Black.

2017 - French music star Johnny Hallyday dies of lung cancer at 74.


Harmonica player Sonny Boy Williamson II was born today in 1912.

Little Richard was born today in 1932. He passed away in 2020.

Johnny Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls is 58.

Glen Graham of Blind Melon is 55.

Highlights for Today in Music History are gathered from This Day in MusicPaul Shaffer's Day in RockSong Facts and Wikipedia.