Fascinating facts, pivotal events, odd connections ... what you don't know about the people who make the music may surprise you! Each week, J.A. Bartlett of The Hits Just Keep on Comin' digs up Five Things about rock's legendary past and present ...
The Mrs. and I were sitting in a restaurant near the University of Wisconsin campus the other night when Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana came on the sound system. I gestured to a group of students sitting nearby and said, "They hadn't been born when this came out" -- true enough, but an eye-opening revelation for a couple of geezers who still consider the '90s a relatively recent time. Here are five more revelations -- Five Things About 1991.
1. In March, Eric Clapton's four-year-old son Conor fell to his death through an open window of Clapton's high-rise apartment in New York City. The incident inspired Clapton's songs Tears in Heaven, The Circus Left Town, and Lonely Stranger.
2. In May, Billboard magazine began using Soundscan data to tabulate album sales. Soundscan data came to the singles chart later in the year. Because the data more closely reflects what is actually happening at retail outlets, the "Soundscan era" has seen greater chart volatility than ever before -- more albums debut at #1 than in earlier times, and singles move up, down, on, and off the charts more unpredictably.
3. In June, Bonnie Raitt released Luck of the Draw, the followup to her career-making album Nick of Time. She made a pretty good job of it: The album rose to #2 on the Billboard album chart, scored three Grammys, and contained five hit singles. Check out the biggest of the five, and read more about 1991, after the jump.