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This Week in Rock History: Bruce Springsteen Breaks Into Graceland

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April 25, 1994 - The Eagles perform their Hell Freezes Over reunion show

In the Eighties, whenever pressed about an Eagles reunion, frontman Don Henley always retorted, "When hell freezes over" – to no great surprise, because bad blood ran deep in the L.A. rock band's breakup. Their 1980 live album, Eagles Live, credited numerous attorneys alongside the terse liner notes, "Thank you and goodnight" – and after its release, the group split and each band member embarked on solo careers for the next decade and a half, to varied success.

The last active lineup of the Eagles (singer Don Henley, guitarist/singer Glenn Frey, guitarist Joe Walsh, guitarist Don Felder and bassist Timothy Schmit) reunited in 1993, in presence at least, for the music video for country singer Travis Tritt's cover of "Take it Easy." One year later, they reformed to record the Hell Freezes Over set on MTV, which was quickly released as a live album and debuted at Number One on the Billboard charts. The companion tour was also a runaway success, as were the album's two Top 40 singles, "Get Over It" and "Love Will Keep Us Alive." Hell Freezes Over has now sold over six million copies.

April 25, 2002 - Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes dies

The spitfire rapper and "L" of iconic R&B trio TLC, Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes was a flashy fixture of Nineties hip-hop. Her rhymes brought both humor and poignancy to the trio's many hit singles, including "What About Your Friends" (on 1992's Ooooooohhh... On the TLC Tip), "Waterfalls" (on 1994's CrazySexyCool) and "No Scrubs" (on 1999's FanMail). Lopes was easily the most controversial member of TLC: she picked feuds with her bandmates in the press; burned down the house of her boyfriend, Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Andre Rison; and often wore condoms over her left eye (in homage to her nickname and also safe sex). She was the founder of the Lisa Lopes Foundation, a charity for neglected and abandoned youths.

Lopes died in a car crash while vacationing in Honduras. She was 30. Her grave at Hillandale Memorial Gardens in Lithonia, Georgia is visited annually by hundreds of fans, many of whom leave coins at the base of her the sculpted likeness – for reasons that have never been explained.

LAST WEEK: The Rolling Stones Record 'Jumpin' Jack Flash'

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

More Song Stories entries »
 
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