Beatle porn? -- Dylan's big one! -- The newly-retired Neil's blowin' out candles, God bless him...

Neil Diamond, "Hot August Night" LP cover, Dec. 1972. (Courtesy of MCA Records)

1/24/1969 (49 years ago today) - New Jersey state prosecutors issue a warning to record shops that they would be charged with "distributing pornography" if it was discovered they had been selling John Lennon and Yoko Ono's "Two Virgins" album. Remember now, the front cover was a photo of the inseparable couple standing up, staring directly into the camera and, oh yeah, they both were 100% totally nude!!! The back cover, of course, showed them from...er, behind. The LP was just a batch of noise and the public responded accordingly: it only managed to reach No. 124 on the U.S. album chart before disappearing altogether. In England, it was an almost-immediate collector's item, with only 5,000 copies pressed for U.K. distribution.

1/24/1976 (42 years ago today) - Bob Dylan kicks off five weeks in a row at No. 1 with his 17th studio release "Desire" -- It was going to be tough for Bob to follow up the previous years masterpiece classic "Blood On The Tracks", but this new one was very well received by critics and audiences alike. The LP notoriously featured a pair of lengthy story-songs that caused some controversy: the 11-minute "Joey" was interpreted as glorifying real life violent gangster "Crazy Joey" Gallo, while the record's opening track, "Hurricane", was an eight-and-a-half-minute (and quite passionate) account of the murder case against boxer Rubin Carter -- The song asserts the athlete was framed and, in fact, it led to Carter being released from jail in 1985 when a judge overturned the conviction on appeal. Alongside other solid tracks like "Isis", "Black Diamond Bay", "Mozambique", "Sara" and "One More Cup Of Coffee", the "Desire" album has become one of the best-selling records in all of Dylan's more-than-hefty catalog... 

1/24/1941 - While we {deep down} really feel most of his stuff is too hokey to enjoy as serious art, we admit to liking the vintage early singles, so Happy Birthday to singer-songwriter Neil Diamond, 77 years old today -- "Cherry Cherry", "Solitary Man", "Kentucky Woman", "Thank The Lord For The Night Time", and {actually, especially!} "Soolaimon" were all kinda nifty/catchy, but we gotta say we never got into the "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" and "Jazz Singer" projects. Sad news to hear about his forced retirement from touring due to Parkinson's complications and even though Neil finally did get his overdue induction into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, it's somewhat weirdly ironic that he won't be able to make The Grammy Awards this weekend to pick up his Lifetime Achievement Award. Show-biz is (kinda) cruel and very strange the way things go sometimes...

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"She said, you look different/I said, well, yes...", xoxo!