July 4th in Music History
  • MONDAY, JULY 04, 2016

  • Posted by: Susmita Paruchuri

The whole "summer jam" cliche is probably tired, but how nice is it to hear a song in the dead of winter that reminds you of sun, sand, and fireworks? Landing just about a week or two after the official first day of summer, a long July 4th weekend is the perfect time for a new release. Here are seven releases that have dropped on previous Independence Days and hit it big.

July 4, 1895: "America the Beautiful"
The song every American child learned in elementary school was written by songwriter Katharine Lee Bates, originally as a poem called "Pikes Peak". It was paired with the music we know now in 1910. Our favorite is the rendition performed by none other than Mr. Ray Charles.


July 4, 1966: "Summer in the City" by The Lovin Spoonful
Written by Mark and John Sebastian and Steve Boone, this song hit no.1 on Billboards Hot 100. Featuring iconic car horns in its bridge, the track became a gold record and was included on Rolling Stones 500 Greatest Songs of all Time.


July 4, 1969: "Honky Tonk Women" by The Rolling Stones
Written the winter before by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards while on vacation in Brazil, it was the last song Brian Jones recorded with the band. The song went on to hit no. 1 on four different charts, including Billboard's Hot 100, and got close to no. 1 on six others.


July 4, 1976: "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" by Elton John and Kiki Dee
Another chart topper, this song earned writers Elton John and Bernie Taupin the Ivor Novello award five years later for Best Song Musically and Lyrically. Billboard actually ended up ranking it the no. 2 song for all of 1976--definitely an iconic duet.


July 4, 1986: "Doomsday for the Deceiver" by Flotsam and Jetsam
The only full-length album including bassist Jason Newsted (he ended up leaving for Metallica), it was recorded over just two weeks with a budget of $12,000. It still received an impressive "six K" review from Kerrang! Magazine, one of the first albums to do so.


July 4, 2011: Set Fire to the Rain by Adele
The song was released as her album 21s third official single--and it was the third consecutive single off the album to hit no. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. It's definitely a song and album that'll go down in history.


July 4, 2013: Magna Carta...Holy Grail by Jay Z
...Well, kind of. It was released as a free download for Samsung users only, through the Jay Z Magna Carta app. It was released for everyone else at full price four days later. It still did well, and was nominated for Best Rap Album at the Billboard Music Awards in 2014.
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