About Austin KruegerAustin works as a cost analyst for TDS Telecom in the Government and Regulatory Affairs team. He has a marketing degree from UW-Whitewater and has worked in various departments including marketing, sales and network services since joining TDS in 2004. He is a huge sports fan – if he’s not at work, odds are you can find him at Miller Park, Lambeau Field, Camp Randall or the Kohl Center watching the game. In his spare time, he’s chairman of a local non-profit, avid music fan, rec sports MVP and an early adopter when it comes to most new technologies.
Charlie Starr, Paul Jackson, Brit Turner and Richard Turner formed a band called Blackberry Smoke back in 2001. Based out of Atlanta, Georgia, they have released five studio albums with very modest success. Where they’ve generated a major following is with their live shows. If like me, you’ve never heard these guys before, give them a shot. Cheap is the best way to experience new.
Some musicians are iconic for the music, some for their personal lives, and some for who they became after their music career was finished. Today’s featured artist is world renowned for all three. His time in one of the greatest bands in history is legend, but his solo career was nothing to shake a stick at either. With 55 million albums sold solo and well over 100 million with the band—it’s easy to argue he deserves legendary status.
There is a standard list of iconic female vocalists out there, and it usually revolves around Whitney, Aretha, Florence and Mariah. Those women all had the luxury of being a solo performer, or at least having a band that was centered on the vocals. Today’s featured band has a lead singer undoubtedly as good as the ones above, but doesn’t seem to always get the accolades she deserves.
Wheels Of Fire was released in July of 1968. It would reach number three in the U.K. and number one in the U.S., becoming the first platinum-selling double album in history. Cream would be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, and put on a handful of shows in 2005—all of which sold out within an hour. Music history for $5 bucks is like giving it away, take advantage on this Cheap Tunes Tuesday.
Is it possible to be one of the more influential acts of the ‘90s while only releasing three records? Moreover, what if one of those albums came out posthumously after the lead singer’s tragic passing? The 17 million albums sold worldwide would say it is—and their cult following, in spite of breaking up nearly 20 years ago, seems to have cemented their legacy.
Jimmy Eat World caught their big break with the release of "Bleed American" in July of 2001. Working with a new producer, the music was much more radio friendly than past albums resulting in four Billboard singles. “The Middle” reached number one and supported the album which has sold nearly three million worldwide to date. While the pop side got a bit away from their punk roots, the pop-punk revolution was just beginning in the U.S., and Jimmy Eat World is largely considered one of the pioneers of the genre.
Contrast in style makes the music world go ‘round. For every Barry Manilow there is an offsetting Metallica out there. And while my last featured artist, Mariah Carey, is about as quintessential pop as it gets, this week’s highlighted band, well…isn’t. System of a Down has a heavy metal sound with the matching hard vocal—but if you can roll with that type of rock; this Grammy-nominated band is unlike any you’ve heard before.
Selling half a billion records is an accomplishment only The Beatles and Elvis can lay claim to—but selling a quarter billion is still one heck of a feat. Today’s featured artist has hit that mark and is the third best-selling female artist of all time. No doubt her fifth album, "Daydream" contributed to that status (it was nominated for six Grammy Awards alone!). Today you can score it for only $5.
If winning Grammys is a sign you’ve got musical chops, Don Henley’s got them. His sophomore solo effort, Building The Perfect Beast was an instant success, spawning three major singles and being critically regarded as the smoother, more adult-oriented sound of Henley’s career. He won one of his eight Grammys for the single “The Boys of Summer” on this album that you can score today for only $5.
Very few artists have displayed substantial longevity in the music business. Either due to band breakups, changes in sound, or the untimely demise of a band member, it’s rare for an act to see chart topping hits span multiple decades. Not the case for today’s artist. Having top-40 hits in the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s; he’s still going strong touring, writing and for some reason, manufacturing custom-made motorcycles.
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