There have been many moments that have helped shape the evolution of the 20th century’s dominant musical form, Rock. From the first appearance of the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show to the Woodstock Festival; from the birth of underground FM radio to the rise of Heavy Metal, Punk, and Grunge; from Sgt. Pepper's and Dark Side of the Moon to The Joshua Tree and Nevermind.  They formed the foundation upon which one of Canada's legendary radio stations, CHOM 97 7 was built.

The House That Rock Built highlights 20 key moments in the evolution of Rock and the birth and growth of CHOM. Written and presented by CHOM’s own Randy Renaud, the House That Rock Built will air twice daily, weekdays from November 26th to December 21st at 7:40 during Mornings Rock with Terry and Heather B, and again at 6:20 during the Afternoon Rock Ride with Bilal.

The House That Rock Built is brought to you by Steve's Music Store, powering the Montreal music scene since 1965.

  • Nirvana's album Nevermind replaces Michael Jackson atop the album charts, on January 11, 1992

    At a time when Hair Metal and shiny pop music (Michael Jackson and New Kids on the Block) ruled, a new musical movement called "grunge" began in Seattle, Washington, and soon changed the sound and look of Rock. And leading the way was the band Nirvana, led by Kurt Cobain. Their second album, Nevermind, released in September, 1991, embodied the spirit and sound of grunge: Beatlesque melodies with Black Sabbath riffs, Bowie/Velvet Underground nihilism, Sex Pistols attitude and energy, with the edgy distorted guitar sound of Neil Young. It was riffs for the mosh pit with singing that alternated between tender and introspective and then furious and bellowing. Nevermind climbed the charts, slowly at first, but by January of 1992, it made it to number 1, knocking off Michael Jackson's mega-selling album Dangerous, and opening the airwaves to all sorts of Alternative Rock. Read More
  • Metallica release the album "Metallica" (aka The Black Album) on August 12, 1991

    After 4 albums that had made Metallica leaders of the genre known as Thrash Metal, the band teamed up with Canadian Bob Rock (ex of the Payolas) for their 5th, called simply Metallica. It was a departure for them -- smoother, streamlined songs that featured lush acoustics and orchestration -- but it was a huge success, winning them a Grammy, and raising the respect for the entire Metal field. And the black-covered album remains one of the essential records of the past three decades. Read More
  • U2 release The Joshua Tree on March 9, 1987

    It is recognized as one of the definitive albums of the 80's. It won the Grammy for album of the year in 1987, and elevated U2 from stars to superstars. It kept aloft punk's flame of rock activism but added to it a sense of spiritual striving and romantic yearning. And The Joshua Tree would become the Holy Grail for a congregation of new bands like Coldplay, Oasis, Keane, Kings of Leon, and many more. Read More
  • The Clash Release London Calling on December, 14, 1979

    In the late 1970's, a cultural revolution began in boarded up buildings in London. Young squatters began forming rock bands -- using hand-made equipment and stolen electricity -- and began challenging the ruling classes of rock and society. It was called "punk," and the energy it released, and its DIY approach to music, altered the course of rock. You didn't need to play like Clapton or sing like Plant or have elaborate stage productions to move people. But you did need to have something to say. In December, 1979, The Clash released the punk classic, and one of the greatest rock albums of all-time, London Calling, reenergizing rock music and ushering in a new age of rock activism. Read More
  • Hotel California and Rumours are released just weeks apart, December, 1976, and February 1977

    It was the height of the Me Decade, and the music business was flying high on cash and coke (cocaine, that is). Los Angeles was its hub, and out of that scene came two of the biggest albums in the history of popular music: The Eagles' Hotel California and Fleetwood Mac's Rumours. The first critiqued modern America's materialism, while the second grew out of the emotional costs of that lifestyle.

    Hotel California dominated the album charts for two months until Rumours took over and stayed there for 8 more, eventually becoming one of the 10 best-selling albums in history. Read More
  • Bruce Springsteen releases the album Born To Run on August 25, 1975

    After two commercially unsuccessful albums, Bruce Springsteen was in jeopardy of being dropped by his record company. So he went into the studio to record "the greatest noise ever heard." He laboured on it for a remarkable 19 months, and still unsatisfied, he wanted to throw the tapes out when he was finished. But he was convinced otherwise, and the release of Born To Run immediately established Bruce Springsteen as one of the most important artists in the history of rock. Only two months after its release, Bruce Springsteen was on the cover of both Newsweek and Time magazines, and was hailed as "the Boss." Read More
  • Queen release Bohemian Rhapsody on October 31, 1975

    In 1975, Queen were on the verge of bankruptcy. But Elton John's business manager agreed to bankroll them, which allowed the band to go back into the studio and record the most expensive album ever made to that date, A Night At the Opera. Its centrepiece is the rock classic, Bohemian Rhapsody, the biggest selling single in the history of the United Kingdom. And the video they filmed for it (because the song was too elaborate to recreate onstage) is credited with launching popular music's video age, and the birth of MTV, Much Music, Musique Plus, etc. Read More
  • Pink Floyd take us to the Dark Side of the Moon on March 1, 1973

    Pink Floyd's 1973 release, Dark Side of the Moon, holds the record for being on the charts longer than any other album in history. Recorded in the very same studios as The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Dark Side of the Moon built upon that album's example, and became the new standard-bearer for the rock album as art form. And its sumptuous production led to a shopping craze for increasingly advanced (and expensive) audio technology. Even 40 years after its release, the album with "Time" remains timeless. Read More
  • Led Zeppelin's 1973 North American Tour

    In the spring of 1973, Led Zeppelin embarked on a 32 city North American tour. On the second night of the tour, in Tampa, Florida, they played to over 56,000, the largest crowd ever for a single concert performance, surpassing the Beatles' 1965 record-setter at Shea Stadium.

    Rock music was now big business, and this tour proved it. It grossed 3 million dollars -- unheard of before. And the band traveled on their own private jet complete with a piano, bedrooms, a shower, and of course a fully stocked bar. And their shows set a new standard for dynamic performances, often lasting 3 hours.

    Rock was now the Mount Olympus of entertainment, and Led Zeppelin was Zeus. Read More
  • David Bowie releases Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders from Mars on June 6, 1972

    Not since Beatlemania had the world seen a pop culture phenomenon quite like the one that happened in 1972. One that transformed the look of millions of teens, and broke down barriers for generations to come.

    In the spring of 1972, David Bowie created a new character to play the central role in a new concept album, and with that character came "the look" -- a fluorescent orange mod hairstyle, glitter make-up, and moon boots -- a rock & roll Liberace for the space-age.

    The persona, and the album that came with it, connected with audiences in an incredible way, inspiring an almost cult-like following of look-a-likes, and helping give birth to the Glam-Rock era (Roxy Music, Queen, and many others).  And it proved that you didn't need to be macho to be a rock god. Read More