What the Beatles were to the '60s, Led Zeppelin were to the '70s: a band so successful and innovative they wound up creating the prism through which their entire epoch was seen. Zeppelin ushered in the era of album rock -- they refused to release singles off their albums, even when they were garnering massive radio play -- and of arena rock, playing ever-larger stadiums as their ticket sales skyrocketed. Other bands played on a similar field but Led Zeppelin carried a unique mystique cultivated by cryptic album art, distance from the press, and, of course, their music. Drawing upon postwar electric blues, early rock & roll, and psychedelia, Zeppelin created a titanic roar in their earliest days but even then they weren't merely heavy. Underneath the wattage, there was a strong undercurrent of folk-rock and the quartet would soon thread in world music, funk, country, and synthesizers, creating an adventurous body of work that had a long, lasting influence on hard rock, heavy metal, and alternative rock.
Quite a feat for a band whose origins lie in the ashes of the pioneering British rock band the Yardbirds. Jimmy Page, a guitarist who made his reputation as a session man in the '60s, joined the band in 1966, functioning as the replacement for bassist Paul Samwell-Smith, but he soon split lead guitar duties with Jeff Beck and took over that position entirely once Beck departed. Page contributed heavily to the band's final album, 1967's Little Games, which also saw contributions from John Paul Jones, a bassist and string arranger who also ran in the same studio circles as Page; the two played on Beck's 1966 single "Beck's Bolero," which also featured Keith Moon. Under the direction of their new manager Peter Grant, the Yardbirds supported the album with a tour of the United States, but the group was in its final days. Just before the band's dissolution, Pagefilled the time with session work, including a spring 1968 session where he played on Jones' arrangement of Donovan's "Hurdy Gurdy Man." During the sessions, Jones requested to be part of any future project of Page's. This future project materialized quickly. In the summer of 1968, the Yardbirds' Keith Relf and James McCarty left the band, leaving Page and bassist Chris Dreja with the rights to the name, along with the obligation of fulfilling an upcoming fall tour. Page set out to find a replacement vocalist and drummer. Initially, he wanted to enlist singer Terry Reid and Procol Harum's drummer B.J. Wilson, but neither musician was able to join the group. Reid suggested that Page contact Robert Plant, who was singing with a band called Hobbstweedle.
After hearing him sing, Page asked Plant to join the band in August of 1968, the same month Chris Dreja dropped out of the new project. Following Dreja's departure, John Paul Jones joined the group as its bassist. Plant recommended that Page hire John Bonham, the drummer for Plant's old band, the Band of Joy. Bonham had to be persuaded to join the group, as he was being courted by other artists who offered the drummer considerably more money. By September, Bonham agreed to join the band. Performing under the name the New Yardbirds, the band fulfilled the Yardbirds' previously booked Scandinavian engagements in late September 1968. The following month, they recorded their debut album in just under 30 hours. Also in October, Dreja informed Page he had the rights to the New Yardbirds name for the live dates only, so the group switched its name to Led Zeppelin. Grant helped the band sign a record-setting contract with Atlantic Records in the United States before the end of the year; they were paid a reported $200,000 advance, at that date the largest sum for any new band. Early in 1969, Led Zeppelin set out on their first American tour, which helped set the stage for the January release of their eponymous debut album. Two months after its release, Led Zeppelin had climbed into the U.S. Top Ten. Throughout 1969, the band toured relentlessly, playing dates in America and England. While they were on the road, they recorded their second album, Led Zeppelin II, and that speed gave the record's loud, riff-heavy blues a palpable urgency.
Like its predecessor, Led Zeppelin II was an immediate hit upon its October 1969 release, topping the American charts two months after its release and spending seven weeks at number one. The album helped establish Led Zeppelin as an international concert attraction, and for the next year, the group continued to tour relentlessly. Led Zeppelin started to broaden their horizons with Led Zeppelin III. Recorded in a cottage in Wales and released in October of 1970, the album saw them weaving British folk into their heavy rock, a hybrid that deepened the band's sound. Led Zeppelin III reached number one in both the U.K. and U.S. but, comparatively, sales were softer for this record than the two previous blockbusters; it never earned a platinum certification in the U.K. but, over the years, it went platinum six times in the U.S., a sign of its reputation as one of band's most distinctive records. Despite Zeppelin's stated aversion to singles, they did support III with the release of "Immigrant Song" as a 7" in the States, backed with the non-LP "Hey, Hey What Can I Do," their only B-side to not appear on an album. Led Zeppelin didn't tour as heavily behind Led Zeppelin III as they did Led Zeppelin II, but they were well on their way to consolidating their status as one of the most popular attractions in rock. Their next record, an untitled record commonly referred to as Led Zeppelin IV, cemented that reputation. Released in November 1971, Led Zeppelin IV merged the heavy blues of II with the folk mysticism of III and at the crossroads of those two extremes lay "Stairway to Heaven," an eight-minute epic that encapsulated much of Zep's majesty. "Stairway to Heaven" was an immediate radio hit, eventually becoming the most played song in the history of album-oriented radio; the song was never released as a single. Despite the fact that the album never reached number one in America, Led Zeppelin IV was their biggest album ever, selling well over 37 million copies over the next four decades.
Led Zeppelin supported Led Zeppelin IV with their biggest tour to date -- biggest according to size, not dates. All around the world they made the leap into stadiums and sports arenas, pioneering a circuit that became commonplace later in the decade, leaving legends of excess along the way. After completing their 1972 tour, they retreated from the spotlight and recorded their fifth album, Houses of the Holy. Appearing in March 1973, Houses of the Holy found them weaving in touches of funk and reggae amidst their crunching rock and seven-minute epics. Once again, Zeppelin had another smash album on their hands and its success led to an American tour that broke box-office records -- most of which were previously held by the Beatles. The band's tour culminated in a three-night stand at New York's Madison Square Garden in July 1973, a stint that was filmed and released as the concert film The Song Remains the Same in 1976. Following this record-breaking tour, Led Zeppelin spent a quiet year during 1974, releasing no new material and performing no concerts. They did, however, establish their own record label, Swan Song, which released all of Led Zeppelin's subsequent albums, as well as records by Dave Edmunds, Bad Company, the Pretty Things, and several other acts. Physical Graffiti, a double album released in February of 1975, was the band's first release on Swan Song. The album was an immediate success, topping the charts in both America and England. Led Zeppelin launched an international tour with a five-night stint at London's Earls Court but on the eve of the American leg that fall, Robert Plant and his wife suffered a serious car crash while vacationing in Greece. The tour was canceled and Plant spent the rest of the year recuperating from the accident.
As Plant recovered, the band headed to Malibu to record a new album. The resulting Presence appeared in the spring of 1976 and while it debuted at number one in both the U.S. and U.K., sales lagged slightly, possibly due to the band's decision not to tour in support of the album. Instead, they released the film The Song Remains the Same, which appeared in the fall of 1976; its soundtrack peaked at number one in the U.K. and number two in the U.S. Zeppelin finally returned to the stage in the spring of 1977 with a tour of the United States (the U.K. was off limits, as the band decided to take a tax exile). The concerts raked in money but nearly three months into the tour, Plant's six-year-old son Karac died of a stomach infection. Led Zeppelin immediately canceled the tour and offered no word whether or not it would be rescheduled, causing widespread speculation about the band's future. For a while, it did appear that Led Zeppelin were finished. Robert Plant spent the latter half of 1977 and the better part of 1978 in seclusion. The group didn't begin work on a new album until late 1978, when they began recording at ABBA's Polar Studios in Sweden. A year later, the band played a short European tour, performing in Switzerland, Germany, Holland, Belgium, and Austria. In August of 1979, Led Zeppelin played two large concerts at Knebworth; the shows were their first English performances in four years and would be their last English concerts.
In Through the Out Door, the band's much-delayed eighth studio album, was finally released in September of 1979. The album entered the charts at number one in both America and England. In May of 1980, Led Zeppelin embarked on their final European tour. In September, they began rehearsing at Jimmy Page's house in preparation for an American tour. On September 25, John Bonham was found dead in his bed -- following an all-day drinking binge, he had passed out and choked on his own vomit. In December of 1980, Led Zeppelinannounced they were disbanding, since they could not continue without Bonham.
Following the breakup, the remaining members all began solo careers. John Paul Jones returned to producing and arranging; for years, he remained in a behind-the-scenes capacity, waiting until 1999 to release his solo debut, Zooma. After recording the soundtrack for Death Wish II, Jimmy Pagecompiled the Zeppelin outtakes collection Coda, which was released at the end of 1982. That same year, Robert Plantbegan a solo career with Pictures at Eleven. In 1984, Plantand Page briefly reunited in the all-star oldies band the Honeydrippers. After recording one EP with the Honeydrippers, Plant returned to his solo career and Pageformed the Firm with former Bad Company singer Paul Rodgers. In 1985, Led Zeppelin reunited to play Live Aid, supported by drummers Phil Collins and Tony Thompson, sparking off a flurry of reunion rumors; the reunion never materialized. In 1988, the band re-formed to play Atlantic's 25th anniversary concert, this time playing with John Bonham's son, Jason. During 1989, Page remastered the band's catalog for release on the 1990 box set Led Zeppelin. At the time, the four-disc set became the biggest-selling multi-disc box set of all time, which was followed up three years later by another box set, the mammoth ten-disc set The Complete Studio Recordings.
In 1994, Page and Plant reunited to record a segment for MTV Unplugged, which was released as No Quarter in the fall of 1994. Although the album went platinum, the sales were disappointing considering the anticipation of a Zeppelinreunion. The following year, Page and Plant embarked on a successful international tour, which eventually led to an all-new studio recording in 1998, the Steve Albini-produced Walking into Clarksdale. Although it received some positive reviews, the album wasn't a massive hit -- it went gold only in America -- and Page and Plant ended their union shortly thereafter; Page went on to tour with the Black Crowes, while Plant resumed his solo career. Further Zeppelin archival releases saw the light of day in the late '90s, including 1997's stellar double-disc BBC Sessions, plus Zep's first official hits compilations -- 1999's Early Days: The Best Of, Vol. 1 and 2000's Latter Days: The Best Of, Vol. 2 -- and an acclaimed 2003 double-DVD set of live performances from 1969-1979. A full reunion of the surviving members of the band, with Jason Bonham filling in for his father on drums, took place in 2007 when the group played a historic concert at London's 02 in memory of Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun. The set was filmed and recorded, and finally appeared as a commercial release under the title Celebration Day in the fall of 2012.
In 2014, Led Zeppelin launched a massive catalog campaign supervised by Jimmy Page, containing newly remastered versions of all their albums, available on CD, high-resolution downloads, and vinyl. Additionally, there were deluxe editions containing previously unreleased material from the vaults. The first round of reissues contained the band's first three albums and appeared in June 2014; the last round appeared in July 2015. The group also released The Complete BBC Sessionsin 2016, an updated and expanded edition of their 1997 collection BBC Sessions. The compilation included eight previously unreleased recordings, among them a long-lost radio session featuring the tracks "You Shook Me," "Sunshine Woman," and "I Can’t Quit You Baby."
The early Sixties. Everything is up in the air, not least love, drugs and sex. A group of talented teenagers from academic backgrounds in Cambridge — Roger 'Syd' Barrett, Roger Waters and David Gilmour — are all keen guitarists and among many who move to London, keen to discover more of this new world and express themselves in it. Mainly in further education — studying the arts, architecture, music — they mix with like-minded incomers in the big city.
In 1965, Barrett and Waters meet an experimental percussionist and an extraordinarily gifted keyboards-player — Nick Mason and Rick Wright respectively. The result is Pink Floyd, which more than 40 years later has moved from massive to almost mythic standing.
Through several changes of personnel, through several musical phases, the band has earned a place on the ultimate roll call of rock, along with the Beatles, the Stones and Led Zeppelin. Their album sales have topped 250 million. In 2005, at Live 8 — the biggest global music event in history — the reunion of the four-man line-up that recorded most of the Floyd canon stole the show. And yet, true to their beginnings, there has always been an enigma at their heart.
Roger 'Syd' Barrett, for example. This cool and charismatic son of a university don was the original creative force behind the band (which he named after the Delta bluesmen Pink Anderson and Floyd Council). His vision was perfect for the times, and vice versa. He would lead the band to its first precarious fame, and damage himself irreparably along the way. And though the Floyd's Barrett era only lasted three years, it always informed what they became.
These were the summers of love, when LSD was less an hallucinogenic interval than a lifestyle choice for some young people, who found their culture in science fiction, the pastoral tradition, and a certain strain of the Victorian imagination. Drawing on such themes, the elfin Barrett wrote and sang on most of the early Floyd's material, which made use of new techniques, such as tape-loops, feedback and echo delay.
Live, the Floyd played sonic freak-outs — half-hidden by new-fangled light-shows and projections — with Barrett's spacey lead guitar swooping over Waters' trance-like bass, while Wright and Mason created soundscapes above and beneath. On record they were tighter, if still 'psychedelic'. Either way, they sounded 'trippy'. And perhaps that was Barrett's intention. He certainly ingested plenty of LSD and other drugs, which didn't help his delicate mental balance.
Over the spring of 1966, the young band were regulars at the Spontaneous Underground 'happenings' on Sundays at the legendary Marquee Club, where they were spotted by their future managers Peter Jenner and Andrew King. And by the autumn, the Floyd had become the house band of the so-called London Free School in west London.
A semi-residency at the All Saint's Hall led to bigger bookings — at the UFO and the International Times' launch in the Roundhouse — as well as the recording of the instrumental 'Interstellar Overdrive' with the UFO's co-founder, producer Joe Boyd. (This track was later used on hip documentaries of the scene.) A signing to EMI followed in early 1967. "We want to be pop stars," said Syd. In March, Boyd recorded Barrett's oddly commercial 'Arnold Layne' as a three-minute single. And with a Top Twenty hit to promote, the band took on a gruelling schedule of gigs and recordings.
They appeared at the coolest event of the summer, The 14-Hour Technicolor Dream in Alexandra Palace. They gave a concert under the banner 'Games for May' in a classical venue — the Queen Elizabeth Hall — where they displayed their theatrical ambitions through the use of props, pre-recorded tapes and the world's first quadraphonic sound system. (They received a lifetime ban for throwing daffodils into the audience.) And in June the Floyd released a single originally written for this event.
'See Emily Play', which was produced by EMI's Norman Smith, charted at Number Six and made it on to primetime TV's Top of the Pops three times (with Barrett acting increasingly strangely). This was followed in August by Pink Floyd's first LP, The Piper At The Gates of Dawn, which they recorded at Abbey Road next door to the Beatles, then working on Sergeant Pepper. Again making the Top Ten, the album is mainly Barrett's and is a precious relic of its time, a wonderful mix of the whimsical and weird.
Talking of which, Barrett's behaviour and output were threatening to bring the band down with him: refusing to speak, playing one de-tuned string all night, writing material like 'Scream Thy Last Scream, Old Woman with a Basket'. The band wanted to keep their frontman and hoped he would recover himself, so they asked David Gilmour — now back in London after a sojourn abroad — to take over Syd's role on stage, and thought Barrett might become their off-stage songwriter. They tried a few gigs as a five-piece. But in the end, they decided they could do without Barrett, and by March 1968 were in their second incarnation and under new management.
Barrett went his way with Jenner and King, and later recorded two haunting solo albums — on which Waters, Wright and especially Gilmour helped — before retreating to Cambridge for the rest of his life. The other four acquired a new manager — Steve O'Rourke — and in a state of some consternation finished their second album, A Saucerful of Secrets (begun the previous year).
Lyrical duties had now fallen to the bassist Roger Waters. And apart from 'Jugband Blues' — a disturbing track by Barrett, who contributed little else — the album's standout moments included the title track and Waters' 'Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun'.
This hypnotic epic signposted the style the band would expand on in the Seventies, its vision at first more appreciated by an 'intellectual' and European audience. The Floyd played the first free concert in Hyde Park, and laid down the soundtrack for the bizarre Paul Jones movie vehicle, The Committee. They toured continually, developing new material on stage as well as in the studio.
And they worked on the experience, in April 1969 revealing an early form of surround-sound at the Royal Festival Hall — their rebuilt 'Azimuth Co-Ordinator'. (The prototype, first constructed and used in 1967, had been stolen.) They worked on their concepts, too - at that concert, performing two long pieces fusing old and new material, entitled 'The Man' and 'The Journey'.
So their star continued its inevitable ascent. In July, the Floyd released More, less a soundtrack than an accompaniment to Barbet Schroder's eponymous film about a group of hippies on the drug trail in Ibiza. The same month, they played live 'atmospherics' to the BBC's live coverage of the first moon landing. In November, they released the double-album Ummagumma, a mixture of live and studio tracks — and that same month reworked its outstanding number, the eerie 'Careful With That Axe, Eugene', for Antonioni's cult film Zabriskie Point.
With Ummagumma at Number Five in the UK charts, and a growing reputation in both Europe and the US underground, the Floyd played some of the key festivals of their time — Bath, Antibes, Rotterdam, Montreux — and between October 1970 and November 1971, put out two more albums.
Atom Heart Mother, their first Number One, featured the Floyd in their pomp — 'I like a bit of pomp,' says Gilmour (who also made his first lyrical contribution with the gentle 'Fat Old Sun'). And Meddle included two timeless and largely instrumental tracks that showcased their lead guitarist in all his vertiginous, keening glory: 'Echoes', which took up the whole of Side One and began with a single 'ping' created almost accidentally by Wright, and 'One of These Days'.
Increasingly successful, in 1972 the band was still pushing the boundaries. They shot the film 'Live at Pompei' in a Roman amphitheatre, recorded another movie soundtrack for Schroder — Obscured by Clouds — and performed with the Ballet de Marseille. But more importantly, they began to work on an idea that would become their most popular album and with 45 million sold, the world's third biggest.
Provisionally entitled 'Eclipse' and honed through an extensive world tour, The Dark Side of the Moon was released in March 1973, and defies a potted critique here. Demonstrating Waters' talents as both lyricist and conceptualist, it was also a musical tour de force by Gilmour. But Waters was becoming de facto leader of the band — which in public at least was becoming less about the individuals than the experience.
That was (as Barrett had always intended) increasingly visual. The intriguing sleeve artwork commissioned from the ex-Cambridge outfit Hipgnosis was complemented by stage shows featuring crashing aeroplanes, circular projection screens and flaming gongs. There were backing singers on-stage and a guest slot for another pal from Cambridge, the saxophonist Dick Parry. In the dawning age of stadium rock, the Floyd were truly its masters.
Or maybe its servants? Even before Dark Side broke Middle America through FM radio — with the single 'Money' — alienation, isolation and mental fragility had long been Waters' themes. As a stadium performer, and a cog in the music business machine, he was becoming more prone to all three. As Barrett's ex-colleague, he had seen them embodied in his old friend. The results were evident in two of his best lyrics — for 'Shine On, You Crazy Diamond' and 'Wish You Were Here'. These tracks were the high points of the Floyd's next LP, also called Wish You Were Here, which was begun in January 1975 and released that summer.
Famously, Barrett briefly appeared unannounced at Abbey Road during the recording of 'Shine On' and shocked the band by his appearance and demeanour. It was the last time any of them saw him — but they were seeing less of each other, too. Personal and musical differences were starting to tell on the band, though it would be several years until these became unbearable — and two more LPs.
The first was Animals, released in January 1977 (although work had also begun on it in 1975). When this was toured with lavish special effects, including giant inflatables, Waters was dismayed that the crowds kept calling for old hits. In Montreal his patience snapped and he spat into the audience. It was a cathartic moment that gave birth to the Floyd's most ambitious project ever: The Wall, a largely autobiographical reflection by Waters on the nature of love, life and art.
The double album charts the progress of a rock star, 'Pink', facing the break-up of his marriage while on tour. This leads him to review his life from the death of his father - like Waters' killed on the battlefield before he was born - to his spiteful teachers, his business, even his audience. He sees each as a brick in a metaphorical wall between him and the rest of the world. This wall intensifies his isolation, until he imagines the only solution is to become a fascist dictator. When he confronts his madness and deals with his issues, his torments cease and the wall crumbles.
The show — in which the band were slowly obscured by a giant wall of cardboard 'bricks' — was the most ambitious the rock world had ever seen, and was also turned into an Alan Parker film, starring Bob Geldof (who would return to the Floyd story 25 years later). The album sold 20 million, and spawned the band's only Number One single, the anti-authoritarian 'Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2'.
Though the album had its musical highlights — Gilmour's solo on 'Comfortably Numb' being the most memorable — it was largely a lyrical piece. Waters drove the project and the others fitted in. They ceded their vision to his increasingly personal direction, and worked together on no new material for more than two years.
When they did get back in the studio, it was to record The Final Cut. This prophetically titled album, prompted by the Falklands conflict of 1982 and released the next year, explores themes of remembrance and the undelivered post-war dream — for which Waters' father had given his life. Completely credited to Waters, it was attributed to 'Roger Waters, performed by Pink Floyd' and featured Gilmour's vocals on one track.
After three years — during which all four band members had pursued solo projects — Waters announced he was leaving the Floyd and disbanding them. Wright had left the legal entity some time before, transferring to the payroll for The Wall tour and playing no part in The Final Cut, but Gilmour and Mason decided to continue Pink Floyd without its erstwhile 'leader'. A turbulent period followed, but agreement was eventually reached: Waters would continue to perform the songs on which he worked while he was with the band, as well as new solo material. Gilmour — now first among equals — and Mason would continue to record and perform with Wright as Pink Floyd.
In 1987 came their next album, A Momentary Lapse of Reason — which emphatically proved that the Floyd could exist without Waters. The subsequent world tour, which also spawned the live Delicate Sound of Thunder, was the band's longest and most successful ever. Over four years, 5.5 million people saw 200 shows, including one on a floating stage in Venice (which again earned them a venue-ban) while Thunder became the first rock album to be played in space, by the Soviet-French Soyuz-7 mission.
1994's album and tour, The Division Bell, broke similar records; but more, it showed Gilmour and the band on a creative roll, with Wright contributing to some of the writing and Gilmour forging a new writing partnership with his wife, the novelist Polly Samson — 'High Hopes' being one of their new classics. However, since then, the Floyd has recorded no new material in the studio.
Not that they have been inactive — nor untouched by sorrows. In 2003, the band's manager Steve O'Rourke died from a stroke and the three-man Floyd played 'Fat Old Sun' and Dark Side's 'Great Gig in the Sky', at his funeral in Chichester Cathedral. In 2006, Syd Barrett died from pancreatic cancer. And in 2008 Rick Wright followed him — but not before he had helped re-write the Pink Floyd story a couple more times.
In 2005, prompted by Bob Geldof, the band decided to perform at Live 8 (on the 20th anniversary of Live Aid) and invited Waters to join them. He accepted and — sharing vocals with Gilmour — they played two numbers from Dark Side, plus 'Wish You Were Here' and 'Comfortably Numb'. It was an epoch-making moment in rock history, and their final group hug became one of Live 8's iconic images.
After that, the three-man Floyd performed together on two occasions — once during a solo gig by Gilmour in 2006 (Wright played the whole three-month tour and was 'in great form', says Gilmour); and again at an all-star memorial tribute to Barrett in 2007. Waters also appeared at the gig but was unable to join his old colleagues due to a previous appointment. Still, that was not the end of their association.
On 10 July 2010, with some of their favourite musicians, Waters and Gilmour performed a few Floyd songs — plus Phil Spector's 'To Know Him Is To Love Him'! — at a private charity event in Oxfordshire. And on 12 May 2011, during one of Waters' Wall concerts at the London O2, Gilmour appeared on top of the wall as of old, to sing and play his parts on 'Comfortably Numb'. Nick Mason, who was at the gig, then joined them for the final song, 'Outside the Wall'. Departing the stage, as they had before, Waters played trumpet, Gilmour mandolin and Mason tambourine. The audience was stunned and delighted.
But a handful of concerts was never going to sate the interest of the diehard fans. In 1995, they were rewarded with the double-album P•U•L•S•E, all recorded on the Division Bell tour and containing the first complete live version of Dark Side. A live compilation of The Wall from 1980-1 — called Is There Anybody Out There? — followed in 2000, and then a re-mastered 'best of', called Echoes. There have also been collectors' editions of Dark Side, a complete works box-set — Oh, By the Way — and now (autumn 2011) an extensive reissue campaign by EMI, with new packaging and production values, not to mention some rare and archival recordings that go back to the Barrett days.
Nor, as individuals, have the survivors from those times been strangers to the studio or stage these last dozen or so years (and before). Gilmour put out his third solo album, On an Island, in 2006; Waters has had a prolific and varied career since 1986; Mason and Wright released one or two collaborative albums respectively.
There have been awards and honours along the way: induction into both the US and UK Rock 'n' Roll Halls of Fame; Sweden's Polar Music Prize in 2008 for their 'monumental contribution over the decades to the fusion of art and music in the development of popular culture'. And in 2010, The Royal Mail used Division Bell visuals on their stamps, also creating a unique sheet using only the Floyd's imagery.
When the nascent Rolling Stones began playing gigs around London in 1962, the notion that a rock & roll band would last five years, let alone fifty, was an absurdity. After all, what could possibly be more ephemeral than rock & roll, the latest teenage fad? Besides, other factors made it unlikely that such a momentous occasion would ever come to pass. “I didn’t expect to last until fifty myself, let alone with the Stones,” Keith Richards says with a laugh. “It’s incredible, really. In that sense we’re still living on borrowed time.”
Times and attitudes quickly changed, in short, and now five decades later, the Rolling Stones are celebrating an anniversary that artists in any field would be overjoyed to attain. Indeed, the Stones will be marking the fiftieth anniversary of their first gig at the Marquee Club in London on July 12, 1962 with a celebratory appearance at that storied venue, five decades later to the day. At that first show, the group was billed as the Rollin’ Stones and, of what would become the band’s original lineup, only Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones and keyboardist Ian Stewart performed. Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts would formally join in January of 1963, and Stewart officially left the band in May, though he continued on as the Stones’ road manager and occasionally played with them both on stage and in the studio until his death in 1985.
To commemorate the Stones’ 50th anniversary, noted filmmaker Brett Morgen directed a no-holds-barred documentary about the band, Crossfire Hurricane, and the Stones released GRRR!, a greatest hits collection that includes two brand new songs and a stunning album cover designed by Walton Ford. The Stones then went back on the road for the 50 & Counting Tour, visiting London, New York and other cities across North America and Canada in celebration of five decades, culminating with a legendary performance at the UK’s Glastonbury Festival plus two major outdoor shows in London’s Hyde Park, chronicled in the concert film Sweet Summer Sun – Hyde Park Live. The Stones then launched another sell out tour, 14 ON FIRE, that brought them to Asia, Australia and New Zealand. In 2015 the band stunned audiences in the USA for the umpteenth time with their Zip Code tour and a re-mastered Sticky Fingers album.
In early 2016, the Stones launched their América Latina Olé tour, which consisted of thirteen electrifying dates in Central and South America. As a dramatic capstone to that trip, the Stones performed in Cuba for the first time, electrifying an audience of 1.2 million fans in Havana. In another historic live performance, the Stones will participate this October in Desert Trip, a three-day superstar festival in Indio, California that will also feature Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, the Who, Neil Young and Roger Waters. In addition, Exhibitionism, a groundbreaking, career-spanning exhibition devoted to the Stones’ legendary history, opened earlier this year at the Saatchi Gallery in London to rave reviews. It will travel to New York this November for a run at Industria.
To mark the Stones’ 50th anniversary a few years back, a book was produced, The Rolling Stones: 50, chronicling the group’s legendary journey through rare and previously unseen photographs, including images from every aspect of the Stones’ history – reportage photos, shots from recording sessions, concert highlights and outtakes from studio shoots. It was a highly appropriate focus of the anniversary since such visual images constituted an essential element of how the Stones defined themselves in those pre-Internet, pre-MTV days when photos of a band on an album cover or in newspapers and magazines determined how they would be viewed for years to come.
“It was a very new development that famous photographers would take pictures of rock bands, and it was really fantastic,” Mick Jagger recalls. “Those images were very much used and very widely seen, and they were essential to conveying who the Rolling Stones were to the public. Suddenly we were in all these magazines and one thing led to another. We became part of the whole Sixties phenomenon, breaking through the boundaries of pop music into fashion, films, television and everything else.”
“There was an amazing energy going on with people our age then,” Keith Richards adds. “It’s transformed the way the Seventies would have been or the Eighties or the Nineties or now.”
Of course, the Rolling Stones themselves are among the most important reasons for the dramatic breakthroughs and transformations that have taken place over the last five decades. Indeed, it’s essentially impossible to overestimate the importance of the Rolling Stones in rock & roll history. The group distilled so much of the music that had come before it and has exerted a decisive influence on so much that has come after. Only a handful of musicians in any genre achieve that stature, and the Stones stand proudly among them. They exist in a pantheon of the most rarefied kind.
The effort clearly paid off. Every album the Stones released through the early Seventies – from The Rolling Stones in 1964 to Exile on Main Street in 1972 — is essential not simply to an understanding of the music of that era, but to an understanding of the era itself. In their intense interest in blues and R&B, the Stones connected a young audience in the U.S. to music that was unknown to the vast majority of white Americans. Though the Stones were not overtly political in their early years, their obsession with African American music – from Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf to Chuck Berry, Marvin Gaye and Don Covay – struck a chord that resonated with the goals of the civil rights movement. If the Stones had never made an album after 1965 they would still be legendary.
Soon, of course, the Stones became synonymous with the rebellious attitude of that era. Songs like ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’, ‘Street Fighting Man’, ‘Sympathy for the Devil’ and ‘Gimme Shelter’ captured the violence, frustration and chaos of that time. For the Stones, the Sixties were not a time of peace and love; in many ways, the band found psychedelia and wide-eyed utopianism confusing and silly. The Stones always were – and continue to be – tough-minded pragmatists. Against the endless promises of Sixties idealism the Stones understood that ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’. You simply want to Let It Be? It’s more likely, given the harsh world we live in, that you might have to Let It Bleed.
For those reasons, as the Sixties drained into the Seventies, the Stones went on a creative run that rivals any in popular music. Beggars Banquet (1968), Let It Bleed (1969), Sticky Fingers (1971) and Exile On Main St (1972) routinely turn up on lists of the greatest albums of all time, and deservedly so. All done with American producer Jimmy Miller – “an incredible rhythm man,” in Richards’ terse description – those records shake like the culture itself was shaking. As the Stones were working on Let It Bleed, Brian Jones died, and the band replaced him with Mick Taylor, a profoundly gifted guitarist whose lyricism and melodic flair counterbalanced Richards’ insistent, irreducible rhythmic drive, adding an element to the band’s sound that hadn’t been there before, and opening fertile new musical directions.
After that, the Stones were an indomitable force on the music scene, and they have continued to be to this day. The albums Goats Head Soup (1973), It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll (1974) and Black and Blue (1976), found the Stones creating such hits as “Angie” and “It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll” and exploring their way through a period of transition, with guitarist Ron Wood coming on board in 1975 to replace Mick Taylor, contributing another key element to the band’s evolving sound. Then in 1978 the album, Some Girls, rose to the challenge of punk (“When the Whip Comes Down”) – whose energy and attitude the Stones had defined a decade earlier – but also swung with the sinuous grooves of disco (“Miss You”). The album is one of the very best of that decade. Tattoo You (1981) added the classics “Start Me Up” and “Waiting on a Friend” to the Stones’ repertoire, and took its prominent place among the Stones’ most compelling – and most popular – later albums. Possibly the most underrated album of the Stones’ career, Dirty Work (1986) finds the band at its rawest and most rhythmically charged, a reflection of the tumult within the band when it was recorded. True Stones fans have long worn their appreciation of Dirty Work as a hip badge of honour.
With the release of Steel Wheels in 1989, the Stones went back on the road again for the first time in seven years and inaugurated the latest phase of the band’s illustrious career. They’ve made strong, credible new studio albums during this period – Voodoo Lounge (1994), Bridges to Babylon (1997), A Bigger Bang (2006) – along with the excellent live album Stripped (1995) and the fun, immensely satisfying hits collection, Forty Licks (2002).
More significantly, though, the Stones have set a standard for live performance during this time. That is an achievement completely in accord with the band’s history, something that has defined the group from the very start. Mick Jagger remembers that “As soon as we got in front of audiences, they went crazy. It started in clubs, and then it just continued to grow.”
“Something was happening in the late winter of 1962 and afterwards,” Keith Richards says, “because suddenly hundreds and then thousands of people were queuing up to see us. And it doesn’t take a nail driven through your head to realize that something’s going on and that you’re part of it. It was an amazing experience and it happened so fast, starting in London and then moving out from there. It was like hanging onto a tornado.”
When the Stones began to be introduced on their 1969 tour as “The Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the World,’ they were staking that claim on the basis of their live performances. It was almost fashionable for bands to withdraw from the road at that time – Bob Dylan and the Beatles had both done so. But the Stones set out to prove that writing brilliant songs and making powerful records did not mean that you were too lofty to get up in front of your fans and rock them until their bones rattled. The Stones’ live shows – epitomized, of course, by Jagger’s galvanizing erotic choreography – had earned the band its reputation, and that flame was being rekindled.
It was lit again twenty years later, and it’s burning still. Since 1989 the Stones have repeatedly toured to ecstatic response. Bassist Darryl Jones, who had formerly played with Miles Davis, began performing with the Stones in 1994, replacing Bill Wyman, and the Stones turned what could have been a setback into a rejuvenating rush of new energy. The Stones’ live success during this period is not a matter of dollars or box-office breakthroughs, though the band has enjoyed plenty of both. It’s about demonstrating a vital, ongoing commitment to the idea that performing is what keeps a band truly alive.
And that’s the critical misunderstanding of the question, “Is this the last time?” that has been coming up every time the Stones have toured for more than forty years now. It’s true that over the decades the Stones have been in the news for many reasons that have little to do with music – arrests, provocative statements, divorces, feuds, affairs, stints in rehab, all the usual detritus of a raucous lifetime in the public eye. And there’s no doubt that Mick Jagger is as recognizable a celebrity as the world has ever seen and attracts all the attention, positive and negative, that such a status inevitably entails.
But, for all that, the Stones are best understood as musicians, and their own acceptance of that fact is what has enabled them to carry on so well for so long. For all the tabloid headlines, Mick Jagger is ultimately an extraordinary lead singer and one of the most riveting performers – in any art form – ever to set foot on a stage. Keith Richards is the propulsive engine that drives the Stones and makes their music instantly recognizable. Their complementary styles, incomparable collaborative genius as songwriters and even their all-too-public battles have made them the very definition of the rock & roll singer/guitarist partnership, battling brothers who have often been imitated and never surpassed.
Ron Wood, meanwhile, is a guitarist who has formed a rhythmic union with Richards, but who also colors and textures the band’s songs with deft, melodic touches. And Charlie Watts, needless to say, is one of rock’s greatest, most supple drummers. He is both the rock that anchors the band, and the subtle force that swings it. At once elegant in their simplicity and soaring in their impact, none of his gestures are wasted, all are necessary. He and Darryl Jones enliven the often-monolithic notion of the rock & roll rhythm section with an irresistible, unpretentious, jazz-derived sophistication.
Musicians live and create in the moment, and that’s why fans still yearn to go see and hear the Stones. Certainly there’s a catalogue of songs that very few artists could rival. Surely there’s the desire on the part of fans, both young and old, to encounter a band that has played a pristine role in shaping our very idea of what rock & roll is. But seeing the Rolling Stones live is to see a working band playing as hard as they can, and there’s no last time for that. It’s not only rock n roll, it’s essential rock n roll. And the story continues…
The Who are an English rock band formed in 1964 by Roger Daltrey (vocals), Pete Townshend (guitar), John Entwistle (bass) and Keith Moon (drums). They became known for energetic live performances which often included instrument destruction. The Who have sold about 100 million records, and have charted 27 top forty singles in the United Kingdom and United States, as well as 17 top ten albums, with 18 Gold, 12 Platinum and 5 Multi-Platinum album awards in the United States alone.
The Who rose to fame in the UK with a series of top ten hit singles, boosted in part by pirate radio stations such as Radio Caroline, beginning in January 1965 with "I Can't Explain". The albums My Generation (1965), A Quick One (1966) and The Who Sell Out (1967) followed, with the first two reaching the UK top five. They first hit the US Top 40 in 1967 with "Happy Jack" and hit the top ten later that year with "I Can See for Miles". Their fame grew with memorable performances at the Monterey Pop,Woodstock and Isle of Wight music festivals. The 1969 release of Tommy was the first in a series of top ten albums in the US, followed by Live at Leeds (1970), Who's Next (1971), Quadrophenia (1973), The Who by Numbers (1975), Who Are You (1978) and The Kids Are Alright (1979).
Moon died at the age of 32 in 1978, after which the band released two studio albums, the UK and US top five Face Dances (1981) and the US top ten It's Hard (1982), with drummer Kenney Jones, before disbanding in 1983. They re-formed at events such as Live Aid and for reunion tours such as their 25th anniversary tour (1989) and the Quadrophenia tours of 1996 and 1997. In 2000, the three surviving original members discussed recording an album of new material, but their plans temporarily stalled upon Entwistle's death at the age of 57 in 2002. Townshend and Daltrey continue to perform as The Who, and in 2006 they released the studio album Endless Wire, which reached the top ten in the UK and US.
The Who were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990, their first year of eligibility. Their display there describes them as "Prime contenders, in the minds of many, for the title of World's Greatest Rock Band."Time magazine wrote in 1979 that "No other group has ever pushed rock so far, or asked so much from it."Rolling Stone magazine wrote: "Along with The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, The Who complete the holy trinity of British rock." They received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the British Phonographic Industry in 1988, and from the Grammy Foundation in 2001, for creative contributions of outstanding artistic significance to the field of recording. In 2008 surviving members Townshend and Daltrey were honoured at the 31st Annual Kennedy Center Honors.
Aerosmith is an American rock band, sometimes referred to as "the Bad Boys from Boston" and "America's Greatest Rock and Roll Band". Their style, which is rooted in blues-based hard rock, has come to also incorporate elements of pop, heavy metal, and rhythm and blues, and has inspired many subsequent rock artists.
They were formed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1970. Guitarist Joe Perry and bassist Tom Hamilton, originally in a band together called the Jam Band, met up with vocalist/pianist/harmonicist Steven Tyler, drummer Joey Kramer, and guitarist Ray Tabano, and formed Aerosmith. In 1971, Tabano was replaced by Brad Whitford, and the band began developing a following in Boston.
They were signed to Columbia Records in 1972, and released a string of gold and platinum albums, beginning with their 1973 eponymous debut album, followed by Get Your Wings in 1974. In 1975, the band broke into the mainstream with the album Toys in the Attic, and their 1976 follow-up Rocks cemented their status as hard rock superstars. Two additional albums followed in 1977 and 1979. Their first five albums have since attained multi-platinum status.
Throughout the 1970s, the band toured extensively and charted a dozen Hot 100 singles. By the end of the decade, they were among the most popular hard rock bands in the world and developed a loyal following of fans, often referred to as the "Blue Army". However, drug addiction and internal conflict took their toll on the band, which led to the departures of Perry and Whitford in 1979 and 1981, respectively; they were replaced by Jimmy Crespo and Rick Dufay. The band did not fare well between 1980 and 1984, releasing the album Rock in a Hard Place, which was certified gold but failed to match their previous successes.
Perry and Whitford returned to Aerosmith in 1984 and the band signed a new deal with Geffen Records. After a comeback tour, the band recorded Done with Mirrors (1985), which won some critical praise but failed to come close to commercial expectations.
It was not until the band's collaboration with rap group Run–D.M.C. in 1986, and the 1987 multi-platinum release Permanent Vacation, that they regained the level of popularity they had experienced in the 1970s. In the late 1980s and 1990s, the band scored several hits and won numerous awards for music from the multi-platinum albums Pump (1989), Get a Grip (1993), and Nine Lives (1997), and embarked on their most extensive concert tours to date. The band also became a pop culture phenomenon with popular music videos and notable appearances in television, film, and video games. Their comeback has been described as one of the most remarkable and spectacular in rock 'n' roll history.
Additional albums followed in 2001, 2004, and 2012. Since 2001, the band has toured every year, except 2008. After 47 years of performing, the band continues to tour and record music, but is embarking on a farewell tour that will likely last several years, with the first leg of the tour planned for Europe in the spring and summer of 2017.
Aerosmith is the best-selling American hard rock band of all time, having sold more than 150 million records worldwide, including over 70 million records in the United States alone. With 25 gold albums, 18 platinum albums, and 12 multi-platinum albums, they hold the record for the most total certifications by an American band and are tied for the most multi-platinum albums by an American band.
The band has scored 21 Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, nine number-one Mainstream Rock hits, four Grammy Awards, six American Music Awards, and ten MTV Video Music Awards. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001, and were included among both Rolling Stone's and VH1's lists of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. In 2013, the band's principal songwriters, Tyler and Perry, were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Badfinger were a British rock band that, in their most successful lineup, consisted of Pete Ham, Mike Gibbins, Tom Evans, and Joey Molland. The band evolved from an earlier group called The Iveys that was formed in 1961 by Ham, Ron Griffiths and David "Dai" Jenkins in Swansea, Wales. The Iveys were the first group signed by the Beatles' Apple label in 1968. The band renamed themselves Badfinger and in 1969 Griffiths left and was replaced by Molland. In 1970, the band engaged American businessman Stan Polley to manage their commercial affairs. Over the next five years the band recorded five albums for Apple and toured extensively, before they became embroiled in the chaos of Apple Records' dissolution.
Badfinger had four consecutive worldwide hits from 1970 to 1972: "Come and Get It" (written and produced by Paul McCartney), "No Matter What", "Day After Day" (produced by George Harrison), and "Baby Blue". In 2013, "Baby Blue" made a resurgence onto the Billboard Hot Rock Songs chart at number 14 after it was featured in the series finale of the television show Breaking Bad. Their song "Without You" has been recorded many times, including a Billboard number-one hit for Harry Nilsson and a UK number one by Mariah Carey.
Combining a love for British guitar pop songcraft with crunching power chords and a flair for the absurd, Cheap Trick provided the necessary links between '60s pop, heavy metal, and punk. Led by guitarist Rick Nielsen, the band's early albums were filled with highly melodic, well-written songs that drew equally from the crafted pop of the Beatles, the sonic assault of the Who, and the tongue-in-cheek musical eclecticism and humor of the Move. Their sound provided a blueprint for both power pop and arena rock; it also had a surprisingly long-lived effect on both alternative and heavy metal bands of the '80s and '90s, who often relied on the same combination of loud riffs and catchy melodies.
Cheap Trick's roots lie in Fuse, a late-'60s band formed by Rick Nielsen and bassist Tom Petersson in Rockford, Illinois. The group released an album on Epic in 1969; after it failed to gain any attention, the band relocated to Philadelphia and changed their name to Sick Man of Europe. The group toured Europe unsuccessfully in 1972 and returned to Illinois in 1973. Not long after their return to Rockford, Nielsen and Petersson changed their band's name once more -- this time to Cheap Trick -- and added drummer Bun E. Carlos and vocalist Randy "Xeno" Hogan to the lineup. Hogan was fired the following year, making room for ex-folksinger Robin Zander to join the group. Between 1975 and the band's first album in 1977, Cheap Trick toured constantly, playing over 200 concerts a year while occasionally opening for the likes of the Kinks, Kiss, Santana, AC/DC, and Queen. During this time, the band built up a solid catalog of original songs that would eventually comprise their first three albums; they also perfected their kinetic live show.
Cheap Trick signed with Epic in 1976 and released their self-titled debut early the following year. The record sold well in America, yet it failed to chart. However, the group became a massive success in Japan, and the album went gold upon release. Later that year, the band released their second album, In Color. It backed away from the harder-rocking side of Cheap Trick, featuring slicker production and quieter arrangements that spotlighted the band's melodic skills instead. Due to their constant touring, the record made it into the U.S. charts, peaking at number 73. It became another gold-seller in Japan, however, where the musicians had become virtual superstars. Their Japanese concerts began selling out within two hours, and they packed the sizable Budokan Arena.
Cheap Trick's concerts at Budokan were recorded for possible release, although the live album didn't appear until the band's third album, 1978's Heaven Tonight, was first released. That third album captured both the loud, raucous energy of Cheap Trick's debut and the hook-laden songcraft of In Color, leading to their first Top 100 single, "Surrender," which peaked at number 62. However, the live performances on At Budokan (1979) captured the band's energetic, infectious live show, resulting in their commercial breakthrough in America. The album stayed on the charts for over a year, peaking at number four and eventually selling over three million copies. Meanwhile, a live version of "I Want You to Want Me" became their first Top Ten hit. Later that year, the group released their fourth studio album, Dream Police, which followed the same stylistic approach as Heaven Tonight. It also followed At Budokan into the Top Ten, selling over a million copies and launching the Top 40 hit singles "Voices" and "Dream Police." In the summer of 1980, the group released an EP of tracks recorded between 1976-1979 called Found All the Parts.
Following the recording of the George Martin-produced All Shook Up, Petersson left the group in the summer of 1980 to form a group with his wife, Dagmar. He was replaced by Jon Brant. Released toward the end of 1980, All Shook Upperformed respectably, peaking at number 24 and going gold, yet the single "Stop This Game" failed to crack the Top 40. One on One, the group's seventh album and the first recorded with Brant, appeared in 1982. Although it peaked at number 39, the record was more successful than All Shook Up, eventually going platinum. Nevertheless, the group was entering a downhill commercial slide, despite the fact that its music was becoming increasingly polished. Next Position Please, released in 1983, failed to launch a hit single and spent only 11 weeks on the charts. Standing on the Edge (1985) and The Doctor (1986) suffered similar fates, as the group was slowly losing its creative spark.
Petersson rejoined the band in 1988 and the group began working on a new record with the help of several professional songwriters. The resulting record, Lap of Luxury, was a platinum Top 20 hit, featuring the number one power ballad "The Flame" and a Top Ten version of Elvis Presley's "Don't Be Cruel." Busted, released in 1990, wasn't as successful as Lap of Luxury, peaking at number 48 and effectively putting an end to the group's commercial comeback.
Cheap Tricksoldiered into the new decade by signing with Warner Bros. in 1994 and releasing Woke Up with a Monster, which peaked at number 123 and spent two weeks on the albums chart. That same year, Epic released a sequel to At Budokan, aptly titled Budokan II. Compiled from the same shows as At Budokan, the record served as an an effective reminder of why the group had become so popular in the late '70s.
In 1995, Cheap Trick asked to leave Warner's roster after the label's chief executives, Lenny Waronker and Mo Ostin, departed. The band then decided to go back to the basics, and several alt rock superstars who had been influenced by Cheap Trickgave the band opportunities to restore its reputation. The Smashing Pumpkins had the band open their tour in 1995, and the group played several dates on the 1996 Lollapalooza Tour. That same year, the box set Sex, America, Cheap Trickappeared to positive reviews, and the band signed with the fledgling indie label Red Ant-Alliance before setting to work on a new album. Early in 1997, the group released a Steve Albini-produced single on Sub Pop, which was followed by the eponymous Cheap Trick, their acclaimed debut for Red Ant-Alliance, in the spring. Unfortunately, Red Ant-Alliance filed for bankruptcy seven weeks after the album's release, sadly putting a sudden halt on the group's building momentum.
On April 30, 1998, the group launched a four-night residence in Chicago, devoting each show to reprising one of their first four albums in its entirety. Those shows later yielded a 1999 live LP, Music for Hangovers, which the musicians issued on their own Cheap Trick Unlimited label. A band-authorized hits collection followed in 2000. By the dawn of the new millennium, Cheap Trick were still without a label, but had retained their loyal following by continually touring the world. Appropriately, another live set saw the light of day in 2001. Entitled Silver, the double-disc album (and companion DVD) documented the band's star-studded, career-spanning 25th anniversary show on August 28, 1999. The band also recorded another studio album, released in 2003 as Special One. It was followed in 2006 by Rockford, named in tribute to the band's hometown, and then The Latest in 2009. Cheap Trick also maintained a heavy touring ethic, canvassing America that summer alongside Def Leppard and releasing their tribute to the Beatles with Sgt. Pepper Live. In late 2015, Cheap Trick signed with powerhouse country label Big Machine Records, and their first album for their new sponsors, Bang, Zoom, Crazy... Hello, was released in April 2016. It was the first Cheap Trickrelease since the departure of drummer Bun E. Carlos from the band. Daxx Nielsen, Rick's son, became the group's new percussionist in 2010.
Emerson, Lake & Palmer were progressive rock's first supergroup. Greeted by the rock press and the public as something akin to conquering heroes, they succeeded in broadening the audience for progressive rock from hundreds of thousands into tens of millions of listeners, creating a major radio phenomenon as well. Their flamboyance on record and in the studio echoed the best work of the heavy metal bands of the era, proving that classical rockers could compete for that arena-scale audience. Over and above their own commercial success, the trio also paved the way for the success of such bands as Yes, who would become their chief rivals for much of the 1970s.
Keyboardist Keith Emerson planted the seeds of the group in late 1969 when his band the Nice shared a bill at the Fillmore West with King Crimson, and the two first spoke of the possibility of working together. After the Crimson lineup began disintegrating during their first U.S. tour, Lake opted to leave the group. Upon officially teaming in 1970, Emerson and Lake auditioned several drummers before they approached Carl Palmer, not yet 20 years old and already an overpowering talent, as well as a former member of the Crazy World of Arthur Brown and Atomic Rooster.
They explored their capabilities to an extreme, even with the technology limitations of the early 70's, breaking ground, setting the new parameters for a new vein in the english pop music (at the time) which would be called progressive music. ELP released 10 outstanding albums during the 70's, and after a long break, they got back in the 90's with a new approach, but still making good music. In 1986 Cozy POWELL replaced PALMER and they put together EMERSON, LAKE and POWELL, a good effort as well.
They've pushed their ambitions over-the-edge. On "Tarkus" the title suite was an inventive and edgy suite revolving around jazzy textures. Their most popular album "Brain Salad Surgery", was their most grandiose and refined. Next, the more adventurous listener might try "Trilogy" or ELP's self-titled first album. In my opinion, these four albums form the core of ELP's best material. Other good ELP albums include "Pictures at an Exhibition", their provocative, fiery and intense take on a classical work. and "Welcome Back My Friends To The Show That Never Ends", a triple-live album (now on double-CD) with some absolutely stunning playing.
2016 was a sad year for Prog fans, because Keith and Greg left us, Rest in Peace and thank you for everything
Fairport Convention played its first concert in a church hall in May 1967. Based in suburban north London, the group had coalesced around bass guitarist Ashley 'Tyger' Hutchings. The youngsters 'convened' for rehearsals at a house named Fairport, the family home of rhythm guitarist Simon Nicol. Thus was born the name of a band that has endured for nearly four decades. As well as Hutchings and Nicol, there was lead guitarist Richard Thompson and Shaun Frater on drums.
However, that initial line-up only played the one gig. A young drummer, Martin Lamble, was in the church hall audience and he convinced the band that he could do a better job than the incumbent. It was the first of the bewildering flurry of line-up changes that characterised Fairport's first fifteen years.
Fairport soon augmented its line-up with a female singer, Judy Dyble, which set it apart from the dozens of other bands springing up from the fast-moving youth culture of that summer. Fairport found no shortage of work and was soon a regular act at underground venues such as The Electric Garden, Middle Earth and UFO.
The band had only been playing a few months when they caught the ear of Joe Boyd who secured them a contract with Island Records. Boyd suggested they augment the line-up with another male vocalist and so Iain Matthews joined the band and the first album, Fairport Convention, came out before the end of 1967.
At this early stage, Fairport looked to America for material and inspiration. "The two lead vocalist approach appealed to us," Matthews recalls. "and because of our name and onstage presence, lots of people thought we were American, and we were not about to attempt to dispel that presumption." This led to the band being dubbed 'the British Jefferson Airplane'.
By the time the second LP, What We Did On Our Holidays, was released Judy Dyble had been replaced by Sandy Denny, a folk singer who had previously recorded as a soloist and with the Strawbs.
The third album, Unhalfbricking, featured a guest appearance by Birmingham folk fiddler Dave Swarbrick. This album, like its predecessor, mixed strong original material with contemporary songs by artists such as Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan.
Radio DJ John Peel (pictured right with Sandy Denny) was a staunch champion of Fairport's music. He played the band's albums on his influential BBC shows. Peel also recorded a number of BBC sessions which were later released later as the album Heyday pictured.
By now the band was on the cusp of inventing folkrock, a hybrid of imaginative revivals of traditional material with modern instrumentation and rhythms. Richard Thompson had developed into an exceptionally talented and inventive guitarist, and the band was increasingly penning its own material.
Fleetwood Mac are a British-American rock band, formed in London in 1967. The band has sold more than 100 million records worldwide, making them one of the world's best-selling bands of all time. In 1998, selected members of Fleetwood Mac were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and received the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music.
The two most successful periods for the band were during the late 1960s British blues boom, when they were led by guitarist Peter Green and achieved a UK number one with "Albatross"; and from 1975 to 1987, as a more pop-oriented act, featuring Christine McVie, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. Rumours (1977), Fleetwood Mac's second album after the incorporation of Buckingham and Nicks, produced four US Top 10 singles and remained at No. 1 on the American albums chart for 31 weeks, as well as reaching the top spot in various countries around the world. To date, the album has sold over 40 million copies worldwide, making it the eighth-highest-selling album of all time. The band achieved more modest success between 1971 and 1974, when the line-up included Bob Welch, during the 1990s in between the departure and return of Nicks and Buckingham, and during the 2000s when Christine McVie was absent.
After numerous lineup changes the only original member present in the band is drummer Mick Fleetwood. Although band founder Green named the group by combining the surnames of two of his former bandmates (Fleetwood and McVie) from John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, bassist John McVie played neither on their first single nor at their first concerts, as he initially decided to stay with Mayall. Keyboardist Christine McVie, who joined the band in 1970 while married to John McVie, has appeared on every album except the debut album, either as a member or as a session musician. She left the band in 1998 but returned in 2014.
The long career for Genesis breaks down neatly into two contrasting eras: For the first half Genesis was a cult band fronted by theatrical vocalist Peter Gabriel, playing majestic art rock that set the style for such American acts as Kansas and Styx —story songs set to complex, richly textured music with hints of classical pomp. After Gabriel left, drummer Phil Collins took over as lead singer —proving himself a more down-to-earth frontman —and the band's audience expanded exponentially, as Genesis streamlined its music into romantic pop songs and abandoned costume drama for laser lightshows. By the mid-'80s, Genesis was one of the world's most popular bands.
After Gabriel and Tony Banks played together in a band called Garden Wall, they formed a "songwriter's collective" with Mike Rutherford and Anthony Phillips while all four were students at Charterhouse, an exclusive British secondary school. In late 1967 British record mogul Jonathan King suggested the name Genesis and got the group a contract that resulted in the poppish 13-song From Genesis to Revelation (1968), which was not released in the U.S. until 1974.
Upon graduating, the four members lived together in an English country cottage and rehearsed for several months before playing their first gig in September 1969. They developed an elaborate stage show —Gabriel had a series of costume changes, including a bat and a flower —And with the adroit drumming of Phil Collins (formerly with Flaming Youth), their songs grew into extended suites on Nursery Cryme, Foxtrot, and Selling England by the Pound. They gained a large following in England and a dedicated cult in the United States. In 1974 Genesis' theatricality peaked with a two-LP set and attendant live show, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, in which Gabriel played Rael, who suffered various metamorphoses in a surreal Manhattan.
Gabriel left Genesis after Lamb for a solo career, and the group took 18 months to adjust. It auditioned over 400 singers before deciding Collins could take over; on tour, the trio employed a second drummer so that Collins could roam the stage. Genesis dispensed with costumes and continued to perform older material, which was credited to the whole group. A Trick of the Tail and Wind & Wuthering expanded the band's cult (the latter included Genesis' first hit single, "Your Own Special Way" [#62, 1977], and…And Then There Were Three…, with somewhat shorter songs, became its first gold album in 1978 (the LP later went platinum).
Named for no apparent reason after an 18th-century British agronomist who invented the machine drill for sowing seed, Jethro Tull has been one of the most commercially successful and eccentric progressive-rock bands. In 1987, two decades after its founding, the band won a Grammy for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance, Vocal or Instrumental, for Crest of a Knave.
Jethro Tull began as a blues-based band with some jazz and classical influences, and was initially proclaimed by the British press in 1968 as "the new Cream." By the early 1970s, it had expanded into a full-blown classical-jazz-rock-progressive band and in the late 1970s turned toward folkish, mostly acoustic rock, all the while selling millions of albums and selling out worldwide tours. Jethro Tull's driving force is Ian Anderson. With his shaggy mane, full beard, and penchant for traditional tartan-plaid attire, Anderson acquired a reputation as a mad Faginesque character with his Olde English imagery and stage antics like playing the flute or harmonica while hopping up and down on one leg. (He confessed to Rolling Stone in 1993 that he had only recently learned the correct fingerings.)
Anderson moved to Blackpool as a child and met the future members of Jethro Tull in school. He and members of both early and later Jethro Tull lineups formed the John Evan Band in the mid-'60s, which played in northern England with middling success. In late 1967 the band regrouped as Jethro Tull, adding guitarist Mick Abrahams and drummer Clive Bunker, and Anderson taught himself the flute.
The band had its first big success at the 1968 Sunbury Jazz and Blues Festival in England. Tull recorded its debut, This Was, that summer, and by autumn it was high on the LP chart in England. The album was released in the U.S. in 1969, and though it sold only moderately, critics hailed the band. That year the British music weekly Melody Maker made Jethro Tull its #2 Band of the Year, after the Beatles (the Rolling Stones were third). Abrahams left after the first LP (Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi briefly replaced him) to form Blodwyn Pig [see entry] and later the Mick Abrahams Band.
Jethro Tull's first U.S. tour in 1969 paved the way for the chart success of Stand Up (#20), on which Martin Barre replaced Abrahams. One of the more popular numbers on that album was an Anderson flute instrumental based on a Bach "Bouree." (This Was had featured Rahsaan Roland Kirk's "Serenade to a Cuckoo"; Anderson had acquired his trademark flute effects —singing through the flute and flutter-tonguing —from Kirk.) Tull's next LP, Benefit (#11, 1970), went gold in the U.S., and the group began selling out 20,000-seat arenas. Cornick left to form Wild Turkey and was replaced by Jeffrey Hammond-Hammond, a childhood buddy of Anderson's who'd been mentioned in several Tull tunes ("A Song for Jeffrey," "Jeffrey Goes to Leicester Square," "For Michael Collins, Jeffrey and Me").
By far the band's most successful record in the United States, Aqualung (#7, 1971) was an antichurch/pro-God concept album, which eventually sold over 5 million copies worldwide, yielding FM standards like "Cross-Eyed Mary," "Hymn 43," and "Locomotive Breath." Then Bunker left to form the abortive Jude with ex–Procol Harum Robin Trower, ex–Stone the Crows Jim Dewar, and Frankie Miller. His replacement was Barriemore Barlow, whose superlative technique was put to good use on Thick as a Brick, another concept album in which one song stretched over two sides in a themes-and-variations suite, a vague protest against Life Itself. The album reached #1 in the U.S. and went gold. A Passion Play (#1, 1973) followed the same format but was even more elaborate; critics soundly thrashed Anderson for his indulgence, resulting in his permanent mistrust of the music press and a two-year touring layoff.
However, the heavily orchestrated War Child (#2, 1974) became Tull's next gold LP (the Living in the Past compilation, with a hit in its title tune, had also gone gold) and yielded a #12 hit single in "Bungle in the Jungle."
Minstrel in the Gallery (#7, 1975), Tull's first extended flirtation with Elizabethan folk ideas, went gold, and M.U. —The Best of Jethro Tull (#13, 1976) went platinum. Hammond-Hammond then left, replaced by John Glascock. In the title cut of Too Old to Rock 'n' Roll (#14, 1976), Anderson turned ironic self-deprecation into self-glorification. Songs From the Wood (#8, 1977), with its minor hit single "The Whistler," was Tull's deepest exploration into acoustic folk (Anderson had just produced an LP for Steeleye Span). The band's next two albums continued to merge the rustic with Anderson's tortuously intricate classical/jazz/rockthematics.
During 1978 Glascock's health deteriorated, and he was replaced by Tony Williams. Glascock died in 1979 after undergoing heart surgery, and his replacement was former Fairport Convention member Dave Pegg. Before "A" (#30, 1980), Anderson revamped the band to include ex–Roxy Music Eddie Jobson and Mark Craney. The tour supporting "A" was documented and incorporated into the long-form video Slipstream. Beginning with The Broadsword and the Beast (#19, 1982), Anderson cowrote material with Peter Vettese, who had also worked with him on his solo album, Walk Into Light. The following year's Under Wraps continued to evince the group's new keyboard-dominated sound and, by Tull standards, was a flop, topping at #76.
In 1984 a throat problem forced Anderson to forgo singing for the next three years. By then he had established a profitable business raising salmon in Scotland. The first album he recorded after that involuntary hiatus was Crest of a Knave (#32, 1987), the group's first gold album since Stormwatch and the recipient of the first-ever Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance Grammy. Many observers felt that given the competition (which included Metallica and AC/DC) and the ill-fitting category, this was one of the more ridiculous awards in Grammy history. Jethro Tull hit the road, but Rock Island stalled at #56, and even a return to a more blues-influenced sound could not pull Catfish Rising past #88. Interestingly, in the U.K. that album debuted at #1 on both the heavy-metal and folk/roots charts. A Little Light Music, a live recording of a stripped-down Tull consisting of only Anderson, Barre, Dave Pegg, with Dave Mattacks on drums, went only to #150.
A silver-anniversary world tour ran from early 1993 to mid-1994. Once it ended, Anderson began work on an album for EMI's classical division, and Martin Barre released his first solo album. Although Jethro Tull is not the commercial force it once was (1999's studio offering, J-Tull Dot Com, peaked at only #161), its catalogue still sells phenomenally well, and its best-known songs are staples of AOR and classic-rock radio.
Joseph Fidler Walsh was born on November 20, 1947 in Wichita, Kansas, but in his youth he lived in Columbus, Ohio and then later New York City and Montclair, New Jersey. He attended college at Ohio's Kent State University, where he first joined the group the James Gang in 1968. At that time, the James Gang consisted of Walsh on guitar and vocals, Jim Fox on drums, and Tom Kriss on bass in a power trio form. They released their first album, Yer' Album, in 1969. Afterwards, Kriss left the band and was replaced by Dale Peters, creating the most successful incarnation of the James Gang. Walsh's dynamic and creative playing featuring his famously catchy guitar riffs made the band memorable. Their next two albums, James Gang Rides Again (1970) and Thirds (1971), produced such classics as Funk #49 and Walk Away. While the power trio format worked well for the James Gang, Walsh was beginning to become dissatisfied with its limitations. After the release of James Gang Live in Concert in 1971, Walsh left the band to pursue a solo career.
Not quite ready to leave the band format entirely, however, he called himself and his two core backing band members Kenny Passarelli and Joe Vitale "Barnstorm" and released an album of the same name. Passerelli and Vitale would also be the core backing band members for The Smoker You Drink, the Player You Get (1973). While the albums were categorized by many as solo efforts, the three men functioned as a unit, and even played together on Friends and Legends by Michael Stanley. Even after Barnstorm broke up, Vitale continued to be a collaborator and friend of Walsh. Their most famous collaboration is the magnificent Pretty Maids All in a Row which appeared on the Eagles' Hotel California (1976).
Walsh made a name for himself as a solo artist with the hit Rocky Mountain Way off of The Smoker You Drink, the Player You Get (1973). The song was inspired by Walsh's move to Colorado with his wife Stephanie and small child Emma Kristen. Tragically, Emma was killed in a car accident in 1974 while on her way to nursery school, an event which haunts Walsh to this day. He had a small drinking fountain built in her memory in her favorite park in Boulder, denoted by a simple plaque. His next album, So What (1974), contained a tribute to her entitled Song for Emma. He has said that even the album name was a result of Emma's death - that nothing else seemed meaningful or important in the months that followed. The strain would eventually contribute to Walsh's divorce from his second wife Stephanie (Walsh had already been briefly married in the sixties to a lady named Margie).
Unable to enjoy Colorado anymore, he moved back to L.A. He released a live album called You Can't Argue with a Sick Mind in 1976, but by that time he was tired of working alone and was looking for a band to join. He found it in the Eagles, who had just lost their main guitarist Bernie Leadon to creative differences. Once on board, he helped the Eagles craft their most famous album Hotel California which was released later that year. Adding a more rock-oriented edge to the Eagles in the place of Leadon's more country-flavored style, his contributions to the guitar work of the title track and the famous riffs of Life in the Fast Lane are especially notable.
Walsh's tenure with the Eagles did not preclude him from releasing more work as a solo artist at the same time. The Eagles' slow pace making The Long Run (1979) was convenient in this aspect. He had time to release But Seriously Folks (1978) which produced his famous satire on rock stars, Life's Been Good. He also wrote In the City for the Warriors soundtrack, a song which would later appear on The Long Run.
All was not well within the ranks of the Eagles, however. Walsh's dissatisfaction with the heavy-handedness of Glenn Frey and Don Henley when it came to creative decisions led him to go so far as to discuss forming another band with bassist Randy Meisner and co-lead guitarist Don Felder (his seriousness here is debatable; when Meisner left and tried to pursue the idea, Walsh definitely wanted to stay with the Eagles). Regardless, the discord in the band led to tensions and hostility so pronounced that Henley was to call Walsh an "insidious troublemaker." The amount of alcohol and drugs circulating didn't help much either; Walsh had developed a drinking problem that he wouldn't be able to shake until the nineties, and the amount of money that some of the band members were snorting up their noses would have been enough to buy a small country.
It reached the breaking point when Felder and Frey got into a confrontation at a benefit show in 1980. Frey called it quits and the band broke up. Interestingly enough, Walsh seemed to think they were only on hiatus. He told an interviewer in 1981 that they weren't broken up but were just taking a break for solo careers. He stated that the band would no doubt get together again in a bit to record once more. While his hopes were dashed by the official announcement of the Eagles' breakup in 1982, ironically, he turned out to be right in the long run!
In the eighties, Walsh released the solo albums There Goes the Neighborhood (1981), You Bought It - You Name It (1983), The Confessor (1985), and Got Any Gum (1987).
In 1989, he went on tour as a member of Ringo Starr's All-Starr Band, a collection of former solo musicians that toured together, each one playing a couple songs. These "all-starrs" included musicians like Nils Lofgren and Billy Preston. (He was to tour with the band again in 1992, this time joined by former and future Eagles bandmate Timothy B. Schmit). He also recorded an MTV Unplugged in 1989. Despite these positives, a brief attempt to reunite the Eagles in 1990 failed largely due to Frey's disapproval of the lifestyles of Walsh as well as Henley, and Walsh became discouraged. By 1991, he was even telling interviewers that he didn't care about his albums anymore when "promoting" Ordinary Average Guy (1991). His alcoholism was just as bad as ever, if not worse, and it had gotten to the point where he couldn't even remember the words to his songs half the time in his 1991 concerts opening for the Doobie Brothers. His 1992 album Songs for a Dying Planet quickly slid into obscurity.
In 1993, though, things started looking up. Walsh and Frey mended fences and toured together briefly as the "Party of Two." To this day, the Party of Two occasionally resurfaces for corporate gigs and even a public gig once in a blue moon.
Then, the Travis Tritt video for Take It Easy that same year sparked the famous Hell Freezes Over reunion in 1994. The reunion had a condition that Walsh couldn't ignore: Frey demanded that everyone be sober. Finally, Walsh was able to kick the habit that had plagued him for so many years. (In 2005, Walsh's struggle was the inspiration for his song One Day at a Time, and he has appeared at functions to inspire recovering alchoholics many times. Walsh has speculated that his addiction may have been triggered by "self-medicating" for his ADD). The MTV special, album, and tour were wildly successful, thrusting Walsh into the spotlight once again as he proved to audiences that he had not lost it - that he was in fact better than ever.
Additionally, in 1998, he joined the rest of the Eagles as an inductee into the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame, and in 2001 he received an honorary doctorate from Kent State University.
The Eagles have toured off and on since 1999, releasing a couple greatest hits packages and a live DVD called Farewell 1 (2005). In 2007, they released their long-awaited studio album, Long Road Out of Eden. This album included the Walsh/JD Souther song "Last Good Time in Town," as well as Walsh's cover of the Frankie Miller song "Guilty of the Crime." They toured extensively for this as well.
Despite the busy schedule of the Eagles, Walsh found time for projects of his own. In 2006, his old band the James Gang reunited for a short tour. Walsh also conducted a brief solo tour in the summer of 2007. On a personal note, he married once again; his current wife is Marjorie Bach, sister-in-law to Ringo Starr. With her encouragement, he released his first solo album in twenty years: Analog Man (2012). He engaged in a tour to promote the album, including filming a special CMT Crossroads, in between Eagles tour stops.
If there is one group that embodies progressive rock, it is King Crimson. Led by guitar/Mellotron virtuoso Robert Fripp, during its first five years of existence the band stretched both the language and structure of rock into realms of jazz and classical music, all the while avoiding pop and psychedelic sensibilities. The absence of mainstream compromises and the lack of an overt sense of humor ultimately doomed the group to nothing more than a large cult following, but made their albums among the most enduring and respectable of the prog rock era.
King Crimson originally grew out of the remnants of an unsuccessful trio called Giles, Giles & Fripp. Michael Giles (drums, vocals), Peter Giles (bass, vocals), and Robert Fripp (guitar) had begun working together in late 1967 after playing in a variety of bands: Fripp's resume included tenures with the League of Gentlemen and the Majestic Dance Orchestra, while the Giles brothers had played with Trendsetters, Ltd. After signing to Deram, the trio recorded their debut single, "One in a Million," and began cutting a follow-up album, The Cheerful Insanity of Giles, Giles & Fripp, during the summer of 1968.
Even as the album was in the works, however, the group's lineup was changing: ex-Infinity singers/guitarists Ian McDonald and Peter Sinfield joined late in 1968, and Julie Dyble, who had passed through the first Fairport Convention lineup, signed on briefly as a singer. This lineup recorded demos of "I Talk to the Wind" and "Under the Sky, " but soon dissolved: Peter Giles exited the scene in November of 1968, and Fripp's childhood friend, vocalist/bassist Greg Lake, joined two days later. The new roster of Fripp, Lake, McDonald, and Michael Giles -- with satellite member Sinfield writing their lyrics and later running their light show, among other functions -- officially became King Crimson on January 13, 1969, deriving the name from Sinfield's lyrics for the song "Court of the Crimson King."
In July of 1969, the group debuted in front of 650,000 people at a free concert in London's Hyde Park on a bill with the Rolling Stones; later that month King Crimson ultimately recorded and produced their first album. In the Court of the Crimson King was one of the most challenging albums of the entire fledgling progressive rock movement, but somehow it caught the public's collective ear at the right moment and hit number five in England in November of 1969 -- four months later, the album climbed to number 28 on the American charts. Ironically, at the peak of the LP's success the original band broke up: McDonald and Giles were becoming increasingly unhappy with the music's direction, as well as the strain of touring. By November they decided to leave -- Fripp was so shaken that he even offered to exit if they would stay. The original group played their last show in December 1969; Greg Lake, having joined the group last, was uncomfortable with the idea of staying on with two replacement members, and had also been approached by Keith Emerson of the Nice about the possibility of forming a new group. He soon decided to leave Crimson as well, but agreed to stay long enough to record vocals for the next album.
Whether there would even be a next album was debatable for a time after Fripp was offered the chance to replace Peter Banks in Yes. Finally, a new single ("Catfood") and album (In the Wake of Poseidon) were recorded early in 1970: essentially a Fripp-dominated retake of In the Court of the Crimson King, Lake sang on all but one of the songs, Fripp played the Mellotron as well as all of the guitars, and a new singer, Fripp's boyhood friend Gordon Haskell, debuted on "Cadence and Cascade." Fripp spent the month of August rehearsing a new King Crimson lineup, consisting of himself, Haskell (bass, vocals), saxman/flutist Mel Collins (who had played on Poseidon), and Andy McCullough (drums). This group, augmented by pianist Keith Tippett, guest vocalist Jon Anderson of Yes, and oboist/English horn virtuoso Marc Charig, recorded the next Crimson album, Lizard, in the fall of 1970, but Haskell and McCullough both walked out soon after it was finished; with Fripp busy putting a new band together, Peter Sinfield took over the final production chores.
In December of 1970, Ian Wallace joined on drums, and after auditioning several aspiring singers including Bryan Ferry, Fripp chose Boz Burrell as the group's new vocalist. The latest Crimson lineup of Fripp, Burrell, Collins, and Wallace emerged on-stage in April of 1971, and for the next year, King Crimson was a going concern, playing gigs across the globe. The only casualty during the remainder of the year was Sinfield, who split in December after Fripp asked him to leave. Their new album, Islands, got to number 30 in England, and number 76 in America; the band might've succeeded had it lasted for another album to make its case, but in April of 1972, this latest lineup broke up after Wallace, Collins, and Burrell moved as a trio to join Alexis Korner in a band called Snape. (Burrell later became the bassist with Bad Company.)
It seemed as though King Crimson had finally come to an end. Then, in July of 1972, Fripp put together a new band consisting of ex-Yes drummer Bill Bruford, ex-Family member John Wetton on bass and vocals, David Cross on violin and Mellotron, and Jamie Muir on percussion. Sinfield's successor as lyricist was Richard Palmer-James, who was otherwise invisible in the lineup. This group recorded their debut album, Larks' Tongues in Aspic, and made their debut in Frankfurt in October of 1972. Muir was out of the lineup by early 1973, but as a quartet the band toured England, Europe and America while Larks' Tongues made it all the way to the Top 20 in England. In January of 1974, King Crimson cut a new album, Starless and Bible Black, thus becoming the first lineup to remain intact for more than one American tour and more than one album (discounting the departed Muir).
Alas, by July of 1974 even this long-lasting King Crimson lineup had begun to splinter. This time Cross was the one to exit, following a performance in New York. With King Crimson reduced to a trio of Fripp, Wetton, and Bruford, one more album, Red, was completed that summer with help from Cross and former members Mel Collins and Ian McDonald (who was soon to go on to fame and fortune as the co-founder of the arena rock band Foreigner). Fripp disbanded the group on September 25, 1974, seemingly for the last time. Wetton later passed through the lineup of Uriah Heep before going on to international success as the lead singer of Asia, while Cross later turned up on the Mellotron multi-artist showcase album The Rime of the Ancient Sampler.
In June of 1975, 11 months after their last public concert, a live album called USA was issued, followed four years later by Fripp's first solo album, Exposure. Finally, in April of 1981, Fripp formed a new group called Discipline with Bruford, bassist Tony Levin, and guitarist/singer Adrian Belew. By the time their album was released in October of that year, the group's name had been changed to King Crimson (the album was still titled Discipline, however). This band, with a herky-jerky sound completely different from any of the other lineups to use that name, toured and recorded regularly over the years, which included full-length video productions; they splintered after two more albums, 1982's Beat and 1984's Three of a Perfect Pair.
King Crimson remained silent for about a decade, as compilations and vintage live performances continued to trickle out (including the box sets Frame by Frame, which mostly covered classic studio material, and The Great Deceiver, which featured live performances from 1973-74). Finally, in 1994, Fripp reunited with the Discipline-era lineup, augmenting the group with drummer/percussionist Pat Mastelotto and bassist/guitarist/Chapman Stick player Trey Gunn. The EP VROOOM appeared late that year, setting the stage for a full-fledged comeback with 1995's Thrak. The album earned generally good reviews and re-established Crimson as a viable touring concern, although it took until 2000 for the band to come up with a new studio album (ConstruKction of Light) amidst a continuing stream of archive-clearing collections. In the five years between Thrak and ConstruKction of Light, the members of Crimson often fragmented the band into experimental subgroups dubbed ProjeKcts. The idea was to mix things up a bit and generate fresh musical ideas prior to the forthcoming album; in the meantime, drummer Bill Bruford and bassist Tony Levin left the band. Culled from the supporting European tour, the live box Heavy ConstruKction was released later in 2000. For the band's 30th anniversary, Fripp commissioned the remastering of the first 15 years' catalog, featuring remastered sound and original album art. In 2001 and 2002, the quartet released two EPs leading up to 2003's The Power to Believe and EleKtrik: Live in Japan. At the end of that year, Gunn announced his departure from the band as Tony Levin returned. This new quartet did some rehearsing, but ultimately Crimson was placed on hold for a few more years.
In late 2007, a new lineup was announced with Porcupine Tree drummer Gavin Harrison joining Fripp, Belew, Levin, and Mastelotto. Rehearsals in 2008 led to a handful of shows and a download of a live show, but no other recorded material. The year 2009 saw the bandmembers busy with other projects, putting Crimson on hiatus once again. In 2010, Fripp collaborated with Jakko Jakszyk (who had been working with other former Crimson members as the 21st Century Schizoid Band) for A Scarcity of Miracles, assisted by Levin, Harrison, and Mel Collins. Meanwhile, starting in 2009, 40th Anniversary editions of the King Crimson catalog were issued with new multi-track and Surround Sound mixes by Steven Wilson.
Around this time, Fripp's legal battles on behalf of the band were coming to a head. In 2012, Fripp announced his retirement from music in order to focus on legal and personal matters. However, that retirement was short-lived, as 2013 saw the announcement of a new King Crimson lineup. The lineup from A Scarcity of Miracles was augmented by the returning Pat Mastelotto and drummer Bill Rieflin (who had worked with Fripp in the League of Crafty Guitarists and the Humans), creating a three-drummer front line. Tours of the U.S. and U.K. were accompanied by 2015's Live at the Orpheum.
Oasis were an English rock band formed in Manchester in 1991. Developed from an earlier group, the Rain, the band originally consisted of Liam Gallagher (vocals and tambourine), Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs (guitar), Paul "Guigsy" McGuigan (bass guitar), and Tony McCarroll (drums, percussion). They were later joined by Liam's older brother Noel Gallagher (lead guitar and vocals) as a fifth member, becoming the band's settled line-up until April 1995.
Oasis signed to independent record label Creation Records in 1993 and released their record-setting debut album Definitely Maybe (1994). The following year the band recorded (What's the Story) Morning Glory? (1995) with drummer Alan White, in the midst of a chart rivalry with Britpop peers Blur. Along with Suede, Pulp and Blur, Oasis came to be regarded as a component of the Britpop "big four", and the Gallagher brothers were featured regularly in tabloid newspapers for their sibling disputes and wild lifestyles.
In 1997 Oasis released their third album, Be Here Now (1997), and although it was the fastest-selling album in UK chart history, the album's popularity tapered off quickly, but not before selling 8 million copies. McGuigan and Arthurs left Oasis in 1999 as the band released Standing on the Shoulder of Giants (2000). After their departures, they were replaced by former Heavy Stereo guitarist/frontman Gem Archer and former Ride guitarist/frontman Andy Bell. Their fifth studio album Heathen Chemistry was released in 2002. In 2004 drummer Alan White left the band leaving them as a four-piece with addition of The Who drummer Zak Starkey as recording and touring unofficial fifth member and found renewed success and popularity with Don't Believe the Truth (2005).
Following the recording of the band's seventh album Dig Out Your Soul in May 2008, Starkey departed the band and with Chris Sharrock as touring member, Oasis did their last tour as a collective band. During the tour the brothers' increasingly deteriorating relationship ultimately led to Noel Gallagher announcing in August 2009 that he would be leaving the band after a backstage altercation with Liam before a festival appearance. The band, comprising the remaining members of Oasis and led by Liam Gallagher, decided to continue working together under the name Beady Eye until breaking up in 2014, while Noel went on to form his solo project Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds.
The Moody Blues are an English rock band formed in May 1964 in Birmingham, UK . Among their innovations was the fusing of rock with classical music, most notably in their 1967 album Days of Future Passed. During their career the band has sold more than 70 million albums worldwide and been awarded 14 platinum and gold discs. As of 2012 they remain an active touring band, with Graeme Edge from the original 1964 lineup, and John Lodge and Justin Hayward from the 1966 lineup.
The first gigs by the Moody Blues were sponsored by Birmingham's M&B brewery and, consequently, the band briefly took the name the MB5, changing it soon after to The Moody Blues. The band originally featured Denny Laine as lead singer and Clint Warwick on bass guitar, Ray Thomas on Flute, and Graeme Edge on drums. Mike Pinder was the original keyboardist.Go Now made No. 1 in January 1965. However, their subsequent release failed to match this success and Laine and Warwick left the band.
In late 1966, Laine was replaced on lead guitar and vocals by Swindon-born Justin Hayward and Warwick was replaced on bass guitar and vocals by fellow Brummie, John Lodge. Both assumed the roles of main songwriters for the band and it was then that they were transformed from a mainly covers band to a unique combination of classical, symphonic, progressive and psychedelic rock.
Whilst the debut album by the new line-up, 'Days of Future Passed', featured a full orchestra conducted by Peter Knight, subsequent recordings were performed entirely by band members on a wide variety of instruments - including the distinctive sounds of Mike Pinder on the mellotron. Their record company was furious with them for "wasting" the money they gave them, having wanted a completely different sound. However since the money was spent, the record company had little choice but to release the record anyway. 'Days of Future Passed' spawned the singles 'Nights in White Satin' and 'Tuesday Afternoon'.
Between 1967 and 1972, the band released seven multi-million selling studio albums and performed worldwide sell-out tours. After a hiatus of five years, during which most of the members released solo and duo projects (most notably the album 'Blue Jays' and the single 'Blue Guitar' by Justin Hayward and John Lodge in 1975; the album 'Songwriter' and the single 'One Lonely Room' by Justin Hayward in 1977; the album 'Natural Avenue' by John Lodge in 1977; and Justin Hayward's collaboration with Jeff Wayne on the 1978 concept album 'The War of the Worlds' and the singles taken from it, 'Forever Autumn' and 'The Eve of the War'), the band reformed and released the album 'Octave' and the singles 'Stepping in a Slide Zone' and 'Driftwood'. Keyboard player, Mike Pinder, left the band soon after recording of 'Octave' was complete and was replaced by Patrick Moraz, formerly of Yes. The band embarked on a world "comeback" tour that took the best part of a year, culminating in a show at Wembley in November 1979.
Their 1981 album, 'Long Distance Voyager' (the first with Patrick Moraz on keyboards), saw them back at the No. 1 spot. The videos accompanying their 1986 releases 'Your Wildest Dreams' and 'The Other Side of Life' (from the album 'The Other Side of Life') and 1988's 'I Know You're Out There Somewhere' (from the album 'Sur la Mer') introduced the band to a new generation and ensured that their popularity endured beyond their legions of loyal fans from their early days.
Following the departure of Moraz in 1990 and vocalist/flutist Ray Thomas in 2002, the remaining members of the second incarnation - Justin Hayward, John Lodge and Graeme Edge - have continued to tour and record with regular named keyboard players, including Bias Boshell and Paul Bliss, and recent flute accompaniment in the form of the established Norda Mullen.
In April 2006, Justin Hayward took part in the UK live tour of "Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of HG Well's 'The War of the Worlds'", reprising his role as the sung thoughts of the journalist and performing his hits, 'Forever Autumn' and 'The Eve of the War'. The show met with outstanding reviews from audiences and critics alike, and an international tour of the show took place in July 2007.
Steeleye Span formed in 1969 from members of Fairport Convention and out of the ashes of Sweeney's Men creating a distinctive fusion of both British folk with electric rock music. The resulting first version of the band was formed by ex-Fairport bassist Ashley Hutchings and built around two pairs of vocalists, Tim Hart and Maddy Prior and Gay & Terry Woods. Rhythm was to be supplied largely by Hutchings' bass, and without drums.
Tensions between the band grew during the production in 1970 of their first album, Hark! The Village Wait to the point where they never again worked together after its completion, but the music itself shows no signs of these difficulties. While having a rock sensibility there is a greater sense of the authentic folk tradition than even in the best of Fairport, and a particular beauty arising from the two pairs of voices. The Woods being replaced by admired folk stalwart Martin Carthy, with violinist Peter Knight to widen the musical textures, the group late in 1970 recorded their most admired record Please to see the King. Ten Man Mop followed in 1971, more accomplished but generally felt to be less exciting. The expensive gatefold sleeve swallowed the band's royalties, and was referred to as a tombstone, since Hutchings and Carthy then left, to pursue Hutchings' new vision of a specifically English strand of folk rock with The Albion Band, and Steeleye Mk 2 folded.
However the inclusion of the less celebrated and more rock orientated replacements Rick Kemp and Bob Johnson led to the most commercially successful phase in the band's existence, vocalist Maddy Prior becoming the primary focus of the band, and a run of well received albums, from Below the Salt and Now we Are Six, their first with drummer Nigel Pegrum, to their eighth, and most commercially successful, All Around my Hat, in 1975.
Still active, they have a claim to be one of the longest-lived and perhaps the most commercially successful of all the folk rock bands of the era, thanks to their hit singles Gaudete and All Around My Hat, 3 top 40 albums and even a certified "gold" record with All Around My Hat.
Thin Lizzy are a rock band formed in Dublin, Ireland in 1969. Two of the founding members, drummer Brian Downey and bass guitarist and lead vocalist Phil Lynott, met while still in school. Lynott led the group throughout their recording career of twelve studio albums, writing most of the material.
Thin Lizzy's most successful songs, "Whiskey in the Jar" (a traditional Irish ballad), "Jailbreak" and "The Boys Are Back in Town", were all major international hits. After Lynott's death in 1986, various incarnations of the band emerged over the years based initially around guitarists Scott Gorham and John Sykes, though Sykes left the band in 2009. Gorham later continued with a new line-up including Downey.
Lynott, Thin Lizzy's de facto leader, was composer or co-composer of almost all of the band's songs, and the first black Irishman to achieve commercial success in the field of rock music. Thin Lizzy boasted some of the most critically acclaimed guitarists throughout their history, with Downey and Lynott as the rhythm section, on the drums and bass guitar. As well as being multiracial, the band drew their members not only from both sides of the Irish border but also from both the Catholic and Protestant communities during The Troubles.
Their music reflects a wide range of influences, including blues, soul music, psychedelic rock, and traditional Irish folk music, but is generally classified as hard rock or sometimes heavy metal. Rolling Stone magazine describes the band as distinctly hard rock, "far apart from the braying mid-70s metal pack".
Wishbone Ash are a British rock band who achieved success in the early and mid-1970s. Their popular albums included Wishbone Ash (1970), Pilgrimage (1971), Argus (1972), There's the Rub (1974), and New England (1976). Wishbone Ash are noted for their extensive use of the harmony twin lead guitar format which had been attracting electric blues bands since Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page had played together in the Yardbirds in 1966. (BR>
Their contributions helped Andy Powell and Ted Turner to be voted "Two of the Ten Most Important Guitarists in Rock History" (Traffic magazine 1989), and to appear in the "Top 20 Guitarists of All Time" (Rolling Stone). Melody Maker (1972) described Powell and Turner as "the most interesting two guitar team since the days when Beck and Page graced The Yardbirds". They have been cited as an influence by Iron Maiden founder and bassist Steve Harris, as well as Thin Lizzy and other dual guitar bands. (BR>
Formed in Torquay, Devon, in 1969, out of the ashes of trio The Empty Vessels (originally known as The Torinoes, later briefly being renamed Tanglewood in 1969), which had been formed by Wishbone Ash's founding member Martin Turner (bass & vocals) in 1963 and complemented by Steve Upton (drums and percussion) in 1966. (BR>
The original Wishbone Ash line-up was completed by guitarists/vocalists Andy Powell and Ted Turner. In 1974, Ted Turner left the band, and was replaced by Laurie Wisefield. The band continued on with strong critical and commercial success until 1980.
The Killers are an American rock band formed in Las Vegas, Nevada, in 2001 by members Brandon Flowers (lead vocals, keyboards) and Dave Keuning (guitar, backing vocals). Mark Stoermer (bass, backing vocals) and Ronnie Vannucci, Jr. (drums, percussion) would complete the current line-up of the band in 2002. The band's name is derived from a logo on the bass drum of a fictitious band, portrayed in the music video for the New Order song "Crystal".
The band has released four chart topping studio albums: Hot Fuss (2004), Sam's Town (2006), Day & Age (2008) and Battle Born (2012). They have also released a B-sides and rarities compilation, Sawdust (2007); a live album, Live from the Royal Albert Hall (2009); a greatest hits album Direct Hits (2013); and a Christmas compilation Don't Waste Your Wishes (2016).
The Killers are seen as one of the biggest rock bands of the 21st century, and the most successful rock band to ever emerge from the state of Nevada, having sold an estimated 22 million records worldwide. They have also achieved worldwide success as a live band, performing in over 50 countries and on six continents, headlining venues such as Madison Square Garden and Wembley Stadium.
Formed in Oxford, England, by longtime friends Yannis Philippakis (guitar) and Jack Bevan (drums), along with Andrew Mears on vocals, guitarist Jimmy Smith, and bassist Walter Gervers, Foals -- whose name is a play on the etymology of Philippakis' name -- began as a way to protest against the proggier sounds that were both popular in Oxford and in Philippakis and Bevan's former band, the Edmund Fitzgerald.
After releasing the single "Try This on Your Piano" in 2006, Mears left Foals in order to more fully concentrate on his other group, Youthmovies (formerly Youthmovie Soundtrack Strategies), and Philippakis -- who had lived until he was seven in a tiny Grecian village -- added the role of lead vocals to his guitar-playing duties. Edwin Congreave, a fellow Oxford student the frontman had met when they were both working at the same bar, and who introduced the group to techno, soon joined in on keyboards, despite the fact he had never played the instrument before -- nor ever been in a band -- and the full lineup of Foals was completed.
It was nearly twenty years ago that those dashing, dangerous Swedes The Hives unleashed their debut album, ‘Barely Legal,’ and set the music world on its head. In the two decades since, the unlikely black-and-white rock-and-roll heroes have filled the mantels of Hive Manor with countless awards, sold millions of records, and blown even more minds with a superhuman live show that shakes the halls of Heaven and rattles the bowels of Hell.
With its singular blend of punk snarl, brash bravado, and absurd humor, ‘Barely Legal‘ served as the perfect introduction to the intoxicating rush of blood to the head that is The Hives (Almqvist on vocals, Nicholaus Arson and Vigilante Carlstroem on guitars, Dr. Matt Destruction on bass, and Chris Dangerous on drums). But it wasn’t until they released their masterful 2000 follow-up, ‘Veni Vidi Vicious,’ that the band truly exploded around the world.
On the strength of hits like “Hate To Say I Told You Say” and “Main Offender,” the album went Gold in Sweden and catapulted The Hives to the forefront of the international garage rock revival alongside peers like The Strokes and The White Stripes.
Rolling Stone would go on to name ‘Veni Vidi Vicious‘ one of the Top 100 Albums of the Decade, and its UK companion (a compilation album featuring tracks from their early EPs and first two LPs entitled ‘Your New Favourite Band‘) cracked the Top 10 and ultimately went Platinum.
They made the rounds on late night TV in the US and Europe and laid waste to festivals on both continents, cementing their status as the greatest live band in the world and leaving behind a sea of lesser rock and roll mortals and exhausted fans in their wake.
It’s work that Almqvist and the band were born to do, holding their own on stages with the likes of the Rolling Stones and The Sonics, leveling stadiums and amphitheatres around the world with just few chords and a swinging mic. The Telegraph has said, “Nobody can rival the Hives‘ frontman for sheer charisma,” while SPIN called him “one of the greatest frontmen in rock,” and the BBC dubbed the band “a force of nature.”
The Hollywood Reporter similarly gushed that Almqvist “commands—no, demands—full attention from his audience,” and The National Post raved that “Almqvist’s onstage persona is nothing short of a firecracker,” adding that “his fellow Hives are no exception — each one seems to have been born a stage performer and became rock stars as an afterthought.”
The pressure was on after the band’s breakout success, though, and The Hives took their time before resurfacing with 2004’s ‘Tyrannosaurus Hives,’ which replaced the raw, ragged looseness of ‘Veni Vidi Vicious‘ with a militaristic precision. It earned them their first Gold album in the US, five Swedish Grammis, and more rave reviews everywhere from Rolling Stone to Mojo.
Rather than throw in the towel after three albums, though, they took a left turn on 2007’s ‘The Black And White Album,’ recording outside of Sweden with new producers for the first time, including Pharrell Williams and Dennis Herring (Elvis Costello, Modest Mouse). Lead single “Tick Tick Boom” was an instant smash, cracking the Top 40 in the US and appearing in slew of films, trailers, television shows, video games, and sporting events. They toured even more mercilessly than ever before, conquering new lands like South America along the way and asserting in no uncertain terms that The Hives intended to make not just three, not just four, but more consecutive great records than any band to come before them.
Five years later, they delivered with ‘Lex Hives,’ their first self-produced album and first release on their own new Disques Hives imprint. The NME called it “amazing,” Q praised that it “fizzes with the energy of a debut album,” and The Independent hailed it as “high energy, hugely energetic guitar rock.” The ‘Lex Hives’ tour whipped fans into a frenzy, as the band tested the limits of time and space with a relentless schedule that brought their dynamite-loaded freight train of a live show barreling into cities old and new around the world.
They headed down under next to tour Australia at the request of AC/DC (The Huffington Post described the invite from the rock legends as a “bold move,” considering that The Hives are “a band who could potentially blow them off the stage without much effort“). The shows were a 180 from their US arena tour with Pink, where Rolling Stone caught them “mixing explosive anthems from the last dozen years with high-strung tunes from their new album” and “confronting the headliner’s pop music fans with a euphoric blast of garage rock and supreme overconfidence.” Or in other words, just being The Hives.
But what’s next for the boys in black-and-white? What mountains remain to be climbed, what lands are yet to be conquered? Will we ever hear from them again? Maybe. For The Hives, it’s all or nothing, perfection or silence, make their greatest album yet or die trying.
Japandroids are an indie garage rock duo from Vancouver comprised of Brian King (guitar) and David Prowse (drums), who share singing duties. Founded in 2006, the band self-released a pair of five-track EPs, All Lies (2007) and Lullaby Death Jams (2008), before making its full-length album debut with Post-Nothing (2009) on the Canadian label Unfamiliar Records.
Though Japandroids were more or less unknown at the time of their album debut, Post-Nothing got a big boost from the taste-making website Pitchfork, which championed the album as one of its "Best New Music" selections. In 2010, Polyvinyl released a compilation that lumped together All Lies and Lullaby Death Jams, titled No Singles. This singles-mindedness continued in 2011 as the band released a series of 7"s in five installments. They also debuted new material during a late summer tour, and upon returning to the studio, aimed for songs that stadium crowds would feel. The results, aptly titled Celebration Rock, followed in June 2012.
Celebration Rock turned into Japandroids' breakthrough album, popping up in the Top 10 of many 2012 year-end lists. The group supported the record with an extensive tour that wrapped up in early 2013, after which the pair entered a three-year hibernation. Late in the summer of 2016, the duo divulged plans that they'd be playing live dates at the end of the year and in October, they announced the January 2017 release of their third album, Near to the Wild Heart of Life.
Kasabian took the British press by storm in the early 2000s by mixing traces of the Stone Roses, Happy Mondays, and Primal Scream with Oasis-sized confidence and DJ Shadow-influenced electronics. Named after Linda Kasabian, Charles Manson's getaway driver turned state witness, the Leicester-based group also stole a page from the Band by moving into a remote farmhouse to brew its music. Communal life and a slew of shared influences produced an electronic, rock-oriented sound that harked back to the Madchester days of baggy pants and druggy dancing. Kasabian expanded that sound on later albums, but the band's foundation remained rooted in swaggering, fragmented dance textures and boisterous rock & roll.
With his acerbic approach to interviews, swaggering lead singer Tom Meighan quickly became a darling of the press during the band's infancy, and Kasabian's revolutionary logos and sleeve art only added to the excitement. Foldout poster sleeves, 10" versions, and hand-stenciled covers accompanied singles like "Club Foot," "L.S.F," and "Processed Beats." The hype paid off as Kasabian's self-titled debut cracked the Top Five in October 2004, just one month after its U.K. release. Four singles landed in the Top 20 within six months, establishing the bandmates as rock & roll royalty in the process.
Founding guitarist Chris Karloff left the lineup two years later, citing creative differences with the remaining members. Kasabian's second album, Empire, had already been recorded, and guitarist Jay Mehler was brought aboard to replace Karloff during live performances. (Mehler eventually became an official member in 2008.) Empire was ultimately released in August 2006 and debuted atop the U.K. charts, with the title track soon becoming the band's third Top Ten hit. The band took home an NME Award in 2007 and began work on another album later that year.
Dan the Automator was brought in to share production duties with Sergio Pizzorno, and the resulting U.K. chart-topper West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum appeared in 2009. Automator would return for the 2011 album Velociraptor!, featuring the leadoff single "Switchblade Smiles." In 2013, Mehler left the group and joined former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher in his group Beady Eye, but the band carried on as a four-piece and recorded a new album with Pizzorno in the producer's chair. Named after the album's total running time, 48:13 arrived in 2014, featuring the lead single "Eez-eh."
Brian Grilli and his successful debut effort “Damn Good Day” got the Independent music world and the National music scene to take notice. The title track and first single climbed fast on the charts reaching #1 on Indieworld. Brian has written songs for "Sons of Anarchy" and the Award Winning Independent Documentary "Until It Hurts". An accomplished musician and songwriter he has garnered the attention of many prominent players and was invited to play Muriel Anderson’s All Star Guitar Night at Summer NAMM ’14 w/ Brent Mason, Anders Osborne, John Corabi among others. He appeared in September 2014 issue of Guitar Player Magazine.
He released the single "My Hometown" along with accompanying video in 2016. "My Hometown" was co-written with Mitch Malloy and is a testament to his hometown of Lansing, IL. The single sparked interest from many industry professionals as well as received prominent radio play. His prolific songwriting, aggressive yet melodic guitar playing and unique voice took him to the next level.
Signed to Spectra Records in 2016, Brian's self titled second effort is to be released in 2017. Produced and Recorded by Andy Andersson (Fuel) at the legendary Sound Kitchen Studio in Nashville, TN. with a plethora of prominent musicians playing on the tracks. Dan Baird (The Georgia Satellites) is featured on two of the tracks. The album has Brian's most mature and personal songs to date.
Brian has had the opportunity to perform across the US, from Virginia Beach to Los Angeles. Brian has shared bigger stages with country stars Blackberry Smoke, Brantley Gilbert, Florida Georgia Line, Eli Young Band, Thomas Rhett, Tyler Farr and Stoney LaRue as well as rockers Cheap Trick, Styx, .38 Special and Lucero.
A former United States Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician and an Operation Enduring/Iraqi Freedom Combat Veteran, Brian has made his music a means for him to give back to his community. He is an Ambassador for the Boot Campaign and an avid supporter of Combat Wounded Coalition, Wounded EOD Warrior and Navy SEAL Foundation. He sang the National Anthem for over 10,000 people at the 75th Annual Sturgis Rally for the Buffalo Chip's Freedom Day. He is a proud voting member of the Country Music Association and the Americana Music Association.
Brian will be on the road in support of the new album and is well on the way to becoming a household
Indie rock band Circa Waves was formed in Liverpool in May 2013 by guitarist and singer Keiran Shuddall, who had decided to "knuckle down" and commit fully to music after spending years in a succession of no-hope garage bands. After writing a batch of songs and putting some demos online, he recruited second guitarist Joe Falconer, bassist Sam Rourke, and drummer Sian Plummer (male, despite his name), and the band undertook a few short tours of the U.K. and Europe. br>
Their melodic, propulsive rock sound, heavily inspired by the Strokes and also often compared to the Vaccines, was well-received by audiences, and such a buzz built around them that they were soon offered a deal with Transgressive Records, erstwhile home of Foals, the Subways, and Mystery Jets. br>
Their debut single, the double-A-side "Get Away"/"Good for Me," was released in December 2013 and was almost immediately hailed the "Hottest Record in the World" by taste-making BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe. In 2015, Circa Waves released their debut full-length album, Young Chasers, on Virgin/EMI. br>
The reception they received for their debut instilled the band with a greater sense of confidence, as a result they returned to the studio almost immediately after touring; with their renewed vigor they created a heavier, beefier sophomore record, 2017's Different Creatures.
CLUSTERSUN teamed up in Catania, Italy, at the beginning of 2013 for delivering shoegazey reverberations, massive walls of sound, psychedelic soundscapes and crystal clear dreamy melodies.
Their first selfproduced single "Be Vegetal" was noticed by Dave Allison of US indie label Custom Made Music, and then featured in the CMM Summer Sampler, a compilation published in 1.000 copies and broadcasted in heavy rotation through college radios.
On 24th April 2014 CLUSTERSUN released their first album "Out Of Your Ego", via italian indie label Seahorse Recordings (with international distribution by Audioglobe/The Orchard). The LP, featuring an artwork by NYC fine art photograper Brooke DiDonato, was quickly and higly praised by italian and international press, on the wave of the single "Hipgnosis" (premiered on US musical Ghettoblaster Magazine’s website): after a few months from the release the band was yet on the spotlight in the international shoehgaze scene.
"Hipgnosis" was infact featured in REVOLUTION – The Shoegaze Revival", massive international compilation out on February 11th 2015 via Raphalite Records (UK/Canada) and Gerpfast Kolektif (Indonesia), and endorsed by Joe Foster (co-founder of Creation Records and producer of My Bloody Valentine, Primal Scream, The Jesus And Mary Chain).
CLUSTERSUN supported "Out Of Your Ego" with a tour that brought the band in the US, on April and May 2015, with gigs in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and other cities of the East Coast.
Another song from "Out Of Your Ego", "Floating", was featured in the international compilation "Rock Back For Nepal Vol. I", out on 9th June 2015 via Philadelphia based label Patetico Recordings, to raise money for Nepal Relief Fund. A live version of another song taken from the debut LP, "Planar", appeared on the first compilation by italian webmagazine Shoegazin’ Your Waves, out on free digital download on 15th March 2015.
On 31st 2015 CLUSTERSUN were awarded by Globus Magazine & Radio with the GLOBUS Prize, as sicilian artistic excellence.
CLUSTERSUN also contributed to "Gods Will Be Gods" and "Just For A Life", international tribute compilations to Echo & The Bunnymen (out on 4th January 2016) and Slowdive (out on 14th February 2017) by The Blog That Celebrates Itself, with their renditions of "Think I Need It Too" and "Morningrise", respectively.
CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX have confounded critics trying to pin their style down ever since multi-instrumentalist Justin Greaves recorded his first ideas in 2004 – which earned them tagging attempts ranging from “stoner prog” to “freak folk” to “psychedelic doom”.
Despite the wide range of musical leanings within their albums, there is a unifying dark streak and somber melancholy running through the songs.
Founder Justin Greaves had already made a name for himself as drummer for IRON MONKEY and ELECTRIC WIZARD among others.
When the multi-instrumentalist finally decided to stand on his own musical feet, CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX were born as a project. This involves a changing cast of musicians and live set-ups, which mirror the ever ongoing evolution of the band and the fact that the songs were mostly not composed with their live performance in mind.
Between 2007 and 2016 a string of six critically highly acclaimed studio albums have been released from ‘A Love of Shared Disasters’ (2007), via ‘The Resurrectionists’ (2009, ‘Night Raider’ (2009), ‘(Mankind) The Crafty Ape’ (2012), ‘White Light Generator’ (2014). This was complemented by EPs ‘I, Vigilante’ (2010), ‘No Sadness or Farewell’ (2012), and ‘Oh’ Ech-oes’ (2015), the live recording ‘Live Poznan’ (2013), and the ‘200 Tons of Bad Luck’ compilation (2009).
When I was a little kid… I found my passion to art.
Started at the age of 7, I began painting which is one of my favorite ways to express my feelings. With colors! That later on led me to get the Master of Arts degree in Illustration in my late 20s.
Also, when I was a teenager I joined the Cinema school and received a diploma in acting. Did a lot of short movies, been in Theaters as actor, did several shows as anchor and showman on Iran National TV etc. That made me know the rhythm, framing and storytelling!
In MUSIC, all of these experiences joined together to make something different… I started music with one of my friends who later on immigrated to another country, and due to my situation I kept moving forward without a teacher at the time… Since I had no band, I tried to mimic all the instruments on mine, BASS! I made thousands of pieces and melodies on bass. Few years later I enjoyed getting lessons from Stefan Hergenröder in several sections including instrumental training, studio performance and band performance studies.
Till that day, there was no bass solo album in Iran (I mean just Bass as the melodic instrument). So I took the shot! And started recording “4Sim” (Sim in Persian means string) as the composer and bass player. It turned out to be a great success.
I’ve been with several bands in recording sections, live performances during these years. Also, had the chance to be teaching my fella musicians in music schools and workshops.
You will touch the people when you have faith in your hands and heart.
So, respect your imagination!
The Elektroboys are presumably Germany's best-dressed punk rock band. Members Leo Dülfer (guitar and vocals), Paulo de Janeiro (drums and vocals) and Ralf Dülfer (bass and vocals) write and play songs about sending SMS messages to god, sharing private information in the hairdresser's shop, or their mothers who were men and their fathers who were punks. Their live performances always have extraordinary entertainment value. The Elektroboys have released four albums so far on their record label Elektroboys Tonträger.
Eugênio Santos has been a professional musician for 20 years, graduated in Music Education with professional experience in several states of Brazil, mainly in Goiás, Tocantins, Minas Gerais and São Paulo-SP. Jazz / Fusion is one of its main styles, mixed with elements of Rock and Blues.
He studied with great names of the music: Kiko Loureiro, Joe Moghrabi, Mozart Mello, Toninho Horta, among others. He shared the stage with Edu Ardanuy, Marcinho Eiras, Faíska. He studies periodically with Matt Warnock (Canadian) Doctor of Jazz at the University of Western Illinois.
His influences are: Faíska, Edu Ardanuy, Steve Morse, Slash, Frank Gambale, Pat Metheny, Mike Stern, Lee Ritenour, Birele Lagrene, Jonh Scofield, Romero Lubambo and Julio Fernandes (Spyro Gyra).
He played in major events such as the International Music Fair - Expomusic - Pitangui Jazz Festival and the Mineira Music Festival in Diamantina. He participated in several competitions: Santo ngelo Cultural Contest of Gospel Instrumental Music, CULTURAL CONTEST SA CURING HIS IMPROVISO, String Theory Competition That has like works the training of musicians and preparation for the job market.
Today, Eugênio Santos conducts Workshops, Workshops, Master Class and Harmony Seminars. Guitar performances in schools, musical instruments stores, theaters, public squares and TV programs. Owner of the Office of Musical Advice located in Divinópolis. That has like works the training of musicians and preparation for the job market.
Born on September 30, 1979 in St Germain en Laye, Gérald took control of the records of his father, who has a very rocky influence like Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, ac / dc, Carlos Santana.
Rocked in rock music, he followed the trend by listening to new hard rock bands such as Guns n 'Roses, Nirvana, Aerosmith, Red Hot Chili Peppers, following the evolution of styles, he joined the movement " Trash "of the years 1996, it took many groups like Machine Head, Obituary, Sepulura, Nail bomb, etc.
Following the invitation to a friend of his parents, he introduced as a young guitarist, this friend being a musician, made him know artists like Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, and many others .., Which caused him a trauma musical. At fourteen he took his first guitar lesson and made his first concert as a rhythm guitarist at the age of 15 in the group of the Amboise MJC. The second group made up of four different musicians allowed him to learn the drums and the bass. He made his first recording with Mandragore in 1996.
From 1996 to 2007, he plays in many bands such as "Mandragore, Carefree, Black Pearl", a cd or a model will be made in each of these groups but none of them will be marketed because at the time it was not Not necessarily the ambition of the groups, it nevertheless made many concert. He gave a few guitar lessons, made a therapeutic music workshop in a specialized center at the Audronnière for young people in difficulty. During all these years he listened to a lot of musical style, artists such as Marcus Miller, Franck Zappa, Alain Carron, Django Reinhardt, Patrick Rondat, Dream Theater But also some more commercial groups like David Lee Roth, Toto, Genesis ...
The desire to compose and to realize and to autoproduce his own album took shape in 2008, the end of the group Black Pearl made it think much, the work of composition in a group relies much on the compromise, and is not necessarily Good for creativity, it is also necessary to be all there at the right time, and it is not necessarily simple with different schedules, conversely composing solo requires no compromise.
Following the successes met on his site and on that of myspace, he decided to make an album of 10 titles, and to autoproduce it. Already more than 15 radios in the world, broadcast these 5 titles, Co de Kloet even offers a broadcast on NPS.
2011 The Abum Happiness finally comes out late, and tour with Patrick Rondat and Pascal Vigné ...
To be continued …
Giampaolo Noto is an Italian guitarist and composer.
He started playing at age of 10, studying blues and improvisation. From the beginning he was very influenced by sound experimentation and by the British sound of the '60s and' 70s. He was deeply influenced by the sound of a specific band: the Pink Floyd.
Those sounds and atmospheres pushing him to a thorough study to try to understand the secrets. Giampaolo has thus become one of the leading experts of the legendary sound of Pink Floyd and David Gilmour.
He plays with several bands and has released several original tracks. He works as a session guitarist at some recording studios in Italy, teaches at several music schools and does guitar clinics. He published for the italian guitar magazine “CHITARRE”.
Currently he's working on his new album.
Along with HIWATT, Giampaolo is endorser of EMINENCE Speaker, Gurus, Romano Burini, Essetipicks.
Grains are a 4 piece punk-metal band made up of Sam Beardsley (Vocals) Daniel Barnes (Guitar) Rob Tinsley (Bass) and Cameron Farrell (Drums)
We're 4 mates from Doncaster, South Yorkshire formed in 2013 out of a couple of local bands that had recently split up. We started writing music and playing shows together straight away, quickly making a name for ourselves in our hometown.
We've been lucky enough to share the stage with bands such as '68, Capsize, While She Sleeps, Feed the Rhino, Trash Talk, Continents, Code Orange Kids, Twitching Tongues and more. We've currently got 4 tracks out (Capgras, Cotard, Chinese Laundry and Green Eye) and are planning on going into the studio to record our first e.p very soon.
Headless is an Italian hard rock band, founded in 1996 in Avezzano by Walter Cianciusi. Their music is characterized by the fusion of AOR and progressive metal. After having released an E.P. and a full-length album in 2000 the band suspended any recording or live activity.
The turn of the events arrives in 2011 with a new line-up including Göran Edman (former Yngwie Malmsteen band) and Scott Rockenfield (Queensrÿche).After releasing the Growing Apart album in 2013 Headless toured Europe extensively opening for big acts like Fates Warning, Skid Row, Queensrÿche and Candlemass. The successful tour ensured a contract with the Danish label Mighty Music. A new album entitled Melt The Ice Away arrived in 2016, followed by a European tour with Angra, Bonfire (band) and Tygers of Pan Tang. br>
www.headlessofficial.com www.facebook.com/headless.italy www.twitter.com/headless_metal www.instagram.com/headless_band_official
On a school day afternoon at the age 11, Jason Harmon sits cross-legged in the afternoon stillness of a small bedroom with his starter guitar. The pentatonic patterns which he is supposed to learn for this weeks guitar lesson, lie discarded on the floor. Instead, Jason is bent in concentration over that holiest of holy grails for an aspiring guitarist: Sheet music for Stairway to Heaven. That other stale tablature never inspired anyone to play, but Page's iconic solo, with its searing emotional intensity, sure has. From music like this, all the hammer-ons, pull-offs, and soulful bends will follow. And that elusive commodity that doesn't show up on the printed page, taste.
With the lessons of years under his fingers, Jason Harmon now plays in a hot group that tours the circuit. This great showcase for playing that sits solid in the pocket, with a wicked groove: another intangible of Jason's craft, in high demand but in short supply. It's yet one more diamond-facet of Jason's playing. Before this group, he played locally and regionally with the best talent in and around Birmingham, playing rock covers and more recently today's hottest hits. This has given Jason the chance to shine on lead as well as rhythm in many diverse line-ups.
Night after night, serving up signature solos with the power of rock. Playing around town in duos and full line-ups, as well as outside his home turf. Some of Jason's live performances have been truly showcased at countless events and venues such as The Hard Rock Cafe in Atlanta, as well as major music festivals across Alabama and the rest of the southeast of America. Jason has also played other charitable events and one off concerts.
Jason has consistently navigated between cover and original music; he has played grooves in the pocket and he has played solos with blazing abandon. His musical resume is that of a guitarist who is prepared to tackle any challenge whatsoever. Jason Harmon has been endorsed by some of the industry leading companies such as Hiwatt Amplification and Steve Clayton USA. More recently Jason has yielded to the calling of a charitable cause for others in writing, recording, mixing, engineering, and producing new music to benefit those in need. Jason Harmon has never quit.
Lucas Pino Arriagada (Santigo, Chile. February 2nd 1989) is a Chilean singer, songwriter, guitarist and founder of the Chilean rock band “Nebular” formed in Santiago 2011. Is often recognized for his stage perfomance and refined technique with the guitar.
Lucas also stands as guitar player at “De Saloon”, band created at Concepción and with more than 15 years of trajectory and 6 successful albums. He has also been invited by different artist and groups of great media success as “Supernova”, revelation pop band in 2000, nominated to the Latin Grammy, and “Kudai” nominated to “Best Band” on MTV Latino.
He currently plays in all the bands mentioned ans he is also a musical producer of groups thet begin their artistic journey in Chile.
Luna Kiss are a four piece alternative rock band from the UK, armed with a gripping combination of technical ability and dramatic flair.
Described by Prog Magazine as "building a sound as reminiscent of Pink Floyd as it is Florence & The Machine", Luna Kiss combine mainstream hooks with progressive technicality, disregarding all musical boundaries.
Influences such as Manchester Orchestra, Oceansize, Queens of the Stone Age, Massive Attack, Jeff Buckley, Radiohead and Muse are exactly that - Luna Kiss write and perform their own music, according to their own rules.
Cleopatra Records recording artists LUNDEN REIGN is a partnership of Nikki Lunden (lead vocals, guitar) and Laura Espinoza-Lunden (guitar, keyboards). Produced by Luis Maldonado (lead guitarist for Train) and co-writer, their first album “AMERICAN STRANGER” received critical acclaim and made multiple music magazine’s “TOP 10-BEST OF” Lists.
Formed in 2013 in Hollywood, CA, LUNDEN REIGN is quickly turning heads with their impressive high energy live performance, compelling and though-provoking lyrics and original music being described as “DRIVING, UPBEAT, EDGY with HAUNTING MELODIES and MASSIVE GUITAR RIFFS.”
Some describe Lunden Reign’s sound as “BIG BEAT ALT ROCK.” One UK reviewer (after seeing their show in London) called Lunden Reign: “The new sound of LA.”
Already some of rock’s legends have joined Lunden Reign on stage including: TERRI NUNN (Berlin), PRESCOTT NILES (The Knack) and DALE BOZZIO (Missing Persons).
Lunden Reign is proud to endorse and use HIWATT AMPS.
ALESSANDRO DI MAURO
Born in Siracusa (Italy) on December 30th 1982, Alessandro Di Mauro starts to play guitar at the age of 16 taking inspiration from many guitarists, especially Mark Knopfler and David Gilmour. At the age of 17, he plays with several bands around Sicily, making his experiences and composing and playing live different kinds of music.
In 2010 he's the forming member of Pink's One, one of the most important Pink Floyd tribute bands in Italy, and even the guitarist, singer and leader. With Pink's One, he used to play with a Hiwatt Custom 100 David Gilmour signature linked to Hiwatt cabinet M412 and Fane speaker since 2010. Sometimes he used to link the DG custom 100 with a 2x12 Hiwatt cabinet too. With the band, he also performed in tv and radio shows, producing three live dvds of his concerts in the most important venues of Sicily and Italy.
In August 2014, during the band's summer tour, he works with Margret "Machan" Taylor, Pink Floyd's backing singer during the A Momentary Lapse of Reason World Tour (1987-1988). Finally, in 2016 he performs with his band the song Echoes at the Ancient Theatre of Siracusa as a tribute to the historical Pink Floyd's documentary concert in Pompei (1971).
Born in Augusta (Italy) on November 15th 1990, his first approach to music starts at the age of 11, when he learns to play piano. By the way, his first love is the guitar (especially a Fender Stratocaster) which he starts to play in 2005 studying with some masters of his area and taking inspiration from Queen, Pink Floyd and many others famous rock bands. He is also an appreciated multi-instrumentalist: in fact, he is the first trumpeter of the Augusta’s Marching Band since 2010.
In 2012, he becomes the guitarist and the singer (especially of the Roger Waters’s vocal parts) of Pink’s One, one of the most important Pink Floyd’s tribute bands in Italy. With Pink’s One, he works with Margret “Machan” Taylor, Pink Floyd’s backing singer during the A Momentary Lapse of Reason world tour (1987-1988), in summer 2014. He also performed in many tv and radio shows and, in 2015, for the label EKO Music, he records some original songs for children, achieving the prize “Artist of the Year 2015” by Kiwanis International (District of Augusta) for his diligence in music.
In 2016, he performs with his band the song Echoes at the Ancient Theatre of Siracusa as a tribute to the historical Pink Floyd's documentary concert in Pompei (1971). Andrea is also a foreign languages graduate at the University of Catania since 2016 (he discusses a particular thesis based on Pink Floyd’s The Endless River). In his live equipment we can find a Hiwatt T40 linked to a Hiwatt cabinet 2x12 and Fane speakers.
In 1983, Samuel Rosa (guitars, vocals) and Henrique Portugal (keyboards) started to play in a reggae band called "Pouso Alto", along with Dinho Mourão (drums) and his brother Alexandre (bass). In 1991, Pouso Alto arranged for a performance in São Paulo, but due to the Mourão brothers not being in Belo Horizonte, bassist Lelo Zaneti and drummer Haroldo Ferretti were called for the gig.The band premiered on June 5, 1991, and due to the performance competing with the Campeonato Paulista final match, the audience was 37 people.After the show, the group changed its name to Skank, inspired by Bob Marley's song "Easy skanking", and began to perform regularly at "Mister Beef" churrascaria in Belo Horizonte.
They became one of the most popular bands in Brazil in the '90s. Mixing influences of pop music, reggae, ska, and rock & roll, the band reached the market with their first album, the independent Skank, which had the hit "Tanto" (a reggae version for Bob Dylan's "I Want You"). Their second release, Calango, had several hits, like "É Proibido Fumar" (Roberto Carlos/Erasmo Carlos), in the heart of the Jovem Guarda revival. Their fifth album, Maquinarama, marked a change of pace, the band began to insert funk, soul music, surf music, drum'n'bass, bossa nova, and Latin pop influences into their sound. Other hits by the group are "Garota Nacional," "Pacato Cidadão," "É Uma Partida de Futebol," "Jackie Tequila," and "Tão Seu."
Reverberating through the dormant hills of Topanga Canyon, California the Sun Colony sound ascends into a wash of illuminous noise. Nostalgic dreamscapes melt and create a finely unrefined blend of Los Angeles sparkle and London gloom.
Inspired by the shadows of Echo & The Bunnymen, Wire, and Primal Scream, guitars swirl and bend with captive leads and blanketing rhythms. Angular drums pulse beside driving bass, clearing a sonic pathway for the ethereal vocals, grasping clarity within their own beautiful chaos. It is not a welcoming that draws you in -- it is a demanding pull.
Recommended for escapists, surrealists, and the sonically possessed.
Graduated Bachelor in Guitar in Alcântara Machado Arts Faculty (FAAM), Tatiana writes a monthly column since 2007 at Guitar Player Magazine Brazil. She plays, analyzes and translate with a modern and didactically language the licks of the greats of Blues and Blues / Rock. The recognition of all this work generated the invitation to be among the best Blues guitarists in Brazil in three CDs of Guitar Player Magazine Brazil, released in 2009, 2010 and 2013.
Tatiana plays guitar since she was 15 years, when she fell in love with the guitar, making it her life. Currently, besides playing and composing with her band, called Crats, Tatiana works with Kriptonita band and as a "sideman" in many others projects. Crats released their first instrumental cd in october 2013. Tatiana Pará divides his knowledge ministering private lessons (in person or online) using proper method and personalized. Besides that, she conducts workshops and Masterclasses.
THE RISING SUN EXPERIENCE is not about revival. It's about taking the 60's
and 70's rock culture and pushing it a step further into the new millennium.
Letting these times proven sounds flow again is one of the goals this Lisbon
based band aims for.
The band is heavily based on late 60's early 70's rock music, but also draws
from other influences picked up along the way, from World Music to
Electronic and Experimental, remembering the past and inspiring the present.
Whatever the stage and the audience, the sheer will and energy shown by the
band are unshakable. They want to demonstrate something they truly love and
proof of this lies in the sonically and emotionally high-powered live acts
when the band is set free on stage.