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Auteurs Bands composers hit singles Music music videos photography Poetic Genius Psychedelic Music Singers Syd Barrett

Look Homeward, Angel: The Great Syd Barrett.

Syd Barrett, co-founder and main braintrust of Pink Floyd until his mental state made his departure inevitable, was without doubt one of the greatest, most original musicians of his time. Until being ousted from the band, he contributed the vast majority of the material.

Embarking on a solo career, Barrett composed and performed a wealth of brilliant, if patchwork, songs. Flashes of his genius abounded, but his increasingly erratic behavior made production quite challenging, indeed. Syd released 2 albums worth of material, then retired to private life for the rest of his days.

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Allan Holdsworth Fusion Jazz Miles Davis Music music videos photography

Electric Jazz.

Great moments in so-called Fusion. Miles pretty much invented it, then along came Mahavishnu Orchestra. The latter’s John McLaughlin is a towering instrumentalist, and is featured also in Davis’s Jack Johnson. Belew and Fripp are gods. But perhaps this music’s most brilliant practitioner might be guitarist Allan Holdsworth. A titan of the instrument, revered by Eddie Van Halen, Frank Zappa, and countless others, Holdsworth’s improvisations induce breath-holding and goosebumps.

Addendum: as this post evolves, more will be revealed. Inserting now some Weather Report, featuring Wayne Shorter. And *now*, Jeff Beck.

And furthermore: Pat Martino. And Larry Coryell.

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composers hit singles Music music videos photography Producers

Mr. Lee Hazlewood.

Lee Hazlewood came to be known as a songwriter for, and vocalist with, the wonderful Nancy Sinatra. His gravelly baritone was the perfect compliment to Sinatra’s pure-as-gold pipes. But he was far, far more than that. Listening to his solo material, it’s hard not to be won over by the deadpan idiosyncrasies that pervade his songs and delivery. Wry humour, outright quirkiness, and a wistful sense of loss are Lee’s calling cards. A wonderful musician, the leading light of “Cowboy Psychedelia”. But most importantly, he’s utterly, unapologetically himself.

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Bands Gang of Four Guitarists hit singles Improvisers Music music videos photography

Gang of Four.

Formed in 1976 by guitar maestro Andy Gill, vocalist Jon King, drummer Hugo Burnham, and bassist Dave Allen, Gang of Four produced some of the most crucial music of the late 70s-early 80s. Acerbic, satirical lyrics that were extremely socially aware were the group’s calling card, as was Gill’s formidable guitar work. The rhythm section generally laid down hard funk grooves, yet the music was spare, angular, jagged. A critical assemblage.

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Charisma composers dancing hit singles Music music videos Nick Cave photography

Nick Cave.

The Australian-born Nick Cave delivers his poetic, visionary compositions with mind-boggling intensity and fervor. Bad Seeds Mick Harvey, Blixa Bargeld, and others support Mr. Cave in his oft-times dark, tormented sojourn through the hinterlands. These performances are fierce, cathartic, electric.

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Bands Burton Cummings hit singles Music music videos photography The Guess Who vocalists

The Guess Who, Randy Bachman, and Burton Cummings.

Vocalist/keyboardist Burton Cummings and guitarist Randy Bachman led the Canadian band The Guess Who to legend and lore by the late sixties. Personnel changes ensued, with Bachman leaving to form BTO, and Cummings pursued a solo career. The band, though, touched the skies during their heyday. Randy Bachman’s composing and guitar skills were instrumental. Cummings leaves a legacy as one of the greatest vocalists ever to walk the earth.

In closing…the development of the BTO hit You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet deserves a read. Here.

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Bands hit singles Lovin' Spoonful Music music videos photography

The Lovin’ Spoonful, and John Sebastian.

The Lovin’ Spoonful, led by John Sebastian, and guitarist Zal Yanovsky, was formed in 1965, and produced a cavalcade of very distinctive hits until their 1969 breakup. Sebastian, though, carried on, and had more magic up his sleeve. A great composer, performer, and person.

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Badfinger Bands hit singles Music music videos photography pure pop wonderment

Badfinger.

Badfinger, a Welsh/English group primarily known for their early 70s work, were led by Pete Ham, and featured also Tom Evans and Joey Molland. A truly great, and too-oft forgotten band that was to be plagued by tragedy.

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Bands composers hit singles Music music videos photography

The Moody Blues.

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Emitt Rhodes hit singles Music music videos photography singer songwriters vocalists

Emitt Rhodes.

Iconic singer-songwriter Emitt Rhodes died today. He left behind some of the most memorable music of his era, and on the recorded versions, he oft-times played every instrument. He will be missed.