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Bands composers Glam hit singles Marc Bolan Music performers photography

Dr. Strange: Marc Bolan and T. Rex.

Marc Bolan was the founder, guitarist, songwriter, vocalist, and sole constant member of the English band T. Rex, a group renowned for sensuous grooves and cryptic lyrics chock-a-block with innuendo. When Bolan appeared on Top of the Pops with glitter makeup, the glam era was officially underway. The vocalist also had a memorable way with ballads, as the above performances demonstrate. Most of all, of course, he was The Groover.

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Bands Gospel hit singles Music music videos

Gospel and Such.

Great moments in Gospel music.

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composers Guitarists hit singles Music music videos Norman Greenbaum photography

Spirit in the Sky.

A few notes from Wikipedia: Norman Greenbaum: If you ask me what I based “Spirit In The Sky” on … what did we grow up watching? Westerns! These mean and nasty varmints get shot and they wanted to die with their boots on. So to me that was spiritual, they wanted to die with their boots on.

“I had to use Christianity because I had to use something. But more important it wasn’t the Jesus part, it was the spirit in the sky. Funny enoughΒ … I wanted to die with my boots on.”

“According toΒ The New York TimesΒ article, Greenbaum used aΒ Fender TelecasterΒ guitar with aΒ fuzz boxΒ built into the body to generate the song’s characteristic guitar sound.”

Greenbaum daringly defies any and all Anti-Hand-Clapping ordinances in the above performance, and Ms. Hagen takes a commendable swing at the immortal song, as well.

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Bands hit singles Music music videos photography Sweet

Glam Rampage: The Sweet.

Brian Connolly, Steve Priest, Andy Scott, and Mick Tucker comprised the glam maestros known as {The} Sweet. SchrΓΆdringer’s definite article notwithstanding, these great men rose to achieve world domination in the 70s. Extraordinary catchiness paired with pure power escalated Sweet to the uppermost echelons. They also projected a sense of great fun, often sorely lacking in hard rock.

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composers Jazz Music photography saxophone Sonny Rollins

Jazz Titan: Sonny Rollins.

Tenor saxophone colossus Theodore WalterSonnyRollins is responsible for a great many of the most monumental jazz tracks ever produced. With John Coltrane, he’s unquestionably at the top of the mountain as far as tenor sax is concerned. As an interpreter of ballads, he remains unsurpassed. Those included here are dramatic, monumental. Given the apparent relaxation with which Sonny plays, the cliff-hanging tension he creates is uncanny. His work with calypso material was groundbreaking. Presented here is but a minute offering from the great man’s catalogue. A premier pantheon inhabitant.

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composers Momus Music photography singer songwriters

Mr. Nicholas Currie, aka Momus.

Nick Currie obtained his stage name from the Greek God of satire and mockery. An apt moniker, as the gifted singer/songwriter is supremely adept in both departments. Erudite in the extreme, and equipped with an unfailing wit, the acerbic yet playful Currie has been not only prolific, but highly influential. No less than Jarvis Cocker and Suede’s Brett Anderson list the redoubtable, dependably quirky Momus as an inspiration.

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Bands Cheap Trick hit singles Music music videos photography

Trick, Cheap.

Robin Zander, Tom Peterrson, Bun E. Carlos, and Rick Nielsen made copious amounts of aural nirvana, particularly in the late 70s, as Cheap Trick. The concerts in Budokan were recorded in 1978, but not released in the US until demand became so frenzied that Epic had little choice. Intended solely as a Japanese album, the LP jettisoned the band into the realms of world domination. This was preceded by Heaven Tonight, the band’s greatest studio achievement. Several pieces from this classic are captured here performed live at various venues. Cheap Trick’s highs were nothing short of vertiginous.

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Bands composers Music music videos photography Robyn Hitchcock Soft Boys

Dreamer of Trains: Robyn Hitchcock.

Robyn Hitchcock is one of the more prolific and gifted figures in a certain (eccentric) quadrant of music history. After leaving The Soft Boys, a Neo-psych outfit he founded, Hitchcock emerged as a most formidable solo figure. Heavily influenced by Dylan, and Syd Barrett, his compositions tend towards the obscure, the ineffable, the humorous, the surreal. He remains a vital figure to this day.

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Audio Bands hit singles Lou Reed Music music videos photography Punk Velvet Underground

The Velvet Underground, and Lou Reed.

The Velvet Underground consisted, in their heyday, of vocalist/guitarist Lou Reed, keyboardist/bassist John Cale, guitarist Sterling Morrison, and Moe Tucker on the drumkit. Doug Yule replaced Cale in 1969, and Teutonic songstress Nico appeared on the group’s debut record.

Often cited as Godfathers of Punk, this hugely influential New York band mixed art rock, minimalism, garage rock, and often quite taboo lyrical subject matter. Brian Eno commented on the group’s initial lack of sales, “Everyone who bought one of those 30,000 albums (referring to the “Banana Album”) ended up starting a band.”

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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.