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10 of the best.
Top 10 Artists
Member Name: blackbob
Top 10 Artists
Date: 18/01/06, updated on 18/01/06 (227 review reads)
Advantages: many and varied
Disadvantages: as above.
This is a discussion piece that is right up my street.I have written a review piece on my top ten albums of all time and I promise that at no time will I refer to that earlier waffle.
Of course,this is all about personal preference and being a great lover of music will probably go on forever and ever(I'll try and keep it short if not sweet).
The trouble with this kind of discussion piece,as far as I'm concerned is that the ten that feature in this scribble may not be the exact same ones that would feature if I were to write this next month.I mean ten is a very limited number,how do you choose ten out of so many possibilities.Now,there are always going to be certain bands/artists that will be in the top ten,while others may come and go.
I have chosen not to put them in any particular order,they are not rated by preference or even alphebetical order,their just in the order in which they fall out of my head.
This is one that will always be in my top ten,one of my favourite bands they have been part of my life since I was 14.
One of the great British guitar bands of the 60's,The Yardbirds launched the careers of three of the most famous guitarist ever to hail from these shores,namely,Eric Clapton,Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page.
Originally featuring EC,he left after differences over the bands direction,he believed they where becoming too comercial and moving away from the purist blues that he loved.He was replaced by Jeff Beck.
To cut a long story short,Jimmy Page was drafted in to play bass but would soon joined Beck on guitar.After a gruelling tour of the US,the band fell apart leaving Jimmy Page with the name and an upcoming tour.
Instead of calling it a day,he and manager Peter Grant went looking for new blood,drafting in fellow session player John Paul Jones on bass/piano(also a gifted composer) and recruited a pair of lads from the Midlands,the completely unknown Robert Plant(vocals),John Bonham(drums) and set about putting a new band together to fulfill the upcoming tour.
Page had a vision of a new kind of band and a new brand of rock music,he ditched the name(they rehearsed under the title The New Yardbirds)and chose the name Led Zeppelin for this new colossus.Alledgedly,the name appeared after Kieth Moon or John Entwhistle(depending on what history you read)stated the band would go down like a lead balloon.
Released in 1968,their first album Led Zeppelin was a landmark in rock history(as would most their albums)featuring some heavy riff based blues rock,alongside acoustic numbers,a feature that would go on to define the band,light and shade.
The first four albums LZ,LZ2,LZ3 and the fourth one - never officially given a title but popularlly known as either LZ4 or Four Symbols are really the alpha and omega of rock music.
Apart from featuring,probably the best rock guitarist to draw breath,the best drummer and launching a thousand imitation bands,this band has a list of firsts that defy imagination.
This band was equally at home playing hard rock,blues,folk,classically influenced pieces,country,jazz,funk their musical ability,scope,imagination really has never been rivalled.
Maybe not as monumental as Zeppelin,nor do they have the sheer musical ability or diverse range that Zeppelin did,this band are still one of the most amazing live bands ever.
They play their own brand of riff based heavy blues rock and play it with a passion that many bands could do with emulating,what they lack in diversity they more than make up for in exuberance.
Check out Powerage,Highway to Hell,Back in Black for instance.
Origanally formed in 1974,the backbone of the band has been brothers Angus and Malcolm Young.Drummers and basssists have come and gone but in their 30 year career,they have had two singers.The first and arguably the best being the unique Bon Scott,who died in 1980 and the second Brian Johnson.
3.Jimi Hendrix Experience.
Jimi Hendrix,along with Jimmy Page,has to be in my estimation one of the best guitar players ever.Certainly the most naturually gifted guitar player,he makes it look so easy.
Playing backing for Little Richard,Ike and Tina Turner amongst others this virtuoso recieved no recognition in his own country and it wasn't till he was discovered by the 'Animals' bassist Chas Chandler in New York and taken over to this country that he got his chance.
Teamed up with Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding the 'Experience' was born blowing away everyone who came to see them,with Jimi's sheer ability,improvisational playing and showmanship.
They quickly put out the first album Are You Experienced,only beaten to the top of the album charts by Sergeant Pepper(I ask you!!!),this along with Led Zep 1 has to be the debut album of all time.
Soon followed by Axis:Bold as Love,equally as strong an album,the Experience ruled the world.At this time he was invited to play at the Monterey Festival and his explosive performance launched his career in America but this could also be said to be the beginning of the end.
The third album,Electric Ladyland,was although a monumental piece of work,containing some of his most famous songs - Voodoo Chile(Sligh Return)for example,lacked the sponteniety of the first two.
The Experience broke up during the recording of this album and he never really found a combination of musicians to capture that earlier magic,though there are many very good recordings from this time.
It is a tragedy that he died before he found his way again.
Jimi Hendrix is immortal,his contribution to both the guitar scene and music in general will never diminish.As important a musician and composer as Mozart or anyone before or since.
Who?I here you ask.Here is one of these figures in the music scene who defies classification.Folk,with both a hint of blues and jazz,who knows,he's one of these people who goes his own way.Think Neil Young or Bob Dylan,I don't mean in style just in his career path and pure originality.Unique,would be the best description.
I came across his music on the recommendation of Jimmy Page(not personally,of course)who regularlly cited him as an influence.In fact,the haunting beautiful Black Mountain Side on Led Zep 1,which Page credits as his own,is really just Backwaterside by Jansch without the vocals(naughty boy!!).
I know very little of his actual history apart from he was born in Glasgow,grew up in Edinburgh and moved to London in the early sixties to play english folk music.
This man can truly play an acoustic guitar,his singing voice is warm and melodic but his guitar playing is inspired,the combination of vocal and guitar arrangements are haunting,beautiful - unique.
If you ever get a chance to hear his music you'll see what I mean.The album Dazzling Stranger,a best of,is a real delight.Songs like,Angie,Backwaterside,Reynardine or Rosemary Lane are true gems.
More folk music,oh yes I do like my folk music.Martin Carthy to me is another one who I truly rate.
A leading light of the English Folk Revival of the early sixties he tends towards traditional songs whereas Jansch mostly writes his own material but don't let that put you off.
If you've heard Scarborough Fair by Simon and Garfunkel,it may interest you to know that that arrangement was lifted wholesale from Carthy's own arangement.His doesn't go in for all the frills and additions of the S&G version,it's just vocal and guitar and to be honest is all the better for it,why spoil perfection.
Teaming up with Dave Swarbrick,one of this country's finest fiddlers they have produced some of folk musics best ever albums.
Check out,But Two Came By,Second Album and many others.
Ian Gillan,Ritchie Blackmore,John Lord,Ian Paice,Roger Glover - known as Deep Purple MKII here is another of those classic heavy rock bands that gave birth to Heavy Metal as we know it.
Along with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath,the three bands are generally known as the creators of Heavy Metal but it can be said,quite rightly,that the three of them did it all and many of the bands that followed in their wake are just pale imitations - I know,there are many quality acts that followed these three but they set the standard and few have managed to surpass what they started.
A singer with a voice of such power and the original bad tempered but highly gifted giutarist,they were once hailed as the loudest band in the world.
Once playing with the London Philharmonic Orchestra,two decades before Metallica did a similar experiment,this was another band where the whole was much more than the sum of it's parts.
Classics like Lazy,Black Night and Fireball sound as fresh today as they did 30 years ago.
I was round my ex's house a few weeks back,her 10 year old daughter has just started picking up the guitar.Guess what she played for me - Smoke on the Water.
I rest my case.
What kind of category could you put this band into.You can't can you.
Ok,I am going to be contraversial and upset all the dope smoking,acid head,wanna be hippies out there and catagorically state that I think Syd Barrett was a joke,I'm sorry but there you have it.The best thing I can say about him is that he went mad and made way for Dave Gilmour.
I mean,have you heard Piper at the Gates of Dawn.
Thankfully,when Gilmour joined the band they got a musician and songwriter of true substance.I know that you can't ever underestimate the importance of Roger Waters,I wouldnt dare to try but thank god for Gilmour,they needed him to counter the very dark and,frankly,depressing brand of Waters songwriting.
Piper aside,to my mind the best of Floyd starts with Saucerful of Secrets(yes,i know Barrett had a little input into this album but not much)through to Wish You Were Here.
Personally Meddle is my favourite.
Again I'm going to court some degree of scorn and state that I hate the Wall,I have it but I can't listen to it.
Another one of those British blues band of the sixties(I see a pattern here,dooyoo?)and what a band.
Now,I have Rumours and would have to admit that this is a brilliant album but it's the Fleetwood of the Peter Green era that I love so much.
In a similar fashion to the aforementioned Syd Barrett,he took too much acid and went a little mad.Giving all his money to some obscure cult and growing his fingernails so he couldn't play guitar,the music world lost such a talent,this is a tragedy beyond bearing.
Peter Green was a guitar hero,his expression,phrasing and melodic style were just beginning to come to fruition when he lost his way in the world.
Unlike Syd Barrett,the music world lost someone who would surely have gone on to be the best guitar players of all time in Peter Green,he would have gone on to outshine Eric Clapton if he didn't already.
Well,the other two forefathers are there so I couldn't leave them out.
Sabbath were the heaviest and definetly the darkest of the three though if you actually listen to their music and their lyrics I defy you to accuse them of ever endorsing satanism which they are so often said to have done.
Guitarist Tommy Iommi,with his cue-tip fingers was a truly gifted player,so often under-rated and outshone by the legendary Ozzy Osbourne.
Another band that is always remembered for their heavy music they wrote some beautiful pieces of music,Changes or Laguna Sunrise for example.
In this day and age and after the TV show,it may be impossible to believe that Ozzy was an intelligent man and some of his lyrics are very insightful.
Check out,Volume 4,Paranoid or Black Sabbath(their debut album).
And now we have it,number 10.I thank you if you have actually waded through this interminable waffle and reached this far.
The Stones,this is a band where you get what you see.Along with AC/DC,Status Quo etc they found a formula and stuck to it.Now,at times that can be praising a band with faint damns but like DC,Quo if your formula works why not stick to it.
Yet another of those bands that started playing blues covers in clubs in the early sixties,like the Yardbirds,Fleetwood Mac etc they started off as an antidote to the beatles - a reason for them to be in any top 10,surely.
This is a band that has courted danger,bad luck and dark forces if ever there was one.Their original guitar player Brian Jones died in mysterious circumstances,they were set up on a drug bust by one of the tabloid papers,had a fan murdered in front of the stage while playing Sympathy For The Devil,the list goes on.
Yet through it all Mick Jagger and Kieth Richards have carried on their path through the decades.
Now in their 5th decade,they still churn out their unique brand of sleazy,blues rock the same as they have always done,you may criticise them,ask why they should keep on doing it at their age.Obviously they don't need the money so it must be for the love of playing the music and what better reason.
And they far outlasted the Beatles too.
Well that's my top ten,I'm afraid none of it was researched or prepared but just fell out of my head and onto the screen.
If anyone has issue with the veracity of my wtiting or just plain thinks that I'm talking out my ass,well you may be right but this isn't a product review and is nothing but personal opinion so please don't get upset or offended.If you do you shouldn't be so sensitive,that's my advice.
Thanks for taking the time to read this rubbish,it was never meant to be either accurate or edifying just midly entertaining.Cheers.BB
Summary: My own opinions - please,don't take issue.