Sunday, July 08, 2012

Top 15 Greatest Rock Artists of All Time

I really feel so dreary today and discouraged with what's happening with my life. I'm facing a lot of problems in family, career, financial issues and a lot more and i feel like i couldn't get through this. I want to get this feeling off because it will ruin all our plans, will create more procrastination, and will eventually lead to failure. So, by trying to divert my attention and focus, i thought of blogging about some of the most successful rockstars in history, how they became successful, and what they were before they became the "Rockstars". Sure i'll get a lot of inspiration from this and will be motivated to pick myself up and get on with life no matter how dark it seems on the road to success. Lets Carpe Diem!

Image from Metallica.com
15. Metallica - Formed in 1981 when James Hetfield responded to an advertisement that drummer Lars Ulrich had posted in a local newspaper. As of 2003, the line-up included long-time lead guitarist Kirk Hammett (who joined the band in 1983) and bassist Robert Trujillo (a member since 2003) with Hetfield and Ulrich. Previous members of the band are lead guitarist Dave Mustaine (who went on to found the band Megadeth), and bassists Ron McGovney, Cliff Burton and Jason Newsted.
Metallica was named one of the most influential heavy metal bands of all time, and is hailed as one of the "big four" of thrash metal, along with Slayer, Anthrax, and Megadeth. The band has sold more than 100 million albums worldwide, including 59 million in the United States. They were ranked by MTV as the third "Greatest Heavy Metal Band in History",  fifth on VH1's 100 Greatest artist of hard rock, and number one on VH1's 20 greatest metak band list. On March 7, 1999, they were inducted in the San Francisco's Walk of Fame and the day was announced as the "Official Metallica Day" by Mayor Willie Brown of San Francisco. They were awarded the MTV Icon on 2003 and a tribute concert was held with different artists playing Metallica songs. Some of their songs was also included in the game Guitar Hero III, Guitar Hero World Tour, and Guitar Hero: Metallica, which featured a series of their songs.

Image from queenonline.com
14. Queen - Formed in London in 1971 when Freddie Bulsara (now Freddie Mercury) Joined Brian May and Roger Taylor's Band Smile. Mercury was then a fan of smile and encouraged them to experiment on the recording and stage techniques after Tim Staffel, Smile's Bassist, left the band. Mercury then changed the Band's name to "Queen" and also his stage name to Freddie Mercury.
Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" was voted UK's favorite hit of all time in 2002 in a poll conducted by the Guinness World Records British Hit Singles Book, and in 2004, the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. According to Guiness Book of World Records, Queen's albums have spent a total of twenty six years on the UK album charts, more than any other musical acts. The band has released a total of eighteen number one albums, eighteen number one singles, and ten number one DVDs worldwide, making them one of the world's best-selling music artists. Queen have sold over 150 million albums, with some estimates in excess of 300 million albums worldwide, including 34.5 million in the United States alone as of 2004. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001, the band is also the only group in which every member has composed more than one chart-topping single, and all four members of Queen were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2003.
Rolling Stone ranked Queen at number 52 on its list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time", while ranking Mercury the 18th greatest singer, and May the twenty-sixth greatest guitarist. Queen were named 13th on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock list, and in 2010 were ranked 17th on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of All Time list.

Image from Billboard.com
13. Van Halen - Formed in 1972, the band achieved success after the release of its debut album Van Halen in 1978. The band has sold over 75 million albums worldwide and had the most #1 hits on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart. Van Halen is the 19th best-selling band of all time with sales of 56 million albums in the US alone, and is one of five rock bands that have had two albums sell more than 10 million copies in the U.S., According to the Recording Industry Association of America. The RIAA certified their album Diamond for ten million in US sales in 1996.

Image from clashmusic.com
12. The Beach Boys - Formed in 1961 in Hawthorne, California, the band members included brothers Brian, Dennis, and Carl Wilson, their cousin Mike Love, and their friend Al Jardine. The Band was inducted in the Rock and Roll hall of fame in 1988, with Mike Love delivering a speech that assailed Mick Jagger, Paul McCartney and the Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel and Diana Ross. In 1998, the band was chosen for the Vocal Group Hall of Fame and in 2001, they Received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement award. In November 2006, Brian Wilson was inducted into the UK Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and in 2004, The band was ranked number 12 by the Rolling Stones on its 100 Greatest Artists of All Time list.

Image from psychedelic-rocknrollmusic.blogspot.com
11. Velvet Underground - Formed in 1964 by Lou Reed and John Cale. Lou was then a songwriter for Pickwick Records, who met John Cale, a classical music student from Wales who moved to the US to study classical music upon securing a scholarship. Cale was pleasantly surprised to discover that Reed’s experimentalist tendencies were similar to his own: Reed sometimes used alternative guitar tunings to create a droning sound. The pair rehearsed and performed together; their partnership and shared interests built the path towards what would later become the Velvet Underground. The band was considered one of the most influential bands in rock history. Artists who have acknowledged their influence include David Bowie, the Dream Syndicate, R.E.M., The Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Cars, The Strokes, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Roxy Music, Beck, The Fall, Pixies, Can, Kraftwerk, Neu!, Faust, Glenn Danzig, Nirvana, Pavement, Joy Division, Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine, Kings of Leon and Crystal Castles. Their Four albums were included in the Rolling Stones' Top 500 albums of All Time, was ranked as the 19th of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time of the same magazine, landed number 24 greatest artist in a poll conducted by VH1  and were inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.

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10.  Pink Floyd - Pink Floyd was formed in 1965 by four university students Roger Waters, Nick Mason, Richard Wright, and Syd Barrett. They achieved international success  with their progressive and psychedelic rock music marked by the use of philosophical lyrics, sonic experimentation, and elaborate live shows. One of the most commercially successful and influential rock groups in the history of popular music, they have sold over 250 million records worldwide, including 74.5 million certified units in the United States. They were inducted into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996, and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005.    In 2004, Pink Floyd were ranked number 7 on MSNBC's list of "The 10 Best Rock Bands Ever", number 51 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of "The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time", with David Gilmour ranking 14th in the greatest guitarists list, and were named by Q Magazine as the biggest band of all time.The band were ranked number 18 in the VH1 list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time", and number 15 on VH1's list of the "100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock". Largely due to the success of their albums the band was ranked No. 3 in Colin Larkin’s the 'Top 50 Artists Of All Time', a ranking based on the cumulative votes for each artist’s albums that appear in the All Time Top 1000 Albums.

Image from bobmarley.com
9. Bob Marley  - Robert Nesta Marley, a Jamaican singer/songwriter started as a founding member of Bob Marley and the Wailers with Peter Tosh and Neville Livingston. During a short span of his life which was interrupted by Cancer, (he died age 36) he had spent his life performing music which was heavily influenced by social issues of his homeland, and he is considered to have given voice to the specific political and cultural nexus of Jamaica. In 1999, Bob Marley and the Wailer's album Exodus was chosen by TIME Magazine as the Greatest Album of the 20th Century. He was awarded The Grammy Lifetime Achievement award posthumously in 2001 and a feature-length documentary about his life, Rebel Music, won various awards at the Grammys. With contributions from Rita, The Wailers, and Marley's lovers and children, it also tells much of the story in his own words. A statue was inaugurated, next to the national stadium on Arthur Wint Drive in Kingston to commemorate him. In 2006, the State of New York renamed a portion of Church Avenue from Remsen Avenue to East 98th Street in the East Flatbush section of Brooklyn "Bob Marley Boulevard". In 2008, a statue of Marley was inaugurated in Banatski Sokolac, Serbia.

Image from greenobles.com
8. Jimi Hendrix - James Marshall Hendrix Enlisted in the army on May 31, 1961 after he had gotten to trouble with the law because of riding in stolen cars. He was given the choice to spend two years in prison or joining the army. He chose the latter but was later discharged after a year because his commanding officers submitted a request that Hendrix be discharged from the military because he slept while on duty, had little regard for regulations, required constant supervision, and showed no skill as a marksman. Hendrix did not object when the opportunity to leave arose. He met Bassist Billy Cox in the army and the two forged a loyal friendship that Hendrix would call upon from April 1969 until Billy's breakdown shortly before Hendrix's death. The two would often perform with other musicians at venues both on and off the base as a loosely organized band named the Casuals. Musically, Hendrix did much to further the development of the electric guitar's repertoire, establishing it as a unique sonic source, rather than merely an amplified version of the acoustic guitar. Likewise, his feedback, wah-wah and fuzz-laden soloing moved guitar distortion well beyond mere novelty, incorporating other effects pedals and units specifically designed for him by his sound technician Roger Mayer (such as the Octavia and Uni-Vibe) with dramatic results.

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7. The Grateful Dead - was formed in 1965 in the San Francisco Bay Area. The founding members of the Grateful Dead were Jerry Garcia (guitar, vocals), Bob Weir (guitar, vocals), Ron "Pigpen" McKernan (keyboards, harmonica, vocals), Phil Lesh (bass, vocals), and Bill Kreutzmann(drums). In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked the Grateful Dead #57 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. On February 10, 2007, the Grateful Dead received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. The award was accepted on behalf of the band by Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann. It was announced on May 23, 2012, that the Dead's Barton Hall Concert at Cornell University (May 8, 1977) would be preserved in the Library of Congress's National Recording Registry.

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6. U2 - The band formed in Dublin on 25 September 1976. Larry Mullen, Jr., then a 14-year-old student at Mount Temple Comprehensive School, posted a note on the school's notice board in search of musicians for a new band—six people responded. Setting up in his kitchen, Mullen was on drums, with Paul Hewson (Bono) on lead vocals; David Evans (The Edge) and his older brother Dik Evans on guitar; Adam Clayton, a friend of the Evans brothers on bass guitar; and initially Ivan McCormick and Peter Martin, two other friends of Mullen. U2 have sold more than 150 million records, placing them amongst the best-selling music artists of all time. The Joshua Tree ranks as one of the best-selling albums in the US, having shipped 10 million units, and it is also among the best-selling albums worldwide with sales of 25 million copies.Rolling Stone ranked U2 at number 22 in its list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time", while ranking Bono the 32nd greatest singer and The Edge the 38th greatest guitarist. In 2010, eight of U2's songs appeared on Rolling Stone's updated list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time", with "One" ranking the highest at number 36. Five of the group's twelve studio albums were ranked on Rolling Stone's 2003 list of "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time"—The Joshua Tree placed the highest at number 2. AQ readers' poll named U2 the Greatest Act of the Last 25 Years in 2011. Reflecting on the band's popularity and worldwide impact, Jeff Pollack for the The Huffington Post said, "like The Who before them, U2 wrote songs about things that were important and resonated with their audience".

U2 first received Grammy Awards for The Joshua Tree in 1988, and have won 22 in total, from 34 nominations, more than any other band.These include Best Rock Duo or Group, Album of the Year,Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Best Rock Album. The British Phonographic Industry has awarded U2 seven BRIT Awards, five of these being for Best International Group. In Ireland, U2 have won 14 Meteor Awards since the awards began in 2001. Other awards include one AMA, four VMAs, eleven Q Awards, two Juno Awards, three NME Awards, and a Golden Globe Award. The band were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in early 2005. In 2006, all four members of the band received ASCAP awards for writing the songs, "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For", and "Vertigo".

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5. Led Zeppelin - an English rock band, active in the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s. Formed as the New Yardbirds in 1968, the band consisted of guitarist Jimmy Page, singer Robert Plant, bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones, and drummer John Bonham. They are widely considered to be one of the most successful, innovative and influential rock groups in history.

Led Zeppelin are widely considered to be one of the most successful, innovative and influential rock bands in the history of music. Rock critic Mikal Gilmore said, "Led Zeppelin—talented, complex, grasping, beautiful and dangerous—made one of the most enduring bodies of composition and performance in twentieth-century music, despite everything they had to overpower, including themselves". 

Throughout their career, Led Zeppelin have collected many honours and awards. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995, and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2006. Among the band's awards are anAmerican Music Award in 2005, and the Polar Music Prize in 2006. Led Zeppelin were the recipient of a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005, and four of their recordings have been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. They have been awarded five Diamond albums, as well as fourteen Multi-Platinum, four Platinum and one Gold album in the United States, while in the UK they have five Multi-Platinum, six Platinum, one Gold and four Silver albums.

Jimmy Page was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in recognition of his charity work in 2005 and Robert Plant was honoured as a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his services to popular music in 2009. The band are ranked number one on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock and Classic Rock's "50 Best Live Acts of All Time". They were awarded an Ivor Novello Award for "Outstanding Contribution to British Music" in 1977, as well as a "Lifetime Achievement Award" at the 42nd Annual Ivor Novello awards ceremony in 1997. The band were honoured with the "Best Live Act" prize for their one-off reunion at the 2008 MOJO Awards, where they were described as the "greatest rock and roll band of all time".

Image from Last.fm
4. The Rolling Stones In the early 1950s, Keith Richards and Mick Jagger were childhood friends and classmates at Wentworth Primary School in Dartford, Kent until their families moved apart. In 1960, when Richards, on his way to class at Sidcup Art College, and Jagger, on his way to class at London School of Economics, met at Dartford train station, the Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters records Jagger carried revealed a mutual interest, leading to the re-establishment of their friendship and the formation of a band with Dick Taylor (later of Pretty Things). Richards, Taylor, and Jagger found Brian Jones as he sat in playing slide guitar with Alexis Korner's seminal London R&B band, Blues Incorporated, at the Ealing Jazz Club. Blues Incorporated contained two other future members of the Rolling Stones: Ian Stewart and Charlie Watts.

Image from fiftiesweb.com
3. Elvis Presley - He was born on January 8, 1935 in Mississippi. His first recording was on August 1953, where he recorded a two-sided acetate disc: my happiness and that's when your heartaches begin in the studio of sun records. He would later claim he intended the record as a gift for his mother. He was inducted into the army on March 24, 1958 as a private at fort chaffee, near fort smith, Arkansas. Though he was already famous at that time, he said he did not want to be treated any differently from anyone else.

Presley's rise to national attention in 1956 transformed the field of popular music and had a huge effect on the broader scope of popular culture. As the catalyst for the cultural revolution that was rock and roll, he was central not only to defining it as a musical genre but in making it a touchstone of youth culture and rebellious attitude. With its racially mixed origins—repeatedly affirmed by Presley—rock and roll's occupation of a central position in mainstream American culture facilitated a new acceptance and appreciation of black culture. In this regard, Little Richard said of Presley, "He was an integrator. Elvis was a blessing. They wouldn't let black music through. He opened the door for black music."Al Green agreed: "He broke the ice for all of us."Presley also heralded the vastly expanded reach of celebrity in the era of mass communication: at the age of 21, within a year of his first appearance on American network television, he was one of the most famous people in the world.

Presley's name, image, and voice are instantly recognizable around the globe. He has inspired a legion of impersonators. In polls and surveys, he is recognized as one of the most important popular music artists and influential Americans."Elvis Presley is the greatest cultural force in the twentieth century", said composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein. "He introduced the beat to everything and he changed everything—music, language, clothes. It's a whole new social revolution—the sixties came from it." Bob Dylan described the sensation of first hearing Presley as "like busting out of jail".

A New York Times editorial on the 25th anniversary of Presley's death observed, "All the talentless impersonators and appalling black velvet paintings on display can make him seem little more than a perverse and distant memory. But before Elvis was camp, he was its opposite: a genuine cultural force. ... Elvis's breakthroughs are underappreciated because in this rock-and-roll age, his hard-rocking music and sultry style have triumphed so completely."Not only Presley's achievements, but his failings as well, are seen by some cultural observers as adding to the power of his legacy, as in this description by Greil Marcus:

Elvis Presley is a supreme figure in American life, one whose presence, no matter how banal or predictable, brooks no real comparisons. ... The cultural range of his music has expanded to the point where it includes not only the hits of the day, but also patriotic recitals, pure country gospel, and really dirty blues. ... Elvis has emerged as a great artist, a great rocker, a great purveyor of schlock, a great heart throb, a great bore, a great symbol of potency, a great ham, a great nice person, and, yes, a great American.

Image from last.fm
2. Bob Dylan -   Bob Dylan was born "Robert Allen Zimmerman" (Hebrew name שבתאי זיסאל בן אברהם [Shabtai Zisel ben Avraham]) in St. Mary's Hospital on May 24, 1941, in Duluth, Minnesota, and raised in Hibbing, Minnesota, on the Mesabi Iron Range west of Lake Superior. His paternal grandparents, Zigman and Anna Zimmerman, emigrated from Odessa in the Russian Empire (now Ukraine) to the United States following the anti-Semitic pogroms of 1905. His maternal grandparents, Benjamin and Lybba Edelstein, were Lithuanian Jews who arrived in the United States in 1902. In his autobiography Chronicles: Volume One, Dylan writes that his paternal grandmother's maiden name was Kyrgyz and her family originated from Kars, Turkey.

Dylan dropped out of college at the end of his freshman year. In January 1961, he traveled to New York City, hoping to perform there and visit his musical idol Woody Guthrie, who was seriously ill with Huntington's Disease in Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital. Guthrie had been a revelation to Dylan and was the biggest influence on his early performances. Describing Guthrie's impact on him, Dylan later wrote: "The songs themselves had the infinite sweep of humanity in them ... [He] was the true voice of the American spirit. I said to myself I was going to be Guthrie's greatest disciple."As well as visiting Guthrie in the hospital, Dylan befriended Guthrie's acolyte Ramblin' Jack Elliott. Much of Guthrie's repertoire was actually channeled through Elliott, and Dylan paid tribute to Elliott in Chronicles (2004)

Dylan has won many awards throughout his career including 11 Grammy Awards, one Academy Award and one Golden Globe Award; He has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, and Songwriters Hall of Fame. In May 2012, Dylan was one out of thirteen honorees to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Image from photobucket.com/Swinging_Sixties
1. The Beatles - In March 1957 John Lennon, then aged sixteen, formed a skiffle group with several friends from Quarry Bank school. They briefly called themselves the Blackjacks, before changing their name to The Quarrymen after discovering that a respected local group was already using the name. Fifteen-year-old Paul McCartney joined as a guitarist shortly after he and Lennon met that July. In February 1958 McCartney invited his friend George Harrison to watch the group. The fourteen-year-old auditioned for Lennon, who was impressed by his playing but initially thought him too young for the band. After a month of persistence, Harrison joined as lead guitarist. By January 1959 Lennon's Quarry Bank friends had left the group, and he began studies at theLiverpool College of Art. The three guitarists, billing themselves at least three times as Johnny and the Moondogs, were playing rock and roll whenever they could find a drummer.Lennon's art school friend Stuart Sutcliffe, who had recently sold one of his paintings and purchased a bass guitar, joined in January 1960, and it was he who suggested changing the band's name to Beatals as a tribute to Buddy Holly and The Crickets. They used the name through May, when they became the Silver Beetles, before undertaking a brief tour of Scotland as the backing group for pop singer and fellow Liverpudlian Johnny Gentle. By early July they changed their name to The Silver Beatles, and by the middle of August to The Beatles.

The Beatles' influence on popular culture was—and remains—immense. Former Rolling Stone associate editor Robert Greenfield compares the band to Picasso as "artists who broke through the constraints of their time period to come up with something that was unique and original.... [I]n the form of popular music, no one will ever be more revolutionary, more creative and more distinctive". From the 1920s, the United States had dominated popular entertainment culture throughout much of the world, via Hollywood movies, jazz, the music of Broadway and Tin Pan Alley and, later, the rock and roll that first emerged in Memphis, Tennessee. The Beatles not only sparked the British Invasion of the US, they became a globally influential phenomenon as well.

Their musical innovations and commercial success inspired musicians worldwide.Many artists have acknowledged their influence and enjoyed chart success with covers of their songs. On radio, their arrival marked the beginning of a new era; programme director Rick Sklar of New York's WABC went so far as to forbid his DJs from playing any "pre-Beatles" music. The Beatles helped to redefine the LP as something more than just a few hits padded out with "filler", and they were primary innovators of the modern music video. The Shea Stadium show with which they opened their 1965 North American tour attracted an estimated 55,600 people, then the largest audience in concert history; Spitz describes the event as a "major breakthrough...a giant step toward reshaping the concert business." Emulation of their clothing and especially their hairstyles, which became a mark of rebellion, had a global impact on fashion, wrote Gould.

According to Gould, the band changed the way people listened to popular music and experienced its role in their lives. From what began as the Beatlemania fad, the group grew to be perceived by many fans and cultural observers as an embodiment of the ideals shared by the era's sociocultural revolutions. As icons of the 1960s counterculture, Gould continues, they became a catalyst for bohemianism and activism in various social and political arenas, fuelling movements such as women's liberation, gay liberation and environmentalism. According to Peter Lavezzoli, after the "more popular than Jesus" controversy in 1966, all four Beatles felt considerable pressure to say the right things and "began a concerted effort to spread a message of wisdom and higher consciousness."

In 1965 Queen Elizabeth II appointed Lennon, McCartney, Harrison and Starr Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE). The film Let It Be (1970) won the 1971 Academy Award for Best Original Song Score. The Beatles have received 7 Grammy Awards and 15 Ivor Novello Awards. They have been awarded 6 Diamond albums, as well as 24 Multi-Platinum albums, 39 Platinum albums and 45 Gold albums in the United States, while in the UK they have 4 Multi-Platinum albums, 4 Platinum albums, 8 Gold albums and 1 Silver album. The group were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988.

The Beatles are the best-selling band in history; EMI Records estimate that they have sold over one billion units around the world. They have had more number one albums on the British charts, 15, and sold more singles in the UK, 21.9 million, than any other act. They ranked number one in Billboard magazine's list of the all-time most successful Hot 100 artists, released in 2008 to celebrate the US singles chart's fiftieth anniversary. As of 2012, they hold the record for most number one hits on the Hot 100 chart with 20, and the Recording Industry Association of America certifies that the group have sold 177 million units in the US, more than any other artist. They were collectively included in Timemagazine's compilation of the 20th century's 100 most influential people.

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CREDITS: The Rolling Stone MagAV revMSNBCWikipedia, all the owners of the images used, credits where credit is due :)

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