Rock - The Pioneers - Rock '51 - '63 | Rock '62 - '69-The British Invasion | Rock '68 - '74
Influential Rock Musicians
(Click on individual Musician's Biography section to visit Musician's Home Page)
1962-1969 British Invasion
The Animals - The Beatles - Cream - The Jeff Beck Group - The Dave Clark Five - Gerry & the Pacemakers - Herman's Hermits - The Kinks
The Moody Blues - Peter & Gordon - The Rolling Stones - The Small Faces - Van Morrison & Them - The Who - The Yardbirds - The Zombies
Throughout the history of music individual performers have had a major impact on the music scene. These influential/notable musicians have left their mark by expanding the envelope of their respective genres, either through technical proficiency, experimentation/exploration, or persona. The following list of notable/influential Rock Musicians is by no means complete. The musicians listed are those that readily came to mind, and any additions to the list can be sent using the link at the bottom of the page. The individual home pages for the musicians listed can be reached by clicking on their name in the bio section
The Animals - were an English music group of the 1960s known in the United States as part of the British Invasion. Known for their gritty, bluesy sound and deep-voiced frontman Eric Burdon, as exemplified by their signature songs "The House of the Rising Sun" and "We Gotta Get Out Of This Place", the band balanced tough, rock-edged pop singles against rhythm and blues-oriented album material. The Animals underwent numerous personnel changes and emerged as an exponent of psychedelic rock before dissolving at the end of the decade. Formed in Newcastle upon Tyne during 1962 and 1963 when Burdon joined the Alan Price Rhythm and Blues Combo, the original line-up comprised Eric Burdon (vocals), Alan Price (organ and keyboards), Hilton Valentine (guitar), John Steel (drums), and Bryan "Chas" Chandler (bass). They were dubbed "animals" because of their wild stage act and the name stuck. The Animals' moderate success in their hometown and a connection with Yardbirds manager Giorgio Gomelsky motivated them to move to London in 1964, in time to be grouped with the British Invasion.
The Animals' two-year chart career, masterminded by producer Mickie Most, featured singles that were intense, gritty pop covers such as Sam Cooke's "Bring It On Home To Me" and the Nina Simone number "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood". In contrast their album tracks stayed with rhythm and blues, with Hooker's "Boom Boom" and Ray Charles' "I Believe to My Soul" being notable examples. Burdon's powerful, deep voice and the use of keyboards as much as or more than guitars were two elements that made the Animals' sound stand out.
In October 1966 Burdon, Jenkins, and John Weider (guitar/violin/bass), Vic Briggs (guitar/piano), and Danny McCulloch (bass) re- formed under the name Eric Burdon and the Animals (or Eric Burdon and the New Animals), and changed direction. The hard driving blues was transformed into Burdon's version of psychedelia. Some of this group's hits included "San Franciscan Nights", "Monterey" (tribute to the Monterey Pop Festival), and "Sky Pilot". Their sound was much heavier than the original group. Burdon screamed more and louder on live versions of "Paint it Black" and "Hey Gyp". In 1968 they had a more experimental sound on songs like "We Love You Lil" and the 19 minute record "New York 1963 - America 1968".
The Animals still tour frequently in Europe, where they maintain a fairly large following, with a new backing band in 1998 as Eric Burdon and the New Animals. This was actually just a rename of an existing band he had been touring with in various forms since 1990. Members of this new group included Dean Restum, Dave Meros, Neal Morse and Aynsley Dunbar. Martin Gerschwitz replaced Morse in 1999 and Dunbar was replaced by Bernie Pershey in 2001. 'Artist Discography'
The Beatles - were a pop and rock band from Liverpool, England formed in 1960. Primarily the band consisted of John Lennon (rhythm guitar, vocals), Paul McCartney (bass guitar, vocals), George Harrison (lead guitar, vocals) and Ringo Starr (drums, vocals). The Beatles are recognised for leading the mid-1960s musical "British Invasion" into the United States. Although their initial musical style was rooted in 1950s rock and roll and homegrown skiffle, the group explored genres ranging from Tin Pan Alley to psychedelic rock. Their clothes, styles, and statements made them trend-setters, while their growing social awareness saw their influence extend into the social and cultural revolutions of the 1960s. After the band broke up in 1970, all four members embarked upon solo careers. The Beatles are one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed bands in the history of popular music, selling over one billion records internationally. In the United Kingdom, The Beatles released more than 40 different singles, albums, and EPs that reached number one, earning more number one albums (15) than any other group in UK chart history. This commercial success was repeated in many other countries; their record company, EMI, estimated that by 1985 they had sold over one billion records worldwide. According to the Recording Industry Association of America, The Beatles have sold more albums in the United States than any other band. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked The Beatles number one on its list of 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. According to that same magazine, The Beatles' innovative music and cultural impact helped define the 1960s, and their influence on pop culture is still evident today. In 2008, Billboard magazine released a list of top-selling Hot 100 artists to celebrate the chart's fiftieth anniversary; The Beatles reached #1 again. (Visit our Beatles Section) 'Artist Discography'
Cream- was a 1960s British rock band consisting of bassist/lead vocalist Jack Bruce, guitarist/vocalist Eric Clapton, and drummer Ginger Baker. Their sound was characterised by a hybrid of blues, hard rock and psychedelic rock. In retrospective to be "the first supergroup", Cream combined Clapton's blues guitar playing with the powerful voice and intense basslines of Jack Bruce and the jazz-influenced drumming of Ginger Baker. They have sold over 35 million albums worldwide. Wheels of Fire was the world's first platinum-selling double album. Cream's music included songs based on traditional blues such as "Crossroads" and "Spoonful", and modern blues such as "Born Under a Bad Sign", as well as more eccentric songs such as "Strange Brew", "Tales of Brave Ulysses" and "Toad". Cream's biggest hits were "I Feel Free" (UK, #11), "Sunshine of Your Love" (US, #5), "White Room" (US, #6), "Crossroads" (US, #28), and "Badge". Cream first visited the United States in March 1967 to play nine dates at the RKO Theater in New York. They returned to record Disraeli Gears in New York between 11 May and 15 May 1967. Cream's second album was released in November 1967 and reached the Top 5 in the charts on both sides of the Atlantic.
From its creation, Cream was faced with some fundamental problems that would later lead to its dissolution in November 1968. The rivalry between Bruce and Baker created tensions in the band. Clapton also felt that the members of the band did not listen to each other enough. Clapton once told a story that when Cream were playing in a concert, he stopped playing and neither Baker nor Bruce noticed. Clapton has also commented that Cream's later gigs mainly consisted of its members showing off. Cream decided that it would break up in May of 1968 during a tour of the US. Later, in July, an official announcement was made that the band would break up after a farewell tour of the United States and after playing two concerts in London. Cream finished its tour of the United States with a 4 November concert in Rhode Island and performed in the UK for the last time in London on 25 and 26 November. In 1993, Cream was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and set aside their differences to perform at the induction ceremony. Initially, the trio was wary about performing, until encouraging words from Robbie Robertson inspired them to try. The end result was an incendiary set consisting of "Sunshine of Your Love", "Crossroads", and - interestingly, as the band had never played it live during their original tenure - "Born Under a Bad Sign". Clapton mentioned in his acceptance speech that their rehearsal the day before the ceremony had marked the first time they had played together in 25 years. 'Artist Discography'
The Jeff Beck Group - was an English rock band formed in London in February 1967 by ex-Yardbirds guitarist Jeff Beck. Their innovative approach to heavy-sounding blues was a major influence on popular music in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The first Jeff Beck Group formed in London in 1967, consisting of Jeff Beck (guitar), Rod Stewart (vocals), Ronnie Wood (bass), and Aynsley Dunbar (drums). Beck had signed a personal management contract with famed U.K. singles record producer and manager, Mickie Most. Beck had envisioned forming the band he eventually did, but for the first part of their existence (early '67), they were relegated to being a 'backup band' for Beck, who was pressured by Most to become a solo act and singer, which Beck resented. They recorded three U.K. singles, each with lower sales than its predecessor; the 'B' sides demonstrated the group's potential. Most quickly lost interest in Beck and the group floundered for the better part of a year.
The band toured the U.S. to coincide with the release of Truth in early/mid 1968. The tour was a huge success, and they were being touted as the obvious replacement to Cream. The album climbed to number 15 on the Billboard charts. Late in the year, well-known session keyboardist Nicky Hopkins accepted an offer to tour with The Beck Group. This lineup (Beck, Stewart, Wood, Waller and Hopkins) would ultimately suffer from internal struggles, jealousies and firings. Ronnie Wood was fired at least twice, and in 1969 Micky Waller was replaced by drummer Tony Newman, who stayed with the group until they disbanded. They played many gigs from 1967 to 1969. Through most of 1967 they played the club circuit up and down England, as well as short tours to Europe and Scandinavia. 1968 and 1969 saw them playing a large amount of shows, mostly in the U.S., but again in Europe as well. Jimi Hendrix was a big fan of the group and joined them on stage during the 1968 US tour, jamming with Jeff Beck on stage. The band stayed together almost three years and produced three U.K. singles, and two LPs. There are, however, dozens of early recordings produced at DeLane Lea studios in 1967 and 1968 specifically for various BBC radio shows, including Saturday Club, Top Gear, and the Simmonds Show. Bootlegged in poor quality, these have never been officially released. 'Artist Discography'
The Dave Clark Five - was an English Beat group, one of the few presenting something of a commercial threat to The Beatles, the dominant group of the period. They were the second group of the "British Invasion", after The Beatles, to have a chart hit in United States ("Glad All Over" #6, February 1964). The Dave Clark Five had several more hit songs (see Discography below) in the United States during 1964-67, including "Bits and Pieces" (#4, April 1964), "Can’t You See That She’s Mine" (#4, June 1964), "Because" (#3, August 1964), "Anyway You Want It" (#14, November 1964), "I Like It Like That" (#7, June 1965), "Catch Us If You Can" (#4, August 1965), "Over And Over" (#1, November 1965), and "You Got What It Takes" (#7, April 1967). The group disbanded in late 1970. On 10 March 2008 the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Dave Clark was the drummer,. He played with his drums at the front of the stage, relegating the guitarists and keyboard to his rear and sides. He formed the band around 1957, originally as a partnership, but from 1963 to 1968 he employed the other members, paying their wages and also paying for the recordings. He owned the copyright in the recordings for this period. Lead vocals were provided by Mike Smith, who also played the keyboards. The rest of the band was Lenny Davidson on lead guitar, Rick Huxley on bass guitar, and Denny Payton on saxophone, harmonica and guitar. Originating in North London, the band was promoted as the vanguard of the 'Tottenham Sound', a response to the Mersey Beat stable managed by Brian Epstein. They had a series of memorable hits, including "Glad All Over" that in January 1964 knocked the Beatles from the number one position on the UK Singles Chart. The Dave Clark Five had 17 records in Billboard's Top 40, with 12 Top 40 United Kingdom hits between 1964 and 1967. Their song "Over And Over" went to number one in the U.S. on the Billboard Charts Hot 100 at the end of December 1965, despite less than impressive sales in the UK, and they played to sell-out crowds on their tours of the U.S. Heavily promoted as having a "cleaner" image than the Beatles, the Dave Clark Five made 13 appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show, more than any other UK group. The group was unique in the British Invasion because it was not an exclusively guitar-based sound. The beat was prominent and the DC5 was one of the few groups of the era to feature a saxophone. Smith's growling, blues-tinged vocals were in the lead on almost all of the hit singles. 'Artist Discography'
Gerry & the Pacemakers - was a British rock and roll group during the 1960s. In common with The Beatles, they came from Liverpool and were managed by Brian Epstein. Gerry Marsden formed the group in 1959 with (his brother), Fred Marsden, Les Chadwick and Arthur McMahon. They rivalled the Beatles early in their career, playing in the same areas of Hamburg, Germany and Liverpool, England. McMahon (known as Arthur Mack) was replaced on piano by Les Maguire around 1961. They are known to have rehearsed at Camell Laird shipping yard at Birkenhead. The band was the second to sign with Brian Epstein, who later signed them with Columbia Records (a sister label to The Beatles label Parlophone under EMI). They began recording in early 1963 with "How Do You Do It?", a song written by Mitch Murray that Adam Faith had turned down and one that The Beatles chose not to release . The song was produced by George Martin and became a number one hit in the UK, until being replaced at the top by "From Me to You", The Beatles' third single.
Gerry and The Pacemakers' next two singles, Murray's "I Like It" and Rodgers and Hammerstein's "You'll Never Walk Alone", both also reached number one in the UK Singles Chart. Never before had the first three singles by a performer all reached the top spot . "You'll Never Walk Alone" had been a favourite of Gerry Marsden's since seeing Carousel growing up (he turned down the Beatles' "Hello Little Girl" for this slot, which then became the first hit for The Fourmost). It soon became the signature tune of Liverpool Football Club. To this day, the song remains a football anthem, there and elsewhere, a phenomenon due to Gerry Marsden, rather than its Broadway composers.
Despite this early success, Gerry & The Pacemakers never had another number one single in the UK. Gerry Marsden began writing most of their own songs, including "It's Gonna Be All Right", "I'm the One", and "Ferry Cross the Mersey", as well as their first and biggest U.S. hit, "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying", which peaked at #4, and which Gerry Marsden initially gave to Decca recording artist Louise Cordet in 1963. She recorded the song, but without commercial success. They also starred in an early 1965 film called Ferry Cross the Mersey , for which Marsden wrote much of the soundtrack. 'Artist Discography'
Herman's Hermits - was an English pop band, formed in Manchester in 1963 as 'Herman & The Hermits'. The Original members were Keith Hopwood (guitar, vocals), Karl Green (guitar, vocals), Alan Wrigley (bass guitar, vocals), Steve Titterington (drums), and Peter Noone (lead vocals). The group's management and producer Mickie Most emphasized a simple, non-threatening and clean-cut image, although the band originally played R&B numbers. This helped Herman's Hermits become hugely successful in the mid-1960s but hampered the band's creativity, relegating Noone, Hopwood, Leckenby and Green's original songs to quickly recorded B-Sides and album cuts. Their first hit was "I'm Into Something Good" , which reached No. 1 in the UK and No. 13 in the US in 1964. They never topped the British charts again, but had two US No. 1's with "Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter" and "I'm Henry the Eighth, I Am" (a British Music Hall song dating from 1911). These songs were aimed at a US fan-base, with Peter Noone exaggerating his Manchester accent; the band was not fond of either song and they were never released as singles in Britain.
The Hermits appeared in several movies, including When The Boys Meet The Girls (1965) - and Hold On! (1966). They also starred in the film Mrs. Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter (1968) and were one of the performers in Pop Gear (1965). They were on the MGM label, a company which often featured the musical performers they had signed to record deals in films.
Herman's Hermits had three Top 3 hits in the U.S. in 1965, with the aforementioned #1 hits, as well as "Can't You Hear My Heartbeat" (U.S. #2). They had the hits "A Must to Avoid" (U.S. #8), "Listen People" (U.S. #3), "Leaning on a Lamp Post" (U.S. #7), and "Dandy" (U.S. #3) in 1966. They appeared on the The Ed Sullivan Show, The Dean Martin Show and The Jackie Gleason Show. Commercial success would prove elusive after the late '60's and Peter Noone and Keith Hopwood left the band in 1971. The band reunited in 1973 (without Hopwood) to headline a hugely successful British invasion tour culminating with a standing-room-only performance at Madison Square Garden and an appearance on The Midnight Special. 'Artist Discography'
The Kinks - are an English rock group formed in 1963, and categorized in the US as a British Invasion band. The Kinks have been cited as one of the most important and influential rock bands of all time. The Kinks first gained prominence in 1964 with their third single, the hit "You Really Got Me", written by Ray Davies. The band's name came from their "kinky" dress sense of leather capes and boots worn on stage. The group's original line-up consisted of Ray Davies on lead vocals/rhythm guitar/keyboards, Dave Davies on lead guitar/vocals, Pete Quaife on backing vocals/bass guitar, and Mick Avory on drums and percussion. Following Quaife's departure in 1969, the band centered around the three remaining original members and frequently changed bassists and keyboardists. In 1984, friction between Dave Davies and Mick Avory resulted in the latter's departure, leaving only the brothers from the original line-up. However, the increasingly deteriorating relationship between the Davies brothers, with a string of unsuccessful records, led to the break-up of the band in 1996. In late 2008, Ray Davies confirmed that the band are reuniting and are gearing for a possible new album and tour.
The band's early hard-driving singles set a standard in the mid-1960s for rock and roll, while albums such as Face to Face, Something Else, The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society, Arthur, and Muswell Hillbillies are highly regarded by fans, critics, and peers, and are considered amongst the most influential recordings of the era. During the New Wave era, groups such as The Jam, The Knack, and The Pretenders covered Kinks songs and Britpop acts such as Blur, Oasis and Supergrass have cited them as a major influence. Many modern bands such as The Killers, The Libertines, and Franz Ferdinand acknowledge The Kinks and Ray Davies' songwriting skills. In the VH1 documentary HEAVY: the Story of Metal The Kinks are mentioned as one of the early bands that can be traced with a heavy metal sound.
As self-professed Kinks fan Pete Townsend said for The History of Rock 'n' Roll: "The Kinks were much more quintessentially English. I always think that Ray Davies should one day be Poet Laureate. He invented a new kind of poetry and a new kind of language for pop writing that influenced me from the very, very, very beginning." 'Artist Discography'
The Moody Blues - are an English psychedelic rock band originally from Erdington in the city of Birmingham. Founding members Michael Pinder and Ray Thomas performed an initially rhythm and blues-based sound in Birmingham in 1964 along with Graeme Edge and others, and were later joined by John Lodge and Justin Hayward as they inspired and evolved the progressive rock style. Among their innovations was a fusion with classical music, most notably in their seminal 1967 album Days of Future Passed. The band has had numerous hit albums in the UK, U.S., and worldwide. They remain active as of 2008, with a USA Spring Tour and a U.K. Autumn Tour announced. The Moody Blues formed on 4 May 1964, in Erdington, Birmingham, England. Ray Thomas, John Lodge, and Michael Pinder had been members of El Riot & the Rebels, a regionally-popular band. They disbanded when Lodge, the youngest member, went to technical college and Pinder joined the army. Pinder then rejoined Thomas to form the Krew Cats and enjoyed moderate success. The pair recruited guitarist/vocalist Denny Laine, band manager-turned drummer Graeme Edge, and bassist Clint Warwick. The five appeared as the Moody Blues for the first time in Birmingham in 1964. The name developed from a planned sponsorship from the M&B Brewery and was also a subtle reference to the Duke Ellington song, "Mood Indigo".
Soon, the band obtained a London-based management company, 'Ridgepride', formed by ex-Decca A&R man Alex Murray (Alex Wharton), who helped them land a recording contract with Decca Records in the spring of 1964. They released a single, "Steal Your Heart Away" that year which made it onto the charts. But it was their second single, "Go Now" (released later that year), which really launched their career, being promoted on TV with one of the first purpose-made promotional films in the pop era, produced and directed by Wharton. The single became a hit in the United Kingdom (where it remains their only Number 1 single to date) and in the United States where it reached #10.
The Moodies remained among the highest-earning concert acts, and a series of video and audio versions of their 1992 Night at Red Rocks concert enjoyed great success, particularly as a fund-raiser for American public television where it had been first broadcast, it was also conducted and composed by Larry Baird, who has helped many other bands like Kansas, Michael Bolton, and Three Dog Night, Al Jarreau, and Alan Parsons in orchestral form of live events. They were also invited to play at the annual Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland the year prior, which they did in support of their Keys of the Kingdom album release. 'Artist Discography'
Peter & Gordon - were a British Invasion-era performing duo, formed by Peter Asher and Gordon Waller, that rocketed to fame in 1964 with "A World Without Love". Peter Asher's sister (the actress Jane Asher) was dating Paul McCartney (of The Beatles), and so Peter and Gordon recorded several songs written by McCartney, with or without John Lennon. Those hits included "Nobody I Know", "I Don't Want To See You Again" and "Woman". The writing credit for "Woman" is given to "Bernard Webb," which was in fact an alias for Paul McCartney. McCartney used the pseudonym to see if he could have a hit song even without his famous name attached to it. The song reached number 14 in the US and number 28 on the British charts. Peter and Gordon also recorded the John Lennon penned Lennon/McCartney song, "If I Fell". The Beatles connection doesn't end there. The Meredith Willson song, "Till There Was You", recorded by the Beatles and sung by Paul McCartney, was later recorded by Peter and Gordon.
Other hits for the group included "I Go to Pieces" (U.S. #7), which was written by Del Shannon and given to the duo after the two acts toured together, and remakes of "True Love Ways" by Buddy Holly and "To Know Him Is To Love Him" by the Teddy Bears, retitled "To Know You Is To Love You." Peter and Gordon had their last hits in 1967 with "Lady Godiva" (U.S. #6), "Knight In Rusty Armour" and "Sunday for Tea".
Asher became head of A&R for Apple Records. Asher has continued his career as a recording executive in California and has managed and produced Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor, Cher, Diana Ross and more.
In August 2005, Peter and Gordon reunited onstage for the first time in over 30 years, as part of two tribute concerts for Mike Smith of the Dave Clark Five in New York City. They have since performed at the Chicago, New Jersey and most recently two shows at the Festival for Beatles Fans convention in Las Vegas July 1 and 2 where according to a report by Journalist Peter Palmiere for Beatlefan magazine, the pair was the performing highlight of the convention. Peter and Gordon both told Palmiere at the Las Vegas Festival for Beatles Fans that they were to perform at the 2006 Adopt-A-Minefield show with Paul McCartney until it was cancelled by Paul himself due to his impending divorce from Heather Mills. On August 21, 2008, they performed a free concert on the pier in Santa Monica, California. 'Artist Discography'
The Rolling Stones - are an English rock band. The band formed in 1962 in London when original leader Brian Jones and pianist Ian Stewart were joined by vocalist Mick Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards, whose songwriting partnership later contributed to their taking the leadership role in the group. Bassist Bill Wyman and drummer Charlie Watts completed the early lineup. Ian Stewart was removed from the official lineup in 1963 but continued to work with the band as road manager and keyboardist until his death in 1985.
The band's early recordings were mainly covers of American blues and R&B songs. After first achieving success in the UK, they became popular in the US during the "British Invasion" of the early 1960s. Their 1965 single "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" established The Rolling Stones as a premier rock and roll act. Starting with their 1966 album Aftermath, the songs of Jagger and Richards, aided by the instrumental experimentation of Jones, expanded an always-present stylistic flexibility. Jones died in 1969 shortly after being fired from the band and was replaced by Mick Taylor. Taylor recorded five studio albums with The Rolling Stones before quitting in 1974. Former Faces guitarist Ronnie Wood stepped in and has been with the band ever since. Wyman left the Rolling Stones in 1993; bassist Darryl Jones, who is not an official band member, has worked with the group since 1994.
The Rolling Stones have released 22 studio albums in the UK , eight concert albums, and numerous compilations; and have sold more than 200 million albums worldwide. Sticky Fingers (1971) began a string of eight consecutive studio albums that charted at number one in the United States. In 1989 The Rolling Stones were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and in 2004 they were ranked number 4 in Rolling Stone magazine's 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. Their image of unkempt and surly youth is one that many musicians still emulate. 'Artist Discography'
The Small Faces - was an English rock group from East London, heavily influenced by American rhythm and blues. The group was founded in 1965 by members Steve Marriott, Ronnie Lane, Kenney Jones, and Jimmy Winston (replaced by Ian McLagan). They are also sometimes referred to as The Small Faces. They are best remembered as possibly one of the most acclaimed and influential mod groups of the 1960s, with hit songs such as "Itchycoo Park", "Lazy Sunday", "All or Nothing", Tin Soldier and their number one concept album Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake. They later evolved into one of the UK's most successful psychedelic acts before disbanding in 1969. After the Small Faces disbanded, three of the members were joined by Ronnie Wood (guitar) and Rod Stewart (lead vocals), both from The Jeff Beck Group, and the new line-up was renamed the Faces. They are also widely acknowledged as being one of the biggest original influences on the Britpop movement of the 1990s. Despite the fact they were together just four years, the Small Faces' music output from the mid to late sixties remains among the most acclaimed British mod and psychedelic music of that era. In 1996, they were belatedly awarded the Ivor Novello Outstanding Contribution to British Music "Lifetime Achievement" award.
Lane and Marriott met in 1965 while Marriott was working at the J60 Music Bar in Manor Park, London. Lane came in with his father Stan to buy a bass guitar, struck up a conversation with Marriott, bought the bass and went back to Marriott's house after work to listen to records. They recruited friends Kenney Jones and Jimmy Winston (born James Langwith, 20 April 1945, in Stratford, London), who switched from guitar to the organ. They rapidly progressed from rehearsals at The Ruskin Arms public house (which was owned by Winston's parents) in Manor Park, London, to ramshackle pub gigs, to semi-professional club dates. Marriott's unique and powerful voice attracted rising attention. 'Artist Discography'
Van Morrison & Them - was a Northern Irish group formed in Belfast in April 1964, most prominently known for the garage rock standard "Gloria" and launching singer Van Morrison's musical career. The group was marketed in the United States as part of the British Invasion. The band featured Van Morrison on vocals and harmonica, Billy Harrison on guitar (born William Harrison, 14 October 1942, in Belfast, County Antrim, Northern Ireland), Eric Wrixon on piano and keyboards (named the band, but never played on any published albums or toured the States), Alan Henderson on bass (born 26 November 1944, in Belfast), Raymond Sweetman on bass (born Dermot Robert Sweetman, 1 January 1948, in Holyhead, Anglesey, North Wales) and Ronnie Millings on drums (born c 1937, in Belfast), with other musicians replacing or contributing during the life of the band. Henderson was the only constant member of the band from inception through their 1972 breakup, and 1979 reunion.
When Van Morrison formed an R&B club with the entrepreneurs Jimmy Conlon, Jerry McKenna and Gerry McCurvey (known as the "3Js") at the Maritime Hotel in April 1964, he gave notice to the Golden Eagles, the group with which he performed at the time. This left him without a group. With an anticipated opening night for the new R&B club approaching, he embarked on a mission to find his ideal line-up. He had recently been introduced to The Gamblers, a Belfast East group formed by Ronnie Millings, Billy Harrison, and Alan Henderson in 1962. Still a schoolboy, Eric Wrixon had been recruited as piano player and keyboardist. Morrison soon joined up with this group playing saxophone and harmonica and sharing vocals with Billy Harrison. The group rehearsed together in a room over a bicycle shop in preparation for their debut at the Maritime. Deciding the group now needed a new name, they followed Eric Wrixon's suggestion, and The Gamblers morphed into Them after the 1954 sci-fi horror film.
In mid-1966, after Van Morrison left Them, he pursued a highly-successful solo career. The rest of the band regrouped back in Belfast and recruited Kenny McDowell (ex-Mad Lads) as singer. They continued touring and recording steadily after relocating to the USA in early 1967. Two of these post-Morrison albums, Now and Them and Time Out! Time In for Them, found the band experimenting with psychedelia. This line-up then disbanded, after which Henderson hired session musicians for two later, and much more considered efforts, where Them settled into a hard rock vein not too dissimilar from Uriah Heep. Sadly for the group, these efforts met with consumer indifference, and by 1972 the band had dissolved. 'Artist Discography'
The Who - are an English rock band formed in 1964. The primary lineup consisted of guitarist Pete Townshend, vocalist Roger Daltrey, bassist John Entwistle and drummer Keith Moon. They became known for their energetic live performances, are regarded as one of the most influential rock bands of the 1960s and '70s and recognized as one of the greatest rock and roll bands of all time. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990, their first year of eligibility. According to the New York Times, The Who are estimated to have sold 100 million records worldwide. The Who rose to fame in the United Kingdom with a pioneering instrument destruction stage show, as well as a series of top ten hit singles (including the celebrated "My Generation") and top five albums, beginning in 1965 with "My Generation". They first hit the top ten in the USA in 1967 with "I Can See for Miles". The 1969 release of Tommy was the first in a series of top five albums for the group in the USA, followed by Live at Leeds (1970), Who's Next (1971), Quadrophenia (1973), and Who Are You (1978) among others.
Keith Moon died in 1978, after which the band released two more studio albums, the top five Face Dances (1981) and the top ten It's Hard (1982), with drummer Kenney Jones, before officially disbanding in 1983. They re-formed on several occasions to perform at special events such as Live Aid and for reunion tours such as their 25th anniversary tour (1989) and the Quadrophenia revival tours of 1996 and 1997. In 2000, the three surviving original members began to discuss the possibility of recording an album of new material. These plans were delayed following the death of John Entwistle in 2002. Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey continue to perform as The Who. In 2006 they released the studio album Endless Wire, which reached the top ten in the UK and US. 'Artist Discography'
The Yardbirds - are an English rock band, noted for starting the careers of three of rock's most famous guitarists: Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page. A blues-based band whose sound evolved into experimental rock, they had a string of hits including “For Your Love”, “Over, Under, Sideways, Down” and “Heart Full Of Soul”. They were a crucial link between British R&B and psychedelia. The Yardbirds were pioneers in almost every guitar innovation of the '60s: fuzz tone, feedback, distortion, backwards echo, improved amplification. They were one of the first to put an emphasis on complex lead guitar parts and experimentation.
The bulk of the band's conceptual ideas, as well as their songwriting, came from the quartet of singer/harmonica player Keith Relf, drummer Jim McCarty, rhythm guitarist/bassist Chris Dreja, and bassist/producer Paul Samwell-Smith, all of whom co-wrote the Yardbirds' original hits and constituted the core of the group. The band's musical foundation would also lay the groundwork for the formation of the 1970s rock band Led Zeppelin, formed by Jimmy Page after the disbandment of the Yardbirds in 1968. The band reformed in the 1990s, featuring McCarty, Dreja, and new members.
Formed originally as the Metropolitan Blues Quartet in 1962–63 in the London suburbs, and having emanated out of the atmosphere of Bohemianism fostered by the Kingston Art School, the Yardbirds first performed as a backup band for Cyril Davies, and achieved notice on the burgeoning British blues scene (or "rhythm and blues", as the British music press alluded to it) when they took over as the house band at the Crawdaddy Club in Richmond, succeeding the Rolling Stones in September 1963, and flying in the face of London's 'serious music' 'trad jazz' club scene circuit in which the new 'R&B' groups got many of their first professional bookings. With a repertoire drawn from the Delta-soaked Chicago blues titans Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley, Sonny Boy Williamson II and Elmore James, the Yardbirds began to build a following of their own in London before very long.
Jim McCarty and Chris Dreja reformed the Yardbirds in the 1990s, with John Idan handling bass and lead vocals, and touring regularly since then with a number of guitarists and harmonica players passing through their ranks. In 2003, a new album, Birdland, was released under the Yardbirds name on the Favored Nations label by a lineup including Chris Dreja, Jim McCarty, and new members Gypie Mayo (lead guitar, backing vocals), John Idan (bass, lead vocals) and Alan Glen (harmonica, backing vocals), which consisted of a mixture of new material mostly penned by McCarty and re-recordings of some of their greatest hits, with guest appearances by Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Slash, Brian May, Steve Lukather, Jeff "Skunk" Baxter, John Rzeznik, Martin Ditchum and Simon McCarty. Also, Jeff Beck reunited with his former bandmates on the song "My Blind Life". And then there was the rare and improbable guest appearance on stage in 2005 by their first guitarist from the sixties, Top Topham. 'Artist Discography'
The Zombies - are an English rock band led by Rod Argent, and vocalist Colin Blunstone. The group had a big hit in 1964 entitled "She's Not There" in the UK and America followed by two more successful single in America, "Tell Her No" and, "Time of the Season". The original lineup included Colin Blunstone as lead vocalist, Rod Argent on organ, Paul Atkinson on guitar, Chris White on bass, and Hugh Grundy on drums. Formed in 1961 the group gained their initial reputation playing the Old Verulamians Rugby Club in St. Albans, England, where the original members were all students.
The Zombies signed a contract with Decca after winning a music competition sponsored by the London Evening News. Their big hit, "She's Not There" was released in mid-1964 and peaked at number 12 in the UK, being their only UK Top 40 hit. This song was slightly different from the current British Invasion sound due to a noticeable jazz influence, which distinguished them from the more blues influenced sounds of the other British invaders. The first U.S. appearance by the group, to promote their hit, was on the premier episode of Hullabaloo in January 1965 where they performed to the typical American audience of wild teenage girls.
The Zombies were never able to repeat their initial success and by the time "Odessey and Oracle" was released in April 1968, the group had disbanded. "Odessey and Oracle" is ranked 80 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time
Colin Blunstone and Argent reunited in 2001 and over the next few years resurrected "The Zombies" as a recording and touring unit with ex-Argent bassist Jim Rodford, his son Steve Rodford on drums and Keith Airey on guitar. 'Artist Discography' (Thanks to Curtis C. for the suggestion)
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