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Influential Musicians
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Notable Punk Performers
(Click on individual Musician's Biography section to visit Musician's Home Page)

Lee Aaron - Bad Brains - Bad Religion - The Bangles - Blondie - Boomtown Rats - The Clash - The Cure - The Damned
Dave Edmunds - David Bowie - Dead Kennedys - Dead Milkmen - Depeche Mode - Elvis Costello - Devo - The Fall - Hüsker Dü
The Jam - The Knack - Midnight Oil - Minor Threat - The Misfits - The Modern Lovers - New York Dolls - Nick Cave - Nick Lowe - Patti Smith
Pere Ubu - The Plasmatics - The Police - Radio Birdman- The Ramones - Real Kids - The Romantics - The Sex Pistols - The Slits
Social Distortion - Sonic Youth - Squeeze - Talking Heads - Television - Johnny Thunders & the Heartbreakers - The Violent Femmes
X (US) - X (Australia) - XTC

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 Punk 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.

Lee Aaron - (born as Karen Lynn Greening on July 21, 1962 in Belleville, Ontario) is a Canadian rock and jazz singer. She had several hits with titles such as "Metal Queen", "Whatcha Do to my Body", and "Sex with Love". According to her official website, and despite rumors to the contrary, Lee will continue to perform selections from her full catalogue as well as doing 'jazz-only' shows on occasion. After starting her career in glam metal music, at 16 she joined a rock group named Lee Aaron in Brampton, Ontario. Aaron eventually adopted the name as her own and formed a new band, releasing her first long play in 1982. John Albani, a guitar player in her band, helped her write the vast majority of the songs. "Buzz" Shearman , Bill Wade, Terry Juric, and Earl Johnson all former members of the Canadian rock band Moxy would all appear on her debut album called The Lee Aaron Project released in 1982. She then began touring in Europe - in England and Germany. In 1983 as a promotional stunt, Aaron posed nude for American adult magazine OUI, which failed to make an impact on her album sales or her career. In late 1983 she recorded her second album titled Metal Queen which was released in 1984. 'Artist Discography'

Bad Brains

 

Bad Brains - Originally formed as a jazz fusion ensemble under the name Mind Power, Bad Brains developed a very fast and intense punk rock sound, which was both musically complex, and was often played faster and more emphatically than the music of many of their peers. They were also an adept reggae band, in a sort of Jekyll-and-Hyde arrangement, while later recordings featured elements of other genres. Bad Brains are also notable as religious followers of the Rastafari movement. Bad Brains broke up and reformed several times over the years, sometimes with different singers and/or drummers. The band's classic and current lineup is singer H.R., guitarist Dr. Know, bassist Darryl Jenifer, and drummer Earl Hudson, H.R.'s younger brother. Bad Brains were ranked #99 on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock. Though the official name of the band is Bad Brains, they are often referred to as The Bad Brains, sometimes even by the band members themselves. The Beastie Boys were huge Bad Brains fans, and they intentionally selected a name with the initials B.B. because of this. 'Artist Discography'

 

Bad Religion - Founded in Southern California in 1980 by Jay Bentley (bass), Greg Graffin (vocals), Brett Gurewitz (guitars) and Jay Ziskrout (drums). They are often credited for leading the revival of punk rock and inspiring pop-punk bands during the late 1980s, as well as influencing a large number of other punk and rock musicians throughout their career. In the 29 years since its inception, Bad Religion has had numerous lineup changes, and Graffin has been the only constant member, although the band currently features three of the original four members. To date, Bad Religion has released fourteen studio albums, two EPs, three compilation albums, one live recording, and two DVDs. Their 1988 album Suffer has been regarded by some critics as one of the most important punk rock albums of all time, although it was not charted in Billboard. Bad Religion rose to fame with their 1993 album Recipe for Hate, which reached number 14 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart, marking the highest initial charting album in the band's career. Their next album, Stranger Than Fiction, featuring the band's well-known hit singles "21st Century (Digital Boy)" and "Infected", was also highly successful and became the only Bad Religion album to obtain gold status in the US. Following Gurewitz's departure in 1994, Bad Religion declined in popularity and poor record sales continued until the release of The New America in 2000. Gurewitz returned to the fold in 2001, making Bad Religion a six-piece band, and contributed to their three most recent albums. The band has discussed the possibility of recording their next studio album, which is expected to be released in 2010, and will also mark the first time that a Bad Religion line-up had not changed in four consecutive studio recordings. They are particularly known for their sophisticated use of style, metaphor, vocabulary, imagery, and vocal harmonies (which they refer to in their album liner notes as the "oozin aahs.) Lyrics are often reflective on matters of personal feelings or of personal or social responsibility. 'Artist Discography'

 

The Bangles - When Susanna Hoffs joined the sisters Vicki Peterson and Debbi Peterson to form a band in Los Angeles in the waning days of December, 1980, the trio briefly christened itself The Colours, shortly renamed itself The Supersonic Bangs, but soon morphed its name to The Bangs. The band was part of the Los Angeles Paisley Underground scene, which featured groups that played a mixture of 1960s-influenced folk-rock and jangle pop with a more modern punk–ish/garage band undertone. In 1981 the threesome recorded and released a single (Getting Out Of Hand b/w Call on Me) on DownKiddie Records, their own label. In 1982 The trio was signed to Faulty Products, a label formed by Miles Copeland. 1988's "Everything" was a multi-platinum smash and included their biggest-selling single, the soft ballad "Eternal Flame". In spite of the hits the working relationships within the band had broken down, however, and they split shortly after, with Hoffs embarking on a solo career and Vicki Peterson touring as a member of the Go-Go's and the Continental Drifters. The Bangles re-formed to record a song for the soundtrack of Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me at the behest of the film's director (and Hoffs' husband) Jay Roach. The song chosen for the album was "Get the Girl"; it was released in 1999. The reunion continued with a tour in 2000, and they remain together to this day.
 Like many other modern music groups, the Bangles have contributed to many other artists' works and to compilations. They provided the song "I Got Nothing" for the soundtrack album for the 1985 film The Goonies, and made a cameo appearance in Cyndi Lauper's music video for "Goonies 'R' Good Enough". Lauper later enlisted them for backup vocals in her 1986 hit song "Change of Heart". In 1988, while recording his album Full Moon Fever, Tom Petty and his lead guitarist Mike Campbell called on the group to provide backing vocals for the song "Waiting for Tonight". Unfortunately, the song never made it to the album, but instead made the compilations Playback and Anthology: Through the Years. 'Artist Discography'

Blondie

 

Blondie - In the early 1970s, Chris Stein moved to New York City and, inspired by the New York Dolls, aimed to join a similar band. He joined The Stilettos in 1973 as their guitarist and formed a romantic relationship with the band's vocalist, Deborah Harry. A former waitress and Playboy Bunny, Harry had been a member of the folk-rock band, The Wind in the Willows, in the late 1960s. In 1974, Stein parted ways with The Stilettos and Elda Gentile, the band's originator. Stein and Harry formed a new band with drummer Billy O'Connor and bassist Fred Smith. After some personnel turnover (other early members included sisters Tish Bellomo and Eileen Bellomo on backing vocals) by 1975, Stein and Harry were joined by drummer Clem Burke, keyboard player Jimmy Destri and bass player Gary Valentine. Originally billed as Angel and the Snake the band renamed themselves Blondie in late 1975. The name was taken from comments from truck drivers who called "Hey, Blondie" to Harry as they drove by.
 The band was a pioneer in the early American new wave and punk rock scenes. Their first two albums contained strong elements of these genres, and although successful in the United Kingdom and Australia, Blondie was regarded as an underground band in the United States until the release of Parallel Lines in 1978. Over the next three years, the band achieved several hit singles and was noted for its eclectic mix of musical styles incorporating elements of disco, pop and reggae, while retaining a basic style as a new wave band. 'Artist Discography'

 

Boomtown Rats - The name "Boomtown Rats" comes from a gang in Woody Guthrie's autobiography, Bound for Glory. They became a notable band, but one whose accomplishments were overshadowed by the charity work of lead singer Bob Geldof. Friends Gerry Cott, John Moylett, Patrick Cusack, Garry Roberts, and Simon Crowe formed the band in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland. Bob Geldof was originally the bands manager, but soon found himself taking on the duty of lead vocals from guitarist Garry Roberts. The Boomtown Rats released their first single, "Looking After Number One", in 1977, and it went straight into the UK Singles Chart. The song was a raw, youthful punk rock song that spoke of pure self-interest. The band's final performance came at Self Aid, a 1986 concert featuring many Irish rock superstars, to raise awareness of rampant unemployment in Ireland.
 In 2008 Garry Roberts and Simon Crowe 'reformed' the band, adding Peter Barton from The Animals on bass and lead vocals, and Darren Beale from The Electric Shepherds on lead guitar and vocals. In addition, Johnnie Fingers has signaled his intention to join the band as soon as circumstances allow. Bob Geldof has raised legal objections, (imagine that!), to their use of the name 'Boomtown Rats', leading to their billing simply as 'The Rats' for their gigs in 2008. According to the band's official website, this incarnation of the band is a back-to-basics approach intended to reflect the earthy spirit and sound of the early Boomtown Rats. Gerry Cott attended The Rats' second gig (at The 100 Club in Oxford Street, London) and there was talk of him joining the band for some guest appearances. 'Artist Discography'

 

The Clash - English rock band that formed in 1976 as part of the original wave of British punk rock. Along with punk rock, they experimented with reggae, ska, dub, funk, rap and rockabilly. For most of their recording career, The Clash consisted of Joe Strummer (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Mick Jones (lead guitar, vocals), Paul Simonon (bass, backing vocals, occasional lead vocals) and Nicky "Topper" Headon (drums, percussion). Headon left the group in 1982, and internal friction led to Jones's departure the following year. The group continued with new members, but finally disbanded in early 1986.
 The Clash's politicized lyrics, musical experimentation, and rebellious attitude had a far-reaching influence on rock, alternative rock in particular. They became widely referred to as "The Only Band That Matters", originally a promotional slogan introduced by the group's record label, CBS. In January 2003 the band—including original drummer Terry Chimes—were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked The Clash number 30 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
 The band's music was often charged by a leftist political ideology. Joe Strummer, in particular, was a committed leftist. The Clash are credited with pioneering the advocacy of radical politics in punk rock, and were known as the "Thinking Man's Yobs" by many simply for voicing a political slant other than anarchism. Like many early punk bands, The Clash protested against monarchy and aristocracy. However, unlike many of their peers, The Clash rejected nihilism. Instead, they found solidarity with a number of contemporary liberation movements and were involved with such groups as the Anti-Nazi League. Their politics were made explicit in the lyrics of such early recordings as "White Riot", which encouraged disaffected white youths to become politically active like their black counterparts; "Career Opportunities", which addressed the alienation of low-paying, routine jobs and discontent over the lack of alternatives; and "London's Burning", about the bleakness and boredom of life in the inner city. Artist Caroline Coon, who was associated with the punk scene, argued that "those tough, militaristic songs were what we needed as we went into Thatcherism". 'Artist Discography'

The Cure

 

The Cure - The Cure first began releasing music in the late 1970s with their debut album Three Imaginary Boys (1979); this, along with several early singles, placed the band as part of the post-punk and New Wave movements that had sprung up in the wake of the punk rock revolution in the United Kingdom. During the early 1980s the band's increasingly dark and tormented music helped form the gothic rock genre. After the release of Pornography (1982), the band's future was uncertain and Smith was keen to move past the gloomy reputation his band had acquired. With the 1982 single "Let's Go to Bed" Smith began to inject more of a pop sensibility into the band's music. The Cure's popularity increased as the decade wore on, especially in the United States where the songs "Just Like Heaven", "Lovesong" and "Friday I'm in Love" entered the Billboard Hot 100 charts. By the start of the 1990s, The Cure were one of the most popular alternative rock bands in the world, and although their profile has lessened in more recent years, they are estimated to have sold 27 million albums as of 2004. The Cure have released thirteen studio albums and over thirty singles during the course of their career.  The Cure are often identified with the gothic rock sub-genre of alternative rock, and are viewed as one of the form's definitive bands. However, the band has routinely rejected classification, particularly as a gothic rock band. The band consists of Robert Smith – lead vocals, guitar, keyboards, six-string bass, Simon Gallup – bass guitar, keyboards, Porl Thompson – guitar, keyboards, Jason Cooper – drums, percussion,
  Past members are; Lol Tolhurst, Michael Dempsey, Matthieu Hartley, Phil Thornalley, Andy Anderson, Boris Williams, Roger O'Donnell, and Perry Bamonte. 'Artist Discography'

 

The Damned - Notable for being the first punk rock band from England to release a single ("New Rose"), an album (Damned Damned Damned), and to tour the United States. The Damned later evolved into one of the forerunners of the gothic rock genre. They have incorporated numerous styles into their music and image, including: garage rock, psychedelic rock, cabaret, and the theatrical rock of Screaming Lord Sutch and Alex Harvey. Lead singer Dave Vanian's vocal style has been described as similar to a crooner. The Damned have dissolved and reformed many times, with Vanian as the sole constant member, however, the lineups have always included either guitarist Captain Sensible and/or drummer Rat Scabies, who are both founding members. The current line-up includes Vanian, Captain Sensible, Monty Oxy Moron, Pinch and Stu West. Dave Vanian (David Lett), Captain Sensible (Raymond Burns) and Rat Scabies (Chris Millar) had been members of the band Masters of the Backside, which also included future Pretenders front woman Chrissie Hynde. Brian James (Brian Robertson) had been a member of the punk band London SS, who never played live but included musicians who later found fame in The Clash and Generation X. Scabies knew James through a failed audition as drummer for London SS. When the two decided to start their own band, James and Scabies had invited Sid Vicious and Dave Vanian to audition to be the singer of The Damned. Only Vanian showed up, and so he became the front man of the band. In 1993 the group reformed with a new line-up of appeared featuring Scabies, Vanian, guitarists Kris Dollimore (formerly of The Godfathers), and Alan Lee Shaw, and bassist Moose Harris in 1995. They toured regularly for about two years and released a new full-length album, Not of This Earth. The Damned released for download their tenth studio album, So, Who's Paranoid?, on October 2008. 'Artist Discography'

 

Dave Edmunds - (born 15 April 1944 in Cardiff, Glamorgan, South Wales) is a Welsh singer, guitarist and record producer. Although he is primarily associated with pub rock and New Wave, and had numerous popular hits in the 1970s and early 1980s, his natural leaning has always been towards 1950s style rock and roll.  As a young teenager Edmunds played with a band called the 99ers and in the 'Heartbeats' with his older brother Geoff . The first group that he fronted was the Cardiff based 1950s style rockabilly trio 'The Raiders', along with Bob 'Congo' Jones on drums and John Williams on bass, that worked almost exclusively in the South Wales area. In the late 1960s, the band shifted to a more blues-rock sound and renamed as the short lived 'The Human Beans', playing mostly in London and on the British University circuit. In 1967 the band recorded a cover of "Morning Dew" on the Columbia label that failed to have any chart impact. Soon after the remnants of Human Beans formed a new band called Love Sculpture that again reunited Edmunds, Jones and Williams as a trio, who scored a quasi-novelty hit by reworking Khachaturian's classical piece "Sabre Dance" as a speed-crazed rock number, inspired by Keith Emerson's classical rearrangements. "Sabre Dance" became a hit after garnering the enthusiastic attention of British DJ John Peel. 'Artist Discography'

 

David BowieDavid Bowie - born David Robert Jones on 8 January 1947) is an English musician, actor, record producer and arranger. Active in five decades of rock music and frequently reinventing his music and image, Bowie is widely regarded as an innovator, particularly for his work in the 1970s. He has been cited as an influence by many musicians. Although he released an album and numerous singles earlier, David Bowie first caught the eye and ear of the public in the autumn of 1969, when the Apollo program-inspired "Space Oddity" reached the top five of the UK singles chart. After a three-year period of experimentation he re-emerged in 1972 during the glam rock era as the flamboyant, androgynous alter ego Ziggy Stardust, spearheaded by the hit single "Starman" and the album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. The relatively short-lived Ziggy persona epitomized a career often marked by musical innovation, reinvention and striking visual presentation.
 Bowie's interest in music was sparked at the age of nine when his father brought home a collection of American 45s, including Fats Domino, Chuck Berry and, most particularly, Little Richard. Upon listening to "Tutti Frutti", Bowie would later say, "I had heard God". His half-brother Terry introduced him to modern jazz and Bowie's enthusiasm for players like Charles Mingus and John Coltrane led his mother to give him a plastic saxophone for Christmas in 1959. Graduating to a real instrument, he formed his first band in 1962, the Konrads. He then played and sang in various blues/beat groups, such as The King Bees, The Manish Boys, The Lower Third and The Riot Squad in the mid-1960s, releasing his first record, the single "Liza Jane", with the King Bees in 1964. His early work shifted through the blues and Elvis-inspired music while working with many British pop styles.
 In 1975, Bowie achieved his first major American crossover success with the number-one single "Fame", co-written with John Lennon, and the hit album Young Americans, which the singer identified as "plastic soul". The sound constituted a radical shift in style that initially alienated many of his UK devotees. He then confounded the expectations of both his record label and his American audiences by recording the minimalist album Low—the first of three collaborations with Brian Eno over the next two years. Arguably his most experimental works to date, the so-called "Berlin Trilogy" albums all reached the UK Top Five. After uneven commercial success in the late 1970s, Bowie had UK number ones with the 1980 single "Ashes to Ashes" and its parent album, Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps). He paired with Queen for the 1981 UK chart-topper "Under Pressure", but consolidated his commercial, and, until then, most profitable, sound in 1983 with the album Let's Dance, which yielded the hit singles "Let's Dance", "China Girl", and "Modern Love". In the BBC's 2002 poll of the 100 Greatest Britons, Bowie ranked 29. Throughout his career he has sold an estimated 136 million albums, and ranks among the ten best-selling acts in UK pop history. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked him 39th on their list of the 100 Greatest Rock Artists of All Time. 'Artist Discography'

 

Dead Kennedys - One of the most popular and important American hardcore punk bands of the late '70s/early '80s. They formed in San Francisco in 1978 when East Bay Ray placed an ad in a music paper that vocalist Jello Biafra responded to. They were soon joined by bassist Klaus Flouride, drummer Ted and a second guitarist known to posterity simply as "6025". The latter departed in March 1979, while Ted was replaced at the very end of 1980 by D.H. Peligro. After a brief rehearsal period, Dead Kennedys played their first gig at Mabuhay Gardens in July 1978. The "Fab Mab" was a Filipino restaurant in San Francisco's North Beach section that served as a home to punk bands for nearly ten years. It wasn't too long before the band gained a considerable following around San Francisco. Live, DKs were a combination of chaos and theatrics. Their sound could be described as a cross between the Sex Pistols and the Ventures.
 On March 25, 1980, the DKs were invited to perform at the Bay Area Music Awards in front of music industry bigwigs to give the event some "New Wave credibility", in the words of the organizers. The day of the show was spent practicing the song they were asked to play, the underground hit, "California Über Alles". In typically subversive, perverse style, the band became the talking point of the ceremony when after about 15 seconds into the song, Biafra said, "Hold it! We've gotta prove that we're adults now. We're not a punk rock band, we're a new wave band." The band, who all wore white shirts with a big, black S painted on the front, pulled black ties from around the backs of their necks to form a dollar sign, then started playing a new song "Pull My Strings", a barbed, satirical attack on the ethics of the mainstream music industry, which contained the lyrics, "Is my cock big enough, is my brain small enough, for you to make me a star?". The song also referenced The Knack's biggest New Wave hit, "My Sharona". The song was never recorded in the studio but this performance, the first and only time the song was ever performed, was released on the posthumous compilation album Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death. 'Artist Discography'

 

Dead Milkmen - The band began as a bedroom cassette project featuring Genaro and his friend Garth, who created characters and mythology in the band's name. Linderman (originally the drummer) joined the group in its embryonic home-recording stage prior to Garth's departure to join the United States Air Force; Schulthise and Sabatino, respectively, joined prior to the band's first performances. After a few self released cassettes, the first official Dead Milkmen album, Big Lizard in my Backyard, was released in 1985. Their music received some airplay on college radio stations but was rarely heard on commercial radio. Their best-known song from this record was "Bitchin' Camaro," which became their signature tune. Because of its improvised dialogue intro, it was a favorite at live shows. (Both the album and song were mentioned on the television show Midnight Caller in a scene featuring lead actor Gary Cole and guest star Robert Klein.) Their next two LP's, Eat Your Paisley (1986) and Bucky Fellini (1987), saw the band continue to embrace humor. Eat Your Paisley's single "The Thing That Only Eats Hippies" was a hit in Australia and got some rotation on the radio, and also became the first Dead Milkmen music video. Bucky Fellini featured a tune that received some radio play, "Instant Club Hit (You’ll Dance to Anything)." This song attacked the supposedly shallow listeners of post-punk dance music for their lack of taste in music—done in a stereotypical post-punk dance style. Another track attacking a similar crowd (and mentioning the band Depeche Mode as well), "Moron", was featured on Eat Your Paisley. The song "Big Time Operator" was the Dead Milkmen's second music video, featuring Rodney dressed up as Franken-Elvis in a Jewish cemetery. During the band's up rise, Dean "Clean" Sabatino kept a band journal, which he later posted on his website. The milkmen are of Rodney Linderman on vocals, keyboards, Joe Genaro on vocals, guitar, keyboards, Dean Sabatino on drums, percussion, vocals, Dan Stevens on bass guitar, and Dave Schulthise (now deceased) - bass guitar. 'Artist Discography'

 

Depeche Mode Depeche Mode - Depeche Mode's origins can be traced back to 1977, when Vince Clarke and Andrew Fletcher formed a band called No Romance in China, with Clarke on vocals/guitar and Fletcher on bass. In 1979, Clarke played guitar in an "Ultravox rip-off band", The Plan, with school friends Robert Marlow (vocals) and Paul Langwith (drums). In 1978–79, Gore played in an acoustic duo, Norman and The Worms, with school friend Philip Burdett on vocals and Gore on guitar. In 1979, Marlow, Gore, Clarke and friend Paul Redmond formed a band called The French Look, Marlow on vocals/keyboards, Gore on guitar, Clarke and Redmond on keyboards. In March 1980, Clarke, Gore and Fletcher formed a band called Composition of Sound, with Clarke on vocals/guitar, Gore on keyboards and Fletcher on bass. The French Look and Composition of Sound once played live together in June 1980 at St. Nicholas School Youth Club in Basildon, Essex.
 Soon after the formation of Composition of Sound, Clarke and Fletcher switched to synthesizers, working odd jobs, including carpentry, to buy them, or borrowing them from friends. Dave Gahan joined the band in 1980 after Clarke heard him perform at a local scout-hut jam session, crooning to a rendition of David Bowie's "Heroes", and Depeche Mode were born. When explaining the choice for the new name (taken from a French fashion magazine, Dépêche mode) Martin Gore has said, "It means hurried fashion or fashion dispatch. I like the sound of that.". But the correct translation is 'fashion dispatch'.
 In December 2006, Depeche Mode were nominated for a Grammy Award, for Best Dance Recording, for "Suffer Well." This is their third Grammy Award nomination. The first being a Best Long Form Music Video award in 1995 for Devotional and the second being for Best Dance Recording for "I Feel Loved". Depeche Mode influenced many of today's popular recording artists, in part due to their recording techniques and innovative use of sampling.  The band's influence is spread throughout different genres of music. 'Artist Discography'

 

Devo - One of new wave's most innovative and successful bands, Devo, was also perhaps one of its most misunderstood. Formed in Akron, OH, in 1974 by Kent State art students Gerald Casale and Mark Mothersbaugh, Devo took its name from their concept of "de-evolution" - the idea that instead of evolving, mankind has actually regressed, as evidenced by the dysfunction and herd mentality of American society. Their music echoed this view of society as rigid, repressive, and mechanical, with appropriate touches -- jerky, robotic rhythms; an obsession with technology and electronics (the group was among the first non-prog rock bands to make the synthesizer a core element); often atonal melodies and chord progressions - all of which were filtered through the perspectives of geeky misfits. Devo became a cult sensation, helped in part by their concurrent emphasis on highly stylized visuals and groundbreaking music videos directed by Gerald Casale.
 Devo's music and stage show mingle kitsch science fiction themes, deadpan surrealist humor, and mordantly satirical social commentary via sometimes-discordant pop songs that often feature unusual synthetic instrumentation and time signatures, and their work has proved hugely influential on subsequent popular music, particularly New Wave, industrial and alternative rock artists.
 Devo's big break came in 1976 when their short film The Truth About De-Evolution won a prize at the Ann Arbor Film Festival; it was then seen by David Bowie and Iggy Pop, who championed them and enabled Devo to secure a recording contract with Warner Bros. Records. By this time Alan Myers had replaced Jim Mothersbaugh as drummer. After Bowie backed out due to previous commitments, their first album, Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! was produced by Brian Eno and featured a radical cover of the Rolling Stones' "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" and the controversially titled "Mongoloid". Members were; Gerald Casale on bass guitar, Bob Lewis on guitar, Bob Casale on guitar, Mark Mothersbaugh on minimoog and mellotron, Fred Weber on vocals, and Rod Reisman on drums. 'Artist Discography'

 

Elvis Costello Elvis Costello - (born Declan Patrick MacManus; 25 August 1954) is an English musician and singer-songwriter. Costello came to prominence as an early participant in London's pub rock scene in the mid-1970s, and later became associated with the punk rock and New Wave musical genres, before establishing his own unique voice in the 1980s. Steeped in wordplay, the vocabulary of Costello's lyrics is broader than that of most popular songs. His work has drawn on many diverse musical genres.
 To support himself, he worked a number of office jobs, most famously at the Elizabeth Arden cosmetics firm, immortalized in the lyrics of "I'm Not Angry" as the "vanity factory" – where he worked as a data entry clerk. He worked for a short period as a computer operator at the Midland Bank computer center in Bootle, Liverpool. He continued to write songs, and began actively looking for a solo recording contract. On the basis of a demo tape, he was signed to noted independent label Stiff Records. His manager at Stiff, Jake Riviera, suggested a name change, combining Elvis Presley's first name (despite Costello having a small antipathy towards Presley) and Costello, his mother's maiden name. The first Costello single for Stiff was "Less Than Zero", released on 25 March 1977. Two months later, Costello's first album, My Aim Is True (1977), was a moderate commercial success (No. 14 in the UK and Top 40 in the US) with Costello appearing on the cover in his trademark oversize glasses, bearing a striking resemblance to a menacing Buddy Holly.
 Costello recruited via auditions his own permanent band, The Attractions, consisting of Steve Nieve (piano), Bruce Thomas (bass guitar), and Pete Thomas (drums; unrelated to Bruce Thomas). He released his first major hit single, "Watching the Detectives", which was recorded with Nieve and the pair of Steve Goulding (drums) and Andrew Bodnar (bass), both members of Graham Parker's backing band The Rumour (whom he had used to audition for The Attractions). Stiff's records were initially distributed only in the UK, which meant that Costello's first album and singles were initially available in the US as imports only. In an attempt to change this, Costello was arrested for busking outside of a London convention of CBS (Columbia Records) executives, "protesting" that no US record company had yet seen fit to release Elvis Costello records in the United States. Costello signed to CBS in the US a few months later. 'Artist Discography'

 

The Fall - Initially associated with the punk movement of the late 1970s, the group's music has gone through several stylistic changes over the years. However, The Fall's music is often characterized by repetition, an abrasive guitar-driven sound, and is always underpinned by Smith's vocals and often cryptic lyrics, described by critic Steve Huey as "abstract poetry filled with complicated wordplay, bone-dry wit, cutting social observations, and general misanthropy (sometimes more implied than clearly stated, but apparent nonetheless)." The band's output is prolific—as of April 2008 they have released 27 studio albums, and more than triple that counting live albums and other releases. They have never achieved widespread public success beyond a handful of minor hit singles in the late 1980s, but have maintained a strong cult following. The band were long associated with BBC disc jockey John Peel, who championed them from early on in their career and cited The Fall as his favorite band, famously explaining, "They are always different; they are always the same."
 The Fall formed in Prestwich, Greater Manchester during 1976, taking their name after Albert Camus' 1956 novel The Fall. They would meet at Kingswood Road, Prestwich and rehearse material in Smith's/Baines' flat. The original line up was to be Martin Bramah - vocal, Mark Smith - guitar, Tony Friel - bass and Una Baines - drums.
 Of the group's influence, Stephen Thomas Erlewine wrote that "the Fall, like many cult bands, inspired a new generation of underground bands, ranging from waves of sound-alike indie rockers in the U.K. to acts in America and New Zealand, which is only one indication of the size and dedication of their small, devoted fan base." The Fall have also had a profound influence over groups such as Franz Ferdinand, The Smiths, LCD Soundsystem, The Long Blondes, The Birthday Party, Nirvana, Pavement and Happy Mondays. 'Artist Discography'

 

Husker Du Hüsker Dü - American punk rock band formed in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota in 1979. The band's continual members were guitarist Bob Mould, bassist Greg Norton, and drummer Grant Hart. Hüsker Dü never achieved mainstream success, but attained an influence far larger than their modest sales figures would indicate. Following a series of successful albums, including Zen Arcade (1984) and New Day Rising (1985), the band signed to Warner Bros. Records in 1986, becoming one of the first American underground rock bands to sign with a major record label. Hüsker Dü first gained notice as a hardcore punk band with thrashing tempos and screamed vocals. The band developed a more melodic musical style as they drifted away from their early sound, helping to develop the early alternative rock sound in the process. Mould and Hart split the songwriting and singing duties; Mould's lyrics were known for being more soul-searching and intense than the often whimsical and cryptic ones of Hart. Hüsker Dü broke up in 1987 without achieving a popular breakthrough. Mould formed another band, Sugar, in the early 1990s and has embarked on a sporadic solo career; Hart and Norton have been less active since Hüsker Dü's demise. Although never experiencing commercial success, Hüsker Dü influenced a number of later pop punk and alternative rock bands, such as the Pixies, Dinosaur Jr., Superchunk, Green Day, Nirvana and Foo Fighters. 'Artist Discography'

 

The Jam - English rock band active during the late 1970s and early 1980s. While they shared the "angry young men" outlook and fast tempos of their punk rock contemporaries, The Jam wore neatly tailored suits rather than ripped clothes and incorporated a number of mainstream 1960s rock influences rather than rejecting them, placing them at the forefront of the mod revival movement. They had eighteen consecutive Top 40 singles in the United Kingdom, from their debut in 1977 to their breakup in 1982, including four number one hits. As of 2007, "That's Entertainment" and "Just Who Is the 5 O'Clock Hero?" remained the best-selling import singles of all time in the UK. They released one live album and six studio albums, the last of which, The Gift, hit number one on the UK album charts. When the group split up, their first 15 singles were re-released and all placed within the top 100. The band drew upon a variety of stylistic influences over the course of their career, including 1960s beat music, soul, rhythm and blues and psychedelic rock, as well as 1970s punk rock, pop punk and new wave. The trio was known for its melodic pop songs, its distinctly English flavor and its mod image. The band launched the career of Paul Weller, who went on to form The Style Council and later had a successful solo career. Weller wrote and sang most of The Jam’s original compositions, and he played lead guitar, using a Rickenbacker. Bruce Foxton provided backing vocals and prominent basslines, which were the foundation of many of the band’s songs, including the hits "Down in the Tube Station at Midnight", "The Eton Rifles", "Going Underground" and "Town Called Malice". The line-up began to solidify in the mid 1970s with Weller, Foxton, guitarist Steve Brookes and drummer Rick Buckler. 'Artist Discography'

 

The KnackThe Knack - The Knack is a Los Angeles-based rock quartet that rose to fame with their first single, "My Sharona", an international hit in the second half of 1979. The power pop of "My Sharona", coupled with the band's "retro" 1960s look, earned the band comparisons to the early Beatles. Many music critics of the era disliked disco, which dominated the music industry at the time, and were, at best, coolly receptive to other developing genres like punk rock, new wave and heavy metal music. The Knack's power pop and hard rock influences earned them some critical credibility. They were also vilified by some critics for their misogynistic lyrics. After subsequent albums, there was a critical backlash against the band and they broke up amidst internal squabbles. They have re-united periodically over the years and are currently still active.
 Singer Doug Fieger, a native of Detroit, Michigan, had previously played in an eclectic rock band called Sky as well as The Sunset Bombers. Of the three other original members of The Knack (Berton Averre - Guitar, Prescott Niles - Bass, and Bruce Gary - Drums), Averre and Niles still currently play with The Knack. Bruce Gary died from lymphoma at 55 on August 22, 2006. Bruce Gary left the band well before his death, becoming a respected producer (archive recordings of Jimi Hendrix and new recordings of The Ventures) and a very successful sideman performing live and on studio sessions with artists such as Jack Bruce, Mick Taylor, Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Cherie Currie, Robby Krieger, Spencer Davis, Stephen Stills, Rod Stewart, and Sheryl Crow - and he did not join the more recent Knack reunions. Several drummers have played for the group since Gary's departure including Billy Ward (Serious Fun album), Terry Bozzio (Zoom album), and David Henderson as 'Holmes Jones' (Normal as the Next Guy and Live at the Rock N Roll Funhouse albums). Currently Pat Torpey (Mr. Big) is playing the drums for the group. All four original band members, including Bruce Gary, reunited in the studio on one occasion in recent years to record a track for a multi-artist compilation album saluting the British band Badfinger. In 2005, The Knack made an appearance on the TV program "Hit Me Baby One More Time". 'Artist Discography'

 

Midnight Oil - Australian rock band from Sydney.  In 1971, drummer Rob Hirst, bass guitarist Andrew James and keyboard player/lead guitarist Jim Moginie were performing together, they called themselves Farm from 1972, and played covers of Cream, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Led Zeppelin. They placed an advert for a band member and Peter Garrett (ex-Rock Island Line) became their new vocalist and synthesizer player, to play progressive rock elements of Focus, Jethro Tull and Yes as well as their own material. Garret was studying at Australian National University in Canberra, so Farm was only a part-time band, they played for the northern Sydney surfing community and by 1975 the band was touring the east coast. In late 1976, Garrett moved to Sydney to complete his Law degree, Farm then became a full-time group and so changed its name to Midnight Oil by drawing a name out of a hat leaving behind Television, Sparta and Southern Cross. Midnight Oil came from the Jimi Hendrix song "Burning of the Midnight Lamp". After changing its name to Midnight Oil, the group began to develop an aggressive, punk - hard rock sound for their pub rock audiences.
 Driven largely by commercial pressures to stay with reliable chart-toppers and teenage pop sensations, the Australian music industry in the mid-1970s cast a dismissive eye toward most bands with an alternative outlook. Although consistently championed by Sydney alternative rock station Double Jay and its FM band successor Triple J, Midnight Oil was almost totally ignored by Australia's mainstream commercial radio stations in their early career.
 Their Australian breakthrough and first international recognition came in 1982, with the release of 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, which included the singles "Power and the Passion" and "Read about It". The album peaked at #3 and "Power and the Passion" peaked at #8. The album also includes their denunciation of American military interference in foreign affairs in "US Forces" and their critique of imperialist repression in "Short Memory". 10 to 1 was recorded in London during September and produced by Englishman Nick Launay.
 Garrett announced his decision to quit Midnight Oil on 2 December 2002, to refocus on his political career. In the 1984 federal election, Garrett had stood for the Australian Senate under the Nuclear Disarmament Party banner, and narrowly lost. He won the seat of Kingsford Smith at the 2004 General Election for the Australian Labor Party and was selected as Shadow Minister for Climate Change, Environment, Heritage and the Arts. On Thursday, 29 November 2007, Labor Prime Minister elect Kevin Rudd named Garrett as Minister for Environment, Heritage and Arts. The other members of the band continued to work together, but not under the Midnight Oil name, bringing the band's career to a close. 'Artist Discography'

Minor Threat

 

Minor Threat - American hardcore punk band that formed in Washington, D.C. in 1980 and disbanded in 1983. Despite being so short-lived, the band had a strong influence on the hardcore punk music scene. Minor Threat's song "Straight Edge" became the eventual basis of the straight edge movement, while the band often professed their own "straight edge" ideals. Along with the fellow Washington DC hardcore band Bad Brains, Minor Threat set the standard for many hardcore punk bands in the 1980s and 1990s. They produced short, often astonishingly fast songs, eventually with high production quality, which at the time was lacking in most punk and alternative rock. All of Minor Threat's records were released on Ian MacKaye and Jeff Nelson's own Dischord Records label.
 While at Wilson High School, Ian MacKaye and Jeff Nelson were in the Washington DC punk band The Teen Idles. After that band broke up, MacKaye decided to switch from bass guitar to vocals, and organized Minor Threat with drummer Nelson, bassist Brian Baker and guitarist Lyle Preslar. Minor Threat's first performance was in December 1980, opening on a bill with Bad Brains, Phfat Raskals, and SOA. Their first 7" EPs, Minor Threat and In My Eyes, were released in 1981. The group became popular regionally, and toured the United States east coast and Midwest. "Straight Edge" a song on the first EP, helped to inspire the straight edge movement. The song seemed to be a call for abstinence from alcohol and other drugs— a new thing in rock music, which initially found a small, but dedicated following. Other prominent groups that subsequently advocated the straight edge stance included SS Decontrol and 7 Seconds. 'Artist Discography'

 

The Misfits - American rock band often recognized as the progenitors of the horror punk sub-genre, blending punk rock and other musical influences with horror film themes and imagery. Founded in 1977 in Lodi, New Jersey by singer and songwriter Glenn Danzig, the group had a fluctuating lineup during its first six years with Danzig and bassist Jerry Only as the only consistent members. The Misfits disbanded in 1983 and Danzig went on to form Samhain and then Danzig. Several albums of reissued and previously unreleased material were issued after the group's dissolution, and their music became influential to punk rock, heavy metal, and alternative rock music of the late 1980s and early 1990s.
 After a series of legal battles with Danzig, Only and Doyle regained the rights to record and perform as the Misfits. They formed a new version of the band in 1995 with singer Michale Graves and drummer Dr. Chud. This incarnation of the Misfits had a sound much more rooted in heavy metal and released the albums American Psycho (1997) and Famous Monsters (1999) before dissolving in 2000. Only then took over lead vocals and recruited former Black Flag guitarist Dez Cadena and former Ramones drummer Marky Ramone for a Misfits 25th Anniversary tour. This lineup released an album of cover songs entitled Project 1950 and toured for several years. In 2005 Ramone was replaced by Robo, who had played with Black Flag in the early 1980s and had also previously been the Misfits' drummer from 1982 to 1983. The current lineup of Only, Cadena, and Robo continues to tour and has announced plans to record an album of new material.
 In 2006 the Misfits filmed a performance with Balzac in Englewood, New Jersey for a possible future live album or DVD. Original Misfits guitarist Franché Coma made a guest appearance at this show, performing on three songs from Static Age. Only made announcements that year that the Only/Cadena/Robo lineup of the Misfits would write and record an album of new material. The band is currently performing on an extended 30th anniversary tour, and recently relaunched the Fiend Club which had been inactive for several years. 'Artist Discography'

 

The Modern Lovers - The original band, billed simply as "The Modern Lovers", existed from 1970–74 but their recordings were not released until 1976 or later. It featured Jonathan Richman and bassist Ernie Brooks with drummer David Robinson (later of The Cars) and keyboardist Jerry Harrison (later of Talking Heads). The sound of the band owed a great deal to the influence of The Velvet Underground, and is now sometimes classed as "protopunk". It pointed the way towards much of the Punk, New Wave and Indie rock music of later decades. Their only album, the eponymous The Modern Lovers, contained stylistically unprecedented songs about dating awkwardness, growing up in Massachusetts, and love of life and the USA. Later, between 1976 and 1988, Richman used the name Modern Lovers for a variety of backing bands, always billed as "Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers." These bands were quieter and featured more low-key, often near-childlike, songs, as Richman drew on folk-rock and other genres. Out of Richman's original band mates, only Robinson was part of any of the other Modern Lovers incarnations. 'Artist Discography'

New York Dolls

 

New York Dolls - The New York Dolls are an American rock band, formed in New York City in 1971. In 2004 the band reformed with three of their original members, two of whom, David Johansen and Sylvain Sylvain, continue on today and released a new album in 2006. The original bassist, Arthur Kane died shortly after their first reunion concert. The band's protopunk sound prefigured much of what was to come in the punk rock era; their visual style influenced the look of many new wave and 1980s-era glam metal groups, and they began the local New York scene that later spawned the Ramones, Blondie, Television, and Talking Heads.
 Sylvain Sylvain and Billy Murcia, who went to junior high school and high school together, started playing in a band called “the Pox” in 1968. After the frontman quit, Murcia and Sylvain started a clothing business across the street from a doll repair shop called the New York Doll Hospital. Sylvain claimed that shop inspired the name for their future band. In 1970 they formed a band again and they recruited Johnny Thunders to join on bass though Sylvain ended up teaching him to play guitar, they called themselves the "Dolls." When Sylvain left the band to spend a few months in London, Thunders and Murcia went their separate ways.
 Johnny Thunders was eventually recruited by Kane and Rivets who had been playing together in the Bronx. At Thunders' suggestion, Murcia replaced the original drummer. Thunders played lead guitar and sang for the band known as Actress. An October 1971 rehearsal tape recorded by Rivets was released as Dawn of the Dolls. When Thunders decided he no longer wanted to be the front man, Johansen joined the band. Initially, the group was composed of singer David Johansen, guitarists Johnny Thunders and Rick Rivets (who was replaced by Sylvain Sylvain after a few months), bass guitarist Arthur "Killer" Kane and drummer Billy Murcia. The original lineup's first performance was on Christmas Eve 1971 at a homeless shelter, the Endicott Hotel.
 The band was influenced by vintage rhythm and blues, the early Rolling Stones, classic American girl group songs, and anarchic post-psychedelic bands such as the MC5 and the Stooges, as well as then-current glam rockers such as Marc Bolan. The band influenced a whole era of musicians and bands, such as Kiss, Hanoi Rocks, Blondie, The Clash, Ramones, Dead Boys, Mötley Crüe, Faster Pussycat, JetBoy, Guns N' Roses, The Damned, The Smiths, and Japan. They were also a large influence on various members of the Sex Pistols, especially guitarist Steve Jones, who later said that on looking back at his movement on stage, felt embarrassed at how much he copied Johnny Thunders' style. The Pistols' manager, Malcolm McLaren, briefly managed the Dolls towards the end of their career. They were also a major influence on the rock music scene in New York City, having accumulated a devoted cult following during their career. 'Artist Discography'

 

Nick CaveNick Cave - (born 22 September 1957 in Warracknabeal, Victoria, Australia) is an Australian musician, songwriter, author, screenwriter, painter, and occasional actor. He is best known for his work in the rock band Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, established in 1984, who have become critically acclaimed for their fascination with American roots music. Before that, he had fronted the group The Birthday Party in the early 1980s, a band renowned for its highly dark, challenging lyrics and violent sound influenced by free jazz, blues, and post-punk. In 2006, he formed the garage rock band Grinderman that released its debut the following year. Cave's music is generally characterized by intensity and a wide variety of influences. . Upon Cave's induction into the ARIA Hall of Fame, ARIA Awards committee chairman Ed St John said “Nick Cave has enjoyed - and continues to enjoy - one of the most extraordinary careers in the annals of popular music. He is an Australian artist like Sidney Nolan is an Australian artist - beyond comparison, beyond genre, beyond dispute."
 In 1973, Cave met Mick Harvey (guitar), Tracy Pew (bass) and Phill Calvert (drums); fellow students at Caulfield Grammar. They founded a band with Cave as singer. Their repertoire consisted of proto-punk cover versions of songs by Lou Reed, David Bowie, Alice Cooper, Roxy Music and Alex Harvey, among others. In 1977, after leaving school, they adopted the name The Boys Next Door and began playing predominantly original material. Guitarist and songwriter Rowland S. Howard joined the band in 1978. From 1977 until their dissolution in 1984 (by which time they were known as The Birthday Party) the band explored various styles. They were a part of Melbourne's post-punk music scene in the late 1970s, playing hundreds of live shows in Australia before changing their name to the Birthday Party in 1980 and moving to London, then West Berlin. Cave's Australian girlfriend and muse Anita Lane accompanied them to London. The band were notorious for their provocative live performances which featured Cave shrieking, bellowing and throwing himself about the stage, backed up by harsh pounding rock music laced with guitar feedback. After establishing a cult following in Europe and Australia, The Birthday Party disbanded in 1984. Howard and Cave found it difficult to continue working together and both were rather worn down from alcohol and drug use.
 Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds with Cave as their leader and frontman has released fourteen studio albums. Their most recent album, Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!! was released on 8 April 2008.Critics Stephen Thomas Erlewine and Steve Huey write, "With the Bad Seeds, Cave continued to explore his obsessions with religion, death, love, America, and violence with a bizarre, sometimes self-consciously eclectic hybrid of blues, gospel, rock, and arty post-punk, although in a more subdued fashion than his work with the Birthday Party" 'Artist Discography'

 

Nick Lowe - (born Nicholas Drain Lowe, 24 March 1949) is a pivotal figure in UK pub rock, punk rock and new wave, Lowe has recorded a string of well-reviewed solo albums. Along with vocals, Lowe plays guitar, bass guitar, piano and harmonica. He is best known for his songs "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding" (a hit for Elvis Costello), "Cruel to Be Kind" (a U.S. Top 40 single), and "I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass", as well as his production work with Costello.
 Lowe began his musical career in 1965, when he co-founded the band Kippington Lodge, with his friend Brinsley Schwarz. They released a few singles on the Parlophone record label as Kippington Lodge before 1968, when they re-named the band Brinsley Schwarz, and began performing country and blues-rock. Lowe wrote some of his best-known compositions while a member of Brinsley Schwarz, including "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding", a hit for Elvis Costello in 1979, and "Cruel to Be Kind", a solo hit for Lowe in 1980. Other well-known Lowe songs include "I Love The Sound of Breaking Glass,"and "All Men Are Liars,".  "Cruel to Be Kind", co-written with Ian Gomm and originally recorded with Brinsley Schwarz, a re-recording of which was his only U.S. Top 40 hit, reaching #12 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1979. 'Artist Discography'

Patti Smith

 

Patti Smith - (born December 30, 1946) is an American singer-songwriter, poet and artist who was a highly influential component of the punk rock movement with her 1975 debut album Horses. Called the "Godmother of Punk", she integrated the beat poetry performance style with three-chord rock. Her allusions introduced American teens to 19th century French poetry while her "unladylike" language defied the disco era. Smith is most widely known for the song "Because the Night" which was co-written with Bruce Springsteen and reached number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1978. In 2005, Patti Smith was named a Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture, and in 2007, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
 By 1974 Patti Smith was performing rock music herself, initially with guitarist and rock archivist Lenny Kaye, and later with a full band comprising Kaye, Ivan Kral on bass, Jay Dee Daugherty on drums and Richard Sohl, on piano. Ivan Kral was a refugee from Czechoslovakia, fleeing in 1968 after the fall of Alexander Dubček. Financed by Robert Mapplethorpe, the band recorded a first single, "Hey Joe / Piss Factory", in 1974. The A-side was a version of the rock standard with the addition of a spoken word piece about fugitive heiress Patty Hearst ("Patty Hearst, you're standing there in front of the Symbionese Liberation Army flag with your legs spread, I was wondering were you gettin' it every night from a black revolutionary man and his women..."). The B-side describes the helpless anger Smith had felt while working on a factory assembly line and the salvation she discovered in the form of a shoplifted book, the 19th century French poet Arthur Rimbaud's Illuminations. "Gloria". Patti Smith Group was signed by Clive Davis of Arista Records, and 1975 saw the release of Smith's first album Horses, produced by John Cale amidst some tension. The album fused punk rock and spoken poetry and begins with a cover of Van Morrison's "Gloria", and Smith's opening words: "Jesus died for somebody's sins but not mine." The austere cover photograph by Robert Mapplethorpe has become one of rock's classic images. As Patti Smith Group toured the United States and Europe, punk's popularity grew. The rawer sound of the group's second album, Radio Ethiopia, reflected this. Considerably less accessible than Horses, Radio Ethiopia received poor reviews. However, several of its songs have stood the test of time, and Smith still performs them regularly in concert. 'Artist Discography'

 

Pere Ubu - An experimental rock music group formed in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1975. Despite many long-term band members, singer David Thomas is the only constant. The group is named after Père Ubu ("father Ubu"), the protagonist of Ubu Roi ("Ubu, the King"), a play by French writer Alfred Jarry. While Pere Ubu have never been widely popular—usually categorized as "underground rock"—they have a devoted following, have been hugely influential on several generations of avant-garde musicians and are a critically acclaimed American musical group. Critical opinions of Pere Ubu include, "the most original and important of the new wave bands", "the world's only expressionist Rock 'n' Roll band", and "Pere Ubu will be looked back on as the most important group to have come out of America in the last decade and a half. Either that or they will be entirely forgotten". Pere Ubu refuses to discuss or explain their enigmatic music, forgoing press interviews. They have compiled a list of guidelines for touring, live performances and the like: "Lighting should be theatrical rather than rockist. We are interested in atmosphere, mood, drama, energy, subtlety, imagination—not rock cliché. The Danish Broadcasting Corporation is one of the few organizations they trust to record live performances, "solely on the basis of the King of Denmark's defense of the Jews in WWII". To define their music, Pere Ubu coined the term Avant Garage to reflect interest in both experimental avant-garde music (especially Musique concrète) and raw, direct blues-influenced garage rock. Thomas has stated "Avant Garage" is "a joke invented to have something to give journalists when they yelp for a neat sound bite or pigeonhole".
 Their debut album, The Modern Dance (1978), sold poorly, but has proven influential. Musicians of many types, including progressive rock, punk rock, post punk and New Wave, were influenced by the dark, abstract record. With the song "Sentimental Journey" the debut also introduced the practice of re-appropriating titles from well-known popular songs: Pere Ubu's "Sentimental Journey" has no obvious relation to the Doris Day hit song of the same name; "Drinking Wine Spodyody" has no apparent connection to the Sticks McGhee song (later revived by Jerry Lee Lewis). This practice has continued through 2006's Why I Hate Women, which has a song called "Blue Velvet" (again, no relation to the 1963 hit song by Bobby Vinton). 'Artist Discography'

 

Plasmatics The Plasmatics - The Plasmatics were an American punk band formed by Yale University graduate and radical anti-artist Rod Swenson with Wendy O. Williams. The band was a controversial group known for wild live shows that broke countless taboos as part of an assault on American popular culture. In addition to chainsawing guitars, blowing up speaker cabinets and sledgehammering television sets, Williams and the Plasmatics blew up automobiles live on stage. Williams was arrested multiple times and was seriously beaten in Milwaukee by the Milwaukee police before being charged with public indecency. The group was banned in London, where they were labeled as anarchists, and riots followed in Zürich and elsewhere.
  The Plasmatics' career spanned five studio albums. The core of the band consisted of vocalist/front person Wendy O. Williams, guitarists Richie Stotts and Wes Beech, and manager Rod Swenson. Bassists and drummers rotated frequently over the years.
 From their initial gig at CBGB's, The Plasmatics quickly rose in the New York City Punk Underground scene of the time. From playing a single weekday night, they moved quickly to playing repeated stands of four nights straight with two sold-out shows each night. They had lines stretching around the block and brought more fans into CBGB's during this time than any other band in its history. The group quickly outgrew CBGB's, largely because there were no intermediate rock venues to play in New York City at that time. Rod Swenson soon made a deal to book what was then a little known polka hall called Irving Plaza from the Polish War Veterans who ran it at the time. The band repeatedly sold out the venue, with The Plasmatics helping to give Irving Plaza national recognition and launch it on the path to becoming an established rock venue in New York City. Having then caught the full attention of the most important people in the entertainment world of New York City, the Plasmatics headlined the Palladium Theater on November 16, 1979, the first group in history to do so at full ticket prices and without a major label recording contract. The date was historic for being the first time Wendy O. Williams would blow up a car live on-stage.
 On January 19, 1981, Wendy was arrested and brutally beaten by Vice unit police officers after a performance at The Palms Nightclub in Milwaukee on an obscenity charge for allegedly simulating a sex act with a sledgehammer. Once outside the club, Wendy was thrown to the ground and beaten into semi-consciousness. Rod was also dragged off behind a car and beaten to unconsciousness when he attempted to come to her aid. Both were taken to the hospital in ambulances and later thrown in jail.Bail was raised, but large legal bills and the threat of going to jail became a problem for the future of the band. A show in Cleveland the next night was canceled as both Wendy and Rod were still in jail. It was re-scheduled, however, for the following night where, again, following the massive national press of the Milwaukee incident, Wendy was arrested again, although not assaulted as she had been in Milwaukee. The legal fees continued to grow.
 Police officers stated that no beating had taken place, a statement the band felt would endanger the band's chance at a fair trial. A local photographer had been able to photograph the beating, which refuted the claims of the police. Still recovering from a broken nose, ruptured sinuses, and other injuries, within 12 days Wendy and the band were playing in front of a sold-out crowd in Milan, Italy at the beginning of a 3-week European tour which saw her blowing up a Mercedes on the German Musikladen TV show and riots in Zurich.
 By the time the band reached Berlin, Rod, along with agent Jim Kramer and Bruce Kirkland who was running Stiff America in the states, organized the first of what would be three historic shows at Bond's International Casino in Times Square NY as part of the effort to raise additional funds to offset the legal fees that were now accruing. The show was launched with little time for promotion, but word of mouth spread and fans lined up beginning in the early morning with some 2,000 people beyond the legal capacity packed for the first "Wendy Will Win" show in NYC. Wendy burst through a giant banner saying "Stop the Gestapo!", referring to the Milwaukee police and the new song "Pig is a Pig" (lyrics penned by Rod), also dedicated to "them and fascists everywhere!"
 The Plasmatics were booked into Bond's for two more shows on May 15th and 16th, where she blew up two facsimile Milwaukee police cars and then back on the Tom Snyder show were she blew up a car again during the song "Masterplan". The trial began June 3, 1981 in the Circuit Court, Milwaukee County, State of Wisconsin with Rod as the sole defendant. The District Attorney decided to put Wendy and Rod on trial separately and tried Rod first hoping the media would lose interest. It failed. The trial was still construed as the Wendy O. Williams/Plasmatics trial and the media was there full force. Fans came in from more than 2,000 miles away and it was standing room only in the court room. The trial lasted over one and a half weeks. Wendy presented a strong testimony, with the main turning point being when the jury saw a full color blow-up of her being beaten on the ground. Courageous citizens who had witnessed the events came forward and after days of testimony, the jury deliberated only 3.5 hours: Not Guilty. The charges against Wendy were soon dropped afterwards. Can't buy that kind of publicity! 'Artist Discography'

 

The PolicePolice - English three-piece rock band consisting of Sting (lead vocals, bass guitar), Andy Summers (guitar, vocals) and Stewart Copeland (drums, vocals, percussion). The band became globally popular in the early 1980s, playing a style of rock that was influenced by jazz, punk and reggae music. Their 1983 album, Synchronicity, was number one in the UK and the US and sold over 8,000,000 copies in the US. The band broke up in 1984, but reunited in early 2007 for a one-off world tour lasting until August 2008, in celebration of the 30th anniversary of their hit single "Roxanne" and also, to a lesser extent, that of their formation as a group. To date, The Police have sold more than 50 million albums worldwide, and were the highest earning musicians in the world during 2008, as a result of their reunion tour. Rolling Stone ranked The Police number 70 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
 The Police were founded by American-born drummer Stewart Copeland in early 1977. After the demise of his progressive rock band Curved Air, Copeland was anxious to form a new three-piece group and join the burgeoning London punk scene. Singer-bassist Sting and guitarist Henry Padovani began rehearsing with Copeland in January 1977, and they recorded their first Police single, "Fall Out"/"Nothing Achieving," the following month. Acting Manager Paul Mulligan paid for the recording of the single. In March and April, the threesome toured as a support act for Cherry Vanilla as well as Wayne County & the Electric Chairs.
 The Police, along with The Clash, are notable as one of the first mainstream white bands to adopt reggae as a predominant musical form, and to score major international hits with reggae-styled material. Although ska and reggae were already very popular in the United Kingdom, the style was little known in the United States or other countries. Prior to the emergence of the Police, only a handful of reggae songs — such as Eric Clapton's 1974 cover rendition of Bob Marley's "I Shot the Sheriff" or Paul Simon's "Mother and Child Reunion" — had enjoyed any significant chart success.
  The bleached blonde hair that would become a trademark of the band was a lucky accident, originating in February 1978. The band, desperate for money, was asked to do a commercial for Wrigley's Spearmint chewing gum on the condition that they dye their hair blonde, and for the more curious Sting's real name is Gordan Matthew Thomas Sumner. 'Artist Discography'

 

Radio Birdman - one of the first punk bands in Australia. Deniz Tek and Rob Younger formed the group in Sydney, Australia in 1974. The group influenced the work of many successful, mainstream bands, and is now considered to be one of the most crucial bands to Australia's musical growth, but their main legacy was their towering influence over Australian indie rock in the 1980s.
 Deniz Tek and Rob Younger formed Radio Birdman in mid-1974 in Sydney, having recently left their bands 'TV Jones' and 'The Rats' respectively. The pair sought to begin a band that would have no commercial interest and break the norm at the time, so they recruited classical keyboard player Phillip 'Pip' Hoyle, drummer Ron Keeley and bassist Carl Rorke . The band took their name from what sounds like "Radio birdman up above" in the Stooges song "1970". After being rejected many times from various venues, Radio Birdman found a pub in Taylor Square, Sydney and eventually took over its management, naming it The Oxford Funhouse. Under their management, the Funhouse became a home to any and all groups with musical tastes similar to the band. Not long after the opening of this venue, Carl Rorke left the band and was replaced by long time friend of Rob Younger, Warwick Gilbert (also a former 'Rats' member). Also to temporarily leave the band would be Phillip Hoyle, and though his departure was short lived, this was how Radio Birdman came across guitarist Chris Masuak. Soon, a culture of Radio Birdman was developing in the underground, people started to dress differently, followed the Birdman symbol and the Oxford Funhouse was their home. This was the beginnings of the Sydney punk scene.
 Radio Birdman's music does not fit specifically with the punk rock genre, nor do the band like this label (as they saw it as degrading to their intelligence)—though their independence and originality has put them in this position. A fitting genre would be alternative punk, or as the band themselves called it, 'Sub-Pop', deeply ironic that 27 years later, the band would release a record on "Sub-Pop" Records. Fans of the band often classed the music as "proto-punk" or the Detroit sound, similar to bands such as MC5 and The Stooges. 'Artist Discography'

 

The RamonesThe Ramones - Often regarded as the first punk rock group. Formed in Forest Hills, Queens, New York, in 1974, all of the band members adopted stage names ending with "Ramone", though none of them were actually related. They performed 2,263 concerts, touring virtually nonstop for 22 years. In 1996, after a tour with the Lollapalooza music festival, the band played a farewell show and disbanded. A little more than eight years after the breakup, the band's three founding members, lead singer Joey Ramone, guitarist Johnny Ramone, and bassist Dee Dee Ramone, were dead.The Ramones were a major influence on the punk rock movement both in the United States and Great Britain, though they achieved only minor commercial success. Their only record with enough U.S. sales to be certified gold was the compilation album Ramones Mania. Recognition of the band's importance built over the years, and they are now regularly represented in many assessments of all-time great rock music, such as the Rolling Stone lists of the 50 Greatest Artists of All Time and 25 Greatest Live Albums of All Time, VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock, and Mojo's 100 Greatest Albums. In 2002, the Ramones were voted the second greatest rock and roll band ever in Spin, trailing only The Beatles. On March 18, 2002, the Ramones—including the three founders and drummers Marky Ramone and Tommy Ramone—were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
 On July 20, 1999, Dee Dee, Johnny, Joey, Tommy, Marky, and C.J. appeared together at the Virgin Megastore in New York City for an autograph signing. This was the last occasion on which the original four members of the group appeared together. Joey, who had been diagnosed with lymphoma in 1995, died of the illness on April 15, 2001, in New York.
  In 2002, the Ramones were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which specifically named Dee Dee, Johnny, Joey, Tommy, and Marky. At the ceremony, the surviving inductees spoke on behalf of the band. Tommy spoke first, saying how honored the band felt, but how much it would have meant for Joey. Johnny thanked the band's fans and blessed George W. Bush and his presidency, Dee Dee humorously congratulated and thanked himself, while Marky thanked Tommy for influencing his drum style. Green Day played "Teenage Lobotomy" and "Blitzkrieg Bop" as a tribute, demonstrating the Ramones' continuing influence on later rock musicians. The ceremony was one of Dee Dee's last public appearances; on June 5, 2002, two months later, he was found at his Hollywood home, dead from a heroin overdose.
  In the summer of 2004, the Ramones documentary End of the Century: The Story of the Ramones was released in theaters. Johnny, who had been privately battling prostate cancer, died on September 15, 2004, in Los Angeles, almost exactly as the film was released. On the same day as Johnny's death, the world's first Ramones Museum opened its doors to the public. Located in Berlin, Germany, the museum features more than 300 items of memorabilia, including a pair of stage-worn jeans from Johnny, a stage-worn glove from Joey, Marky's sneakers, and C.J.'s stage-worn bass strap. 'Artist Discography'

 

Real Kids - Boston punk rock band led by guitarist, singer and songwriter, John Felice. Felice (b.1955) grew up in Natick, Massachusetts as a neighbor and friend of Jonathan Richman, a fellow fan of The Velvet Underground. As a 15-year old he joined Richman in the first line-up of The Modern Lovers in late 1970. He performed with the band intermittently between then and 1973, but because of his school commitments was not involved in the 1972 sessions which produced the classic first Modern Lovers album. Felice then decided to start his own band, and formed The Real Kids (originally named The Kids), in 1972, with Rick Coraccio (bass), Steve Davidson (guitar), and Norman Bloom (drums). They became a successful live band in the Boston area, playing "an aggressive brand of straight-ahead, no-bullshit rock which harkened back to Chuck Berry, had overtones of the British Invasion groups at their mod finest, yet pointed the way towards the Punk to come". As well as Felice's own songs, they performed versions of classics by Eddie Cochran, Buddy Holly and others. The band did not record until 1977, when it comprised Felice, Billy Borgioli (guitar), Allen "Alpo" Paulino (bass), and Howie Ferguson (drums). Their only studio album, The Real Kids, was issued on the Red Star label in 1978. While continuing to play occasionally with different versions of The Real Kids, Felice also worked for a time as a roadie for the Ramones. He also performed as part of the Taxi Boys in Boston. The Real Kids reformed to tour Europe and release a live album, Hit You Hard on French label New Rose in 1983. Band members Alpo Paulino and Billy Borgioli then left to form the Primitive Souls. In 1988, Felice formed a new band, John Felice and The Lowdowns, releasing an album "Nothing Pretty" on Norton Records. The Real Kids re-united on several other occasions. They performed regularly in 1998-99, including a New York City New Year's gig. Bass player Alpo Paulino died on February 6, 2006. 'Artist Discography'

 

The Romantics - The Romantics are an American rock band from Detroit, Michigan. The band adopted the name "The Romantics" because they formed on Valentine's Day, 1977. The Romantics achieved moderate popularity in the United States, Canada, parts of Asia, Australia, Europe, and Latin America during the first half of the 1980s on the strength of the band's catchy, energetic songs and stylish, memorable music videos. Influenced by 1960s British Invasion rock (most notably the music of the Kinks, the Who, the Beatles, the Hollies, and the Rolling Stones), 1970s Detroit garage rock and hard rock (as represented by such performers as Iggy Pop, the Stooges, the MC5, and the Rationals), and the punk rock of the Ramones, The Romantics play a more pop-oriented variation of punk rock known as power pop. The band is also commonly classified into the category of "New Wave" (probably due more to the band's image and era than the sound of its music) by pop music historians.
 The Romantics' original lineup consisted of rhythm guitarist/harmonica player/singer Wally Palmar, lead guitarist Mike Skill, bassist Rich Cole, and drummer/singer Jimmy Marinos. All four band members made songwriting contributions to the group, but Palmar and Skill were considered the band's primary tunesmiths. After a few years of playing local and regional gigs in Detroit and the Midwest, this lineup of the Romantics recorded the band's self-titled debut album for Nemperor Records in 1980 with British producer Pete Solley. The group's true debut was the single on Spider Records, "Little White Lies/"I Can't Tell You Anything" (1978), followed that year by the Bomp single "Tell It To Carrie"/"First In Line" (on the Bomp label). All of these were re-recorded later for the LP.
 The album yielded the hit "What I Like About You," which reached #49 in the US, #12 in the Netherlands, and #2 in Australia, where the band was especially popular. "What I Like About You" would become much better known later in the 1980s, when its placement in television commercials and other high profile media made it an evergreen power pop anthem. The band became as well known (if not better known) for its flashy and audacious fashion sense as it did for its exciting music. The Romantics' signature look featured bouffant hairdos and skin-tight red leather suits, as worn by the band members on the cover photo of their debut album.
 Mike Skill left the band after the release of its second album, National Breakout, in 1981. He was replaced by lead guitarist Coz Canler. This lineup of the band recorded the album Strictly Personal in 1982 before Rich Cole left the band that year and was replaced by a returning Mike Skill, who then became the band's bassist.
 The Romantics achieved their greatest commercial success in 1983/84 with the release of the album In Heat. The first single taken from In Heat, "Talking In Your Sleep", rose to #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and spent two weeks at #1 on the Hot Dance Club Play chart. It was also a big international hit (#2 Canada, #14 Australia, #18 Germany, #20 Netherlands, #15 South Africa, #5 Sweden, #20 Switzerland, etc.). A second single, "One In A Million", peaked at #37 during the following year. The Romantics' music videos were frequently shown on the cable television network MTV during this period, solidifying the band's popularity. Also during 1983, the Romantics played well received U.S. and international concert tours in support of In Heat, and appeared on such pop music-themed television shows as Solid Gold, American Bandstand, and Soul Train. 'Artist Discography'

 

Sex PistolsThe Sex Pistols - The Sex Pistols originally comprised vocalist Johnny Rotten, guitarist Steve Jones, drummer Paul Cook and bassist Glen Matlock. Matlock was replaced by Sid Vicious in early 1977. Although their initial career lasted only three years and produced only four singles and one studio album, Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols, the group has been described by the BBC as "the definitive English punk rock band." The Sex Pistols emerged as a response to the bombastic progressive rock and sentimental pop that dominated the music market in the mid-1970s. Under the management of impresario Malcolm McLaren, the band created controversies which captivated Britain, but often eclipsed their music. Their concerts repeatedly faced difficulties with organizers and authorities and public appearances often ended in mayhem. Their 1977 single "God Save the Queen" was regarded as an attack on the monarchy and British nationalism. In January 1978, at the end of a turbulent US tour, Rotten left the band and announced its breakup. Over the next several months, the three other band members recorded songs for McLaren's film version of the Sex Pistols' story, The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle. Vicious died of a heroin overdose in February 1979. In 1996, Rotten, Jones, Cook and Matlock reunited for the Filthy Lucre Tour; they staged two further reunion shows in 2002, and undertook tours in 2003, 2007 and 2008. On 24 February 2006, the Sex Pistols were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but they refused to attend the ceremony, calling the museum "a piss stain".
 The Sex Pistols directly inspired the style, and often the formation itself, of many punk and post-punk bands during their brief existence. The Clash and Siouxsie & The Banshees are among those in London's "inner circle" of early punk bands that credit the Pistols. On 4 June 1976, still early in their career, the Sex Pistols performed to a crowd of around 40 people at the Lesser Free Trade Hall in Manchester. It was to become one of the most important and mythologized events in rock history. Among the audience were many who would later form bands or otherwise popularize the embryonic punk movement, including Pete Shelley and Howard Devoto, who organized the gig and would soon found the Buzzcocks; Bernard Sumner, Ian Curtis and Peter Hook, later of Joy Division; Mark E. Smith, later of The Fall; Morrissey, later of The Smiths; and Anthony H. Wilson, founder of Factory Records. In addition to the groups they directly inspired, the Sex Pistols influenced many later bands. Among those who have acknowledged their debt to the Pistols are The Stone Roses, Nirvana, NOFX, Oasis, Green Day, Venom, and Guns N' Roses. 'Artist Discography'

 

The Slits - The quartet was formed in 1976 by members of the bands The Flowers of Romance and The Castrators. The members were Ari Up (Arianna Forster) and Palmolive (Paloma Romera, who later left to join The Raincoats), with Viv Albertine and Tessa Pollitt replacing founding members Kate Korus and Suzy Gutsy. Palmolive was replaced by drummer Budgie (aka Pete Clarke), formerly of The Spitfire Boys and later to join Siouxsie & the Banshees.
 From the outset, the Slits played a brand of brash, fun, snotty, catchy punk rock. The group supported fellow punk band The Clash on their 1977 White Riot tour along with the Buzzcocks and the Subway Sect. As also captured on a Peel Session, the Slits' originally extremely raw and raucous live sound was subsequently cleaned up and considerably polished by the time of their reggae-influenced, dub heavy, Dennis Bovell-produced debut album Cut (1979), released on Island Records. The album's cover art depicts the band naked save for mud and loin-cloths. Their sound and attitude became increasingly experimental and avant-garde during the early-1980s, when they formed an alliance with Bristol post-punk band The Pop Group, sharing a drummer (Bruce Smith) and releasing a joint single, "In The Beginning There was Rhythm" / "Where There's A Will" (Y Records). The band toured widely and released a second LP Return Of The Giant Slits before breaking up. 'Artist Discography'

 

 

Social Distortion


Social Distortion - Social D is an American punk rock band formed in 1978. Hailing from California the band consists of Jonny Wickersham on guitar, Mike Ness on vocals, and guitar, Brent Harding on bass guitar and drummer David Hidalgo.
   Social Distortion's musical style was originally founded on punk rock or hardcore punk and they are considered one of the pioneering bands of the California punk scene. The band logo, which has been the a trademark signature of Social Distortion, is a skeleton with a cigarette and martini glass and is usually seen displayed in the background behind the drum set at their shows. Their sound has been described as an interesting blend of country, early british rock, and rockabilly, which has been affectionately refered to as "cowpunk".
 Social Distortion disbanded amidst various internal problems in 1985, only to reform in 1986, and have since been a very active touring, recording act. Since its inception the band lineup has been a virtual revolving-door of talented musicians coming and going – Mike Ness has been the only constant member.
  Some of the former members include; Frank Agnew - 1978–1981 on guitar, Rikk Agnew - 1978–1981 on guitar, Chuck Biscuits - 1996–2000 on drums, Randy Carr - 1994–1995 on drums, Deen Castronovo - 1995–1996 on drums, Dennis Danell - 1979–2000 on bass and guitar, Matt Freeman - 2004–2005 on bass, Brent Liles - 1981–1984 on bass, John Maurer - 1984–2004 on bass, Timothy Maag - 1978–1979 on bass, Derek O'Brein - 1981–1984 on drums, Charlie Quintana - 2000–2009 on drums, Christopher Reece - 1984–1994 on drums, Casey Royer drums in 1979, Bob Stubbs - 1984–1984 on drums, Adam Willard - 2009–2010 on drums. 'Artist Discography'

 

 

 

Sonic YouthSonic Youth - In their early career, Sonic Youth was associated with the No Wave art and music scene in New York City. Part of the first wave of American noise rock groups, the band carried out their interpretation of the hardcore punk ethos throughout the evolving American underground that focused more on the DIY ethic of the genre rather than its specific sound. As a result, Sonic Youth was pivotal in the rise of the alternative rock movement. Sonic Youth have expressed a wide variety of influences, ranging from the influential protopunk musician Patti Smith to composer John Cage. The band has been praised for having "redefined what rock guitar could do," using a wide variety of unorthodox guitar tunings, and preparing guitars with objects like drumsticks and screwdrivers to alter the instruments' timbre.
 Sonic Youth's history began when guitarist Thurston Moore moved to New York City in early 1976. Interested in punk, Moore joined the Coachmen, a guitar-based quartet, after arriving in the city. Lee Ranaldo, an art student at Binghamton University, became a fan of the Coachmen, and he and Moore were soon friends. Ranaldo was a member of Glenn Branca's electric guitar ensemble, touring throughout the United States and Europe. After the breakup of the Coachmen, Moore began jamming with Stanton Miranda, whose band, CKM, featured local artist Kim Gordon.
 Moore and Gordon formed a band, appearing under names like Male Bonding and Red Milk before agreeing upon the Arcadians in late 1980. The band played their first show at Noise Fest in June 1981 at New York's White Columns gallery. Branca's ensemble played at the festival. Their performance impressed Moore, who described them as "the most ferocious guitar band that I had ever seen in my life". After Branca's set, Moore asked Ranaldo if he wanted to join the Arcadians. Ranaldo accepted; the band played three songs at the festival later in the week without a drummer. Each band member took turns playing the drums, until they met drummer Richard Edson. Moore soon renamed the band "Sonic Youth". The name came from combining the nickname of MC5's Fred "Sonic" Smith with the trend of reggae artists, such as Big Youth, featuring the word "Youth" in their names. Gordon later recalled that "as soon as Thurston came up with the name Sonic Youth, a certain sound that was more of what we wanted to do came about.
 In 1990, Sonic Youth released Goo (their first album for Geffen), which featured the single "Kool Thing" on which Chuck D from rap group Public Enemy guested. "Kool Thing" became the song that many casual music fans associate with the band; it was later featured in the video game Guitar Hero III and was made available as a paid download for the Rock Band video game. The record is considered much more accessible than their previous work. Their 1991 tour with the then relatively unknown Nirvana was captured in the film 1991: The Year Punk Broke. 'Artist Discography'

 

Squeeze - The group formed in London in 1974, and first broke up in 1982. Squeeze then reformed in 1985, and broke up again in 1999. The band has reunited for tours through the United States and United Kingdom in 2007 and 2008. Squeeze confirmed during an interview at the V Festival in 2008, that they plan to write a new record of material in 2009, during and after another tour of the United States.
 The band's founding members in March 1974 were Chris Difford (guitar, vocals, lyrics), Glenn Tilbrook (vocals, guitar, music), Jools Holland (keyboards), and Paul Gunn (drums). The group played under several names, most frequently "Captain Trundlow's Sky Company" or "Skyco", before selecting the name "Squeeze" as a facetious tribute to The Velvet Underground's 1973 album of the same name. Gilson Lavis replaced Gunn on drums and Harry Kakoulli joined on bass in 1976.
 Squeeze's early career was spent around Deptford in SE London, where they were part of a lively local music scene which included Alternative TV and Dire Straits. The group's early singles and debut EP, 1977's Packet of Three, were released on the Deptford Fun City Label.
 Squeeze re-formed to play a one night charity gig in 1985, with all five members from the 1980 Argybargy period -- Difford, Tilbrook, Holland, Lavis, and Bentley. The performance was such a success that the band unanimously agreed to resume recording and touring as Squeeze. Searching for a different sound, the band replaced Bentley with bassist Keith Wilkinson from the Difford & Tilbrook sessions. This line-up released the 1985 LP Cosi Fan Tutti Frutti.
 In early 2007 it was announced that Difford and Tilbrook would reform Squeeze for a series of shows throughout the latter half of the year, in support of Universal and Warner's re-issuing of the band's back catalogue and the release of a new 'best of' album, Essential Squeeze, on April 30th. Jools Holland and Gilson Lavis were unable to take part in the series of shows, as they were touring under the "Jools Holland & His Rhythm & Blues Orchestra" name for most of the year. Instead, John Bentley re-joined on bass for the first time since Squeeze's last reunion show in 1985. The rest of the lineup was fleshed out by members of Tilbrook's touring band, The Fluffers: Stephen Large (keyboards) and Simon Hanson (drums). 'Artist Discography'

 

Talking HeadsTalking Heads - The new wave musical style of Talking Heads combined elements of punk rock, avant-garde, pop, funk, world music and art rock. Frontman and songwriter David Byrne contributed whimsical, esoteric lyrics to the band's songs, and emphasized their showmanship through various multimedia projects and performances. Critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine describes Talking Heads as being "one of the most critically acclaimed bands of the '80s, while managing to earn several pop hits." In 2002, the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Four of the band's albums appeared on Rolling Stone magazine's 2003 list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, and the Channel 4 100 Greatest Albums poll listed one album (Fear of Music) at number 76. Their concert film Stop Making Sense is widely regarded as one of the finest examples of the genre.
 David Byrne, Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth were alumni of the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island. There Byrne and Frantz formed a band called "The Artistics" in 1974. The Artistics dissolved within a year and the three moved to New York eventually sharing an apartment. Unable to find a bass player in New York City it was at that time Frantz encouraged Weymouth to learn to play bass. They played their first gig by the "Talking Heads" moniker opening for the Ramones at the legendary CBGB club June 8, 1975. In an interview, Weymouth recalled how the group chose the name Talking Heads: "A friend had found the name in the TV Guide, which explained the term used by TV studios to describe a head-and-shoulder shot of a person talking as 'all content, no action.' It fit." In 1976, they added Jerry Harrison (guitar, keyboards, vocals), formerly of Jonathan Richman's band The Modern Lovers. The group quickly drew a following and was signed to Sire Records in 1977. The group released their first single, "Love → Building on Fire" in February of that year. Their first album, Talking Heads: 77 was released soon afterward and did not contain the earlier single.
 After releasing four albums in barely four years, the group went into hiatus and waited nearly three years before releasing another, although Frantz and Weymouth continued to record with the Tom Tom Club. In the meantime, Talking Heads released a live album, The Name of This Band Is Talking Heads, toured the US and Europe as an eight-piece group, and parted ways with Eno, who went on to produce albums with U2. 'Artist Discography'

 

Television - Television was a part of the early New York punk rock scene, contemporary with bands like the Patti Smith Group and the Ramones. In contrast to the Ramones' focus on rock'n'roll minimalism, Television's music was much more technically proficient, defined by the dueling guitars of Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd. Television's roots can be traced to the teenage friendship between Richard Hell and Tom Verlaine. The duo met at St. Andrew's School in Middletown, Delaware, from which they ran away. Later the two would move separately to New York in the early 1970s aspiring to be poets. Their first group together was the Neon Boys, consisting of Verlaine on guitar and vocals, Hell on bass and vocals, and Billy Ficca on drums. The group lasted from late 1972 to early 1973. A posthumous 7-inch record featuring "That's All I Know (Right Now)" and "Love Comes in Spurts" was released in 1980. In late 1973 the trio reformed, calling themselves Television and soon recruiting Richard Lloyd as a second guitarist. They persuaded CBGB's owner Hilly Kristal to give the band a regular gig at his club which had just opened on the Bowery in New York. Television was the first rock group to perform at the club, which was to become, along with Max's Kansas City, the center of the burgeoning punk scene. The members of Television reportedly constructed the first stage at CBGB's where they quickly established a significant cult following.  'Artist Discography'

 

Johnny Thunders & the Heartbreakers - Johnny Thunders (vocals/guitar) and Jerry Nolan (drums) had quit the New York Dolls, and that same week Richard Hell (vocals/bass) was forced out of Television. The trio joined forces, and after a few shows added Walter Lure (vocals/guitar), who had played with a group called the Demons. In 1976, Hell was either pushed out of the Heartbreakers or quit the group, and was replaced by Billy Rath. Hell went on to form his own band, The Voidoids. Arriving for a European tour just as the UK punk scene was building momentum, the Heartbreakers developed a following playing in and around London. The band's members and image were widely associated with drug use, specifically heroin. The Sex Pistols invited them to open for them on the ill-fated Anarchy Tour. They shortly signed with Track Records. Their debut—and only—studio album, L.A.M.F., featured all the Heartbreakers' popular live songs. The release of the album put a huge strain on the band, because of anger among some band members over the poor quality of the mix. Several of the members of the band left at this point. The band reformed in 1979 for a few farewell shows at Max's Kansas City with drummer Ty Stix sitting in for Nolan. The resulting live album Live at Max's Kansas City '79 is considered a punk classic. The Heartbreakers' song, "London Boys", is a swipe at the Sex Pistols, in response to the Pistols' "New York", a put-down of the New York Dolls. The band re-formed occasionally to play at New York clubs until the death of Johnny Thunders in 1991. Jerry Nolan died in 1992. Live shows often consisted of songs performed with the New York Dolls or taken from Johnny Thunders' solo career. Richard Hell rarely plays music live, concentrating instead on writing and spoken-word performances. Billy Rath's whereabouts are currently unknown, leading to various rumors such as that he died or became a priest. Walter Lure still performs sporadically when his day job allows the time for it. In 2007 he went on a short European tour. 'Artist Discography'

 

Violent FemmesViolent Femmes - The Violent Femmes were founded by bassist Brian Ritchie and percussionist Victor DeLorenzo. They became a full-fledged band upon the arrival of Gordon Gano, lead vocalist and guitarist. In its early days, the band frequently played coffee houses and street corners. An alternative rock band, noted for laying the groundwork for folk punk, the band has had up to four members with the additions of singer, guitarist and songwriter Gordon Gano, and a second drummer, Guy Hoffman.
 After their debut album Violent Femmes, they released Hallowed Ground, which moved the group towards a country music sound and introduced spiritual themes. Their third album, The Blind Leading the Naked, produced by fellow Milwaukee native Jerry Harrison of the Talking Heads, was more mainstream and pop-oriented, resulting in a minor hit with "Children of the Revolution," originally by T. Rex. The group briefly disbanded, with Gano releasing an album in 1987, the result of a gospel side project Mercy Seat. Ritchie also released several solo LPs. The group came back together in late 1988, releasing 3, a return to the band's earlier, stripped-down sound, sans Hoffman. 'Artist Discography'

 

X (US) - X was founded by bassist/singer John Doe and guitarist Billy Zoom. Doe brought his poetry-writing girlfriend Exene Cervenka to band practices, and she eventually joined the band as a vocalist. Drummer DJ Bonebrake was the last of the original members to join. X's first record deal was with independent label Dangerhouse, for which the band produced two singles, "Adult Books" (1978) and "Los Angeles" ("We're Desperate" was the b-side to "Adult Books"). The Dangerhouse session version of "Los Angeles" was also featured in a Dangerhouse compilation in 1979 called "Yes L.A." (a play on the now-famous No Wave compilation No New York), a picture disc that featured other early-punk-era LA bands like the Weirdos and Black Randy.
 Original members were Exene Cervenka (born Christine Cervenka, vocals), John Doe (born John Duchac, bass and vocals), Billy Zoom (born Tyson Kindell, guitar) and DJ Bonebrake (born Donald J. Bonebrake, drums). After Zoom retired from the band, Tony Gilkyson replaced him on guitar. Zoom reunited with X in 1998. The original line-up tours after having reunited in the early 2000s. Their first four albums had a hard-driving sound that occasionally flirted with rockabilly and blues; one critic suggests that X "were not just one of the greatest punk bands, but one of the greatest live rock acts of all time." By the time of their fifth album, Ain't Love Grand!, the band had taken a more mainstream hard rock-oriented direction, and began to appear on shows such as American Bandstand. X, however, had previously appeared on television for a 1984 performance on Late Night with David Letterman. In many ways – from songwriting to performances – X's first albums were distinctive when compared to many of their punk peers (except Cervenka, all band members had previous musical experience before forming X). One critic writes that X were "too self-conscious, artsy and ambitious to simply spew" in typical punk fashion. 'Artist Discography'

 

X (Australia)  - Australian punk rock band with a cult following, formed in Sydney in 1977 and led by the late Ian Rilen. The band has split and reformed several times. Although X has had several members, its sound has been defined by two distinctive elements: Rilen's loud, powerful basslines and Steve Lucas's guitar floating on top of the mix. Drummer Cathy Green has also been a frequent member of the band since 1984. Rilen was also a founder member of bluesy hard rockers Rose Tattoo. During X's first hiatus (1980-83), he formed the hard-working post punk outfit Sardine v, with his then wife, Stephanie Rilen. As of 2004, Rilen had settled on a fairly stable line up of his current project, Ian Rilen & the Love Addicts, who include Cathy Green on bass. The band have also issued a CD, "Passion Boots & Bruises."

 

XTC- First coming together in 1972, the core duo of Andy Partridge (guitars & vocals) and Colin Moulding (bass & vocals) went through many band names (including The Helium Kidz and Star Park) over the next five years. As the Helium Kidz, they were featured in a small NME article as an up-and-coming band from Swindon. Drawing influence from the New York Dolls, particularly the "Jetboy" single, and the emerging New York punk scene, they played glam rock with homemade costumes and slowly built up a following. Drummer Terry Chambers joined in 1973. Keyboard player Barry Andrews followed in 1976, and the band finally settled on a name: XTC. By this time, the punk rock movement was in full swing, and XTC had found their style, a unique brand of hyperactive pop mixed with funk, punk, ska, reggae, and art rock.
 In 1977 XTC were signed by Virgin Records. They recorded the 3D - EP that summer, and followed it up with their debut LP White Music in January 1978. White Music received favorable reviews and entered the British top 40, but lead single "Statue of Liberty" was banned by the BBC for making allegedly lewd references to the famous statue. Their second album Go 2, released later in 1978, is noted for its distinctive typewriter-text cover (designed by Hipgnosis) and early pressings were accompanied by a bonus disc Go +, a collection of dub mixes of songs from the album. Following its release, Barry Andrews left the group and was replaced by guitarist and keyboardist Dave Gregory. Andrews went on to form Shriekback and also worked with Robert Fripp's League of Gentlemen. Coinciding with Gregory's arrival, XTC scored their first charting single in the UK with "Life Begins at the Hop", which also marked Colin Moulding's debut as a songwriter. Altogether the group released a total of 14 albums from their inception in '72. 'Artist Discography'

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Rock
- The Pioneers - Rock '51 - '63 | Rock '62 - '69-The British Invasion | Rock '68 - '74

Through The Cracks -  Clouds | Danny Gatton | Roy Buchanan | TimeBox & Patto | Joe Stanley

On The Boards - The Beatles | Pink Floyd | Fleetwood Mac | Moody Blues | Jethro Tull | Les Paul | Tina Turner | Cyndi Lauper

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