Items filtered by date: April 2016
Generation X (also known as Gen X) were an English punk rock band, formed on 21 November 1976 by Billy Idol, Tony James and John Towe.Generation X were one of the first punk bands to appear on the BBC Television music programme Top of the Pops. Unlike other punk bands, Generation X ignored some of the 'rules' and 'ideals' adopted by UK punk rock bands, taking inspiration from British pop of the 1960s. In 1977, they covered John Lennon's "Gimme Some Truth", and in 1979 they teamed up with Ian Hunter who produced their second album, Valley of the Dolls. There were differences in the group's musical direction that they struggled to resolve. They wanted to remain true to their punk roots while pursuing a heavier rock sound. Internal disagreements came to a head in late 1979 during the recording of what was to have been the third Generation X album. This was released decades later as part of the Anthology boxed set under the title Sweet Revenge.In 1980, Andrews and Laff left the band (subsequently forming the post-punk band, Empire), to be replaced in Generation X by the Clash and Cowboys International's former drummer Terry Chimes, and former Chelsea guitarist James Stevenson. Generation X made a last stand, re-recording some of the Sweet Revenge material, as well as several new songs. With this final release, Kiss Me Deadly (1981), the band abbreviated its name to Gen X. Kiss Me Deadly included a version of "Dancing with Myself", first recorded as part of Sweet Revenge with Andrews and Laff, and which Idol would later include on his first EP as a solo artist to kick-start his own career with a hit. Idol went on to pursue a solo career in New York, where he became a substantial pop star. James later formed Sigue Sigue Sputnik and performed with bands including the Sisters of Mercy and, much later on, Carbon/Silicon. Stevenson later joined Gene Loves Jezebel, the Cult and, more latterly, the Alarm and the International Swingers. Chimes rejoined the Clash. On 20 September 1993, during Billy Idol's No Religion Tour, Generation X had a one-time reunion performance at the Astoria Theatre in London.
Queen are a British rock band that formed in London in 1970. The classic line-up was Freddie Mercury (lead vocals, piano), Brian May (guitar, vocals), Roger Taylor (drums, vocals), and John Deacon (bass guitar). Queen's earliest works were influenced by progressive rock, hard rock and heavy metal, but the band gradually ventured into more conventional and radio-friendly works by incorporating further styles, such as arena rock and pop rock, into their music. Before forming Queen, Brian May and Roger Taylor had played together in a band named Smile. Freddie Mercury (then known by his birth name of Farrokh "Freddie" Bulsara) was a fan of Smile and encouraged them to experiment with more elaborate stage and recording techniques. Mercury joined the band in 1970, suggested "Queen" as a new band name, and adopted his familiar stage name. John Deacon was recruited prior to recording their eponymous debut album in 1973. Queen first charted in the UK with their second album, Queen II, in 1974, but it was the release of Sheer Heart Attack later that year and A Night at the Opera in 1975 which brought them international success. The latter featured "Bohemian Rhapsody", which stayed at number one in the UK for nine weeks and popularised the music video. Their 1977 album, News of the World, contained "We Will Rock You" and "We Are the Champions", which have become anthems at sporting events. By the early 1980s, Queen were one of the biggest stadium rock bands in the world. Their performance at 1985's Live Aid is ranked among the greatest in rock history by various music publications, with a 2005 industry poll ranking it the best. In 1991, Mercury died of bronchopneumonia, a complication of AIDS, and Deacon retired in 1997. Since then, May and Taylor have occasionally performed together, including with Paul Rodgers (2004–09) and with Adam Lambert (since 2011). In November 2014, Queen released a new album, Queen Forever, featuring vocals from the late Mercury. The band have released a total of 18 number one albums, 18 number one singles, and 10 number one DVDs. Estimates of their record sales generally range from 150 million to 300 million records, making them one of the world's best-selling music artists. Queen received the Outstanding Contribution to British Music Award from the British Phonographic Industry in 1990. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001. "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" is a song by the rock band Queen. Written by Freddie Mercury in 1979, the track is featured on their 1980 album The Game, and also appears on the band's compilation album, Greatest Hits. The song peaked at number two in the UK Singles Chart in 1979, and became the group's first number-one single on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S. in 1980, remaining there for four consecutive weeks; it would be the start of Queen's popularity in America. It topped the Australian ARIA Charts for seven weeks. Having composed "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" on guitar, Mercury played rhythm guitar while performing the song live, which was the first time he played guitar in concert with Queen. Queen played the song live between 1979 and 1986, and a live performance of the song is recorded in the albums Queen Rock Montreal and Queen at Wembley. Since its release, the song has been covered by a number of artists. The song was played live on 20 April 1992 during The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert, performed by Robert Plant with Queen. The style of the song was described by author Karl Coryat as rockabilly in his 1999 book titled The Bass Player Book. The song was written by Mercury as a tribute to Elvis Presley.
Layne Thomas Staley (August 22, 1967 – April 5, 2002) was an American musician who served as the lead singer and co-songwriter of the rock band Alice in Chains, which he founded with guitarist Jerry Cantrell in Seattle, Washington in 1987. Alice in Chains rose to international fame as part of the grunge movement of the early 1990s. The band became known for Staley's distinct vocal style, as well as the harmonized vocals between him and Cantrell. Staley was also a member of the supergroups Mad Season and Class of '99. By mid-1996, Staley was out of the public spotlight, never to perform live again. Staley also struggled throughout his adult life with depression and a severe drug addiction, culminating with his death on April 5, 2002."Would?" is a song by Alice in Chains that was produced, engineered, and mixed by Rick Parashar. The song first appeared on the soundtrack to the 1992 movie Singles—in which the members of Alice in Chains make a cameo appearance—and later appeared on the band's album Dirt, also released in 1992. The song was included on the compilation albums Nothing Safe: Best of the Box (1999), Music Bank (1999), Greatest Hits (2001), and The Essential Alice in Chains (2006).The song, written by guitarist/co-vocalist Jerry Cantrell, concerns the late lead singer of Mother Love Bone, Andrew Wood, who died of a heroin overdose in 1990. In the liner notes of 1999's Music Bank box set collection, Jerry Cantrell said of the song: I was thinking a lot about Andrew Wood at the time. We always had a great time when we did hang out, much like Chris Cornell and I do. There was never really a serious moment or conversation, it was all fun. Andy was a hilarious guy, full of life and it was really sad to lose him. But I always hate people who judge the decisions others make. So it was also directed towards people who pass judgments.
"Lithium" is a song by American rock band Nirvana. Written by frontman Kurt Cobain, the song is about a man who turns to religion amid thoughts of suicide. Nirvana first recorded "Lithium" in 1990 but then re-recorded the song the following year for the group's second album Nevermind (1991). Released as the third single from Nevermind in July 1992, "Lithium" peaked at number 64 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number 11 on the UK Singles Chart. The accompanying music video, directed by Kevin Kerslake, is a montage of concert footage. "Lithium" is representative of the musical style Nirvana had developed during work on Nevermind, alternating between quiet and loud sections. In the song, Cobain fingers chord shapes on his guitar but varies between playing single notes and double stops on the instrument, giving the track a loose feel. Nirvana biographer Michael Azerrad described the song's title as a reference to Karl Marx's statement that religion is the "opiate of the masses." Cobain said the song is about a man who, after the death of his girlfriend, turns to religion "as a last resort to keep himself alive. To keep him from suicide." While Cobain said the narrative of "Lithium" was fictional, he said, "I did infuse some of my personal experiences, like breaking up with girlfriends and having bad relationships." Cobain acknowledged that the song was possibly inspired in part by the time he spent living with his friend Jesse Reed and his born-again Christian parents. He explained to Azerrad, "I've always felt that some people should have religion in their lives [. . .] That's fine. If it's going to save someone, it's okay. And the person in ['Lithium'] needed it."