Nirvana was an American rock band formed in Aberdeen, Washington, in 1987. Founded by lead singer and guitarist Kurt Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic, the band went through a succession of drummers, most notably Chad Channing, and then recruited Dave Grohl in 1990. Nirvana's success popularized alternative rock, and they were often referenced as the figurehead band of Generation X. Their music maintains a popular following and continues to influence modern rock culture.
The Beatles were an English rock band, formed in Liverpool in 1960, that comprised John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. They are regarded as the most influential band of all time and were integral to the development of 1960s counterculture and popular music's recognition as an art form. Rooted in skiffle, beat and 1950s rock 'n' roll, their sound incorporated elements of classical music and traditional pop in innovative ways; the band also explored music styles ranging from folk and Indian music to psychedelia and hard rock. As pioneers in recording, songwriting and artistic presentation, the Beatles revolutionised many aspects of the music industry and were often publicised as leaders of the era's youth and sociocultural movements.
Black Sabbath were an English rock band formed in Birmingham in 1968 by guitarist Tony Iommi, drummer Bill Ward, bassist Geezer Butler and vocalist Ozzy Osbourne. They are often cited as pioneers of heavy metal music. The band helped define the genre with releases such as Black Sabbath (1970), Paranoid (1970) and Master of Reality (1971). The band had multiple line-up changes following Osbourne's departure in 1979 and Iommi is the only constant member throughout their history.
Robert Nesta Marley was a Jamaican singer, musician, and songwriter. Considered one of the pioneers of reggae, his musical career was marked by fusing elements of reggae, ska, and rocksteady, as well as his distinctive vocal and songwriting style. Marley's contributions to music increased the visibility of Jamaican music worldwide, and made him a global figure in popular culture to this day. Over the course of his career, Marley became known as a Rastafari icon, and he infused his music with a sense of spirituality. He is also considered a global symbol of Jamaican music and culture and identity, and was controversial in his outspoken support for democratic social reforms. In 1976, Marley survived an assassination attempt in his home, which was thought to be politically motivated. He also supported legalisation of marijuana, and advocated for Pan-Africanism.
The Chemical Brothers are an English electronic music duo formed by Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons in Manchester in 1989. They were pioneers in bringing the big beat genre to the forefront of pop culture. After attracting Virgin Records, the duo achieved further success with the second album Dig Your Own Hole (1997), which topped the UK charts. In the UK, they have had six No. 1 albums and 13 top-20 singles, including two chart-toppers.
Daft Punk were a French electronic music duo formed in 1993 in Paris by Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo. They achieved popularity in the late 1990s as part of the French house movement, combining elements of house music with funk, disco, rock and pop. They garnered acclaim and commercial success and are regarded as one of the most influential acts in dance music.
Limp Bizkit is an American rap rock band from Jacksonville, Florida. Its lineup consists of lead vocalist Fred Durst, drummer John Otto, guitarist Wes Borland, turntablist DJ Lethal and bassist Sam Rivers. The band's music is marked by Durst's angry vocal delivery and Borland's sonic experimentation. Borland's elaborate visual appearance, which includes face and body paint, masks, and uniforms, also plays a large role in Limp Bizkit's live shows. The band has been nominated for three Grammy Awards, sold 40 million records worldwide, and won several other awards. The band has released 26 singles, the most notable of which include "Nookie", "Re-Arranged", "Break Stuff", "Take a Look Around", "Rollin' (Air Raid Vehicle)", "My Generation", "My Way", "Eat You Alive", and their cover of The Who's 1971 single "Behind Blue Eyes", all of which have charted within the top 20 of the US Alternative Airplay Chart.
The Offspring is an American rock band from Garden Grove, California, formed in 1984. Originally formed under the name Manic Subsidal, the band's current lineup consists of lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Bryan "Dexter" Holland, lead guitarist Kevin "Noodles" Wasserman and bassist Todd Morse. Over the course of their 39-year career, the Offspring has released ten studio albums and have also experienced a number of lineup changes, most notably with their drummer. Their longest-serving drummer was Ron Welty, who replaced original drummer James Lilja in 1987 and stayed with the Offspring for 16 years. Welty was replaced by Atom Willard in 2003, who was replaced four years later by Pete Parada, who remained as the drummer for the Offspring until he was fired from the band in 2021 for refusing to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Gregory "Greg K." Kriesel (one of the Offspring's co-founders) was their bassist until 2018, when he was fired from the band due to business disputes, thus leaving Holland as the sole remaining original member. Kriesel was replaced by Todd Morse of H2O, who had been the Offspring's touring guitarist since 2009.
Queen are a British rock band formed in London in 1970 by Freddie Mercury (lead vocals, piano), Brian May (guitar, vocals) and Roger Taylor (drums, vocals), later joined by John Deacon (bass). Their 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.
Before forming Queen, May and Taylor had played together in the band Smile. Mercury was a fan of Smile and encouraged them to experiment with more elaborate stage and recording techniques. He joined in 1970 and suggested the name "Queen". Deacon was recruited in February 1971, before the band released their eponymous debut album in 1973. Queen first charted in the UK with their second album, Queen II, in 1974. Sheer Heart Attack later that year and A Night at the Opera in 1975 brought them international success. The latter featured "Bohemian Rhapsody", which stayed at number one in the UK for nine weeks and helped popularise the music video format.
Benjamin Scott Folds is an American singer-songwriter, musician, and composer. Folds was the frontman and pianist of the alternative rock trio Ben Folds Five from 1993 to 2000, and again in the early 2010s during their reunion. He has recorded a number of solo albums and performed live as a solo artist. He has also collaborated with musicians such as William Shatner, Regina Spektor, "Weird Al" Yankovic, and yMusic, and undertaken experimental songwriting projects with authors such as Nick Hornby and Neil Gaiman. Since May 2017, he has been the first artistic advisor to the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C..
Blood Red Shoes are an English alternative rock duo from Brighton consisting of Laura-Mary Carter and Steven Ansell. They have released six full-length albums, Box of Secrets (2008), Fire Like This (2010), In Time to Voices (2012), Blood Red Shoes (2014), Get Tragic (2019) and Ghosts On Tape (2022) as well as several EPs and a number of singles. In 2014, they founded their own label, Jazz Life.
Blood Red Shoes formed in late 2004, after Steven Ansell and Laura-Mary Carter's previous bands (Cat on Form and Lady Muck respectively) broke up and they decided to "have a jam". In an interview in Berlin, Carter explained that the band's name was taken from a Ginger Rogers/Fred Astaire musical, in which Rogers had turned a pair of white dancing shoes red with blood due to the amount of dancing she had done practising for the role.
Bright Eyes is an American indie rock band founded by singer-songwriter and guitarist Conor Oberst. It consists of Oberst, multi-instrumentalist and producer Mike Mogis, arranger, composer and trumpet and piano player Nate Walcott, and a rotating line-up of collaborators drawn primarily from Omaha's indie music scene. Between 1998 and 2011, the band's albums were released through Saddle Creek Records, a Nebraska-based label founded by Justin Oberst and Mogis. In January 2020, the band announced their return, having signed with Dead Oceans.
Charles Hardin Holley (September 7, 1936 – February 3, 1959), known as Buddy Holly, was an American singer and songwriter who was a central and pioneering figure of mid-1950s rock and roll. He was born to a musical family in Lubbock, Texas during the Great Depression, and learned to play guitar and sing alongside his siblings. His style was influenced by gospel music, country music, and rhythm and blues acts, which he performed in Lubbock with his friends from high school.
He made his first appearance on local television in 1952, and the following year he formed the group "Buddy and Bob" with his friend Bob Montgomery. In 1955, after opening for Elvis Presley, he decided to pursue a career in music. He opened for Presley three times that year; his band's style shifted from country and western to entirely rock and roll. In October that year, when he opened for Bill Haley & His Comets, he was spotted by Nashville scout Eddie Crandall, who helped him get a contract with Decca Records.
Coldplay are a British rock band formed in London in 1997. They consist of vocalist and pianist Chris Martin, guitarist Jonny Buckland, bassist Guy Berryman, drummer Will Champion and creative director Phil Harvey. They met at University College London and began playing music together from 1997 to 1998, initially calling themselves Starfish.
MGMT () is an American indie rock band formed in 2002 in Middletown, Connecticut. It was founded by multi-instrumentalists Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser. Alongside VanWyngarden and Goldwasser, MGMT's live lineup currently consists of drummer Will Berman, bassist Simon O'Connor, and guitarist and keyboard James Richardson.
Originally signed to Cantora Records by the nascent label's co-founder, NYU undergrad Will Griggs, MGMT later signed with Columbia and RED Ink in 2006 and released their debut album Oracular Spectacular the next year. After the release of Oracular Spectacular Richardson, Berman and Matthew Asti joined the core band in the studio for Congratulations, which was released on April 13, 2010. In January 2011 they began work on their eponymous third studio album. It was released on September 17, 2013, and was released as an early exclusive on Rdio on September 9, 2013. The group's fourth studio album, titled Little Dark Age, was released in February 2018 and marked the end of their contract with Columbia. Beginning in 2019, the duo began producing music independent of a label for the first time since 2006. In late 2019, the two released a new song called "In the Afternoon" as their first fully self-produced single.
Placebo are a rock band, formed in London in 1994 by vocalist–guitarist Brian Molko and bassist–guitarist Stefan Olsdal. Drummer Robert Schultzberg joined in late 1994, but left in 1996 shortly after the release of the band's eponymous debut album due to conflicts with Molko, and was replaced the same year by Steve Hewitt.
Arcade Fire is a Canadian indie rock band from Montréal, Quebec, consisting of husband and wife Win Butler and Régine Chassagne, alongside Richard Reed Parry, Tim Kingsbury and Jeremy Gara. The band's current touring line-up also includes former core member Sarah Neufeld and multi-instrumentalists Paul Beaubrun, Dan Boeckner and Eric Heigle. Each of the band's studio albums features contributions from composer and violinist Owen Pallett.
The Doors were an American rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1965, with vocalist Jim Morrison, keyboardist Ray Manzarek, guitarist Robby Krieger, and drummer John Densmore. They were among the most influential and controversial rock acts of the 1960s, partly due to Morrison's lyrics and voice, along with his erratic stage persona. The group is widely regarded as an important figure of the era's counterculture.
The Who are an English rock band formed in London in 1964. Their core lineup consisted of lead vocalist Roger Daltrey, guitarist Pete Townshend, bassist John Entwistle and drummer Keith Moon. They are considered one of the most influential rock bands of the 20th century, and have sold over 100 million records worldwide. Their contributions to rock music include the development of the Marshall Stack, large PA systems, the use of the synthesizer, Entwistle and Moon's influential playing styles, Townshend's feedback and power chord guitar technique, and the development of the rock opera. They are cited as an influence by many hard rock, punk, power pop and mod bands, and their songs are still regularly played. The Who were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.
Skins is a British teen comedy drama television series that follows the lives of a group of teenagers in Bristol, South West England, through the two years of sixth form. Its controversial story-lines have explored issues like dysfunctional families, mental illness (such as depression, eating disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and bipolar disorder), adolescent sexuality, gender, substance abuse, death, and bullying.
Each episode generally focuses on a particular character or subset of characters and the struggles they face in their lives, with the episodes named after the featured characters. The show was created by father-and-son television writers Bryan Elsley and Jamie Brittain for Company Pictures, and premiered on E4 on 25 January 2007.
The Hobbit, or There and Back Again is a children's fantasy novel by English author J. R. R. Tolkien. It was published on 21 September 1937 to wide critical acclaim, being nominated for the Carnegie Medal and awarded a prize from the New York Herald Tribune for best juvenile fiction. The book remains popular and is recognized as a classic in children's literature.
The Hobbit is set within Tolkien's fictional universe and follows the quest of home-loving Bilbo Baggins, the titular hobbit, to win a share of the treasure guarded by Smaug the dragon. Bilbo's journey takes him from light-hearted, rural surroundings into more sinister territory.
The story is told in the form of an episodic quest, and most chapters introduce a specific creature or type of creature of Tolkien's geography. Bilbo gains a new level of maturity, competence, and wisdom by accepting the disreputable, romantic, fey, and adventurous sides of his nature and applying his wits and common sense. The story reaches its climax in the Battle of Five Armies, where many of the characters and creatures from earlier chapters re-emerge to engage in conflict.
Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (1990) is a World Fantasy Award-nominated novel written as a collaboration between the English authors Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman.
The book is a comedy about the birth of the son of Satan and the coming of the End Times. There are attempts by the angel Aziraphale and the demon Crowley to sabotage the coming of the end times, having grown accustomed to their comfortable surroundings in England. One subplot features a mixup at the small country hospital on the day of birth and the growth of the Antichrist, Adam, who grows up with the wrong family, in the wrong country village. Another subplot concerns the summoning of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, each a big personality in their own right. In 2003, the novel was listed at number 68 on the BBC's survey The Big Read.
Nineteen Eighty-Four is a dystopian social science fiction novel and cautionary tale by English writer George Orwell. It was published on 8 June 1949 by Secker & Warburg as Orwell's ninth and final book completed in his lifetime. Thematically, it centres on the consequences of totalitarianism, mass surveillance and repressive regimentation of people and behaviours within society. Orwell, a democratic socialist, modelled the authoritarian state in the novel on Stalinist Russia and Nazi Germany. More broadly, the novel examines the role of truth and facts within societies and the ways in which they can be manipulated.
The Pajama Sam series is a collection of point and click children's adventure and puzzle games originally created by Humongous Entertainment. After the release of the first two adventure games, the series was proving a success when the products sold one million copies and won 40 awards of excellence.