Metallica is an American heavy metal band. The band was formed in 1981 in Los Angeles by vocalist/guitarist James Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich and has been based in San Francisco for most of its career. The band's fast tempos, instrumentals and aggressive musicianship made them one of the founding "big four" bands of thrash metal, alongside Megadeth, Anthrax, and Slayer. Metallica's current lineup comprises founding members and primary songwriters Hetfield and Ulrich, longtime lead guitarist Kirk Hammett, and bassist Robert Trujillo. Guitarist Dave Mustaine (who formed Megadeth after being fired from the band) and bassists Ron McGovney, Cliff Burton, and Jason Newsted are former members of the band.
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.
Green Day is an American rock band formed in the East Bay of California in 1987 by lead vocalist and guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong, together with bassist and backing vocalist Mike Dirnt. For most of the band's career, they have been a power trio with drummer Tré Cool, who replaced John Kiffmeyer in 1990 before the recording of the band's second studio album, Kerplunk (1991). Touring guitarist Jason White became a full-time member in 2012, but returned to his touring role in 2016. Before taking its current name in 1989, Green Day was called Sweet Children, and they were part of the late 1980s/early 1990s Bay Area punk scene that emerged from the 924 Gilman Street club in Berkeley, California. The band's early releases were with the independent record label Lookout! Records. In 1994, their major-label debut Dookie, released through Reprise Records, became a breakout success and eventually shipped over 10 million copies in the U.S. Alongside fellow California punk bands Bad Religion, the Offspring, Rancid, NOFX, Pennywise and Social Distortion, Green Day is credited with popularizing mainstream interest in punk rock in the U.S.
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.
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.
Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American singer, songwriter, dancer, and philanthropist. Dubbed the "King of Pop", he is regarded as one of the most significant cultural figures of the 20th century. Over a four-decade career, his contributions to music, dance, and fashion, along with his publicized personal life, made him a global figure in popular culture. Jackson influenced artists across many music genres; through stage and video performances, he popularized complicated dance moves such as the moonwalk, to which he gave the name, as well as the robot. He is the most awarded musician in history.
The eighth child of the Jackson family, Jackson made his public debut in 1964 with his older brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, and Marlon as a member of the Jackson 5 (later known as the Jacksons). Jackson began his solo career in 1971 while at Motown Records. He became a solo star with his 1979 album Off the Wall. His music videos, including those for "Beat It", "Billie Jean", and "Thriller" from his 1982 album Thriller, are credited with breaking racial barriers and transforming the medium into an artform and promotional tool. He helped propel the success of MTV and continued to innovate with videos for the albums Bad (1987), Dangerous (1991), HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I (1995), and Invincible (2001). Thriller became the best-selling album of all time, while Bad was the first album to produce five US Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles.
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.
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.
The White Stripes were an American rock duo from Detroit formed in 1997. The group consisted of Jack White and Meg White. After releasing several singles and three albums within the Detroit music scene, the White Stripes rose to prominence in 2002 as part of the garage rock revival scene. Their successful and critically acclaimed albums White Blood Cells and Elephant drew attention from a large variety of media outlets in the United States and the United Kingdom. The single "Seven Nation Army", which used a guitar and an octave pedal to create the opening riff, became one of their most recognizable songs. The band recorded two more albums, Get Behind Me Satan in 2005 and Icky Thump in 2007, and dissolved in 2011 after a lengthy hiatus from performing and recording.
The Strokes are an American rock band formed in New York City in 1998. The band is composed of lead singer and songwriter Julian Casablancas, guitarists Nick Valensi and Albert Hammond Jr., bassist Nikolai Fraiture, and drummer Fabrizio Moretti. They were a leading group of the early-2000s indie rock revival.
James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix was an American guitarist, singer and songwriter. Although his mainstream career spanned only four years, he is widely regarded as one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of popular music, and one of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame describes him as "arguably the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music."
Red Hot Chili Peppers are an American rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1982, comprising vocalist Anthony Kiedis, bassist Flea, drummer Chad Smith, and guitarist John Frusciante. Their music incorporates elements of alternative rock, funk, punk rock, hard rock, hip hop, and psychedelic rock. Their eclectic range has influenced genres such as funk metal, rap metal, rap rock, and nu metal. With over 120 million records sold worldwide, Red Hot Chili Peppers are one of the best-selling bands of all time. They hold the records for most number-one singles (14), most cumulative weeks at number one (85) and most top-ten songs (25) on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart. They have won six Grammy Awards, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012, and in 2022 received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Tears for Fears are an English pop rock band formed in Bath, England, in 1981 by Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith. Founded after the dissolution of their first band, the mod-influenced Graduate, Tears for Fears were associated with the new wave synthesizer bands of the early 1980s, and attained international chart success.
The band's debut album, The Hurting (1983), reached number one on the UK Albums Chart, and their first three hit singles – "Mad World", "Change", and "Pale Shelter" – all reached the top five in the UK Singles Chart. Part of the MTV-driven Second British Invasion of the US, their second album, Songs from the Big Chair (1985), reached number one on the US Billboard 200, achieving multi-platinum status in both the UK and the US. The album contained two Billboard Hot 100 number one hits: "Shout" and "Everybody Wants to Rule the World", both of which reached the top five in the UK with the latter winning the Brit Award for Best British Single in 1986.
Beastie Boys were an American hip hop group from New York City, formed in 1978. The group was composed of Michael "Mike D" Diamond, Adam "MCA" Yauch, and Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz. Beastie Boys were formed out of members of experimental hardcore punk band the Young Aborigines in 1978, with Diamond as vocalist, Jeremy Shatan on bass guitar, John Berry on guitar, and Kate Schellenbach on drums. When Shatan left in 1981, Yauch replaced him on bass and the band changed their name to Beastie Boys. Berry left shortly thereafter and was replaced by Horovitz.
Pearl Jam is an American rock band formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1990. The band's lineup consists of founding members Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard, Mike McCready, and Eddie Vedder, as well as Matt Cameron (drums), who joined in 1998. Keyboardist Boom Gaspar has also been a touring/session member with the band since 2002. Drummers Jack Irons, Dave Krusen, Matt Chamberlain, and Dave Abbruzzese are former members of the band. Pearl Jam outsold many of their contemporaries from the early 1990s, and are considered one of the most influential bands of the decade, being dubbed as "the most popular American rock and roll band of the '90s".
David Robert Jones (8 January 1947 – 10 January 2016), known professionally as David Bowie ( BOH-ee), was an English singer-songwriter and actor. A leading figure in the music industry, he is regarded as one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. Bowie was acclaimed by critics and musicians, particularly for his innovative work during the 1970s. His career was marked by reinvention and visual presentation, and his music and stagecraft had a significant impact on popular music.
Bowie developed an interest in music from an early age. He studied art, music and design before embarking on a professional career as a musician in 1963. "Space Oddity", released in 1969, was his first top-five entry on the UK Singles Chart. After a period of experimentation, he re-emerged in 1972 during the glam rock era with his flamboyant and androgynous alter ego Ziggy Stardust. The character was spearheaded by the success of Bowie's single "Starman" and album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, which won him widespread popularity. In 1975, Bowie's style shifted towards a sound he characterised as "plastic soul", initially alienating many of his UK fans but garnering him his first major US crossover success with the number-one single "Fame" and the album Young Americans. In 1976, Bowie starred in the cult film The Man Who Fell to Earth and released Station to Station. In 1977, he again changed direction with the electronic-inflected album Low, the first of three collaborations with Brian Eno that came to be known as the "Berlin Trilogy". "Heroes" (1977) and Lodger (1979) followed; each album reached the UK top five and received lasting critical praise.
(Achille) Claude Debussy (French: [aʃil klod dəbysi]; 22 August 1862 – 25 March 1918) was a French composer. He is sometimes seen as the first Impressionist composer, although he vigorously rejected the term. He was among the most influential composers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Born to a family of modest means and little cultural involvement, Debussy showed enough musical talent to be admitted at the age of ten to France's leading music college, the Conservatoire de Paris. He originally studied the piano, but found his vocation in innovative composition, despite the disapproval of the Conservatoire's conservative professors. He took many years to develop his mature style, and was nearly 40 when he achieved international fame in 1902 with the only opera he completed, Pelléas et Mélisande.
A Tribe Called Quest was an American hip hop group formed in Queens, New York City, in 1985, originally composed of rapper and main producer Q-Tip, rapper Phife Dawg, DJ and co-producer Ali Shaheed Muhammad, and rapper Jarobi White. Members of the Native Tongues collective, the group is regarded as a pioneer of alternative hip hop, influencing numerous hip hop and R&B musicians.
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.