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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Philip David Charles Collins is an English singer, musician, songwriter, record producer and actor. He was the drummer and later lead singer of the rock band Genesis and also has a career as a solo performer. Between 1982 and 1990, Collins achieved three UK and seven US number one singles as a solo artist. When his work with Genesis, his work with other artists, as well as his solo career is totalled, he had more US top 40 singles than any other artist during the 1980s. His most successful singles from the period include "In the Air Tonight", "Against All Odds ", "One More Night", and "Another Day in Paradise".
Bauhaus are an English rock band, formed in Northampton, England, in 1978. The group consists of Daniel Ash (guitar, saxophone), Peter Murphy (vocals, occasional instruments), Kevin Haskins (drums) and David J (bass). The band were originally named Bauhaus 1919 in reference to the first operating year of the German art school Bauhaus, although they shortened the name within a year of formation. One of the pioneers of gothic rock, Bauhaus were known for their dark image and gloomy sound, although they mixed many genres, including dub, glam rock, psychedelia, and funk.
Their 1979 debut single, "Bela Lugosi's Dead" is considered one of the harbingers of gothic rock music and has been influential on contemporary goth culture. Their debut album, In the Flat Field, is regarded as one of the first gothic rock records. Their 1981 second album Mask expanded their sound by incorporating a wider variety of instruments—such as keyboards, saxophone and acoustic guitar—and experimenting with funk-inspired rhythms on tracks like "Kick in the Eye". Bauhaus went on to achieve mainstream success in the United Kingdom with their third album, The Sky's Gone Out, which peaked at No. 3 on the UK Albums Chart in 1982. That same year, they also reached No. 15 on the Singles Chart with a standalone cover of David Bowie's "Ziggy Stardust", earning them an appearance on Top of the Pops. During recording sessions for their next album, Murphy fell ill and spent much of his time away from the studio, leaving the rest of the band to compensate for his absence. This created a rift between the singer and his bandmates, culminating in the group's dissolution on 5 July 1983, one week before Burning from the Inside was released. Featuring the hit single "She's in Parties", it would be their final studio album composed entirely of new material for a quarter century.
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.
Vampire Weekend is an American rock band from New York City, formed in 2006 and currently signed to Columbia Records. The band was formed by lead vocalist and guitarist Ezra Koenig, multi-instrumentalist Rostam Batmanglij, drummer Chris Tomson, and bassist Chris Baio. Batmanglij departed the group in early 2016.
The xx are an English indie rock band from Wandsworth, London, formed in 2005. The band consists of Romy Madley Croft, Oliver Sim, Jamie Smith, also known as Jamie xx, and formerly Baria Qureshi. They are known for their distinct and minimalist sound that blends indie rock, indie electronic, indie pop, dream pop and electro-rock and the dual vocalist setup of both Croft and Sim. Their music employs soft, echoed guitar, prominent bass, light electronic beats and ambient soundscape backgrounds.
Arctic Monkeys are an English rock band formed in Sheffield in 2002. The group consists of Alex Turner (lead vocals, guitar, keyboards), Jamie Cook (guitar, keyboards), Nick O'Malley (bass guitar, backing vocals), and Matt Helders (drums, backing vocals). Former band member Andy Nicholson (bass guitar, backing vocals) left the band in 2006 shortly after their debut album was released.
Arctic Monkeys were heralded as one of the first bands to come to public attention via the Internet, with commentators suggesting they represented the possibility of a change in the way in which new bands are promoted and marketed. Their debut album, Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not (2006), became the fastest-selling debut album in UK chart history, and has been hailed as one of the greatest debut albums. It won Best British Album at the 2007 Brit Awards. The band's second album, Favourite Worst Nightmare (2007), was also acclaimed by critics and won Best British Album at the 2008 BRIT Awards. They went on to release Humbug (2009) and Suck It and See (2011).
Animal Collective is an American experimental pop band formed in Baltimore, Maryland. Its members consist of Avey Tare, Panda Bear, Geologist, and Deakin. The band's work is characterized by an eclectic exploration of styles, including psychedelia, freak folk, noise, and electronica, with the use of elements such as loops, drones, sampling, vocal harmonies, and sound collage. AllMusic's Fred Thomas suggests that the group "defined the face of independent experimental rock during the 2000s and 2010s."
Grizzly Bear is an American rock band from Brooklyn, New York, formed in 2002. For most of its tenure, the band has consisted of Edward Droste, Daniel Rossen, Chris Taylor, and Christopher Bear. The band employs both traditional and electronic instruments, and their sound has been categorized as psychedelic pop, folk rock, and experimental. The band is known for their use of vocal harmony, with all four members contributing vocals and lead vocals alternating between Rossen and Droste.
LCD Soundsystem is an American rock band from Brooklyn, New York, formed in 2002 by James Murphy, co-founder of DFA Records. The band comprises Murphy (vocals, various instruments), Nancy Whang (synthesizer, keyboards, vocals), Pat Mahoney (drums), Tyler Pope (bass, guitar, synthesizer), Al Doyle (guitar, synthesizer, percussion), Matt Thornley (guitar, synthesizer, percussion), and Korey Richey (synthesizer, piano, percussion). They are currently signed to both DFA and Columbia Records.
The band began by recording and releasing multiple singles from 2002 to 2004, the first of which was "Losing My Edge", one of their signature songs. This led up to the release of their 2005 self-titled debut studio album. It garnered critical acclaim and a Grammy Award nomination for Best Electronic/Dance Album. Their single "Daft Punk Is Playing at My House", which has become the band's most commercially successful single, received a Grammy nomination for Best Dance Recording. In the following year, LCD Soundsystem recorded and released "45:33", a forty-five minute-long composition that was a specially made "workout track" for Nike's Nike+ Original Run series. In 2007, the band released their second studio album, Sound of Silver, to critical acclaim and another Grammy nomination for Best Electronic/Dance Album.
The Police were an English rock band formed in London in 1977. For most of their history the line-up consisted of primary songwriter Sting, Andy Summers (guitar) and Stewart Copeland. The Police became globally popular in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Emerging in the British new wave scene, they played a style of rock influenced by punk, reggae, and jazz.
The Old Man and the Sea is a novella written by the American author Ernest Hemingway in 1951 in Cayo Blanco (Cuba), and published in 1952. It was the last major work of fiction written by Hemingway that was published during his lifetime. One of his most famous works, it tells the story of Santiago, an aging Cuban fisherman who struggles with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream off the coast of Cuba.
James Arthur Baldwin was an American writer. He garnered acclaim for his work across several forms, including essays, novels, plays, and poems. His first novel, Go Tell It on the Mountain, was published in 1953; decades later, Time magazine included the novel on its list of the 100 best English-language novels released from 1923 to 2005. His first essay collection, Notes of a Native Son, was published in 1955.