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.
Aerosmith is an American rock band formed in Boston in 1970. The group consists of Steven Tyler (lead vocals), Joe Perry (guitar), Tom Hamilton (bass), Joey Kramer (drums) and Brad Whitford (guitar). Their style, which is rooted in blues-based hard rock, has also incorporated elements of pop rock, heavy metal, glam metal, and rhythm and blues, and has inspired many subsequent rock artists. They are sometimes referred to as "the Bad Boys from Boston" and "America's Greatest Rock and Roll Band". The primary songwriting team of Tyler and Perry is often known as the "Toxic Twins".
Perry and Hamilton, originally in a band together called the Jam Band, met up with Tyler, Kramer, and guitarist Ray Tabano, and formed Aerosmith; in 1971, Tabano was replaced by Whitford. They released a string of multi-platinum albums starting with their eponymous debut in 1973, followed by Get Your Wings in 1974. The band broke into the mainstream with Toys in the Attic (1975) and Rocks (1976). Draw the Line and Night in the Ruts followed in 1977 and 1979. Throughout the 1970s, the band toured extensively and charted a dozen Hot 100 singles, including their first Top 40 hit "Sweet Emotion" and the Top 10 hits "Dream On" and "Walk This Way". By the end of the decade, they were among the most popular hard rock bands in the world and developed a following of fans, often referred to as the "Blue Army". Drug addiction and internal conflict led to the departures of Perry and Whitford in 1979 and 1981. The band did not fare well and the album Rock in a Hard Place (1982) failed to match previous successes.
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.
Bon Jovi is an American rock band formed in 1983 in Sayreville, New Jersey. It consists of singer Jon Bon Jovi, keyboardist David Bryan, drummer Tico Torres, guitarist Phil X, and bassist Hugh McDonald. Original bassist Alec John Such quit the band in 1994, and longtime guitarist and co-songwriter Richie Sambora left in 2013. The band has been credited with "[bridging] the gap between heavy metal and pop with style and ease".
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.
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.
John Clayton Mayer is an American singer, songwriter, and guitarist. Born and raised in Fairfield County, Connecticut, Mayer attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, but left and moved to Atlanta in 1997 with Clay Cook. Together, they formed a short-lived two-man band called Lo-Fi Masters. After their split, Mayer continued to play local clubs, refining his skills and gaining a following. After his appearance at the 2001 South by Southwest festival, he was signed to Aware Records, and eventually to Columbia Records, which released his first extended play Inside Wants Out. His following two studio albums—Room for Squares (2001) and Heavier Things (2003)—performed well commercially, achieving multi-platinum status. In 2003, he won the Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for his single "Your Body Is a Wonderland".
Within Temptation is a Dutch symphonic metal band founded in April 1996 by vocalist Sharon den Adel and guitarist Robert Westerholt. They have been classified by critics as gothic metal and symphonic metal, although each album contains other influences outside these genres. Their most prominent and well-known sound is described as symphonic metal, although their earlier material, such as debut album Enter, was mostly gothic metal, with Enter also having a hint of doom metal. In an interview, den Adel said they fell into a symphonic rock genre with various influences. In another interview, den Adel stated that "We consider ourselves more an atmospheric melodic symphonic metal/rock band... In my opinion, we are not a gothic band but we have gothic elements".
Epica is a Dutch symphonic metal band, founded by guitarist and vocalist Mark Jansen after his departure from After Forever.
Formed as a symphonic metal band with gothic tendencies, later Epica have incorporated into their sound strong death metal influences. Starting from the third album, progressive metal influences have also become evident. In addition, the band often uses thrash metal and groove metal riffs, black metal passages (mostly in the drum technique), power metal moments and references to Arabic music. Some songs also have electronic shades, djent transitions and folk metal melodies derived from Middle Eastern, Chinese and Celtic traditions. Epica is also known for the attention to the vocal lines that, in contrast to the heavy context, weave very catchy, easy to hold, sophisticated and emotional melodies. The use of mezzo-soprano vocals and growled vocals, performed by Simone Simons and Mark Jansen respectively, is fundamental to the band's sound. They primarily write their own lyrics, which often deal with philosophical, psychological, spiritual, moral, scientific, environmental, socio-political, global and topical and personal themes. Epica is also known for their wide use of orchestra and opera choirs.
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.
Led Zeppelin were an English rock band formed in London in 1968. The group comprised vocalist Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page, bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones, and drummer John Bonham. With a heavy, guitar-driven sound, they are cited as one of the progenitors of hard rock and heavy metal, although their style drew from a variety of influences, including blues and folk music. Led Zeppelin have been credited as significantly impacting the nature of the music industry, particularly in the development of album-oriented rock (AOR) and stadium rock.
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."
Evanescence is an American rock band founded in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1995 by singer and musician Amy Lee and guitarist Ben Moody. After recording independent EPs as a duo in the late 90s, and a demo CD, Evanescence released their debut studio album, Fallen, on Wind-up Records in 2003. Propelled by the success of hit singles like "Bring Me to Life" and "My Immortal", Fallen sold more than four million copies in the US by January 2004, garnering the band two Grammy Awards out of six nominations. The band released their first live album and concert DVD, Anywhere but Home, in 2004, which sold over one million copies worldwide.
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".
Kansas is an American rock band that became popular during the 1970s initially on album-oriented rock charts and later with hit singles such as "Carry On Wayward Son" and "Dust in the Wind". The band has produced nine gold albums, three multi-platinum albums, one other platinum studio album (Monolith), one platinum live double album, and a million-selling single, "Dust in the Wind". Kansas appeared on the US Billboard charts for over 200 weeks throughout the 1970s and 1980s and played to sold-out arenas and stadiums throughout North America, Europe and Japan. "Carry On Wayward Son" was the second-most-played track on US classic rock radio in 1995 and No. 1 in 1997.
Apocalyptica is a Finnish symphonic metal band from Helsinki, formed in 1993. The band is composed of classically trained cellists Eicca Toppinen, Paavo Lötjönen, and Perttu Kivilaakso, and jazz drummer Mikko Sirén. Originally a classical-style Metallica tribute band, the band eventually adopted a neoclassical metal style without the use of conventional guitars and bass. They have sold over four million albums to date.
A cello quartet, Eicca Toppinen, Paavo Lötjönen, Max Lilja, and Antero Manninen formed Apocalyptica in 1993 at Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland. The band released their debut studio album, Plays Metallica by Four Cellos, in 1996. The album consisted of only eight Metallica covers (mostly from Master of Puppets and their self-titled The Black Album). The band was featured on two songs on the Waltari album Space Avenue in 1997. Apocalyptica released their second studio album, Inquisition Symphony, produced by Hiili Hiilesmaa in 1998. Inquisition Symphony contained covers of Metallica and other metal bands such as Faith No More, Sepultura, and Pantera. It also contained three original songs by Eicca Toppinen.
William Michael Albert Broad, known professionally as Billy Idol, is a British singer, songwriter, musician and actor. He also holds United States citizenship. He first achieved fame in the 1970s emerging from the London punk rock scene as the lead singer of the group Generation X. Subsequently, he embarked on a solo career which led to international recognition and made Idol a lead artist during the MTV-driven "Second British Invasion" in the US. The name "Billy Idol" was inspired by a schoolteacher's description of him as "idle".
Underworld is a 2003 action horror film directed by Len Wiseman and written by Danny McBride, based on a story by Kevin Grevioux, Wiseman and McBride. Kevin Grevioux wrote the original screenplay. The film centers on the secret history of vampires and lycans. It is the first installment in the Underworld franchise. The main plot revolves around Selene, a vampire Death Dealer hunting Lycans. She finds herself attracted to a human, Michael Corvin, who is being targeted by the Lycans. After Michael is bitten by a Lycan, Selene must decide whether to do her duty and kill him or go against her clan and save him. Alongside Beckinsale and Speedman, the film stars Michael Sheen, Shane Brolly, and Bill Nighy.
Slaughterhouse-Five, or, The Children's Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death is a 1969 semi-autobiographic science fiction-infused anti-war novel by Kurt Vonnegut. It follows the life and experiences of Billy Pilgrim, from his early years, to his time as an American soldier and chaplain's assistant during World War II, to the post-war years, with Billy occasionally traveling through time. The text centers on Billy's capture by the German Army and his survival of the Allied firebombing of Dresden as a prisoner of war, an experience which Vonnegut himself lived through as an American serviceman. The work has been called an example of "unmatched moral clarity" and "one of the most enduring anti-war novels of all time".