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.
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.
Audioslave was an American rock supergroup formed in Glendale, California, in 2001. The four-piece band consisted of Soundgarden's lead singer and rhythm guitarist Chris Cornell with Rage Against the Machine members Tom Morello (lead guitar), Tim Commerford (bass/backing vocals), and Brad Wilk (drums). Critics first described Audioslave as a combination of Soundgarden and Rage Against the Machine, but by the band's second album, Out of Exile, it was noted that they had established a separate identity. Their unique sound was created by blending 1970s hard rock and 1990s alternative rock, with musical influences that included 1960s funk, soul and R&B. As with Rage Against the Machine, the band prided themselves on the fact that all sounds on their albums were produced using only guitars, bass, drums, and vocals, with emphasis on Cornell's wide vocal range and Morello's unconventional guitar solos.
Disturbed is an American heavy metal band from Chicago, formed in 1994. The band includes vocalist David Draiman, guitarist/keyboardist Dan Donegan, bassist John Moyer, and drummer Mike Wengren. Donegan and Wengren have been involved in the band since its inception, with Moyer replacing former bassist Steve "Fuzz" Kmak and Draiman replacing original lead vocalist Erich Awalt.
Dropkick Murphys are an American Celtic punk band formed in Quincy, Massachusetts in 1996. Singer and bassist Ken Casey has been the band's only constant member. Other current members include drummer Matt Kelly, singer Al Barr, guitarist James Lynch, multi-instrumentalist Tim Brennan and multi-instrumentalist Jeff DaRosa.
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.
Staind is an American rock band from Springfield, Massachusetts, formed in 1995. The original lineup consisted of lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Aaron Lewis, lead guitarist Mike Mushok, bassist and backing vocalist Johnny April, and drummer Jon Wysocki. The lineup has been stable outside of the 2011 departure of Wysocki, who was replaced by Sal Giancarelli. Staind has recorded seven studio albums: Tormented (1996), Dysfunction (1999), Break the Cycle (2001), 14 Shades of Grey (2003), Chapter V (2005), The Illusion of Progress (2008), and Staind (2011). The band was most successful in the early 2000s, with Break the Cycle going five times platinum in the United States and producing a top-five Billboard Hot 100 hit with its lead single "It's Been Awhile". Break the Cycle, along with the band's following two full-length albums, also topped the Billboard 200, and the two after peaked within the top five. Several of their other singles also became rock and pop hits, including "Fade", "For You", "Price to Play", "So Far Away", and "Right Here".
The Bloodhound Gang was an American rap rock band from Collegeville, Pennsylvania. It was founded in 1988 by rappers Jimmy Pop and Daddy Long Legs (now in Wolfpac) as a hip-hop group, before branching out into other genres as their career progressed, including punk rock, alternative hip hop, rapcore, funk metal, and electronic rock.
Having sold more than 6 million albums since its formation, the band is best known for their singles "Fire Water Burn", "The Bad Touch", "Foxtrot Uniform Charlie Kilo", "Uhn Tiss Uhn Tiss Uhn Tiss", "The Ballad of Chasey Lain", and a hard rock version of The Association's 1966 sunshine pop hit "Along Comes Mary".
The Bloodhound Gang began in 1988 as a small alternative band, Bang Chamber 8, consisting of James Moyer Franks and Michael Bowe, both graduates of Perkiomen Valley High School. They released an eponymous tape in 1990 before changing their name to the Bloodhound Gang the following year, a reference to "The Bloodhound Gang", a segment on the 1980s PBS kids' show 3-2-1 Contact that featured three young detectives solving mysteries and fighting crime. Franks and Bowe also took on the stage names "Jimmy Pop Ali" (the "Ali" was later dropped) and "Daddy Long Legs", respectively.
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.
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."
Foo Fighters is an American rock band formed in Seattle in 1994. Foo Fighters was initially formed as a one-man project by former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl. Following the success of the 1995 eponymous debut album, Grohl recruited a band consisting of Nate Mendel, William Goldsmith (drums), and Pat Smear (guitar). After a succession of lineup changes, including the departures of Goldsmith and Smear, the band formed its core lineup in 1999, consisting of Grohl, Mendel, Chris Shiflett (guitar), and Taylor Hawkins (drums). Smear rejoined in 2005, and Rami Jaffee (keys) joined in 2017.
Paramore is an American rock band from Franklin, Tennessee, formed in 2004. The band currently consists of lead vocalist Hayley Williams, guitarist Taylor York and drummer Zac Farro. Williams and Farro are founding members of the group, while York, a high school friend of the original lineup, joined in 2007. The band is signed to Fueled by Ramen, a subsidiary of Atlantic Records, both owned by Warner Music Group. Williams was separately signed to Atlantic as she was scouted when she was a teenager, and they were the only label to let her stay in the band instead of going solo, but Atlantic said the rest of the band had to sign to Fueled by Ramen. She is also the only member to appear on all six of Paramore's studio albums.
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.
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.
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.
The Mars Volta is an American progressive rock band from El Paso, Texas, formed in 2001. The band's only constant members are Omar Rodríguez-López (guitar, producer, direction) and Cedric Bixler-Zavala (vocals, lyrics), whose partnership forms the core of the band. The band's current line-up also includes founding member Eva Gardner (bass), Omar's brother Marcel Rodríguez-López (keyboards, synths, percussion), Linda-Philomène Tsoungui (drums) and Leo Genovese (keyboards, saxophone).
Known for their energetic live shows and concept albums, The Mars Volta formed following the break-up of Rodríguez-López and Bixler-Zavala's previous band, At the Drive-In. Seeking to experiment and expand their sound, Rodríguez-López and Bixler-Zavala recruited Gardner, Isaiah "Ikey" Owens (keyboards), Jon Theodore (drums) and Jeremy Ward (sound manipulation) to form The Mars Volta. The band released their debut EP, Tremulant, in 2002, with Gardner leaving the band prior to recording their debut album, De-Loused in the Comatorium. She was replaced by Red Hot Chili Peppers bass guitarist Flea for the sessions. The Rick Rubin-produced album received widespread critical acclaim upon its release in 2003.
Ender's Game is a 1985 military science fiction novel by American author Orson Scott Card. Set at an unspecified date in Earth's future, the novel presents an imperiled humankind after two conflicts with the Formics, an insectoid alien species they dub the "buggers". In preparation for an anticipated third invasion, children, including the novel's protagonist, Andrew "Ender" Wiggin, are trained from a very young age by putting them through increasingly difficult games, including some in zero gravity, where Ender's tactical genius is revealed.
The book originated as a short story of the same name, published in the August 1977 issue of Analog Science Fiction and Fact. The novel was published on January 15, 1985. Later, by elaborating on characters and plotlines depicted in the novel, Card was able to write additional books in the Ender's Game series. Card also released an updated version of Ender's Game in 1991, changing some political facts to reflect the times more accurately (e.g., to include the recent collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War). The novel has been translated into 34 languages.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is a fantasy novel written by British author J. K. Rowling and the fourth novel in the Harry Potter series. It follows Harry Potter, a wizard in his fourth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and the mystery surrounding the entry of Harry's name into the Triwizard Tournament, in which he is forced to compete.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is a 1997 fantasy novel written by British author J. K. Rowling. The first novel in the Harry Potter series and Rowling's debut novel, it follows Harry Potter, a young wizard who discovers his magical heritage on his eleventh birthday, when he receives a letter of acceptance to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry makes close friends and a few enemies during his first year at the school and with the help of his friends, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, he faces an attempted comeback by the dark wizard Lord Voldemort, who killed Harry's parents, but failed to kill Harry when he was just 15 months old.
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.