Few artists have created a body of work as rich and varied as Prince. During the '80s, he emerged as one of the most singular talents of the rock & roll era, capable of seamlessly tying together pop, funk, folk, and rock. Not only did he release a series of groundbreaking albums; he toured frequently, produced albums, wrote songs for many other artists, and recorded hundreds of songs that still lie unreleased in his vaults. With each album he released, Prince showed remarkable stylistic growth and musical diversity, constantly experimenting with different sounds, textures, and genres.
With five number one singles, 14 Top 40 hits, and four number one albums, the Eagles were among the most successful recording artists of the 1970s.
Phil Collins' status as one of the most successful pop and adult contemporary singers of the '80s and beyond was probably as much a surprise to him as it was to many others. Balding and diminutive, the Genesis drummer-turned-vocalist was almost 30 years old when his first solo single, "In the Air Tonight," became a number two hit in his native U.K. (the song was a Top 20 hit in the U.S.). Between 1984 and 1990, Collins had a string of 13 straight U.S. Top Ten hits. Collins made his debut solo album, Face Value, in 1981, which turned out to be a bigger hit than any Genesis album.
After stars reach a certain point, it's easy to forget what they became famous for and concentrate solely on their personas. Madonna is such a star.
Chris Rea is a British singer and guitarist that enjoyed a run of popularity during the late ‘80s to early ‘90s, despite having been recording music for about a decade prior to this.
He began by performing with a local group, Magdalane, and in 1975 the band won a national contest as the Beautiful Losers, yet failed to get a recording contract out of this. Soon after, Rea broke away from the band to pursue a solo career, which would lead to a culmination of over 30 million album sales over 40 years.
Aretha Franklin, with her inimitable fusion of grace and grit, was the definition of soul music. Her father C.L. Franklin was a renowned Detroit preacher, and these gospel roots are embedded within Aretha’s music. Her music aches with the sadness of a singer who truly felt the blues, yet also has the ability to playfully swing in the style of her jazz heroes.
The year is 2004. The global social media powerhouse that is Facebook has just been launched, and is initially exclusively available only for Harvard University students. President George ‘Dubya’ Bush is half-way through his time as President of the United States, and Tony Blair, leading a fractious Labour party has just backed the invasion of Iraq. England has just been dumped out of the Euro 2004 football championships at the quarter finals stage by Portugal.
To describe Joni Mitchell as just ‘important’ would be a disservice. Her trailblazing career paved the way for female artists as we know them, challenging the male-dominated rock scene of the 70’s with her evocative and universally relatable vocals. In anticipation of the 50th anniversary of her Grammy Award-winning album Clouds, featuring the acoustic folk powerhouse ‘Both Sides, Now’, Joni Mitchell’s unending impact is more relevant today than ever.
The cultural power of Pink Floyd is almost entirely bound up with the early Seventies, a time of burgeoning progressive rock in the aftermath of the hippie era, of extravagant stadium tours, general lifestyle excesses and a time when the rock star myth still had cachet.
Hailing from Brooklyn, NYC, Christopher Wallace (Notorious B.I.G or Biggie Smalls) was, and still is, considered one of the greatest rappers of all time. Following the release of his debut album in 1994, Ready To Die, Biggie became a central figure in Hop Hop culture, once again, re-emphasising the prominence of East-coast, New York rap. The album hosted multiple platinum records, including "Juicy", "Big Poppa" and "One More Chance". Following the infamous East-West coast Hip Hop feud, Biggie was gunned down in a drive-by shooting in LA in 1997, aged just 24.