Artists – R

Remo Four, The

The Remo Four had the connections (guitarist Colin Manley  and bassist Don Andrew were classmates of Paul McCartney at Liverpool Institute) but were destined to stay bridesmaids in the Merseybeat scene. The group chose the name “Remo Four” after being impressed by the Marino Marini Quartet at the Liverpool Empire and deciding that an Italian-sounding name was in order.(…)


When Keith Relf and Jim McCarty left The Yardbirds in 1968, they added Keith’s sister Jane, bassist Louis Cennamo and ace pianist John Hawken from The Nashville Teens. The first result of their endeavours was their self-titled 1969 album, containing five psychy songs punctuated with lengthy classical passages. On paper it sounds like a nightmare,(…)

Renee Geyer

Long recognised as Australia’s foremost jazz, blues and soul singer, Renee Geyer (born 1952) has issued 14 albums over the course of a 30+ year career. Best known for her rich, soulful, passionate and husky vocal delivery, Geyer has also been much in demand as a session singer. She has sung backing vocals on numerous album(…)

REO Speedwagon

When their 1980 single Keep On Loving You became REO Speedwagon’s first hit, the band had already spent close to ten years trying unsuccessfully to record a hit and performing in half-empty concert halls. Named by keyboard player Neal Doughty after a high-speed truck he learned about in a History of Transportation class, they formed in 1968(…)

Reparata & The Delrons

Italian-American girl-group The Delrons formed in 1963 at St Brendon’s High School in Brooklyn, New York. Their first single, Your Big Mistake (1964), was a flop, so the producer decided a catchier name was needed for the group. Lead singer Mary Aiese chose ‘Reparata’ after the nun who had presided at her confirmation. The change did the trick,(…)

Replacements, The

The 1980s gave rise to five outstanding US alternative bands: R.E.M, The Pixies, Sonic Youth, Hüsker Dü and The Replacements. In common with Hüsker Dü, The Replacements hailed from Minneapolis and began life thrashing out basic punk rock. There the similarities ended. Where their peers wanted to intellectualise their music, there was nothing cerebral about The Replacements. They were a(…)

Residents, The

Louisiana swamp rats who relocated to San Francisco in 1966 and created a stir by never revealing their identities and making head size eyeballs famous, The Residents specialised in proto-synth programming that pre-dated Devo and just about every cutting edge artist, with the possible exception of Can, the German experimental legends. In 1971 The Residents mailed a home-made(…)

Rezillos/Revillos, The

Before Punk came along, Edinburgh art college students Alan Forbes and John Callis were R&B covers band The Knutsford Dominators. Their 1976 venture, The Rezillos, was punkier in spirit and mined the worlds of sci-fi, cartoons, Bubblegum music and Carnaby Street. Forbes became ‘Eugene Reynolds’, girlfriend Sheilagh Hynde renamed herself ‘Fay Fife’, while songwriter Callis was(…)

Rich Kids, The

Glen Matlock left The Sex Pistols because he was tired of posing, didn’t hate boring old farts enough (he admitted to liking Paul McCartney which was a major McLaren no-no), and wanted to play loud pop music. Midge Ure left Slik because he was tired of being stereotyped as a teenybopper act and wanted to(…)

Richard Clapton

Former commercial artist Richard Clapton released his first solo album, Prussian Blue, in November 1973, having spent five years in Europe, where he worked in Berlin with a group called Bitch. The album documented his travels throughout Europe and contained songs about Denmark, France and Germany. Girls On The Avenue and Main Street Jive followed. The former containing his biggest hit(…)

Richard Hell and the Voidoids

By the summer of 1976, Richard Hell (born Richard Myers) had formed and then quit arguably the two most exciting bands of the original CBGB‘s scene – Television and The Heartbreakers. If those bands personified first-wave American punk’s extremes of brains and balls, his next unit neatly synthesised the two. The key was Robert Quine, a friend since they’d worked(…)

Richie Havens

Richie Havens’ roots were in gospel and doo-wop, before graduating onto the coffee house circuit of the early 60s alongside singers like Bob Dylan and Gordon Lightfoot. Already a popular performer, he developed his trademark open-chord guitar tuning at this time, providing an urgent rhythmic backdrop to his soulful voice. Early demos for Douglas Records(…)

Rick Springfield

Born Richard Lewis Springthorpe on 23 August 1949 in the Sydney (Australia) suburb of Guildford, Rick Springfield began playing the guitar at Merrylands high school and formed a band called The Jordy Boys. He went on to perform with Rockhouse, M.P.D. Limited and Zoot before launching a solo career with the 1971 Australian Top 20 hit Speak to(…)

Rick Wakeman

An in-demand session musician, the classically trained pianist Rick Wakeman had been a member of folk ensemble The Strawbs before joining prog rock juggernauts Yes in 1971. The album The Six Wives of Henry VIII established him as a solo performer in early 1973 but it was Wakeman’s first post-Yes release, Journey To The Centre Of The Earth,(…)

Rickie Lee Jones

Born in Chicago in 1954, the third of four children, Rickie Lee Jones was the tragic heir to a family of gypsies and entertainers. Her grandfather, Peg Leg Jones, was a famous one-legged vaudeville dancer. His wife, a chorus girl, was killed in a car accident, and he surrendered Rickie’s father, Richard, to an orphanage.(…)

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