Genres

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New Wave

New Wave is often remembered more for skinny ties and silly haircuts than for musical merits. The Police, Elvis Costello, The Cars and Blondie all lent some respect to the...

Ska

In the early 1960s, Jamaican producers such as Leslie Kong, Clement 'Coxsone' Dodd and Duke Reid created a new sound to replace American R&B...

Reggae

"White kids have lost their heroes; Jagger has become a wealthy socialite, Dylan a mellowed, home-loving man, even Lennon has little to say. So along comes this guy with amazing...

Rap/Hip Hop

Rap and Hip Hop started out as black New York underground movements at the start of the 1980s, but by the end of the...

Grunge

The early 1990s was the brief era of Grunge - a rock music genre which eventually faded after the public grew bored with the...

Soul

The early and middle 60s are remembered by many as the time when The Beatles, Stones and big British beat took the world by storm. The charts...

Skiffle

Without skiffle there might have been no Quarrymen and hence no Beatles. Seen in retrospect on television, skiffle can seem entertaining yet quaint, and yet...

Surf Music

In terms of commercial impact, Surf Music was a short-lived phenomenon. The vast majority of popular surf recordings were waxed between 1961 and 1965;...

Punk

In 1977, merely suggesting that the Queen was a moron (or a potential H Bomb) would get you banned from the charts. These days The...

Pub Rock

The full story of Pub Rock can be read in Will Birch's excellent book No Sleep Till Canvey Island (Virgin). In it, the former Kursaal Flyers drummer recounts how...

Protest Music

Jazz and blues have always attacked injustice, as in Billie Holiday's Strange Fruit, written in 1938 about the lynching of black Americans. But the pop protest song...

Prog Rock

Without Prog Rock the world would certainly be a duller place. Men in robes; songs about astronomy, mythology and numerology; banks of Moogs and Mellotrons...

Power Pop

While it is very easy to dismiss this sub-genre of music, the fact remains that power pop (even at its most commercially manipulated) had...

New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM)

In the early 1980s, UK rock magazine Sounds ardently promoted (and christened) the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal -  the acronym of which is spelt...

New Romantic

Each decade of popular music so far has its merits and its embarrassments. But perhaps the most derided of them all is the Eighties. Looking...

Mod Revival

Summer 1978 - England: Two years on, punk has exploded from its roots in grubby Sex Pistols gigs to shock exposés, hit singles, high street fashion and cartoon...

Heavy Metal

Fine in principal, but not quite in practice; The Heavy Metal crowd consistently ruled much of the 80's, which is why there was 'alternative...

Goth

"Bela Lugosi's dead, undead, undead..." intoned Peter Murphy on the single that released a new genre - not to mention a fair scattering of...

Glam Rock

Glam Rock laughed in the face of the pompous pseudo-intellectualism that was becoming prevalent in the music world in the early seventies. It declared...

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Grateful Dead, The

The Grateful Dead formed in San Francisco in 1966 when love and acid hit that city in a big way. From their 1967 self-titled...

Beat, The (UK)

Ska revivalists The Beat were formed in Handsworth (a racially mixed area of Birmingham immortalised by reggae band Steel Pulse with their Handsworth Revolution album)...

Mo-Dettes, The

Expatriate American Kate Korris (the guitar-wielding Mo-Dette) was a founding member of The Slits, who at the time had more enthusiasm for just being...

Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers

Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers started out in 1959 playing Rock & Roll but added saxes in the early sixties when they were one...

Hawkwind

Originally perceived as a "people's band", regularly playing free concerts and festivals, Hawkwind were the first outfit to commit themselves completely and permanently to...

Madonna

Nobody quite embodies the Eighties like the 'Material Girl' from Detroit, Madonna Louise Ciccone. In the 1980s Madonna showed herself to be a supreme manipulator...

Elvis Costello

Born Declan McManus in Paddington in 1954, his family moved to Liverpool when he was 13 where he began writing songs. His father, Ross McManus, was a...

Thought Criminals, The

Bass player Roger Grierson set up Doublethink, a band management venture and record label for independent Sydney bands such as XL Capris, Tactics, Popular...