According to popular myth, LA punk was the backward cousin of its Anglophile/East Coast counterparts, rich kids in plastic strapping on some tinsel and cowboy stirrups. Truth was, most were drop-outs, runaways and disaffected kids from the 'burbs - most feeling revolted by the intrinsic vulgarity and stifling opulence of Hollywood. Unlike in NYC though,(...)

X-Ray Spex

One of the great English punk bands of the late '70s, X-Ray Spex was formed in 1976 by school friends Poly Styrene (or Marian Elliott as she was named by her Somali dad and white British mum when she was born in Bromley, Kent, in 1957) and Susan Whitby (a saxophonist who chose the new name Lora(...)

XL Capris

Formed in Sydney (Australia) at the end of 1978, XL Capris soon acquired a healthy following on the punk/alternative circuit when they formed their own Axle Records and released two singles, including Red Bikini Runaway, about 18-year old Lillian Gasinskaya -a young Ukrainian woman who was briefly famous in 1979 when, seeking asylum, she jumped from a Russian(...)


Formed in Wiltshire, England, in 1972 as Star Park ("Rats Krap" backwards) this widely beloved UK pop unit became the Helium Kidz in 1973 with the addition of bass player Colin Moulding, drummer Terry Chambers and a second guitarist Dave Cartner to the nucleus of Andy Partridge (guitar, vocals). The Helium Kidz were heavily influenced(...)

Y&T (Yesterday & Today)

When it comes to the original MTV generation of big-haired heavy metal band, Y&T (originally Yesterday & Today before they shortened their name) were one of the best, yet they remained underrated. The San Francisco-based band featured Dave Meniketti, Joey Alves, Philip Kennemore and Leonard Haze. They recorded steadily throughout the 80s, with albums including Yesterday(...)


This little known British band produced some killer power pop during the early 80s and should have been huuuuuge stars - but sadly they weren't and their two LP's remain a secret enjoyed by the knowledgeable few. Formed in Liverpool by Henry Priestman and Martin Dempsey from the remains of an R&B band called Albert Dock in(...)

Yardbirds, The

Yardbirds, The

Q: How many famous guitarists can one band have? A: Three of the acknowledged masters of the craft, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page, all served their time with The Yardbirds. This UK R&B group was formed in London in 1963 when Keith Relf and Paul Samwell-Smith joined forces with Chris Dreja , Tony 'Top' Topham (guitar) and(...)


When Essex girl Alison 'Alf' Moyet put an advertisement in the music papers, she was looking for a "rootsy blues band". What she got was synthesizer wizard Vince Clarke (pictured at right), who had just left hit pop band Depeche Mode. Together as Yazoo they became an instant success, receiving the Best Newcomer award at the(...)

Yazz (& The Plastic Population)

Ex-model Yasmin Evans recorded a high-energy cover of the Otis Clay soul track The Only Way Is Up in 1988. It became the year's biggest-selling single in the UK. The subsequent release, Stand Up For Your Love Rights, was a Yazz original.


Wacky Swiss synth-pop pioneers Dieter Meier and Boris Blank were contemporaries of Kraftwerk and had early acclaim for albums Solid Pleasure and Claro Que Si. They quickly proved popular with the Futurist and New Romantic movements in the UK. Their 1986 hit Oh Yeah featured in the films Ferris Bueller's Day Off and The Secret Of My Success, and was later used in(...)

Yellow Submarine (1968)

The Beatles come to the rescue when the evil Blue Meanies try to drive all the music and fun from Pepperland in the third feature film featuring the acclaimed and influential rock band. This marvellous Pop Art animated classic features songs from Rubber Soul, Revolver and Sgt. Pepper , so the Blue Meanies don't stand a chance! As the film(...)


Art-rock group Yes formed in 1968 with Jon Anderson on vocals, Peter Banks on guitar, Tony Kaye on organ, Chris Squire on bass and Bill Bruford on drums. Anderson started out during the British beat boom as a member of a combo called The Warriors, who recorded a single for Decca in 1964, and later was(...)

Yoko Ono

Born in Japan on 13 February 1933, Yoko Ono finished her education in the USA and became a well-known figure during the 1960s in New York avant-garde art circles, making films and organizing "happenings". She met John Lennon at an art exhibition in London, and Yoko (previously married with one child, Kyoko) married him on(...)

Yothu Yindi

This multiracial Australian band (the name is an Australian aboriginal phrase for 'Mother Child') blended native and white sounds and sentiments. Yothu Yindi were founded in 1986, the year of Australia's bicentennial, and practiced a highly politicised and nationalistic form of music making. Drawing from sounds as diverse as the didgeridoo and the electric guitar,(...)

You Am I

Centered around the prolific songwriting skills of singer/guitarist Tim Rogers, You Am I is one of the most successful and internationally admired Australian bands of the 1990s. Rogers formed You Am I in December 1989 with school friend Nick Tischler and older brother Jaimme Rogers. Mixing the gritty early 70s raunch of The Rolling Stones,(...)

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