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BIOGRAPHIES

Flick of the Finger band and artist biographies from some of the worlds most prolific Rock n' Roll greats! Read up on all you need to know and more...

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Bono

With his soaring voice, larger-than-life personality, and ostentatious stage performances — he has climbed the scaffolding at concerts and assumed alter egos like the Fly and Mirror Ball Man — Bono not only helped steer the course for post-Eighties rock & roll, but also became pop music’s global ambassador. Away from the studio and stage, the U2 frontman has helped raise awareness of social causes ranging from world hunger and… Keep Reading

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Bon Jovi

Like an American Def Leppard with a Bruce Springsteen fixation, Bon Jovi used good hooks, pumped-up production and stadium-sized passion to forge the pop-metal alloy that made them one of the dominant mainstream rock bands of the Eighties. As a working-class teenager, John Francis Bongiovi, Jr. (born March 2nd, 1962 in Perth Amboy, New Jersey) showed little interest in school, preferring to sing with his friend David Bryan Rashbaum in… Keep Reading

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Bob Marley

The first major rock artist to come out of a Third World country, Bob Marley did more than anyone else to popularize reggae around the globe. He was a gifted songwriter who could mix protest music and pop as skillfully as Bob Dylan, and his songs of determination, rebellion, and faith became important parts of the rock and pop canon. Thirty years after Marley’s death, hits like “No Woman No… Keep Reading

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Blondie

Blondie started as an ironic update of trashy 1960s pop. But by the end of the 1970s, they were far and away the most commercially successful and adventurous survivors of the New York punk scene, having released three platinum albums (Parallel Lines, Eat to the Beat, and Autoamerican). In bleached-blond lead singer Deborah Harry, new wave’s answer to Marilyn Monroe, the group had an international icon. The group’s repertoire, written… Keep Reading

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Bjork

The biggest rock band to emerge from Iceland, the Sugarcubes drew notice for their offbeat songs and singer Björk Gudmundsdóttir, an elfin womanchild with a powerful, keening voice. Björk, whose stepfather had been in an Icelandic rock band, recorded her first album at age 11, and later joined Theyr, a legendary Icelandic hard-rock band whose drummer was Siggi Baldursson. Einar Örn Benediktsson launched Gramm Records, and with Bragi Ólafsson formed… Keep Reading

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Beastie Boys

Beastie Boys were the first big white rap group, and they have stayed popular — at times hugely popular — for nearly a quarter century. After emerging from New York’s hardcore punk underground in the early Eighties, the trio crossed over into the mainstream in 1986 with their first full-length album, Licensed to Ill, the first rap album to reach Number One. Featuring “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to… Keep Reading

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Bauhaus

Resembling a convention of the undead and playing songs distinguished by spare, atmospheric guitars, sonorous, death-rattle vocals, and deliberate tempos, Bauhaus was the progenitor of gothic rock. Its founding members have gone on to pursue various other projects in the realm of underground rock. In 1978 brothers David and Kevin Haskins formed the Craze with Daniel Ash, an old school friend. With the addition of vocalist Peter Murphy they became… Keep Reading

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Barenaked Ladies

After a decade of mainstream success in their native Canada, the Barenaked Ladies finally hit big in America with their fifth album, Stunt, and its #1 smash, “One Week.” A deliberately silly hybrid of pop and “rap,” the song and its accompanying video were unavoidable during the summer of 1998, establishing the Ladies as the biggest Canadian cross-over act since Alanis Morissette and Sarah McLachlan. Cofrontmen and childhood friends Steven… Keep Reading

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Axl Rose

For the past decade and a half, Axl Rose has ranked among music’s most sensationalized sideshow attractions. But as with his fellow Indiana-native Michael Jackson — with whom both his lyrics and lifestyle always shared a certain palpable paranoia, apparently traceable back to an intensely traumatic childhood — nobody would care about him if he hadn’t once been one of the most aurally and visually exciting performer of his day.… Keep Reading

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Arcade Fire

With their cathedrals of sound, this Montreal collective built a fiercely loyal fan base in the 2000s, a following that counted rock heroes like David Byrne and David Bowie as members. The band’s sound — a mix of slashed strings, blaring brass, pounded percussion, and Win Butler’s spooked croon — was smart and dramatic enough to earn Springsteen comparisons, and the group’s two world-class albums from the decade (2004’s Funeral… Keep Reading

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Anthrax

Anthrax began as an average posthardcore thrash band but eventually developed its own distinct sound by blending rap’s street sense with heavy metal’s brute force. The band hit a career height in 1991 when it joined forces with rap group Public Enemy for a recording and video of the latter’s rallying cry, “Bring the Noise.” Two years later the band inked a reported $10 million, five-album deal with Elektra. Anthrax… Keep Reading

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Animal Collective

The strange, shimmering star at the center of the early 2000s psych-pop revival, Animal Collective garnered both critical plaudits and rabid, devoted acolytes by blending Brian Wilson-esque vocal harmonies with spaced-out instrumentation, tribal percussion and odd ribbons of sound. As their name implies, the group is more a loose aggregation of performers rather than a standard rock band. Each of the members assumes a kind of nom de psych under… Keep Reading

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Amy Winehouse

British diva Amy Winehouse scored legions of fans with her 2006 album, Back to Black, which showed off her brassy, sweet-and-sour voice and taste for meticulously retro soul music. But Winehouse soon made headlines for the wrong reasons. Suddenly, “Rehab,” a booming hit single about how she refused her handlers’ requests to get sober, didn’t seem so funny. The London-born singer had a rebellious steak from an early age. Expelled… Keep Reading

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Alice Cooper

Between 1950s showman Screamin’ Jay Hawkins emerging from a coffin and Kiss’ Gene Simmons spitting “blood” in the 1970s, no one defined shock rock like Alice Cooper. Cooper used violent (and vile) theatrics — simulated executions, the chopping up of baby dolls, and draping himself with a live boa constrictor —and explicit lyrics to become a controversial yet hugely popular figure in the early-and-mid 1970s. After a decade of fluctuating… Keep Reading

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Al Green

To a greater extent than even his predecessors Sam Cooke and Otis Redding, Al Green embodies soul music’s mix of sacred and profane. He was one of the Seventies’ most popular vocalists, selling over 20 million albums. His wildly improvisational, ecstatic cries and moans came directly from gospel music, and in the late-1970s he returned to the Baptist church as a preacher. In the 2000s, Green returned to secular music… Keep Reading

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Albert King

Albert King’s mammoth physical presence —he weighed more than 250 pounds and stood 6-foot-4 —was reflected in his harsh, imposing vocals and biting, influential blues style. He bought his first guitar for $1.25 sometime around 1931 (he later played a left-handed Gibson Flying V), and his first inspiration was T-Bone Walker. For a long while he had to work nonmusic jobs to survive (including bulldozer operator and mechanic), but in… Keep Reading

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Air Supply

Air Supply is an Australian group based around the duo of Graham Russell (the main songwriter) and Russell Hitchcock. The group’s light pop-rock hits have earned Air Supply several platinum LPs and gold singles worldwide; Greatest Hits was quadruple platinum in the U.S., and The Earth Is, which failed to chart here, went gold in over 20 countries. The group originally consisted of lead vocalists Hitchcock and Graham backed by… Keep Reading

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Aerosmith

Known for an aggressively rhythmic style as rooted in James Brown funk as in more traditional blues. Aerosmith were the top American hard-rock band of the mid-Seventies; if you set foot in a high school parking lot back then, the verbose back-alley numbers on 1975’s Toys In The Attic and 1976’s Rocks were inescapable. But the members’ growing drug problems and internal dissension contributed to a commercial decline that accelerated… Keep Reading

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Adam and the Ants

The undisputed leaders of Britain’s short-lived, fantasy-oriented New Romantic movement of the early 1980s, Adam and the Ants were less well appreciated stateside. Using their music as only one facet of an imaginary world, complete with self-promoting mottos like “Antmusic for Sexpeople” and their own vocabulary (fans were Antpeople), these cheeky swashbucklers took England by storm. Late in 1980, foppish postpunkers began to imitate Adam’s fashion sense, which combined cartoonish… Keep Reading

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MC5

Some called the MC5 (for “Motor City Five,” after their home base) the first ’70s band of the ’60s. The group’s loud, hard, fast sound and violently antiestablishment ideology almost precisely prefigured much of punk rock. There was, however, one crucial difference: The MC5 truly believed in the power of rock & roll to change the world. The band first formed in high school and came to prominence in 1967–68… Keep Reading

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