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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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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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Marilyn Manson

Drawing inspiration from Alice Cooper, Ozzy Osbourne, David Bowie, the occult, horror comics, and (by his own account) the King James Bible, Marilyn Manson established himself in the Nineties as one of the most vilified figures in rock history. Predictably, the more parental groups, politicians and religious advocates protested his music and stage antics, the more popular he became—not only as a musician, but as a martyr in the war… Keep Reading

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Massive Attack

With their roots in the Bristol, England, club scene of the early ’80s, the members of Massive Attack originated trip-hop, one of the most influential sounds of the ’90s, combining the rhythmic urgency of hip-hop, the freewheeling samples of the DJ’s craft, soul-rich melodies, and dub-reggae’s hefty, intoxicating bottom end. The group began in 1983 as a loose collective of singers, rappers, DJs, and producers that staged parties under the… Keep Reading

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MGNT

Formed by Ben Goldwasser and Andrew VanWyngarden as freshmen at Wesleyan University, MGMT emerged as one of the most buzzed-over bands to sprout in the tail end of the 2000s, playing a distinct blend of electronic rock and psychedelic pop. Their music was hipster-identified but caught on with a wide audience —including Paul McCartney, who picked MGMT to open for him in 2009. On the strength of their Time to… Keep Reading

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Michael Bloomfield

As a teenager living on Chicago’s North Shore, Michael Bloomfield ventured downtown to seek out the patriarchs of Chicago blues —Muddy Waters, Albert King, and others —and learned their guitar techniques firsthand. Playing Chicago blues and folk clubs with singer Nick Gravenites and harmonica player Charlie Musselwhite in the early 1960s, he attracted the attention of Paul Butterfield, whose band he joined in 1965. Bloomfield played electric guitar on Dylan’s… Keep Reading

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Mick Jagger

Besides maybe only Elvis Presley, no rock & roll singer has been as influential as Mick Jagger, the pouty-lipped, hip-shaking frontman of the Rolling Stones. In the Sixties, Jagger established ironic detachment as a hallmark of British Invasion-era rock and began turning heads with his not-so-subtle double entendres and sinuous dance moves. He was the most assured appropriator of African-American performers’ up-front sexuality, yet he was hard to pigeonhole: He… Keep Reading

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Bo Diddley

Bo Diddley’s signature beat is a cornerstone of rock and pop, a simple, five-accent rhythm that’s the driving force behind Diddley’s own “Who Do You Love,” “Mona,” “Bo Diddley,” and “I’m a Man” — as well as Buddy Holly’s “Not Fade Away,” the Who’s “Magic Bus,” the Strangelove’s “I Want Candy” (later covered by Bow Wow Wow), Bruce Springsteen’s “She’s the One,” George Michael’s “Faith,” Primal Scream’s “Movin’ on Up,”… Keep Reading

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Blue Cheer

Blue Cheer appeared in spring 1968 with a thunderously loud remake of Eddie Cochran’s “Summertime Blues” that many regard as the first true heavy-metal record. One of the first hard-rock power trios, the group was named for an especially high-quality strain of LSD. Its manager, Gut, was an ex-Hell’s Angel. After moving to San Francisco, the band was taken under the wing of an enthusiastic DJ, Abe “Voco” Kesh of… Keep Reading

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Bloc Party

In the mid-2000s, Bloc Party emerged with a sound and attitude that built on the fashionable retro art-rock coming from acts ranging from New York City’s The Strokes to Scotland’s Franz Ferdinand. But while Bloc Party’s prickly, angular music fit in with the sounds of their cohorts, frontman Kele Okereke gave the band an individuality the others lacked. With a voice that conjures the cockiness of the Fall’s Mark E.… Keep Reading

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Bikini Kill

Proclaiming themselves riot grrrls and calling for “Revolution Girl Style Now,” Bikini Kill pioneered both a musical and a feminist movement in the early 1990s. Hanna, Vail, and Wilcox met at Evergreen College in Olympia, Washington. In their feminist fanzine Bikini Kill they articulated an agenda for young women in and outside of music; the band put those ideas to practice. (Ironically, the zine first coined the “girl power” slogan,… Keep Reading

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Big Star

Big Star’s combination of Beatles-style melody, Who-like punch, and Byrds-ish harmonies defined power pop before the term (or an audience for it) existed. In less than four years, Big Star created a seminal body of work that never stopped inspiring succeeding generations of rockers, from the power-pop revivalists of the late 1970s to alternative rockers at the end of the century to the indie rock nation in the new millennium.… Keep Reading

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Bee Gees

In a career that lasted more than four decades, the Bee Gees sold over 200 million records worldwide. Barry, Maurice, and Robin Gibb experienced commercial dry spells, and critics frequently dismissed them. But their songs have stuck in the public consciousness — especially the phenomenal disco crossover success of their Saturday Night Fever era and modern romantic standards they’d created earlier, like “To Love Somebody,” to “How Can You Mend… Keep Reading

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Bachman-Turner Overdrive

Bachman-Turner Overdrive parlayed workmanlike heavy metal, a blue-collar image, and nonstop touring into over 7 million records sold in the U.S. by 1977. The group —in various personnel combinations —has retained an impressive following in its homeland, where Randy Bachman is a respected guitar hero and successful solo artist. Guess Who founders Chad Allan and Randy Bachman had left that group in 1966 and 1970 respectively [see entry]. After Bachman… Keep Reading

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B.B. King

B.B. King is the most famous of the modern bluesmen. Playing his trademark Gibson guitar, which he refers to affectionately as Lucille, King’s lyrical leads and left-hand vibrato have influenced numerous rock guitarists, including Eric Clapton, Mike Bloomfield, and David Gilmour of Pink Floyd. A fifteen-time Grammy winner, King has received virtually every music award, including the Grammy for Lifetime Achievement in 1987. Born Riley B. King on September 16,… Keep Reading

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Band of Horses

This South Carolina-based indie-rock band’s swirling, dreampop-like musical backing, ragged Neil Young influences and tenor vocals initially drew comparisons to fellow Southern-based indie rockers My Morning Jacket. Multi-instrumentalists Ben Bridwell and Mat Brooke formed the group in Seattle in 2004 after their slow-core band Carissa’s Wierd broke up due to mounting financial problems. After releasing the Tour EP to glowing reviews, Band of Horses signed with indie label Sub Pop… Keep Reading

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The Animals

Of the original British Invasion bands, the Animals were the most clearly influenced by black American R&B rather than blues. Originally the Alan Price Combo (formed in 1958), they became the Animals shortly after the addition of lead vocalist Eric Burdon in 1962. By 1964, under the wing of U.K. producer Mickie Most, they had recorded their second single, “House of the Rising Sun,” a Number One hit on both… Keep Reading

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Television

Television appeared at the same time and place as American punk rock — in the mid-Seventies at the CBGB nightclub in New York’s East Village. But while the band’s bold attack and obvious affection for the Velvet Underground linked them to the rest of punk, Television’s trademark chiming guitars and the tendency of lead guitarist (and main songwriter) Tom Verlaine and rhythm guitarist Richard Lloyd to spur each other on… Keep Reading

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