December 09, 2012

A kaleidoscope note late 2012, is still on Progressive Rock Today and Yesterday

Is today's current incarnation of progressive rock similar or different from that of what we "old timers" who remember how it was in the sixties, seventies and eighties? I would daresay that many of us who grew up listening to the likes of King Crimson, Yes, Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, Genesis, ELP, etc. consider that era to be the "Golden Age" of this genre. 

I would really be interested in hearing from some of my younger colleagues on the forum who are more conversant than myself with the latest offerings in this field as to their feelings vise verse how this era stacks up against the previously cited one, especially in terms of musical innovation, creating "concept albums", or whatever other criteria one might wish to use in making an assessment of this topic.

And I guess if one wishes to opine on which time period is "better" or "superior" to the other employing these criteria or others that would be really interesting as well. {Even better would be if the opinions could be buttressed by concrete examples and arguments.}.

Today progressively involves more technical virtuosity rather than the concept of composition and harmony. Former progressive bands in the present, the modern reincarnation, aren’t progressive-they are alternative.

In my opinion, after King Crimson, Yes... etc (and bands that you've counted) ensure the glory of that rock direction and after the label "progressive" at that time attracted a huge number of music lovers, began in the late eighties transition in subgenres of which is the only progressive metal had real value. Combination with other, generally more commercial directions did not give anything spectacular. Metallica, Queensryche, DT are great bands in the progressive period (metal), and showed how the concept of progressive music lives in nineties and today, but with a combination of extraordinary virtuosity. Progressive classical music is under pop & commercial assault (by me) disappears into the background and if we say that Muse is a progressive, then I conclude that what I say about alternative. It's not progressive; it's just flirting with progressive.

In my theory the musicians of yesterday's bands like Yes were more unique then modern progressive musicians. In the days of Yes the audience and the public opinion were not so after technical skills and they focused more on the overall result as a band, not so on the single musicianship. Now often the songs are a vehicle to show a circus of virtuosity. I guess, if Yes would be a newcomer-band, a guitarist like Steve Howe would be accused for his "limited" style. But his style is very unique, because of its limitations. Today’s musicians are forced not only to be a virtuoso. Especially in the genre of Progressive Rock they are also forced to handle all musical styles at ease. In an interview Steve Howe said once, that he wanted to play "like nobody else before". He was searching for a new language of the guitar. Today the impression is, that the musicians want to show, that they can recreate all styles and techniques and melt them into a song. DT in my opinion is melting Metallica, Yes, Pink Floyd, Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin and the Mahavishnu Orchestra. I really dig DT, but are they unique like YES? I don't think so…

Commonly like our ages, The best music, progressive or otherwise was from the 60/70/80s. Cause that’s when we were young. No not just that but there were more apprentice served musicians. More opportunities for playing in clubs, pubs etc in the days when they did not need a license to play live music. More chances to hone your skills and find out what the people liked. You only have to look at groups like the Beatles to realize how relevant these factors were. I have recently re visited SHORT STORIES worth a listen by anyone. A mini masterpiece.

Many questions concerning the generation of the 70's music, such as a fan of Yes, Genesis, Gentle Giant, The Nice or ELP, etc. Are there any bands playing today that can equal those?

It all depends on what you're looking for. Are you looking for bands that sound like these bands or for progressive rock bands that are blazing their own trail?, and all back to your musical tastes, but now you need to know, reference that represents progressive rock music today, it is;

Porcupine Tree (Up The Downstairs, Dead wing, The Incident, Lightbulb Sun for a good representation of different phases of the band and maybe Coma Divine a good live album.

Transatlantic: A prog "supergroup" made up of members from Dream Theater (ex drummer Mike Portnoy actually), Spock's Beard (ex leader, now solo artist Neal Morse), Pete Trewavas of Marillion and Roine Stolt of The Flower Kings. They have put out three excellent albums over the years and some great live material too. I would also recommend any of the aforementioned bands, Spock's Beard, Marillion, Dream Theater (progressive metal) or The Flower Kings. Also:

§         Beardfish
§         Syzygy
§         The Pineapple Thief
§         Phideaux
§         echolyn
§         IQ
§         Jade Warrior
§         Karnataka
§         Magic Pie
§         Mystery
§         Opeth
§         Glass Hammer
§         Mostly Autumn
§         Riverside
§         Flying Color

April 27, 2012

"Celebrating 44 Years of YES in One Wonderous Night".

After the Dream Theater Live rocked Jakarta to hold a concert on the beach carnival, Ancol, last Saturday, 21 April, they were a great success and very satisfying for lovers of progressive rock music, especially in Indonesia.

Three days later, on Tuesday, April 24th yesterday, Jakarta was rocked again by the legendary British Live Concert Group, Yes, in the Ballroom of the Ritz Carlton Hotel, with personnel Yes for now, are: Steve Howe (guitarist), Chris Squire (bassist) , Geoffrey Downes (keyboardist) and the last; Jon Davidson of new members and the youngest, most of them is over 60 years, while Jon Davison age reached 42 years old next month (May 9, 1970), as a vocalist.

Before Jon Davison joined, Yes already have a lead singer, Benoit David, but in december last year, he abruptly resigned, because his health is quite alarming, whereas at that time the band  already have a timetable for the month of April-May 2012 will hold a concert of the world Spring Tour , to the country New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Indonesia and Hawaii, as well as major cities among these countries.

The band was forced to recruit  for the new singer, by doing a test audition was elected to the nomination fell to a talented young vocalist, Jon "Juano" Davison is an  American singer who was lead vocalist of American progressive/symphonic rock band Glass Hammer

At first I personally pessimistic than the results of their decisions, (Steve, Chris, Alan), because they are the leaders and founders of Yes, especially Chris Squire, he was one of the eldest who have contributed to the Yes of the initial set up in 1968 to the present,  The founder were, He and the vocal Maestro Jon Anderson, Peter Banks (keyboard), Tony Kaye (guitar) and Bill Bruford (drummer), Steve Howe, joined Yes,  was replacing guitarist Tony Kaye, at the mid-1971, and position Peter Banks was replaced by  Rick Wakeman as the keyboardist, this  formation line-up was the culmination of their glorious career of the band, the best of their albums, "Fragile" (1971), "Close to the Edge" (1972), Yes Songs (live, 1973), the album is half the drum section has been filled by Alan White, "Tales from Topographic of The Ocean", Alan White replaced Bill Bruford and joined for the album "relayer" (1974), Patrick Moraz  replaces Rick position for a while, he worked on solo career in his album projects: "The Six Wives of Henry VIII "(1974)," Journey to the Center of the Earth "(1974)" The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table "(1975)," Liztomania "(1975). And in 1980 Geoffrey Downes replace Rick Wakeman and participate in released  the album "Drama" (1980). This group continues to have ups and downs with the flurry of respective personnel in released their solo albums, but this band still exist and formidable.

Perhaps  just  an information for the name of its founder figure who always become a trade mark, namely Jon Anderson, had already proved on the album Yes, Drama (1980), which Jon was absent didn't participate in this album, vocals filled by Trevor Horn, and almost of the true fans are not too appreciative, sounded mediocre, but then on the  Album 90125 (1985), Jon rejoined Yes, try to give new color to the arrangements of the music goes to pop, quite successfully, follow the trend of the time, where Genesis  succeed with The Abacab

Yes dismiss Anderson in 2008 and he maintains They did it Because he was too ill to tour, and David Benoit took his place. Later the band also treat Benoit David with the same thing with Jon Anderson first time, and Jon was offered to return as the singer, but he refused, because he too had had a schedule for a gig solo career collaborating with Rick Wakeman. Therefore forced to recruit Jon Davison. Apart from the arrogance or the saturation of the band with Jon Anderson relationship, This statement footage directly in the interview he was.

Return to their show with the theme "Celebrating 44 Years of YES in wonderous One Night ", Ritz Carlton Ballroom, Jakarta.

First kick from early songs sung with Their hit "Yours is No Disgrace", the band, the which performed with Jon Davison from Glass Hammer on vocals, he was perfect in the song is. My pessimism disappear instantly,  by estimate  the audience that night about 1,000 people, many give applause for Jon Davison and other Yes personnel.

With the arrangement of light and a magnificent stage show support this band be wonderful for watched, after that, "Tempus" follow by the song "I've Seen All Good People", "Live on a movie set," "And You and I", many of the audience, especially among lovers This music, including myself, participated enthusiastically sing along.

Steve Howe solo session with the guitar is stunning in the song "Solitaire" and "The Clap", Chris Squire,  tapped the bass still fierce as ever, he's the best  bassist progressive rock  world player. Allan White and Geoffrey Downes no less great. "It's amazing That They still have that precision and power after all this time.

From their latest album Fly from Here (2011), produced by Trevor Horn, the 6 songs were sung by Jon Davison reliable sing the songs with vocals that sound almost similar to Jon Anderson's voice, as well as the theme song from the show, " wonderous Stories "," Into The Storm "," Heart of the Sunrise ". The audience more enthusiastic again when the song "Owner of a Lonely Heart", the audience singing along, some dancing, followed by "Starship trooper". Recently closed by the song "Roundabout" as an encore.

It was a realy great live show,  the audience very happy though tired. Yes it is really  astound that night, That Legendary progressive rock band from England, was able to prove that they are still to be reckoned through the action of a duration of 2.5 hour spectacular. Yes is still great, Flawless, Fabulous and Fantastic! 

List Of Songs at the Event of "Celebrating 44 Years of YES in One Wonderous Night", Ritz Carlton Ballroom, Jakarta.

1.   Yours Is No Disgrace
2.   Tempus Fugit
3.   I've Seen All Good People
4.   Life on a Film Set
5.   And You and I 

6.   Acoustic: Steve Howe 
7.   The Clap (Steve Howe song)
8.   Fly From Here - Overture
9.   Fly From Here - Pt I - We Can Fly
10. Fly From Here - Pt II - Sad Night at the Airfield
11. Fly From Here - Pt III - Madman at the Screens
12. Fly From Here - Pt IV - Bumpy Ride
13. Fly From Here - Pt V - We Can Fly (Reprise)
14. Wonderous Stories
15. Into the Storm
16. Heart of the Sunrise
17. Owner of a Lonely Heart
18. Starship Trooper
19. Encore:

April 23, 2012

An overview of The World Tour Concert Live Dream Theater 2012.

It took nearly 25 years for the progressive metal band Dream Theater to stop by to Jakarta since releasing their first album. Their performance for approximately two hours at the Eagle Eye Indoor Stadium (MEIS), Carnival Beach, Ancol, Saturday (04/21/2012) evening quench the thirst of the fans as fanatical.

Since the afternoon, thousands of fans who dominated the age established already crowded Carnival Beach Ancol area. Most of them dressed in black complete with a compact style attribute his idol's band.

The atmosphere was a little heated up ahead of a concert started as a concert arena entrance gates never opened, while thousands of spectators accumulating. Finally, at around 21.00 pm James LaBrie and the colleagues appear on the stage holding the respective instrument.

Before they performed as the opening of the show filled with guitar recital by the most talented fingerstyle of Andy-McKee, currently signed to the American record label Razor & Tie.

Once completed, the lapse of some time in preparation for their show begins, as the opening song is “Bridges in the Sky” live playing. Eagle Eye Indoor Stadium with a capacity of 10 thousand spectators was torn rumble. Supported by a magnificent stage lighting and sound are up, Dream Theater opened with a perfect concert. John Peter Petrucci directly exhibiting agility of his fingers on guitar strings. The audience began to jump and cheer.

After bringing '6: 00 ', the vocalist James LaBrie was greeted and chatted a bit about the delight he finally set foot in Indonesia, to complaints about the traffic congestion of Jakarta.

"Finally we're here. It may take some time to meet you, so tonight we have to have fun," said James, who looked relaxed in a black T-shirt clad in jeans.

"Build Me Up, Break Me Down" and then played, immediately greeted by "Surrounded" and 'The Root of All Evil". James also introduced their new drummer Mike Mangini who replaced Mike Portnoy. 

Mangini is not a new drummer wrestling a dozen years in the music world. Since 1987 ago, he was a drummer accompanist various bands and musicians such as Steve Vai, Extreme, Tribe of Judah, and much more.
Many fans are wondering, like what the heck drumming Mangini appointed to fill the position left by the caliber of drummer Mike Portnoy?. 

All seemed answered when the 49-year-old drummer's solo showcase game. Mangini drum set sits in a frame resembling a bird cage full of cymbals. 

Mangini can beat his drum with a very fast tempo, accompanied by the accumulation pedal plays that are not less cool. To measure the drummer who was nearly half a century, Mangini is extraordinary stamina.

Not only Mangini and John Peter Petrucci which each skill performance on stage. John Myung's the bassist not want to miss. 

Not to mention a touch of Charles Jordan Rudes on the keyboard is thick with progressive flow. In addition to the keyboard, Jordan also uses the iPad to produce musical instruments. 

The concert continued with the song "A Fortune in Lies",''Out Cry", "'The Silent Man", and the song "Beneath The Surface 'is taken from their latest album "A Dramatic Turn of Events". Almost all of the audience sing along in the song of the most eagerly awaited, "The Spirit Carries On".

Dream Theater brought about 16 songs total, are as follows:
  1. Bridges in the Sky
  2. 6:00
  3. Build Me Up, Break Me Down
  4. Surrounded
  5. The Root of All Evil
  6. Drum Solo
  7. A Fortune in Lies
  8. Outcry
  9. The Silent Man
  10. Beneath the Surface
  11. On the Backs of Angels
  12. War Inside My Head
  13. The Test that Stumped Them All
  14. The Spirit Carries On
  15. (w/ Petrucci and Rudess Intro)
  16. Breaking All Illusions
  17. Pull Me Under

Truly is a great gift to the audience this spectacular show although tired but happy and satisfied faces were seen in most of the audience.

April 03, 2012

10 Great Prog Rock Guitarists and 10 Guitarist of All Time

From Gibson Guitar Versions

Category for the history of rock music genre prog rock, art rock, or rock orchestra, represented by the 10 musicians of the most innovative guitarists of our time. And for the category of genre of rock & roll, blues and hard rock of all time is represented by, among others;

Steve Howe (Yes)

Few guitarists have incorporated as many styles as Steve Howe has. Drawing upon influences that range from Django Reinhart to Barney Kessel to flamenco legend Carlos Montoya, the Yes guitarist used his trusty ES-175 to propel such classics as “Your is No Disgrace” and “Heart of the Sunrise.” His solo composition, “Mood for a Day,” from the Fragile album, showed that classical music could be cool.

Robert Fripp (King Crimson)

Jagged, angular, and sonically adventurous, Robert Fripp’s playing sets a high standard with such early King Crimson classics as “21st Century Schizoid Man” and the two-part opus “Larks Tongue in Aspic.” His work with David Bowie, especially on “Heroes” and Scary Monsters, laid the bedrock for some of the latter’s finest albums.

Martin Barre (Jethro Tull) 

Ian Anderson may be the face of Jethro Tull, but the band’s Celtic-inspired folk rock gets most of its energy from Martin Barre’s aggressive six-string work. On songs such as “Bungle in the Jungle” and “Aqualung,” Barre showed a sense of economy and melody that sometimes eluded his prog-rock peers. His solo in “Aqualung” is often cited as one of rock guitar's greatest moments.

Alex Lifeson (Rush) 

Characterizes Rush’s best work can be traced to the versatility of Alex Lifeson. A melodic soloist, Lifeson is also capable of subtle rhythm playing that elegantly serves the song at-hand. In the group’s early years, he often used a 1976 ES-355 to craft the band’s ambitious soundscapes.

Greg Lake (Emerson, Lake & Palmer) 

Though he’s better known for his songwriting and bass skills, Greg Lake used his superb fingerpicking talents to provide ELP with some of its best moments. Acoustic pieces such as “From the Beginning” and “Still …You Turn Me On” have become standards in the prog pantheon. The lesser-known piece “Daddy,” from ELP’s overlooked 1994 album, In the Hot Seat, is nearly as good.

Peter Banks (Yes, Flash) 

Before there was Steve Howe, there was Peter Banks. Artistic differences between Banks and singer Jon Anderson prompted Banks’s departure from Yes in 1970, but in his little-known ‘70s band, Flash, Banks used an ES-355 to create several should-have-been prog rock classics. “Lifetime,” from Flash’s In the Can album, is his tour-de-force.

Jan Akkerman (Focus) 

Had he done nothing more than serve as the driving force on the 1973 hit “Hocus Pocus,” Jan Akkerman’splace in progressive guitar history would be assured. Following his departure from Focus in the mid ‘70s, the Dutch guitarist went on to release several acclaimed solo albums. Readers of Britain’s Melody Makermagazine voted him “Best Guitarist in the World” in 1973. 

John Petrucci (Dream Theater) 

Prog-metal greats Dream Theater would hardly be the same without the virtuosic six-string work of John Petrucci. Counting Steve Vai, Alex Lifeson, and Steve Howe among his influences, Petrucci is one of prog’s most technically gifted artists. Through the years he’s added emotive qualities to his soaring talents as a shredder. 

David Gilmour (Pink Floyd) 

In addition to bringing an overt blues influence to the genre, David Gilmour is one of progressive rock’s most melodic lead players. While his solos often build to operatic proportions, he’s always kept Pink Floyd’s spaciest excursions tethered to earthbound traditions. 

Steve Hackett (Genesis) 

Steve Hackett’s work in Genesis tended to fly under the radar. During his ‘70s tenure with the band, however, his subtle six-string work helped shape the group’s art-rock sound. In addition to being a pioneer of two-handed tapping, Hackett was among the first rock artists to view the guitar as an ensemble, symphonic instrument.

10. Pete Townshend (The Who)

The guitar, as an instrument, has never sounded as angry as when played by Pete Townshend. Listen to “Young Man Blues” on Live at Leeds or “The Real Me” on Quadrophenia, and you will hear the sound of a man on the edge, abusing his instrument as the only means of expressing his repressed rage. Punk was born from this. Heavy metal. Hard rock, in all its various forms, can be traced back to the London kid with the big nose windmilling like his life depended on it. The genius of Townshend, though, is that this is just one facet of his playing. I dare you to find a more sincere, emotional solo than the one Pete takes in “Love Reigns O’er Me.” Or hillbilly glee to match “Squeeze Box.” Too iconoclastic to conform to the Mods, too musical to be a true punk, Pete Townshend stands in a category all his own. – Michael Wright

9. Robert Johnson

No guitarist has had a greater impact on modern blues and rock guitar than Robert Johnson. Over the course of just 29 original songs, the “King of the Delta Blues” laid the groundwork for styles further shaped and developed by Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Duane Allman and countless others. A haunted figure, Johnson led a life shrouded in mystery, with some insisting only a pact with the Devil could account for the seemingly sudden burst of guitar skills that took hold in him in his early 20s. In truth, as those who knew him have said, Johnson worked diligently to perfect the craft that yielded such classics as “Love in Vain,” “Crossroad Blues” and “Sweet Home Chicago.” Keith Richards once described Johnson’s guitar playing as sounding “like Bach.” Clapton calls Johnson’s music “the most powerful cry that I think you can find in the human voice.” – Russell Hall

8. Chet Atkins

One of the founding members and architects of the Nashville Sound, Chet Atkins was unquestionably the greatest and most renowned guitarist country music has ever known. Over the years, Chet released hundreds of remarkable solo recordings displaying his undeniable talent, but it was his work as a session guitarist that may ultimately be the part of his legacy that shines the brightest. Mr. Guitar was one of the most prolific session players in history, and his stunning work can be heard on many of the biggest records of all time, including on countless classics by Elvis Presley, Hank Williams, the Everly Brothers and dozens upon dozens of A-list artists. Chet’s groundbreaking fusion of jazz and country-picking would go on to influence such legendary guitarists as George Harrison, Mark Knopfler, Glen Campbell, Jerry Reed, Duane Eddy and countless other big-time artists. Check out the DVD Chet Atkins: Certified Guitar Player to witness to Atkins’ undeniable greatness. – Sean Dooley

7. Eddie Van Halen (Van Halen)

For countless guitarists around the world, history can easily be divided into two distinct eras: pre-Van Halen and post-Van Halen. And it all started with an explosive instrumental track that clocked in at a brisk 1:42. The blistering pyrotechnics on display in “Eruption,” from the group’s debut album Van Halen, proved an epiphany for millions of aspiring – and accomplished – rock guitarists everywhere. That track alone signaled a seismic shift in the way the instrument would forever be played. Eddie’s performance on “Eruption” is nothing short of mesmerizing. No guitar had ever sounded like that – it was almost hard to believe that it was just one man, one instrument, one take and no overdubs. Eddie’s patented double-handed finger-tapping on the fretboard created an almost symphonic cacophony the likes of which had never been heard before, and rock music would never be the same. Simply put, Eddie Van Halen is easily the most influential (and poorly imitated) guitarist of the last 30 years. – Sean Dooley.

6. Jeff Beck (The Yardbirds, The Jeff Beck Group)

Only the rarest of musicians are capable of celebrating a milestone like a 65th birthday by making one of the their best albums and, sure enough, Beck’s beautifully orchestrated 2010 release Emotion & Commotion recalls the passion and scope of his pivotal 1970s masterpieces, Blow By Blow and Wired. On those albums, with his 1954 Oxblood Les Paul and limitless imagination, Beck ducked his early history as part of the original Holy Trinity of British blues to prove his artistry has no boundaries. Even as a bluesman, Beck was unique. His post-Yardbirds playing with The Jeff Beck Group on their 1968 debut Truth has passages of noisy expressionism that would fit modern discs by Sonic Youth or Muse, despite his gargantuan strength as a melodist. Whether playing as a sideman, headlining small clubs like Ronnie Scott’s or flooring a horde of fellow six-string virtuosos and their fans at Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Festival, Beck is an absolute master — perhaps the absolute master — of modern electric guitar. – Ted Drozdowski.

5. Chuck Berry

What’s the old cliché? Before Jimi went to the moon, Chuck built the rocket. Well, that’s why Berry is in the pantheon of great guitarists. His brilliant synthesis of blues and hillbilly guitar created the language of rock and roll. He set the template firmly in place, then duckwalked all over it. There’s no rock act that doesn’t owe a debt (direct or indirect) to Chuck Berry, but there’s more to be said for the St. Louis native than just his influence. His technique was sharp, his tone was stunning, and that woozy, back-and-forth bend on “Carol” says more than any super-shredding solo in history. On those early Chess Records sides, whether he was working in blues, country, rock, rhythm or jazz, Chuck demanded your attention in a way that every artist has tried to imitate, but none have fully replicated. He’ll always be one of the greats. Tell Tchaikovsky the news. – Bryan Wawzenek.

4. Eric Clapton (Cream, Derek and the Dominos)

Forget about his far-reaching solo work for a minute. Forget Cream. Forget the Yardbirds. Forget Derek and the Dominos. Forget the beer commercial and “Tears in Heaven.” Forget everything. The main reason kids should still be spray painting “Clapton is God” on city walls is because of that solo on The Beatles’ “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” All that came after that was just gravy. The musician nicknamed Slowhand has always had a strong sense of melody and even his dense, improvisational solos never fade without offering substance. He has spent his career swinging between experimentation and tradition while collecting Grammys. He can play deep and soulful. He can play loud and searing. He has been a prolific champion of the blues, paying tribute to idols like B.B. King and Robert Johnson at every opportunity. And after all this time, his spot-on playing still manages to dazzle. – Aidin Vaziri.

3. Keith Richards (The Rolling Stones)

The undisputed musical leader of The Rolling Stones, Richards is the best rhythm guitarist in history. He’s the rajah of the riff, the overlord of opening tuning and the sultan of “Satisfaction.” Taking cues from Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters and Jimmy Reed, Richards’ genius lies in simplifying a guitar phrase until it’s down to the absolute essentials. His riffs are unfettered. By using an economy of language, they remain unforgettable. Peter Frampton might have made his axe “talk,” but Keef had already been holding conversations with listeners for years. And what’s a better ice-breaker than the opening riff to “Brown Sugar” or “Start Me Up”? Richards also deserves credit for playing well with others. Working in the Stones with Brian Jones, Mick Taylor and Ronnie Wood, Richards has employed “the ancient art of weaving,” bringing together the lead and rhythm guitar parts via methods learned from his heroes. And when the Stones tour, Keef’s still up there working his butt off – forever in service of band and song. – Bryan Wawzenek.

2. Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin)

Rock’s sorcerer supreme, Jimmy Page took the blues, rockabilly and folk and fired it out of a cannon with the release of Led Zeppelin’s eponymous debut in 1969. Years of teeth-cutting in London studios and a short, but eventful, tenure in the Yardbirds only served to sharpen Page’s incomparable skills. Not content to rest on an already winning formula, Page took quantum leaps forward in songwriting, producing and playing on every Zeppelin album. After an initial period of silence following the band’s split, Page re-entered the rock scene as Guitar God Emeritus with The Firm, on solo albums and in collaborations with The Black Crowes, David Coverdale and his old partner in crime, Robert Plant. Page remains one of the most influential and revered guitarists of all time. For case in point, watch The Edge and Jack White, in the film It Might Get Loud, turn into fawning schoolboys when the master launches into the opening chords of “Whole Lotta Love.” – Michael Wright.

1. Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix revolutionized guitar playing and rock music – building a rainbow bridge between blues, rock and roll and the psychedelic experiments of the mid-’60s. Never has a guitar player appeared so “at one” with his instrument – his live shows were more out-of-body experiences than performances. His tragically short recording career saw only three studio albums, Are You Experienced? (1967), Axis: Bold as Love (also 1967), and Electric Ladyland (1968). Hendrix’s performance at Woodstock remains a genuine iconic moment in rock and roll history. Jimi Hendrix was only 27 when he died in a London flat. Neil Young said it best when he inducted Jimi into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, “Hendrix threw a Molotov cocktail onto rock and roll.” – Andrew Vaughan

Votes for the Top 50 Guitarists of All Time were included from Michael Wright, Bryan Wawzenek, Andrew Vaughan, Sean Dooley, Arlen Roth, Aidin Vaziri, Russell Hall, Ted Drozdowski, Paolo Bassotti, Dave Hunter, Jeff Cease (Black Crowes), James Williamson (Iggy & The Stooges), Steve Mazur (Our Lady Peace), Martin Belmont (Graham Parker & The Rumour) and the Readers Poll.

February 09, 2012

British Rocks Invasion

The Beatles and the "British Invasion"

The arrival of The Beatles in the U.S., and subsequent appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, marked the start of the British Invasion.

The Beatles themselves were less influenced by blues music than the music of later American genres such as soul and Motown. Their popular success in Britain in the early 1960s was matched by their new and highly influential emphases on their own song writing, and on technical production values, some of which were shared by other British beat groups. On 7 February 1964, the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite ran a story about The Beatles' United States arrival in which the correspondent said "The British Invasion this time goes by the code name Beatlemania". A few days later, they appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show. Seventy five percent of Americans watching television that night viewed their appearance thus "launching"the invasion with a massive wave of chart success that would continue until the Beatles broke up in 1970. On 4 April 1964, the Beatles held the top 5 positions on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, the only time to date that any act has accomplished this. During the next two years, Peter and Gordon, The Animals, Manfred Mann, Petula Clark, Freddie and the Dreamers, Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders, Herman's Hermits, The Rolling Stones, The Troggs, and Donovan would have one or more number one singles in the US. Other acts that were part of the "invasion" included The Who, The Kinks, and The Dave Clark Five these acts were also successful within the UK, although clearly the term "British Invasion" itself was not applied there except as a description of what was happening in the USA. So-called "British Invasion" acts influenced fashion, haircuts and manners of the 1960s of what was to be known as the "Counterculture". In particular, the Beatles' movie A Hard Day's Night and fashions from Carnaby Street led American media to proclaim England as the centre of the music and fashion world. The success of British acts of the time, particularly that of the Beatles themselves, has been seen as revitalising rock music in the US and influenced many American bands to develop their sound and style. The growth of the British music industry itself, and its increasingly prominent global role in the forefront of changing popular culture, also enabled it to discover and first establish the success of new rock artists from elsewhere in the world, notably Jimi Hendrix and, in the early 1970s, Bob Marley

Psychedelic rock
Psychedelic music is a style of music that is inspired or influenced by psychedelic culture and attempts to replicate and enhance the mind-altering experiences of hallucinogenic drugs It particularly grew out of blues-rock and progressive folk music and drew on non-Western sources such as Indian music's ragas and sitars as well as studio effects and long instrumental passages and surreal lyrics. It emerged during the mid 1960s among progressive folk acts in Britain such as The Incredible String Band and Donovan, as well as in the United States, and rapidly moved into rock and pop music being taken up by acts including the Beatles, The Yardbirds, The Moody Blues, Small Faces, The Move, Traffic, Cream and Pink Floyd. Psychedelic rock bridged the transition from early blues-rock to progressive rock, art rock, experimental rock, hard rock and eventually heavy metal that would become major genres in the 1970.

Mainstream and global success

By the early 1970s, rock music had become more mainstream, and internationalised, with many British acts becoming massively successful in the United States and globally. Some of the most successful artists, such as Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Elton John, David Bowie, and Rod Stewart performed their own songs (and in some cases those written by others) in an eclectic variety of styles, in which the presentation of the performance itself became increasingly important.] By way of contrast,Status Quo became one of the most successful British rock acts by presenting an apparently unsophisticated style of boogie-based rock music; and Van Morrison gained international critical acclaim through a blend of rock, jazz and blues styles. Some well-established British bands that began their careers in the British Invasion, notably The Rolling Stones, The Who and The Kinks, also developed their own particular styles and expanded their international fan base during that period, but would be joined by new acts in new styles and sub-genres.

New sub-genres in the 1970s
Electric folk

Electric folk is the name given to the kind of folk rock pioneered in England at the end of the 1960s, particularly by the band Fairport Convention. Rather than mixing electric music with forms of American influenced progressive folk, it used traditional English music as its basis. An early success was Fairport Convention's 1969 album Liege and Lief, but it became more significant in the 1970s, when it was taken up by groups such as Pentangle, Steeleye Span and the Albion Band It was rapidly adopted and developed in the surrounding Celtic cultures of Brittany, where it was pioneered by Alan Stivell and bands like Malicorne; in Ireland by groups such as Horslips; and also in Scotland, Wales and the Isle of Man and Cornwall, to produce Celtic rock and its derivatives. It was also influential in those parts of the world with close cultural connections to Britain, such as the USA and Canada and gave rise to the sub-genre of Medieval folk rock and the fusion genres of folk punk and folk metal By the end of the 1970s the genre was in steep decline in popularity, as other forms of music, including punk and electronic began to be established.

Progressive rock

Yes performing in Indianapolis in 1977.

Progressive or prog rock developed out of late 1960s blues-rock and psychedelic rock. Dominated by British bands, it was part of an attempt to elevate rock music to new levels of artistic credibility. Progressive rock bands attempted to push the technical and compositional boundaries of rock by going beyond the standard verse-chorus-based song structures. The arrangements often incorporated elements drawn from classical, jazz, and international sources later called "world music". Instrumentals were common, while songs with lyrics were sometimes conceptual, abstract, or based in fantasy. Progressive rock bands sometimes used concept albums that made unified statements, usually telling an epic story or tackling a grand overarching theme. King Crimson's 1969 début album, In the Court of the Crimson King, which mixed powerful guitar riffs and mellotron, with jazz and symphonic music, is often taken as the key recording in progressive rock, helping the widespread adoption of the genre in the early 1970s among existing blues-rock and psychedelic bands, as well as newly formed acts. The term was applied to the music of bands such as Yes, Genesis, Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, Soft Machine, Electric Light Orchestra, Procol Harum, Hawkwind, and Emerson, Lake & Palmer. It reached its peak of popularity in the mid 1970s, but had mixed critical acclaim and the punk movement can be seen as a reaction against its musicality and perceived pomposit. Many bands broke up, but some, including Genesis, ELP, Yes, and Pink Floyd, regularly scored Top Ten albums with successful accompanying worldwide tours.

Glam rock
Glam or glitter rock developed in the UK in the post-hippie early 1970s. It was characterised by outrageous clothes, makeup, hairstyles, and platform-soled boots. The flamboyant lyrics, costumes, and visual styles of glam performers were a campy, playing with categories of sexuality in a theatrical blend of nostalgic references to science fiction and old movies, all over a guitar-driven hard rock sound. Pioneers of the genre included David Bowie, Roxy Music, Mott the Hoople, Marc Bolan and T.Rex. These, and many other acts straddled the divide between pop and rock music, managing to maintain a level of respectability with rock audiences, while enjoying success in the UK singles chart, including Queen and Elton John. Other performers aimed much more directly for the popular music market, where they were the dominant groups of their era, including Slade, Wizzard, and Sweet. The glitter image was pushed to its limits by Gary Glitter and The Glitter Band. Largely confined to the British, glam rock peaked during the mid 1970s, before it disappeared in the face of punk rock and new wave trends.

Heavy metal
With roots in blues-rock, psychedelic rock and garage rock the bands that created heavy metal developed a thick, powerful sound, characterised by overt rhythmic basslines, highly amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness. Heavy metal lyrics and performance styles often incorporated elements of fantasy and science fiction, and are generally associated with masculinity and machismo. The three pioneering heavy metal bands, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, the other was Uriah Heep, although they include progressive genre, they are categorized Heavy Metal Fusion, were all British and, while gaining little critical acclaim, they and the next generation of metal groups, which included American, Australian and continental bands beside British acts Judas Priest, Motörhead and Rainbow, attracted large audiences and record sales.Rainbow moved heavy metal into stadium rock while Motörhead introduced a punk rock sensibility and an increasing emphasis on speed. After a decline in popularity in the late 1970s Judas Priest discarded most of the genre's blues influences, particularly on their 1980 album British Steel, which opened the door for the New Wave of British Heavy Metal including Iron Maiden, Vardis, Saxon and Def Leppard, and a return to popularity in the 1980s.

Led Zeppelin

Deep Purple

Black Sabbath