INXS

INXS

Rock and roll rule #247: Band members that meet in schoolyard fistfights are usually in it for the long haul. Case in point: The six original members of Australia's INXS stayed together through fifteen years and thirteen albums, and would have surely kept going, were the streak not broken by singer Michael Hutchence's tragic death in 1997. Continue reading...

Talking Heads

Talking Heads

Emerging from the same New York scene that gave the world such acts as Blondie and The Ramones, Talking Heads offered a new vision of what Rock and Roll could be, an experimental and artful quartet that decided it was always better to think outside the box. Mixing pop stylings with otherworldly sonic excursions, they produced some of the most intelligent and quirky albums to emerge on the pop market. Continue reading...

Def Leppard

Def Leppard

There are few bands that exemplified the 1980's quite like Def Leppard. Their combination of pop and metal had its finger on the pulse of 80's record buyers. The high-tech sound they pursued on their albums helped define pop-music recording techniques of the 80's. They were also one of the first bands to take advantage of the possibilities of MTV by creating a string of videos that played up their good looks and youthful appeal to help sell their records. As a result, they became internationally successful and their sound and style set the tone for many future pop/metal acts. Continue reading...

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Time May Change Him… David Bowie

There's a saying in Montana that if you don't like the weather, wait ten minutes. The same thing could be said for David Bowie (although we at Retroland would have a hard time finding anything about David Bowie to dislike). The ever-changing image and persona that is David Bowie is also a metaphor for the aesthetic changes of pop-culture over the last half-century. One look at a particular image of Bowie and we have almost no trouble identifying what year it was. Continue reading...

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Led Zeppelin

It would seem that within each decade of rock and roll's colorful history, there resides a handful of artists who reinvent the genre and make it their own. In the 1950's, it was Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly. The 1960's belonged to the Beatles and Rolling Stones. And when it came to the hard rock sound (that would eventually morph into heavy metal), no band in the 70's had a more profound influence on where rock and roll was headed than the four Englishmen who called themselves "Led Zeppelin." Continue reading...

Pat Benatar

Pat Benatar

The 70s were dominated by hard rocking boys and their guitars so it was always nice to find a gal holding her own in the male-dominated music industry. Pat Benatar was not only a lone female in a sea of testosterone, but she also had one of the best voices to ever grace the charts. Continue reading...

Styx

Styx

The emergence of “arena rock” in the late 70s, saw the rise of a number of bands that seemingly went from being completely unknown to filling stadiums overflowing with adoring fans. Perhaps one of the most successful in this genre was a group of five Chicago-based rockers who called themselves Styx. Talk about coming out swinging; the band would land four consecutive double platinum albums, the first band ever to do so, and quickly prove they were a force to be reckoned with. Continue reading...

Stray Cats

Stray Cats

In the 80s, musical styles were exploring strange new territory, with the inclusion of synthesizers and drum machines adding a mechanical texture and giving a glimpse into the future. But one band in particular, decided to look back rather than forward, going to their roots to forge a retro sound that harkened back to a simpler time in music, the rockabilly era of Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran and the famous Sun sessions of Elvis Presley. With plenty of pomade in their hair, flipped up collars, and a simple instrumentation, The Stray Cats were a welcome blast from the past. Continue reading...