Steve Miller Band

Steve Miller Band

With a string of hits like “Rock’n Me,” “Fly Like an Eagle,” “Take the Money and Run” and “The Joker,” the Steve Miller Band came to epitomize the rock sound of the 70s. A blues guitarist at heart, Miller took these stylings into the pop realm and changed the sound of music forever. Millions of records sold later, many would consider him one of the greatest of his era. Continue reading...

Fleetwood Mac

Fleetwood Mac

Class, for the next assignment you’ll need pen and paper and possibly a spreadsheet program to keep track of the tangled morass that is the story of Fleetwood Mac. Visual aids will be needed. Narrative threads will most likely get lost. Children will probably cry. But at least all of it will happen to a high-quality, bluesy rock soundtrack. Into the fray, then. Continue reading...

Meatloaf

Meat Loaf

You might not think that naming yourself after a rectangle of hamburger would be the wisest of career moves, but rock and roll is a funny business. Meatloaf backed up his comical moniker with a set of vocal pipes that rivaled the best in the business, and songwriting skills that would make him one of the best-selling musical artists of all time. Continue reading...

Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd

Shut the door and turn on the black light lamp, it’s time to groove to Pink Floyd. A band that started out strange and esoteric and became even more strange and esoteric shouldn’t have known such success, but Pink Floyd were masters at bucking conventions. They had few hits, if the Billboard charts are anything to judge by, yet they still have an enormous following around the world. Continue reading...

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...

bowie_changes

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...