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...

Ozzy Osbourne

Ozzy Osbourne

From the moment Elvis started swinging his hips on television, rock and roll’s cast of colorful characters have never disappointed when it comes to controversy, whether it be sexual scandals, jaw-dropping tales of substance abuse or even just the occasional television set sent cascading from the rooftop of a hotel. And yet, few have managed to achieve the notoriety of Ozzie Osbourne, a hard rocking singer whose tales of excess and bizarre behavior are the stuff legends are made of. But controversy is only part of the story. Ozzie is also one of the undeniable forefathers of heavy metal, and as a result, has enjoyed a wildly successful career that spans over four decades. Continue reading...

Peter Frampton

Peter Frampton

Success came early to Peter Frampton. Embarking on a teen idol career in his native England, he soon crossed the pond to conquer the Americas as well. He had a prolific run with the band Humble Pie but he’s best remembered for his solo output in the 70s, including one of the best selling live albums ever to hit the street. Let's take a look back at this innovative musician, whose songs certainly didn't suffer from lack of airplay in the 70s. Continue reading...