Weird Al Yankovic

Weird Al Yankovic

Novelty acts usually fade from the limelight after their fifteen minutes of fame are up (quick - who wrote "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer"?), and any kid with a tape recorder and a spare afternoon can record a song parody. So how did a frizzy-haired California kid with an accordion turn novelty music into a platinum-selling, Grammy-winning, celebrity-spoofing career that has so far spanned almost four decades? Sure, Dr. Demento's radio show helped, but "Weird Al" Yankovic has survived for one simple reason: the guy is just flat-out funny. Continue reading...

The Clash

The Clash

The Clash weren’t just one of the best punk bands of the 1970’s – they were also one of the best bands, in general, of the 1970’s. The simple, three-chord punk anthems of their early career grew into highly ambitious, musically sophisticated tunes that brought together genres from rockabilly to rap, resulting in one of the most influential rock bands of all time. Continue reading...

The Bangles

The Bangles

All-female bands are a rarity in rock and roll music, and only a few members of this minority have achieved notable success. However, one band overcame these formidable odds to become the definition of female rock-group success. They were the Bangles. This talented quartet rose up from the L.A. underground scene in the mid-80's to become one of the most successful bands (male or female) of their time. 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...

B-52s

The B-52’s

There are plenty of party bands, but no other band can party quite like the B-52's. These leaders of the new wave movement took joy in being different, blazing their own trail with a unique combination of kitsch-culture and old-fashioned party music. In the process, they notched up a series of hit albums and influenced countless alternative-rock acts of the future. Continue reading...

The Partridge Family

The Partridge Family

Hello, world! Watch out for that wacky bus, it's got a singing family inside! The Partridge Family phenomenon blanketed the early 70s with many a groovy beat and one shining teen heartthrob, as this musical television series told the tale of a widowed mother and her five children who hit the road as a pop band. Continue reading...

Wham!

Wham!

A lot was happening in the music industry in 1985. Whitney Houston released her first album, Madonna embarked on her first tour, and an enormous collection of artists got together to record a little single called We Are The World. And then there was Wham! Consisting of two boyhood friends, George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley, they proceeded to dominate the radio and television airwaves, winning the hearts of millions of teenage girls along the way. Yes, in 1985, the pop music market belonged to Wham! Continue reading...