With an intoxicating, genre-blending sound, provocative and uncompromising songs, and the mesmerising power of singer Jim Morrison’s poetry and presence, The Doors had a transformative impact not only on popular music but on popular culture.
Refusing to be mere entertainers, the Los Angeles quartet relentlessly challenged, confronted and inspired their fans, leaping headfirst into the heart of darkness while other bands warbled about peace and love. And 50 years after their debut album, The Doors’ music and legacy are more influential than ever before.
Joy Division were in existence between 1978 and 1980. They released four singles, three EP's (including compilations with other artists), and three full length albums – "Unknown Pleasures" (#71, 1979), "Closer" (#6, 1980) and the compilation "Still" (#5, 1981). Their best known song, "Love Will Tear Us Apart", reached number 13 in the pop charts during summer 1980: it has since become a 20th century classic.
Nirvana are one of the biggest and most influential bands in music history. Formed in Seattle in 1987, they pretty much single-handedly catapulted alternative music into the mainstream when their second album, Nevermind took the music industry by surprise and turned popular culture on its head on its release in 1991. Their mix of dirgey, down-tuned rock’n’roll, punk rock spirit and abstract lyrics originally captured the imagination of the increasingly disaffected Generation X youth, but continues to shape and inform rock music today.
Formed in 1964, the Velvet Underground sounded sounds like, well, nothing else. As instrumentalists, John Cale, Sterling Morrison and Moe Tucker integrated codes of rock with codes of the avant-garde, underground and alternative, which, to the Sixties ear, was a revolutionary and unknown pleasure. As a vocalist, Lou Reed felt no fear when it came to singing about gritty and controversial subject matters.
They were seen as too illicit for the masses to handle but, over the course of time, their style became known as “proto-punk”, meaning inspiration for punk music. They triggered a lot of artists to sing with pure creative expression rather than just as a commercial venture. By their fourth album, Loaded, the band were beginning to suffer under the forces of mainstream producers and were starting to dissemble. Yet their work was always authentic and it's made for an iconic discography.
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