TOP 100 Artists/Bands of all Times : 61 – 65

Snowy weather outside = another chunk of Top 100!

65. Van Morrison

  from : Belfast, Northern Ireland / first great sounds : 60’s / style : Celtic Soul / essential albums : Astral Weeks (1969) , Moondance (1970)

Van the Man…man of different music lives. After a few records with the band Them in the mid-60’s (great 60′ beat rock) and frustrated by the pure rock circus, Van Morrison focused on his solo career by playing beautiful Irish soul music with the help of a few great jazz musicians. The two above-mentioned LP’s are really indispensable. Van kept on doing excellent records but his career went on having a sense of bonhomie (as the man himself..) which I found less interesting although there are always songs to pick up in all his records.

64. The Doors

  from : Los Angeles, California, USA  / first great sounds : 60’s  / style : bluesy poetic rock / essential albums : The Doors (1967), Strange Days (1967), L.A. Woman (1971)

(Too) many things have been written about the Doors and their singer Jim Morrison in particular has been the subject of a worldwide fascination. If we stick back to the music, one will remember The Doors has an amazing act of four musicians, each of them having a crucial role in the music of the Doors and a discography of six LP’s only but all fascinating. (re)listen to L.A. Woman in particular and try to stay motionless. The fact of having the two Morrisons side-a-side is by the way a pure coincidence…

63. The Byrds

 from : Los Angeles, California, USA / first great sounds : 60’s / style : jingle jangle guitar rock / essential albums : Fifth Dimension (1966) / Younger Than Yesterday (1967)

What a band and musicians (Chris Hillman, Gene Clark, David Crosby, Roger McGuinn, Gram Parsons,…)! The Byrds are not as famous as they should be compared to the legacy they left. Theirs was a very interesting path as they basically created the band when seeing the Beatles (who themselves were influenced by US music!). There are different periods in The Byrds and although their late country-rock period was great as well, they will always be remembered by the jangly guitars of the mid-6o’s psychedelic period. Listen to “Eight Miles High” and you will understand the John Coltrane tribute.

62. Sly And The Family Stone

 from : San Francisco, California, USA/ first great sounds : 60’s  / style : black&whitesoulfunk  / essential albums : Stand! (1969), There’s A Riot Goin’ On (1971)

Sylvester Stewart, a.k.a. Sly Stone, was a precursor in Soul Funk music as he has been the first to have a racially mixed-band, which gave this very original sound of soul music with firm rock influences. Their first records were high-spirited but their music went on being more influenced by the political situation in the world and in the US, as experienced gorgeously on the “There’s A Riot Goin’ On” LP. Sly did not succeed in getting along well with fame and he vanished slowly in drugs and madness (cf. his recent weird feedback) but he was the king of the world in the late 60’s / early 70’s.

61. John Coltrane

 from : Huntington, NY, USA / first great sounds : 50’s  / style : supreme jazz / essential albums : Giant Steps (1960), A Love Supreme (1964), Stellar Regions (1967)

John Coltrane died suddenly in 1967 aged 41 only and the least one can say is thath is influence has been everywhere ever since that time, in the jazz world of course but in rock, soul, hip hop and electronic as well. He was playing the saxophone as an extension of his body and created ways to get into music that were very new in the 60’s. Well-trained in the Miles Davis Quintet, he then focused on his own records, getting away from standard structure little by little to reach a musical lightness at the end of his life.

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