35. Paul McCartney (Wings/Fireman)
We are of course talking about the post-Beatles career here. Paul’s early 70’s solo records were very criticized when they went out as people were used to the richness of the Beatles sound. However, with time passing forward, you should discover these LP’s as their lo-fi sound is very “now” and as they hide such a creativity in melodies and sounds. The mid and late 70’s Wings period is particularly amazing as well with songs that are really on par with the best Beatles ones sometimes. The great man went back from so-so records in the 80’s/early 90’s to really interesting records recently. Go and see Paul if you want to spend the best karaoke night of your life!
34. The Afghan Whigs
from : Cincinnati, Ohio, USA/ first great sounds : 80’s / style : grunge’n’soul / essential album : Gentlemen (1993) / click for more on the blog
What a band ! And what an amazing leader and singer they had/have (the band reforms once in a while) with Greg Dulli. Imagine a band mixing the power and abandon of the grunge era with the structure and soul of the Tamla Motown era and you have the beautiful Afghan Whigs. I have been lucky enough to go to the ATP festival last year in the UK and I must say they were the reason for me to do so. I have listen to their masterpiece “Gentlemen” literally hundreds of time and this is a discovery every time. Discover yourself the Afghan Whigs if not done yet.
33. Sonic Youth
from : New York, NY, USA / first great sounds : 80’s / style : Sonic rock! / essential albums : Sister (1987), Daydream Nation (1988), Goo (1990)
Woah ; what a band ! I am afraid I will keep on being so enthusiastic until we reach Number One in my TOP 100 as every band from now onwards is truly amazing! And Sonic Youth is no exception. Lead by formerly married couple Kim Gordon on bass and Thurston Moore on guitar with the help of the great Lee Ranaldo on guitar and Steve Shelley on drums, Sonic Youth have started as a post-punk band of the NY art scene of the late 70’s and early 80’s. They matured little by little, making amazing records and shows, keeping their punk art sensibility with a talent for real powerful rock sound. Their future seems uncertain now but let’s thank them for these long years of constant pleasure.
32. Gil Scott-Heron
from : Chicago, Illinois, USA / first great sounds : 70’s / style : protest soul / essential albums : Pieces of a Man (1971), Winter in America (1974), Bridges (1977)
Son of the Scottish soccer player whose nickname was the black arrow, Gil Scott-Heron has been one of the most influential person in music in the 20th century : writer, rap pioneer, creator of beautiful soul songs with his partner in crime Brian Jackson on keyboards, defender of human rights, etc… The second part of his life has been a constant descent to hell with the classic hurricane brought by drugs consumption : addiction, loss of friends, job, family and health. He came back from the dead in 2010 with “I’m New Here” thanks to a young generation of musicians but unfortunately passed away in 2011 as his body had seen too many abuses. I saw him on stage a few months before he died and although I must admit it was not his best show ever, the pride in having seem him in the flesh was very rewarding.
31. Nick Cave (Birthday Party / Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds / Grinderman)
from : Australia/ first great sounds : 70’s / style : Cave blues / essential albums : Kicking Against The Pricks (1986), Tender Prey (1988), The Good Son (1990), The Boatman’s Call (1997), Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus (2004), Push The Sky Away (2013)
Our favourite Australian (now more a citizen of the world after having lived in Berlin, São Paulo…and Brighton) is one of this musician whom I have followed since an early age and who have never disappointed me in what form whatsoever. To me, Nick Cave is a real bluesman, meaning his music bears all influences but they are his and does not have time for any compromising bullshit. There are basically two Nick Cave songs : the slow piano one and the (often very long) excited and possessed guitar-one but Oh Lord how I would like to be able to reach one tenth of these two songs! Essential artist.