from : Palm Desert, California, USA / first great sounds : 90’s / style : stoner rock / essential albums : Rated R (2000) , Songs for the Deaf (2002), Lullabies to Paralyze (2005) / Click for more to read in the blog
How can a band be bad with such a name ? Nearly impossible I guess… Built on the ashes of Kyuss by giant red-haired Josh Homme, Queens of the Stone Age is one hell of a rock band, the kind of which you want to scream out of your lungs when you experience them live or you want to play dumb air-guitar at home when listening (loudly) to one of their (great) records. Joss Homme is a very welcoming person and his band has regular guests such as Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters), Mark Lanegan or even… Elton John if the rumours about the future LP were to be confirmed ! For those who like their rock melodic and heavy, this band is yours.
19. Curtis Mayfield
from : Chicago, Illinois, USA / first great sounds : 60’s / style : Superfly!/ essential albums : Curtis (1970), Roots (1971), Super Fly (1972)
Probably the most important artist in the so-called “black music” genre, Curtis Mayfield started in the 60’s as leader of the beautiful soul band The Impressions (their most famous song “People Get Ready” being often found in U2’s setlist) before embarking on a solo career at the start of the 70’s. He was one of these rare artists who succeeded in mixing great music and strong intelligent political messages. His masterpiece will remain forever the soundtrack of blaxploitation movie “Super Fly” but there is no such thing as a mediocre Curtis Mayfield. He spent his last ten years in difficult medical conditions after a stage incident but your host will always remember enjoying the great man on stage in the small New Morning theatre in Paris in 1987. Move on Up !
from : Hollywood, California, USA / first great sounds : 80’s / style : punky melodic funk / essential albums : Blood Sugar Sex Magik (1991), Californication (1999), By the Way (2002), Stadium Arcadium (2006) / Click for more to read in the blog
THE only band I went seeing two days in a row when they played in Paris a few years ago first as their sets were different every night and second as they were really great! This band really went from good to great when they left a bit behind them their cartoonish funk rock style and concentrated on songs, still keeping their legendary amazing groove. The rhythm section built on Chad Smith (drums) and Flea (bass) is probably one the best that ever existed whereas this is difficult to find a better showman than Anthony Kiedis. But the real genius of the band has always been my favourite all-time guitar player John Frusciante. He is probably not the most skilled musician in the traditionalist meaning of the word but his feeling and sensitivity are the elements made this band different from the pack.
17. The Cure
from : Crawley, England / first great sounds : 70’s / style : Smith music / essential albums : Seventeen Seconds (1980), Faith (1981), Pornography (1982), The Top (1984), Disintegration (1989), Wish (1992)
I am not sure if I ever wrote down a word before about Robert Smith’s band and this might be due to them being a bit away from the news, despite regular fantastic shows (last one I saw in 2007 last 3 hours and a half…). This band is known by a few people as “goth” and others assimilate them to pop commercial songs but the truth is that Robert Smith has been a fantastic hard-working man, creating a piece of beauty and originality throughout all his career. Their peak period in the 80’s was particularly impressive (cf. essential albums) but one has to say that The Cure have been reliable since day one and never disappointed music lovers.
16. Talking Heads
from : New York, NY, USA / first great sounds : 70’s / style : rhythmic groove / essential albums : 77 (1977), More Songs about Buildings and Food (1978), Fear of Music (1979), Remain in Light (1980), Little Creatures (1985)
A bit as for The Cure, this is my first words about Talking Heads as this is indeed a bit more difficult to have news to tell about bands that do not exist anymore. Talking Heads was part of the late-70’s NY scene (if only I had a time-machine…) and their music was really mixing what the four members were : cold and intellectual (David Byrne on words and rhythm guitar), rock (Jerry Harrison, ex-Modern Lovers) and funky (married couple Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz respectively on bass and drums). 8 studio albums, all of them great and a never-ending influence on legions of great bands (Franz Ferdinand, LCD Soundsystem, etc..) make them my favourite band ever…out of our TOP 15 soon to come ! (I know, poor teasing…).