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The Rolling Stones are an English rock band formed in London in 1962. The first stable line-up consisted of bandleader Brian Jones, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Bill Wyman, Charlie Watts (drums), and Ian Stewart (piano). Stewart was removed from the official line-up in 1963 but continued to work with the band as a contracted musician until his death in 1985. The band's primary songwriters, Jagger and Richards, assumed leadership after Andrew Loog Oldham became the group's manager. Jones left the band less than a month before his death in 1969, having already been replaced by Mick Taylor. Taylor left in 1974 and was replaced in 1975 by Ronnie Wood who has since remained. Since Wyman's departure in 1993, Darryl Jones has served as touring bassist. The Stones have not had an official keyboardist since 1963, but have employed several musicians in that role, including Jack Nitzsche (1965–1971), Nicky Hopkins (1967–1982), Billy Preston (1971–1981), Ian McLagan (1978–1981), and Chuck Leavell (1982–present).
Madness are an English ska band from Camden Town, north London, who formed in 1976. One of the most prominent bands of the late 1970s and early 1980s two-tone ska revival, they continue to perform with six of the seven members of their original line-up.
Queen are a British rock band formed in London in 1970. Their classic line-up was Freddie Mercury, Brian May, John Deacon, and Roger Taylor. Their earliest works were influenced by progressive rock, hard rock and heavy metal, but the band gradually ventured into more conventional and radio-friendly works by incorporating further styles, such as arena rock and pop rock.
The Police were a British rock band formed in London in 1977. For most of their history the line-up consisted of primary songwriter Sting, Andy Summers (guitar), and Stewart Copeland. The Police became globally popular in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Emerging in the British new wave scene, they played a style of rock influenced by punk, reggae, and jazz. Considered one of the leaders of the Second British Invasion of the U.S., in 1983 Rolling Stone labelled them "the first British New Wave act to break through in America on a grand scale, and possibly the biggest band in the world." The Police disbanded in 1986, but reunited in early 2007 for a one-off world tour that ended in August 2008.
Band Aid was a charity supergroup featuring mainly British and Irish musicians and recording artists. It was founded in 1984 by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to raise money for anti-famine efforts in Ethiopia by releasing the song "Do They Know It's Christmas?" for the Christmas market that year. On 25 November 1984, the song was recorded at Sarm West Studios in Notting Hill, London, and was released in the UK on Monday 3 December. The single surpassed the hopes of the producers to become the Christmas number one on that release. Three subsequent re-recordings of the song to raise further money for charity also topped the charts, first the Band Aid II version in 1989 and the Band Aid 20 version in 2004 and finally the Band Aid 30 version in 2014. The original was produced by Midge Ure. The 12" version was mixed by Trevor Horn.
Whitesnake are a hard rock band formed in England in 1978 by David Coverdale, after his departure from his previous band Deep Purple. Their early material has been compared by critics to the blues rock of Deep Purple, but they slowly began moving toward a more commercially accessible rock style. By the turn of the decade, the band's commercial fortunes changed and they released a string of UK top 10 albums, Ready an' Willing (1980), Come an' Get It (1981), Saints & Sinners (1982) and Slide It In (1984), the last of which was their first to chart in the US and is certified 2x platinum.
Oasis were an English rock band formed in Manchester in 1991. Developed from an earlier group, the Rain, the band originally consisted of Liam Gallagher, Paul "Bonehead" Arthurs (guitar), Paul "Guigsy" McGuigan, and Tony McCarroll (drums). Upon returning to Manchester, Liam's older brother, Noel Gallagher joined as a fifth member, which formed the band's core and settled line-up. During the course of their existence, they had various line-up changes, though the Gallagher brothers remained as the staple members until the group's dissolution.
Thin Lizzy are a hard rock band formed in Dublin, Ireland, in 1969. Two of the founding members, drummer Brian Downey and bass guitarist and lead vocalist Phil Lynott, met while still in school. Lynott led the group throughout their recording career of twelve studio albums, writing most of the material. The singles "Whiskey in the Jar", "The Boys Are Back in Town" and "Waiting for an Alibi" were international hits. After Lynott's death in 1986, various incarnations of the band emerged over the years based initially around guitarists Scott Gorham and John Sykes, though Sykes left the band in 2009. Gorham later continued with a new line-up including Downey.
Dire Straits were a British rock band formed in London in 1977 by Mark Knopfler, David Knopfler, John Illsley, and Pick Withers. They were active from 1977 to 1988 and again from 1991 to 1995. Dire Straits are one of the world's best-selling music artists, with album sales of over 100 million.
Blondie is an American rock band founded by singer Debbie Harry and guitarist Chris Stein. The band were pioneers in the early American new wave and punk scenes of the mid-late 1970s. Its first two albums contained strong elements of these genres, and although successful in the United Kingdom and Australia, Blondie was regarded as an underground band in the United States until the release of Parallel Lines in 1978. Over the next three years, the band achieved several hit singles including "Heart of Glass", "Call Me", "Rapture" and "The Tide Is High" and became noted for its eclectic mix of musical styles incorporating elements of disco, pop, reggae, and early rap music.
Def Leppard are an English rock band formed in 1977 in Sheffield as part of the new wave of British heavy metal movement. Since 1992, the band has consisted of Joe Elliott, Rick Savage, Rick Allen, Phil Collen, and Vivian Campbell, which has been the band's most stable line-up.
Slade are an English rock band from Wolverhampton. They rose to prominence during the glam rock era in the early 1970s, achieving 17 consecutive top 20 hits and six number ones on the UK Singles Chart. The British Hit Singles & Albums names them the most successful British group of the 1970s based on sales of singles. They were the first act to have three singles enter the charts at number one; all six of the band's chart-toppers were penned by Noddy Holder and Jim Lea. As of 2006, total UK sales stand at 6,520,171, and their best-selling single, "Merry Xmas Everybody", has sold in excess of one million copies. According to the 1999 BBC documentary It's Slade, the band have sold over 50 million records worldwide.
Status Quo are an English rock band who play boogie rock. The group originated in The Spectres, founded by Francis Rossi and Alan Lancaster in 1962, while still schoolboys. After a number of lineup changes, which included the introduction of Rick Parfitt in 1967, the band became The Status Quo in 1967 and Status Quo in 1969.
Take That are an English pop group formed in Manchester in 1989. The group currently consists of Gary Barlow, Howard Donald and Mark Owen. The original line-up also featured Jason Orange and Robbie Williams. Barlow is the group's lead singer and primary songwriter, with Owen and Williams initially providing backing vocals and Donald and Orange serving primarily as dancers.
Westlife is an Irish pop vocal group, which formed in 1998 in Sligo, disbanded in 2012 and reunited in 2018. They were originally signed by Simon Cowell in the UK, Clive Davis in the US and managed by Louis Walsh and Sonny Takhar. The group currently consists of Shane Filan, Mark Feehily, Kian Egan, and Nicky Byrne.
The Hollies are a British rock group best known for their pioneering and distinctive three-part vocal harmony style. The Hollies became one of the leading British groups of the 1960s and into the mid 1970s. The band was formed by Allan Clarke and Graham Nash in 1962 as a Merseybeat-type music group in Manchester, although some of the band members came from towns further north in East Lancashire. Graham Nash left the group in 1968 to form the supergroup Crosby, Stills & Nash.
"Do They Know It's Christmas?" is a song written in 1984 by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure in reaction to television reports of the 1983–1985 famine in Ethiopia. It was first recorded in a single day on 25 November 1984 by Band Aid, a supergroup put together by Geldof and Ure and consisting mainly of the biggest British and Irish musical acts at the time. The single was released in the United Kingdom on 3 December 1984 and aided by considerable publicity it entered the UK Singles Chart at number one and stayed there for five weeks, becoming the Christmas number one of 1984. The record became the fastest selling single in UK chart history, selling a million copies in the first week alone and passing three million sales on the last day of 1984, on the way to displacing Wings's "Mull of Kintyre" as the biggest-selling single of all time in the UK. It held this title until 1997 when it was overtaken by Elton John's "Candle in the Wind 1997", released in tribute to Diana, Princess of Wales following her death. The original version of "Do They Know It's Christmas?" has sold 3.8 million copies in the UK to date. In a UK-wide poll in December 2012, it was voted sixth on the ITV television special The Nation's Favourite Christmas Song.
Snow Patrol are a Northern Irish-Scottish rock band, formed in Dundee, Scotland in 1994, consisting of Gary Lightbody, Nathan Connolly, Paul Wilson, Jonny Quinn (drums), and Johnny McDaid. Initially an indie rock band, the band rose to prominence in the early-mid 2000s as part of the post-Britpop movement.
Arctic Monkeys are an English rock band formed in Sheffield in 2002. The group consists of Alex Turner, Jamie Cook, Nick O'Malley, and Matt Helders. Former band member Andy Nicholson left the band in 2006 shortly after their debut album was released.
Pink Floyd were an English rock band formed in London in 1965. Gaining a following as a psychedelic band, they were distinguished for their extended compositions, sonic experimentation, philosophical lyrics and elaborate live shows, and became a leading band of the progressive rock genre. They are one of the most commercially successful and influential groups in popular music history.