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All the Artists and Bands featured in the step by step courses
To learn about popular music and playing the guitar you have to study the big songs. The songs that everybody knows, the hits.
To write guitar parts, vocal melodies, chord progressions and to arrange songs you must learn from the big names.
You must dig deep and find out what they did.
Behind every single song you learn in the step by step courses, there’s an artist or band with an entire catalogue of music that you can learn from.
To find out more about them, follow the links below.
Similarly to Supertramp, 10cc was almost prog/rock/pop with long instrumental sections and lots of different styles mixed. Major hits include ‘Dreadlock Holiday’ and’ I’m Not In Love’.
To find out more, go to 10cc biography.
Among his hits, you’ll find ‘Let’s Stay Together’ and ‘Take Me To The River’.
However, Al Green also sang many covers including ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’, ‘Unchained Melody’, ‘Light My Fire’ and ‘My Girl’.
To find out more, go to Al Green biography.
Not many singers enter the charts instantly with their debut album. Usually, it takes not just months of preparation but also a soft release, a build and then a few more singles before the audience catch on.
When Alicia Keys released ‘Songs In Am’ in 2001, she could not have anticipated the huge success with 236.000 sales in the first week.
To find out more, go to Alicia Keys biography.
Two of her better-known songs are ‘I’m Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down’ and ‘I Can’t Stand The Rain’.
To find out more, go to Ann Peebles biography.
Born in Detroit and looking for a record deal in 1960, Aretha seemed like the perfect match for Berry Gordy’s emerging label Motown.
Unfortunately for Motown, Aretha’s dominant father/manager had other ideas.
To find out more, go to Aretha Franklin biography.
Barrett Strong was the first artist on the Motown label to have a hit. The song was Money ‘(That’s What I Want)’. Performed by Barrett, it was written by the president of the label and a sign of what was to come.
As well as having his own solo career, Barrett also wrote the lyrics to many of Motown’s biggest hits.
To find out more, go to Barrett Strong biography.
Harper’s first album ‘Welcome To The Cruel World’ (1994) was followed by ‘Fight For Your Mind’ only a year later.
To find out more, go to Ben Harper biography.
Housing the label, the studio and a house band all in the same building proved to be a masterstroke as Berry set out to discover the greatest superstars of our time.
To find out more, go to Berry Gordy biography.
Smith is often regarded as one of the greatest singers of her era (the 20s and 30s) and along with Louis Armstrong, a major influence on subsequent jazz vocalists.
To find out more, go to Bessie Smith biography.
Some of his best-known songs include ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’, ‘Use Me’, ‘Lovely Day’, ‘Lean on Me’, ‘Grandma’s Hands’ and ‘Just The Two Of Us’.
To find out more, go to Bill Withers biography.
Some might even say that he invented modern songwriting.
To find out more, go to Bob Dylan biography.
Marley is the most widely known performer of reggae music and regarded by many as a prophet of the Rastafarian religion.
Few artists have had such widespread recognition as Bob Marley.
To find out more, go to Bob Marley biography.
Richard was on piano and Karen was eventually on vocals, although her road to becoming a singer was a long and complicated one.
At first, Karen started out playing the Glockenspiel and drums!
To find out more, go to Carpenters biography.
Aguilera started her career in The Mickey Mouse Club, an American TV show, alongside Britney and Justin Timberlake.
To find out more, go to Christina Aguilera biography.
The same year he also received an Oscar and a Golden Globe Award.
To find out more, go to Christopher Cross biography.
Touring and recording with some of the most legendary blues artists of his time, Clarence Williams spent time with W.C Hardy, Bessie Smith, and Louis Armstrong.
To find out more, go to Clarence Williams biography.
Starting off in ’96, Coldplay had three intense years of band members coming and going. They eventually formed a democracy where all band members had an equal share of all revenue, including publishing.
As the band finally settled, they wrote, recorded and released ‘Parachutes’ in ’00 and took British alternative rock in a new direction.
To find out more, go to Coldplay biography.
Cream’s sound could be described as a hybrid of blues, pop and psychedelic rock. Their hits include ‘Crossroads’, ‘Sunshine Of Your Love’, ‘Strange Brew’ and ‘White Room’.
To find out more, go to Cream biography.
Rice moved to Italy to start afresh, writing songs and busking his way around Europe. Back in Ireland, Rice got in touch with David Arnold and together they recorded the album ‘O’.
To find out more, go to Damien Rice biography.
After a few more collaborations with Ronson, they finally made a solo album for Merriweather that was released in ’09.
To find out more, go to Daniel Merriweather biography.
His biggest hits include ‘(Is There) Life On Mars?’, ‘Starman’, ‘Ziggy Stardust’, ‘Let’s Dance’, ‘China Girl’ and ‘Heroes’.
To find out more, go to David Bowie biography.
Known for his melodic ability and fantastic tone, David Gilmour has always been considered one of the truly great British guitar players.
To find out more, go to David Gilmour biography.
Since the release of ‘White Ladder’ and the success that followed it, David Gray has toured the world and released several more albums.
To find out more, go to David Gray biography.
Deep Blue Something
Initially named Leper Messiah, the band changed their name when they discovered that Metallica fans turned up to their gigs.
To find out more, go to Deep Blue Something biography.
When McLean’s indie label Media Arts got sold to United Artists, he got an unexpected chance to make his second album for a major label.
To find out more, go to Don McLean biography.
Among her most famed vocal performances are ‘Dream A Little Dream Of Me’, ‘Que Sera, Sera’ and ‘Over The Rainbow’.
To find out more, go to Doris Day biography.
Her most famous songs include ‘Son Of A Preacher Man’, ‘Spooky’, ‘You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me’, and ‘I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself’.
To find out more, go to Dusty Springfield biography.
Before the Songbook recordings, Ella pioneered scat-singing in the 40s as a devoted Bebop singer.
To find out more, go to Ella Fitzgerald biography.
Clapton’s long career has earned him not one, not two but three inductions into the ‘Rock and Roll’ Hall Of Fame (as a solo artist with Yardbirds and Cream).
To find out more, go to Eric Clapton biography.
Four years later, an amateur recording of Eva playing ‘Over The Rainbow’ in her local pub was played on Top of the Pops 2, a TV show in the U.K
To find out more, go to Eva Cassidy biography.
All of these elements came together in the video for ‘1234’. When the song and video were used to promote Apple’s ipod, Feist became famous overnight.
To find out more, go to Feist biography.
It took her 28 years until she got paid, but it wasn’t in royalties for writing the song.
To find out more, go to Fontella Bass biography.
According to Rolling Stone Record Guide: “Frank Sinatra’s voice is pop music history. Like Presley and Dylan – Sinatra will last indefinitely. He virtually invented modern pop song phrasing.”
To find out more, go to Frank Sinatra biography.
Following the worldwide success, Gary Jules kept selling his own CDs on CD Baby as well as the song being released through a label.
To find out more, go to Gary Jules biography.
Ten years later, Green Day released ‘American Idiot’. This album firmly established them as one of the best-known bands in the world.
To find out more, go to Green Day biography.
Nobody has had more songs represented in the ‘Great American Songbook’ than Harold Arlen.
To find out more, go to Harold Arlen biography.
Their hits are so many and their influence is so great it is a mystery how their names are not more widely known.
To find out more, go to Holland-Dozier-Holland biography.
It was as if the stage was set for Jason to finally release the smash hit everyone knew he’d already written.
To find out more, go to Jason Mraz biography.
Amazingly, she had made an astonishing twelve films prior to ‘The Wizard Of Oz’.
To find out more, go to Judy Garland biography.
Often compared to Billie Holiday for her vocal similarities, Peyroux’s second solo album only had one original tune on it, ‘Don’t Wait Too Long’.
To find out more, go to Madeleine Peyroux biography.
During this short period of time, the band became world famous by getting eleven top 40 singles from five albums. In total, they sold over forty million copies worldwide.
To find out more, go to Mama Cass biography.
Martha and the Vandellas
Together they had seven years of hits including ‘Jimmy Mack’, ‘Nowhere To Run’ and perhaps Motown’s biggest hit of them all in Dancing In The Street’.
To find out more, go to Martha and the Vandellas biography.
Marvin’s hits include ‘I Heard It Through The Grapevine’, ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’, ‘Can I Get A Witness’ and politically fueled ‘What’s Going On’.
To find out more, go to Marvin Gaye biography.
Things started to go sour when Berry Gordy started prioritising other singers like Diana Ross.
To find out more, go to Mary Wells biography.
Performing with his family from an early age in the Vaudeville tradition, Matt got to know American showbiz before he even learned to read or write.
To find out more, go to Matt Dennis biography.
As the daughter of The Beatles’ musical mentor Ravi Shankar, Norah’s destiny might seem written in the stars when, at the age of twenty-three, she released her incredibly successful album ‘Come Away With Me’.
In 2005, the album received diamond status as it reached ten million sales.
To find out more, go to Norah Jones biography.
With 8 #1 singles, 15 NME Awards, 9 Q Awards, 4 MTV Europe awards and 5 Brit awards, they have been declared the most successful U.K act of the 90s.
To find out more, go to Oasis biography.
Ocean Colour Scene
The album contained the band’s three biggest hits in ”The Riverboat Song’, ‘The Day We Caught The Train’ and ‘You’ve Got It Bad’.
To find out more, go to Ocean Colour Scene biography.
The reaction from the crowd to Paolo’s naturally stunning voice caught the attention of his soon to be manager who happened to be in the crowd.
To find out more, go to Paolo Nutini biography.
His amny hits include ‘Homeward Bound’, ‘Scarborough Fair‘, ‘You Can Call Me Al’, ‘The Boxer’, ‘Cecilia’, ‘Mrs Robinson’ and ‘Graceland’.
To find out more, go to Paul Simon biography.
Her most famous performances include ‘Black Coffee’, ‘Big Spender’, ‘Why Don’t You Do Right?’ and ‘Fever’.
To find out more, go to Peggy Lee biography.
His biggest hits include ‘River Deep, Mountain High’, ‘Unchained Melody’, ‘Be My Baby’, ‘The Long And Winding Road’, ‘My Sweet Lord’, ‘Let It Be’, and ’Imagine’.
To find out more, go to Phil Spector.
With their laid-back blues-influenced psychedelic rock, they had hits like ‘Another Brick In The Wall’, ‘Comfortably Numb’, ‘Money’ and ‘Wish You Were Here’.
To find out more, go to Pink Floyd biography.
Plain White T’s
Using a very persistent marketing technique, ‘Hey There Delilah’ was pushed for over two years before it was finally #1.
To find out more, go to Plain White T’s biography.
Williams’ career started as a member of the pop band Take That in 1990.
When Robbie left Take That in 1995 to pursue a solo career, he had sold twenty-five five million records with the group.
To find out more, go to Robbie Williams biography.
Between 1957 and 1963, Sam Cooke managed twenty-nine top 40 hits including ‘You Send Me’, ‘Chain Gang’, ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’, ‘Wonderful World’ and ‘Bring It On Home To Me’.
To find out more, go to Sam Cooke biography.
Sam & Dave
Two years before they would eventually part ways, The Blues Brothers were released in the cinema, the film gave their career one final boost. However, neither Sam or Dave seemed happy about it.
To find out more, go to Sam & Dave biography.
Simon & Garfunkel
Their hits include ‘Homeward Bound’, ‘Scarborough Fair’, ‘The Boxer’, ‘Mrs Robinson’, ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ and ‘American Tune’.
To find out more, go to Simon & Garfunkel biography.
Sixpence None The Richer
The band has had both breakups and reunions since.
To find out more, go to Sixpence None The Richer biography.
Spy Tunes met up with Ace (guitarist and founder of Skunk Anansie) who gladly demonstrated how to play some of his classic tunes using the electric guitar.
To find out more, go to Skunk Anansie biography.
Smokey’s hits include ‘Shop Around’, ‘You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me’, The Tears of a Clown’, ‘My Guy’, ‘My Girl’ and ‘Get Ready’.
To find out more, go to Smokey Robinson biography.
Wilson has shared the stage alongside many soul and jazz legends, including Marvin Gaye, Sammy Davis Jr., Jimmy McGriff, and Jimmy Smith.
To find out more, go to Spanky Wilson biography.
Stevie’s natural groove and ability to so purely express music are untouched. His vocal phrasing and songwriting is second to none.
To find out more, go to Stevie Wonder biography.
Formed in 1977, The Police reached worldwide success after releasing their first single ‘Roxanne’ only a year after they formed the band.
To find out more, go to Sting biography.
Tears For Fears
With hits like ‘Mad World’, ‘Seeds Of Love’ and ‘Everybody Wants To Rule The World’, Tears For Fears were one of the biggest bands around in the 80s.
To find out more, go to Tears For Fears biography.
The Beatles were the leaders of the so-called British Invasion. With their catchy Rock & Roll infused pop they took America by storm, creating hysteria everywhere they went.
To find out more, go to The Beatles biography.
Since their debut, The Fratellis have continued to gather new fans around the UK with their blues-influenced pop songs.
To find out more, go to The Fratellis biography.
The Funk Brothers
The band played on pretty much everything Motown released until ’72 when they relocated to L.A. The musicians who showed up the following day found a note on the door simply stating “No work today”.
To find out more, go to The Funk Brothers biography.
Among their hits you can find ‘Lola’, ‘Sunny Afternoon’ and ‘You Really Got Me’ which, fourteen years later, would be covered by Van Halen, using a much louder amp.
To find out more, go to The Kinks biography.
The Rolling Stones
They’ve had great success with tunes like ‘Start Me Up’, ‘Satisfaction’, ‘Wild Horses’, ‘Angie’, ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’ and ‘Honky Tonk Women’.
To find out more, go to The Rolling Stones biography.
The lead singer, Veronica Bennett, later known as Ronnie Spector, eventually married the eccentric producer who ended up taking her off a Beatles support tour only to lock her up in his mansion.
To find out more, go to The Ronettes biography.
Lead by Diana Ross, they delivered number #1’s like ‘Where Did Our Love Go’, ‘Baby Love’, ‘Stop! In the Name of Love’, ‘You Can’t Hurry Love’, and ‘You Keep Me Hangin’ On’.
To find out more, go to The Supremes biography.
Early hits like ‘My Girl’ were produced by Smokey Robinson, later they ventured into a more psychedelic soul with ‘Papa Was A Rolling Stone’. Now produced by Norman Whitfield.
To find out more, go to The Temptations biography.
Since their first debut album, ‘A Storm In Heaven’, critics have always favored The Verve as one of the best 90s British rock acts.
To find out more, go to The Verve biography.
Tracy Chapman is an American singer-songwriter, best known for her singles ‘Fast Car’, ‘Talking About A Revolution’ and ‘Baby Can I Hold You’ from her self-entitled titled debut album ‘Tracy Chapman’.
Amazingly, these were the three first songs on the debut. Tracy sold multi-platinum and won her three Grammy Awards.
To find out more, go to Tracy Chapman biography.
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