Classic Rock is Still Alive and Kicking !
Ten Contemporary Artists You Need to Hear
Did classic rock die with the advent of disco and New Wave in the 1980’s, or has it survived over the years? Are there any artists now that compare with the greats? Below are ten essential bands for you to check out that prove Classic Rock is alive and well!
They formed in the mid-1990’s over a mutual infatuation with ACDC and named themselves after a transvestite who named herself as a reverse Chuck Berry, the father of rock guitar. Hard hitting and sleazy, you can’t get a better rock song than their US Number 1, Lit Up or 2006 single, Next 2 You.
2. Black Label Society
At the centre of this classic heavy metal band is Zakk Wylde, Rock God, one-time guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne and one of the most original vocalists, guitarists and song-writers in rock today. Listen to tracks ‘Forever Down’ and ‘House of Doom’ to hear them at their heaviest and melodic best.
3. Porcupine Tree
This progressive rock band has been going for an incredible 20 years, were nominated for a Grammy in 2003 and won Album of the Year at the Classic Rock Awards in 2007. The album, Fear of a Blank Planet, featured Rush’s Alex Lifeson and King Crimson’s Robert Fripp. Their track, ‘The Sound of Musak’, explains it all.
4. Government Mule
A southern rock/ blues band, more famous for relentless touring than studio recording and an unusual favorite of James Hetfield of Metallica. They have collaborated with legends Jack Bruce, John Enwtistle and Chris Squire and two members were once a part of a reformed Allman Brothers in the late 1980’s. If you only hear one song it has to be Endless Parade from their 2006 album High and Mighty.
5. Derek Trucks Band
You have to be a pretty incredible guitarist to be chosen to tour with Eric Clapton in his 2006/2007 tours, as reflected in his selection in the Rolling Stone’s Top 100 Guitarists of All Time. Derek trucks is versatile, bridging the blues, jazz fusion, funk and Southern rock. Check out Pleasant Gardens from the 2002 album, Joyful Noise.
6. The Donnas
An all female rock band, all called Donna, successfully pick up the mantle of Joan Jett and more. Think Grrl Power and Kiss, ACDC do indie, or the Ramones. The Donnas have seven albums to their name, including the appropriately named American Teenage Rock 'n' Roll Machine. Hear them turn the tables of rock misogyny with ’40 Boys in 40 Nights’.
7. The Soundtrack of Our Lives (T.S.O.O.L)
Proof that there’s more to Sweden than Abba and Death Metal, T.S.O.O.L provide an eclectic mix of forty years of rock with Pink Floyd, the Rolling Stones and the Beatles all exerting their influence. Their 2001 album, Behind the Music is a masterpiece and an essential addition to any thinking person’s classic rock collection.
8. Spock’s Beard
This band is far better than their name, taken from an episode of Star Trek when Spock meets his doppelganger from a parallel universe. They offer a harmonic alternative to progressive metal, following Genesis or Marillion’s lead with a more melodic and popular style of Prog. Waste Away, from the 1996 album, Beware of Darkness is one of the best classic rock songs of the 90’s.
9. The Black Crowes
This blues-rock band were recently hailed by Melody Maker as the ‘The Most Rock ‘n’ Roll Rock ‘n’ Roll Band in the World”. They have released 7 albums in the past twenty years but like Gov’t Mule are part of the ‘Jam Band’ movement, relying heavily on touring for their popularity. Check out’ Hard to Handle’, ‘Soul Singing’ and ‘Remedy’.
10. Velvet Revolver
Velvet Revolver are a supergroup consisting of members of Guns ‘n’ Roses, Stone Temple Pilots and punk band, Wasted Youth. While their material can be inconsistent, they are a critical band in contemporary classic rock, because of their heritage and because they are one of the few bands in this list to gain significant media exposure. ‘Fall to Pieces’ is a brilliant introduction to the band, reaching Number 1 on the Us Rock Charts in 2004.