Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Greatest front figures in rock

So, Dagbladet has a list of the greatest front figures in the history of rock. A total of 29 men and women (why 29? Why not 30?), and most of them are giants in the history of rock. There were a couple of people there which I really won't consider "greatest", but that might be just a personal taste.

However, I really missed out one person: Where's Bruce Springsteen? The Boss? The leader of one of the tightest live bands in the history of rock? Regardsless of what you what you think of his music, it's undeniable that he's a great front figure. And he was definitly a front figure, it's "Bruce Springsteen and the E street band".

Also, Elvis should have been there, but one could argue that he was purly a solo artist and hence does not belong to this list.

23 comments:

Wilhelm said...

Although I'm overjoyed to see Bruce Dickinson, Bon Jovi and David Lee Roth, I agree that Springsteen should've been there. Also, if Michael Jackson can be there, Elvis has a place.

People I noticed were missing: David Coverdale, Gene Simmons/Paul Stanley, Ian Gillan (Purple, dammit!!), Alice Cooper, Dr. Dre, Vince Neil and Eminem.

Björk is there, for crying out loud...

Pigeon said...

I agree so much for Da Boss.
What about Mc Cartney and Lennon ????
Jimy Hendrix ?
Damon Albarn ?
Ben harper ?
Kurt Cobain (I don't like him but come on, he should be on that list)

Wilhelm said...

...so many people are missing from that list....

Pigeon also mentioned Bowie and Klaus Meine of the Scorpions..... Joe Elliot from Def Leppard and Kevin DuBrow from Quiet Riot also need to be mentioned....

Anders said...

Was Björk there? I didn't even notice. Man, she so not belong on that list.

Kind of agree with the rest, but Eminem? I think he's mainly a solo artist. But then again: Björk...

Pigeon said...

How could they forgot David Bowie ??
That list is crap !!!

Glad to see Bruce Dickinson, Freddy Mercury, Michael Stipe and Zach de la Rocha though

Anders said...

Lennon/ McCartney: Yes, how could they be left out?
And Cobain as well, I thought about him just after my first post.

Bowie, Ben Harper and Hendrix: Solo artists? Anyway, I wouldn't object too much if Ben Harper was left out of the "greatest front figure" list.

Wilhelm said...

I have no idea who Ben Harper is, but knowing that Pigeon likes his music, I've probably got no love for him, and consequently don't particularly care if he is left out despite having superior credentials to - say - that INXS dude

Wilhelm said...

besides - Em is an integral part of D12 and was part of Scam, so there.....

Anders said...

besides - Em is an integral part of D12 and was part of Scam, so there.....

I know E minor, but I'm not familiar with D12. Got some chord charts for that one?
:-)

Pigeon said...

Bowie : He has been in two bands: The Spiders from Mars in the 70's and Tin Machine (3 albums) in the early 90's.

Ben Harper: The Innocent criminals (like Springsteen with the E street Band)

Jimi Hendrix: The Jimi Hendrix experience.

I have no idea who Ben Harper is, but knowing that Pigeon likes his music, I've probably got no love for him

True. you won't probably like him. Influenced by Hendrix and Bob Marley at the same time.

By the way Bob Marley is not in the list neither. I don't like his music but still ....

Anders said...

Yes, I fully know who Ben Harper is. He's the guy who almost singlehanded made vintage Weissenborn guitars so freaking expensive...
But, there are so many great front figures that I'm willing to place him below the top 29 list. If you're including a lot of styles within the rock genre. But I like him. He has done some great covers and does keep an arsenal of great acoustics. And he's not afraid of using 'em! Love his cover of Sexual Healing (Marvin Gaye) Goose bumps!

Anders said...

I just went through the list, here is the people who I think definitely deserve a place on a "Top 29 all time greatest front figures in rock" of the ones mentioned in Dagbladet:

ANTHONY KIEDIS - Red Hot Chili Peppers
JIM MORRISON - The Doors
JOHNNY ROTTEN - Sex Pistols
JON BON JOVI - Bon Jovi
BONO - U2
CHUCK D - Public Enemy
BRUCE DICKINSON - Iron Maiden
ZACK DE LA ROCHA - Rage Against the Machine
DEBBIE HARRY - Blondie
MICK JAGGER - The Rolling Stones
FREDDIE MERCURY - Queen
OZZY OSBOURNE - Black Sabbath
ROBERT PLANT - Led Zeppelin
IGGY POP - The Stooges
DAVID LEE ROTH - Van Halen
GWEN STEFANI - No Doubt
MICHAEL STIPE - REM
STEVEN TYLER - Aerosmith

So I agree with 18 of 29 front figures on Dagbladet’s list. Not a bad job by Dagbladet at all.

These are giants from Dagbladet that didn't make my top 29 list:
ROGER DALTREY - The Who. Well, I would have chosen Peter "Windmill" Townsend rather then Daltrey from The Who.
PERRY FARRELL - Jane's Addiction. Depends on how high you rate JA.

MICHAEL HUTCHENCE - Yes, INXS was big, but let's be brutally honest: The biggest thing MH did was to die in an extraordinary way.

STEVEN PATRICK - Morrissey
AXL ROSE - Guns'n'Roses. I've never understood the thing about GnR. Sorry Axl. And the top hat wearin' Slash is just as much front figure in my opinion.

By front figure, I think you have to front something. I.e. a band. So these artists are excluded from any Top front figure list in my opinion:
Björk - Foremost a solo artist.
SHIRLEY MANSON - Garbage. Garbage isn't that great. Surely added just because she's female and the list shouldn't be too male dominated
KAREN O - Yeah Yeah Yeahs (Karen Who?)
IAN CURTIS - I had to google him to even figure out which band he was a member of.
MICHAEL JACKSON - Yes, he was in the Jackson family, but he is still the king of pop and a solo artist.
JANIS JOPLIN - Mostly known as a solo artist.

So, to complete my top 29 list, I must add 11 artists. I'm trying to do this without looking too much to my musical preferences, but to sort out who I think a great front men and women for their bands. And I'm also trying to include a wide range of the many genre that's included in "rock". So here goes my 11 last ones:

Bruce Springsteen - BS and The E Street Band. The Boss.

John Lennon - The Beatles. Could have chosen Paul as well, but John was THE front man of the band when he was still kicking.

Kurt Cobain - Nirvana. Responsible for the horrible grunge. And he was Nirvana!

Billy F. Gibbons - If you gonna have one front man from a Texas style boogie power trio, it got to be BFG. ;-)

Gene Simmons - Kiss. The money maker of rock...

Noel Gallagher - Oasis. So much I hate Britpop; I must admit that he is a very influential front figure. Even overshadows his brother which is lead vocalist.

George Clinton - Parliament/Funkadelic. The grand master of funk.

Bob Marley - Bob Marley & the Wailers. The definition of reggae.

Jimi Hendrix - The Jimi Hendrix experience. I agree, he was fronting a band.

Stevie Ray Vaughan - Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble. Blues has a lot of great band leaders, but I choose to include him due to the fact that he gained popularity outside the normal blues audience.

Alice Cooper - Alice Cooper. He's a rock icon.

Some honorable mentions that didn't make the list:
Muddy Waters & Howlin' Wolf. Maybe the two greatest band leaders in the history of blues. But unfortunately, they didn't have the name of the band on the records; hence fall under the "solo artist" category.

David Bowie. Yes, he's been fronting some bands, but it wasn't the material from those bands that earned him his reputation.

John Mayall - The Blues Breakers. Great bandleader, but is overshadowed by all the great guitarist that has started their career as a Bluesbreaker.

Joe Strummer - The Clash. Yes, Sex Pistol might be the first punk band, but The Clash might be the biggest.

So, where are your list guys?

Wilhelm said...

I know E minor, but I'm not familiar with D12. Got some chord charts for that one?

Chord charts? Dude; you're so 1991.

Wilhelm said...

P-to-da-french: Yeah; marley ought to be on that list. Can't stand reggae, but it's dificult to discard his effect on popular music.

Wilhelm said...

Yes, I fully know who Ben Harper is. He's the guy who almost singlehanded made vintage Weissenborn guitars so freaking expensive...

..so he keeps the retail price on proper guitars low, is that what you're saying? Are ya saying that thanks to this dubious hippie-loser someone like me can still pick up Jacksons, Ibanez RG and Dean ML guitars for reasonable cost?

Wilhelm said...

A-master: Props for da list - I'll construct mine shortly. Does it have to roll 29 deep? And will it be politically correct to exclude some of the bigger names already agreed on by y'all?

...'cause I'm all about keepin' it politically correct, as y'all know

Pigeon said...

So my list of 29:
If they're in this list it's because I consider they're big not that I like them !!!

First: The ones thqt I keep from the previous one.

-Anthony Kiedies : YES
-Jim Morrisson : YES
-Johnny Rotten : ABSOLUTELY NOT
-BJORK : Solo artist so NO
-Bon Jovi : You must be kidding. He's good only for commercials, why not Moby.
-Bono : YES
-Ian Curtis : Joy division is huge !! YES
-Chuck D : YES
-ROGER DALTREY: The Who is Pete Thownsend, that's it
-Bruce Dickinson : YES even if Maiden is Steve Harris
-Zach de la Rocha : Fuck you I won't do what you tell me : YES
-Perry Farrel : I have no idea who he is
-Debbie Harry : Either her or Annie Lennox if a female artist is highly required so YES
-Michael Hutchence : One of those band that became huge because the singer died : NO
-M. Jackson : Solo artist NO
-Mick Jagger: Of course YES
-Janis Joplin: Solo artist NO
-Shirley Manson: I like Garbage but NO
-Freddy Mercury : YES
-Morrissey : The Smiths are not dead YES
-Karen O : Who O ?
-Ozzy Osbourne : YES
-Robert Plant : YEEEEEEEEEES
-Iggy Pop : YES
-Axl Rose : YES (in the 90's, there was no girl not in love with him unfortunately) so YES
-David Lee Roth : Hell NO
- Gwen Stefani : Yeah Right : NO
- Michael Stipe : YEEEEEEEEEEEEs
- Steven Tyler : YES

So 18 over 29
Remains 11

-David Bowie : Da man
-Paul Mc Cartney : Could have been the other one but ...
-Bruce Springsteen
-Kurt Cobain
-Bob Marley
-Jimi Hendrix
-James Hetfield : Metalica has to be there
-Tom Yorke (Radiohead)
-Sly Stone - The real grand master of funk, not the guy with just one bass line !!!
-Liam Gallagher : We said the guys in front
-Billy Corgan : The smashing pumpkins

Pigeon said...

-Joe Strummer should be on the list too cause if the Pistols invented the punk, the Clash ....

-Frank Black : The Pixiiies !!!!!!

Pigeon said...

Damn I forgot Neil Young and Nick Cave !!!

Anders said...

A-master: Props for da list - I'll construct mine shortly. Does it have to roll 29 deep? And will it be politically correct to exclude some of the bigger names already agreed on by y'all?

29 is set by Dagbladet, so yeah, it gotta be 29. But for once, you are allowed not to be PC. But do add a reason for the ones excluded. It's just as fun why you take people out as why you add them.

Pigeon said...

I forgot Sting !!!!!!!!!!

Anders said...

P-diddy: Annie Lennox. How could I forget her. She really deserves a place. Don't know who I would replace her with, though.

Neil Young is also a great front figure, but I might be willing to exclude him from top 29.

-Joe Strummer should be on the list too cause if the Pistols invented the punk, the Clash ....

The Clash did what? It's a close call between Pistols and Clash, but I've only got room for one punk band on the list.

-James Hetfield : Metalica has to be there

Yes, I agree. He could have been on the list.

-Tom Yorke (Radiohead)
Not on my top 29 list. I group him with people like Francis Healy (Travis), Chris Martin (Coldplay) and Damon Albarn (Blur). I just have room for just one from the "britpop and related" style, and that is Oasis.

-Sly Stone - The real grand master of funk, not the guy with just one bass line !!!
Yes, it got to be him or George. But if James Brown hadn't been a solo artist, he would have claimed the title.

-Liam Gallagher : We said the guys in front

I think Noel "out-fronts" his brother, even if Liam is the lead vocalist.

-Billy Corgan : The smashing pumpkins
He can go banans all Halloween for what I care, but he ain't on my list.

Anders said...

Yes, I fully know who Ben Harper is. He's the guy who almost singlehanded made vintage Weissenborn guitars so freaking expensive...

..so he keeps the retail price on proper guitars low, is that what you're saying?


So, you know your guitar history, man. Yes, the Weissenborn wasn't very well built, but they sounded good. ;-)

Are ya saying that thanks to this dubious hippie-loser someone like me can still pick up Jacksons, Ibanez RG and Dean ML guitars for reasonable cost?

Weissenborn are squarenecks (at least the famouse ones Ben Harper plays). I didn't know that Jackson, Ibanez and Dean made squarenecks, or that you were in the marked for one. Who would have thought that you were a closet lapslider... :-)