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(Vocal/instrumental group, 1965–75) At the dawning of the age of Aquarius, Soft Machine – their ever-changing line-up based around Robert Wyatt (drums) and Mike Ratledge (organ) – rivalled Pink Floyd as London’s prime exponents of psychedelic rock, mainly through use of complex time signatures, a stubbornly English lyricism and the creation of musical moods through open-ended improvisation. ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock, general editor Michael Heatley
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A drum machine is an instrument that uses synthesized or sampled sound to emulate drums or other percussion, and allows the user to programme rhythmic patterns that can be chained together into songs. Rhythm Machines The history of the drum machine dates back as far as the 1930s, when Leon Theremin (1896–1993) was commissioned by composer Henry Cowell (1897–1965) ...

Source: The Illustrated Complete Musical Instruments Handbook, general editor Lucien Jenkins
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(Vocal/instrumental group, 1980–84) Marc Almond (vocals) and Dave Ball (keyboards) created a charismatic art pop act, landing a huge hit with ‘Tainted Love’ (1981). Several other dark disco tracks followed: ‘Say Hello, Wave Goodbye’, ‘Torch’ and ‘What!’. Their debut Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret (1981, 1982 in the US) explored the steamier side of life. Almond’s solo career ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock, general editor Michael Heatley
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(Vocal/instrumental group, 1991–2000, 2007–11) Formed in Los Angeles by Zack De La Rocha (vocals), Tom Morello (guitar), Tim Commerford (bass) and Brad Wilk (drums), their left-wing lyrics were as polemical as their metallic, rhythmic music. Their eponymous debut album (1992) bottled their live sound and frank social commentary. La Rocha left in 2000, the other members forming ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock, general editor Michael Heatley
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(Vocal/instrumental group, 2007–present) Florence Welch and her backing band won the prestigious Critic’s Choice Brit award in 2008. Debut album Lungs was released in July 2009, and was a slow burner; as her singles were released and her popularity grew, it gradually rose to No. 1 after 28 weeks in the charts. Her mix of soul and arty ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock, general editor Michael Heatley
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Of all the guitar players of the last 40 years, none produce music as confounding yet beautiful as Allan Holdsworth (b. 1946). His blinding speed, fluid legato, impossible intervallic leaps, perplexing chord voicings and unpredictable melodies have made his style one of the most mystifying to guitarists everywhere. Allan Holdsworth was born in Bradford, West Yorkshire ...

Source: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Guitar Heroes, consultant editor Rusty Cutchin
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One of the greatest achievements any guitar player can attain is an immediately recognizable signature tone and style. And though many guitarists have realized this goal, few have done it as emphatically as Police guitarist Andy Summers (b. 1942). From the chord stabs of ‘Roxanne’ and ‘Don’t Stand So Close To Me’ to the arpeggios of ‘Message In A Bottle’ ...

Source: Rock Guitar Heroes, consultant editor Rusty Cutchin
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b. 1944 Welsh composer Jenkins played for more than a decade in the progressive rock band Soft Machine before attracting wider attention as a composer of music for advertising. A movement composed for De Beers diamond merchants, and scored for strings in Baroque concerto grosso style, became the Allegretto of his suite Palladio, while his best-known single track ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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For 35 years Mike Oldfield (b. 1953) has created work that melds progressive rock, folk, world music, classical music, electronic music, new age and dance. He is best known for his hit 1973 album Tubular Bells, which provided a theme for the movie The Exorcist, broke new ground as an instrumental concept album, ...

Source: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Guitar Heroes, consultant editor Rusty Cutchin
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(Drums, singer-songwriter, b. 1945) Wyatt became drummer and vocalist with jazz-rockers Soft Machine. Forming Matching Mole in 1971, he overcame being wheelchair-bound after an accident to record solo classics such as Rock Bottom (1975), and had an unlikely hit single with The Monkees’ ‘I’m A Believer’. In 1983, he charted again with Elvis Costello’s ‘Shipbuilding’. 2003’s Cuckooland ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock, general editor Michael Heatley
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(Vocal/instrumental group, 1965–69, 1975–78) After entering the UK Top 20 with 1965’s ‘Whatcha Gonna Do About It’, this pre-eminent mod group – Steve Marriott (vocals, guitar), Jimmy Winston (keyboards), Ronnie Lane (bass, vocals) and Kenney Jones (drums) – suffered a miss with self composed ‘I Got Mine’; they then replaced Winston with Ian McLagan and got back ...

Source: The Definitive Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock, general editor Michael Heatley
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b. 1935 American composer Initially influenced by Stockhausen, Riley was profoundly affected by the sustained, minimalist style of La Monte Young, whom he met at the University of California at Berkeley. He had paid for his studies by playing ragtime in a bar. He soon became interested in improvised music and ‘happenings’ and made a serious study of ...

Source: Classical Music Encyclopedia, founding editor Stanley Sadie
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‘Fusion’ can be applied to any music that blends two or more different styles, though it is normally used to describe the electronic jazz rock movement that emerged in the late 1960s. Some of the musicians expanded the boundaries of both jazz and rock, while others focused on producing sophisticated, but shallow, ‘background’ music. Although fusion records ...

Source: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Music, general editor Paul Du Noyer
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‘To boldly go where no band has gone before...’ could have been the motto of the progressive rock bands. Taking rock music to places it had never been in terms of harmony and structure. They tend to favour long songs with lengthy instrumentals, guitar and keyboards being the foremost instruments, with an emphasis on instrumental dexterity and virtuosity. ...

Source: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Music, general editor Paul Du Noyer
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January First Gig, London The Pink Floyd Sound made their London debut at the Countdown Club in late 1965 and were paid £15 for their trouble. Their first London gig in 1966 took place at the Goings On Club on 9 January 1966. Like hundreds of other semi-professional bands around the country, Syd Barrett (guitar/vocals), Roger Waters (bass/vocals), Nick ...

Source: Pink Floyd Revealed, by Ian Shirley
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