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Topic: Rock&Roll @ 50 Return to archive
04-09-02 04:25 PM
Jaxx if the board ever gets restored we will see this post 3 or 4 times, i have lost count. here goes?

The hard cover version of LIFE's Rock & Roll at 50 is available in bookstores and through this website. The soft cover version is on newsstands now.

The Top 100 Rock & Rollers of All Time
(An Excerpt) LIFE.com PRESENTS THE TOP 25

Every kid who has ever spent Friday night at a concert or a dance, or been mesmerized by the light of a jukebox, has his or her own Top 100. And it's safe to say that no two Top 100s are alike. The fun is in the fighting. What do you mean Jimi's not No. 1? Hey, where's Britney? Of LIFE's Top 100 we can say only this for certain: They rocked our world. We're betting a lot of them rocked yours.
1. ELVIS PRESLEY
In the 20th century, only a few individuals in the world of popular music were so far above and beyond what surrounded them that they became stars of a different, greater magnitude. Bing Crosby was one, so was Frank Sinatra. The third member of that tiny but brilliant constellation was a young man who emerged from a hardscrabble Mississippi background to become a phenomenon that may have been the biggest of them all Elvis.

2. THE BEATLES
John Lennon, never a falsely modest man, once said that without Elvis, there was no Beatles. Indeed, the rockabilly craze ignited by Elvis was the formative influence on each of the four young Beatles-in-waiting as they grew up in near-poor to middle class circumstances in the oil-slicked English port city of Liverpool. Without Elvis, the Beatles wouldn't have wanted to be what they eventually became.

3. BOB DYLAN
In the mid-1950s a high school freshman in Hibbing, Minn., named Bobby Zimmerman, whose ultimate ambition was "to join Little Richard," formed a band called the Golden Chords. Thus began the astonishing musical journey of the one who, even before leaving the Midwest for New York City in 1961, had been reborn as Bob Dylan. At first performing in a style resonant of his hero, Woody Guthrie, Dylan conquered the world in stages: the Greenwich Village folk scene, the rock arena, the Nashville crowd. As the millennium turned, he was playing at special audiences for Presidents and popes, meanwhile creating new, vibrant music that continued to thrill.

4. JAMES BROWN
The most influential black artist in rock's history, Brown burst onto the scene in 1956 when he and the Famous Flames recorded "Please, Please, Please." Like many another, he had a gospel background, but he also drew on stints as a semipro boxer and baseball player. His stage shows were an explosion of jumps, splits and rapid-fire dance moves that earned him the nickname Mr. Dynamite.

5. THE ROLLING STONES
For many they are, simply, the World's Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Band. In the early '60s, Brian Jones, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts joined forces in London for music that was mostly covers of Chuck Berry and Chicago blues. While those influences would remain, Jagger and Richards soon became a team that wrote one great song after another.

6. MADONNA
Christopher Ciccone once called his sister Madonna Louise "her own masterpiece." That she is, an intricately crafted figure of great rarity who may or may not be a feminist icon, may or may not be much of a singer, may or may not be a narcissistic empty vessel, but is one thing for sure: a rock star of the highest order, one with savvy, style and legs.

7. STEVIE WONDER
Stevie Wonder is one of the most "musical" people rock has ever known, musical in the sense that Louis Armstrong was musical, where the sound is always special. He opened everyone's ears when his third single, "Fingertips (Part 2)," and its accompanying album both hit No. 1 in 1963. His vital, inventive singing and harmonica playing made it clear that someone important had arrived. For the rest of the decade, he hit one pop homer after another, equally comfortable with gentle ballads or swirling rockers.

8. CHUCK BERRY
He was rock's first poet, spinning three-minute sagas of teen angst that cleverly reflected that manic-depressive reality, whether it was the doldrums of school ("the teacher don't know how mean she looks"), the liberation of the automobile ("we parked way out on the Kokomo") or the allure of fine young things ("she's too cute to be a minute over seventeen"). Driving the lyrics were some of rock's immortal melodies, with guitar licks (and piano riffs from Johnnie Johnson) that remain fresh despite having graced the songs of a thousand others.

9. MICHAEL JACKSON
Born in 1958, he was already a member of the Jackson 5 by age five, and hasn't left the stage since a fact that made him a star beyond measure and, meantime, cost him dearly. He has often lamented his lost boyhood, and cited this as a reason for his wistful, childlike personality. Jackson's enigmatic nature some call it plain old strangeness, what with the oddly evolving facial structure and skin tone often overwhelms an appreciation of his extraordinary gifts.

10. KURT COBAIN
Growing up in a small town in Washington, he was a happy boy who loved the Beatles. His parents divorced when he was eight, and the next year Cobain became a devotee of heavier music: Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. (He once said that he hoped his band, Nirvana, might marry Beatlesque melody to Sabbath's power.) In 1987, Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic began expressing their anger in loud, edgy, intoxicating songs. Eventually joined by drummer Dave Grohl, they released, in 1991, a disc that was the very definition of seminal.

the best of the rest:

11. Eric Clapton
12. Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young
13. Smokey Robinson
14. Aretha Franklin
15. Bruce Springsteen
16. Jimi Hendrix
17. Ray Charles
18. The Everly Brothers
19. The Drifters
20. The Beach Boys
21. Buddy Holly
22. The Band
23. Bob Marley
24. The Four Tops
25. Grateful Dead


"Rock & Roll at 50" contains the full list of the 100 best rockers, and descriptions of their contributions to the history of Rock & Roll.




04-09-02 04:32 PM
stone jr. Yeah, I have that book!! I got it at Shop rite. Its really good!! The pictures are cool and it just great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
04-09-02 08:23 PM
Jaxx oh. i forgot. here's a link for a photo spread.
http://www.life.com/Life/lifebooks/rocknroll/
04-09-02 09:05 PM
Maxlugar That's the cover I was talking about a couple of weeks ago.

It was Jimi that I couldn't remember.

But shit, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Two Beatles and no Stones?

Stones get slighted again!

Maxlugar, C9!
04-09-02 09:16 PM
sandrew Jeez, thank God they ranked higher than Madonna. I can't really argue with the top four, but that's why these types of lists are essentially meaningless.
04-09-02 09:24 PM
sandrew This list reminds of a possibly apocryphal but funny story. A business associate of my friend's dad - yes, one of those chains - was in Japan. At a dinner pow-wow at which Keith happened to be present, someone actually asked him what he did for a living. Keith said, "Well, there's Elvis, the Beatles, and then there's me."

I can't vouch for the story, but the soundbyte is something Keith would say...
04-09-02 10:29 PM
Jaxx >>That's the cover I was talking about a couple of weeks ago.

yep. it sure is. it just appeared in my media search engine.

04-10-02 02:25 PM
Scot Rocks These lists are all the same, eye catching and a definte seller for the magazines, as people buy the magazine when they see top 100 r&r or another list on the front cover, however everyone's opinions differ and we argue like hell over something which is completly meaningless...

So I am going to do it now as well...EVERYONE KNOWS THAT THE STONES ARE THE GREATEST!!!!! MADONNA AHEAD OF ERIC CLAPTON AND JIMI AM I SEEING THINGS?????!!!!!!


04-13-02 08:50 AM
Honky Tonker The bad news is that at 50, rock as we know and love it is nearly dead on radio, MTV, etc.. Luckily, live music is alive and well. Great artists (many undiscovered) are playing great blues, R and R, country, etc. at small clubs and on back porches everywhere. I personally think the video channels have done more to destroy music than anything else. In other words, the visual is now more important than the music and lyric. Long live Keith Richards, the true King Of Rock And Roll!
04-13-02 10:07 AM
hayo Rock & Roll may be dead, on MTV that is!
Visit a club and just check out live bands, they play almost allways for a full house.
Remember seeing the Paladins a few months ago in Holland. What a great gig!
Check them out i think they are currently on tour in the USA.

04-13-02 11:35 AM
JaggaRichards Rock and roll isn't totally dead.....it is merely stunned
04-13-02 05:02 PM
Joey Where is " The WHO " ???????

Bunny , C9
04-14-02 04:51 PM
Honky Tonker I hear ya, Joey. Long Live Rock!
04-15-02 04:54 AM
Scot Rocks YES

THE WHO ROOOOOOOOOOCCCCCCCCCKKKKKKKKKKKK!!!!!!!!!!

AND STILL GOING STRONG


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