5) GIANT STEPS by John Coltrane
This album was released in 1960, but was actually started in May of 1959. Two weeks earlier John, along with those who helped on this record, had finished working on the classic Miles Davis’ album KIND OF BLUE.
GIANT STEPS was Coltrane's introduction to the melodic phrasing that came to be known as Sheets of Sound. Downbeat Magazine Jazz critic, Ira Gitler, first coined that term in 1958. He used it to describe the new, unique improvisational style of the Jazz great that featured progressive chord changes. It was called Coltrane changes by the many Jazz and rock artists who were influenced by the unique approach. Unlike the best Coltrane album up to this time, the gold record BLUE TRAIN which did not stray from the hard line Be Bop of the time, this LP would break new melodic and harmonic ground in jazz and rock.
The fifties produced a whole host of new recording stars. Many of those who were listed as rock stars were actually pop performers. From the very beginning there was a line drawn between the real rockers and those who simply had hit records that were in more of the traditional popular music than the new rock music.
This gray line continues to this day when trying to decide what is considered classic rock and what isn’t. Classic rock has its roots in the real rockers of the 50’s. There are many ways to hear the differences. For the most part it isn’t that hard, but some artists try to sit on the fence in order to have the largest possible audience. Some, Like Elvis Presley, start out as rockers and then turn pop.
There are so many great albums, bands and singers that never "made it big" or hit the mainstream through the years. So it is very hard to rank and choose just five of them. I did however end up picking what I think are my own top five. Of course others might disagree or have their own personal favorites... so let me know albums you would add to the "best albums you've probably never heard" list in the "Comments" section at the end of the article!
For years long songs were not recorded or if they were they got no radio air play. In fact, top forty radio didn’t even want to play any record that was over 3:30 minutes long. That all changed as the FM rock radio stations started to grow in popularity. They would not only play long songs, but long songs were among their most requested songs. With all the great long songs that have been recorded it was very hard to narrow it done to this a list of the top ten long songs of all time.
The original British rock mad man David Edward Sutch, despite having no real claim to the title Lord, called himself Lord Sutch. Being influenced by the American R & B singer Screaming Jay Hawkins, he added the Screaming to his name.
In the early sixties, long before Alice Cooper’s stage show was ever thought of, Lord Sutch would be carried out on stage in a coffin (something he stole from Screaming Jay). He would leap out screaming while wearing all sorts of costumes that ranged from being dressed like Jack the Ripper to a Roman soldier complete with daggers and swords. Of course there was plenty of make up to make him look like a zombie and other shock rock characters. His live show soon became the sensation of England.
What better time than now for you to take your own Rock quiz!.
I will be grading your papers! If you get a passing grade I will send you a report card showing that you have passed your rock exam!
Don’t forget to send me the answers to BOTH tests.
OK, let’s get started.
The first section is multiple guess:
1) Which group broke The Beatles box office attendance record at Shea