Leading Bands in Music: Insights Into 25 Bands That Have Influenced the Music Industry Since the 1970s (Leading Legends in Music)
Independently Published (2022)
Reviewed by Amy Lignor for Reader Views (02/2022)
Author Jene Roswell, after handing me three of his other fantastic books, has now hit upon the absolute love of my life when it comes to the music industry: bands. The “Legends” books that Roswell produced—from the 25 ladies and 25 gentlemen who quite literally changed the music industry during their time period, to the 20 Australian entertainers who did the same—the author has now put together an informative, entertaining, and intricate tome focusing on just those killer bands that not only ruled the music world, but transformed life, fashion, instilled love and peace into America’s hearts, and did so much more with their mere presence on Earth. The only downside for me? I wish the book focused on the 1980s when it comes to bands because I personally remain the ultimate Mötley Crüe heavy metal fan!
However, this author does choose wisely when it comes to content. Now, he couldn’t pick the world’s most notorious rock band because the Crüe didn’t arrive on the scene until 1981. But he did pick some of the most entertaining, provocative, and unique bands in the rock and metal categories to represent their particular time period. Think about it… here we delve into that amazing Gene Simmons/Paul Stanley concoction that featured a quartet of talented men (with Ace Frehley on lead guitar and Peter Criss on drums), dressed like some hideous “Thor” demigods with white painted faces adorned with big black stars, and wearing high-heeled boots that, to this day, fans don’t know how they stood up in them for so long. They were heralded as KISS, and the band was beyond influential in all categories. Like the hair bands in the 80s that would cause boys to grow long hair and girls to get theirs styled to look like Bon Jovi (which you never did girls, I’m sorry), KISS had a way of shaping the world to look the way they wanted it to. Not to mention, their albums ended up in the number one slot on the charts every single time one was released.
Also representing the rock category in this “Legends” book is the one many believe was the first heavy metal band to exist: Black Sabbath. They played a key role in developing hard core rock music and they were the exclusive pioneers of a rock n’ roll explosion that ended up dominating our culture through the 70s until the end of the 90s. A fun-fact the author includes on them is that the band with this “frightening” name was actually originally called Polka Tulk, which would most likely have altered their historical status simply because it was wimpy and they were one band that definitely wasn’t.
But rock is not the only category this incredible author touches upon. When you think bands, even in 2022 (which is hard to believe), those Beatles are still the first name that seems to exude from everyone’s mouths. Whether it was their phenomenal music or being the band that came from England and completely transformed America into believing in peace, perhaps no one will ever know why they were so incredibly popular. But when it came to their backstories, the origination of the band, and their eventual fall-out, death and tragedy later in life, The Beatles are still the most well-known band this world has ever seen.
In addition, one band that is still up on that proverbial “best of” band ladder with McCartney and Lennon is the Beach Boys. Their fun and entertaining sounds were used in so many soundtracks for movies that their “California” vibe has been ingrained in every mind that truly loved bands created in the 1970s. Their “surfing-mentality” and fun tunes will forever put smiles on the faces of generations who come across them.
The list here is endless, and so amazingly presented to the reader. Whether you are a fan of AC/DC, ABBA, The Police, before Sting went out on his own and became a monumental success, the Rolling Stones, who had to be one of the most colorful and talented bands ever created, to The Ramones, The Who, U2, Fleetwood Mac, and more – the menu of delectable bands this author has compiled calls out to every person who loves music.
Jene Roswell once again separates facts from fiction and allows the reader a real inside look at these masters and how they became staples in our culture for the rest of time. This quartet of “Legends” books I’ve been lucky enough to read is truly a “must-buy” set that all readers will absolutely love to have in their home.
All I have to say now is…bring on the 80s!