Famous London Bands
Throughout the decades, London has been home to many iconic singers and bands. Being considered a city of huge influence when it comes to pop culture, London has put its stamp on music and its multi-cultural foundations continue to produce world renowned artists. With so many to choose from, we have selected 10 singers and bands from various genres to explain a little about each of them!
Adele is recognised as one of the most successful performers of the last decade. Born in Tottenham, Adele attended BRIT School and has continued to succeed having won multiple awards for her music from the Grammy’s and the Academy Awards. Adele has drawn inspiration from her time in London which can be heard in her album ‘Hometown Glory’, which was released in 2007. Adele continues to perform worldwide and releasing music.
The late Amy Winehouse will always be remembered as one of London’s most iconic musicians. Amy’s talent was apparent from her debut single, all the way through to her most iconic release, Back to black. Famous for her fusion of Jazz, R&B, Soul and Pop styles, Amy won multiple Grammy awards, and achieved world wide fame. Amy lived in Camden, where a memorial to her stands.
Still hailed as pioneers of heavy metal, Led zeppelin took the 70’s by storm with their unique styles and influences. The band were famous for their record breaking tours playing to immense crowds and were famous worldwide. Led Zeppelin was formed in London in 1968 playing their first live performance at the university of Surrey. Following the death of drummer John Bonham the band unfortunately went their separate ways. However, they are still revered as one of the worlds most famous bands.
Although David Bowie lived all around the world, he was still born and raised in Brixton, London. He started his career in the city and created a lot of his music at studios throughout London. Renowned as one of the greatest musical innovators of all time, Bowie used a wide variety of genres to form his style whilst being a huge influence in pop culture as well as being a
fashion icon. Sadly, David Bowie passed away in 2016. He sold a staggering 150 million records worldwide, making him one the biggest selling artists of all time.
With a career spanning almost 20 years, The Who were one of Londons most prominent bands of the 1960s, 70s and 80s. The band were known for their energetic live performances but also there tendency to be experimental in their influences and songwriting The Who have inspired bands all over the world and continue to do so.
It is hard to describe the impact Queen had on the music world and do it justice. Starting their careers at Ealing Art College in London, the band went on to release around 300 million records putting them as one of the most successful bands ever. Iconic hits include Don’t Stop me Now, We Will Rock You, Bohemian Rhapsody… the list goes on. Sadly lead singer Freddie Mercury passed away in 1991, but the band still tours occasionally featuring guest singers.
The Sex Pistols
The epitome of Punk. The Sex Pistols encapsulated a disenfranchised youth, mobilising the British punk movement of the 1970s. Despite having a very short career of only two and a half years, the band brought themselves into the lime light after their release ‘God Save the Queen’. Their music swept the world like a craze, putting them on the map as one of Londons most iconic bands.
Fusing psychedelic music and experimenting with philosophical ideals, Pink Floyd are undoubtedly one of the most influential and successful bands to emerge from the city of London. The band honed their craft performing on the underground circuit in London before achieving commercial success in the 1970s. The album ‘ Wish you were here’ marks the beginning of what has
been a fruitful career for Pink Floyd, being amongst the most original composers of rock music to date.
When thinking of two-tone ska, there is only one band that springs to mind… Madness. Rising to fame in the early 1980’s, the band gained notoriety for their energetic stage shows and incredibly tight horn section. Churning out classics such as ‘House of fun’ and ‘Baggy Trousers’ only solidified Madness as one of Britains biggest bands. Thanks to catchy melodies and 90’s throwback, the bands music is still enjoyed today.
Pet Shop Boys
Chris Lowe and Neil Tennant first met in Chelsea, forming the Pet Shop Boys. The band went on to become arguably the biggest British duo. The Pet Shop Boys boast album sales of 50 million worldwide, along side producing a film and a musical. The Pet Shop boys remain to influence electronic music fans through there extensive back catalogue of electro pop.
George Michael rose to fame in the 1980’s with his pop-disco anthems, selling 80 million records around the world. Growing up in North-west London, Michael performed as a busker around the city. He eventually teamed up wth Andrew Ridgeley forming pop duo Wham! The two gained huge success off the back of a number of popular hits but after a while they went their separate ways. George Michael continued on the path to fame and became an icon of British music. Sadly, he passed away In 2016. His last album which was released in 2014 was his 7th number one in the UK.
Taking the Brit-pop scene by storm, BLUR exploded to world wide fame in the 1990s. Famous for their thought provoking lyrics and overtly British stylings the band released numerous singles such as ‘ park life’ and ‘song 2’ that are still cult classics today. The band all met at Goldsmiths College in London, an experience that will have no doubt influenced them and their music.
Pop music legends Groove Armada have enjoyed a successful career as one of Britains favourite bands. Fusing Jazz funk and rock into pop stylings has
allowed the band to gain a wide captive audience. Groove Armada is comprised of Andy Cato and Tom Findlay from London. Hits such as ‘I see you baby’ and ‘Superstylin’ have earned Groove Armada a prestigious reputation in the British music scene.
The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones rocked into the 1960s performing their first show at the Marquee Club in Oxford Street, before moving on to a residency in Richmond. Being famous for their rock and roll foundations covered in the bluesy tones of Mick Jagger, the band continued releasing hits which inevitably achieved them induction to the rock and roll hall of fame. Celebrating around 200 million record sales world wide and a 50 year long career, the Rolling Stones definitely stand with the most successful bands of all time.
Meeting at University College in London, Chris Martin and Jonny Buckland began to form the band Coldplay. After perfecting their style by performing in various suburbs of London, the band released the single ‘Yellow’ which brought them quickly into the public eye. Since then Martin and Co. have continued to release smash hits, winning multiple awards and selling nearly 80 million records in the process. Priding themselves in a constantly evolving style, Coldplay remain one of Britains most successful bands.