The Beatles In Mono [Box set] [Mono] [Original recording remastered]
From Please Please Me to the White Album, all the original Beatles mixes are represented here in full, glorious mono! The Past Masters CD has been recreated as Mono Masters to properly reflect this period. This set duplicates the Past Masters track listing with the exception of those tracks that only ever appeared in stereo. However, as an added bonus, five tracks, never previously released in mono, are included in the package. These are “Only A Northern Song”, “All T (more…)
What Is Mega Music Talent?
Personally I think of Mega Music Talent as musicians who have a major natural talent for music, though there are some musicians who have a lesser talent but a greater showmanship than others. Some artists become superstars because of that higher level of showmanship whereas the more talented musicians might struggle more for recognition.
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I’ve been thinking about some of the superstars from the last 50 years and trying to determine whether or not they achieved superstar status through raw talent, showmanship or both. Then I decided to choose my favourite superstars from each decade and explain why.
(1950s) Elvis – The King Of Rock And Roll
|The third best selling recording artist of all time, American idol Elvis Presley was the first major pop or rock superstar. That guy had a lot going for him: smouldering good looks, sex appeal, showmanship, rhythm – he wasn’t called Elvis the Pelvis for nothing – and a good but not great singing voice. Those qualities combined to help Elvis achieve worldwide superstardom throughout the 50s, 60s and 70s. Even after his death in 1977 his songs have continuing popularity and reissues and remixes are still released over 30 years on.|
Elvis made 31 musical films during the 60s. His acting wasn’t all that and the films themselves were a bit naff but they were still popular and a financial success. Probably because the ladies loved to drool over the sex symbol. My favourite 3 Elvis tracks are ‘Hard Headed Woman’, ‘In The Ghetto’ and ‘The Wonder of You’.
(1960s) The Beatles – Britain’s First Super Group
|The Beatles phenomena emerged from Liverpool in the early 60s and they released their first hit single ‘Love Me Do’ in June 1962. It wasn’t long before they achieved worldwide success and although they stopped recording together in 1970, over 40 years on they are still the most successful top selling group ever. Many artists claim the Beatles as their influence and the band were so huge that even in remote areas of the world people knew who the Beatles were and even today lots of youngsters know their songs.|
The group consisted of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. What they had going for them apart from their musicality was fresh good looks, cheekiness, likability and well marketed showmanship. Although John and Paul were the vocalists and main songwriters George and Ringo both contributed in the singing songwriting department. To me the 4 band members were the perfect fit and I wonder if the Beatles would have become such a legend without any one of them. Many of their early tracks were simple love songs but during the 60s their music evolved with the psychedelic age. My favourite 3 Beatles tracks are ‘I Am The Walrus’, ‘I Saw Her Standing There’ and ‘Here Comes The Sun’.
(1970s} Queen – And Not Her Majesty!
I was torn between several 70s super stars including Led Zeppelin, Abba, David Bowie and The Eagles, but my favourite 70s mega talent are English rock band Queen. Although Queen are listed as only 25th of the all time best music sellers in my opinion Queen were the ultimate in musical talent and showmanship. If I could go back in time and choose the artists that I would most like to see perform live it would be Queen with Freddie Mercury centre stage.
The band were formed in London in 1970 and consisted of Brian May, Freddie Mercury, John Deacon and Roger Taylor until Freddie Mercurys death in 1991. Now in 2008 Brian May and Roger Taylor still perform as Queen with the collaberation of Paul Rodgers. Although good Queen could never be the same without the mega vocalist – prancing, dancing drama queen Freddie Mercury. That guy was awesome to watch and listen to. The amazing video for their massive hit Bohemian Rhapsody is generally regarded to be the forerunner in music videos. My favourite 3 Queen tracks are: ‘Seven Seas Of Rhye’, ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ and of course ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’.
(1980s) U2 – The Band!
Way down at number 97 of the all time music best sellers are the rock band U2 – but they have received 22 Grammy awards which is more than any other band. Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr are the band members who all come from Dublin in Ireland. U2 may seem a strange choice when there were other superstars around in that decade who achieved more but out of all of the big stars I find U2s often beautiful, haunting and anthemlike tracks the most memorable and they are the band still around today that I would most like to see live.
What I like about U2 apart from their music is that fame doesn’t seem to have taken away their humility. Individually and as a band they have consistently supported human rights and social justice causes – a band with good hearts. My favourite 3 U2 tracks all come from the Joshua Tree album and are: ‘With Or Without You’, ‘Where The Streets Have No Name’, and ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’.
(1990s) Celine Dion – Her Majesty!
Canadian vocalist and songwriter Celine Dion is the all time 12th best music seller and is still releasing hits today. Although Canadian, Celine won the 1988 Eurovision Song Contest for Switzerland with the song ‘NePartez Pas Sans Moi‘. Many Eurovision Song Contest winners sink without trace – probably due to the cheesiness of the contest and the songs. Like Abba who won the contest in 1984 Celine went on to achieve well deserved worldwide fame and emerged in 1990 as one of the most talented divas ever.
Celine has a powerful voice with a great vocal range, probably shown off best in her massive hit ‘The Power Of Love’ a track which has become for many the ultimate love song. Although Celine displays some showmanship I believe that her singing talent is enough to make her a major superstar. A few years ago I interviewed a millionaire ex record company director who claimed to have discovered Celine in a Canadian bar. I came to the conclusion that he was having me on but who could blame somebody for wanting to discover such a talent! My 3 favourite Celine Dion tracks are: ‘Beauty and the Beast’ (a duet with Peabo Bryson), ‘I Drove All Night’ and ‘The Power of Love’.
(2000s) Linkin Park – Really!
Number 167 in the all time best music seller list American band Linkin Park get my vote as mega music talent of the 2000s. I almost chose Britney Spears as many others would, but I prefer listening to Linkin Park. The band consists of 6 members Brad Delson, Rob Bourdon, Mike Shinoda, Chester Bennington, Joe Hahn and Phoenix.
What I like about Linkin Park is their versatile rock, rap music with a conscience style – or indeed varying styles! They have been compared to U2 but the only thing I can see that they have in common with U2 is winning Grammy awards 2 as opposed to U2s 22, but there is time for them to win more yet. My favourite 3 Linkin Park tracks are: ‘What I’ve done’, ‘Given Up’ and ‘Breaking The Habit’,
There you have it, my favourite mega music talent by the decade. I could have included some more obvious names like Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Elton John, Pink Floyd, REM, Diana Ross and the Bee Gees, but the decision had to be based on who I believe to be the biggest mega stars of each decade. My prediction for the 2010s mega music superstar is the UKs Leona Lewis – what do you think?
Please comment below, let us know who you think the biggest superstars are and why. Do you agree or disagree with this post? Who do you think are going to be the mega music talent of the future?