Having sold over 13 million albums, Lisa Stansfield can lay claim to being the UK's top female vocalist of the last 15 years. Biography, this 17-track compilation, would certainly back up her argument. Including her breakthrough as featured vocalist on Coldcut's "People Hold On", it also contains her debut proper ("This is the Right Time") and a string of absurdly memorable hits, such as "Change", "All Woman", "Never", "Never Gonna Give You Up" and her first Number One, "All Around the World".
Edith Piaf is almost universally regarded as France's greatest popular singer. Still revered as an icon decades after her death, "the Sparrow" served as a touchstone for virtually every chansonnier, male or female, who followed her. Her greatest strength wasn't so much her technique, or the purity of her voice, but the raw, passionate power of her singing. (Given her extraordinarily petite size, audiences marveled all the more at the force of her vocals.) Her style epitomized that of the classic French chanson: highly emotional, even melodramatic, with a wide, rapid vibrato that wrung every last drop of sentiment from a lyric…
Shocking Blue was a Dutch rock band, formed in The Hague in 1967. The band spawned a number of psychedelic rock hits throughout the counterculture movements era during the 1960s and early 1970s, including Never Marry a Railroad Man, Mighty Joe, Love Buzz, Blossom Lady, Inkpot and "Venus", the latter became their biggest hit, it went to No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and many other countries during 1969 and 1970. The band had sold 13.5 million discs by 1973, but the group disbanded in 1974, when the hippie, flower power and other counterculture movements around the world began to decline in the mid-1970s.
Santana is the primary exponent of Latin-tinged rock, particularly due to its combination of Latin percussion with bandleader Carlos Santana's distinctive, high-pitched lead guitar playing. The group was the last major act to emerge from the psychedelic San Francisco music scene of the 1960s and it enjoyed massive success at the end of the decade and into the early '70s. In 1998, Santana was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The band has earned nine Grammy Awards and three Latin Grammy Awards, the latter all in 2000. Carlos also won a Grammy Award as a solo artist in 1988. Santana has sold more than 90 million records worldwide, making them one of the world's best-selling groups of all time.
The greatest rock guitarist of all time, with a raw, blues-influenced style that brought fire and emotion to rock music unseen before or since. In his brief four-year reign as a superstar, Jimi Hendrix expanded the vocabulary of the electric rock guitar more than anyone before or since. Hendrix was a master at coaxing all manner of unforeseen sonics from his instrument, often with innovative amplification experiments that produced astral-quality feedback and roaring distortion. His frequent hurricane blasts of noise and dazzling showmanship – he could and would play behind his back and with his teeth and set his guitar on fire – has sometimes obscured his considerable gifts as a songwriter, singer, and master of a gamut of blues, R&B, and rock styles.
Smashes, Thrashes & Hits is a compilation of Kiss's greatest hits from their '80s career. Since there weren't enough chart-toppers from that period to fill an entire album, however, '70s classics from their more theatrical days are also included, such as "Love Gun," "Shout It Out Loud," and "Rock and Roll All Nite." (Peter Criss' power ballad, "Beth," is also featured on the album, but is a re-recorded version with then-drummer Eric Carr on vocals.) This combination of classic power rock and pop-metal is what makes the record entertaining, and the album's two new tracks, "Let's Put the X in Sex" and "(You Make Me) Rock Hard," continue to display Kiss' interesting melodies.
Recognized throughout much of his career as "the world's greatest living entertainer," Sammy Davis, Jr. was a remarkably popular and versatile performer equally adept at acting, singing, dancing, and impersonations – in short, a variety artist in the classic tradition. A member of the famed Rat Pack, he was among the very first African-American talents to find favor with audiences on both sides of the color barrier, and remains a perennial icon of cool.
Creedence Clearwater Revival was an American rock band active in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The band consisted of lead vocalist, lead guitarist, and primary songwriter John Fogerty, his brother rhythm guitarist Tom Fogerty, bassist Stu Cook and drummer Doug Clifford. Their musical style encompassed the roots rock, swamp rock, and blues rock genres. The band performed at 1969's famed Woodstock Festival. The band has sold 26 million albums in the United States alone. Rolling Stone ranked the band 82nd on its list of the 100 greatest artists of all time.
T. Rex were an English rock band, formed in 1967 by singer-songwriter and guitarist Marc Bolan. The band was initially called Tyrannosaurus Rex, and released four psychedelic folk albums under this name. In 1969, Bolan began to shift from the band's early acoustic sound to an electric one. The following year, he shortened their name to T. Rex. The 1970 release of the single "Ride a White Swan" marked the culmination of this development, and the group soon became a commercial success as part of the emerging glam rock scene. From 1970 until 1973, T. Rex encountered a popularity in the UK comparable to that of the Beatles, with a run of eleven singles…