Anorak | Before They Were Famous: The Music of Pop and Rock

Before They Were Famous: The Music of Pop and Rock

by | 16th, September 2014

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IN September 1994, a reel-to-reel tape emerged and was put up for auction. Sotheby’s were all over it because this wasn’t any old recording they had on their hands.

What had arrived was a reel to reel tape of The Quarry Men appearing at St Peter’s Parish Church garden party Liverpool in July, 1957.

The Quarry Men would of course, turn into The Beatles, who are still the biggest band in the whole wide world. The tape went for what is a reasonably low price of £69,000. That wouldn’t buy one leg of a Champion’s League footballer in 2014.

So with that, we got to thinking about famous rock stars, pop singers and rappers before they were famous. Of course, there’s a lot of them who were on television and there’s yearbook photos of just about every celebrity online, but we wanted to look at the music they were making and the evidence of it.

Pull up a chair, remove the wax from your ear and let’s get stuck into rock’s flipside.



The Beatles

Before they became the famous Fab Four, The Quarry Men cut a shellac disc. Lennon, Harrison and Macca were on the cut and, if you listen, you can pick out their distinctive voices, especially that of Lennon. A fan remastered the track, so have a listen. Aren’t they cute?




Lou Reed

Before Lou Reed became the dark cloud of The Velvet Underground, he cut a record as The Primitives (no, not that one from the ’80s and no, not the other ’60s bands called The Primitives). Here, we see Lil Lou trying to get in on the dance record craze with his song ‘The Ostrich’. Even then, there was something wonderfully askew about Lou’s loud playing and deadpan delivery.




Kanye West

One of the most influential producers and artists in the game, Yeezy started off trying his material out in Chicago and here, at 19 years old, we see a little Kanye getting busy in a freestyle.




Arthur Lee

Love’s Arthur Lee had to wait to make baroque psychedelic masterpieces like ‘Forever Changes’ and ‘De Capo’. Before Love, he cuts some record with The American Four, a pretty typical garage band, but Lee’s voice is unmistakable.




Lana Del Rey

Before she became the Queen of Ketamine Comedown Pop, Lana Del Rey was singer-songwriter Lizzie Grant who played the clubs for anyone who would listen. Here’s a video of her in action.

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Posted: 16th, September 2014 | In: Key Posts, Music Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink