The other day as I was sitting, the song Stairway to heaven came through my earphones. Hearing this the thought crossed my mind – How did musicians climb the stairway to success by publicizing themselves? On reading through different articles on the bands that dominated different decades, here are a few of the ideas I managed to collect:
1. NAME OF BAND: Beatles
DECADE OF DOMINANCE: 1960’s
The Beatles are considered as one of the most popular bands till now. In order to promote their single ‘Rain,’ first released in 1966 as the B- side of their album ‘paperback writer,’ the Beatles created 3 promotional films. (These are considered among the early precursors of music videos.) One features the Beatles walking and singing in a garden and a greenhouse. The other 2 feature the band preforming on stage.
2. NAME OF BAND: Led Zeppelin
DECADE OF DOMINANCE: 1970’s
In their early years, Led Zeppelin made an effort to establish themselves as a compelling and successful live music act. Their concerts usually included expanded versions of their songs. Their bass player John Paul Jones recalls, “[Led] zeppelin was a live band and that’s how we got our reputation. The press hated us in the early days. Our only way of promotion was to play a lot of live shows, especially in the UK. It used to spread by word- of- mouth.” (As quoted by Wikipedia.)
3. NAME OF BAND: Pink Floyd
DECADE OF DOMINANCE: 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s
Pink Floyd is considered as one of the most successful bands spanning their career across three decades. Except for the music, the elaborate part to any Pink Floyd live show is the special effects. They were among the first bands to use a dedicated light show with their live performances. They also used other special effects like quadrophonic speaker systems, glittering balls which showered petals on opening, fireworks, oversized balloons, etc.
4. NAME OF BAND: Queen
DECADE OF DOMINANCE: 1980’s and 1990’s
Queen has always been a highlight when it comes to music videos. One example is of the promotional video of their single ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ made in 1975. It was notable for being entirely shot and edited on videotape. The video of their 1982 hit ‘Body Language’ was the first video to be banned by MTV as it was felt to be unsuitable for a television audience at that time. Their video for ‘Under Pressure’ was one of the earliest examples of a non- representational form of video i.e. a video in which the musical artist was not shown. (This form of video was rare as music videos were mainly intended to promote the artist.)
Read on about more bands in part 2.