All artists covered by Spytunes are represented here
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Artists & Bands featured in the step by step courses
To learn about popular music and playing the guitar you have to study the big songs. The songs that everybody knows, the hits.
To write guitar parts, vocal melodies, chord progressions, and to arrange songs you must learn from the big names.
You must dig deep and find out what they did.
Behind every single song you learn in the step by step courses, there’s an artist or band with an entire catalog of music that you can learn from.
To find out more about them, follow the links below.
Similarly to Supertramp, 10cc was almost prog/rock/pop with long instrumental sections and lots of different styles mixed. Major hits include Dreadlock Holiday and I’m Not In Love.
Go to 10cc biography.
Among his hits, you’ll find Let’s Stay Together and Take Me To The River as well as covers of A Change Is Gonna Come, Unchained Melody, Light My Fire, and My Girl.
Go to Al Green biography.
Two of her better-known songs are I’m Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down and I Can’t Stand The Rain.
Go to Ann Peebles biography.
Born in Detroit and looking for a record deal in 1960, Aretha seemed like the perfect match for Berry Gordy’s emerging label Motown. However, Aretha’s dominant father/manager had other ideas.
Go to Aretha Franklin biography.
Barrett Strong was the first artist on the Motown label to have a hit. The song was Money (That’s What I Want). Performed by Barrett, it was written by the president of the label and a sign of what was to come.
As well as having his own solo career, Barrett also wrote the lyrics to many of Motown’s biggest hits.
Go to Barrett Strong biography.
The Beatles were the leaders of the so-called British Invasion. With their catchy Rock & Roll infused pop they took America by storm, creating hysteria everywhere they went.
Go to The Beatles biography.
Harper’s first album, Welcome To The Cruel World (94), was followed by Fight For Your Mind only a year later.
Go to Ben Harper biography.
Housing the label, the studio, and a house band all in the same building proved to be a masterstroke as Berry set out to discover the greatest superstars of our time.
Go to Berry Gordy biography.
Smith is often regarded as one of the greatest singers of her era (the 20s and 30s) and along with Louis Armstrong, a major influence on subsequent jazz vocalists.
Go to Bessie Smith biography.
Some of his best-known songs include Ain’t No Sunshine, Use Me, Lovely Day, Lean on Me, Grandma’s Hands, and Just The Two Of Us.
Go to Bill Withers biography.
Some might even say he invented modern songwriting.
Go to Bob Dylan biography.
Marley is the most widely known performer of reggae music and regarded by many as a prophet of the Rastafarian religion.
Few artists have had such widespread recognition as Bob Marley.
Go to Bob Marley biography.
Touring and recording with some of the most legendary blues artists of his time, Clarence Williams spent time with W.C Hardy, Bessie Smith, and Louis Armstrong.
Go to Clarence Williams biography.
Cream’s sound could be described as a hybrid of blues, pop, and psychedelic rock. Their hits include Crossroads, Sunshine Of Your Love, Strange Brew, and White Room.
Go to Cream biography.
Rice moved to Italy to start afresh, writing songs and busking his way around Europe.
Go to Damien Rice biography.
After a few more collaborations with Ronson, they finally made a solo album for Merriweather that was released in ’09.
His biggest hits include (Is There) Life On Mars?, Starman, Ziggy Stardust, Let’s Dance, China Girl, and Heroes.
Go to David Bowie biography.
Known for his melodic ability and fantastic tone, David Gilmour has always been considered one of the truly great British guitar players.
Go to David Gilmour biography.
After many years of struggling with unsuccessful releases on different labels, David ended up recording the album White Ladder in his bedroom.
Since the release, he has toured the world.
Go to David Gray biography.
When McLean’s indie label Media Arts got sold to United Artists, he got an unexpected chance to make his second album for a major label.
Go to Don McLean biography.
Among her most famed vocal performances are Dream A Little Dream Of Me, Que Sera, Sera, and Over The Rainbow.
Go to Doris Day biography.
Her most famous songs include Son Of A Preacher Man, Spooky, You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me, and I Just Don’t Know What To Do With Myself.
Go to Dusty Springfield biography.
Before the Songbook recordings, Ella pioneered scat-singing in the 40s as a devoted Bebop singer.
Go to Ella Fitzgerald biography.
Clapton’s long career has earned him not one, not two but three inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame (as a solo artist with Yardbirds and Cream).
Go to Eric Clapton biography.
Four years later, an amateur recording of Eva playing Over The Rainbow in her local pub was played on Top of the Pops 2, a TV show in the U.K.
Go to Eva Cassidy biography.
It took her 28 years until she got paid, but it wasn’t in royalties for writing the song.
Go to Fontella Bass biography.
“Frank Sinatra’s voice is pop music history. Like Presley and Dylan – Sinatra will last indefinitely. He virtually invented modern pop song phrasing.”
Go to Frank Sinatra biography.
Since their debut, The Fratellis have continued to gather new fans around the UK with their blues-influenced pop songs.
Go to The Fratellis biography.
The Funk Brothers
The band played on pretty much everything Motown released until ’72 when they relocated to Los Angeles and the band found a note on the hit factory door.
Go to The Funk Brothers biography.
Following the worldwide success, Gary Jules kept selling his own CDs on CD Baby as well as the song being released through a label.
Go to Gary Jules biography.
After a few more albums and years of touring, Green Day released American Idiot (04). This album firmly established them as one of the best-known bands in the world.
Go to Green Day biography.
Nobody has had more songs represented in the Great American Songbook than Harold Arlen.
Go to Harold Arlen biography.
Their hits are so many and their influence is so great it is a mystery how their names are not more widely known.
It was as if the stage was set for Jason to finally release the smash hit everyone knew he’d already written.
Go to Jason Mraz biography.
Amazingly, she had made an astonishing twelve films prior to The Wizard Of Oz.
Go to Judy Garland biography.
Among their hits, you find Lola, Sunny Afternoon and You Really Got Me, which fourteen years later would be covered by Van Halen using a much louder amp.
Go to The Kinks biography.
Often compared to Billie Holiday for her vocal similarities, Peyroux’s second solo album only had one original tune on it, Don’t Wait Too Long.
Go to Madeleine Peyroux biography.
During this short period of time, the band became world-famous by getting eleven top 40 singles from five albums.
Go to Mama Cass biography.
Martha and the Vandellas
Together they had seven years of hits including Jimmy Mack, Nowhere To Run, and perhaps Motown’s biggest hit of them all in Dancing In The Street.
Marvin’s hits include I Heard It Through The Grapevine, Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, Can I Get A Witness, and politically fueled What’s Going On.
Go to Marvin Gaye biography.
Things started to go sour when Berry Gordy started prioritizing other singers.
Go to Mary Wells biography.
Performing with his family from an early age in the Vaudeville tradition, Matt got to know American showbiz before he even learned to read or write.
Go to Matt Dennis biography.
With 8 #1 singles, 15 NME Awards, 9 Q Awards, 4 MTV Europe awards and 5 Brit awards. The Guinness Book Of Hit Singles And Albums declared Oasis the Most Successful Act of the 90s.
Go to Oasis biography.
Ocean Colour Scene
The album contained the band’s three biggest hits in The Riverboat Song, The Day We Caught The Train, and You’ve Got It Bad.
Go to Ocean Colour Scene biography.
The reaction from the crowd to Paolo’s naturally stunning voice caught the attention of his (soon to be) manager who happened to be in the crowd.
Go to Paolo Nutini biography.
His many hits include Homeward Bound, Scarborough Fair, You Can Call Me Al, The Boxer, Cecilia, Mrs. Robinson, and Graceland.
Go to Paul Simon biography.
Her most famous performances include Black Coffee, Big Spender, Why Don’t You Do Right? and Fever.
Go to Peggy Lee biography.
His biggest hits include River Deep, Mountain High, Unchained Melody, Be My Baby, The Long And Winding Road, My Sweet Lord, Let It Be, and Imagine.
Go to Phil Spector biography.
With their laid-back blues-influenced psychedelic rock, they had hits like Another Brick In The Wall, Comfortably Numb, Money, and Wish You Were Here.
Go to Pink Floyd biography.
Plain White T’s
Using a very persistent marketing technique, Hey There Delilah was pushed for over two years before it was finally #1.
Go to Plain White T’s biography.
When Robbie left Take That in 1995 to pursue a solo career, he had sold twenty-five million records with the group.
Go to Robbie Williams biography.
The Rolling Stones
They’ve had great success with tunes like Start Me Up, Satisfaction, Wild Horses, Angie, Jumpin’ Jack Flash, and Honky Tonk Women.
Go to The Rolling Stones biography.
The lead singer, Veronica Bennett, later known as Ronnie Spector, eventually married the eccentric producer who ended up taking her off a Beatles support tour only to lock her up in his mansion.
Go to The Ronettes biography.
Between 1957 and 1963, Sam Cooke managed twenty-nine top 40 hits including You Send Me, Chain Gang, A Change Is Gonna Come, Wonderful World, and Bring It On Home To Me.
Go to Sam Cooke biography.
Sam & Dave
Two years before they would eventually part ways, The Blues Brothers were released in the cinema, the film gave their career one final boost. However, neither Sam or Dave seemed happy about it.
Go to Sam & Dave biography.
Simon & Garfunkel
Their hits include Homeward Bound, Scarborough Fair, The Boxer, Mrs. Robinson, Bridge Over Troubled Water, and American Tune.
Go to Simon & Garfunkel biography.
Sixpence None The Richer
The band has had both breakups and reunions since.
Smokey’s hits include Shop Around, You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me, The Tears of a Clown, My Guy, My Girl, and Get Ready.
Go to Smokey Robinson biography.
Wilson has shared the stage alongside many soul and jazz legends, including Marvin Gaye, Sammy Davis Jr., Jimmy McGriff, and Jimmy Smith.
Go to Spanky Wilson biography.
Stevie’s natural groove and ability to so purely express music are untouched. His vocal phrasing and songwriting are second to none.
Go to Stevie Wonder biography.
Formed in 1977, The Police reached worldwide success after releasing their first single Roxanne only a year after they formed the band.
Go to Sting biography.
Lead by Diana Ross, they delivered number #1’s like Where Did Our Love Go, Baby Love, Stop! In the Name of Love, You Can’t Hurry Love, and You Keep Me Hangin’ On.
Go to The Supremes biography.
Tears For Fears
With hits like Mad World, Seeds Of Love and Everybody Wants To Rule The World, Tears For Fears were one of the biggest bands around in the 80s.
Go to Tears For Fears biography.
Early hits like My Girl were produced by Smokey Robinson, later they ventured into a more psychedelic soul with Papa Was A Rolling Stone.
Go to The Temptations biography.
Since their first debut album, A Storm In Heaven, critics have always favored The Verve as one of the best 90s British rock acts.
Go to The Verve biography.
Amazingly, these were the three first songs on the debut.
Go to Tracy Chapman biography.
Including detailed, but bite-sized explanations on how the music theory of each song is applied to the neck.
Go to Monthly subscription.