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					Nick Yates But with fame came death-defying drug and alcohol abuse among all five bandmembers (as
well as last-minute tour/concert cancellations) -- it appeared as though the more successful they
became, the more problems arose. To fill the void for a new GNR album, Geffen put out the eight-track
stopgap EP G N' R Lies in late 1988, amid widespread rumors of an impending band breakup. The album
was another big seller (on the strength of the hit acoustic ballad "Patience"), but Axl Rose came under
immense fire and criticism for the song "One in a Million," in which Rose had derogatory comments for
gays, blacks, and immigrants. Undeterred, Rose and co. regrouped and worked on their much-
anticipated follow-up to Appetite, which seemed to always miss its numerous projected release dates.
Adler was sacked during the recording, while 1991 finally saw the release of the two-part sophomore
effort Use Your Illusion. Both discs were massive hits, but the band appeared to have reinvented itself as
a bombastic and indulgent rock act, often recalling the music that their punk rock idols attempted to
destroy in the mid-'70s. A mammoth two-year tour followed (with Stradlin leaving the band mid-tour) in
which GNR found themselves losing their validity as a streetwise rock act in the face of the stripped-
down grunge movement (which included such acts as Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, et al.).

For her next album, Spears looked ahead to a not-so-distant future when both she and much of her
audience would be growing up. Released in late 2001, Britney tried to present the singer as a more
mature young woman, and was accompanied by mild hints that her personal life wasn't always
completely puritanical. It became her third straight album to debut at number one, although this time
around the singles weren't as successful; "I'm a Slave 4 U," "I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman," and
"Overprotected" all missed the Top Ten. In early 2002, Spears' feature-film debut, Crossroads, hit
theaters, but its commercial performance was somewhat disappointing; moreover, her romance with
Timberlake fizzled not long after. Spears next made a cameo appearance in Mike Myers' Austin Powers:
Goldmember, and contributed a remix of "Boys" to the soundtrack. Meanwhile, sales of Britney stalled
at four million copies, perhaps in part because a new breed of teenage female singer/songwriters, like
Michelle Branch and Avril Lavigne, was emerging as an alternative to the highly packaged teen queens.
Spears took a break from recording and performing for several months, and began work on a new album
in early 2003. The results, In the Zone, reflected a wish to be taken seriously as a mature (though still
highly sexualized) adult. Predictably, it topped the charts and launched several singles into orbit,
including the musically adventurous "Toxic," "Everytime," and "Me Against the Music."

Nick Yates : When the band went in to record their debut EP, the aforementioned purity was the goal.
They wanted the drums, for example, to sound as powerful and thunderous as those produced by Shel
Talmy on The Who's My Generation. And just before hitting the studio the band actually played that
album, among others, for their producer, noting, "That's the sound we want: a live sound."

And it comes through. The sound of a gritty, Mandrax-fueled rock band caught on disc -- leaping from
stomp 'n' shout rockers ("Revelation of Love,") to melodic, Beatles-inflected balladry ("Baby, I've Got
Time") and extended power-jamming ("New Slough.") It's the culmination of years of hard work and
persistence.

Björk's musical tastes were changed by the punk revolution of the late '70s; in 1979, she formed a post-
punk group called Exodus and, in the following year, she sang in Jam 80. In 1981, Björk and Exodus
bassist Jakob Magnusson formed Tappi Tikarrass, which released an EP, Bitid Fast I Vitid, on Spor later
that year; it was followed by the full-length Miranda in 1983. Following Tappi Tikarrass, she formed the
goth-tinged post-punk group KUKL with Einar Orn Benediktsson. KUKL released two albums, The Eye
(1984) and Holidays in Europe (1986), on Crass Records before the band metamorphosed into the
Sugarcubes in the summer of 1986.

Nick Yates Australia : Released in 1997, Whatever and Ever Amen was pure pop perfection -- easily one
of the year's best releases and perhaps the best power pop release of the '90s. The band's songwriting
and sound had improved even further, as evidenced by such gems as "One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn
Faces," "Fair," "Kate," and "Battle of Who Could Care Less," plus their whimsical tribute to breakups,
"Song for the Dumped." But it was the ballad "Brick" that broke the band commercially -- unlike the
majority of their material, which was upbeat, the song contained melancholic music and vocals, as the
lyrics told the story of a teenage couple who decides to get an abortion (it has been speculated that the
tale was autobiographical for Folds). The single didn't hit until several months after the album was
released, which meant that the band stayed on the road for well over a year, playing with such notables
as Dave Matthews, Beck, and as part of the 1997 H.O.R.D.E. festival -- earning Whatever platinum
status.

A second Hot Boys album, 1999's Guerrilla Warfare, arrived several months before Lil Wayne's solo
debut, Tha Block Is Hot. The solo record went double platinum, peaking at number three on Billboard's
album chart while spawning a Top Ten hit with the title track. Lil Wayne's second album, Lights Out
(2000), failed to match the success of its predecessor, nor did his third album 500 Degreez in 2002. By
this point, Lil Wayne was the only remaining Hot Boy on the Cash Money label -- all other members had
defected -- and the future didn't seem promising for him or his label. Consequently, Lil Wayne
purportedly scrapped work on his fourth album and instead released the recordings as an underground
mixtape, Da Drought (2003), his first of many to follow.

Nick Yates One of the most recognizable characters in modern-day R&B, Beyoncé first rose to fame as
the siren-voiced centerpiece of Destiny's Child before embarking on a multi-platinum solo career in
2001. Booming record sales, Grammy awards, movie roles, and a romance with rapper/CEO Jay-Z
combined to heighten her profile in the 2000s, making the singer a virtual mainstay in the entertainment
world. While some media outlets derisively championed Paris Hilton as "the next Marilyn Monroe,"
Beyoncé was a much better contender for the role, her glittering pop culture persona only matched by
her success onscreen and on record.

The third generation cassette sounded like crap and the recording methods were far from professional.
However, his unique voice (brooding pop to primal scream) and keen ear for a jaw-droppingly catchy
tune was evidence enough that this boy was the real deal. >/p>

Nic didn't win the contest but the tape fell into the right hands and within days, he had gone from
scratching a living to picking up a recording contract with respected British indie, One Little Indian, and a
management contract with Quest (home to Bjork). After years of accruing an enviable armory of songs
and assembling a fabulous band called 'The Thieves' (Shane Lawlor on bass and Jonny Aitken on drums),
there was no hanging about. They were promptly dispatched to Toe Rag Studios in London, the
analogue bastion of producer Liam Watson (The White Stripes, The Zutons, The Kills) who immediately
understood what Nic and the band were hoping to achieve. A couple of weeks later, Nic Armstrong &
The Thieves' debut album, The Greatest White Liar was born. Originally released in the U.K. during the
spring of 2004, the album garnered ecstatic reviews. The Sunday Times wrote "A 14-track stunner ... a
truly exceptional singer." The Guardian raved, "Melodies so instant they could arrive in a jar."

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