Will Champion (Coldplay)

Will Champion, English drummer and singer with the band Coldplay was born 31 July 1978. Coldplay were formed in 1996 by lead vocalist Chris Martin and lead guitarist Jonny Buckland at University College London. After they formed under the name Pectoralz, Guy Berryman joined the group as a bassist and they changed their name to Starfish. Will Champion joined as a drummer, backing vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist, completing the line-up. Manager Phil Harvey is often considered an unofficial fifth member. The band renamed themselves “Coldplay” in 1998, before recording and releasing three EPs; Safety in 1998, Brothers & Sisters as a single in 1999 and The Blue Room in the same year. The latter was their first release on a major label, after signing to Parlophone. They achieved worldwide fame with the release of the single “Yellow” in 2000, followed by their debut album released in the same year,PARACHUTES, which was nominated for the Mercury Prize. The band’s second album, A RUSH OF BLOOD TO THE HEAD (2002), was released to critical acclaim and won multiple awards, including NME’s Album of the Year.

Their next release, X&Y, the best-selling album worldwide in 2005, was met with mostly positive reviews upon its release, though some critics felt that it was inferior to its predecessor. The band’s fourth studio album, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends (2008), was produced by Brian Eno and released again to largely positive reviews, earning several Grammy nominations and wins at the 51st Grammy Awards. On 24 October 2011, they released their fifth studio album, MYLO XYLOTO, which received mixed to positive reviews, topped the charts in over 34 countries, and was the UK’s best-selling rock album of 2011 and Coldplay released the albums Ghost Stories in 2014 and “A Head full of dreams” in 2015.

Throughout their career Coldplay have won a number of music awards, including eight Brit Awards—winning Best British Group three times, five MTV Video Music Awards, and seven Grammy Awards from twenty five nominations. Coldplay have sold over 60 million records worldwide. In December 2009, Rolling Stone readers voted the group the fourth-best artist of the 2000s. Coldplay have been an active supporter of various social and political causes, such as Oxfam’s Make Trade Fair campaign and Amnesty International. The group have also performed at various charity projects such as Band Aid 20, Live 8, Sound Relief, Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief, The Secret Policeman’s Ball, and the Teenage Cancer Trust.

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J.K. Rowling

Best known as the author of the Harry Potter fantasy series, the British novelist Joanne “Jo” Rowling, OBE, (J. K. Rowling)was born 31 July 1965.The Harry Potter books have gained worldwide attention, won multiple awards, sold more than 400 million copies to become the best-selling book series in history and been the basis for a popular series of films, in which Rowling had overall approval on the scripts as well as maintaining creative control by serving as a producer on the final instalment. Rowling conceived the idea for the series on a train trip from Manchester to London in 1990.n 1995, Rowling finished her manuscript for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone on an old manual typewriter. Upon the enthusiastic response of Bryony Evens, a reader who had been asked to review the book’s first three chapters. Then In June 1997 Bloomsbury, a small Publishing house in London, published Philosopher’s Stone with an initial print run of 1,000 copies, 500 of which were distributed to libraries. In early 1998, an auction was held in the United States for the rights to publish the novel, and was won by Scholastic Inc for $1. Five months later, the book won its first award, a Nestlé Smarties Book Prize. In February, the novel won the prestigious British Book Award for Children’s Book of the Year, and later, the Children’s Book Award.

In October 1998, Scholastic published Philosopher’s Stone in the US under the title of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: a change Rowling claims she now regrets and would have fought if she had been in a better position at the time. Its sequel, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, was published in July 1998 and again Rowling won the Smarties Prize.In December 1999, the third novel, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, won the Smarties Prize, making Rowling the first person to win the award three times running. She later withdrew the fourth Harry Potter novel from contention to allow other books a fair chance. In January 2000, Prisoner of Azkaban won the inaugural Whitbread Children’s Book of the Year award, though it lost the Book of the Year prize to Seamus Heaney’s translation of Beowulf. The fourth book, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, was released simultaneously in the UK and the U.S. on 8 July 2000, and broke sales records in both countries, almost equalling the number Prisoner of Azkaban sold during its first year and Rowling was named author of the year in the 2000 British Book Awards.

The fifth Harry Potter novel, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was released three years later and The sixth book, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, was released on 16 July 2005. It too broke all sales records, selling nine million copies in its first 24 hours of release, and In 2006, Half-Blood Prince received the Book of the Year prize at the British Book Awards. The seventh and final Harry Potter book is Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was released on 21 July 2007 and broke its predecessor’s record as the fastest-selling book of all time and sold 11 million copies in the first day of release in the United Kingdom and United States. J.K Rowling’s latest book Fabulous beasts and where to find Them has also been turned into a film starring Eddie Redmayme as Newt Scarmander and a script for the stage play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has also been written which continue the story of the Wizards Harry Potter and Newt Scamander. Another novel in the series The Crimes of Gellert Grindlewald continues the adventures of Newt Scamander and the powerful dark wizard Gellert Grindlewald and is being published in November 2018.

The novels Goblet of Fire, Order of the Phoenix, Half Blood Prince, And Deathly Hallows have consecutively set records as the fastest-selling books in history. The series, totalling 4,195 pages, has been translated, in whole or in part, into 65 languages and have also gained recognition for sparking an interest in reading among the young at a time when children were thought to be abandoning books for computers and television, Time magazine also named her as a runner-up for its 2007 Person of the Year, noting the social, moral, and political inspiration she has given her fans. In October 2010, J. K. Rowling was named ‘Most Influential Woman in Britain’ by leading magazine editors. She has become a notable philanthropist, supporting such charities as Comic Relief, One Parent Families, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Great Britain, and Lumos (formerly the Children’s High Level Group). In 2012, Rowling’s novel The Casual Vacancy was published.

The novel The Cookoo’s Calling, written by Robert Galbraith was also published featuring the exciting adventures of Private Investigator Cormoron Strike. This shared certain similarities with J.K Rowling novels leading to all kinds of speculation until it was eventually revealed that Galbraith was a pseudonym for Rowling. The Cookoo’s Calling was followed by the novels The Silkworm and Career of Evil. A fourth novel entitled Leathal White featuring the further investigations of Cormoron Strike/Robin Ellacot by Robert Galbraith is being published 18 September 2018. Cookoo’s Calling, Silkworm and Career of Evil have also been adapted for Television starring Harmony Grainger.

Group Captain Leonard Cheshire V. OM DSO DFC

Best known for his work for disabled people, Group Captain Geoffrey Leonard Cheshire, Baron Cheshire, VC, OM, DSO and Two Bars, DFC sadly died 31 July 1992. He was Born 7 September 1917 In Chester, and was educated at the Dragon School, Oxford, Stowe School and Merton College, Oxford. Whilst at Oxford he became friends with John Niel Randle. On one occasion at Oxford he was bet half a pint of beer that he could not walk to Paris with no more than a few pennies in his pocket; he won his bet. He stayed in Germany in 1936 with a family in Potsdam and whilst there, witnessed an Adolf Hitler rally. Cheshire caused great offence by pointedly refusing to give the Nazi salute. Cheshire graduated jurisprudence in 1939.

Having learnt basic piloting skills with the Oxford University Air Squadron he joined the RAF following the outbreak of the Second World War. He was initially posted in June 1940 to 102 Squadron, flying Armstrong Whitworth Whitley medium bombers, from RAF Driffield. In November 1940, Cheshire was awarded the DSO for flying his badly damaged bomber back to base. In January 1941, Cheshire completed his tour of operations, but then volunteered immediately for a second tour. He was posted to 35 Squadron with the brand new Handley Page Halifax and completed his second tour early in 1942, by then, a Squadron Leader. August 1942 saw a return to operations as CO of No. 76 Squadron RAF. The squadron had recently suffered high losses operating the Halifax, and Cheshire immediately tackled the low morale of the unit by ordering an improvement in the performance of the squadron aircraft by removing the mid-upper and nose gun turrets along with exhaust covers and other weighty non-essential equipment. This allowed the bombers to fly higher and faster. Losses soon fell and morale rose accordingly. Many Halifax bombers also crashed as they were also unstable in a “corkscrew” which was the manoeuvre used by bomber pilots to escape night fighters. So The test pilot Capt. Eric Brown DSC, flying uncrewed except for an accompanying flight engineer, undertook risky tests to establish the cause. The fault was in the Halfax’s rudder design and Cheshire became enraged when Handley Page at first declined to make modifications.

During his time as the Commanding Officer of 76 Squadron at RAF Linton, Cheshire took the trouble to recognise and learn the name of every single man on the base. He was determined to increase the efficiency of his squadron and improve the chances of survival of its crews, to this end he constantly lectured crews on the skills needed to achieve those aims. The crews knew he was devoted to their interests and when, on an operation to Nuremberg, they were told to cross the French Coast at 2,000 ft (the most dangerous height for light flak). Cheshire simply refused, stating they would fly at 200 ft or 20,000 ft. Typically, Cheshire inspired great loyalty and respect among 76 Squadron.

In 1943, Cheshire published an account of his first tour of operations in his book, Bomber Pilot which tells of his posting to RAF Driffield and the story of flying his badly damaged bomber (“N for Nuts”) back to base. In the book, Cheshire fails to mention being awarded theDSO for this, but does describe the bravery of a badly burnt member of his crew.Cheshire became Station Commander RAF Marston Moor in March 1943, as the youngest Group Captain in the RAF, although the job was never to his liking and he pushed for a return to an operational command. These efforts paid off with a posting as commander of the legendary 617 “Dambusters” Squadron in September 1943. While with 617, Cheshire helped pioneer a new method of marking enemy targets for Bomber Command’s 5 Group, flying in at a very low level in the face of strong defences, using first, the versatile de Havilland Mosquito, then a North American Mustang fighter.On the morning before a planned raid by 617 squadron to Siracourt, a crated Mustang turned up at Woodhall Spa, it was a gift for Cheshire from his admirers in the U.S. 8th Air Force. Cheshire had the aircraft assembled and the engine tested as he was determined to test the possibilities of the fighter as a marker aircraft. He took off, in what was his first flight in the aircraft, and caught up with 617′s Lancasters before they reached the target. Cheshire then proceeded to accurately mark the target (a V-1 storage depot) for the heavies which landed three Tallboys on it. He then flew back and landed the Mustang in the dark.

This development work in target marking was the subject of some severe intraservice politics; Cheshire was encouraged by his 5 Group Commander Air Vice-Marshal Ralph Cochrane, although the 8 Group Pathfinder AOC Air Vice-Marshal Don Bennett saw this work as impinging on the responsibilities of his own command.Cheshire was nearing the end of his fourth tour of duty in July 1944, having completed a total of 102 missions, when he was awarded the Victoria Cross. He was the only one of the 32 VC airmen to win the medal for an extended period of sustained courage and outstanding effort, rather than a single act of valour. His citation noted:In four years of fighting against the bitterest opposition he maintained a standard of outstanding personal achievement, his successful operations being the result of careful planning, brilliant execution and supreme contempt for danger – for example, on one occasion he flew his Mustang in slow ‘figures of eight’ above a target obscured by low cloud, to act as a bomb-aiming mark for his squadron. Cheshire displayed the courage and determination of an exceptional leader. Itlso noted a raid in which he had marked a target, flying a Mosquito at low level against “withering fire”.

When Cheshire went to Buckingham Palace to receive his VC from King George VI, he was accompanied by Norman Jackson who was also due to receive his award on that day. Cheshire insisted that despite the difference in rank (Group Captain and Warrant Officer), they should approach the King together. Jackson remembers that Cheshire said to the King, “This chap stuck his neck out more than I did – he should get his VC first!” The King had to keep to protocol, but Jackson commented he would “never forget what Cheshire said.” Cheshire was, in his day, both the youngest Group Captain in the service and, following his VC, the most decorated. In his book, Bomber Command (2010), Sir Max Hastings states “Cheshire was a legend in Bomber Command, a remarkable man with an almost mystical air about him, as if he somehow inhabited a different planet from those about him, but without affectation or pretension”. Cheshire would always fly on the most dangerous operations, he never took the easy option of just flying on the less risky ops to France, a habit which caused some COs to be referred to derisively as “François” by their men. Cheshire had no crew but would fly as “Second Dickey”, with the new and nervous to give them confidence. Cheshire had strong feelings on any crew displaying LMF (Lack of Moral Fibre, a euphemism for cowardice) when subject to the combat stress of Bomber Command’s sorties (many of which had loss rates of 5% or more). Thus Cheshire transferred LMF cases out of his squadron almost instantaneously (like every other RAF squadron did at the time) This was also because he argued that a man who thought he was doomed would collapse or bail out when his aircraft was hit, whereas Cheshire thought if he could survive the initial shock of finding his aircraft damaged, he had more of a chance of survival. On his 103rd mission, Cheshire was the official British observer of the nuclear bombing of Nagasaki.His vantage point was in the support B-29 Big Stink. After serving as the British observer on theNagasaki nuclear attack he resigned from the Air Force. However During the Second World War he became a highly decorated British RAF pilot. Among the honours Cheshire received as a pilot is the Victoria Cross. He was the youngest Group Captain in the RAF and one of the most highly decorated pilots of the War, .

After the war, Cheshire lived with his wife Joan at the “VIP (for Vade in Pacem – Go in Peace) Colony” he established for veterans and war widows at Gumley Hall, Bedford Gardens – one of several new ventures he started after leaving the RAF in 1946. Joan followed him to Le Court, near Petersfield,Hampshire (a mansion which Cheshire had bought from his aunt) where, with three children of her own, Joan took charge of the nursery. Cheshire and Joan Botting subsequently investigated many religions, from Seventh Day Adventist to Methodist to “High Anglo-Catholic” – but none of them provided the answers they were looking for. Cheshire’s aim in establishing the VIP Colony was to provide an opportunity for ex-servicemen and women and their families to live together, each contributing to the community what they could, in order to help their transition back into civilian life. He hoped that training, prosperity and fulfillment would result from united effort and mutual support. He saw the community as one way of continuing to work towards world peace. The community, however, did not prosper and the project came to an end in 1947.Atthe beginning of 1948, Cheshire heard about the case of Arthur Dykes, who had been one of Cheshire’s original “VIP” community at Le Court, and was suffering from cancer. Dykes asked Cheshire to give him some land to park a caravan until he recovered, but Cheshire discovered that Dykes was terminally ill and that this diagnosis was concealed from him. He told Dykes the real position and invited him to stay at Le Court. Cheshire learned nursing skills and was soon approached to take in a second patient, the 94-year-old bedridden wife of a man who had just been taken off to hospital after suffering a stroke. She was followed by others, some coming to stay and others to help. Although Le Court had no financial support, and his situation was financially perilous most of the time, money somehow always seemed to arrive in the nick of time to stave off disaster.

Dykes died in August 1948. After completing the arrangements for his funeral, Cheshire idly picked up a book a friend had sent him. It was One Lord, One Faith by Vernon Johnson, a former High Anglican clergyman who, against every cherished instinct and prejudice, had converted to Roman Catholicism because, as he put it, “I could not resist the claim of the Catholic Church to be the one true Church founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ to guard and teach the truth. Joan Botting had converted to Jehovah’s Witnesses.On Christmas Eve, 1948, Cheshire was received into the Catholic Church. The next day, Joan Botting and her children, Mavis, Gary and Elizabeth, moved out of Le Court for good. At the beginning of 1949, eight patients were staying at Le Court.Six months later, there were 28. Cheshire dedicated the rest of his life to supporting disabled people, combining this with lecturing on conflict resolution.

In 1948, Cheshire founded the charity Leonard Cheshire Disability, which provides support to disabled people throughout the world. It is now one of the top 30 British charities. Other organisations set up by Leonard Cheshire are:The Ryder-Cheshire Foundation,set up by Leonard Cheshire and his wife Sue Ryder at the time of their marriage in 1959. this deals with the rehabilitation of disabled people, through ENRYCH and the prevention and treatment of tuberculosis, through Target Tuberculosis. In 1953, Cheshire founded the Raphael Pilgrimage in order to enable sick and disabled people to travel to Lourdes. The Leonard Cheshire Disability & Inclusive Development Centre is a joint project by Leonard Cheshire Disability and University College London. In 1991 he was created Baron Cheshire in recognition of his charitable work and Cheshire also founded the Memorial Fund for Disaster Relief, for whom the Roger Waters concert “The Wall – Live in Berlin” was held. Cheshire opened this concert by blowing a Second World War whistle. Cheshire was also concerned about future remembrance and was influential in the concept of the National Memorial Arboretum, founded by David Childs and The amphitheatre at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas is dedicated to the memory of Leonard Cheshire.

Norman Cook (Fatboy Slim)

Superstar DJ Norman Cook was born in Bromley, on 31 July 1963 He was raised in Reigate, Surrey, England, and educated at Reigate Grammar School. He played drums in Disque Attack, a British new wave-influenced rock band. When frontman Charlie Alcock was told by his parents that he had to give up the band to concentrate on his O levels, Cook took over as lead vocalist. At The Railway Tavern in Reigate, Cook met Paul Heaton with whom he formed the Stomping Pondfrogs. At 18, Cook went to Brighton Polytechnic to read a B.A. in English, politics, and sociology, where he achieved a 2:1 in the British Studies honours course. He also regularly appeared at the Brighton Belle and the students’ favourite The Basement, where known as DJ Quentox he began laying the base for Brighton’s hip hop scene.

In 1985, Cook’s friend Paul Heaton formed a guitar band called The Housemartins. Their bassist left on the eve of their first national tour, so Cook agreed to move to Hull to join them. The band soon had a hit single with “Happy Hour”, and two albums, London 0 Hull 4 and The People Who Grinned Themselves to Death. They also reached number one just before Christmas 1986 with a version of “Caravan of Love”, originally a hit the year before for Isley-Jasper-Isley. However, by 1988 they had split up. Heaton and the band’s drummer Dave Hemingway went on to form The Beautiful South, while Cook moved back to Brighton to pursue his interest in the style of music he preferred. He started working with young studio engineer Simon Thornton, with whom he continues to make records.

Cook achieved his first solo hit in 1989, featuring his future Beats International member MC Wildski, called “Blame It on the Bassline”. Credited to “Norman Cook feat. MC Wildski”. He formed Beats International, a loose confederation of studio musicians including vocalists Lindy Layton and Lester Noel, rappers D.J. Baptiste and MC Wildski, and keyboardist Andy Boucher. Their first album, Let Them Eat Bingo, included the number one single “Dub Be Good to Me”, which caused a legal dispute Concerning infringement of copyright due to the use of unauthorised samples: the bassline was a note-for-note lift from “The Guns of Brixton” by The Clash and the lyrics borrowed heavily from “Just Be Good to Me” by The S.O.S. Band and The subsequent court case bankrupted Cook.

In 1991 Cook released The album Excursion on the Version, an exploration of dub and reggae music. Cook then formed Freak Power with horn player Ashley Slater and singer Jesse Graham. They released their debut album Drive-Thru Booty in 1994, which contained the single “Turn On, Tune In, Cop Out”. The cut was picked up by the Levi’s company for use in a multimillion-dollar advertising campaign. In 1996, Cook re-joined Freak Power for their second album, More of Everything for Everybody. Cook enlisted help from producer friends Tim Jeffery and JC Reid to create a house music album under the name Pizzaman. The 1995 Pizzamania album spawned three UK Top 40 hits: “Trippin’ on Sunshine”, “Sex on the Streets”, and “Happiness”. “Happiness”. Cook also formed the group The Mighty Dub Katz along with Gareth Hansome (aka GMoney), Cook’s former flatmate. Together they started the Boutique Nightclub in Brighton, formerly known as the Big Beat Boutique and released the single “Magic Carpet Ride”.

In 1996 Cook adopted the new pseudonym Fatboy Slim and released his second solo album, Better Living Through Chemistry contained the Top 40 UK hit “Everybody Needs a 303”. Fatboy Slim’s next work was the single “The Rockafeller Skank”, released prior to the album You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby, both of which were released in 1998. “Praise You”, also from this album, was Cook’s first UK solo number one. Its music video, starring Spike Jonze, won numerous awards. In 1999, he performed “Praise You” at the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards in New York City, and won three awards, including the award for Breakthrough Video.[9] The 2000 album also included “Sunset (Bird of Prey)”. In 2000, Fatboy Slim released his third studio album, Halfway Between the Gutter and the Stars, and featured two collaborations with Macy Gray and “Weapon of Choice”, which also was made into an award-winning music video, starring Christopher Walken.At the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards in New York, Fatboy Slim won six awards for “Weapon of Choice”, the most awards at the ceremony.

In 2003, he produced Crazy Beat and Gene by Gene from the Blur album Think Tank, and in 2004, Palookaville was Cook’s first studio album for four years. Fatboy Slim’s greatest hits album, Why Try Harder, was released in 2006 and comprises eighteen tracks, including ten Top 40 singles, a couple of Number Ones and two exclusive new tracks – “Champion Sound” and “That Old Pair of Jeans”. Then In 2006, Cook travelled to Cuba, and wrote and produced two original Cuban crossover tracks for the album The Revolution Presents: Revolution. “Shelter” (which featured long term collaborator Lateef); and “Siente Mi Ritmo”, featuring Cuba’s top female vocal group Sexto Sentido, recordedat Cuba’s legendary EGREM Studios, home of the Buena Vista Social Club, and featured a band made up of Cuba’s top young musicians, including Harold Lopez Nussa. Another song “Guaguanco” was released by the Mighty Dub Katz

The Brighton Port Authority debuted in 2008 with a collaboration with David Byrne and Dizzee Rascal titled “Toe Jam”, along with a music video featuring nude dancers with censor bars on them. The soundtrack album for the TV series Heroes also includes The Brighton Port Authority’s track “He’s Frank (Slight Return)” (a cover of a song by The Monochrome Set), with Iggy Pop as vocalist. The video for this track features a near life size puppet of Iggy Pop. An alternative club version was released under the “He’s Frank (Washing Up)” title with the video featuring some footage of Iggy Pop acting and saying lyrics.

The band’s first album, I Think We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat was released in 2009 and, is the first to be co-produced by Cook’s longtime engineer Simon Thornton, who also sings on one track. Cook also released a mix album in 2010 titled The Legend Returns as a covermount album in the June 2010 issue of Mixmag. Cook returned as Fatboy Slim when performing at Ultra Music Festival in Miami in March 2012. He also performed at the 2012 Summer Olympics Closing Ceremony, and at Brighton Pride. In 2011 Cook produced the single “Mama Do the Hump” by fellow Brighton band Rizzle Kicks. Cook has also been responsible for successful remixes for Cornershop, Beastie Boys, A Tribe Called Quest, and Wildchild. In 2008, he did a remix of the track “Amazonas” for the charity Bottletop. In 2013 Cook released the song “Eat, Sleep, Rave, Repeat Which Calvin Harris remixed, with Beardyman providing the vocals. In May 2015, Cook compiled The Fatboy Slim Collection,

Bill Berry (R.E.M.)

Bill Berry the drummer with Alternative Rock Band R.E.M was born 31st July 1958. REM First emerged in 1980s from the college radio scene, and at first they were scrappy and lo-fi, abrasive but somehow beautiful, and the development of this sound helped them become bona-fide stadium-fillers later on in their their career. They played their first gig in a church on 5 April 1980 under the name of Twisted Kites, and they played with a mixture of post-punk poise and jangly guitars which made them seem simultaneously cutting-edge and a romantic reminder of rock’s past and they soon became popular. Their music was influenced by their small-town surroundings and is closer to real life and that “It’s great just to bring out an emotion… better to make someone feel nostalgic or wistful or excited or sad.”

Commercially speaking, their breakthrough came when they released the single “The One I Love” which was taken from the 1987 Album “Document”. The next single “Freaks” saw REM outgrow the university centred underground music scene which had so-far sustained them, and they hit the big time, and Their next release 1988′s “Green” was released by a major label and was seen by many as their true peak. Lyrically, the album saw the band dealing with a number of important issues – World leader Pretend is a deft criticism of the remote ruling classes, while Pop Song ’89 tackles claims the band had sold out by purporting to be, in Stipe’s words, “the prototype of, and hopefully the end of, a pop song”.The next album “Out of Time” proved to be an even bigger hit. Featuring the career-defining singles Losing My Religion, which some regard to be the touchstone of alternative rock and Shiny Happy People, featuring fellow Athenian Kate Pierson from the B52′s.

Michael Stipe’s inner demons also came to the fore In the next album, 1992′s Automatic For The People, which is A more sombre, reflective album that features string arrangements by Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones. This album was also to yeild some wonderful songs like “The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight” and “Everybody Hurts”.The band’s next two albums Monster and New Adventures In Hi-Fi were largely recorded live – some tracks taken from soundchecks taken during the massive stadium tour, and featured some new classics, such as Let Me In, a tribute to the recently deceased Kurt Cobain. Unfortunately drummer Bill Berry suffered a brain aneurysm and quit the band in 1997, and things never quite returned to the giddy heights of “Out of Time” and Moments of brilliance, such as The Great Beyond or Imitation Of Life, became less frequently. Leading some band members to pursue side-projects, Stipe increasingly pursued his film work, while Peter Buck concentrated more on his country supergroup Tired Pony with GaryLightbody (Snow Patrol).

REM continued to be unbeatable live performers to the end and their final album, Collapse Into Now, was hailed, like many of its predecessors, as a return to form. Certainly, the band sounded rejuvenated and a lot more energetic than on some of the previous work which was released in the mid-2000s. In addition They also recently re-released an earlier album ”Lifes Rich Pageant” which is also a great album. In 2011 , REM released a definitive greatest hits Double CD album, entitled: “R.E.M., PART LIES, PART HEART, PART TRUTH, PART GARBAGE, 1982 – 2011. ″ through Warner Bros, which contained tracks from the band’s entire back catalogue, including tracks from both the IRS and Warner years plus three brand-new songs, as a final farewell.

Sean Moore (Manic Street Preachers)

Welsh drummer, percussionist and occasional trumpet player of the Welsh alternative rock band Manic Street Preachers Sean Anthony Moore was born 30 July 1968 in Pontypool, Torfaen, he attended Oakdale Comprehensive near Blackwood with his cousin James Dean Bradfield, and other future band members Nicky Wire and Richey Edwards.

The Manic Street Preachers were formed in 1986 at Oakdale Comprehensive School, in Blackwood, Caerphilly and consisting of cousins James Dean Bradfield (lead vocals, lead guitar), and Sean Moore (drums, percussion, soundscapes), plus Nicky Wire (bass guitar, lyrics). They are often colloquially known as The Manics. Bradfield and the slightly older Moore are cousins, and shared bunkbeds in the Bradfield family home after Moore’s parents divorced.

During the bands early years, Bradfield, alongside the classically trained Moore, primarily wrote the music while Wire focused on the lyrics. The origin of the band’s name remains unclear, but the most often-told story relates that Bradfield, while busking one day in Cardiff, got into an altercation with someone (sometimes said to be a homeless man) who asked him “What are you, boyo, some kind of manic street preacher? Original bassist Flicker (Miles Woodward) left the band in early 1988. The band continued as a three-piece, with Wire switching from guitar to bass, and in 1988 they released their first single, “Suicide Alley”. Despite its recording quality, this punk ode to youthful escape provides an early insight into both Bradfield’s guitar work and Moore’s live drumming, the latter of which would be absent from the band’s first LP.[10] The Manics intended to restore revolution to rock and roll at a time when Britain was dominated by shoegaze and acid house. The NME gave “Suicide Alley” an enthusiastic review, citing a press release by Richey Edwards: “We are as far away from anything in the ’80s as possible.”After the release of “Suicide Alley,” Edwards joined the band on rhythm guitar and contributed to lyrics alongside Wire. Edwards also designed record sleeves and artwork, and drove the band to and from gigs.

In 1990 the Manic Street Preachers signed a deal with label Damaged Goods Records for one EP. The four-track New Art Riot E.P. attracted as much media interest for its attacks on fellow musicians as for the actual music. With the help of Hall or Nothing management, the Manics signed to indie label Heavenly Records. The band recorded their first single for the label, entitled “Motown Junk”.Their next single, “You Love Us”, sampled Krzysztof Penderecki’s “Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima” as well as Iggy Pop. The video featured Nicky Wire in drag as Marilyn Monroe and contained visual references to the film Betty Blue and to Aleister Crowley. In an interview with then-NME journalist Steve Lamacq, Edwards carved the phrase “4REAL” into his arm with a razor blade to prove their sincerity. He was taken to hospital and received seventeen stitches.

As a result of their controversial behaviour, the Manics quickly became favourites of the British music press, which helped them build a rabidly dedicated following. They signed toColumbia Records of Sony Music UK and began work on their debut album.Following the release of their first single, “Suicide Alley”, the band was joined by Richey Edwards as co-lyricist and rhythm guitarist. The band’s early albums were in a punk vein, eventually broadening to a greater alternative rock sound, whilst retaining a leftist politicisation. Their early combination of androgynous glam imagery and lyrics about “culture, alienation, boredom and despair” has gained them a loyal following and cult status.

With their debut album, Generation Terrorists, the Manic Street Preachers proclaimed it would be the “greatest rock album ever”, it contains the songs; “Nat West-Barclays-Midlands-Lloyds”, “Motorcycle Emptiness”,”Little Baby Nothing” a duet between Traci Lords and Bradfield, And Everything Must Go. The band also made a cover version of the song ′′Suicide is Painless′′. However the album’s failed to meet this level of success, then Richey Edwards disappeared in February 1995 and Edwards was legally “presumed dead” in 2008

The Manic Street Preachers next album  Gold Against the Soul, displayed a more commercial, grungy sound which alienated some fans. The group’s third album, The Holy Bible features an alternative rock sound and incorporates various elements from other musical genres, such as hard rock, British punk, post-punk, new wave, industrial, art rock and gothic rock. Lyrically the album deals with subjects including prostitution, American consumerism, British imperialism, freedom of speech, the Holocaust, self-starvation, serial killers, the death penalty, political revolution, childhood, fascism and suicide. There was also an element of autobiographic subjects, like in the song “4st 7lb” where the lyrics clearly tackle Richey’s own experience and life. In 1996 the Manic Street Preachers released their next album “Everything must go” without Richey, featuring the songs Everything must go, Swimming Horses, Design for Life, Australia”, “Everything Must Go” and “Kevin Carter”. The album was shortlisted for the 1996 Mercury Prize award for best album, and won the band two BRIT Awards for Best British Band and Best British Album. In 1997 the band performed a special gig at the Manchester Arena for more than 20,000 people.

In 1997 the Manic Street Preachers released thier fifth album This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours featuring the songs  “You Stole the Sun from My Heart”, “Tsunami” ,”The Everlasting” and “If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next”.This song’s theme is taken from the Spanish Civil War, and the idealism of Welsh volunteers who joined the left-wing International Brigades fighting for the Spanish Republic against Francisco Franco’s military rebels. The song takes its name from a Republican poster of the time, displaying a photograph of a young child killed by the Nationalists under a sky of bombers with the stark warning “If you tolerate this, your children will be next” written at the bottom. The song is in the Guinness World Records as the number one single with the longest title without brackets.

In1999The Manics won Best British Band and Album awards at the BRIT Awards, This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours was also shortlisted for the 1999 Mercury Prize and the band received a further nomination in the category of Best UK & Ireland Act in the 1999 MTV Europe Music Awards, where the band performed live the single If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next. In the NME Awards in 1999, the band won every single big prize, Best Band, Best Album, Best Live Act, Best Single and Best Video, nailing also the prize for Best Band In The World Today in the Q Awards 1998. The album went to number 1 of the band in the UK, remaining at the top of the albums chart for 3 weeks, selling 136,000 copies in the first week and spending a total of 74 weeks in the Album Chart. The title is a quotation taken from a speech given by Aneurin Bevan, a Labour Party politician from Wales.

After headlining Glastonbury Festival, T In the Park and V Festival, the band played the Leaving the 20th Century concert at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on 31 December 1999, the first concert to be held there, with 57,000 people attending and the final song being broadcast around the world by satellite as part of 2000 Today.

In 2000, they released the limited edition single “The Masses Against the Classes”. And In 2001, they became the first popular Western rock band to play in Cuba (at the Karl Marx Theater), and met with president Fidel Castro. Their concert and trip to Cuba was documented and then released as a DVD entitled Louder Than War. At this concert they revealed many tracks from their upcoming sixth album, Know Your Enemy, which was released on 19 March. The left-wing political convictions of the Manic Street Preachers are apparent in many of the album’s songs, such as “Baby Elián” as they comment on the strained relations between the United States and Cuba as seen in the Elián González affair, The album also Features tribute to singer and civil rights activist Paul Robeson in the song “Let Robeson Sing”, James Dean Bradfield wrote the song “Ocean Spray” about his mother’s battle with cancer. Other songs include So Why So Sad” and “Found That Soul”. The Manics also headlined Reading and Leeds Festival.A greatest hits (plus remixes) album Forever Delayed was released in 2002, containing two new songs, “Door to the River” and the single “There by the Grace of God”. Several songs were edited for length (“Motorcycle Emptiness,” “You Love Us”, “Australia,” “Everything Must Go,” “Little Baby Nothing,” and “The Everlasting”)

Despite enduring many tragedies The band went on to gain critical and commercial success And Throughout their career, the Manics have headlined several festivals including Glastonbury, T in the Park, V Festival and Reading, won eleven NME Awards, eight Q Awards and four BRIT Awards. They have been nominated for the Mercury Prize in 1996 and 1999, and have had one nomination for the MTV Europe Music Awards. The group has reached number 1 in the UK charts three times: in 1998, with the album This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours and the single “If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next”, and again in 2000 with the single “The Masses Against the Classes”. They have sold more than ten million albums worldwide. Sean Moore may be the quietest of the Manics, but according to his bandmates he is their “musical driving force”. In their early days, he was often mistaken for a girl due to his long hair, naturally effeminate features (as opposed to Nicky Wire and Richey Edwards’ arguably more forced androgynism) and small stature. He is the only current member of the Manic Street Preachers who has not released a solo album.

Maeve Binchy

Best known for her sympathetic and often humorous portrayal of small-town life in Ireland, her descriptive characters, her interest in human nature, and her often clever surprise endings, the Irish novelist, playwright, short story writer, columnist, speaker and described as one of Ireland’s best-loved and most recognisable and well known writers Anne Maeve Binchy sadly died 30 July 2012 at age 73

Maeve Binchy was born on 28 May 1939 in Dalkey, the oldest of the four children, her brother, William Binchy, became Regius Professor of Laws at Trinity College, Dublin, he also had two sisters: Irene “Renie” (who predeceased Binchy), and Joan, Mrs Ryan. Her uncle was the historian D. A. Binchy (1899–1989). Binchy was Educated at St Anne’s Dún Laoghaire, and later at Holy Child Convent, Killiney, she went on to study at University College Dublin (where she earned a bachelor’s degree in history), she worked as a teacher of French, Latin, and history at various girls’ schools, then a journalist at The Irish Times, and later became a writer of novels, short stories, and dramatic works.

In 1963, Binchy began working in a Jewish school in Dublin, teaching French with an Irish accent to kids, primarily Lithuanians. The parents there gave me a trip to Israel as a present. I had no money, so I went and worked in a kibbutz – plucking chickens, picking oranges. My parents were very nervous; here I was going out to the Middle East by myself. I wrote to them regularly, telling them about the kibbutz. My father and mother sent my letters to a newspaper, which published them. So I thought, It’s not so hard to be a writer. Just write a letter home. After that, I started writing other travel articles. Trip to Israel profoundly affected both her career and her faith.

Binchey met her future husband children’s author Gordon Snell when recording a piece for Woman’s Hour in London. Snell was working As a freelance producer with the BBC. Their friendship blossomed into a cross-border romance, with her in Ireland and him in London, until she eventually secured a job in London through The Irish Times.She and Snell married in 1977 and, after living in London for a time, moved to Ireland. They lived together in Dalkey, not far from where she had grown up, until Binchy’s death.

Binchy’s “writing career began by accident in the early 1960s, after she spent time on a kibbutz in Israel. Her father was so taken with her letters home that “he cut off the ‘Dear Daddy’ bits,”Donal Lynch observed of her first paying journalism role: the Irish Independent and commissioned her. Sadly In 1968, her mother died of cancer aged 57 Binchy also joined the staff at The Irish Times, and worked there as a writer, columnist, the first Women’s Page editor then the London editor, later reporting for the paper from London before returning to Ireland. Binchy’s first published book is a compilation of her newspaper articles titled My First Book and was Published in 1970, however it is now out of print. Binchy’s father died in 1971, so she sold the family house and moved to a bedsit in Dublin. Her literary career began with two books of short stories: Central Line (1978) and Victoria Line (1980).

Binchy published her debut novel Light a Penny Candle in 1982. In 1983, it sold for the largest sum ever paid for a first novel: £52,000. The timing was fortuitous, as Binchy and her husband were two months behind with the mortgage at the time. Most of Binchy’s stories are set in Ireland, dealing with the tensions between urban and rural life, the contrasts between England and Ireland, and the dramatic changes in Ireland between World War II and the present day. While some of Binchy’s novels are complete stories (Circle of Friends, Light a Penny Candle), many others revolve around a cast of interrelated characters (The Copper Beech, Silver Wedding, The Lilac Bus, Evening Class, and Heart and Soul). Her later novels, Evening Class, Scarlet Feather, Quentins, and Tara Road, feature a cast of recurring characters. Five further novels were published before her death: Quentins (2002), Nights of Rain and Stars (2004), Whitethorn Woods (2006), Heart and Soul (2008), and Minding Frankie (2010). Her final novel, A Week in Winter, was published posthumously in 2012. In 2014 a collection of 36 unpublished short stories that she had written over a period of decades was published under the title Chestnut Street. She also wrote several dramas specifically for radio and the silver screen. Additionally, several of her novels and short stories were adapted for radio, film, and television.

Sadly from 2002, Binchy began suffering health problems related to a heart condition”, which inspired her to write Heart and Soul. The book about (what Binchy terms) “a heart failure clinic” in Dublin and the people involved with it, reflects many of her own experiences and observations in the hospital. Binchy was a prolific writer “In all, Binchy published 16 novels, four short-story collections, a play and a novella. A 17th novel, A Week in Winter, was published posthumously. Her novels, were translated into 37 languages,and  sold more than 40 million copies worldwide, she finished 3rd in a 2000 poll for World Book Day, ahead of Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, and Stephen King. Binchy died on 30 July 2012. She was 73 and had suffered from various maladies, including painful osteoarthritis. As a result of the arthritis she had a hip operation. A month before her death she suffered a severe spinal infection (acute discitis), and finally succumbed to a heart attack. Gordon was by her side when she died in a Dublin hospital. Despite being an atheist, Binchy was given a traditional Requiem Mass which took place at the Church of the Assumption, in her hometown of Dalkey. She was later cremated at Mount Jerome Cemetery and Crematorium.

She received tributes from many Fellow writers including Ian Rankin, Jilly Cooper,Anne Rice, Jeffrey Archer, John Banville, Roddy Doyle,and Colm Tóibín. Many Politicians also paid tribute to Maeve Binchey Including President Michael D. Higgins Who stated: “Our country mourns.” Taoiseach Enda Kenny said, “Today we have lost a national treasure.” While Minister of State for Disability, Equality and Mental Health Kathleen Lynch, said Binchy was, as worthy an Irish writer as James Joyce or Oscar Wilde.