For those who still cling to artists such as the Beatles as the greatest that’s ever been and reject most else, I’ve compiled a ‘hall of not-enough-acclaim’ to remedy that particularly debilitating musical affliction. There are simply some artists who have had such lasting influence on other bands, yet sufficient recognition has not yet been bestowed upon them. I do this not to trample underfoot (ha! Zeppelin reference!) the work of certain acts that have been acclaimed. Not that anyone really gives a damn.
4: The Flying Burrito Brothers
It’s a shame the Burrito Burrito Bros never received the popularity of the many other artists that they inspired. Their landmark 1967 country rock album The Gilded Palace of Sin received praise from the man: ”Their record instantly knocked me out.”, said Bob Dylan, leading one to come to the conclusion that The Flying Burrito Brothers were a band’s band, but their genius still resonates.
3: The Faces
Before Rod Stewart pranced around in spandex, squealing about hot legs and, well, spandex, he was churning out rootsy, rock and roll genius, whether it be part of his solo career (Never a Dull Moment, Every Picture Tells a Story) or with the Faces (formed out of remaining members of the previous Small Faces), without a doubt one of the most overlooked and joyous groups of performers in rock music there’s ever been. With their rough and ready classics ”A Nod is as Good as a Wink”, and ”Ooh La La” they cermented their place as a gem that most will find when digging deeper after finding the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin.
After his success with the predominantly acoustic trio Crosby Stills and Nash, guitar wizard Stephen Stills needed another band to carry his ‘musical vision’. Manassas, formed with former airborne burrito sibling, Chris Hillman, along with an array of session pros, only lasted about 2 years, but in that short two-album discography, there is one of the most brilliant country rock albums ever crafted. Their self-titled debut album is a double album, a sprawling and flowing masterwork. As Stills says, ”Manassas could play anything,”.
1: Little Feat
Arguably one of the most unique (and yet versatile) bands of the 70’s, Little Feat, fronted by the force of nature Lowell George, almost never put a foot wrong. After George was fired from the Mothers of Invention for writing a song that referenced weed, whites and wine, he decided to form a group with Bill Payne, recognised to be one of the finest rock and roll keyboardists and pianists alive, Roy Estrada, the ex-Zappa bassist, and Richie Hayward, downright one of the funkiest and most solid drummers of them all. Out of this initial line-up, two absolute classics were born. ”Little Feat”, the self titled debut from 1971, and Sailin Shoes (1972). George added other members to the band, and suddenly everything got a bit more funky. Almost every album is incredible. Jimmy Page called them his ”favourite American band”.