Reliving 10 Of Classic Rock’s Remarkable Trios
Three Is The Magic Number
In rock ‘n roll, sometimes less is more. The following bands have proven that it’s never about the numbers especially since each of their member displayed virtuosity and brilliance. So we’re revisiting these trios, though some were short-lived, and highlight their best works and the rich legacy they left behind.
10. The Police
Formed in London in 1977, The Police’s primary members were Sting, Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland. From the late ’70s to the early ’80s, they had a string of hits and enjoyed massive global popularity. Their music had punk, reggae, and jazz elements and each one of them boasted of technical proficiency. They experimented with their sound but it wasn’t long before mounting tensions broke them apart. Still, Sting emerged as a superstar after their split.
We’re including Sleater-Kinney because they may not be as big as the other trios on this list but they’re trailblazers for women in rock. Corin Tucker, Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss were part of the underground feminist punk movement Riot grrrl and they also became influential in the American indie rock scene. Tucker told The Guardian, “Music has always been the playground of men’s sexuality. Women have really struggled to claim their own space.”
8. Emerson, Lake & Palmer
One of the greatest supergroups of all time, they’re titans in progressive rock. They have nine albums which were certified gold by the RIAA. It was in 1970 when Keith Emerson, Greg Lake and Carl Palmer rose to prominence after an epic set at the Isle of Wight Festival. Individually, they were extremely talented but as a trio, they came up with music so sophisticated and complex that they essentially upstaged everyone else.
Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister, Larry Wallis and Lucas Fox formed Motörhead in 1975. They’re one of the most popular heavy metal power trios even though Kilmister always insisted they were a rock and roll band. With their unique sound, they have sold over 15 million records worldwide and Kilmister became a household name.
Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic went through several drummers before they found the perfect fit – Dave Grohl. They were one of the leading bands in the 1990s and it was their landmark album “Nevermind” that helped them break into mainstream. Their music influenced modern rock ‘n roll. They basically popularized alternative rock.
5. Crosby, Stills and Nash
A folk rock supergroup that consisted of David Crosby, Stephen Stills, and Graham Nash. They’re known for their intricate and immaculate vocal harmonies but they were also political activists. They may have a rocky and tense relationship with each other but it’s hard to deny their lasting influence on the rock ‘n roll culture.
4. ZZ Top
That little ‘ole band from Texas isn’t really that little especially since they’re still active today and has survived the transition in every decade. Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill and Frank Beard are mostly known for their music which was rooted in blues but has since evolved over the years. Their songs are filled with sexual innuendo and humor. They’re not afraid to reinvent themselves and steer towards a different musical direction.
Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart made history with their epic numbers and complex music. Though they’ve had a string of hits, it’s the virtuosity of each member which truly set them apart from every other rock band. They’re the best at what they do and while their studio recordings were stellar and impressive, the magic happened on live stage.
2. The Jimi Hendrix Experience
It takes a lot to keep up with a guitar virtuoso like Jimi Hendrix but not only did Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell accomplish that amazing feat, they also held their own during live performances. They released just three albums before Hendrix’s untimely death but that’s more than enough to influence and inspire the next generation of rockers.
Jack Bruce, Eric Clapton, and Ginger Baker – they were in a league of their own. But unfortunately, massive talents came with massive egos and with the tension and infighting, they only lasted two years as a group. But they’re proof that once upon a time, stars collided and gave us a lineup of rock gods.