Famous Bands from Newcastle

Famous Bands from Newcastle

Newcastle has produced some truly amazing musicians that have risen to international fame. Here at Guitar Lessons Newcastle, we love to inspire our guitar students with stories of famous musicians and bands from Newcastle. We have a lot to be proud of as a city with the likes of Brian Johnson of AC/DC, Sting, Maximo Park and Dire Straits, among many many others, that have sold millions of records and packed out stadiums worldwide. We have drawn together a short bio of some of Newcastle most successful musicians to inspire you too. Enjoy!

Brian Johnson of AC/DC has one of the most famous rock voices of all time. Having been the lead singer of AC/DC since 1980, he originally performed with the band named Geordie before being spotted by Angus Young after a stunning performance where Johnson famously started rising in pain while singing, managing to finish his set before being sent to the hospital with appendicitis. His first album with AC/DC, Back in Black, went on be the second biggest selling album of all time selling a staggering 50 million units worldwide. AC/DC recorded another ten albums each selling over 4 million units over the next thirty years making AC/DC one of the most successful rock bands of all time. The band have played to millions of people worldwide and look to continue for many years to come.

Sting, Gordon Sumner, more recognizable by his stage name Sting, was born in Wallsend, Newcastle upon Tyne in 1951. During his teenage years, while studying at St. Cuthbert's Grammer School he would often creep into nightclubs to watch artists like Cream and Jimi Hendrix. Hugely inspiring Sting these acts would later dramatically influence the musician. Qualifying as a schoolteacher upon graduation Sting would often perform Jazz in local nightclubs, gaining quite a reputation for his talent. In 1977 Sting relocated to London to pursue his musical ambitions, meeting Steward Copeland and Andy Summers. The three went on to form The Police, with Sting as lead singer and bass guitar player. The Police success was almost unparalleled during the time, with five number one albums in five years and six Grammy Awards. Every Breath You Take, The Police's most famous single was a number one hit in America as well as the UK.

In 1983 Sting decided to leave The Police, going solo, releasing The Dream of The Blue Turtles in 1985 going triple platinum and reaching number three in the UK album charts. His next two studio albums, ...Nothing Like the Sun (1987) and The Soul Cages (1991) we both number one albums in the UK, confirming Sting as one of the most successful musicians of all time. With his next five albums being top 5 hits, selling hundreds of thousands of tickets worldwide it is little wonder Sting has amassed a fortune of over £180 million, according to the Sunday Times Rich List 2011, making him one of the ten richest British musicians.

Maximo Park, formed in 2000 have risen to become one of the more popular rock bands during the 2000s with their debut album, A Certain Trigger, reaching number 16 in the UK album charts and being nominated for the Mercury Prize. The rough edge riffs with Paul Smith's unusual vocals helped the band gain a mainstream audience. Indeed, Maximo Park second album Our Earthly Pleasures was extremely successful reaching number two in the UK album charts and going Gold - their subsequent tour was sold out nationally confirming their popularity. Although their last two albums, Quicken the Heart (2009) and The National Health (2012) have shown a slight dip in the band's popularity, charting at 6 and 13 respectively without going Gold Maximo Park are still going strong. No doubt we will be hearing more from the band during the next two years.

Dire Straits, formed in 1977 by former journalist and teacher Mark Knopfler, his brother David Knopfler, bass player John Illsley and drummer Pick Withers went on to sell over 120 million records worldwide, including 30 million units of their fifth studio album Brothers in Arms making Dire Straits one of the most successful bands of all time. With three number one UK albums, as well as one American number one album the band have played in front over many millions of fans worldwide during their illustrious career. A massive international band during the 80s & 90s Dire Straits remain popular to this day, a fantastic testament to their great music.

Photography: Christian Bertrand

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