Formed in 1974, British heavy metal band Raven, fronted by brothers Mark and John Gallagher, began gaining a reputation with its self-described "athletic-rock;" essentially the band members dressed in athletic gear during their shows, including hockey masks and elbow pads that they would use to strike cymbals or distort vocals. They eventually gained a reputation with the rapidly growing thrash metal movement and toured Europe extensively. They continued touring and recording until 2001 when a wall fell on Mark Gallagher during a show, crushing his legs. Raven took a 5 year hiatus while Gallagher recovered, but has since resumed its tour schedule.
Massachusetts born singer/songwriter James Taylor basically wrote the book on soft rock. At 16, Taylor dropped out of high school, moved to New York, formed a band called Flying Machine and subsequently got sucked into the city's sex, drugs and rock n' roll scene of the 1960s. Taylor quickly developed a severe heroin addiction, forcing him eventually to check into rehab. After recovering from this addiction in Los Angeles, Taylor forged his distinct sound marked by his gentle voice and mellow acoustic guitar. Though some criticize Taylor for being a bit too lurid, there is no denying the exceptional songs that he wrote during his heyday in the 1970s, nor the influence he has had and will have on sensitive singer/songwriters for decades to come.