Michael Leonard

The Genius Of… Achtung Baby by U2

Achtung Baby is now acclaimed as U2’s finest achievement, but the 1991 album nearly didn’t get made. In fact, its beginnings nearly split the Irish band apart.

How Kevin Shields and My Bloody Valentine changed the course of guitar playing forever

Back in the late 80s, My Bloody Valentine revolutionised many players’ ideas of what a guitar sounded like. It was a mix of borrowed gear, happy accidents and “sound as an infinite horizon”… and still sounds awesome.

The Genius Of… Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea by PJ Harvey

Considered an atypically ‘pop’ experiment and even doubted by its own author, Polly Jean Harvey’s fourth album was nevertheless her biggest UK album. Isn't it time it’s considered simply a great record?

The Genius Of… All Things Must Pass by George Harrison

When The Beatles split in 1970, the question in everyone’s lips and ears was: which of these masterful songwriters would deliver the finest solo record? John Lennon or Paul McCartney? It turned out the answer was George Harrison.

Guitar Legends: Rory Gallagher – the self-styled ‘working guitarist’ who was touched by genius

Does Ireland’s first guitar hero deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as SRV and Eric Clapton? Quite probably. Rory Gallagher was a pioneer with a sound and style as unique as his battered Fender Strat.

Guitar Legends: Tom Morello – why Rage’s main man is the master of riffs

Master of the Whammy pedal, preacher of righteous riffs and fan of – frankly – quite old gear, Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello is a guitar player like no other. His imagination is as important as his gear, but here’s a guide to the tools and sounds of his trade…

Guitar Legends: Eric Clapton Pt 2 – from Layla to the Crossroads

Eric Clapton’s solo career since 1970 has encompassed everything from rootsy JJ Cale-alike shuffles to shiny AOR to stark acoustic blues. Here’s an overview of the best and his highly influential classic gear, too...

Guitar Legends: Eric Clapton – the birth of a legend

From upstart beginnings in the early 60s, Eric Clapton soon established himself as one of the decades’ most lauded players. Here’s a Part 1 guide to the man jokingly dubbed Slowhand.

Guitar Legends: Johnny Marr – a unique guitar hero with a chameleonic talent

From teenage ‘indie’ beginnings, Johnny Marr has flourished into one of the finest guitar stylists in rock music. He’s famously driven and single-minded, constantly seeking out great instruments and unique sounds to build a unique catalogue of stellar guitar music.
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