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Welsh Rock Music

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Welsh Rock (and Pop) Music

Led Zeppelin


Led Zeppelin’s hits for their third album were penned at the privately owned remote 18th century cottage, Bron-Yr-Aur, near Machynlleth. Bron-Yr-Aur translates as ‘breast of the gold’ or ‘hill of gold’ and is located on the tip of Snowdonia National Park.

Lead singer Robert Plant had spent many family holidays in the cottage in the 1950s and this is where he and guitarist Jimmy Page retreated in the 1970s to write songs for Led Zeppelin III, including ‘That’s the Way’, ‘Friends’ and the aptly titled ‘Bron-y-Aur Stomp’.


Page was said to have been inspired by the “wonderful countryside” and “panoramic views”, the perfect setting to play the guitars, be creative and write.


They wrote many other tracks at the cottage which were then included on their later albums including ‘The Crunge’ and ‘Over the Hills and Far Away’ on the ‘Houses of the Holy’ album, ‘Poor Tom’ from ‘Coda’ and ‘Down by the Seaside’, ‘Bron-Yr-Aur’ and ‘The Rover’ from the album ‘Physical Graffiti’.


Jimmy Page said that his time at the cottage with Robert also helped them form a better personal and musical dynamic as they were living with each other opposed to in hotel rooms and this helped them create songs that changed the band.

Updated January 2018


Manic Street Preachers


Hailing from Blackwood, South Wales, the band formed in 1986 and has had much success with their albums throughout Europe.


The band started as a four piece until the rhythm guitarist Richey Edwards disappeared one morning in 1995 and has never been found.  Although they considered disbanding, the trio decided to continue.


To date, the Manics have produced 13 studio albums and continue to tour.


Updated January 2018


Rockfield Studios


Rockfield studios in Monmouth is accredited in 1965 for being the first residential recording studio in the world.

From pop, rock and classical, many of the world’s famous artists have recorded there including Iggy Pop, Nigel Kennedy, Rush and Oasis. Most famously though, in 1975, Queen recorded their No 1 smash hit, Bohemian Rhapsody from the studio.


Updated January 2018


Shirley Bassey


Shirley Bassey was born on 8 January, 1937 and raised in Tiger Bay, Cardiff, which was part of the city’s dockland area. Now regenerated, the area is now known as Cardiff Bay.


Shirley loved to sing and her powerful voice was soon spotted by an agent. Her first hit was called the 'Banana Boat Song', but success was soon to become global when she sang the signature tune for the movie of the same name 'Goldfinger'. Two further hits from James Bond films followed – 'Diamonds are Forever' and 'Moonraker'.


Honoured in 2000, Dame Shirley Bassey continues to perform.


Updated January 2018




Another band from South Wales is the Sterephonics.  Two of the original members, lead singer / guitarist Kelly Jones and guitarist / keyboard player Richard Jones (no relation) were born and raised in Cwmaman in the Cynon Valley


The band have produced 10 studio albums to date since forming in 1992.


They are one of the most successful bands to come from Wales, acheiving 5 consecutive UK number one albums - one of only 7 other acts who have accomplished this (Beatles, Led Zeppelin, U2, Abba, Genesis, Blur and Oasis).


They continue to produce albums and tour throughout Europe.


Updated January 2018


Tom Jones


Tom Jones was born into a mining family in Pontypridd, South Wales on 7 June 1940.

He was discovered whilst singing in a local band and moved to London to launch his solo career. His second single ‘It’s not Unusual’ hit the top of the charts in the UK and also entered the top ten in the US.


Many hits followed including ‘What’s New Pussycat’ ‘Delilah’, ‘Green Green Grass of Home’ and the title track to the James Bond movie ‘Thunderball’.


He had his own television show which aired in both the UK and the US and featured many famous guests including Sammy Davis Jr and Dusty Springfield.

Knighted in 1999, Sir Tom has continued to produce albums, his last released in 2015.


Updated January 2018


Useful links



Cardiff Motorpoint Arena - Cardiff


Central Station Venue - Wrexham


Liberty Stadium - Swansea


Principality Stadium - Cardiff


St David's Hall - Cardiff


Venue Cymru - Llandudno


Wales Best Guides - Wales Rocks tour - Explore the sights and sounds of rock music in South Wales


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