In the October 4, 1980 Melody Maker Magazine’s reader’s poll, the following answers were put forth.
Melody Maker Magazine appeared to have strong progressive leanings throughout the 1970s and on into 1980, as this poll shows.
What is particularly interesting is some musicians’ staying power over others. The presence (or absence) of members of Emerson, Lake & Palmer is the clearest illustration of this. As you can see from the previous winners category, ELP were once Melody Maker Readers’ Poll darlings, but by 1980 Carl Palmer did not even make the list, while Keith Emerson had fallen off to place #7. This is doubtless a reflection of the quiet end ELP had to the 70s compared to their roaring beginning.
Another point of great interest to me is the inclusion of Don Airey at the #4 spot. Airey, the then-keyboardist of Rainbow, is not acknowledged as one of the giants of rock ‘n roll as often as he rightly should be. He was at the time in a very busy period of his career, having just finished touring in support of Down To Earth, the first of two albums he participated in with the band. Just fifteen days prior, the song “Mr. Crowley”, on which he gave one of the most memorable keyboard intros in rock, had been released. Perhaps these things had something to do with his ranking on the list!
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