SLY AND THE FAMILY STONE What could be more San Francisco? Michael Jackson is such a fan, he bought the publishing rights. There would be no Prince if there hadn't been a Sly Stone. They pointed the future of jazz to Herbie Hancock and made the Temptations grow up.
Sly was his own greatest hit -- a Vallejo church kid and doo-wop wannabe who produced Beatlesque hits for white teens and became the boss soul man of Bay Area black radio before launching his own group.
Hints of the Beatles and Bob Dylan alongside echoes of Ray Charles and James Brown.
The black prince of Woodstock may have succumbed to his private demons, but his music lives on in the reverberations.
They're still heard vividly -- original, brilliant and dangerous enough to be scary.
With a mandate to explore the widest possibilities of ensemble rock improvisation, the Dead pushed the music into places it never went before. While singer Roy Loney went solo with the Phantom Movers, bandleader Cyril Jordan took the group to England, where a partnership with Dave Edmunds led to a punk-era revival. METALLICA Before there was grunge, there was Metalli ca.
The multiplatinum Los Angeles-born, San Francisco-bred band's speed metal and messy hair provided a potent antithesis to the poppy '80s.
The members' hair is shorter in the '90s, but they still rock louder than anyone else. JEFFERSON AIRPLANE As impossible as it may have been to just throw together all those disparate elements -- Marty Balin's pseudo-soul folksinging, the warbly contralto of Grace Slick, guitarist Jorma Kaukonen's brilliant blues finger picking, Jack Casady's experimental bass playing, Paul Kantner's stoney polemics -- on the nights it came together, nothing else was ever like an Airplane flight. SANTANA Carlos Santana's "Supernatural" success this year marks 30 years as the undisputed champ of global rock.
Definitive Song: "I Want to Take You Higher" (1969) 2.
CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL John Fogerty's childhood recollections of a South he only imagined from his El Cerrito home made Creedence the great American rock band that the Band was supposed to be but never was.