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Thread: Your Twenty Favorite Artists

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    Potential Lunch Winner Dom Heffner's Avatar
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    Your Twenty Favorite Artists

    Not the best, but your favorite - the artists who have meant the most to your life, who even though they aren't Bach, they make you smile when you hear their stuff.

    In no order:

    Def Leppard- Pop metal never sounded so good. Favorite track is "Hysteria," though really, they're all great. Proof that the lyrics don't have to be ten feet deep to stay with you for years. They totally get that melody is where it's at. There isn't one thing special about the lyrics of Photograph, but it is a soaring gorgeous rock song. That moment in Shawshank Redemption where the prisoners are looking up in awe at the speakers playing opera...that's Def Leppard for me.

    Rick Springfield- One of the stranger stories in pop- a 30 year old dude being sold as a teen pinup who reluctantly was in on the joke as long as people heard his music. An underrated musician, he wrote his own stuff and won awards for his work on guitar. Forgive him for Hard to Hold. One of my first man crush's as a twelve year old, it's on the list for old time's sake.

    Led Zeppellin- Robert Plant wrote the entry for Elvis Presley in Rolling Stone's Top Artists of All Time feature. He tells the story of meeting Elvis in a hotel where Jimmy Page disclosed that Plant liked to warm up for a show using Elvis songs. "Which one do you do?" asked Elvis. Plant told him the song, and on his way out of the hotel Presley stuck his head around the corner and started belting it out, with Plant joining in. He told Letterman the tears came shortly after (to hear him tell the story is a hoot- search YouTube for Robert Plant on Letterman). I think Robert Plant's voice is among the best ever in rock, and so is the music.

    Survivor- I'd argue that Vital Signs was one of the greatest AOR records of the 80s. Top to bottom a great album. One of the rare cases where a lead singer replacement worked out well. One of those records that got me through high school, and I think you know exactly what I mean.

    Rolling Stones- they had an eight year period or so in the 60s where it's the best rock and roll ever made.

    Bruce Springsteen- I'll never forget my dad watching MTV and saying, "I sort of like that guy," which was my dad's way of saying he really liked him. And I think I know why: rough exterior with a poet's brain and heart of gold. Just like my dad.

    Foo Fighters- With all apologies, glad Dave Grohl got to go out on his own. The worst part of Everlong is that it has a perfect chorus, yet they only let you hear it sparingly. It's also part of its genius.

    The Cars- They just make me happy. New wavey but accesible. Rock with some cool keyboards. It never hit me that Ben Orr sang lead vocals on Just What I Needed until recently. Too busy loving that song to notice. And the fact they got an 80 something year old Vargas to paint Candy-O is pretty cool, too.

    Hall and Oates- The best part of Daryl Hall is that he never sings a refrain the same way twice.

    Phil Collins/Genesis: Stop it. I know it's lightweight and the consensus is he wasn't as good as Peter Gabriel. But for those of us born a few years later who didn't get the chance to see Genesis as an art band, we saw a guy who gave us In the Air Tonight on his own and Mama with Genesis. The haters can rest- Phil doesn't have much use of his hands anymore, so no drumming, and his interest in music is gone. But for fifteen years or so, a lot of pop gems that remain my favorites.

    Don Henley- his voice is like an old sweater. Remember when the days were long and rolled beneath a deep blue sky. Yes, and thank you.

    Fleetwood Mac- I love the diversity of three vocalists. Rumours sold millions on talent and craft alone. Stevie Nicks is my favorite one, probably, and I'm too chicken to look up to see if Sara was really written as a song for a baby she did not end up having with Don Henley. That's what it means to me, and I don't want the internet to ruin it.

    Willie Nelson: We can't escape our childhood. I fought liking him for years becuase my mother listened to him and Conway and Dolly and Loretta...and to a five year old....ick! But I can't deny I have a hundred Willie songs on my ipod, and Pancho and Lefty has some melody in it that I can't deny. Always on My Mind is one of those songs everybody covered until Willie did it and now you'd look foolish singing it because it belongs to him. "If you would not have fallen..." is one of my favorite openings to a song. Ever.

    The rest:

    The Police
    REM
    Rod Stewart
    The Pretenders
    Van Halen
    Glen Campbell
    Keith Urban

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    The rest is drama. marcshoe's Avatar
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    Re: Your Twenty Favorite Artists

    Some choices I'm happy to see. I remember arguing with a music snob about Vital Signs back in the mid-eighties. I haven't listened to it and years and have no idea how well it held up, but I had it on constant rotation at the time.

    I'll try a list. In no order at all, except as they come to me.

    1. Springsteen. To me, this is what rock was meant to be. I remember when I first really stopped and listened to him when "Darkness on the Edge of Town" came out. I thought, wow, this is it. This is visceral. I spent the next several years proselytizing, then "Born in the USA" came out and ever since I've been telling people of a certain age that there's so much more.

    2. ELO. I mentioned in another thread that their version of "Roll Over Beethoven" played between games of the Hal King doubleheader got me going. For whatever reason, I didn't really get deep into music until I was 15, and "Turn to Stone" had a quality to it that struck me. There was a darkness somewhere beneath the hooks. Afterward I learned to appreciate their often self-deprecating humor.

    3, Split Enz. I went into this on another thread, too. Usually, Neil Finn did the pop stuff and Tim Finn the songs that were a bit disturbing. It's hard to name a single song that's a favorite, but "Dirty Creature" has to be on the list.

    3. The Beatles. Period.

    4. The Who. I learned to love Townsend's cheeky lyrics pretty early. Here's an early underrated masterpiece.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4_eSW6D6sc

    5. The Rolling Stones. Yeah, I had to put those three groups together. Although I've always liked listening to them, I think I only started realizing how good they were the last ten years.

    6. Bob Dylan. Sorry, I'm one of those. I love wordplay and have even learned to like his voice.

    7. Johnny Cash. Yeah, it's cool now to like him, but I've been listening to him since before I was born, and he's always been a favorite. Since we're in that era...

    8. Roger Miller. One of my favorites growing up. He died too young, thanks to alcohol. Willie Nelson has some great stories about touring with him. These days, my favorite Roger Miller songs are the poignant ones.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zEHLhz8L6vE

    btw, "Dang Me" can be sung to the tune of "Wonderwall".

    9. The Avett Brothers. I'm reluctant to list current bands, but I've grown to love the Avetts the last few years. Great lyrics, songs presented in a way that's always a bit off kilter.

    10. The Church. If you've heard of them, it probably hasn't been for a while. Their top US hit was "Under the Milky Way". My favorite album was the Bob Clearmountain produced "The Blurred Crusade" featuring the wonderful "Almost With You". They only perform acoustic these days because of some tinnitus issues. Should have been much bigger, but they had trouble getting along with each other and with producers.

    And yeah, I like weird stuff.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWRK0Prfpv8

    fwiw, there are a lot of arguments about the meaning of this song, but I take it as someone asking a dying friend to wait so they can go together. Who knows, though. That was partially based on a mistaken lyric.

    11. The Shins. Okay, another fairly recent band. Stuff that sticks with you while being a bit more subversive than you realize.

    12. Dire Straits. Mark Knopfler may be my favorite guitarist.

    13. CCR. For some reason I think of them and Dire Straits together. I grew tired of them for a while because of AOR overplay, but now that I dont listen to AOR anymore, they're back on the front lines. Include John Fogerty's solo stuff here as well. This is my favorite of his:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbSGMRZsN4Q

    14. U2. I know there are some here who don't like them, but there aren't many bands who have been better, even if they haven't done anything particularly noteworthy in 20 years.

    15. Tom Petty. Before he hit big, I was telling friends about him. When the Wilburys came along, it was a bit of a shock because the group was made up of my favorites.

    16. The Animals. "Don't Let Me be Misunderstood" is brilliant, and I love listening to Eric Burden's voice.

    17. David Bowie. To me, the whole new wave movement was a bunch of kids imitating David Bowie.

    18. The Police/Sting. Lyrical complexity always gets me to pay attention, which brings me to

    19. Al Stewart. Year of the Cat is great, but so were a ton of his other songs, such as "Life in Dark Water" "Soho (Needless to Say)" and "Eyes of Nostradamus". Always enjoyed his historical allusions.

    20. I know I've forgotten so many, but I'm going to close with a group mentioned in the op: The Cars. btw, it is still hard for me not to picture Ric Ocasek singing when I hear "Just What I Needed".

    I should have mentioned Cold Chisel, Roy Orbison, and Sam Cooke, but I didn't. And I'm sure Mumford and Sons will make the list as soon as they come out with enough albums to qualify.
    Last edited by marcshoe; 11-04-2012 at 12:50 AM.

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    Churlish Johnny Footstool's Avatar
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    Re: Your Twenty Favorite Artists

    I have 10.

    U2
    Dinosaur Jr.
    Soul Coughing
    Afghan Whigs
    Superchunk
    Drive-By Truckers
    GNR
    Tom Petty
    The Gaslight Anthem
    Foxy Shazam
    "I prefer books and movies where the conflict isn't of the extreme cannibal apocalypse variety I guess." Redsfaithful

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    Member Superdude's Avatar
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    Re: Your Twenty Favorite Artists

    Ten sounds fun. Twenty sounds like a job.

    1) Springsteen: He may not be a rock patriarch like The Beatles, but the dude was just blindingly genius at times. Never got his due respect because the majority of America still sees him as left wing Toby Keith.
    2) Titus Andronicus: They make self loathing and nihilism sound like so much fun!
    3) Van Morrison: mystical, ethereal goodness
    4) The Gaslight Anthem: Last album was a weird direction, but they do have two of my all time favorite albums
    5) Andrew McMahon: I listened to Everything In Transit an unhealthy amount in high school. That album dwarfs everything else he's done IMO, but it's all pretty solid.
    6) Rolling Stones: Just now getting into them. Awesome, ragged blues rock sound. A prefer their more down to earth sound to Zeppelin's "Hammer of the Gods".
    7) Tom Waits: The mad doctor schtick on his later albums never did it for me, but I love his early stuff.
    8) Ben Folds (Five): you can't help but relate to the snarky kid on the piano
    9) Bon Iver: I'll give myself at least one hipster choice. Self-titled's almost like an Astral Weeks experience.
    10) Tom Petty: Doesn't have any album that I really love, but has so much that I really like that it's hard not to include him.

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    Re: Your Twenty Favorite Artists

    Quote Originally Posted by Superdude View Post
    Ten sounds fun. Twenty sounds like a job.

    2) Titus Andronicus: They make self loathing and nihilism sound like so much fun!
    Glad that you mentioned these guys. Definitely one of my favorite recent discoveries, along with Japandroids.

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    Re: Your Twenty Favorite Artists

    The Beatles
    The Who
    The Clash
    The Pogues
    Johnny Cash
    Oasis
    Paul Westerberg
    Neil Young
    Tom Petty
    Midnight Oil
    The Police
    Springsteen
    Bob Marley
    Pearl Jam
    Chris Cornell
    The Band
    Radiohead
    R.E.M.
    Fountains of Wayne
    Green Day
    I was in the ORG once, best 6 months of my life.

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    We Need Our Myths reds1869's Avatar
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    Re: Your Twenty Favorite Artists

    Great thread. Some these (U2 in particular) have fallen off my radar recently but I still deeply love their body of work. In no particular order:

    The Beatles
    Muse
    The Avett Brothers
    Jack White (and all associated acts)
    U2
    Weezer
    Billy Talent (best live band I've ever seen)
    The Black Keys
    Tom Morello (and all associated acts)
    Arcade Fire
    Pete Seeger
    Bob Dylan
    Mumford & Sons
    Bruce Springsteen
    Johnny Cash
    Queen
    The Wurzels
    My Chemical Romance (My wife got me hooked against my will. Great live band.)
    Kaiser Chiefs
    Radiohead

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    Potential Lunch Winner Dom Heffner's Avatar
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    Re: Your Twenty Favorite Artists

    I don't know how I forgot U2. They could replace a few on my list.

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    Re: Your Twenty Favorite Artists

    REO Speedwagon
    First slow dance. First kiss. "Can't Fight This Feeling" from Wheels Are Turning. Awe. Some.

    New Edition
    "Have You Seen Her?" First bubblegum pop harmonies. Tight still.

    Jackson 5
    Mom heard my New Edition and turned me on to her record collection. Motown got some serious play.

    Beatles
    Remarkably consistent and innovative. World-changing. And they blew my 12-year-old mind with "I Wanna Hold Your Hand", then my 16-year-old mind with "Hey, Jude", then my 21-year-old mind with "While My Guitar Gently Weeps". What other band (beside possibly U2) can claim that?

    Willie Nelson
    Sustained brilliance for 40 years. The Stardust album is truly genius.

    Ray Charles
    Could "become" Atlantic jazz, Big Band, country, gospel, and everything in between.

    Johnny Cash
    True to himself no matter what. "Rusty Cage" was as awesome as "Folsom Prison Blues." The only difference between "I Walk the Line" and "Hurt" is 50 years of life experience. And you hear it.

    Elvis
    Black music from a matinee idol.

    Sam Cooke
    "Change Is Gonna Come" may be the most perfect song ever. Phenomenal voice.

    Roy Orbison
    "If Cooke's voice isn't the greatest, Orbison's was. Every high school breakup was followed by a few nights of Orbison's "Crying".

    The Temptations
    "I Wish It Would Rain" and "Poppa Was a Rollin' Stone" are great travel music.

    Smokey Robinson and the Miracles
    If Johnny Cash's "I shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die" isn't the greatest line in music history, then Robinson's "just like Pagliacci did/I'll try to keep my sadness hid" is. Remarkable talent.

    Marvin Gaye
    Similar to Beatles. in that his early music was great, but his later music was both toe-tapping and had a message. "What's Going On" is one of the best songs ever and still sounds fresh.

    The Galoots
    A band I got to play with in college. Fun experience.

    CCR/ John Fogerty
    "Fortunate Son" and Centerfield" are both great, but "Candle in the Window" is a beast.

    Janis Joplin
    No one's mentioned her yet, but that voice. "Mercedes Benz changed my entire musical ouvre.

    Avett Brothers
    Really listen to gospel only now and got hooked on "Just a Closer Walk With Thee" and the rest of their stuff fairly early. Great harmonies.

    Mahalia Jackson
    Again, Mom's record collection rears its head. Great stuff.

    Beach Boys
    "Good Vibrations" changed the way rock and roll was recorded forever. It's still a great album.

    Rolling Stones
    Is there a better song than "Sympathy for the Devil" while driving 100 mph on a Saturday night?

    Louis Armstrong
    Played the trumpet in high school and in a couple bands in college. Love his Dixieland Jazz stuff and his later New York recordings with Ella Fitzgerald. "Summertime" is THE American classic, IMO, and no one does it better than Satchmo and The Queen.

    Bob Dylan
    Lyrics. Genius.

    Billie Holliday
    Best rainy day music ever.

    Norah Jones
    Billie Holliday without the drug problems.

    Paul Simon
    Early stuff with Art Garfunkel is fun, but his later stuff, IMO, is better. "Me and Julio" to "Kodachrome". Great.

    Iris DeMint
    Love that voice. Perfect harmonies and a great song phraseologist.

    Doc Watson
    Really went wild for folk music after seeing him in college. 80-year-old could play guitar better than anyone I'd ever seen. And I loved his voice. Sounded like America.
    "You can learn little from victory. You can learn everything from defeat."
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    Potential Lunch Winner Dom Heffner's Avatar
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    Re: Your Twenty Favorite Artists

    REO's Hi Infidelity is on my top 20 albums list. Oh man.

  12. #11
    The rest is drama. marcshoe's Avatar
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    Re: Your Twenty Favorite Artists

    Can't believe I forgot Paul Simon. And The Beach Boys. And Sinatra.

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    Member Spazzrico's Avatar
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    Re: Your Twenty Favorite Artists

    I don't know if these are truly my favorite 20 or not, but they all came to mind as groups/artists I really truly enjoy to come back to. No particular order.

    Arcade Fire
    Jimi Hendrix
    Rush
    Phish
    Primus
    Decemberists
    Belle and Sebastian
    Cake
    Beatles
    Otis Redding
    ELO
    Neko Case
    M. Ward
    Wilco
    Morphine
    Doc Watson
    Johnny Cash
    Ben Folds
    The Clash
    The Kinks

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    Re: Your Twenty Favorite Artists

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrap Irony View Post

    The Galoots
    A band I got to play with in college. Fun experience.
    I used to go see them when I was in HS in Louisville. Twice-told Coffee House. Shannon Lawson dated the hostess at the restaurant where I worked. I've still got and listen to their two CD's.

    Are you saying you were a member of the group or that you would sit in?
    Last edited by Spazzrico; 11-05-2012 at 12:46 AM.

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    Beer is good!! George Anderson's Avatar
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    Re: Your Twenty Favorite Artists

    Top 10 in no particular order.

    Eric Clapton
    Bob Seger
    Led Zeppelin
    Van Halen
    Doors
    Neil Young
    George Harrison
    Springsteen
    Tom Petty
    Beatles
    "Boys, I'm one of those umpires that misses 'em every once in a while so if it's close, you'd better hit it." Cal Hubbard

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    Vampire Weekend @Bernie's camisadelgolf's Avatar
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    Re: Your Twenty Favorite Artists

    It's too difficult to order these right now, but here's my quick stab at it.
    Arcade Fire
    The Beatles
    Beck
    Bishop Allen
    Johnny Cash
    The Clash
    Leonard Cohen
    Bob Dylan
    The Hives
    The Impossibles
    Mclusky/Future of the Left
    The Muffs
    Nerf Herder
    Nirvana
    Pavement
    The Pixies
    Radiohead
    The Unicorns/Islands
    Weezer
    The White Stripes


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