>> Tuesday, December 16, 2008
*Original Posting Date - Friday, November 21, 2008
I need a new challenge. So, i am going to rank my subjective top 50 musical artists/bands list. To qualify for this list, one must have released at least 2 albums.
Again, this list is going to be subjective. I am not saying these are the historical rankings that you would find on VH1 on a Sunday morning. This is the music that relates to my life. So, you will not find U2, Radiohead, The Stones, Doors, Band, Fleetwood Mac, Hendrix or Elvis. Deal with it.
Feel free to judge, or better yet, try your own list, start small, maybe 10 or 13, but its fun to rank things. or maybe I am compulsive. I will try to provide some insights behind the placement of some of the names.
1. Harry Chapin -- The best storyteller music has ever seen. He is half the reason I want to write.
2. Damien Rice -- For an artist that has only had two major releases, to already be considered epic and timeless is an amazing feat. No one can sing such dirty lyrics so sweetly. Want proof, listen to "Accidental Babies" or "Woman Like a Man."
3. Jimmy Buffett -- So, I had a really hard time not putting Buffett first, I am not sure there is an artist out there who has a more complete collection.
4. John Mayer -- So, I am going to get ragged for this one, maybe even called gay. But this guy can write and play the guitar. The best guitar player of my generation if you ask me.
5. Counting Crows -- I often forget how amazing August and Everything After is until it comes up on random on my iPod, and then I am suddenly 15 years old with my DiscMan singing "Perfect Blue Buildings" under my breath.
6. The Beatles -- I know 18 people that would have this as their number one band of all time, but honestly, this is even a little bit high for me.
7. Van Morrison -- I am not sure this placement needs an explanation. Find me one person that does not love any Van Morrison songs and I will junk punch 'em, yelling "You Know Why!"
8. Bob Dylan -- Same as above.
9. Howie Day -- Ok, so this is a spot where my list will take a turn, and I understand your hesitation while reading this entry. But seriously, if you have to ask you have not listened or seen, find him on Youtube. He is one man, with one guitar, but he creates a whole band with some ingenuity and pedals. He simply blows my mind, and man can he write a song.
10. Jason Mraz -- Now, how can someone who does not even appear on my greatest albums of all time list make my top ten on my greatest artists list? Well, his albums are never complete, they are 90% brilliant and 10% faltered. But his work overall, especially as a wordsmith, cannot be ignored. Also, he is a completely different artist live, on another level, so that earns him points as well.
13. Live -- Mental Jewelry and Throwing Copper are two of the most complete well made albums ever released. Secret Samadhi is not bad either
14. Dave Matthews/Band
15. Matt Nathanson -- If I were just judging on live performances he would be top 5 easy.
16. Travis -- This is a band that got lost somewhere between Radiohead and Coldplay. And, honestly, they are far superior.
17. The Eagles
18. Bishop Allen -- My Favorite new band. Creative, lyrical, risk takers, eclectic, and awesome.
19. David Gray
20. Bob Marley -- I mean, come on.
21. James Taylor
22. The Format -- Another new band, outside the box, interesting vocals, powerful lyrics, and very intelligent.
23. Little Willie John
24. Ella Fitzgerald
25. Eminem -- I think we all know that in 20 years, he will easily be considered one of music's greatest influences of all time.
27. Janis Joplin -- My favorite voice in rock history.
28. Simon and Garfunkel/Paul Simon
29. Smashing Pumpkins -- I forgot about this band, I always do. But seriously go and pick up Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness and Siamese Dream and tell me you are not listening to pure greatness.
30. The Fugees/Lauren Hill
31. The Beastie Boys -- Changed music.
32. Eric Clapton
33. Ray Charles
34. Crosby , Stills & Nash/Young
35. Third Eye Blind -- This one is really personal. If you know me, you know I LOVE this band. Also, I am not sure there is a better tail-end of an Album than the one on their debut, "I Want You" "The Background" "Motorcycle Driveby" and "God of Wine." You cannot finish an album any better.
36. Tracy Chapman
37. The Refreshments
38. Bob Seger
39. Shawn Mullins -- When I was 15 I picked up a guitar and tried to teach myself to play, three days later, I gave up. But I have Shawn Mullins to thank for getting me to try.
41. Atmosphere -- Easily the smartest, most intelligent, active rapper in the game today.
42. Ray LaMontagne
43. Tori Amos -- This Bitch is crazy, but I love it.
44. Al Green
45. Edwin McCain -- Easily one of my all time favorite albums Misguided Roses, but the rest of his albums fell well short to get him higher on this list.
46. Ryan Adams -- The same as above with having one AMAZING album, Gold. But with the rest falling short of that debut.
47. Glen Phillips/Toad the Wet Sproket
49. Loggins and Mussina -- This is a band my mother ingrained in me.
50. Timbaland & Magoo