Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Legends of American Music/Music Icons stamp series

stamp series, image from

The first stamp was issued in the Legends of American Music Series on January 8, 1993 on what would have been Elvis Presley’s 58th birthday. More than 70 artists were honored in all styles of music from 1993 to 1999. In 2013, a new series, Music Icons, was announced. Thus far Lydia Mendoza and Johnny Cash have been announced as artists who will be featured on stamps in the series. Here are the artists featured in both series so far:









What James Bond Can’t Teach You About British Music History

Originally published in my "Aural Fixation" column on on January 30, 2013. See original post here.

If you want lessons in womanizing, dressing to the nines, or ordering martinis, James Bond is your man. If, however, you’re looking for a review of British music history over the last 50 years, the world’s favorite secret agent has no idea what he’s doing.
Oscar nominations were announced in early January and, to no one’s surprise, they jumped on the “let’s give Adele a shot at another trophy” bandwagon. Even if the Academy doesn’t follow the Golden Globes’ lead and gift “Skyfall” with the prize for Best Original Song, the movie of the same name has already won. The 23rd film in the James Bond series is also its biggest grosser (“Billion Dollar Bond: ‘Skyfall’ Crossed $1 Billion Milestone”, ABC News, 30 December 2012). Even before Bond burst into billion-dollar territory, the franchise had been called, depending on how one crunches the numbers, the most successful of all time (“The Biggest Movie Franchises of All Time in 2 Charts,” The Atlantic, 19 July 2012).

The songs accompanying these blockbusters have often been hits as well. Roughly half have gone top ten in the US or UK. A handful, including “Skyfall”, have done it on both sides of the Atlantic.

Don’t, however, let the hit status of these songs fool you. Everyone’s favorite British Secret Service employee may be a complete original, but when it comes to literally marching to his own drummer, his ability to rock a tux does not mean he knows how to rock your radio.

The relative “it” factor and success of “Skyfall” aside, most of the 007 themes over the years reveal an institution largely determined to ignore musical trends in favor of saccharine ballads to pipe into elevators. No, I’m not talking about the Grammy Awards committee (often famously derided as “the Grannies”), although there are alarming similarities.

Let’s rewind half a century to October 1962. The first James Bond film, Dr. No, opened in the UK Sean Connery took on the role of the famous secret agent created in a series of novels by Ian Fleming. The character’s look, uncanny knack with women, and mastery of whatever new-fangled technology came his way made him one of cinema’s greatest icons.

Sean Connery, image from

The legendary film franchise is one of the most famous exports in British history, but it takes a backseat in his Aston Martin when compared to the Fab Four. While Bond was taking out bad guys, The Beatles were taking over radio. The band from Liverpool also thrust itself on the UK scene in October 1962 with its chart debut of “Love Me Do.” Their look, uncanny knack with women, and mastery of whatever new-fangled technology came their way made them one of music’s greatest icons.

However, one icon was a gang of hippies with mop-top hair who made beatnik music for teeny-boppers. The other icon looked dressed and groomed for, well, a Grammy ceremony.

Naturally, the tuxedoed gent’s musical tastes aligned pretty well with his well-dressed Grammy brethren. While American radio and retail was being reinvented by the Beatle-led British Invasion, Grammy love was doled out to throwbacks like Frank Sinatra and Louis Armstrong. Meanwhile, 007 themes were crooned by people like Frank Sinatra-soundalike Matt Monro (“From Russia with Love” from 1963’s film of the same name) and, well, Louis Armstrong (“We Have All the Time in the World” from 1969’s Her Majesty’s Secret Service).

Oh, both institutions acknowledged Paul McCartney and Co., but they were cases of either too little (the handful of Grammys the Beatles did receive) or too late (Paul’s other band, Wings, recorded the title song to 1973’s Live and Let Die).

Roger Moore, image from

Live and Let Die marked the franchise’s first acknowledgment of the existence of rock and roll and debuted Roger Moore as Bond. However, the next decade was pretty much a return to form. Rock in the ‘70s was defined by Led Zeppelin’s stamp on heavy metal and Pink Floyd’s brand of psychedelic and progressive rock. By decade’s end, the Sex Pistols and The Clash led rock and roll’s first revolt against itself. Meanwhile everyone’s favorite martini-swilling womanizer went right back to swaying to adult-contemporary-ready ballads sung either by UK natives (Lulu, Shirley Bassey, Sheena Easton) or US counterparts trolling the same sonic ground (Carly Simon, Rita Coolidge).

Even as Bond refused to change, the music of the ‘80s was in constant motion. The punk movement transformed into new wave which in turn fueled the Second British Invasion as synth-driven British bands flooded the living rooms of American teens desperate for music videos. The fledging network MTV built its platform on a steady reservoir of the promo clips popular on British music shows. Bands with big hair, bold clothing, and behemoth-sized personalities relished in the new-found attention.

Even a man who dressed primarily in black was enamored by the bright colors. MTV favorites Duran Duran were tapped in 1985 to record the title song for “A View to a Kill”. It remains the only 007 tune to hit number one stateside or across the pond.

While Bond got another makeover, first with Timothy Dalton for a couple outings and then with Pierce Brosnan, there was no changing the outdated musical tastes of England’s famous fictional spy. British bands The Smiths, The Cure, and Depeche Mode forged the template for college rock. By decade’s end the Stone Roses and Happy Mondays were the darlings of the music press, praised for trumpeting the shoegazing genre. This led to the much-ballyhooed battle of the guitar-based bands Oasis and Blur in the mid-‘90s. With such a plethora of game-changing sound at their disposal, the brains behind Bond turned to a stable of proven US chart veterans like Gladys Knight, Tina Turner, and Sheryl Crow who all proved woefully incapable of tackling the US charts.

Pierce Brosnan, image from

In 2002, Die Another Day restored hope for musical relevance with Madonna’s top ten title hit. Naturally it signaled the end of an era rather than a beginning. This time, however, the change was for the better.

Daniel Craig stepped in as the series’ seventh 007, if one counts David Niven’s comic turn in the 1967 spoof Casino Royale. To accompany the reboot, Chris Cornell delivered “You Know My Name” for the 2006 version of Casino Royale and Jack White served up “Another Way to Die” (with an assist from Alicia Keys) for 2008’s Quantum of Solace.

Daniel Craig, image from

Because of their rock credentials, the songs were welcome entries in the Bond canon, but emphasized the same message as most of their predecessors: songs tailored to everyone’s favorite globe-trotting spy offer little or no insight on the music going on back home. That is, unless Mr. Shaken Not Stirred had secretly applied for American citizenship. Roughly the first half of the Bond movies were soundtracked by UK artists. Since 1989, the only act with any tie to the United Kingdom was when Garbage, fronted by Scottish singer Shirley Manson, trotted out “The World Is Not Enough” in 1999 for the movie of the same name.

The world’s top gadget freak wasn’t just abandoning his own country’s music, but jumping on musical trends a decade late. As the frontman of Soundgarden, Cornell had been right at the forefront of the grunge a decade earlier. As half of The White Stripes, Jack White was arguably the biggest star of the return-to-garage-rock movement at the turn of the century.

Still, Daniel Craig’s Bond Version 7.0 offered hope. This wasn’t the same secret agent we’d come to know through more than 20 movies. Maybe he could jump off buildings and into moving helicopters backed by music lifted straight from BBC Radio 1. It took 50 years, but by tapping Adele for “Skyfall” the Bond series finally picked a song by a British superstar actually at the cusp of a movement. Thanks to Adele and predecessors like Amy Winehouse, Joss Stone, and Duffy, the Brits were right smack in the heart of an English blue-eyed soul singer era which would have made Dusty Springfield proud.

We’ll see what happens next time out. One good song choice does not a new direction make, but I’m crossing my fingers. Maybe the Bond tunesmiths will reshape history and craft the songs they should have made in past outings. Personally, I’m hoping for a Sex Pistols reunion in which they re-record “God Save the Queen” infused with a dose of John Barry’s famous instrumental 007 theme. The movie can open with Bond and the Queen of England landing a helicopter at the Olympics in London. Hey, stranger things have happened.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Bunny Berigan charted with “I Can’t Get Started”: January 29, 1938

image from

Writer(s): Vernon Duke/Ira Gershwin (see lyrics here)

First charted: 29 January 1938

Peak: 10 US (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): -- US, -- UK, -- world

Radio Airplay (in millions): -- Video Airplay (in millions): --

Review: Bob Hope believes this song got him a film contract. TY He and Eve Arden sang it in a scene from Ziegfeld Follies of 1936. The revue opened in January of that year and was notable for Fanny Brice’s last appearance and choreographer George Balanchine’s first Broadway appearance. SB

The song got its start because composer Vernon Duke “literally couldn’t get started.” SB He had written a melody for the song “Face the Music with Me,” and passed it on to lyricist Ira Gershwin when, as Duke said, “nothing had happened to that version.” SB Gershwin added words about a man who’d “done almost anything anyone could want to do in life, including flying around the world in a plane and even selling short just before the stock market crash,” TY but couldn’t get the attention of the woman he desired – in other words, he couldn’t get started with her.

Duke’s “dapper melody” MM “feels more like Tin Pan Alley than Broadway” MM and fit with Gershwin’s lyrics “like a glove – topical and slangy” MM on this “lighthearted standard.” MM Some of Gershwin’s references, such as to Franklin D. Roosevelt and Greta Garbo tied the song to a certain era, but they had such “clever, endearing charm that only a brave singer will dare to replace them.” WK

Hal Kemp recorded the song in 1936, taking it to #14. PM Two years later, trumpeter and singer Roland Bernard “Bunny” Berigan tackled the song. He had been a trumpet star in the dance band era, playing with the Dorsey Brothers, Benny Goodman, Kemp, and Paul Whiteman before launching his own band. PM His take on “I Can’t Get Started” “is a virtuoso work that defines the range” WK of the trumpet with his “mastery of expression, of emotional nuance, beyond what most trumpet players can only dream of.” WK It became Berigan’s theme song. JA Chet Baker, Nat “King” Cole, Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald, Erroll Garner, Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie, Billie Holiday, Louis Jordan, Charles Mingus, Charlie Parker, Sonny Rollins, Frank Sinatra, Dinah Washington, Lester Young are among the artists to do the song, turning it into a standard. WK

Resources and Related Links:


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

“It’s a Long, Long Way to Tipperary” hits #1 a second time: January 23, 1915

sheet music cover

Writer(s): Jack Judge/Harry Williams (see lyrics here)

First charted: 16 January 1915

Peak: 18 US (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 (sheet music) US, -- UK, 1.0 world

Radio Airplay (in millions): -- Video Airplay (in millions): --

Review: “Tipperary” was written in 1912 as a British music hall song by Jack Judge (and also credited to Harry Williams). Judge’s parents were Irish and his grandparents hailed from Tipperary, Ireland. During World War I, Daily Mail correspondent George Curnock witnessed Irish troops singing it while marching. It caught on with other units of the British Army as a lament on longing for home and eventually gained worldwide appeal. WK

Florrie Forde first sang the song on the British music hall stage in 1913 and the following year the song appeared in two Broadway musicals, Chin-Chin and Dancing Around. That year, the American Quartet were the first to chart with the song in the U.S., hitting #1 for seven weeks. However, it was Irishman John McCormack who had the most successful version – an eight-week chart-topper which hit the charts in early 1915 PM and went on to become the biggest song of the year. WHC

McCormack, who has been called “the most famous Irish tenor of all time,” PM made his operatic debut in Italy and became an American sensation in 1910. He first hit #1 in 1911 with a pair of songs, “I’m Falling in Love with Someone” and “Mother Machree.”

Charles Adams Prince’s Orchestra and Albert Farrington also released versions of the song in 1915, peaking at #2 and #8 respectively. The song was featured in the the film On Moonlight Bay (1951), the musical and film Oh! What a Lovely War in the 1960s, and the musical Darling Lili (1970), which starred Julie Andrews. The German U-boat crew sings it to boost morale in the film Das Boot (1981). On the final episode of TV’s Mary Tyler Moore Show, the newsroom staff sing the song as they march off screen. The song also features in the television special It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown when Snoopy, pretending to be a World War I flying ace, dances to a medley of the era’s tunes as played by Shroeder. WK

Resources and Related Links:


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Led Zeppelin released its first album: January 12, 1969

image from

Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.) Good Times, Bad Times (3/29/69, #80 US) / Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You / You Shook Me / Dazed and Confused / Your Time Is Gonna Come / Black Mountain Side / Communication Breakdown / I Can’t Quit You Baby / How Many More Times

Sales (in millions): 8.0 US, -- UK, 14.0 world

Peak: 10 US, 6 UK


Review: “Jimmy Page had worked extensively as an in-demand session guitarist all through the Sixties, playing on countless pop and rock recordings, learning about studio techniques and record making as he went along.” AD He finally started to make a name for himself as a guitarist with a group when he became the third (following Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck) legendary guitarist of the Yardbirds. When that group broke up, Page and manager Peter Grant found “themselves with concert dates to fulfill, so set about forming a new Yardbirds line-up. Enter Robert Plant, session bassist John Paul Jones and drummer John Bonham.” AD “Early shows saw the soon to be christened Led Zeppelin billed as The Yardbirds but certain supporters were apparently disappointed that it wasn’t really The Yardbirds.” AD

“When The Who drummer Keith Moon heard about Jimmy Page’s idea for a bluesy hard-rock band, he said he thought it would go over like a lead zeppelin. He couldn’t have been farther from the truth.” RV They “emerged victorious with one of rock’s most thunderous debuts.” RV “Led Zeppelin had a fully formed, distinctive sound from the outset…Taking the heavy, distorted electric blues of Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, and Cream to an extreme, Zeppelin created a majestic, powerful brand of guitar rock constructed around simple, memorable riffs and lumbering rhythms.” AMG Robert Plant with his furious, all out, sexual roar of a voice” AD and “a rhythm section with an almost telepathic understanding” AD left space “to allow Jimmy to fully express himself.” AD

Good Times Bad Times

Good Times Bad Times gets the introductions out of the way…Bonham wails on the kick-drum pedal in the opener with an astounding fury, starting his charge to become the greatest drummer in rock history.” RV “But the key to the group’s attack was subtlety: it wasn’t just an onslaught of guitar noise, it was shaded and textured, filled with alternating dynamics and tempos.” AMG “You can hear each and every instrument clearly and separately from each other instrument. You can clearly make out every drum roll…every nuance of the bass parts.” AD

That song and How Many More Times sport “groovy, bluesy shuffles;” AMG the latter, with “a clear precedent in the Howlin’ Wolf song ‘How Many More Years,’” AD is also a great example of Plant’s “habit of improvising and unwittingly including fragments of blues songs in the lyrics as he went along.” AD

Throughout the album, Zeppelin showcases their capacity at “multi-layered music” AMG with Black Mountain Side, which “was based upon a Bert Jansch tune, but credited here to Jimmy Page,” AD “is pure English folk.” AMG ““Two ‘correct’ writing credits arrive on the album sleeve courtesy of Willie Dixon, as Led Zeppelin produce versions of his You Shook Me and I Can't Quit You Babe.” AD

Dazed and Confused

Those two Dixon covers and Dazed and Confused showcase Led Zep’s talent at “extended psychedelic blues” AMG The latter is “a six minute long scary sounding epic full of astonishing playing and sounds, not least the ‘walking bass’ sound that introduces it. Robert Plant…sets a template for vocalists that followed.” AD

While these “often gather the most attention, the remainder of the album is a better indication of what would come later. Babe I’m Gonna Leave You shifts from folky verses to pummeling choruses.” AMG The song came from “an arrangement Jimmy had been working on back in the final days of The Yardbirds. Perhaps no better single example of the sheer glorious dynamics, the quiet to loud, of Led Zeppelin exists.” AD

Babe I’m Gonna Leave You

Elsewhere “Your Time Is Gonna Come is an anthemic hard rocker” AD while the “two and a half minute riff monster” ADCommunication Breakdown is a frenzied rocker with a nearly punkish attack.” AMG a

Note: the original 1969 review from Rolling Stone makes for an interesting in-the-moment perspective. Critic John Mendelsohn accuses the band of being unoriginal in its British blues-rock blueprint method of forming a band: “add, to an excellent guitarist who, since leaving the Yardbirds and/or Mayall, has become a minor musical deity, a competent rhythm section and pretty soul-belter who can do a good spade imitation.” RS He goes on to say that Led Zeppelin “offers little that its twin, the Jeff Beck Group, didn't say as well or better three months ago.” RS

While Mendelsohn admits that Page is “an extraordinarily proficient blues guitarist and explorer of his instrument's electronic capabilities,” RS he also calls him “a very limited producer and a writer of weak, unimaginative songs.” RS Elsewhere, Mendelsohn rips on “prissy Robert Plant’s howled vocals” RS and attacks Led Zep as being “perfectly willing to make themselves a two- (or, more accurately, one[-and]-a-half) man show” RS that “will have to find a producer (and editor) and some material worthy of their collective attention” RS if they intend to “help fill the void created by the demise of Cream.” RS

While even the album’s supporters may concede that the band’s debut “isn’t as varied as some of their later efforts, it nevertheless marked a significant turning point in the evolution of hard rock and heavy metal.” AMG Even bigger than that is the general consensus that Led Zeppelin “receive the credit for inventing heavy metal” AD and it all started here.

Resources and Related Links:


Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Doo-Wop Jukebox Hall of Fame

image from

While the website says “this new Hall of Fame” will have inductees who “will be chosen by a Board of Directors,” the site looks dated and more like a one-person operation. It includes both song and group inductees. There is no indication of when the Hall was started or if it is still around.

Listed below are the groups who have been inducted. Groups are awkwardly categorized as Aces (the absolute best of the best), Kings (just as good, but they can’t all be first), Queens (the last of your favorite groups), and Jacks (as the various members see it). Here are the inductees:

  • Lee Andrews & the Hearts (King)
  • The Blue Notes (Jack)
  • The Cadillacs (King)
  • The Channels (King)
  • The Chantels (Ace)
  • The Cleftones (King)
  • The Clovers (King)
  • The Coasters (Jack)
  • The Crests (King)
  • The Dell Vikings (Queen)
  • The Dells (King)
  • Dion & the Belmonts (King)
  • The Dominos (Queen)
  • The Drifters (King)
  • The Dubs (Ace)
  • The Duprees (Queen)
  • The Fascinators (Jack)
  • The Five Keys (Ace)
  • The Five Satins (King)
  • The Flamingos (Ace)
  • The Harptones (Ace)
  • The Heartbeats (Ace)
  • The Jesters (Queen)
  • The Jive Five (Jack)
  • Lil’ Anthony & the Imperials (King)
  • Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers (Queen)
  • The Marcels (King)
  • The Moonglows (Ace)
  • The Nutmegs (Queen)
  • The Orioles (King)
  • The Paragons (King)
  • The Platters (Ace)
  • The Ravens (Jack)
  • The Shells (Jack)
  • The Skyliners (Ace)
  • The Solitaires (Queen)
  • The Spaniels (Ace)
  • The Students (Queen)
  • The Swallows (Jack)
  • The Valentines (Queen)
  • The Vibrations (Queen)


The Top 100 Best-Selling Acts of All Time

These are the best-selling album acts of all time. Sales include albums, singles, EPS, and videos. There is no organization to oversee sales claims, so these numbers are estimations from various sources and may be inflated. Numbers indicate sales in millions. Click on an act to see its Music Maker Encyclopedia entry at In the event of ties, acts are listed in order of overall rank according to Dave’s Music Database.

Elvis Presley

1. Elvis Presley (1000)
2. The Beatles (1000)
3. Michael Jackson (750)
4. Frank Sinatra (600)
5. Bing Crosby (500)
6. Led Zeppelin (320)
7. Elton John (300)
8. Madonna (300)
9. Queen (300)
10. Tino Rossi (300)

The Beatles

11. Cliff Richard (273.5)
12. Mariah Carey (261.1)
13. The Rolling Stones (260.8)
14. Alla Pugacheva (260)
15. Pink Floyd (250)
16. Chubby Checker (250)
17. Julio Iglesias (250)
18. Nana Mouskouri (250)
19. Celine Dion (232.2)
20. Garth Brooks (210)

Michael Jackson

21. Bruce Springsteen (200)
22. Bee Gees (200)
23. Whitney Houston (200)
24. AC/DC (200)
25. Bob Dylan (190)
26. Metallica (171.5)
27. Abba (171)
28. The Jackson 5/The Jacksons (170)
29. U2(166.4)
30. Genesis (159)

Frank Sinatra

31. Stevie Wonder (150)
32. Billy Joel (150)
33. Aerosmith (150)
34. Phil Collins (150)
35. Mireille Mathieu (150)
36. Dolly Parton (148)
37. Eagles (147.8)
38. Janet Jackson (142.5)
39. Rod Stewart (140.1)
40. David Bowie (140)

Bing Crosby

41. Barbra Streisand (140)
42. Britney Spears (132.1)
43. Bon Jovi (130)
44. Donna Summer (130)
45. Engelbert Humperdinck (130)
46. Backstreet Boys (130)
47. Eric Clapton (129)
48. Neil Diamond (125)
49. Chicago (122)
50. Prince (120)

Led Zeppelin

51. Dire Straits (120)
52. Bryan Adams (120)
53. Wei Wei (120)
54. Roberto Carlos (120)
55. Fleetwood Mac (118.1)
56. Status Quo (118)
57. Santana (117.7)
58. The Drifters (114)
59. Kenny Rogers (111.5)
60. Ricky Nelson (110.5)

Elton John

61. Fats Domino (110)
62. R.E.M. (110)
63. Frankie Laine (109)
64. Black Sabbath (108.2)
65. Aha 106.4)
66. Simon & Garfunkel (105.1)
67. Paul McCartney (103.7)
68. OmPrakash (103)
69. Johnny Mathis (102.5)
70. Illayaraja (102)


71. The Beach Boys (100)
72. Perry Como (100)
73. Guy Lombardo (100)
74. The Who (100)
75. Diana Ross (100)
76. Patti Page (100)
77. Creedence Clearwater Revival (100)
78. Dionne Warwick (100)
79. Tina Turner (100)
80. Brenda Lee (100)


81. George Michael (100)
82. Guns N’ Roses (100)
83. Kiss (100)
84. Olivia Newton-John (100)
85. Cher (100)
86. Tom Jones (100)
87. Lionel Richie (100)
88. Carpenters (100)
89. Deep Purple (100)
90. Gene Autry (100)

Tino Rossi

91. Linda Ronstadt (100)
92. Tupac (2pac) Shakur (100)
93. Iron Maiden (100)
94. Barry White (100)
95. John Denver (100)
96. Rihanna (100)
97. Depeche Mode (100)
98. KC & the Sunshine Band (100)
99. Electric Light Orchestra (100)
100. Tommy James & the Shondells (100)

Cliff Richard

101. Dave Clark Five (100)
102. Duane Eddy (100)
103. The Scorpions (100)
104. Pet Shop Boys (100)
105. Luciano Pavarotti (100)
106. Joni James (100)
107. Charles Aznavour (100)
108. Boney M (100)
109. Modern Talking (100)
110. A.R. Rahman (100)

Mariah Carey

111. Dalida (100)
112. Adriano Celentano (100)
113. Teresa Teng (100)
114. Herbert von Karajan (100)
115. Gheorghe Zamfir (100)
116. Valeriya Yurievna Perfilova (100)
117. Johnny Hallyday (100)
118. Vicky Leandros (100)
119. Michiya Mihashi (100)

The Rolling Stones


Saturday, January 5, 2013

Dave’s Top 100 Acts of All Time

These are my personal favorites. I’ve offered some commentary and/or justification for my tastes at the end, but I’ll just present the list without any explanation first. Note: links go to the acts’ entries in the DMDB Music Makers encyclopedia at

1. The Beatles
2. Marillion
3. Styx
4. Bruce Springsteen
5. The Rolling Stones
6. Kevin Gilbert (solo & group work)
7. The Police/Sting
8. Led Zeppelin
9. U2
10. Jimi Hendrix

The Beatles

11. Eric Clapton (solo & group work)
12. Bob Dylan
13. Pink Floyd
14. David Bowie
15. The Who
16. John Mellencamp
17. Billy Joel
18. Alan Parsons Project (includes Alan Parsons & Eric Woolfson solo)
19. David Baerwald (solo & group work)
20. Eagles


21. Velvet Underground/Lou Reed
22. Queen
23. Squeeze
24. Prince
25. The Rainmakers
26. Crowded House /Neil Finn
27. Lyle Lovett
28. Pearl Jam
29. Tori Amos
30. Elvis Presley

Bruce Springsteen

31. Journey
32. R.E.M.
33. Elton John
34. Fish (solo work)
35. Tears for Fears
36. Indigo Girls
37. Van Halen
38. Olivia Newton-John
39. Paul McCartney (solo work)
40. Stevie Wonder

Kevin Gilbert

41. Michael Jackson
42. Genesis
43. Yes
44. Rush
45. Neil Young (solo & with groups)
46. Split Enz/Tim Finn
47. Peter Gabriel
48. Crosby, Stills & Nash
49. Aerosmith
50. Fleetwood Mac


51. Rod Stewart
52. Boston (+ offshoots)
53. Bob Marley & The Wailers
54. Del Amitri/Justin Currie
55. Sheryl Crow
56. Pat Benatar
57. REO Speedwagon
58. The Doors
59. Melissa Etheridge
60. Elvis Costello

The Police

61. Foreigner
62. Hooters
63. Asia
64. Aretha Franklin
65. Marvin Gaye
66. Simon & Garfunkel/Paul Simon
67. Madonna
68. Tom Petty/The Heartbreakers
69. Robert Plant (solo)
70. John Lennon (solo)


71. Sinead O’Connor
72. Don Henley
73. The Smiths /Morrissey
74. Guns N’ Roses
75. Tracy Chapman
76. Simple Minds
77. Dennis DeYoung (solo)
78. Bob Seger/The Silver Bullet Band
79. Phil Collins (solo)
80. The Eurythmics

Led Zeppelin

81. Roger Waters (solo)
82. Nirvana
83. Johnny Cash
84. The Beach Boys
85. Mike + the Mechanics
86. ZZ Top
87. Paul Carrack (solo & group work with Ace, Squeeze, & Mike + the Mechanics)
88. Violent Femmes
89. The Kinks
90. Alabama

Indigo Girls

91. Bad Company
92. Dire Straits
93. Creedence Clearwater Revival
94. Lynyrd Skynyrd
95. Aha
96. INXS
97. Terence Trent D’Arby
98. The Cars
99. Alanis Morissette
100. Bangles

The Rainmakers

What Is on the List:

To offer some context, I was in grade school in the ‘70s and middle school through college in the ‘80s. As is the case with most people, it is the music of my youth which most dictates my personal tastes. Consequently, there are heavy doses of:

What Is Not on the List:

While there is some variety of genre, my tastes largely lean toward the rock and pop music of the ‘60s through the ‘90s. Perhaps the most dominant characteristic among these acts is that if any of them release a new album, I’m pretty much going to snap it up. I should clarify, though, that while the implication may be that my tastes are limited to the album-oriented rock and pop music of the ‘60s through the ‘90s, my fascination with musical history has led to far more exploration than this list might suggest. Among favorites not making this list but deserving mention:

I could continue, but I would come dangerously close to making the “honorable mention” list bigger than the originally intended list. Hopefully, there’s a little something here to meet everyone’s tastes. If not, well, it isn’t your list anyway. :)