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. :)

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