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Everything posted by LC

  1. Your Favorite Duets

    Duets might seem a little gimmicky to some, but I like when two artists merge/combine strengths and talents to make a song as good as it can be. Here are my 10 favorites in reverse order, the No. 1 being obscure, I'm sure, to many. But... it's outstanding. PS: I'm not counting duet acts — like the Everlys, Simon & Garfunkel, Sonny & Cher, and Hall & Oates. I'm sticking with individual artists who teamed up. Also didn't count live concert duets—of which there are plenty. That's another whole list, headed maybe by John Lennon and Elton John doing McCartney's "I Saw Her Standing There" in concert in the mid-1970s. 10. Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers: Islands in the Stream. When you needed a hit in the 1970s or 1980s, you called Barry Gibb to write something. 9. Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand: "You Don't Bring Me Flowers." A little on the sappy side, but... a very moving break-up tune. 8. Stevie Nicks and Don Henley: "Leather and Lace." Well-crafted song from a prime era in both artists' careers. 7. Barry Gibb and Barbra Streisand: "Guilty." Everything Gibb touched in the 1970s was turning to gold. 6. Billy Joel and Ray Charles: "Baby Grand." A song Billy wrote with Ray in mind. Check out the video—Ray Charles is so cool, and Billy was clearly in musical heaven 5. Dave Stewart and Martina McBride: "All Messed Up." Written by the Eurythmics' Dave Stewart, this country-flavored rocker has a raunchy appeal, a killer hook, and a passionate performance from Stewart and (whew!) the estimable Martina McBride. It starts out slow-paced, but wait for it—the chorus and accompanying slide guitar raise the bar. (More Stewart below, from the same album, also recorded in Nashville with some of the city's finest musicians.) 4. Freddie Mercury and David Bowie: "Under Pressure." I love the intensity in this performance. 3. Stevie Nicks & Tom Petty: "Stop Draggin My Heart Around." Instead of leather and lace, Stevie had some venom here, getting a great performance from Tom Petty and backing outfit with the Heartbreakers. 2. Elton John & KiKi Dee: "Don't Go Breaking My Heart." This beautifully innocent song ranks as one of pop's finest feel-good efforts. 1. Dave Stewart and Colbie Caillat: "Bulletproof Vest." Here's one you haven't heard. But check out the video. You'll find it arresting and irresistible. Especially because of Colbie. I love her world-weary look at 0:33 (when Dave sings the line "I can see it in your eyes") and her lead vocal parts and her background vocals and her moves, especially in the light from the video's stained-glass windows.
  2. Neil Diamond...

    I can't believe I never bought Hot August Night, but I have heard a lot of it. I'm downloading it now.... Meanwhile, check out this TV appearance: Neil Diamond with Linda Ronstadt and Glen Campbell doing a medley of Diamond tunes...
  3. Best / favorite movies of all timie

    Lew, you had to have seen A Hard Day's Night...! The Beatles? John Paul George Ringo? Also, I'm expecting to put Let It Be on that list—the new Peter Jackson-produced film coming up in September. That will be an event.
  4. Best / favorite movies of all timie

    I'm the same way—not a huge movie guy. I do love 'em, but I just don't put enough time aside to watch 'em. BUT... I'd love to have the time to watch a movie a day. I actually still remember the first flick I saw in a theater (not counting any kid films my folks may or may not have brought us to): It was Jaws. Man, that was a thriller for young teens (my sisters and me—I don't think my little bro went). We didn't realize how un-lifelike the shark was.... Anyway, I'll give you a list of 25 movies that I've seen that have stuck in my head as great and entertaining and moving. As always, I ha've way overwritten. • A Dog's Purpose (2017). Who's to say our childhood dogs haven't come back to rescue us as adults? • A League of Their Own (1993). Those Legendary Ladies of Baseball—all class. I met a group of them at a show a few years after the movie came out. Made me love the movie even more. • Sandlot (1993). A great nostalgia blitz for the way we grew up in a long-gone era... all that time on sandlot diamonds, pretending you were Mickey Mantle or Bobby Murcer, and confident you'd play for the Yankees someday. • Field of Dreams (1989). Intrigue on the diamond. Love it, and need to watch it again. • Eight Men Out (1988). Can you tell I like baseball flicks? I know there were liberties taken with facts, but the net effect captures the sadness of the situation.... • Hard Day's Night (1964). The Beatles' film debut is still a great time. • Vacation (1983). Love Chevy Chase's shenanigans as head of the Griswold household. • Christmas Vacation (1989). More Chevy.... the scene where he opens the attic door and gets clobbered by the pull-down stairs is always a kick. • Dodgeball (2004). Flat-out fun. I think Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn are great. • Groundhog Day (1993). Actually, Bill Murray might be my favorite actor, or at least in the top five, off the top of my head) • Apollo 11 (2019). I found this very gripping—it uses all archival film in telling the story of Apollo 11. At the pivotal movement, the touch-and-go reentry to Earth scene, a great old John Stewart song, "Mother Country," turns up. It was actually brought on the flight by one of rite astronauts who made an early mix tape; the playback device (a prehistoric iPod, you could call it) held only 12 songs. • Apollo 13 (1995). Ron Howard did a masterful job retelling this story of this space mission. • Titanic (1997). An epic... You just wanna tell Capt. Smith to STOP THE SHIP! • Eight Days a Week (2018). I love Ron Howard's skillful directing, and also his reverence for the Beatles. • The Godfather (1972). I"m gonna make you an offer you can't refuse... • Caddyshack (1980). What a cast! • The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1993). Lots of suspense, and those great dinosaurs. The sequels are great too. • Toy Story II (1999). The rare case when the sequel is even better than the original. The addition of Jessie the Yodeling Cowgirl iced it. • You, Me, and Dupree (2016). Love Owen Wilson, and Matt Dillon is great here, and, of course, there's Kate Hudson. • Hacksaw Ridge (2016). A moving war flick based on true events. • 13 Ghosts (1960). The B&W original seemed to be on TV every Saturday when I was a kid—and scared the bejeezus out of me every time. • It's a Wonderful Life (1946). Yes, hokey and dated, but... it's nice to see an uplifter. • The Birds (1963). A bit of Hitchcock horror. I didn't realize until just now the hell that Alfred put actress Tippie Hedren through (see: https://www.indiewire.com/feature/best-alfred-hitchcock-movies-films-ranked-184715/) • There's Something About Mary (1998). Lotsa laughs, plus a Brett Favre cameo. • The Jackal (1997). My wife and I were extras in this Bruce Willis/Richard Gere film, shot partly in Richmond, Va., when we lived there... but it's still a great movie anyway!
  5. I've never been a huge Badfinger fan, but man, they had some great songs, "Without You" being one of 'em: Of course, not being "into" Badfinger while growing up, I heard Harry Nilsson's version and thought that was "it" --- only to discover later that the original is more raw, urgent, and brilliant.... (Of course, how many kids of the '90s know only Mariah Carey's version?)
  6. Without You: Badfinger

    Yep, I grew up on the Nilsson version and loved it, and I don't think I heard the Badfinger version (not having been a huge fan) until probably the late 1980s, when I got a CD compilation. That Nilsson version is so perfect, so well-performed. It's really an iconic song. Like I said, it's A+ stuff. But the more I listened to Badfinger's version over the years, the more I appreciated the rawness and organic-ness that you pointed out. Thank God Harry picked it out and recorded it, because it probably exposed lots of people to Badfinger who otherwise might have missed 'em.
  7. Neil Diamond...

    Well, really I'm the same. I've actually never bought a Neil Diamond album in my life, so I know the hits and semi-hits. Actually, I did buy a couple of Greatest Hits packages, and they're great, but... my own playlist is even better. :
  8. Without You: Badfinger

    Interesting. I like the earthy, honest B-finger version. But it's not like I don't love Harry's version too. To me, they're A++ and A+.
  9. Without You: Badfinger

    Yep, with both Billy Sullivan and Eric himself weighing in with the same opinion. A year after this thread, Tim in Wisc. put up a similar thread, and Eric wrote an amazingly similar opinion, arguing the point with one misguided know-it-all who said Harry outdid Badfinger:
  10. Without You: Badfinger

    I've been seeing Lew post about his high regard for Badfinger. It's interesting that arguably their most widely known song was made famous by someone else. So I looked for this old thread and found it—I think the "which version" question about "Without You" is one of those music discussions where there's no right answer. It's been often covered—there are versions by Heart, Glen Campbell, Engelbert Humperdinck (not bad!), Air Supply, Kelly Clarkson, and others. But these three are the most famous, and always worth the 14 minutes to soak in.
  11. Neil Diamond...

    1. Longfellow Serenade. There's a certain elegance and majesty to this great old song, all within one of those "building-up" melodies that Neil Diamond does so well. 2. Cracklin' Rosie. "Sweet Caroline" gets more attention (thanks to Red Sox fans), but I think this is one of the most perfect pop songs by anyone. 3. Sweet Caroline. And, yes, this is another of the most perfect pop songs ever written. 4. Song Sung Blue. A cool vibe and catchy wordplay. 5. You Don't Bring Me Flowers. Can't go wrong writing a heartbreaker like this and then drafting Streisand to duet. (I always felt a Streisand/Carmen duet on "The Way We Used to Be" would have put it near the top of the charts.) 6. Solitary Man. So many women... but still a solitary in the end. 7. Love on the Rocks. Another Diamond heartbreaker—he had a knack for writing these. 8. September Morn. Something about September songs.... 9. I Am... I Said 10. If You Know What I Mean. Honorable mention to "Play Me" and "Brother Love" and also to his own versions of the Monkees hits "I'm a Believer" and "A Little Bit Me A Little Bit You." Thanks for starting this one, James. You've inspired a worthy playlist for my iPhone. That said, I can't do terribly long stretches of Neil Diamond. :-) But these and some of the others you guys have mentioned (like "Be" and "Holly Holy") are pop classics.
  12. ELO, ELO, ELO...

    Out of the Blue, from 1977, kills me. It takes me right back to college, because it was released at the start of my freshman year (Oct. 3, 1977—I just looked it up). When I wasn't listening to Beatles, 'berries, or Boats Against the Current, Out of the Blue was spinning on my turntable. In fact, ELO was the first band I saw in concert. I later got to interview Jeff Lynne, who's been an awesome purveyor of brilliant Beatlesque pop. Even though he finally made the R&R Hall of Fame, I still think he's pop music's most underrated genius. The double-album Out of the Blue came in a fittingly colorful, almost extravagant package—full lyrics, eye-candy graphics, spaceship cutouts, and a poster. Couldn't have been more impactful to a 17-year-old college kid who loved Beatlesque pop with the sort of raunch and over-the-top strings ELO practiced in that era. In the spirit of our ratings games, here's how I'd rank the songs on this masterpiece: 1. "Mr. Blue Sky" (A+). One of my favorite all-time spirits-lifting pop songs, up there with "Wouldn't It Be Nice" and "I Saw Her Standing There." 2. "Turn to Stone" (A). A perfect album-opener and radio hit. Those back-up vocals—so quirky and cool. 3. "It's Over" (A). A common title but a unique pop song. "Summer came and passed away, hardly seemed to last a day, but it's over..." 4. "Big Wheels" (A). A patented Jeff Lynne haunter, with some great vocals, including falsettos, and surprising dynamics. 5. "Believe Me Now/Steppin' Out" (A). I'm combining these two because the former (at 1:21) is a musical intro to "Steppin' Out," another Lynne haunter that's every bit as good as "Big Wheels." It's a love-lost theme, but with a positivity ("I'm gonna be somebody...") 6. "Wild West Hero" (A-). Took me a while to love this one, but I do! It's so odd and weird—a Brit band pining for the U.S. wild west life. Such a cool bridge, too. 7. "Sweet Talkin' Woman" (A-). One of four great singles from Out of the Blue. 8. "Standin' in the Rain" (B+). The kickoff song from Side 3 , one of the most interesting, memorable vinyl sides ever made. It's thematic, going from rainy, dark, and depressing to sunshine and relief in the space of about 20 minutes. This song segues into "Big Wheels" (see above), which runs into "Summer and Lightning" (see below), which takes us, finally, to "Mr. Blue Sky" (see No. 1). The four songs are best when grouped.... 9. "Sweet Is the Night" (B+). One of two songs with "sweet" in the title, and another nice Lynne ballad. 10. "Night in the City" (B+). This one opens Side 2 and also was the leadoff song on ELO's 1978 tour set list. It's a cacophonous rocker with crazed falsetto and background vocals and wailing strings. Love it! 11. "Summer and Lightning" (B). A mood-setter fitting in between "Big Wheels" and "Mr. Blue Sky." 12. "Across the Border" (B-). A rollicking rocker that closes Side 1, which is just about as qualitative as Side 3. 13. "Birmingham Blues" (B-). Lynne wrote about his hometown here, a raunchy rocker near the end of Side 4. 14. "Starlight" (C+). A plodding pop number with a nice enough hook, Lynne falsettos, heavy backup vocals, and swirling strings. 15. "The Whale" (C+). We never give instrumentals enough love, but this one is pretty cool... an aquatic sort of vibe that gives you a little breather on Side 4. 16. "Jungle" (C). Maybe a bit of a throwaway, something Lynne might call "daft." I can't quite call it a clunker—it's just in the shadow of 15 superior tracks.
  13. REO....

    I was never a big REO fan, though I have one sister who's always been over-the-top crazy about 'em. I lump them in with other arena-rock bands of the era that I like, but don't love... bands whose hits were great but that didn't move me to buy entire records, except in a couple of cases. Here's my personal ranking of those types: T1. Boston. I do actually have all of Boston's records. They didn't make many, but they were pretty darned good. T1. Foreigner. I have Foreigner in a dead heat with Boston—great melodies in a harder-than-power-pop setting. Loved the record Foreigner 4, especially "Urgent." 3. Journey. They could be outstanding ("Don't Stop Believing") or annoying ("Open Arms"), depending on the song. But overall, I liked 'em. I have a few of their albums, though a greatest-hits package might be all I need. 4. REO. I do have a greatest-hits package, so there's that. My favorites aren't even on your list, James—"Take It on the Run" and "Can't Fight This Feeling." They had some good power ballads, though I also found "Keep on Loving You" annoying. 5. Styx. I typically wouldn't change the station when they'd come on, except for maybe "Mr. Roboto" and "Too Much Time on My Hands." Most of their hits, I'd listen to. Yet I also didn't buy their records. Some people would put Queen in the arena rock genre, but I feel like they're beyond that. If I had 'em on this list...straight to No. 1.
  14. Billy Joel's Best

    Hmm... not many Springsteen fans here, obviously. But my next deep dive is Billy Joel. (My deep dives are starting these days with iPhone playlists I'm making... just for me.) I've been a huge Billy fan since my college pal Dave begged me to drive him to the ONE record store in Rochester, NY, he could find (after several calls) that happened to be carrying Joel's brand new album, The Stranger. It wasn't a "hot new release"—it was just the next album by the guy that did "Piano Man" a few years earlier. The Stranger slid out without much fanfare... which is why Dave had to hunt to track down a copy. But he LOVED Billy, having come from Long Island, and couldn't wait to hear his latest. As we all know, it didn't take long The Stranger to break loose, turning Billy from regional and cult favorite to international star. And to think... Eric Carmen was way more well-known before The Stranger hit, having scored all those hits on his first solo album. When "Just the Way You Are" took off, the tables turned. PS: Did you know Billy hasn't released a studio album since 1993 (River of Dreams)? Yet he hasn't disappeared, considering all the touring he did in the decades that followed. Anyway, for me, Billy's finest were the following albums and songs. 5 ALBUMS The Stranger was such a strong pop album, and most of it holds up. I like Nylon Curtain just as much. And Turnstiles isn't far behind. Years ago, I might've had The Bridge on this list, but it hasn't aged all that well. 1. The Stranger (1977) 2. Nylon Curtain (1982) 3. Turnstiles (1976) 4. 52nd Street (1978) 5. Piano Man (1973) On the outside looking in: Glass Houses (1980) and Storm Front (1989). 20 SONGS I've got 10 of Joel's 13 albums represented below, with nothing from Cold Spring Harbor or Glass Houses or his 2001 classical album. The split (I had to count) was four from Turnstiles; three each from The Nylon Curtain, The Stranger and 52nd Street; two from An Innocent Man; and one each from Piano Man, Streetlife Serenade, The Bridge, and River of Dreams. 1. Summer, Highland Falls 2. Vienna 3. Goodnight Saigon 4. Piano Man 5. Rosalinda’s Eyes 6. Scenes from an Italian Restaurant 7. I’ve Loved These Days 8. Pressure 9. Laura 10. Stilletto 11. She’s Always a Woman 12. I Go to Extremes 13. Miami 2017 14. This Night 15. This Is the Time 16. The Longest Time 17. River of Dreams 18. James 19. Until the Night 20. Souvenir On the outside looking in: "Allentown," "Captain Jack," "My Life," "Baby Grand" (w/ Ray Charles), ""Where's the Orchestra?" On the other hand, "Just the Way You Are," "You're My Home," and "She's Got a Way"—all former favorites—didn't make the cut for me. Gushy, hopelessly sappy love songs don't wear well. However, "James" did make my list.
  15. Billy Joel's Best

    Another good call. I know what you mean—it's Billy sounding his most un-Joel-like. I always considered this his most powerful track on 52nd Street—dramatic in the best possible sense, and kind of heartbreaking.
  16. Billy Joel's Best

    Good call! I love Songs in the Attic. If I were including live albums in my Billy list, this one would be somewhere around 4, 5, or 6. EVERYTHING on it is from Billy's pre-Stranger albums, so if you're looking for hits, they're not there. However, you do get energized and updated versions of all kinds of worthy deep tracks. Including "Summer, Highland Falls."
  17. Billy Joel's Best

    James, I was thinking... if you don't know "James," then you probably don't know "Summer, Highland Falls." You might have noticed it atop my list of favorite Billy Joel songs above. Have a feeling you'll dig this, if not be quite moved by it. A symmetrical melody, nice performance, wistful lyrics. "As we stand upon the ledges of our lives, with our respective similarities, it's either sadness or euphoria."
  18. John Lennon solo

    I haven't seen Susie here in a while, so I'm worried about our friend. Maybe a Lennon solo ranking will be enough to bring her out? 5 ALBUMS 1. Imagine (1971): A. I've come to not like "I Don't Wanna Be a Soldier" but everything else on here is great. Especially love 2. Plastic Ono Band (1970): A. That first solo album—whew! Lots of anguish and emotion. A stirring record. 3. Starting Over (1980): B+. A tough one to rank, because you have to buy into Yoko Ono's work. That said, I'm going B+ because Lennon is at his best here, having stored up some knockouts during his five-year layoff, so he gets an A+. And because "lifting the needle" when this first came out made it too inconvenient to skip Yoko, I listened. And I came to really like a couple tracks ("Every Man Has a Woman Who Loves Him," "Kiss Kiss Kiss") and found the rest to be interesting enough. 4. Mind Games (1973): B+. 5. Walls & Bridges (1974): B. 30 SONGS 1. Mind Games (Mind Games) 2. I'm Losing You (Double Fantasy) 3. Stand By Me (Rock'n'Roll) 4. (Just Like) Starting Over (Double Fantasy) 5. It's So Hard (Imagine) 6. Jealous Guy (Imagine) 7. #9 Dream (Walls and Bridges) 8. Imagine (Imagine) 9. Mother (Plastic Ono Band) 10. God (Plastic Ono Band) 11. Love (Plastic Ono Band) 12. Real Love (Wonsaponatime) 13. Whatever Gets You Thru the Night (Walls and Bridges) 14. Crippled Inside (Imagine) 15. Gimme Some Truth (Imagine) 16. Bring on the Lucie/Freda Peeple (Mind Games) 17. How Do You Sleep? (Imagine) 18. Steel and Glass (Walls and Bridges) 19. Watching the Wheels (Double Fantasy) 20. Nobody Loves You When You're Down and Out (Walls and Bridges) 21. Grow Old with Me (Milk and Honey) 22. Oh Yoko! (Imagine) 23. Forgive Me, My Little Flower Princess (Milk and Honey) 24. Instant Karma (single) 25. Woman Is the N-word of the World (Sometime in NY City) 26. Only You (Wonsaponatime) 27. Happy Xmas (single) 28. Working Class Hero (Plastic Ono Band) 29. How (Imagine). 30. I Saw Her Standing There, with Elton John (live, single) Revision: "Imagine" added.
  19. John Lennon solo

    Good call. Rock'n'Roll is an underrated album. I was trying to fit in his cover of "Just Because" on my list. It's very cool. Meanwhile, I realized I omitted a some must-rankers—especially "Instant Karma," "Happy Xmas." So I opened my list to 30 (up from 25). Even so, I tforgot to list "Out the Blue," "Give Peace a Chance," "Woman," "Cleanup Time," "Scared," and "New York City."
  20. James, I must admit I know very little about Burton Cummings. However, I'll take your list as an opportunity to educate myself, and go through your selections. I mean, I do know his solo hit "Stand Tall," and everybody knows "Clap for the Wolfman." But... I'm not recognizing the other titles. That said, I'm guessing that once I start streaming them all, I'll recognize a number of them.... —LC
  21. John Lennon solo

    Fixed. See above.By the way, Lennon recorded "Only You" and then gave it to Ringo, who had a major hit with it. But Lennon's version is pretty cool, too. Also, I'm betting "Forgive Me, My Little Flower Princess" is obscure to many. Really nice track from his posthumous Milk and Honey album—it's got the coolest vibe, and sounds like Lennon was channeling Yoko's offbeat style and flavoring it with a little reggae... and dance? Love it...
  22. John Lennon solo

    Oops— I had it in there, somewhere around 12. An editing casualty... I’ll fix. Heard it too many times but it belongs.
  23. Eagles, song rankings

    As noted on the Eagles LP thread... my Top 20 is very hits-heavy. I'm sure I'll come up with other choices after a drilling deeper.... 1. I Can't Tell You Why. A non-Henley/Frey song at the Top of an Eagles list? This is so great, though. 2. Lyin' Eyes 3. Hotel California 4. One of These Nights 5. Take It to the Limit 6. Wasted Time 7. Best of My Love 8. Take It Easy 9. Pretty Maids All in a Row 10. Try and Love Again 11. Peaceful Easy Feeling 12. Tequila Sunrise 13. Last Resort 14. Love Will Keep Us Alive 15. Desperado 16. New Kid in Town 17. In the City 18. Witchy Woman19. Already Gone 20. Heartache Tonight I do like "The Long Run," actually. And honorable mention to "Please Come Home for Christmas." And just like that, I have an Eagles playlist!
  24. Top 30 Artists

    Craig, I couldn't do it. I actually had 83 listed out. I did some editing to get it down to 30, then felt like Nos. 31 to 40 deserved a plug—heck, one of them was a Beatle. So, here's my Top 40.. UPDATE... Well, I went a little crazy and stretched it out more than double, al the way to 100. And there are still missing names. I clearly need to listen to more Motown, Stax, and blues. 1. Beatles. So deep, so brilliant, so wide-ranging, so impactful.... The Beatles simply make life better. 2. Paul McCartney. His longevity has rocketed him up my list, higher than he might have been 30 years ago. 3. John Lennon. Think of all the music we lost on that December day in 1980. He was just getting started again... 4. John Stewart. Former Kingston Trio, writer of "Daydream Believer," singer of "Gold" and "Midnight Wind," and folk-rock/Americana artist whose 50-plus albums make a stunning body of work. 5. George Harrison. A deep dive into Beatle George's solo work has given me an all-new appreciation for what he did as a solo. Have you ever heard "Soft-Hearted Hana"? "Ooh Baby"? "Dear One"? 6. Fleetwood Mac. Based largely on the Buckingham/Nicks era, but with appreciation for the Green, Kirwan, Spencer, and Welch eras. 7. Bruce Springsteen. Again, elevated by a deep dive. 8. Raspberries. No. 8... or 1a! Honestly, I liked Raspberries more when I thought about music first, not politics. 9. ELO. Still another act elevated by a deep dive. 10. Beach Boys. It's almost sinful to have the BBs this low. 11. World Party. Yet another beneficiary of a deep dive. 12. Bob Dylan. Criminally low. T12. Eric Carmen. It' so hard to separate these three.... So I copped out—Eric, Elton, and Billy in a piano-man tie. T12. Elton John. T12. Billy Joel. 16. Jackson Browne. Those lyrics! 17. Lindsey Buckingham. That guitar playing! 28. Stevie Nicks. That mysticism! 19. Bee Gees. Those harmonies! 20. Traveling Wilburys. That lineup! Made only two albums, but it was enough to land in my Top 20. 21. Paul Simon. 22. Eagles. 23. Johnny Cash. A relatively late discovery for me. I got heavily into The Man in Black a few years ago. 24. Rolling Stones. I'll never be your beast of burden.... 25. 10,000 Maniacs. I prefer the Mary Ramsey era (current) over the Natalie Merhant era—not that the Natalie era is bad or anything. I just happen to dig Mary Ramsey. If this list were extended out, you'd also see John & Mary—Ramsey's duo act with John Lombardo (a Maniacs founder who goes in and out of the group). 26. Neil Young. I'm due for a deep Neil Young dive. 27. Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers. 28. Monkees. The Pre-Fab Four. You know, they had some really strong songs. 29. Chicago. One of the first bands I really loved. Those first nine albums stand up quite well. The loss of Terry Kath had such an impact... what might have been! 30. Bonnie Raitt 31. Derek & the Dominoes 32. Eric Clapton. 33. Elvis Presley. Crazy to have Elvis so low, but I missed out on the mania. Still, the music explains it... what a voice, what a tone, what phrasing... 34. Boz Scaggs 35. Ringo. I might not have had Ringo in my Top 40 if not for a deep dive I've been doing. It's hard to call any of his albums an A or even B, but when you cull the one or two or three highlights from each, there's more here than meets the eye. Plus, he's Ringo! 36. Brian Wilson. Too bad he got sidetracked by years of drug abuse. We lost a lot of great music. 37. Dire Straits. I need to do a Dire Straits deep dive. Mark Knopfler's guitar playing can be so hypnotic. 38. Rod Stewart 39. U2 40. The Carpenters 41. Simon & Garfunkel 42. Al Green 43. Glen Campbell 44. Rosanne Cash 45. Hall & Oates 46. Bread 47. Badfinger 48. Fotomaker 49. Linda Ronstadt 50. Kingston Trio. Especially the John Stewart era—though I much prefer John's solo work. 51. Dean Martin 52. Frank Sinatra 53. Bob Seger 54. Queen 55. Boston 56. Don McLean 57. The Cars 58. Peter Frampton 59. David Bowie 60. Staple Singers 61. Mike Nesmith 62. Roy Orbison 63. Smokey Robinson & the Miracles. I need to dig more into early Motown. 64. Buddy Guy. A little bit of blues! 65. Joe Walsh 66. Aretha Franklin 67. Foreigner 68. Dave Stewart (Eurythmics) 69. Don Henley 70. The Byrds 71. Carole King 72. Blondie 73. The Band 74. James Taylor 75. Cowsills 76. Carl Perkins 77. Everly Brothers 78. Olivia Newton-Joh 79. Glenn Frey 80. George Michael 81. Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons 82. Marvin Gaye 83. Sam Cooke 84. Eurythmics 85. Bill Withers 86. Art Garfunkel 87. Harry Nilsson 88. The Lovin' Spoonful 89. Mamas & the Papas 90. Diana Ross & the Supremes 91. Colbie Caillet 92. Mary Chapin Carpenter 93. John Denver 94. Allman Brothers 95. Martina McBride 96. B.J. Thomas. Remember "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head"? And "Hey Won't You Play Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song"? 97. Turtles 98. Righteous Brothers 99. Fifth Dimension 100. Partridge Family
  25. Top 30 Artists

    That is so weird! I started a post with the same theme, but couldn't stop at 30, so went to 40, then 50... and it's now at 100! I will cease and desist on that one, and give you my 30. One of the rules I had was: Keep bands separate from solo artists who emerge. You have the same rule, but James... you've got Eric and Raspberries combined, so... you'll have to split them. Who goes first? :-) Anyway, lemme find my list. I think it's in an iPhone "Notes" file....