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What the heck. I decided to list what I consider my Top 30 favorites artist. These are the artists that I still listen to faithfully. There are many more that I like, that on any other given day may have made the list. But today...these are Top 30.

1. Beatles
2. Elton John
3. ELO
4. Billy Joel
5. Eagles
6. Paul McCartney/Wings
7. The Moody Blues
8. The Guess Who
9. America
10. UFO
11. Eric Carmen
12. Raspberries
13. Survivor
14. Foreigner
15. Barry Manilow
16. Journey
17. REO Speedwagon
18. Hall & Oates
19. Styx
20. Partridge Family
21. Chicago
22. Collective Soul
23. John Waite
24. Bread
25. Bob Seger
26. The Clarks
27. Led Zeppelin
28. Badfinger
29. Alice Cooper
30. Toto


Honorable Mention: Poco, Ricky Nelson, Glen Campbell, Bee Gees, Icehouse, Steely Dan, Uriah Heep, Cheap Trick...and the list goes on

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Craig, you´re probably the most knowledgeable person I know re: pop/rock music.

My top 10:

1. Eric Carmen / Raspberries
2. Elton John
4. Burton Cummings
5. REO Speedwagon
6. America
7. Foghat
8. Neil Diamond
9. Eagles
10. Status Quo

I´m in exploration mode, ie: getting familiar with a lot of music I hadn´t been familiar with, so this top 10 will likely change in the next year or 2.

Edit: somehow I forgot to include the Bee Gees...they go somewhere between #2 and #5.

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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.... 

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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.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
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
85. Bill Withers

86. Art Garfunkel
87. Harry Nilsson
88. The Lovin' Spoonful
89. Mamas & the Papas
. Diana Ross & the Supremes
91. Colbie Caillet 
92. Mary Chapin Carpenter
93. John Denver
94. Allman Brothers
. 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
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Couple points:
1. If I have to split Eric Carmen & Raspberries, Eric Carmen would win out, but not by a lot
2. I´m surprised you guys have Eric Carmen as low as you guys do!...of course it´s fine, I´m just surprised.
3. The sound of Philadelphia, and some of the non-Motown soul music.....I´m getting into some of those groups these days, so great, in a year or so I´d guess a couple of them will hit my top 10.
4. I left off David Gates / Bread.....big oversight....David Gates is an American music treasure. Probably should ditto Gordon Lightfoot here, except he´s a Canadian treasure.

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If I make a top 30 artist list I'll have to go back and revamp it several times because of artists I forgot the first time...an impossible task! I'll see if I can get at least the first 10 right:

Eric Carmen


Beach Boys



Elton John


Jackson Browne


Rolling Stones







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LC & James when I saw you ranked the Beach Boys and Bee Gees, I thought "Holy crap! I left them off my list", but then as looked at my list, i decided that they wouldn't crack my Top 30. NOT because I don't appreciate their immense talent, or the musical genius of Bryan Wilson. It's just that as I look at their total body of work, I prefer to listen to my Top 30. But right there is why I LOVE music so much. To leave a group like the Beach Boys off of my Top 30??? Or the Bee Gees?? Wow. There are just SO many great artists out there.

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