Friday, October 9, 2009

Completing the music trilogy

OK, I have done the greatest albums and the greatest songs in rock history. Now it's time for the greatest acts in rock history. Some of you may be surprised by who is, and who is not, on the list. I will also highlight what I consider to be their landmark track.

1) The Beatles
Put simply, the greatest musical entity the world has ever known. No one changed music and the world at large quite like they did. John Lennon and Paul McCartney are the greatest songwriters of all time, and George Harrison would've been the best songwriter in pretty much any other band. And Ringo Starr remains a massively underrated drummer. *"A Day in the Life"
2) The Rolling Stones
Playing second fiddle isn't always easy. But the Stones handled it well, and put out some amazing songs. "Gimme Shelter," "Sympathy for the Devil," "Paint it, Black," "Jumpin' Jack Flash," "Brown Sugar," these are all classics. *"Gimme Shelter"
3) Elvis Presley
This man made it possible for everyone who followed him. Called the King of Rock and Roll for good reason, he had it all. Looks. Voice. Swiveling hips. He could rock out as well as anyone ("Jailhouse Rock") or break out the ballad ("Can't Help Falling in Love") as well as anyone. *"All Shook Up"
4) Bob Dylan
Dylan made it acceptable to write about social issues in rock and folk rock. He remains one of the greatest songwriters of all time. He may not have been the best guitarist or singer, but there is something soulful and approachable in his music that makes it accessible to everyone. *"The Hurricane"
5) The Who
Considered the first band to truly rock hard, they are part of the holy trinity of British rock and roll. Pete Townshend is one helluva songwriter and guitarist, and no one screamed like Roger Daltry. Throw in the virtuoso bass playing of John Entwhistle and the madman, Keith Moon, at the drum kit, and they put out powerhouses like "Baba O'Riley," "Won't Get Fooled Again," "Reign O'er Me," and "I Can See for Miles." *"Won't Get Fooled Again"
6) Pink Floyd
Probably the greatest band to really emerge from the 1970s, Pink Floyd never met a sad song they didn't like. Creators of the landmark "Dark Side of the Moon," the Floyd was led by their songwriting maestro and bassist Roger Waters. But what really made this band click was the astounding guitar work of David Gilmour. There is a reason why the two guitar solos on "Comfortably Numb" are considered two of the greatest of all time. *"Wish You Were Here"
7) Chuck Berry
The real father of rock and roll, Chuck combined aspects of the blues and country music and emerged with a completely new sound that changed the world. With classics like "Maybellene," "Rock and Roll Music," and the garage band standard "Johnny B. Goode," Chuck laid the groundwork for everyone that followed him. *"Johnny B. Goode"
8) Bruce Springsteen (and the E-Street Band)
Bruce Springsteen was a working class man who wrote songs for the working class. In the mid to late 1970s and early 1980s, no one was a bigger advocate for the middle class than the Jersey boy. His sheer output is astounding. With now legendary tracks like "Born in the USA," "Thunder Road," and "Born to Run," his place in rock and roll history is assured. *"Thunder Road"
9) Nirvana
How can a band that was only around for a few short years make the top 10? Well, in the last 20 years, no band has changed so much in such a short time. Kurt Cobain may well be the best songwriter of his generation, and the jawdropping "Smells Like Teen Spirit" has become one of those songs that is widely recognized as one of the single greatest songs ever recorded. Add in the fact that Dave Grohl was an amazing drummer, and Chris Novacelic was a great bass player, and well, you get into the top 10. *"Smells Like Teen Spirit"
10) Oasis
A contentious pick to be sure, Oasis heralded a new wave of British rock and roll. Liam Gallagher is the greatest singer of his generation, and Noel Gallagher could write a catchy rock and roll song in a coma. Equally adept at loud rockers like "Morning Glory" and "The Shock of the Lightning," as well as ballads "Talk Tonight" and the immortal "Wonderwall," Oasis was a pure rock and roll band. *"All Around the World"
11) Cream *"White Room"
12) John Lennon *"Imagine"
13) Little Richard *"Tutti Fruiti"
14) Aerosmith *"Dream On"
15) U2 *"One"
16) Neil Young *"Southern Man"
17) Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers *"The Waiting"
18) Paul McCartney *"Live and Let Die"
19) The Eagles *"The Last Resort:
20) Crosby, Stills, and Nash (and sometimes Young) *"Woodstock"
21) Led Zeppelin *"When the Levee Breaks"
22) Elton John *"Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding"
23) Simon and Garfunkle *"The Sound of Silence"
24) The Doors *"Touch Me"
25) Pearl Jam *"Jeremy"
26) The Kinks *"Lola"
27) The Moody Blues *"The Story in your Eyes"
28) James Brown *"Papa's got a Brand New Bag"
29) Eric Clapton *"Layla"
30) David Bowie *"Rebel Rebel"
31) George Harrison *"All Things Must Pass"
32) Stevie Wonder *"Superstition"
33) Billy Joel *"Captain Jack"
34) The Police *"Every Breath you Take"
35) Aretha Franklin *"Think"
36) Fleetwood Mac *"Go Your Own Way"
37) The Clash *"Train in Vain"
38) The Beach Boys *"God Only Knows"
39) The Byrds *"Mr. Tambourine Man"
40) Tears for Fears *"Sowing the Seeds of Love"
41) Johnny Cash *"Hurt"
42) The Band *"The Weight"
43) Tina Turner *"Simply the Best"
44) The Talking Heads *"And She Was"
45) Smokey Robinson and the Miracles *"Tears of a Clown"
46) The Supremes *"Stop in the Name of Love"
47) Queen *"Somebody to Love"
48) Buddy Holly and the Crickets *"Brown Eyed Handsome Man"
49) Bo Diddley *"Bo Diddley"
50) Michael Jackson *"Beat It"
51) Creedence Clearwater Revival *"Fortunate Son"
52) The Grateful Dead *"Uncle John's Band"
53) The Jefferson Airplane *"Volunteers"
54) The Sex Pistols *"God Save the Queen"
55) R.E.M. *"Man on the Moon"
56) Alice in Chains *"Man in the Box"
57) The Allman Brothers Band *"Midnight Rider"
58) B.B. King *"The Thrill is Gone"
59) Peter Gabriel *"Steam"
60) Prince *"When Doves Cry"
61) Alice Cooper *"No More Mr. Nice Guy"
62) Kiss *"Rock and Roll All Night"
63) Lynard Skynard *"Mr. Saturday Night Special"
64) Genesis *"Home By the Sea"
65) Roy Orbison *"Oh! Pretty Woman"
66) The Wallflowers *"Letters from the Wasteland"
67) Stone Temple Pilots *"Big Empty"
68) Lloyd Price *"Stagger Lee"
69) Jimi Hendrix *"All Along the Watchtower"
70) Janis Joplin *"Me and Bobby McGee"
71) The Animals *"House of the Rising Sun"
72) Ringo Starr *"It Don't Come Easy"
73) Stevie Ray Vaughn "Little Wing"
74) Dire Straits *"Brothers in Arms"
75) Don Henley *"The Garden of Allah"
76) Paul Simon *"Graceland"
77) Marvin Gaye *"What's Going On?"
78) The Temptations *"My Girl"
79) Bill Haley and the Comets *"Rock Around the Clock"
80) The Ramones *"Blitzkrieg Bop"
81) Guns 'n'Roses *"Welcome to the Jungle"
82) Black Sabbath *"Iron Man"
83) Metallica *"Enter Sandman"
84) AC/DC *"Back in Black"
85) James Taylor *"Fire and Rain"
86) The Travelling Wilburys *"Handle with Care"
87) Van Halen *"Running with the Devil"
88) The Jackson 5 *"I Want you Back"
89) Green Day *"Holiday"
90) Sting *"Fields of Gold"
91) Rod Stewart *"Maggie May"
92) John Mellencamp *"Rain on the Scarecrow"
93) T.Rex *"Bang a Gong (Get it On)"
94) Deep Purple *"Smoke on the Water"
95) Bon Jovi *"Have a Nice Day"
96) Traffic *"Feelin' Alright"
97) The Black Crowes *"Soul Singing"
98) Van Morrison *"Moon Dance"
99) The Guess Who *"No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature"
100) Carole King *"I Feel The Earth Move"

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