Okay, so you all know that this is going to be a very coveted and exclusive list to be on. So far Dylan, The Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix's ghost have contacted me pleading their case why they should be on the list.
Me being me however, I am going my own way on this list. It will not include those guys because they need no other notice on how good they are. Also, I really do believe that the artists to be named here are better.
The list is basically compiled from long and arduous thought on the matter. When I am bored at my job maybe I think who is better...not really but it is nice to say. I think the list is compiled from the music that I can just listen to over and over again without ever getting tired of.
It does include their entire discography though not just one album or one song. They need to have staying power in my mind to be on here. This eliminates Staind right away from being on here because their first album is probably my favorite and after that it is pretty much crap. Also eliminated would be Mudvayne. While their last album is emmensely deep, their first several are mindless metal.
So, let us now get on with this...
1. Blind Melon
Some may think why...Blind Melon's songs are varied from the absurd to the emotionally pleasing but they are all good. A couple of songs are singing about a serial killer, another says, "nothing will get between me and my dump truck." While on the other side of it, "Sleepy House" paints and incredible image in your mind. While "Sleepy House" is a happy relationship song, "St. Andrew's Fall" is a bad relationship song. It is about a man who has broke up with his significant other and is considering suicide...mainly he is reexamining his life.
As I have always said, any band that can fit a kazoo, an accordian or a fischer price guitar in and make is sound really good is an unbelievable artist.
Shannon Hoon's three discs are the best I have heard for variety and simplicity. Alot of bands will try to drown out the weaker parts of their music by emphasizing another part...i.e. punk rock and progressive rock. This is not the case with Blind Melon, there is a certain nakedness to their music which I love...almost acoustical.
Yes Shannon were you not dead I would have your love child!
2. Alice in Chains
These guys came out with the Seattle Grunge seen. While Nirvana is no doubt the most popular of the bunch, many believe that Alice in Chains is the most talented of the bunch...including me!
Alice in Chains music is highly depressive. The one constant in Alice in Chains' songs is a dark undertone. Layne Staley definitely had his demons. I believe that he was depressed as a result of the heroin usage and the exposure that he was not counting on when they started the band.
"Down in a Hole" is a song, my favorite song, that depicts the perils of being in a depressions so accutely...I have never heard anything even remotely close to it. The emotional darkness that Layne tapped for this song is unbelievable.
"Nutshell" is another one of their dark and very depressive songs. The lyrics and of pain and anguish. He is singing how he feels he is exposing the depths of himself so much that he has little of himself to himself. There seems to be some kind of longing for a woman also...it is kind of weak...but it is there.
This two song typifies the tones of their music. Dark, melancholy and very melodic. The pain that Layne Staley draws on to write the music can be heard in these two songs.
Yes, Layne, were you not dead also, I would have your love child as well!
This should surpise no one. Maynerd James Keenan is god to me. For sure this band has taken the Hard Rock Torch and carried it nicely, not only that they have put to shame anyone proir and current.
Tool is epic! Their music is so over the top of everyone else...I cannot put it into words. Tool is artistry at its finest. Anytime is a good time to sit down and listen to them.
Their music, while viscerally is very good, has a depth that would surprise most people that do not like rock music. It ranges from the socailly responsible to the dark and emotionally riviting.
A lot of hard rock is about the show. The face paint or the production of the concert...Tool is about the music! Their last three are albums would all be in a top ten album list. 10,000 days is one the worst of the three but it puts so many albums to shame while Lateralus is their best production so far.
The depth to their music is hidden a little but it is very entertaining to try and find. Maynerd James Keenan's other band A Perfect Circle can also be included here. Just unbelievable music...that is all I can say.
Oh, one more thing about Tool...this is the only band that is listed that all of the original members of the band are still alive...interesting...
We finally break the rock trend with one of the greatest artists of all time. Much like Blind Melon, Ray puts his music out there as a whole. Even though it seems really simple just sit back and enjoy the ride. Ray Charles is the best blues musicaian I have ever heard...and I have heard a good amount.
His music is best described as simple basic blues with undertones that swell. Dude is a musical pimp! You don't notice his musical genius when you are actively listening to it but more so when you are passively listening to it. That is what makes him great. It just kind of creeps into your mind and stays very enjoyable for a while.
There is not much to say here, Ray is Ray and he is a musical pimp!
This should surprise no one. I have been such a Miles fan since I got Blue Train from Best Buy for $2 a few years ago. I quickly wanted more and got a lot of his music. Then I discovered something called that Miles Davis Quitet...that really blew me away. I am actually putting them here as an umbrella for three...Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Herbie Hancock. Those are three of The Miles Davis Quintet and my three favorite Jazz musicians by far.
Miles was the most inventive jazz musician. He redifined several times over the genre of jazz music. As he would make something new the standart in jazz, he would break that and release something else.
Herbie Hancock is my favorite jazz musician alive and the only one alive of the three. He joined the quintet as a young protoge. He announced his arrival on the keyboards and did not look back. Herbie is still the stadard on which all others are measured today.
Coltrane...everyone should know the name. That is all I have to say.
The Quitet's music while fairly stadard jazz is being used to get all three in here. Miles is clearly my favorite with his solo stuff but I felt it would not be complete until I had all three in here.
Again, he is very metaphoric in his lyrics. Even if you do not understand all of the lyrics, the background music is still awesome. Yankee Hotel Foxtroot is probably my second favorite album...that is really saying a lot...
Since I originally heard Wilco, completely by accident, I have loved their music. The semi-poetic nature of Tweedy combined with the variety of instruments make them just a pleasure to listen to. These guys could easily take the top spot on my list but I have been absolutely infatuated with Blind Melon and Alice in Chains lately.
Incredible...that is all I can say!
...And You will Know Us is just simply really good music. Even though they only have two albums out, they are musically sound and lyrically pleasing. They are not simply punk rock, again like the other artists listed, they transcend their genre. Most punk rock tend to play four different notes over and over again but this band does not fit that mold.
Their lyrics are not that complex but they are very interesting. Any time I get a chance to listen to them, it is just like time stands still. They tend to draw your attention in and hold it through out the album. Each song leads effortlessly into the next making it seem like you were listening to one continuous song.
...And You will Know Us is a very small name that I am certain few people have ever heard of but they are the best band that I have ever heard in their genre of music. The band tends to go over the top to make their albums different and unique. As you may know this is where Green Day ran into trouble, but then even worse they tried to completely remake their music and ran into more trouble but their albums were still pretty good. If you EVER get a chance to see ...And You will Know Us I would highly recommend you go to the show!
This may or may not be the only hip-hop band to make it...I have not decided yet. They are the best to me though. Simp Asses like 50 cent cannot even come remotely close to what these guys put out. You will not hear lame as lyrics like "...like a fat kid loves cake" in their music. They are far deeper than that. They cover things like what is love and what it is to actually rap. They appreciate their predecessors and even acclaim those that came before and they never use the words, bitch, bling, money or ho. They never acclaim themselves great, godly or inflated in any way. They do not brag about their sexual promiscuity nor do they brag about how wealthy they are. They are not "in da club, smoking a dub, with a chub, what up bub, hooking a hub, soaking in a tub, have no blub" nor do they call a national press conference to announce that they no longer feel the need to try to kill one of their former friends who is only former because they f-ed a chick that the prior mentioned was f-ing. God I hate 50 cent!
The Roots are simlpy incredibly deep and their music is artistry. They enjoy putting it out and it shows when you listen to it. I will take The Roots over ANY OTHER hip-hop or rap artist including the venerable Atmosphere and Common...by the by Common's Electric Circus is incredible.
The Cure's Disintigration, The Cure and Blood Flowers three incredible albums. They tend to switch, much like Shakespear between the depressing, or tragic, and the happy, or comedy.
The Cure is one of those bands that has just lasted over time. They are just great and have such a devoted following. You know, as I sit down and think about it, I cannot think of anything really else to say so let me wind up this section with, I Love The Cure.
Guns N' Roses has been one of my favorite bands since the actual release of Appetite for Destruction. Although I really had no idea what the album really had to do with or the songs at the time, I do now and I still think it is exceptional. From Welcome to the Jungle to Rocket Queen hands down the album is one of my favorites and I do not think it is just for the nostalgia of it. Now you put on top of that G N' R Lies with I Used to Love Her... and Patience and another really great ablum. I have not even mentioned other songs like Don't Cry or November Rain or Yesterdays or Civil War.
Guns N' Roses had to be on this list for me. Their music is just hands down some of the best in my eyes. I do not think as much for Axl as much as it is for the others specifically including Slash. Their music does have a strong nostalgia for me because this album was released before it became really popular and some how I got my hands on it. I remember initially seeing the cover and liking it. I ended up listening to it and was just in awe.
Guns N' Roses is just one of those things that I really like and will always really like. Hell but that is maybe just because I am such a Rock flunky!