I hope you have enjoyed the bottom half of our TOP 100 as now is the time to get serious and stop foolin’ around : here are the first names of the TOP 50!
from : Laurel Canyon, California, USA / first great sounds : 60’s / style : voices and melodies / essential albums : Crosby, Stills & Nash (1969) , Déjà Vu (1970)
…and sometimes Young, or David Crosby solo, or Stills-Young, or Crosby & Nash, or Stephen Stills with Manassas, or Graham Nash solo, knowing that Stills and Young were The Buffalo Springfield leaders, that Graham Nash was singing in British band the Hollies and that The Byrds would not have been what they were without David Crosby,…well I think you got my point. Difficult to find more influential musicians and personalities in the music business. Listen to the voices again and enjoy.
49. Scott Walker
from : Hamilton, Ohio, USA / first great sounds : 60’s / style : existential pop / essential albums : Scott (1967), Scott 2 (1968), Scott 3 (1969), Scott 4 (1969)
Born Noel Engel, Scott Walker has been living three distinct musical lives : the first one in the mid-sixites when he came to England to become pop phenomenon with the Walker Brothers, the second one in the late 60’s and early 70’s when he made intense and beautiful records mixing an American feeling with European influences (hello Jacques Brel) and the third since the mid-80’s when he does a new experimental LP every five to ten years. Dive into his recommended albums and be a different person.
from : Minneapolis, MN, USA / first great sounds : 70’s / style : above funk / essential albums : Purple Rain (1984), Around The World In A Day (1985), Parade (1986), Sign ‘O’ The Times (1987)
We tend to like our heroes dead or keeping on being excellent and this is always a bit painful to see Prince still being there and making…quite ok records and living as a recluse when he used to rule the 80’s. By far the most innovative artist of that decade, he took the flame from Sly Stone but went even further in his musical melting point, mixing basically all genres and styles. A great artist, creator, singer and guitar player, let’s still revere Prince and thank him for what he brought to the world of music.
47. Joy Division
from : Manchester, England / first great sounds : 70’s / style : post punk / essential albums : Unknown Pleasures (1979), Closer (1980)
Probably one of the most intense and influential bands ever, Joy Division was a Manchester band formed by four friends and whose singer Ian Curtis hung himself just before success were to become massive. You can watch the excellent movie Control for more detail about Ian Curtis and the gloom atmosphere of Manchester in the mid and late 70’s but you should as well revisit their two LP’s and great singles as you will never find elsewhere such originality in a band. The remaining members would form New Order after their singer’s death but this is another story described elsewhere in this TOP 100.
from : Silver Spring, MD, USA / first great sounds : 80’s / style : modern times’ troubadour / essential albums : Knock Knock (1999), Dongs Of Sevotion (2000), Apocalypse (2011) / Click for more on the blog
Just a quick reminder to start with : Bill Callahan = Smog. This blog’s faithful followers will not be surprised to find him here and I would suggest to click on the link above if you want more (pictures, videos) about the great Bill. A very normal and humble person, this man matured beautifully with time and what was at first shyness and a sense of being insecure is now felt as serendipity in his music. A great story-teller with a gift for timeless melodies.