TOP 100 Artists/Bands of all Times : 41 – 45

45. LCD Soundsystem

 from : New York, NY, USA / first great sounds : 00’s / style : New York groove / essential albums : LCD Soundsystem (2005) , Sound Of Silver (2007), This Is Happening (2010) / Click for more on the blog

LCD Soundsystem was the project of NY citizen James Murphy, Head of the great DFA label. The guy is a music freak with a vast knowledge of all genres and started on his own with NME single of the week “Losing My Edge” where he plays the role of a former hip guy who used to go to every concert possible. LCD Soundsytem’s music is a kind of electronica meets Talking Heads meets punk rock and was to my mind one of the best things that happened to the 00’s. James Murphy disbanded LCD Sounsdystem at the height of their powers as one can see in the great film “Shut Up And Play The Hits“.

44. Serge Gainsbourg

 from : Paris, France / first great sounds : 50’s / style : nice-sounding French words / essential albums : Histoire de Melody Nelson (1971), L’homme à tête de chou (1976)

Serge Gainsbourg is an institution in France but very often for the wrong reasons (mainly his numerous provocative acts vs. the French media). What is actually tremendous about his career is the length, quality and diversity of it : from “chanson française” to jazz, psychedelic rock, African music or reggae, he was there with the best musicians and always with a feeling of where to be at the right moment. The fact that he married so well the French language within the anglo-saxon rock mindset adds to his genius as well.

43. Pavement

 from : Stockton, California, USA / first great sounds : 90’s / style : fresh sounding rock / essential albums : Slanted and Enchanted (1992), Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain (1994), Wowee Zowee (1995), Brighten the Corners (1997)

In the 90’s, I remember telling my beloved one that buying a new Pavement LP was one of the great pleasures in life… So, now, it is true we only buy reissues as Stephen Malkmus band did not last longer than one decade but the least one can say is that the production quality level was one of the highest. Their style was a very personal one, mixing a DIY attitude in a 90’s grunge environment but with their feet strongly in the American songwriting tradition. LP reissues are beautiful and a good way to start with this amazing band which plays on tour once in a while.

42. Miles Davis

 from : Alton, IL, USA / first great sounds : 50’s / style : jazz-funk trumpet man / essential albums : Kind of Blue (1959), In a Silent Way (1969), Bitches Brew (1970)

It feels a bit awkward to rank Miles Davis amongst our TOP 100 as his fans might find the man and his music much above these down-to-earth matters, although one has to remember his love of beautiful cars and women, talking about material matters… Miles Davis is of course above jazz too although he started with Charlie Parker as a traditional jazz trumpeter. But he started to move from bands to projects at an early age, creating one of the most fascinating oeuvres of all times, from beautiful souring ballads to furious jazz-rock-fusion.

41. Iggy Pop / The Stooges

 from : Ann Harbor, MI, USA / first great sounds : 60’s  / style : the essence of rock’n’roll / essential albums : The Stooges (1969), Raw Power (1973),  The Idiot (1977), Lust for Life (1977)

First a precision : I am much happy to see these days James Osterberg (his real name) advertised with a Xmas hat for the Printemps stores and making a crap French songs covers’ LP rather than him being dead or insane somewhere… On top of it, he had one of the most rock’n’roll life ever and made tremendous records, either with the fantastic Stooges musicians (the Asheton brothers and James Williamson) or with David Bowie. And seeing Iggy Pop on stage…whaooh, this should be compulsory by law!

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