from : Hawthorne,California, USA / first great sounds : 60’s / style : teenage symphonies / essential albums : Pet Sounds (1966) , Smiley Smile (1967), Wild Honey (1967), Surf’s Up (1971), Holland (1973), The Smile Sessions (2011) / Click to read more in the blog
My Top 5 should not be much surprise for those who know my musical tastes, starting with the Beach Boys and their genius leader Brian Wilson. I would not talk about the fact that their music has to be discovered beyond the nice pop-surf songs as this is now a known and agreed fact. “Pet Sounds” in particular has often been recognized as one of the best albums ever made and it is true that its richness and subtlety is not something you get blasé about. Even though Brian Wilson burnt his brain when doing “Smile” and never really got over it, there has been amazing songs throughout their career. The way Carl, Brian, Dennis, Mike and Al mixed their voices one with another has been for me one of the mysteries of life and I must say I always feel the same emotion when I hear such perfection.
from : Saginaw, MI, USA / first great sounds : 60’s / style : music of his mind / essential albums : Music of my Mind (1972), Talking Book (1972), Innervisions (1973), Fulfillingness’ First Finale (1974), Songs in the Key of Life (1976) / Click to read more in the blog
Stevie Wonder’s Innervisions is my favourite album ever so it might sound weird to find its creator “only” at rank number 4… I guess I wrote everything I wanted to share regarding the early 70’s for Stevie and his tremendous range of five fantastic albums in a row (please click on link above). The sounds, the melodies, the creativity, the voice, the themes,….everything good in life can be found in these albums. The man is still on top on stage as was for instance his amazing performance at Austin City Limits Festival in 2011.
3. Roxy Music
from : London, England / first great sounds : 70’s / style : glamour rock / essential albums : Roxy Music (1972), For Your Pleasure (1973), Stranded (1973), Country Life (1974), Siren (1975) / Click to read more in the blog
Another weird ranking as Roxy Music is for sure my favourite band but I guess the artists ranked #2 are more than a band. I think I wrote as well the essence of what this band represents for me in a former post (please click above). I would only insist once again that their first 5 LP’s are absolutely indispensable and not only for the covers ! As in all strong artistic adventures, this band lived so many things in such a short time that this sounds almost unbelievable today. And with Bryan Ferry, Brian Eno, Phil Manzanera and Andy McKay, you have four musicians who literally changed the way music is now.
2. The Beatles
from : Liverpool, England / first great sounds : 60’s / style : genius / essential albums : A Hard Day’s Night (1964), Rubber Soul (1965), Revolver (1966), Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967), Magical Mystery Tour (1967), The White Album (1968), Abbey Road (1969) / Click to read more in the blog
Another weird ranking as you generally either do not really like this band or you breathe through their music, consider them as Gods and put them number 1 in front of any other bands. Well, I must admit I had lots of second thoughts between the first 3 of my TOP 100. However, the Beatles are crucial for many music lovers as I was amongst the people who grew up having their records as first lovers. I remember very well saving money and buying their LP’s one by one and discovering every time an amazing universe. I have probably read around 15 books about this band and always discover new facts. What is the most amazing is what they lived in such a short period of time : music innovation, movies, travels, studio time, changes in their personal lives, etc… These guys lived forty years in ten. I hope their songs will be sung forever.