Oddly enough, I realized that I have yet to weigh in on my favorite bands. And since my informal survey shows that the percentage of people actually awaiting this tidbit of information falls somewhere between 0 and .00025%, I figure there’s no time like the present.
I freely admit that these bands lean towards my formative years. Part of the reason for that has as much to do with the fact that I don’t follow current music as closely as I once did, as the idea of having a “favorite band” no longer holds much currency with me. I mean, I was like, 15, when I had a Who poster on the wall.
I’ve always said that if it weren’t for British bands, I would have a much poorer record collection. So here’s yer proof: 70% of my Top Ten bands are British, 60% of the final total are. So, thank you, Brits.
Herewith, sans further ado, my hall of fame list:
- Beatles – surprise! Well, probably not. For creating such great music and for pushing the envelope about as far as they could within a pop/rock context.
- Rolling Stones – The blues/R&B counterpoint to the Beatles’ pop/Buddy Holly leanings. I doubt if The Stones would ever have covered “Till There Was You,” and the Beatles could never have thought up “Midnight Rambler.”
- Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band – Great songwriting meets perfect execution. These guys all share the same musical roots and are dedicated to Bruce’s vision.
- The Allman Brothers Band – Prior to them, no one – I mean no one – had really blended blues, jazz and even country together. And certainly not at their level of virtuosity.
- The Who – If you think about these guys just as players, each one of them was at the top of their profession. Let alone Townshend’s staggering writing output. There’s literally no one else like them.
- Steely Dan – Are they even really a band, some might argue? Well, Becker and Fagen were together for all those years. So, despite the fact they used a lot of session players, I think, yeah. And I can listen to their stuff over and over again.
- Led Zeppelin. Please. If I have to explain their greatness, you have stumbled onto the wrong blog. I was reading about Prophets of Rage, Tom Morello and Chuck D’s new band. Chuck D said their drummer “hits like Bonham.” That’s even higher praise than “Moves like Jagger.”
- Pink Floyd – Were they a prog-rock band? I guess. Sort of. And they managed to not get too bloated or overinflated. (Well, until Roger Waters took over completely but that was later.)
- The Kinks – I went through a few years of Kinks worship, totally wearing out Kink Kronikles and Arthur. They either totally convincingly convey what it’s like to be British or they confirm my fantasy version of same. Either way, best enjoyed with a cuppa.
- The Police – I can still remember when I first heard “Roxanne.” So much of what they did was so great. Stuart Copeland is one of my absolute favorite drummers of all time.
Honorable mention: Santana, The Band, The Clash, Cream, Elvis Costello and the Attractions, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Queen, Talking Heads, Fleetwood Mac (Peter Green AND Stevie Nicks versions), Eagles, U2.
Feel free to weigh in, chums.