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  1. #91


    Major Era: 1965-1970

    Main Labels: White Whale

    Best Albums: Happy Together, Turtle Soup, It Ain’t Me Babe

    Best Songs: Happy Together, A Walk in the Sun, Grim Reaper of Love, Love in the City, You Showed Me

    Probably one of the most unusual artists on my list, this band originally started out as a surf group known as the Crossfires. In the mid sixties, they would develop a poppy folk-rock sound and change their name to the Turtles. They originally wanted to call themselves the Tyrtles after the Byrds, but saner heads prevailed. They hit big with the pop anthem Happy Together in 1967. By then they had abandoned pop folk-rock and was going with chamber pop. The late sixties proved most successful for White Whale’s most successful band as they also scored hits with She’d Rather Be With Me, Eleanor, and the Byrds cover, You Showed Me. They would disband in 1971 and leaders Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman would go on as an eccentric duo known as Flo and Eddie and would play with artists such as Frank Zappa.

    Why Do I Like This Artist? What can I say? By all measures, the Turtles really shouldn’t be on this list and yet, they’re such a catchy band . They recorded some of the catchiest songs of the sixties such as Happy Together. I tend to really like the songs that weren’t such big hits though such as Grim Reaper of Love and Love In the City. Their albums, for the most part, aren’t all that great, but their singles were of very high quality and, anyway, White Whale has the neatest record art in history

    Links to songs:

    It Ain’t Me Babe
    You Baby
    Happy Together
    You Showed Me

    The Turtles on Wiki
    Hidden Content Hidden Content Hidden Content Hidden Content

    And check out Gertie's blog on her favorite top twenty-five albums between 1955-2017 Hidden Content

  2. #92


    Major Era: 1968-1972

    Main Labels: Fantasy

    Best Albums: Cosmos Factory, Willie and the Poor Boys, Green River, Creedence Clearwater Revival

    Best Songs: Fortunate Son, Run Through the Jungle, Green River, Suzi Q, Born On the Bayou

    From the East Bay area, Creedence Clearwater Revival started out as a band known as the Golliwogs. As the mid sixties became the late sixties, the Golliwogs honed their sound as if it came out of the Louisiana Bayou, making them fairly unusual for a San Francisco area band. With a name change, CCR began recording for Fantasy records. They would release a decent string of major hits from 1968 to 1972 and were one of the most popular bands of the period. Quite prolific, they also released seven albums during that period. The band broke up after acrimony between band leader John Fogerty and the rest of the band, including his brother, Tom. Fogerty still doesnít talk to them to this day and he never reached closure with Tom Fogerty, who died in 1990. Musically, they remain one of the most important bands of the late sixties/early seventies.

    Why Do I Like This Artist? Not truly a great album band, what CCR was, was an amazing singles band. Songs like Proud Mary and Fortunate Son are still staples of rock. Ike and Tina Turner, in fact, had a raucous hit with Proud Mary in 1971. Though a hard rock band, they resisted going the Led Zeppelin route, keeping a sixties feel to their music. John Fogerty has some incredible vocal ability and the band was certainly musically tight even if their personal relations werenít.

    Links to songs:

    Suzi Q
    Proud Mary
    Green River
    Run Thru the Jungle
    Have You Ever Seen the Rain

    CCR page
    Hidden Content Hidden Content Hidden Content Hidden Content

    And check out Gertie's blog on her favorite top twenty-five albums between 1955-2017 Hidden Content

  3. #93

    39. DONOVAN

    Major Era: 1965-1976

    Main Labels: Pye/Hickory, Epic

    Best Albums: Sunshine Superman, Hurdy Gurdy Man, Barabajagal

    Best Songs: Sunshine Superman, Hurdy Gurdy Man, Season of the Witch, Atlantis, Bertís Blues

    Born in Scotland, Donovan Leitch started out as a folk singer in the mid sixties and was given the label of being ďThe British Bob Dylan.Ē Even as a folk artist, Donovan incorporated jazz and blues sounds to his music. He scored early hits like Catch the Wind and Colours. It was in 1966 when Donovan really broke through with the psychedelic smash, Sunshine Superman. He would become a spokesman of sorts for the flower children movement of the late sixties. He traveled to India with the Beatles and taught John Lennon his finger picking style of guitar, something Lennon would use on the Beatlesí White Album. Donovan faded into relative obscurity after 1970 though he kept recording some fairly decent albums like Essence To Essence and Slow Down World. Today, he only performs sporadically but is still remembered fondly by contemporaries like Paul McCartney, with whom he had been close friends with.

    Why Do I Like This Artist? Well, itís easier to start with what attracted me to Donovan in the first place. Sunshine Superman was a song I remember hearing when I was four and it has stuck with me ever since. I consider Sunshine Superman to be my second favorite song ever next to Strawberry Fields Forever. But Donovan is a lot more than that. There are his folk tracks that also include a cover of Universal Soldier. Then you have certain tracks off Sunshine Superman, Hurdy Gurdy Man, Barabajagal, etc. Essentially, Donovan was one of the pioneers of psychedelic folk and thatís what I like about him the best.

    Links to songs:

    Catch the Wind
    Sunshine Superman
    Mellow Yellow
    Hurdy Gurdy Man

    Donovan page
    Hidden Content Hidden Content Hidden Content Hidden Content

    And check out Gertie's blog on her favorite top twenty-five albums between 1955-2017 Hidden Content

  4. #94


    Major Era: 1955-1972

    Main Labels: Chess

    Best Albums: One Dozen Berryís, Chuck Berry Is On Top, From St Louis to Liverpool

    Best Songs: School Day, Johnny B Goode, Back in the USA, Memphis Tennessee, Rock n Roll Music

    One of the pioneers of Rock n Roll, Chuck Berry hailed from St Louis, Missouri. He developed a love of the blues at an early age and, after learning how to play the guitar, traveled to Chicago where he met Muddy Waters. After signing with Chess records, Berry scored a top five national hit with Maybelline, one of the first rock n roll records to have such success. He continued on with a string of classic hits like School Day, Sweet Little Sixteen, and Johnny Be Goode. His career was interrupted after being found guilty of the Mann Act, but he would make a comeback in 1964 and again in 1972. His signature duck tail style made him a major attraction on the oldies circuit and he influenced just about everybody in rock n roll from the Beach Boys to the Beatles to the Rolling Stones. Keith Richards in fact would direct him in Hail, Hail, Rock n Roll in 1987.

    Why Do I Like This Artist? Chuck Berry is most likely the most influential artist in rock history. I canít name one band from the sixties that didnít list him as an influence. Berry is my favorite artist to have peaked in the fifties (there is an early sixties icon I rank higher). He had a unique guitar style even by fifties standards and he wrote some of the greatest songs of his era including Memphis Tennessee, Carol, and Back in the USA among others. I probably rate School Day as my favorite Chuck Berry song with the guitar emulating the vocals. Later Chuck Berry tails off a bit for me, especially with My Ding a Ling from the 1972 comeback, but his material from 1955 to about 1961 is comparable with anyone from any era.

    Links to songs:

    School Day
    Johnny B Goode
    Memphis Tennessee

    Chuck Berry page
    Hidden Content Hidden Content Hidden Content Hidden Content

    And check out Gertie's blog on her favorite top twenty-five albums between 1955-2017 Hidden Content

  5. #95


    Major Era: 1964-1969

    Main Labels: Columbia/MGM

    Best Albums: The Animals, The Twain Shall Meet, Animalisms

    Best Songs: House of the Rising Sun, Sky Pilot, Itís My Life, Iím Crying, When I Was Young

    The Animals hailed from Newcastle, England, and would become one of the top R&B bands of the British boom. Eric Burdon, Alan Price, and drummer John Steel started out with the Kansas City Five. They hooked up with Chas Chandler and Hilton Valentine and formed the Animals in 1963. After securing a contract with Columbia Records in England, The Animals scored a monster hit with their rendition of the traditional House of the Rising Sun. After the Animals turned that song into their own, they would have a string of hits over the next two years including We Gotta Get Out of This Place and Donít Bring Me Down. After members began leaving one by one, leaving only Eric Burdon as the lone original member, he formed a New Animals and Burdon would guide the band into a more psychedelic sound. Eric Burdon and the Animals would be best known for pieces like When I Was Young, San Franciscan Nights, and Sky Pilot. By 1969, the Animals were done completely and Burdon would found the band War, scoring a hit with Spill the Wine in 1970 before leaving that band. War would have several more hits in the seventies but Burdon, nor the other Animals would reach the heights of fame they once had.

    Why Do I Like This Artist? House of the Rising Sun is one of those rock anthems I can never get tired of. Iím not one to be that impressed with white soul and the Animals werenít really of that genre, but Burdon could sing as well as any of the best blues musicians. If one didnít know, he could have been mistaken for black. Alan Price was one of the more innovative keyboardists in the sixties and it was he, along with Burdonís vocals, that gave the Animals their distinctive sound. Eric Burdon and the Animals later were a bit more uneven but they too could come up with some gems as noted in my best songs. Weíll never know what could have been if drugs and alcohol hadnít caused rifts within the original band, but they remain one of my favorite British Invasion groups.

    Links to songs:

    House of the Rising Sun
    We Gotta Get Out of This Place
    Donít Bring Me Down
    San Franciscan Nights
    Sky Pilot

    The Animals on R&R HOF page
    Hidden Content Hidden Content Hidden Content Hidden Content

    And check out Gertie's blog on her favorite top twenty-five albums between 1955-2017 Hidden Content

  6. #96


    Major Era: 1969-1982

    Main Labels: Atlantic, Swan Song

    Best Albums: Led Zeppelin III, Led Zeppelin II, Physical Graffiti, Houses of the Holy

    Best Songs: Stairway To Heaven, Immigrant Song, Kashmir, The Ocean, Thank You

    Out of the ashes of the New Yardbirds begat Led Zeppelin, so named because a critic predicted they would go down like a lead balloon. After finishing out the New Yardbirdsí commitments, they cut an album with Atlantic. Led Zeppelin was a heavy blues based band led by Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. After releasing Led Zeppelin II in late 1969, they became enormously popular among hard rock fans and would be a major influence on every heavy metal band to come after them. Mainly an album band, Led Zeppelin nevertheless would record major anthems like Stairway To Heaven and Kashmir. The band would split up only after drummer John Bonhamís tragic death in 1980. Page and Plant still perform together occasionally and they are both amicable with John Paul Jones who has kept a low profile since the breakup. Led Zeppelin is perhaps the most influential band of their genre and, though some may argue (like Trollheart ), they are perhaps the greatest heavy metal band of all time.

    Why Do I Like This Artist? So, for the record, Iím not what you would call a metal head. So why do I like these guys? Well, you can argue that Led Zeppelin is one of the greatest plagiarizers in rock history as they have been accused of at times, but the fact is, Jimmy Page is one of the greatest guitarists ever. Maybe heís a little pretentious when he plays the guitar as if itís a violin, but he is such an innovative musician, does it really matter? And Bonham and Jones make up one of the great rhythm sections of rock. And I donít think Led Zeppelin ever really lost their bluesy edge. They were also not afraid to incorporate sounds like folk (on most of their albums) and reggae (especially on Led Zeppelin III, my personal favorite Led Zep album). So I think itís safe to say that Led Zeppelin is the heaviest band on my list. But thatís only because theyíre that good.

    Links to songs:

    Good Times Bad Times
    Whole Lotta Love
    Stairway To Heaven
    The Rover
    All of My Love

    Led Zeppelin page
    Hidden Content Hidden Content Hidden Content Hidden Content

    And check out Gertie's blog on her favorite top twenty-five albums between 1955-2017 Hidden Content

  7. #97


    Major Era: 1994-present

    Main Labels: Nonesuch, Reprise

    Best Albums: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, Summerteeth, Wilco (the Album), A Ghost is Born

    Best Songs: Ashes of American Flags, Deeper Down, Theologians, Nothingsevergonnastandinmyway (again), Iíll Fight

    One of the heavy hitters in indie rock, Wilco rose from the ashes of alt-country band Uncle Tupelo. Led by Jeff Tweedy, Wilco released the alt-country AM in 1995. They would fine tune their sound into more of a folk rock vein with the next album. Wilcoís star really began to shine after a collaboration with Billy Bragg, recording Woody Guthrie songs on Mermaid Avenue, then scored with two wildly high acclaimed albums in Summerteeth and Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. On those albums, Wilco took a slightly more psychedelic approach to the music. They got back to basics on a Ghost is Born in 2004 and have maintained a consistency with the quality of their songs. They recently released their thirteenth studio album, Ode To Joy, in October 2019.

    Why Do I Like This Artist? Wilco is the reason I was able to get into alt-country and, along with Johnny Cash, a big reason why I no longer run away at the sound of a country-western song, especially from the first half of the twentieth century. Jeff Tweedy knows how to weave a narrative in his songs and the bandís arrangements. The songs are down to earth, even the more experimental ones like on Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, easily one of the best albums of the Millennium by the way. I think itís safe to say of all the artists that made their mark in this Millennium, Wilco is my favorite of them all.

    Links to songs:

    Outtasite (Outta Mind)
    Pieholden Suite
    Ashes of American Flags
    I Might

    Wilco on Wiki
    Hidden Content Hidden Content Hidden Content Hidden Content

    And check out Gertie's blog on her favorite top twenty-five albums between 1955-2017 Hidden Content

  8. #98


    Major Era: 1972-1986

    Main Labels: Harvest, United Artists, Jet

    Best Albums: Eldorado, On the Third Day, Electric Light Orchestra, Face the Music

    Best Songs: Canít Get It Out of My Head, 10538 Overture, One Summer Dream, Mr. Kingdom, Sweet Talkin Woman, Mr. Radio

    From the ashes of the Move and the Idle Race came Electric Light Orchestra. Jeff Lynne and Roy Wood were pioneers in the chamber rock that was becoming popular in England in the late sixties. Woodís Move, in fact, enjoyed some popularity with hits like Flowers in the Rain and Fire Brigade. Lynneís band, the Idle Race, were not quite as successful commercially, but released two albums, one, The Birthday Party, which received some critical acclaim. After the Idle Race broke up, Lynne joined the Move and became an equal partner with Wood. They, along with Bev Bevan, formed ELO and emphasized a Beatlesque sound circa I Am the Walrus. They reached mainstream status after the departure of Wood in 1972 as ELO became Lynneís band exclusively. Smash hits like Canít Get It Out of My Head and Sweet Talking Woman followed and ELO was one of the most popular bands of the seventies. They stayed together well into the eighties when Lynne departed to produce records and to join in on vanity projects like the Traveling Wilburyís. Electric Light Orchestra was finally inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame in 2017.

    Why Do I Like This Artist? Their classical sound is the primary nom de plume of this band. Early ELO seemed to be repeating I Am the Walrus in their own way but they somehow made that sound all their own. Classics like 10538 Overture and Queen of the Hours are among my favorite songs of the seventies. They branched out their sound a bit in the mid seventies, which was their heyday, and an album like Eldorado, I can listen to forever. Their late seventies material, while a little too contemporary at times, also had their moments with songs like Sweet Talking Woman and Liviní Thing. Lynne wrote some great melodies and they never got stale with their violin based sound. And Lynne, as a producer/solo artist, shows his own unique style as well. Again, it never gets old.

    Links to songs:

    Roll Over Beethoven
    10538 Overture
    Canít Get It Out of My Head
    Strange Magic
    Sweet Talkin Woman

    Electric Light Orchestra at the R&R HOF
    Hidden Content Hidden Content Hidden Content Hidden Content

    And check out Gertie's blog on her favorite top twenty-five albums between 1955-2017 Hidden Content

  9. #99


    Major Era: 1981-present

    Main Labels: Mute/Sire

    Best Albums: Violator, Music For the Masses, Some Great Reward, Songs of Faith and Devotion

    Best Songs: Never Let Me Down Again, Personal Jesus, Route 66, Policy of Truth, Master and Servant

    Depeche Mode started out as a New Wave band out of Essex in the early eighties. They scored early on with the pop hit I Just Canít Get Enough. Known for their heavy synthesizer sound and gothic like melodies, Depeche Mode ventured into darker sounding material without somehow losing the pop sensibilities. Dave Gahan was one of the more recognizable vocalists of the eighties and nineties. The Mode recorded classic albums like Music For the Masses and Violator as well as classic tracks like Master and Servant and Never Let Me Down Again. They settled into a predictable sound after Violator but still had their moments such as in songs like Dream On. They remain together and have been a major influence on other synth-pop bands like Coldplay and the Crystal Method.

    Why Do I Like This Artist? There is a certain dark mood about them. Gahan often sings in the minor key. I sense that despite their synth-pop sound, there is a classical influence about them. Violator, in particular, is one of those timeless albums that I would want on my desert island discs. My favorite song, and probably the one that really attracted me to this band, is Never Let Me Down Again off Music For the Masses. Violator followed and that was enough to sell me. I donít follow them the way I did in the early nineties but the period from about 1986 to 1991 is as classic as any era for any band.

    Links to songs:

    Just Canít Get Enough
    Master and Servant
    Never Let Me Down Again
    Personal Jesus
    Dream On

    Depeche Mode on Wiki
    Hidden Content Hidden Content Hidden Content Hidden Content

    And check out Gertie's blog on her favorite top twenty-five albums between 1955-2017 Hidden Content

  10. #100
    I have spent quite a bit of time listening to Depeche Mode.
    Hey, everything counts in large amounts.


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