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  1. #41

    82. THE JAM

    Major Era: 1977-1982

    Main Labels: Polydor

    Best Albums: Sound Affects, In the City, All Mod Cons

    Best Songs: Monday, Sounds From the Street, I Need You For Someone, The Bitterest Pill

    The Jam came up with the punk movement in England in 1977. They also spearheaded the mod revival that same year. The power trio, led by Paul Weller, gained quite a bit of popularity in England while being all but ignored in the US. Like their heroes, the Who, The Jam would borrow from themes from Motown and Northern Soul to develop their own distinctive style. As time wore on, they would take a more sophisticated approach with albums such as Sound Affects and The Gift which covered deeper nuances on soul. They split up in 1982 and Weller has had a mixed solo career, but the magic of the Jam lives on.

    Why Do I Like This Artist? Their raw energy that isnít quite in your face like, say, the Sex Pistols might have been. Weller wrote many tuneful songs such as Monday and the Bitterest Pill and their Who covers arenít bad either. I also liked how their music grew as they went on. Iím a big mod rock fan and only the Who, in my opinion, did the form better.

    Links to songs:

    In the City
    I Need You (For Someone)
    A Town Called Malice
    The Bitterest Pill

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

  2. #42


    Major Era: 1958-1996

    Main Labels: ABC, Curtom, Warner Bros.

    Best Albums: The Young Mods Forgotten Story, Curtis, Thereís No Place Like America Today

    Best Songs: People Get Ready, Choice of Colors, If Thereís a Hell Below Weíre All Going To Go, Pusherman, Move On Up

    The Impressions started out as a doo wop group who transplanted to Chicago in the 1950ís. Initially led by Jerry Butler, they scored a major hit with For You Precious Love in 1958, After Butler left for a solo career on amicable terms, Curtis Mayfield would take the band in a different direction from hits such as Gypsy Woman and Itís All Right in the early 1960s to more topical sixties material such as People Get Ready and This Is My Country. Mayfield too would leave the Impressions on amicable terms, and like Butler, still working with them occasionally. Mayfieldís solo career took off in the seventies culminating in the Superfly soundtrack in 1972. He would be paralyzed in a stage accident in 1990 but he would continue making music until his death in 1999. Included would be his last great swan song, New World Order in 1997.

    Why Do I Like This Artist? I was contemplating whether to list only the Impressions or only Curtis Mayfield, but I ended up putting both in the same slot as Mayfield was such a major factor in the Impressions, even after he left. What I liked about the Impressions, who I rate as one of the most important soul acts of the sixties, is their determination to write and record socially relevant songs that affected the black community in particular. Curtis Mayfield continued that direction as a solo artist and his If Thereís a Hell Below, Weíre All Going To Go is one of my own personal anthems that I live by.

    Links to songs:

    For Your Precious Love
    People Get Ready
    This is My Country
    If Thereís a Hell Below Weíre All Going To Go
    Freddieís Dead

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

  3. #43


    Major Era: 1982-1991

    Main Labels: Twin Tone, Sire

    Best Albums: Tim, Let It Be, Donít Tell a Soul

    Best Songs: Kiss Me On the Bus, I Will Dare, Iíll Be You, Alex Chilton

    The Replacements started out as a punk band out of Minneapolis. They refined their sound to be a little more listenable in the mid eighties and would release critically acclaimed albums like Let It Be and Tim. The Replacements werenít wildly successful for most of their existence until they took a more commercial turn in the late eighties after which, they split up. Frontman Paul Westerberg continued on with a solo career but he couldnít recapture the magic that was once the Replacements.

    Why Do I Like This Artist? In a sense, they were one of the first DIY bands even though they were on a major label (Sire). At their best, they didnít suffer fools as they challenged trends such as in the Bastards of Young video which is simply an amp playing the song, possibly as a swipe at MTV, which was at its peak at the time. Westerberg could also write gentler tunes such as Kiss Me On the Bus and Canít Hardly Wait. The Replacements are one of my favorite bands of the eighties and I think a lot of it is their simple approach to music.

    Links to songs:

    I Will Dare
    Kiss Me On the Bus
    Alex Chilton
    Iíll Be You
    When It Began

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

  4. #44

    79. HOWLIN' WOLF

    Major Era: 1951-1975

    Main Labels: RPM, Chess

    Best Albums: Howlin Wolf, Moanin in the Moonlight

    Best Songs: Back Door Man, I Asked For Water She Gave Me Gasoline, Moanin at Midnight, Evil, I Ainít Superstitious

    One of the great blues artists of his time, Howlin Wolf grew up on a plantation in Mississippi where he took up the guitar. He got his nickname from his family when he started howling as a child. Charlie Patton and Sonny Boy Williamson, who both lived nearby, taught Wolf much of his style. He signed with Chess records in 1951 where he would record much of his classic material. Of all the blues artist, he was perhaps the grittiest of them all.

    Why Do I Like This Artist? Howlin Wolf had a hard edge to his music and he wrote some of the greatest blues standards that would be covered by major artists in the sixties and seventies such as Back Door Man by the Doors and Spoonful by Cream. He went against the standard blues styles of contemporaries like Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker, great as they were. Howlin Wolf is one of those artists I can listen to for any reason really. The fact he was such an influence on so many of my favorite bands doesnít hurt either.

    Links to songs:

    Moanin at Midnight
    Smokestack Lightning
    I Asked For Water She Gave Me Gasoline
    Back Door Man
    I Ainít Superstitious

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

  5. #45

    78. X

    Major Era: 1980-1987

    Main Labels: Slash, Elektra

    Best Albums: Wild Gift, Los Angeles, More Fun in the New World

    Best Songs: White Girl, The Have Nots, The New World, Soul Kitchen, Your Phoneís Off the Hook But Youíre Not

    Part of the LA scene in the late 70ís/early 80s, the band X incorporated various sounds starting with rockabilly. In fact I would argue that they were maybe the first rockabilly punk band other than the Cramps. They formed when rockabilly aficionado Billy Zoom met John Doe, straight from the New York CBGBís scene. Fledgling poet Exene Cervenka joined the pair and they added drummer DJ Bonebrake. They soon signed with Slash records and impressed fans with their unique style of punk and vocals by Doe and Cervenka that would predate the Pixies by close to a decade. They had some commercial success with their More Fun in the New World album . They began to sound a little more mainstream soon after (though never selling out) and would pursue separate careers after 1987, reuniting occasionally for an album or live appearance. X remains one of the premier LA bands of the eighties.

    Note: They were produced by Ray Manzarek of Doors fame.

    Why Do I Like This Artist? There is definitely a California sixties vibe to them. For a long time they seemed oblivious to the trends of the day as they belted out songs like When Our Love Passed Out on the Couch. They also werenít afraid to get topical such as on White Girl and on The New World, two of my favorite songs from this band. I mentioned that John Doe and Exene Cervenka would play off each other, something that no doubt would be an influence on Frank Black and Kim Deal of the Pixies later. They were one of my favorite bands in the early eighties and I still love them a lot now.

    Links to songs:

    Your Phoneís Off the Hook But Youíre Not
    White Girl
    The Hungry Wolf
    The New World
    Burning House of Love

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

  6. #46

    77. BLONDIE

    Major Era: 1976-1982

    Main Labels: Chrysalis

    Best Albums: Blondie, Eat To the Beat, Parallel Lines

    Best Songs: Atomic, In the Flesh, Look Good in Blue, Hanging On the Telephone

    One of the pioneers in the New Wave movement, Blondie was a major player in the New Wave/Punk scene at CBGG,s in New York. They reached major commercial success with their Parallel Lines and was a major factor in making New Wave a legitimate music genre in pop music. Lead singer Debbie Harry was one of the more popular women in rock with, not only her sexy persona (she had once been a Playboy bunny before Blondie), but also her tough girl vocals. She and then husband Chris Stein were the bandís major players. They split up in 1982 but would make a comeback in 1999 and are still together today.

    Why Do I Like This Artist? I remember when I got into New Wave because I thought it had a sixties feel to it. Blondie certainly rates as one of those groups. I also liked their forays into different music sounds such as disco (Heart of Glass) and reggae (The Tide is High). One song not mentioned here is Call Me which was recorded for the movie American Gigolo. That, along with Atomic, was very indicative of the new wave sound circa 1980. Maybe they got a little too commercial at times but it didnít take away from their best material.

    Links to songs:

    X Offender
    Heart of Glass
    The Tide Is High

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

  7. #47


    Major Era: 1964-1976

    Main Labels: Fontana, Columbia, Swan Song

    Best Albums: SF Sorrow, Get The Picture, Emotions, Parachute

    Best Songs: Canít Stand the Pain, Midnight To Six Man, Rosalyn, The Good Mr. Square

    One of the premier R&B bands to come out of England during the British Blues Boom, the Pretty Things weíre possibly the closest thing to a garage punk band in Britain in the mid sixties. While popular in England, they had only small success in the US with a minor hit with Donít Bring Me Down. They eventually would change course and release the highly acclaimed psychedelic album, SF Sorrow. By the seventies, the Pretty Things would develop a hard rock sound and soldier on into the eighties and nineties, only calling it a day in 2018 after fifty-five years. Interesting note: Dick Taylor played with Keith Richards and Mick Jagger with the Rolling Stones briefly before leaving for art school where he met Phil May and formed the Pretty Things.

    Why Do I Like This Artist? Their hard punkish sound. They werenít your typical R&B outfit like the Yardbirds for example. There was a hard edge to their music with Phil Mayís punkish vocals complimented by angry guitars. Itís mostly the 1964-1967 period I especially like with songs like the moody Canít Stand the Pain and the whimsical Tripping, but they also have a lot to offer with albums like SF Sorrow and Parachute in particular. In fact, Iíd argue Parachute as something of a hidden gem.

    Links to songs:

    Donít Bring Me Down
    Midnight To Six Man
    Deflecting Grey
    The Good Mr. Square

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

  8. #48


    Major Era: 1983-present

    Main Labels: Bad Seed Ltd

    Best Albums: Tender Prey, Murder Ballads, the Boatmanís Call

    Best Songs: The Mercy Seat, Oh Deanna, Where the Wild Roses Grow, Dig Lazarus Dig

    One of Australiaís best known bands, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds have a very loyal following that, in some aspects, could rival that of the Grateful Dead. The band derived from the ashes of the Birthday Party in 1983. Soon, they would become known for their rather depressing songs with a moody edge to their music. They scored in the UK with their Tender Prey album that features The Mercy Seat, later covered by Johnny Cash, about a man who was about to be executed. The trend towards unhappy songs continued on albums such as Murder Ballads and the Boatmanís Call. Nick Cave is certainly an acquired taste, but for his small but devoted army of fans, he is something of a genius.

    Why Do I Like This Artist? For a long time, I didnít think much of them and it wasnít until I heard Johnny Cashís version of Mercy Seat that I checked the band out. Mercy Seat is such a compelling song I had to listen to more and Tender Prey proved to be one of my favorite albums of 1988. Other albums I am especially impressed with include Murder Ballads and The Boatmanís Call, the former exploring the theme of, well, murder. Like I said before, Nick Cave is something of an acquired taste but if you can get past the depressing side of the music, youíll find some great lyrical quality and consistently fantastic music.

    Links to songs:

    The Mercy Seat
    The Weeping Song
    I Had a Dream Joe
    Where the Wild Roses Grow
    Into My Arms

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

  9. #49


    Major Era: 1995-present

    Main Labels: Bomp!, A Records

    Best Albums: Take It From the Man, Thank God For Mental Illness, Give It Back!

    Best Songs: Mansion in the Sky, The Devil May Care, Ballad of Jim Jones, Not If You Were the Last Dandy on Earth

    One of San Franciscoís finest and some people say San Francisco can have them. Anton Newcombe and company have been known for their physical fights onstage and beyond since forming in the early Nineties. Never exactly having what you would call a mainstream audience, the BJM found their following with crude but melodic recordings in a retro vein. Not the most diplomatic of groups, they would take shots at those they werenít crazy about, sometimes a bit wildly. Targets ranged from Jim Jones to the Dandy Warhols, who they had something of a feud with. Amazingly theyíre still together today as Anton Newcomb has taken the band in a more experimental direction. Happily, nobody has been hospitalized recently.

    Why Do I Like This Artist? They have a certain earthiness, kind of like a folk-punk vibe. They are certainly influenced by Dylan and, when theyíre at the best, they can belt out bitter tasting songs like The Ballad of Jim Jones and Mansion in the Sky. They may be the least known of all the bands on my list, but in many ways had they been more successful, they could have been the Sex Pistols of the nineties.

    Links to songs:

    That Girl Suicide
    David Bowie I Loved You (Since I Was Six)
    Ballad of Jim Jones
    Mansion in the Sky
    The Devil May Care

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

  10. #50


    Major Era: 1960-1989

    Main Labels: Columbia, Polydor

    Best Albums: The Shadows, Out of the Shadows

    Best Songs: Apache, Wonderful Land, Atlantis, FBI

    Perhaps the most successful instrumental band to come out of England though they didnít gain any real popularity in the US, The Shadows started out as Cliff Richardís backup band in the fifties. The Shadows scored a smash hit on their own in the UK with Apache (oldies enthusiasts may be familiar with the Jorge Ingmann version in the US). They scored a string of UK hits in the early sixties and continued to have some regional success after the Beatles and company knocked them off the charts. Leader Hank Marvin is one of the most recognizable guitarists in England with his thick glasses and smooth playing style. The Shadows continued on with occasional appearances until 2004 and even now a reunion is not out of the cards.

    Why Do I Like This Artist? The Shadows are probably my favorite instrumental band and Apache may be my favorite instrumental song period. As with many instrumental bands, there is a surf rock element to their music even though they were anything but. In some ways the Beatles were compared to them in their early days and were even told by Decca that guitars were on the way out, referring to the Shadows. I can do without the dance routines with guitars; that looks kind of awkward to me, but they are an excellent listen in my opinion.

    Links to songs:

    Wonderful Land

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


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