THE MUSIC

 OTHER FAVORITES

The hardest part in this section was determining how artists sorted out in importance to me, not necessarily in the grand scheme of music. That’s how KISS makes this list, but The Eagles fall to the next level. Again, there is a variety of music here — mostly from before 2000, only because that is the soundtrack of my life. Some bands and artist transcend the decades, like U2 or mega-artists such as Queen and Elton John. There is a fairly distinct timeline starting with 70s music from the Doobie Brothers into the 80s and 90s with new wave and alternative with Pearl Jam and Soundgarden. My nod to more recent music covers a wide range, with Eminem, Ryan Adams and Gary Clark, Jr.

ESSENTIAL ARTISTS    •    OTHER FAVORITES    •    PLAYLISTS    •    TOP TRACKS  •  THE BLUES

AMERICA
When I was a kid, I heard a lot of America songs on the radio. They had a string of pop hits in the early 70s and several are familiar today. I enjoying hearing them now and then. Two of the three original members still pop up at small venues or festivals of 70s bands now and then. They were at the Memphis BBQ event a few years back, and many of the people in the crowd were singing along, so that can’t be bad.





FAVORITE TRACKS / FROM THE ALBUM


Ventura Highway / Homecoming
Sister Golden Hair / Hearts
Tin Man / Holiday

Horse With No Name / America

Lonely People / Holiday


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ART OF NOISE
I saw the Art of Noise video “Close to the Edit” and was amazed not only at the quality of the video, but by the unique sound built on sampling and waves of sound. They covered the Prince song “Kiss” with Tom Jones, and resampled familiar pieces like the theme from TV shows Dragnet and Peter Gunn, and added in the twang guitar sound of Duane Eddy. Many of their extended remixes made their way into dance clubs, and are still great just to listen to.

FAVORITE TRACKS / FROM THE ALBUM


Kiss (With Tom Jones) / Best of The Art of Noise
Close (to the Edit) / Who's Afraid of the Art of Noise
Peter Gunn (Featuring Duane Eddy) /

                                            In Visible Silence

Moments in Love / Who's Afraid of the Art of Noise


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B-52's

At the time, the B-52s to me was that band that had “Love Shack” on overload in music video rotation. It was catchy, but it didn’t really do much for me. But “Rock Lobster” was on the jukebox at the bar across the street from the newspaper where I worked, and we played it a lot on Saturday nights after deadline. That took me back to the band’s older stuff. Those tracks hit a sweet spot, and I appreciate “Love Shack” now.







FAVORITE TRACKS / FROM THE ALBUM


Private Idaho  /  Wild Planet


Channel Z  /  Cosmic Thing


Rock Lobster  /  (Single)
Planet Claire /  the B-52s
Love Shack /  Cosmic Thing


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BEASTIE BOYS

OK, you gotta fight for your right to party. That was fun. The Beastie Boys? Yeah. These guys created some great music. Essentially, it’s hip hop/rap, but with so many different styles mixed in and sampled. On each track you can almost hear the experiment in progress as they see if this or that works. The sounds are original and amazing, and have influenced many artists who followed.





FAVORITE TRACKS / FROM THE ALBUM


Sabotage / Ill Communication
Sabrosa / Ill Communication
So What’cha Want / Check Your Head
No Sleep Till Brooklyn /  License to Ill
Root Down /  Root Down

 

 



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BLACK CROWES

After I started tracing the blues back into rock, one of the first bands that came up were the Black Crowes. They covered a lot of blues and R&B artists, like “Hard to Handle” from Otis Redding, and “Shake Your Moneymaker” from Elmore James. The Crowes’ original song “Wiser Time” is my all-time top track by any artist. It has a mellow bluesiness with an edge, and includes solid guitar and keyboard solos.




FAVORITE TRACKS / FROM THE ALBUM


Wiser Time  /  Amorica


Remedy  /  The Southern Harmony

                    And Musical Companion


Jealous Again  / Shake Your Money Maker
Ballad of Urgency / Amorica
My Morning Song / The Southern Harmony

                                   And Musical Companion

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DAVID BOWIE
I was never really much of a Bowie fan, but “Let’s Dance,” “Blue Jean” and “China Girl” were standard dance fare in college, and I had heard some of his older songs like “Space Oddity.”  He sang on Queen’s “Under Pressure,” which is one of my favorites, and I really like the lesser-known “This is Not America” from the 80s movie “Falcon and the Snowman.” The more I listen, the more I appreciate Bowie’s work.



FAVORITE TRACKS / FROM THE ALBUM


Heroes /  Heroes

Fame / Young Americans
This is Not America / 

                "Falcon and the Snowman" Soundtrack
Life on Mars /  Hunky Dory

Rebel, Rebel ÷ Diamond Dogs

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JOHNNY CASH
Country music has never been my genre of choice, but Johnny Cash transcends any genre. He makes great music. There are his many standards which are classics. Late in his life, and teamed with legendary producer Rick Rubin for his “America” series, which is among the best music ever recorded, period. He traditional songs, originals, and covers of songs spanning 70 years. The most impressive to me are the covers of recent songs, including the Beatles’ “In My Life.” The recording of Nine Inch Nails’ “Hurt” puts a lump in your throat.



FAVORITE TRACKS / FROM THE ALBUM


Jackson / Carryin' On With

                   Johnny Cash and June Carter
I Walk the Line / Folsom Prison Blues
Five Feet High and Rising / Songs of Our Soil
Ring of Fire / Ring of Fire
Hurt / America IV

 

 

 

 

 


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CHICAGO
Chicago was huge on the radio when I was growing up, especially with our proximity to the city. We also played a lot of Chicago songs when I was in high school pep band. They were regulars playing at Purdue, and I’ve probably seen them more than any other band. Terry Kath and Robert Lamm provide unmistakable vocals, and Chicago really developed my love of backing horns in rock music.







FAVORITE TRACKS / FROM THE ALBUM


25 or 6 to 4 / Chicago II


Make Me Smile / Chicago II


Saturday in the Park / Chicago V
Wishing You Were Here /  Chicago VII
Beginnings /  Chicago Transit Authority

 

 

 



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THE CHURCH
When I heard “Under the Milky Way,” I thought it was just a beautiful song, and I wanted to hear more from the band. There are a handful of songs that have been regulars in playlists that I put together. “Under the Milky Way” has stood up over the years, making its way into movies, television and commercials.

FAVORITE TRACKS / FROM THE ALBUM


Under the Milky Way / Starfish
Terra Nova Cain / Gold Afternoon Fix
Reptile / Starfish

Metropolis / Gold Afternoon Fix

 

 

 

 

 

 



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THE CLASH
The Clash were part of the punk movement, so I never really heard much of them until “Should I Stay or Should I Go” and “Rock the Casbah” started getting some radio play. Even then, I didn’t think much about them. As I got older and began listening to more and more kinds of music, I picked up the “London Calling” album, and heard why it is considered one of the best ever.



FAVORITE TRACKS / FROM THE ALBUM


London Calling / London Calling
Train in Vain / London Calling
This is Radio Clash / Single

Rock the Casbah / Combat Rock

Should I Stay or Should I Go / Combat Rock

 

 

 

 



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THE CURE

The Cure nearly made it into my “Essential Artists” list, but was edged out by Depeche Mode. When I was in college in the mid-80s, the Cure was considered “goth” music with the weirdly-painted Robert Smith. Later, when I started collecting CDs, I picked up the album “Disintegration” after hearing the single “Fascination Street.” The sound really stuck with me, and that album had a ton of great tracks.







FAVORITE TRACKS / FROM THE ALBUM


Lovesong / Disintegration
Pictures of You / Disintegration
Friday, I’m in Love / Wish
Just Like Heaven / Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me
Letter to Elise / Wish

 

 



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DIRE STRAITS
In the MTV video era, Dire Straits became a sensation with the computer-graphic created video “Money for Nothing.” Believe me, it was big among my college friends, as we all we pretty much computer geeks. I knew Dire Straits from “Sultans of Swing” and the terrific guitar work from Mark Knopfler. “Money for Nothing” came on the terrific “Brothers in Arms” album which also featured the great title track and “Walk of Life.”



FAVORITE TRACKS / FROM THE ALBUM


Brothers in Arms / Brothers in Arms
Calling Elvis / On Every Street
Sultans of Swing / Dire Straits

Money for Nothing / Brothers in Arms

 

 


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DOOBIE BROTHERS


I’ve been listening to the Doobie Brothers for as long as I can remember. I had their two greatest hits on vinyl, 8-track and cassette, and wore them all out. They were my go-to choice for road trips. I’m not a purist, and admit I like the soulful stuff with Michael McDonald as well as the earlier work that has the more rock/R&B feel.



 



FAVORITE TRACKS / FROM THE ALBUM


Long Train Runnin’ / The Captain and Me


Jesus is Just Alright  / Toulouse Street


China Grove / The Captain and Me
Takin’ it to the Streets / Takin’ it to the Streets
Listen to the Music / Toulouse Street





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ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA


I knew a lot of ELO’s songs from the radio, where I heard “Evil Woman,” “Livin’” Thing” and “Do Ya” a lot. But I never really thought much about ELO, really, until much later, when Jeff Lynne was part of the Traveling Wilburys. And honestly, I didn’t even go back to listen until the band’s songs showed up in commercials. Then I realized what a deep list of terrific songs they made.







FAVORITE TRACKS / FROM THE ALBUM


Turn to Stone / Out of the Blue


Mr. Blue Sky / Out of the Blue


Don’t Bring Me Down / Discovery
Evil Woman / Face the Music
10538 Overture / Electric Light Orchestra





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EMINEM

One time listening to the Oscar-winning “Lose Yourself” you hear the words, the rhythm, the energy that is poured into it, and you understand the complex talent of Eminem. Rappers put their lives out for all to hear. Eminem has never shied away from saying anything , matching it with a groundbreaking sound. Whether he’s Eminem, Slim Shady, or just Marshall Mathers, he’s an amazing artist.



 



FAVORITE TRACKS / FROM THE ALBUM


Lose Yourself / “8 Mile” Soundtrack
Beautiful /   Relapse
Not Afraid  /  Recovery
Stan /  The Marshall Mathers LP
The Real Slim Shady / The Marshall Mathers LP

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FOREIGNER
This band was huge in high school, and I remember when my friend came up to me and told me I had to hear the song “Juke Box Hero.” It hadn’t been on the radio in our area, but had gotten play on Q95 in Indianapolis, which always had the latest and greatest. Luckily, we had trip to Indy that weekend, and heard the song. There were some decent pop songs, but for me they just take me to a time and place.



FAVORITE TRACKS / FROM THE ALBUM


Juke Box Hero / 4
Cold as Ice / Foreigner
Waiting for a Girl Like You / 4

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PETER GABRIEL

Peter Gabriel was that guy who did “Shock the Monkey.” OK, weird song, kinda catchy. Then in 1986 he came out with the stellar album “So.” The video for “Sledgehammer” was amazing. Then there was the contrast of the ever-so-soft “Don’t Give Up” with Kate Bush. The sounds, lyrics and emotion on that album are spectacular. Then I found out Gabriel made other outstanding songs like “Solsbury Hill.”

 



FAVORITE TRACKS / FROM THE ALBUM


Solsbury Hill / Peter Gabriel 1


Sledgehammer / So


In Your Eyes / So
Shock the Monkey / Security
Digging in the Dirt / Us


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DON HENLEY
The Eagles never did it for me, so I’m not sure why Don Henley did. I got hooked on “Dirty Laundry,” which was catchy and different, and I worked for a newspaper, so it fit. But Henley made some songs that were even better, including the dark “New York Minute” and “Sunset Grill,” which I played over and over while watching the sun go down over northern Michigan summers.



FAVORITE TRACKS / FROM THE ALBUM


Sunset Grill / Building the Perfect Beast
New York Minute / End of the Innocence
Dirty Laundry / I Ca
n't Stand Still

Boys of Summer / Building the Perfect Beast

 


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INXS
In 1984, I saw the movie “Reckless.” The movie wasn’t all that good, but it had a killer soundtrack, including “To Look at You” by INXS, a band I’d never heard of before, but I loved the sound. “Shabooh Shoobah” is a terrific new wave album. The band moved more toward the alternative/rock sound, and followed with three massive albums that put them in the mainstream. They had some really good singles, but I tend toward the early stuff.



FAVORITE TRACKS / FROM THE ALBUM


To Look at You/ Shabooh Shoobah
The One Thing / Shabooh Shoobah
Don’t Change/ Shabooh Shoobah

Never Tear Us Apart / Kick

Need You Tonight / Kick


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KANSAS
It’s kind of sad to see Kansas out on the state fair circuit these days, thinking back to my younger days when they had some huge songs and were as big as anyone, with a song on the charts for four straight years and played the biggest venues. As an “art” band, they got a lot of play on FM radio, at the time when FM was the only place that would play a five-minute song like “Carry On Wayward Son.”



FAVORITE TRACKS / FROM THE ALBUM


Dust in the Wind / Point of No Return
Point of No Return / Point of No Return
Carry On Wayward Son / Leftoverture

Song for America / Song for America

 

 

 

 


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ELTON JOHN

Of course, Elton John was everywhere in the 70s. There was hit after hit — 50 total top 40 hits — and I knew all the songs by heart, just like everyone else. When digital music came along, it made it much easier to listen to the deeper tracks of even the most famous artists. I started really liking a lot of Elton John’s lesser-known songs like “My Father’s Gun” and “Amoreena.”





FAVORITE TRACKS / FROM THE ALBUM


Bennie and the Jets  / Goodbye Yellow Brick Road


Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me  / Caribou


Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds  / Single
Amoreena / Tumbleweed Connection
Rocket Man / Honky Chateau

 



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B.B. KING

I had the fortune to be able to see B.B.King live a couple of times. It was not too many years before he left us, but he was still larger than life. Even sitting, when he fires up Lucille and growled “Thrill is Gone,” it made the hair stand up on the back of your neck. I love his collaborations in the 80s and 90 with the likes of U2 and Eric Clapton. An absolute legend.



 

FAVORITE TRACKS / FROM THE ALBUM


Three O’Clock Blues  /  Singin’ the Blues


Thrill is Gone /  Completely Well


Hummingbird  / Indianola Mississippi Seeds
Let the Good Times Roll /  Let the Good Times Roll

 

 



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KISS

What can I say about KISS? They were as influential on me as a middle-schooler as any band. I was a follower, and every teenage boy was listening to KISS, so I did, too. “Hotter than Hell” was the first album I ever bought, and having “Destroyer” was a right of passage. No, the music isn’t great, but it’s an important part of my musical past, and you’ll still catch me playing air guitar to the solo in “Detroit Rock City.”







FAVORITE TRACKS / FROM THE ALBUM


Rock and Roll All Nite / Dressed to Kill


Detroit Rock City / Destroyer
Love Gun / Love Gun
Shout It Out Loud / Destroyer
I Was Made for Lovin’ You / Dynasty

Love Gun / Love Gun

 

 

 

 

 

 



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VAN MORRISON


I couldn’t help but be drawn in to the smoothly soulful Morrison. “Brown-Eyed Girl” is nothing short of a classic. While it doesn’t have any one single that make a favorite list, the album “Astral Weeks” might be Morrison’s best from start to finish. Then there’s the harder-edged side of Morrison, who produced some great upbeat work when he was with the band “Them.”



 

FAVORITE TRACKS / FROM THE ALBUM


Moondance  / Moondance


Into the Mystic  /  Moondance


Someone Like You  / Poetic Champions Compose
Baby Please Don’t Go / The Angry Young Them

                                          (with Them)
Brown-Eyed Girl / Blowin’ Your Mind!





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NIRVANA
They weren’t the first, might not have been the best, but when Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” hit the airwaves, the band became the face and sound of grunge music, and Kurt Cobain the symbol of the genre. Nirvana blazed white hot for just a few years before Cobain’s death, but they left quite a legacy and some incredible music. Even if you didn’t like grunge, read the lyrics, listen to the sound again and give yourself a chance to understand the brilliance.



FAVORITE TRACKS / FROM THE ALBUM


All Apologies / In Utero
Lithium / Nevermind
Heart-Shaped Box / In Utero

Smells Like Teen Spirit / Nevermind

Come As You Are / Nevermind

 


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PARLIAMENT-FUNKADELIC
If I had a dream of being a musician, it would be to play bass in a funk band. I mean, who doesn’t like Bootsie Collins? And if you’re gonna play in a funk band, why not the best? No, you’re not going to find Parliament songs on the Billboard pop hits list. But George Clinton’s crew has made some great music, with Bootsie’s big thumping bass. Guess I’m one of the Thumpasorus People.



FAVORITE TRACKS / FROM THE ALBUM


Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof off the Sucker) /

                                 Mothership Connection
Atomic Dog / Computer Games
Up for the Down Stroke / Up for the Down Stroke

Stomp / "PCU" Soundtrack

 

 

 


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PEARL JAM

My Pearl-Jam-ophile friend Jeremy will rip me for picking my favorite songs by this band from just three albums, considering they have been making great music for 30 years. But that’s the way it is. “Ten” was a huge debut album, and was followed by “Vs.” and “Vitalogy” which are nearly as massive. I saw them live at Purdue in 1994 and it was as beyond great.



 



FAVORITE TRACKS / FROM THE ALBUM


Rearviewmirror  /  Vs.


Elderly Woman …  /  Vs.
Better Man / Vitalogy
Alive / Ten


Porch / Ten

Black / Ten



 

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PET SHOP BOYS
More than 30 years after new wave music was new, samples of the music pops up in all sorts of places. Some of it get sampled into current recordings, it might be used in 80s-based movies, or in the background of commercials. Per Shop Boys had a unique sound that was easily extended and became a favorite as dance music. They still have a recognizable sound and it can stand up today.



FAVORITE TRACKS / FROM THE ALBUM


West End Girls / Please
It’s A Sin / Actually
Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money) / Please

What Have I Done to Deserve This / Actually

Always on My Mind / Introspective


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PINK FLOYD
Yeah, it’s true. When you sync up “Dark Side of the Moon” with “The Wizard of Oz,” it’s amazing. It’s the album that spanned generations. It was made to be listened to just as the band put it together, preferably with massive headphones as to not miss anything. And maybe under the influence of something. Oh, by the way, they did a little thing called “The Wall.” THere’s no one who hasn’t played air guitar to the solo on “Another Brick in the Wall, Pt 2.”



FAVORITE TRACKS / FROM THE ALBUM


Us and Them-Any Colour You Like-Brain Damage /

                                              Dark Side of the Moon
Comfortably Numb / The Wall
Another Brick in the Wall, Pt 2 / The Wall


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THE PLIMSOULS

There is an early 1980s movie called “Valley Girl,”  which is actually not a bad movie, but it has a terrific soundtrack. Among the artists are the like of Men at Work, The Psychedelic Furs and Modern English. But the band that steals the show is The Plimsouls, which has three songs on the soundtrack. They never had the success of other new wave bands, with only two albums from the original lineup, but the music they left is worth a listen.







FAVORITE TRACKS / FROM THE ALBUM



Million Miles Away  / Everywhere at Once


Oldest Story in the World / Everywhere at Once


Hush, Hush  / The Plimsouls
Now / The Plimsouls
Lie, Beg, Borrow and Steal / Everywhere at Once

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THE PRETENDERS
The great sound of Chrissie Hynde is one of those voices that is unmistakable. She’s a Midwesterner who went to London and created a British-style new wave/post-punk/rock band. There are just times when you want to hear that voice and imagine those bangs hanging over her eyes. No one is messing with Chrissie.



FAVORITE TRACKS / FROM THE ALBUM


Middle of the Road / Learning to Crawl
Brass in Pocket / Pretenders
Talk of the Town / Pretenders II
Kid / Pretenders
My City Was Gone / Learning to Crawl

 

 


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PRINCE

I probably didn’t appreciate Prince as much as I should have at the height of his brilliance.  His dance music was on every playlist at every college party, but I wasn’t much of a dancer, at least when people were around. But my lasting memory is Prince playing “Purple Rain” IN the rain at the Bears-Colts Super Bowl. It was the only good part of that game.



 

FAVORITE TRACKS / FROM THE ALBUM


Purple Rain  /  Purple Rain


I Would Die 4 You  /  Purple Rain


Let’s Go Crazy  /  Purple Rain
Kiss / Under the Cherry Moon
I Wanna Be Your Lover /  I Wanna Be Your Lover



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PSYCHEDELIC FURS
Oh, the Furs. How many times am I in need of a new wave fix and “Ghost in You” comes up on the playlist and all is right with the world. The quintessential new wave sound. They even made a movie using the song title as the movie title for “Pretty in Pink.” The Furs are one of those bands from the 80s whose sound has popped up in various ways over the last 30-plus years.



FAVORITE TRACKS / FROM THE ALBUM

Pretty in Pink / Talk Talk Talk
Love My Way / Forever Now
Ghost in You / Mirror Moves

Heaven / Mirror Moves

 


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THE ROLLING STONES
In the great battle, I’m a Beatles guy. But I can’t deny the greatness of the other band. It just wasn’t my music. Still, “Let It Bleed,” “Exile on Main Street,” and “Some Girls,” along with, well a bunch of others, are certainly deserving of their lofty status. I’m pretty selective with which Stones’ songs I listen to. “Satisfaction” has to be there, but others might not be among top choice of diehard fans.



FAVORITE TRACKS / FROM THE ALBUM


(Can’t Get No) Satisfaction / Out of Our Heads
Paint It Black / Aftermath
Gimme Shelter / Let It Bleed
Miss You / Some Girls
Waiting on a Friend / Tattoo You

 


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QUEEN

Queen is another of those legendary bands with songs everyone knows because they are classics. The band really came into my sphere when our middle school basketball team went undefeated, and “We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions” became our anthem on the bus rides to games. I could pick 20 songs and not be disappointed. One underrated song is “Who Wants to Live Forever” from the “Highlander” soundtrack.







FAVORITE TRACKS / FROM THE ALBUM


Under Pressure /  Hot Space


Bohemian Rhapsody /  A Night at the Opera


Somebody to Love   /  A Day at the Races
Killer Queen  / Sheer Heart Attack
Save Me / The Game



 

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SIMON & GARFUNKEL
They were always a bit too “folky” for me, although my parents played “Sound of Silence” a lot, and I would hear many of their standards growing up. The music is beautiful. The pairing of Garfunkel’s high tenor in harmony with Simon, who’s lyrics and music styling create beautiful imagery. Again, my favorites aren’t necessarily from the top of the list of the duo’s songs, but they are the ones that I like best.



FAVORITE TRACKS / FROM THE ALBUM


America / Bookends
Homeward Bound /

                    Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme
At the Zoo / Bookends
Bridge Over Troubled Water /

                                Bridge Over Troubled Water
Sound of Silence / Sounds of Silence

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SOUNDGARDEN

Nirvana and Pearl Jam brought the Seattle grunge music into the mainstream, but Soundgarden predates them both. I heard “Black Hole Sun” and saw the amazing video and was hooked. The vocals from the late Chris Cornell set Soundgarden apart. Worth listening is the song “Hunger Strike,” a collaboration of members of Pearl Jam, Mother Love Bone and Cornell as the band Temple of the Dog.





FAVORITE TRACKS / FROM THE ALBUM


Fell on Black Days / Superunknown
Black Hole Sun / Superunknown
Spoonman / Superunknown
Rusty Cage / Badmotorfinger
Pretty Noose / Down on the Upside

 

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BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN
It wasn’t until I got to college and met a number of people from the East Coast that I understood what a big deal Springsteen was and is. The “Born to Run” album is pretty damned good. I got to go to a concert in Toronto in 1985 and experienced it firsthand. I’m still not a huge fan, but I can’t resist the Big Man playing sax on “Jungleland.” It’s just beautiful. “Rosalita” is in there, but it has to be the live version. That only makes sense.




FAVORITE TRACKS / FROM THE ALBUM

Jungleland / Born to Run
Rosalita (Come Out Tonight) (live) /

         The Wild, The Innocent & The E Street Shuffle
Born to Run / Born to Run
Thunder Road / Born to Run
Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out / Born to Run

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STING
In my “Essentials” band list, you’ll find The Police. If I could only listen to Police songs from now on, I would be happy with that. But they really had no chance of staying together. Sting was the star, and while not really likable, he is a great singer. He dabbled into some jazz, and he has a pretty good live double album of jazz/rock/fusion. “Dream of the Blue Turtles” is a departure from the punk and funk roots of The Police. Most of his songs are from the heart and borne of personal history, but that only adds to the music.

FAVORITE TRACKS / FROM THE ALBUM



If You Love Somebody …  /

                                Dream of the Blue Turtles
Fortress Around Your Heart /

                                Dream of the Blue Turtles
Burn For You / Bring On the Night
It’ Probably Me / Ten Summoner’s Tales
If I Ever Lose My Faith in You /

                               Ten Summoner’s Tales
I’m So Happy / Mercury Falling
All This Time / The Soul Cages
Mad About You / The Soul Cages


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TALKING HEADS

When “Burning Down the House” hit the airwaves, I was hooked on Talking Heads like so many others. “Swamp” played in the background of the film “Risky Business.” I bought the album “Speaking in Tongues and wore it out. “Little Creatures” followed and was just as good. David Byrne and his bandmates pulled music from all around the world and put their own special turn on it — a little quirky, but great. When my first nephew was born, I played “Stay Up Late” over and over. “Sister, sister, he's just a plaything. We want to make him stay up all night.”







FAVORITE TRACKS / FROM THE ALBUM


Burning Down the House / Speaking in Tongues
This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody) /

                                               Speaking in Tongues
Once in a Lifetime / Remain in Light
Psycho Killer / Talking Heads
And She Was /Little Creatures


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TEARS FOR FEARS
Looking back now, you realize how big Tears for Fears was for the last half of the 80s. It’s too bad that Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith split at their height. But that’s not uncommon. After the huge album “Songs from the Big Chair” that produced three monster hits. Then they went after the Beatles sound with “Sowing the Seeds of Love” — which is not a bad track — and then Smith left. They got back together in 2004 and recorded “Who Killed Tangerine?” but the magic was pretty much gone, although they are still out there playing.



FAVORITE TRACKS / FROM THE ALBUM


Sowing the Seeds of Love / The Seeds of Love
Who Killed Tangerine? /

                             Everybody Loves a Happy Ending
Everybody Wants to Rule the World /

                               Songs from the Big Chair
Head Over Heels / Songs from the Big Chair
Shout / Songs from the Big Chair


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THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS
When you work for a newspaper, one of the best times is right after deadline. The paper’s off the press, and you’re free until tomorrow. Back in my single days, a few of us would head across the street to the corner bar to play pool, drink a few pops and listen to the well-stocked jukebox. Among the albums was “Flood” by They Might Be Giants. It was loaded with great songs. The beautiful “Birdhouse in Your Soul,” which may be a top 10 all-timer for me. It also includes the 23-second “Minimum Wage.” We would try and do the Minimum Wage Dance, but there was only one person who could really pull it off.



FAVORITE TRACKS / FROM THE ALBUM


Birdhouse in Your Soul / Flood
Ana Ng / Lincoln
Don’t Let’s Start / They Might Be Giants
Particle Man /  Flood
Istanbul (Not Constantinople / Flood


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U2


When I was at Purdue, U2 was a bit of a college band, not the mega group they now are. I knew them back from the 1983 album “War,” with the singles “New Year’s Day” and “Sunday, Bloody Sunday.” But “Joshua Tree” in 1987 put U2 into the stratosphere as a supergroup and that album became one of the best of all time. They’ve followed with one fantastic album after another and are among the greatest bands ever.



FAVORITE TRACKS / FROM THE ALBUM


With or Without You  / The Joshua Tree
I

Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For /

                                         The Joshua Tree


Where the Streets Have No Name  /

                                          The Joshua Tree
Beautiful Day / All That You Can't Leave Behind
Night and Day /

                Red Hot + Blue Tribute to Cole Porter

One / Achtung Baby

New Year's Day / War

Sunday Bloody Sunday / War


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STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN
Purdue has three main venues for performers. There’s monstrous Mackey Arena, which rarely hosts events. Most are played at the 6,000-seat Elliott Hall of Music, which is a copy of Radio City Music Hall, and is a great venue (I saw Pearl Jam there, among others). Loeb Playhouse is a lot more intimate, seating just over a thousand. That’s where Stevie Ray Vaughan played in 1985 when I saw him and was blown away. I thought there would be more chances to see him on stage. RIP.



FAVORITE TRACKS / FROM THE ALBUM


Texas Flood / Texas Flood
Tight Rope / In Step
Crossfire / In Step
Pride and Joy / Texas Flood
Cold Shot / Couldn't Stand the Weather
Little Wing / THe Sky is Crying


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VIOLENT FEMMES


On a college road trip to Ohio State in 1984, I saw the Violent Femmes at the Newport, a little theater on High Street. I had never heard of them before — nobody had really heard of them before — but the music was great and the whole trip was a lot of fun. The Femmes have been in rotation ever since. They’re quirky and fun, and if you listen, you hear their music in movies, television and commercials everywhere.



 



FAVORITE TRACKS / FROM THE ALBUM


Blister in the Sun  /  Violent Femmes


Kiss Off  /   Violent Femmes 


Gone Daddy Gone  /   Violent Femmes
Add it Up /   Violent Femmes
American Music /  Why Do Birds Sing?


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WINGS
Really, Paul McCartney was in a band before Wings? No, it’s not the Beatles, but it IS Sir Paul, and he did make some good music after that other band he was in. I’ve been fortunate enough to see Paul McCartney live twice — a double bucket-lister. What can I say? Even “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” is a classic.



FAVORITE TRACKS / FROM THE ALBUM


Live and Let Die / Live and Let Die
Band on the Run / Band on the Run
Maybe I’m Amazed / Wings Over America
Junior’s Farm / Venus and Mars
My Love / Red Rose Speedway

 

 



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ZZ TOP
It’s no secret that I love the blues, especially Chicago Blues. But just as the guitar-driven Texas blues of Stevie Ray Vaughan is always welcome on any blues list, so are several blues/rock songs from these guys straight out of Houston. They crossed over into mainstream with the monster “Eliminator,” but my favorites come from the earlier blues-fronted work.



FAVORITE TRACKS / FROM THE ALBUM


Waitin’ for the Bus_Jesus Just Left Chicago /

                                                Tres Hombres
Just Got Paid / Rio Grande Mud
LaGrange / Tres Hombres

Heard It On the X / Fandango

 


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