Trying to narrow this section down may have been the most difficult. For an “Essential” artist, I listen to everything. In the “Favorites” category, I go deep into the discography. Listed here are artists who produce some of the best single tracks. Songs from Springsteen, The Who, Pink Floyd, Simon and Garfunkel end up here. It’s not because they don’t have great music, because they are all legendary, but they just haven’t been part of my regular listening rotation. In addition to some big names, there are some lesser-known artists listed, along with some of my favorite one-hit wonders.


Ryan Adams /  Wonderwall, Come Pick Me Up

Adele / All I Ask, Someone Like You
America / Sister Golden Hair, Ventura Highway
Beastie Boys / Sabotage, No Sleep ’Til Brooklyn

Bee Gees / How Deep Is Your Love, Tragedy
Johnny Cash / Jackson, Hurt
Ray Charles / Song for You, Georgia on my Mind
The Church / Under the Milky Way, Terra Nova Cain
The Clash / London Calling, Train in Vain
Joe Cocker / You Are So Beautiful, Feeling Alright
Leonard Cohen / Hallelujah, Suzanne
Elvis Costello / What’s So Funny ‘Bout …, Pump It Up
Jim Croce / Time in a Bottle, I Got a Name
The Cure / Friday I’m in Love, Lovesong
David Bowie / Life on Mars, Let’s Dance
Dire Straits / Brothers in Arms, Calling Elvis

Earth, Wind & Fire / September, Shining Star
Eminem / Lose Yourself, Beautiful

Eurythmics / Here Comes the Rain Again, Missionary Man
Green Day / Longview, American Idiot
Jimi Hendrix / Little Wing, All Along the Watchtower
Don Henley / Sunset Grill, Dirty Laundry
Billy Idol / White Wedding, Rebel Yell
INXS / To Look at You, Here Comes
John Lennon / Mind Games, Imagine

Annie Lennox / Why, Waiting in Vain
Kansas / Dust in the Wind, Carry On Wayward Son

BB King / Thrill is Gone, Hummingbird
Kinks / Lola, Nothing in this World …
Lenny Kravitz / Are You Gonna Go My Way, Fields of Joy
Nirvana  /  All Apologies, Heart Shaped Box
Pink Floyd / Another Brick in the Wall, Us And Them
Plimsouls /  Million Miles Away, Women
Elvis Presley / Kentucky Rain, Little Less Conversation
Pretenders /  Middle of the Road, My City Was Gone
Ramones / Judy is a Punk, I Wanna Be Sedated
Otis Redding / Dock of the Bay, Try a Little Tenderness
Red Hot Chili Peppers /  Knock Me Down, Taste the Pain
Rolling Stones /  Paint It Black, Gimme Shelter
Sheryl Crow / Safe and Sound, Always On Your Side
Simon and Garfunkel / America, At The Zoo
The Smiths /  How Soon is Now, Last Night I Dreamt …
Elliott Smith /  Needle in the Hay, I Better Be Quiet Now
Bruce Springsteen / Rosalita, Jungleland
Steepwater Band / The Stars Look Good Tonight, Revelation Sunday
Sting / I Burn For You, It’s Probably Me
Styx / Renegade, Suite Madam Blue
Talking Heads / Burning Down the House, Stay Up Late

James Taylor / Fire and Rain, You've Got a Friend
Tears for Fears / Sowing the Seeds of Love, Who Killed Tangerine
They Might Be Giants / Birdhouse in Your Soul, Ana Ng
Three Dog Night / One, Old Fashioned Love Song
Stevie Ray Vaughan / Texas Flood, Tightrope
Velvet Underground / Sweet Jane, Stephanie Says
Wang Chung / Everybody Have Fun Tonight, To Live and Die in LA
The Who / Eminence Front, See Me Feel Me
Amy Winehouse / Rehab, Tears Dry On Their Own
Wings /  Band on the Run, Live and Let Die
Stevie Wonder / Superstition, Higher Ground
ZZ Top /  Waiting for the Bus/Jesus Just Left Chicago, Heard it on the X

Animotion / Obsession
Army of Lovers / Crucified
The Art Of Noise / KISS (Featuring Tom Jones)
Atlanta Rhythm Section / So In To You

Anita Baker / Giving You the Best That I Got

Beach Boys / God Only Knows

Blow Monkeys / Digging Your Scene

Jackson Brown / Doctor My Eyes

James Brown / I'll Go Crazy
Jeff Buckley / Hallelujah

Citizen Cope / Son's Gonna Rise
Cream / Badge

Cheap Trick / Dream Police
Christopher Cross / Sailing
Duran Duran / Save A Prayer

Lupe Fiasco / Hello Goodbye
Fifth Dimension / Age of Aquarius.Let the Sunshine In

Fleetwood Mac / Tusk

A Flock Of Seagulls / I Ran (So Far Away)

Foo Fighters / Everlong

Foreigner / Juke Box Hero

Gnarls Barkley / Crazy

The Grass Roots / Wait A Million Years

David Gray / Shine

Guns 'N' Roses / November Rain

Heatwave / Groove Line

Michael Jackson / Rock With You

Billy Joel / Just The Way You Are

Tom Jones / It's Not Unusual

KC & the Sunshine Band / Get Down Tonight

Level 42 / Something About You

Linkin Park / Numb

Looking Glass / Brandy

Madness / Our House

Magic Sam / Sweet Home Chicago

Mamas and the Papas / California Dreamin'

Manfred Mann / Blinded By the Light

Maroon 5 / Makes Me Wonder

MARRS / Pump Up the Volume

Natalie Merchant / Life Is Sweet

Steve Miller Band / Fly Like an Eagle

The Mission / Deliverance

Modern English / I Melt With You

Moody Blues / Nights in White Satin

The Monkees / Not My Stepping Stone

Paolo Nutini / New Shoes

Parliament-Funkadelic / Atomic Dog

Pharrell Williams / Happy

Bonnie Raitt / Feels Like Home to Me

Boz Scaggs / Lido shuffle

Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band / Roll Me Away

Brian Setzer Orchestra / Americano

Marlena Shaw / California Soul

Simply Red / Holding Back the Years

Soft Cell / Tainted Love

The Soggy Bottom Boys / Man of Constant Sorrow

Squeeze / Tempted

Temple of the Dog / Hunger Strike

Pete Townshend / Let My Love Open the Door

Jethro Tull / Aqualung

Wang Chung / Everybody Have Fun Tonight

Bill Withers / Lovely Day

Yes / Owner of  a Lonely Heart