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For as long as I can think back, I have had a love for music. I have been a keyboard player since I was 12 and a bass player since 2008. I am not much of a fan of country music but I did dig into the genre from the 1990's listening to the likes of Garth Brooks, Restless Heart, and a few others. From the age of 7 I have had at least a decent stereo with some way to play vinyl records. I had received an all-in-one Panasonic stereo along with a bunch of LPs and 45 RPM records when my Mom helped her then-boyfriend pick up new stereo gear including a fancy turntable, amp, EQ, tape deck, and speakers. His "old" stereo became my "new" form of entertainment. I still use and prefer vinyl over any other musical format.
In those piles of records I discovered lots of pop, soft and hard rock, and what are now called one-hit wonders. AC\DC, Foghat, REO Speedwagon, Styx, and I was the only kid I knew of that had the double-LP soundtrack to the Heavy Metal fantasy film. Literally one hell of a collection for anyone, especially a kid! I also took to collecting any K-Tel albums I could get my hands one...something I am still doing to this day. But there were a few bands that stood out to me then and they continue to stand out now.
For me, personally, a majority of today's music, while good, still lacks that head-turning sound. There are some bands/solo artists who have managed to create their own style and sound...but those artists are far and few between. It seems to be more about noise rather than technique, screaming rather than feeling, and sound-a-likes rather than something new and different. If I am missing something from today's music then please share so I can listen. I have a found a couple of groups/artists I enjoy listening to today but it is not much...maybe one or two if I'm lucky.
So without further ado here are a few bands and songs that stand out to me starting with the 1970's and going all the way up to the 2010's. The 1990's however was sort of a mess but I managed to find a few. These choices are picked because of their techniques, creativity, and originality. Once you heard them you knew who they were, the DJ didn't even have to announce them. To keep this from being too overbearing I'm limiting myself to 5 songs per decade. Please keep in mind that these picks are purely of my own opinion.
I hope you enjoy these!
Electric Light Orchestra - Turn To Stone
Dr. Hook - You Make My Pants Want To Get Up And Dance
Supertramp - Another Man's Woman
KISS - I Was Made For Loving You
Sammy Hagar - Trans Am
Supertramp - Take The Long Way Home
Styx - Rockin' The Paradise
Alan Parson's Project - Games People Play
Don Felder - Heavy Metal (Take A Ride)
Rush - YYZ
Megadeth - Trust
Green Day - Basket Case
Sister 7 - Know What You Mean
Stone Temple Pilots - Interstate Love Song
Creed - My Own Prison
Evanescence - Bring Me To Life
Foo Fighters - The Pretender
Puddle of Mudd - Blurry
Avenge Sevenfold - Almost Easy
Nickelback - Gotta Be Somebody
Annihilator - Snap
David Cook - The Last Goodbye
(really like this guy's creativity.)
Flo Rida - Wild Ones
(OK...it's not hard rock or heavy metal, but it has a good beat.)
Lady Antebellum - Need You Now
(Yea...it's country...but one of the best country groups I've heard in a long time.)
Kid Rock - Born Free
And there you have it. The 25 songs across four decades of musical talents that stand out to me as some of the best ever created.
This was not easy to do and I know there will be questions why I didn't include this song or that artist. There are a lot of good songs in the 1980's alone that made it tough. The likes of Sammy Hagar, Journey, Kansas, AC/DC, Poison, and many others really made it tough to pick just five. By the 1990's the music was not as interesting to me and seemed mediocre at best. Millie Vanilli didn't help matters either. I'm sure you have your favorites as well, do tell! As for me, it's not very often a new song comes along that makes me want to buy it right away so I will most likely stick with my vinyl and cassette collection and use YouTube for modern musical entertainment.
What's my favorite album of all time? Easy...that double LP Heavy Metal OST on vinyl. Where else are you going to get original hits by some the era's best artists. There are a couple of tracks on there that seem out of place but the rest of the album is spot on.