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June 30, 2008

People spend a lot of time making lists–the top ten best movies of all time, 7 wonders of the world, the hottest actors of 2008, the richest men on earth—and publishing them for all to see. Personally, I don’t give most lists a whole lot of credit. They’re almost all based on opinion anyway, so there is no need to take them seriously. I use them occasionally as a reference point from which I decide what I want to do next-which movie is worth seeing (usually the one at the top of the list) and which one I should ignore…etc. But one can never take them as 100% truth-they’re liable to change just as fast as the seconds on the clock.

For those reasons, I never planned on making any lists. However, yesterday I realized that I only had 8 GB of storage space left on my hard drive (yes, seriously) and 24 GB were taken up by music. I only have about 80 GB total on my laptop anyway, so yea…24 is a pretty high number. And really…over 7,000 songs accumulated since the last time my computer crashed this past semester…ridiculous. So I decided to clean it out and start afresh. I picked 75 of my favorite artists and songs and listed them before I deleted everything, just so I could remember which ones I’d like to download back first (this time though, I plan on being a little pickier-instead of downloading the entire album, I’ll just download the tracks I actually listen to-therefore saving more space). And out of those 75 favorites that I listed for myself,I thought I’d share the Top 10 artists I cannot live without. And here they are:

1) Michael Jackson-I don’t know why Michael Jackson doesn’t top more lists. He is the king of pop, rock and soul–regardless and despite anything about his personal life. I don’t care how “weird” everyone thinks he is, he has some of the best songs of the past 30 years, and it never fails to brighten my day when I hear him on the radio.

2)Ella Fitzgerald-I’ve always held Ella to be the best female vocalist of the past century. They way she sings seems so effortless on her part, and yet she blows you away with the power and skill and just the beauty of your voice. not to mention, she can skat like no other.

3) Bon Jovi– a yes. My favorite hair band. Not necessarily because I think they’re the best hairband, but mostly because I like their songs the best of all of them. I never tire of listening to Bon Jovi. Livin’ on a Prayer, Runaway, She don’t Know Me, Blood on Blood–these are among the best songs to come out of the 1980’s.

4)Johnny Mercer– I usually have to explain this one because apparently I’m the only one who knows who he is. He was a songwriter on Tin Pan Ally, and wrote some of the most Iconic songs to come out of there. He wrote the lyrics to “Moon River”, which is one of my alltime favorite songs. Thankfully, Johnny also released an album in which he sang some of his songs himself, and I love listening to that. He has a great voice, and he adds a special depth to the songs, so you know that he is singing in his own words, from his heart.

5) Sammy Davis Jr.-Wow, what is not to like?! I had to include one member of the Rat Pack here, and Sammy is clearly my favorite. He is the ultimate entertainer, and a great singer to boot. I love his voice, love his personality. This is one man I really wish I could have met. Truly one of the greats.

6) Hall and Oates-Some of the best soul to ever come from white boys. Plus, Oates looked like a porn star. ‘nough said? yea, well, thankful that hideous mustache is gone now, but the music still lives. Sarah Smile, Maneater, Rich Girl…everyone loves Hall and Oates.

7) Def Leppard-Finally, another great ’80’s band. Def Leppard has never put out a bad album. Every song they write is magical.

8 ) Air Supply-This is what I call my “chill-out music.” Its relaxing and it just makes you happy and calm. I used to listen to Air Supply all the time in the photolab–I credit them for keeping me sane while I did my work and not drinking any chemicals in desperation.

9) Buddy Holly– Another oldie but goodie…I can listen to his record through 100 times before I get tired of it, and never skip a single song. Its just happy music, light and fluffy…keeps you singing along and feeling good.

10) Jeff Buckley– One of the most original artists I can think of. This fellow obviously poured everything he had into his songs. Its too bad, he died too soon. Who knows what could have been next.

Probably not exactly what anyone expects of me, I know. All I ever talk about here is Nikki Sixx, and the Crue didn’t even make the list. There is a reason for that, of course. While I love the band, I think I’ve always been more interested in them as people-getting to “know” them, so to speak- then any music they’ve made. They have some songs that I loveLoveLOVE, and I have (well, I HAD) their albums, but even so…it just didn’t seem enough to make the top 10. These artists I’ve listed, however, I love primarily for their music–so when it comes to picking the musicians I’d most want to sit down and listen to an album of–these are the ones I’d choose. They’re well-known and highly-acclaimed artists, but they deserve every bit of it.

Anyway, I hope it is a good list.

rock on!

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