Who doesn't like to listen to music? While there are those who would argue that some kinds of music aren't really music, there appears to be some form of music to suit everyone's tastes. I do not like the Disney-fied pop music of today, and think that Auto-tune is evil. Yes, I went there. If you can't sing without auto-tune, you're not a singer. My tastes are relatively eclectic; I generally can listen to something at least once, which is more than I can say for my husband. I like to rock, but I also enjoy some country, gospel, metal, and the blues, among others. Today's A-List is therefore a list of musicians who have been consistently good with the music over time. It is not a complete list; I waffled on a few names, like BB King or The Who. Sue me.
Some would argue that all of these people have sold out and gone over to the dark side of pop music in their old age. To those people I say, STFU. There is no law that says that a musician can't grow or change, and there isn't a person out there who would turn down a bucketful of cash if it was offered. Except maybe the Dalai Llama, but he doesn't need it, anyway.
Eric Clapton in all of his incarnations. There is a reason that people started saying that Clapton is god. The guy is that good at what he does, which is playing a serious guitar. He's sort of a virtuoso, if there is such a thing for guitar players. Not all of his songs have been great, true. However, when the man nails the guitar, he blows the whole house down. Layla was a classic before Goodfellas, folks. I don't know if Clapton wrote all of the songs that he's made famous over the years, but with his guitar, he owned those babies. One of my favorite Clapton songs is Sunshine of Your Love; it's a downright sexy song.
Trent Reznor This guy is a little more than a month older than me, which makes us practically the same age. Except he is older. Probably wiser, too, since he's rich beyond the wildest dreams of avarice and I am not. But I'm not bitter. His music is definitely not traditional; it is certainly creative, and the bottom line is that it is just plain interesting. His most popular song, Closer, was sort of 'meh', but We're in This Together Now? Genius. His music is popping up all over the place these days, including in the movie The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.
The Rolling Stones The Rolling Stones have been in the music business longer than I've been alive. That takes a lot of talent as well as skilled marketing. Keith and Mick, a brilliant song writing team, sometimes remind me of a married couple, as far as their relationship goes. They're just plain better together than apart, musically speaking. They've been consistently throwing out hits for years, although there's certainly been a few misses during that time. My favorites haven't always been the popular stuff; Continental Drift, for example.
ZZ Top Most of their songs are great "car" songs; they play well on long road trips. Okay, so they write mostly about sex and partying, but their music is fun and very definitely Texas. La Grange is probably one of their best, and most easily identifiable songs, but I'm partial to Beer Drinkers and Hellraisers, Party on the Patio, and I Got The Six. These guys never tried to get by on their looks, and although the beards certainly grab your attention, once they start playing, I tend to forget about everything else. I just ease back and let the music roll me on down the road.
Elton John I first discovered Elton John at the PX at a base in Munich, Germany, when I was 9 or 10. I was fascinated by the album art for Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, and begged my parents to buy it for me. And for some strange reason, they did. That album certainly looked odd sitting there with Donny Osmond, but my brother and I listened to that Elton John album over and over again, until the title song was no longer playable. Yes, Elton is flamboyant. Yes, he's over the top. But the man can write the music, so much so that I can forgive him I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues
Who are your favorites?