Lately, I have been in a very nostalgic mindset. I am not sure that one thing has triggered this, but a multitude of acts have conspired to put me in this situation. First and foremost, I had to make the decision that my step-father could no longer handle the care of my mother, who is suffering from Ahlzheimer’s Disease. For the most part, I have lost my mother to this terrible disease. Sure, Mom and I had a contentious relationship throughout my life, but she is still my mom and nothing would ever change that. Anyway, she was absolutely at her best while raising my brother and me after my parents’ divorce. After parenting two young men myself, I could have never imagined raising them by myself, as Mom did with my brother and me. Now, she is a shell of her old talkative self. Just a couple years ago she posed a rhetorical question to me about this situation, “Why did I work so hard to make all of these memories just to have them taken away?” I don’t know. I just don’t know.
Then, you throw in that I have friends who are facing end of life situations with their loved ones, the marriage of my younger son, and the birth of my first granddaughter, the first female in my lineage in four generations, have combined to put me into this mood. I am not depressed. I know when I am depressed. I am simply wistful. So, instead of listening to new records and CDs, I was reorganizing my collection when I discovered a group of CDs my best friend gave me, which are compilations of music from the Seventies. So, I began to listen to them, allowing the music to take me to different eras of my life. Silly things, like begging my music teacher in third grade to let our class sing Three Dog Night’s “Joy to the World” during class. Or, the day my Dad stopped me in the lunchroom at the school where he was principal and I was a fifth grader to tell me that Jim Croce died in a plane crash. I began to remember things from middle school and high school, as well, as I moved through the ten years worth of discs of music.
Of this reflection led me to rank my favorite artists, one through one hundred. Honestly, I had a great time making this list. All of these artists are represented in my music collection, with each artist having at least two records in my collection. Remember, this list reflects my listening habits only. Just because I don’t have Jimi Hendrix on this list does not mean I dislike him. I simply do not own enough of his stuff nor has it spent many hours being played on my stereo.
With that said, let’s get this countdown started!
100. The Rubinoos – A power pop band from the late-Seventies, they piqued my interest after seeing them on American Bandstand all those years ago. Favorite Album: The Rubinoos. Favorite Song: “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend”.
99. The Doors – They brought a certain dark mood into their music that was missing up to that point in 1967. Favorite Album: The Doors. Favorite Song: “People Are Strange”.
98. Genesis – When I speak of Genesis, I am talking about latter-day Genesis, after they became a pop hit-machine trio. Favorite Album: Genesis. Favorite Song: “Mama”.
97. Bob Seger – With my apologies to my long-time friend, the former Lori Dunwiddie, I never became as big of a Seger fan as you Lori. But, because of your incessant playing of his albums, I came to like him a bit. Favorite Album: Night Moves. Favorite Song: “Feels like a Number”.
96. Phish – In the late-Nineties and early-Aughts, my boys and I were Phish-heads. I still enjoy listening to my Live Phish albums. Favorite Album: A Live One. Favorite Song: “Bouncing Around the Room”.
95. Drive-By Truckers – One of my favorite artists of the past twenty years, DBT are the premier Southern Rock band, maybe the last of that breed. Favorite Album: Southern Rock Opera. Favorite Song: “Everybody Needs Love”.
94. Dexys Midnight Runners – Considered by most to be a one-hit wonder, “Come on Eileen,” Dexys is renown in its native UK, where they have near-godlike status. Their first two albums are classics. Favorite Album: Too-Rye-Aye. Favorite Song: “Jackie Wilson Said (I’m in Heaven When You Smile)”.
93. Billy Idol – Back in the Eighties, lip sync competitions were all the rage. Ball State started its long-running “Air Jam” competition back when I was in college and performed as Billy Idol doing “Dancing with Myself.” I didn’t win, but I was hyper-active crowd favorite during Homecoming 1983. Favorite Album: Rebel Yell. Favorite Song: “Dancing with Myself” (for those of you who know me, there was NEVER any doubt!).
92. Roxy Music – I fell in love with this band back in 1975 when I first heard “Love Is the Drug” on American Top 40. They went on to influence New Wave and Post-Punk musics in immeasurable ways. Favorite Album: Avalon. Favorite Song: “Love Is the Drug”.
91. Run-D.M.C. – Simply put, Run-D.M.C. are the gods of rap music. And, I’ve been on their bandwagon since hearing their first album in 1983. I still have to get that album on vinyl…Idiot! Favorite Album: Raising Hell. Favorite Song: “My Adidas”.
Well, fans, there you have it” My first ten artists in my very own Top 100 Artists list. See you tomorrow!