Amy Winehouse is in this tropers opinion by far and away the greatest singer, songwriter of the past twenty years easy. Love is a Losing game, Wake up alone, Back to Black and You Know I'm no good are timeless classics. It doesn't matter that she did drugs, plenty of artists have. She never harmed anyone but herself, was by all accounts a very nice person, donated millions to charities in her short life (particularly children's charities) and wrote some of the best songs of all time. The likes of George Michael, The Rolling Stones, Alice Cooper, Prince, Ronnie Spektor, Ringo Starr, Annie Lennox and Florence Welch have all praised Amy's talent and have even covered her songs.
If you got me started about Mike Oldfield now, I wouldn't finish by next week. So I'll just leave it that he's the greatest musical genius who ever lived, at least as good as Beethoven or The Beatles as a composer. If you don't believe me, listen to the albums "Islands" or "Tubular Bells II". Or Tubular Bells 1. Or hell, almost any of them.
Cheap Trick. My god, Cheap Trick. Never has a band mixed pop and hard rock the same way they did, and nobody ever will. I've heard them called a mere Big Star rip-off, but no other band could rock that hard while having so much more melody than most so-called pop artists. Plus, Robin Zander is one of the most versatile vocalists I've ever seen, being able to go from soft and sweet to Beatlesque to absolutely roaring and screaming his head off. Additionally, everyone's heard their songs "I Want You To Want Me" and "Surrender" (which are without a doubt great), but "He's A Whore" really needs so much more love, if only for Tom Petersson's unexpectedly complex bassline.
Complain about her all you want—I think Taylor Swift is incredibly talented.
The entirety of the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, but Neil Innes in particular. This is the man who made "Urban Spaceman" (allegedly, anyway) on a bet from Roger-Ruskin Spear that he couldn't make a hit. He can make music that is epic, heartwarming, touching, funny, satirical, and occassionally, with songs like "Godfrey Daniel", he does it all at the same time.
Also, for added gushing — I don't even know why, but Song For Yvonne is the most beautiful song I have ever heard.
Yes, he is a prima donna. But that doesn't change the fact that Kanye West is a first-rate producer and he has an enviable number of hits. I mean, the man managed to make Daft Punk even cooler than they already were.
They were the first band I went nuts over, way back in high school. I remember thinking "This is like nothing I've ever heard. I love it!" And lo, my feet were thereby placed on the Path Of Weird, and I've never looked back.
Severely underestimated band.
Game soundtracks. Nobuo Uematsu, Michiru Yamane, Yuzo Koshiro, Koji Kondo, Tommy Tallarico, Sota Fujimori, and Naoki Maeda are just a few examples that prove that some of the best music originates in a medium that's been Pac Man Fever'd one too many times. While there are people who remix video game songs with varying degrees of awesome, sometimes I just like to listen to game tunes in their original state.
Dont forget Frank Klepacki, Julian Soule, or Ron Jones!
And Harry Gregson-Williams
And the soundtrack to the Mother series. There's a reason I selected its main theme to be the Sugar Wiki anthem.
What about Motoi Sakuraba, A.K.A. THE composer for real-time RPGs. While some of his music is repetitive from older soundtracks, one thing can't be denied: there is no greater battle music composer than him.
Sakuraba composed the soundtrack for Eternal Sonata. You would be hard-pressed to find a better collection of strings, percussion, and piano music in a video game.
Go Shiina, who often also does work with Namco-Bandai, has produced some great stuff, too.
Dave Wise, the mastermind behind Stickerbrush Symphony and the Crowning Soundtrack of Awesome that is Diddy Kong Racing.
Don't forget his successor at Rare, Grant Kirkhope. The soundtrack he composed for Banjo-Kazooie Nuts 'N Bolts is fucking FANTASTIC.
Seconded. She blends Celtic and Instrumental so well, having it come out dark and mesmerizing all at the same time.
Third. I've loved this artist ever since I heard the Mummer's Dance randomly on VH-1 over 13 years ago. I wish she put out albums more often.
Fourth. Her musical version of Tennyson's "The Lady of Shalott" is astounding, and breathes new life into a merely mediocre poem.
By all that is awesome, I love Sleater-Kinney. Those three women could rock, hard, and without relying on sexploitation or dumbed-down lyrics to sell albums or tickets. I am so thankful I was able to see them in concert twice while it was still possible.
Seconded. Amazing band. They rock out like nobody's business, amazingly talented.
For me, AC/DC is the greatest rock band of all time, and fuck those music snobs and their "relevance."
Say what you want about the music, Rogue from the Cruxshadows seems like he'd be an awesome guy to hang out with, whether you consider yourself goth or not. There's something righteous about seeing a wild-haired baritone history major get up on stage (and mingle with concertgoers! and actually like it!) to sing about the Battle of Troy or something, and then seeing the same guy offstage, looking goth as hell, talking about how much he loves his big goofy dog and his fiancee and his fans. Musicians who actually seem to like being around their own fans. Fun.
The rest of the band are actually more fun, since Rogue tends to get caught up in his projected persona and is usually surrounded by other fans anyway. That being said, I have seen him pose with a signed box of Kellogg's Frosties.
Tom Lehrer. There are no songs of his that aren't awesome. Take "I Got It From Agnes," for example, a song about venereal disease. Or "So Long, Mom," a nostalgic war song... about World War III. Or "New Math," where he does a subtraction in song. Or "The Elements" where...I'll stop now. Let's just say I am immensely glad my mother bought An Evening Wasted With Tom Lehrer when I was a kid (that's how I learned about communism!).
Have to add "We Will All Go Together When We Go" to the list of highlights. A cheery, rousing song about everyone in the world being wiped out in a nuclear apocalypse. But no-one will left alive and grieving, so...silver lining?
Behold... the Arctopus. If you can find more complicated, faster and general more balls to the walls music, I will give you your money back.
Direwolf, by the guitarist of BTA, Mike Lerner. Space opera set after world war 4. Just as awesome as BTA.
Bob Dylan. Yes he's already had god knows how much ink devoted to his awesome-ness, but just listen to Blonde on Blonde and tell me that's not a godamn religious experience right there. He still keeps it up and continues to make great music. I had better stop myself now because once I get going on how awesome Bob Dylan is I am liable to not shut up. Oh, and I don't care what anyone says, he was quite attractive in his younger days.
He had more awesome in the sixties than any other musician did. And he can still conjure awesome today.
God, yes. One of the most religious experiences of my life was listening to Highway 61 Revisited on the original vinyl. "Desolation Row" is 11 minutes and 23 seconds of pure genius, and to quote Bruce Springsteen, when you listen to the opening snare drum of "Like a Rolling Stone", "it's the sound of your mind being kicked open".
Iron Maiden is the best heavy metal band ever. It's great that they can make anti-war and anti-religion songs and sound completely awesome instead of sounding completely pretentious.
The best part though, is their temendous vitality. They've been doing this for over three decades, and they're still going strong.
DragonForce is stupid but awesome (like a musical version of Kung Pow!!). This also applies to Nightwish, which is so epic it's really, really funny.
The Beatles. Those guys pretty much originated, defined or expanded the entire genre of popular music and all its subgenres for the last forty years, and I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that almost every popular music act of the last forty years owes them some debt of gratitude, even if they'd rather not admit it. They released some of the most awesome music in the history of sound, so beautiful and Badass and amazing that even today you can put on a Beatles album and think it was recorded only last week. And all this awesomeness? They did it in less than a decade.
I think the band members as individuals need some love! I'll gush about my favourite, but I hope wiki magic fills in the remaining three. George Harrison! He was absolutely adorable when he was younger (with his ears all sticking out and d'aw) and from 1963 onwards he just kept getting more and more handsome. And as a musician he was brilliant! Have a listen to 'Something', 'Here Comes the Sun' or 'Within You Without You' and you'll see what I mean when I say he's my favourite!
Ringo, Ringo, Ringo. Where do I start with you? Should it be with your carefree personality? Should it be with your fabulous acting in the movies? Should it be with how your voice seems to fit with the lyrics for "Yellow Submarine," "With a Little Help from My Friends," and "Octopus' Garden," among other songs? What I'm saying here is that Mr. Starkey deserves more love. Sure you can go on and on about "Drummer X from Band Y can do this and that and this and that," and rag on Starr all day, but at the end of the day, Ringo will still be bobbing his head and smiling without a care in the world as "your basic offbeat drummer with funny fills."
Paul McCartney. Not only a great vocalist, but one of the best bass players this side of John Entwhistle. (Listen to that bass riff in "Taxman" and tell me otherwise) And he's a far more varied musician than most people give him credit for. He might be known as the sweet and smooth one, but he absolutely screams his head off on "Long Tall Sally" and "I'm Down" (the latter which HE wrote.) Forget "Wonderful Christmastime", he ranged from arena rock ("Old Siam, Sir" from his solo career) to simply EPIC ("I've Got A Feeling") Far better than anyone gives him credit for, including me.
All damn four of them! When VH-1 named "Revolver" the #1 rock album of all time they weren't whistling fucking "Dixie".
Blue Oyster Cult, any band that has a song based on Elric is awesome, even better when they have multiple songs based on the character.
Seconded. So many of the best songs of all time are theirs: "I Love the Night", "Perfect Water", "Stone of Love", "Astronomy"....
Split Enz are such and underrated band, yet somehow both the Finn brothers influence many Australian and New Zealander artists. Going from art rock to new wave with (almost no) mistakes? Yes please. Mental Notes and Time and Tide sound like they could come from different bands, but they are both still amazing.
Trent Reznor's made some fine instrumental works, in addition to his songs.
I love just about everything from The Offspring, especially post-Smash, when the music got cleaner.
Seconded. Screw what other people say, I can honestly say that I think "Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace" is pure, unadulterated awesome.
Barenaked Ladies. Catchy tunes, clever lyrics, and they put on a hell of a live show. What more could you want?
Steven Page to still be in it... tear.
Whoever did it, thanks for making a page for them. (No pun intended.)
Anything that Maynard Keenan has been involved in. Tool, A Perfect Circle, Puscifer. Three incredible bands with varied songs, ranging from poignant and heartbreaking to furious and defiant.
And his voice... oh man.
Thirded. Especially Tool, but fuck yes for all of them.
As regards Tool, I would especially like to gush about Justin Chancellor. Put simply, he is one of the best bassists of all time. Listen to "Forty-Six & 2", "Schism", "The Patient", hell, just about anything Tool has ever done. If you can find a bassist with a better tone and more technical power (except for maybe Jaco Pastorius), then said bassist is probably God.
I cannot stress enough how much Danny Carrey is the heart and soul of this band. Without his drums, Tool wouldn't be where it is. His drum style just kicks you in the face, repeatedly, with steel-tipped boots. I'd be lying to myself if I didn't consider Danny the best drummer I have ever heard.
Lady Gaga. Mind blowingly weird, and yet so awesome. She is one of the few artists from the past decade that I will admit to liking. And I normally HATE Intercourse with You songs.
Indeed. Is it weird to hate the artist but love their music? As Todd in the Shadows once said, "Why would she go out of her way to look so unattractive?" She may have awesome songs, but her "attire" is something to be desired.
Not to mention that she's a classically trained pianist and has a belting voice akin to Christina Aguilera.
Blind Guardian. I am a diehard Tolkien purist and was practically horrified after hearing that a Heavy Metal band had made a Concept Album based on The Silmarillion. Then I listened to some of the songs, and it was awesome. Blind Guardian has to be one of the few power metal bands that can write fantasy-based songs that aren't unbearably cheesy. And then there's "A Night at the Opera"—whether you like all the layers or not, you must admit that it's really cool to hear them take something like "And Then There Was Silence", which has—what? Thirty guitar layers and fifty vocal layers? and make it into something that six people can play live.
Say what you want about Bono, but I love U2. They were the first band I ever really fell in love with, and let's just say that there are a number of reasons why this band has stayed around so long.
Seconded. I remember being five years old and watching highlights from the Live Aid concert, and just being captivated by "Sunday Bloody Sunday". She's been a U2 fan ever since.
Thirded. I loved the song "Vertigo" and was surprised to find out this band was so epic, and yet had only released two albums after my birth.
One of the many, many amazing things about U2 is how they always diversify their music. Sunday Bloody Sunday is a sorrowful protest anthem. With or Without You is a dreamy and uplifting melody. Numb is a proof that sometimes, randomness works better than catchy beats. Discotheque is the sound of a dead genre rising to several minutes of pure awesomeness. Vertigo is a catchy, powerful pop/rock song. There are some that didn't quite work out, like their cover of Fortunate Son, but simply nothing in the face of what is otherwise 30+ years of perfection.
When looking at their whole career, from the alleys of Dublin to the stages of 360, it might be a bit harder to dismiss U2 as simply a bunch of people who play music. They're poets, they're ambassadors, they stand for something, they're a symbol of a brighter, braver world that we might not reach, but we sure as hell will be giving our best to get to. U2 lifts my soul and rules my world.
Bon Jovi was and is still one great band in my mind; their songs are just so catchy and, in case of their ballads, so heartmoving.
For a guy that writes songs about office-themed zombies and falling in love with a laptop, Jonathan Coulton is certainly a great musician; his songs are clever and funny, surpassing almost everything else you hear on the radio or TV these days.
Michael Jackson ruled the 1980s with good cause, building on from his Off the Wall success with Thriller and Bad and helping to perfect music videos along the way.
They just don't make songs like they used to. The nineties were good, when the rap was less Narmful, the love songs didn't Taste Like Diabetes, and you could listen to techno music for more than five minutes without wanting to drive a spike through your brain. On the first, I have no examples to cite; on the second, I'll say that as much as I disdained them at the time, I miss the likes of the Backstreet Boys and **NSYNC (well, okay, *NSYNC was good, but not good enough to justify (no pun intended) stopping Justin Timberlake's amazing solo career), and on the third, I will reminisce about the Vengaboys, and praise Cascada as the last remaining artist of the techno that I liked.
However, as great as rock and roll is, the best music of the twentieth century, in my opinion, came before it was invented. I'm talking about big band jazz—Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Tommy Dorsey, Glenn Miller, and the like. You cannot help but want to dance when the swing music starts playing. Granted, I might be slightly biased on these matters due to my heritage (my grandfather was a big band musician who played with Goodman and Dorsey), but just because I got a lot of exposure to it as a kid doesn't mean I have to like it—I'm gushing about it by choice.
I agree with that troper! But I'm also mad for eurodance, and I miss the 90s for the actual radioplay that dance music got. As awful as middle school was, there was nothing like waiting hours for the radio to play that one song just so I could tape it and listen to it later. I honestly enjoy and miss Ace of Base, Real McCoy, La Bouche, etc. They're ear candy, and they're no classics, sure, but damn if they aren't fun, and sometimes, at school/work in the morning, they're better than caffeine.
Do Nostalgia Wiki and Sugar Wiki overlap?
There's great current music everywhere in this day and age, dispersed all over the internet through small mediums, independent labels, and major-signed artists that simply don't get that much attention. Finding it, that's the challenge.
L. Udo's The Broken Bride, oh good high heaven what an album. I have to keep it off of my iTunes play count because every time I hear it, the guy's voice just grips my heart and imagination and refuses to let go until the last, passionate note is sung - and I love being gripped and moved, when I'm listening to such a song, with such a singer; I refuse to let The Broken Bride become a song that just passes by me on my playlist without me even noticing.
Michael Crawford's singing, especially when he performs anything from The Phantom of the Opera (he owns "The Music of the Night"), achieves a certain emotional perfection when it comes to showtunes, invoking hammery yet so sweet and sincere it's hard to resist. It's no wonder one of his first films will one day inadvertently help save humanity. Plus, he recorded perhaps the greatest version of "Memory" (from Cats) there is on his Performs Andrew Lloyd Webber album. If you never thought it was, or could be, a real character song instead of just a diva moment...he will prove you wrong.
The Who, in their 60s through early 70s heyday. Roger Daltrey had few rivals in being able to sing high-volume, angry rockers and tender ballads with equal ease. Keith Moon was the most intuitive, inventive drummer in rock history, period. John Entwhistle took the bass guitar to centre stage and contributed some dark lyrical humour to balance out the band's more grandiose concepts. As for Pete Townshend, it says something when Who's Next, an album of leftovers from a failed multimedia project is nevertheless one of the great critical and fan success stories in rock music history.
It simply does not get any better than the Overture.
Dream Theater. A band that reaches beyond its genre of Progressive Metal into simply 'Progressive Music'. They manage to hit every note of my tastes from slow ballads such as Anna Lee, to great metal riffs found in In the Presence of Enemies, to epic masterpieces like Octavarium. They reinvent themselves with every album and it has always been a great listen.
Kamelot. The epitome of Power/Symphonic Metal. Not as cheesy as Rhapsody of Fire and not as overblown as Music/Dragonforce (though I enjoy them as well.) Meaningful, well written lyrics. Beautiful orchestrations. Guitar solos with power and melody. The wonderful Roy Khan on vocals. It will remain a favorite of mine likely until the end of time.
Seconded! Not to mention that without Kamelot, the wonderful Epica may never have formed.
The Velvet Underground. My god, the Velvet Underground. A band that made the Billboard charts a grand total of once, with their first album, at 199 for one week, and I am still a second generation fan. Yes, both my parents are fans, and I and my brother and sister are fans. Seventeen minutes of awesome in one take? Yeah, they did it. Putting a guy who plays the viola on stage? Done. Writing songs that come out like something Hubert Selby or Nelson Algren would write? Without question. And the statement that "everyone who bought their first album went on to form a band" is very close to being one hundred percent accurate. The awesome just lives on.
For all they're considered an "art rock" band, there really is a playfulness and sense of humor in many of their songs, which adds to their all around awesomeness. And by God, the fact that I have an absolutely abysmally short attention span and still listens to all of Sister Ray every time is a testament to what a great song it is.
Opeth. I will say nothing more, for nothing need be said.
Jacky Cheung. You can feel the emotion in his songs, and no sarcasm is meant here.
Brother Firetribe. Simply AMAZING band from Finland. Imagine a mix of Van Halen keyboards, Bon Jovi rock style, Journey-esqe vocals and a touch of Kansas with the epic synth-metal atmosphere of Nightwish to top it all off. Oh, an Emppu from Nightwish is one of the guitarists and "Heart Full of Fire" is a masterpiece album!
On that note, Leverage gets most of its (barely existent) attention from Pekka Heino being in Brother Firetribe, but they're an incredible band on their own. Catchy, epic without being Large Ham, and down-to-earth music with wonderful lyrics that almost never wander into cliche territory. Blind Fire is such a solidly wonderful album - not one song isn't fantastic!
Possibly the best rock band in the past 20 years, Morphine, while relatively obscure, managed to defy the cliches of rock, both mainstream and alternative, and gave us an amazing musical experience that could best be described as a bluesy-jazzy-rocky-mish-mash that is effectively a musical orgasm. Simple song structures, a very slurry sound, and crooning vocals all join together into an incredible musical experience.
To me, the worst thing about them is the fact the untimely death of Mark Sandman means they will never make anything new. At least The Night set new levels of awesome for them.
The White Stripes restored my faith in the ability of contemporary artists to create music that is made of awesome. Elephant and Get Behind Me Satan are pure joys to listen to beginning to end, and though my infatuation has waned somewhat my heart still skips a beat at the thought of Mr. Jack White.
De Stijl is another awesome album. The White Stripes are all that is maintaining my faith in modern rock music.
Rush will always be vehemently defended by me. 30+ years they've done the music that they want to do, despite being ignored by MTV, Rolling Stone and other so-called "mainstream" pop culture shticks. From "2112" to "Moving Pictures" to "Presto" to "Snakes & Arrows", they have constantly put out relevant material that still stays timeless — and some damn fine riffs and licks to boot!
Spoony seconds your notion entirely, even though she wasn't around back during their best stuff. "Hemispheres," man. Mother fucking "Hemispheres." Who cares if it's nerdy? IT KICKS ASS!
Oh god yes. "Something For Nothing" is probably the most inspirational song I have ever heard. Play it when you're depressed, it will make you feel beter.
In addition to this, Spoony would also like to mention Genesis, especially the Peter Gabriel years. Whoever it was that said the line about how they were masters at mixing the beautiful and the sinister were dead on, and the "As Sure as Eggs is Eggs" segment of "Supper's Ready" has to rank in the most epic prog rock moments somewhere. Also, there's "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway," their amazing, surreal, Alice-in-Wonderland-esque concept album. Even after Gabriel left, they were still pretty damn good, even if they did become a pop band. And Gabriel's solo stuff was awesome, solidifying him as one of my favorite artists. Also, as a side note, as if WALL•E wasn't a good enough movie, who did they get to write and perform the ending theme? It just goes to prove that even after all this time, Gabriel's still got it.
Gabriel or Collins? Prog rock or pop? Who cares? I love it all.
Peter Gabriel is responsible for getting me into listening to music. The man is just a legend.
I don't know when or how or why it became so trendy to make fun of Phil Collins but the man is great, and so was Gabriel. Really, you can't go wrong with Genesis, especially the Phil Collins years. Case in point: "Home by the Sea".
Queen. Everything about them was epic. They composed the soundtracks to two of the greatest movies from the 80s, Highlander and Flash Gordon. They were so diverse, you could hardly believe that the guys responsible for the operatic Bohemian Rhapsody also laid down the rockabilly Crazy Little Thing Called Love or Beatles-esque Good Company. They spent more time on UK album charts than the Beatles or Elvis. Groups like Judas Priest, Anthrax, The Smashing Pumpkins, and Metallica cite Queen as major influences on their careers. Simply put, Epic Bards.
Even this wiki agrees that Queen deserves an entry; right now, the ad below the edit pane is trying to sell me Queen's Ultimate Collectors Edition.
Queen was my first love, and they are still my favourite band. Lord Almighty, they are great.
FREDDIE. MERCURY'S. VOICE. I am a classically trained singer and still firmly believes he is one of the best male vocalists of all time. Just listen to "Somebody to Love" and the smoothness of that colossal range. Absolutely stunning.
The "Highlander" soundtrack. That one three-word sentence should suffice.
The entire soundtrack to The Transformers: The Movie is a delicious collection of badass Ear Worm hair metal songs (in particular the last fifteen seconds of "Nothing's Gonna Stand In Our Way"). The only way that soundtrack could be made more awesome would be if Queen had written a song for it (which Hasbro almost certainly couldn't afford, but one can dream).
I particularly love "Dare." Not sure why, but I do.
Alkaline Trio! Crazy lyrics that are either brilliant, or the epitome of So Bad, It's Good ("and I can't see straight, but the two of you look awfully pretty", anyone?) catchy songs that still have edge? There's a reason that their fanbase includes the old-er school punks who have loved them since "Godammit" and pre-teens who heard them for the first time on the radio, (the reason is: Alkaline Trio are awesome) and it's so rare to see such diverse groups not bitching each other out.
Screeching Weasel. Amazing, if admittedly Raomnes-rip-off-y band that will remind you just why you should love punk rock. They have a supercool logo, too.
The Arcade Fire. I listen to Neon Bible at least twice a day at work, and it is AMAZING every single time. Even Bowie loves them!
Seconded. They not only make music that is frankly Crazy Awesome, they are some of the most organic, real, normal artists you might come across - a bunch of people as fun or awkward as you and I might be, except that they play some of the best rock songs you will ever hear.
Let's not begin on their live performances. "Best Live Act of All Time", and well deserved!
I am a blatant, unrepentant My Bloody Valentine fan and am convinced Loveless is the best album ever made in the history of the goddamn universe.
In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, by Neutral Milk Hotel, is an album that is simultaneously uplifting and harrowing; there is a darkly surreal tone to both the lyrics and the tracks. Jeff Mangum's voice is strained to its peak, and by the end of the album, "Two-Headed Boy Part 2", it sounds like he's about to break any moment. That last track is a Tear Jerker of epic proportions. There's a reason it's often deemed the best album of the '90s. Personally, I love it because I can listen to it any time, and the songs flow into each other.
Oh, gosh, yes, I second that. It's one of my favorite albums (if not my number one favorite). It's that darkly surreal, bizarre quality I like so much. It doesn't make sense if you try to pick it all apart and make every line mean something, but all that imagery contributes to a general sense of what the song is about on the whole. I love that. I somehow even love the fact that it doesn't make sense. I also just love how weird Neutral Milk Hotel sounds. Some people say weird is a bad thing. If it's in music, though, I love it, and Neutral Milk Hotel (especially their first album, On Avery Island - which I am listening to even as I type) is excellent for that. I've cried so many times listening to "Two-Headed Boy Part 2". I always think of the lyrics in a personal sense, like they're about something that happened to me - even though there's nothing in there that even sounds like anything I've ever experienced. That's what I love about In the Aeroplane Over the Sea. You can identify with the music, even if there's nothing to logically identify with. Neutral Milk Hotel is just fantastic, period.
Agreed. This is, bar none, the best indie album ever written. It's so simple yet so amazingly complex at the same time and runs a spectrum of emotions not seen in other albums.
I will loudly and proudly say that "Viva La Vida" is one of the most beautiful things I have ever heard.
A musician too few people know about, MichaelHedges. This man managed to completely reinvent the steel string guitar as an instrument, and just hearing him tune up is better than most musical acts these days.
Radiohead. Few bands even have such a varied range within their libraries, going from guitar-heavy britpop to experimental electronica, let alone the ability to make each of their endevours in such fields absolutely amazing.
THOM. YORKE. Him and his rad-ass dance moves are made of love. ?
If you can make it all the way through Kid A without crying, you deserve a gold star.
Thom Yorke could probably sing the phone book and make it the most heart-wrenchingly beautiful thing in the world. Most Wonderful Sound, indeed.
Probably every song by Wilco, but especially the album A Ghost is Born deserve mention. Beyond just sounding great, few bands have ever created music with so much depth. You may have to listen to a song a hundred times, but there is never a note out of place. The music never loses any of what makes it sound good, but genuine emotion comes through when you really listen to the music, and it makes formulaic mainstream music sound like just that.
Yankee. Hotel. Foxtrot.
The Residents, damn it! Their music is so eerie, so dissonant, yet has a certain catchiness and alien beauty that leaves you in awe. Even with their performance-art theatrics and grandiose concepts, they are far too absurd and satirical to be pretentious. Their music honestly portrays America, humanity, and the mind, but in the most twisted, carnivalesque way imaginable FTW.
All of "The Commercial Album" is sheer, unadulterated win.
The Pixies are one of the original alternative bands, gritty yet surreal with a mixture of 60s pop innocence with ear-shattering yelps and shrapnel-like distortion and strange fixations on The Bible, sexual perversion, and everything you can't write songs about.
Psapp (pronounced * popping sound with lips* -sap) is a British experimental electronica band that uses "found sounds" and strange improvisational instruments to produce pure magic. I could not love them more.
There are many groups I wanted to gush, but I had to choose one. Behold Scar Symmetry, combining death metal and progressive rock and managing not only to sound natural but also to be incredibly great. Just get a load of this.
The late Akira Ifukube is probably one of the most underrated film composers of all time. The guy not only created several of the most memorable songs in the Godzilla franchise, but he also is the one who created Godzilla's titular roar. That, my friends, is the sign of awesomeness.
Goldfrapp. Anyone with a voice like hers should be immortalized.
Daft Punk. Three albums, each sounding completely different and each consisting of pure concentrated awesome. For an added bonus, Leiji Matsumoto made an anime, Interstella 5555: The 5tory Of The 5ecret 5tar 5ystem, set to Discovery.
And then they did a series of live shows from within a glowing pyramid, with all three of the albums shoved together. As in, mashing together 3 (or more!) different songs into one!
That link is them mashing up Around the World (from their first album, Homework) with Television Rules the Nation (from their third album, Human After All), which then cuts into Crescendolls (from their second album, Discovery), and then finishes off by layering it all together at the end! Holy Crap!
Pink Floyd. Comfortably Numb and Echoes are nothing short of epic masterpieces!
The all time masters of surreal lyrics (apart from maybe BOC): "Riding a wave in the wake of an old sedan...."
What blows this troper's mind is that, from the very beginning, the band was churning out high quality material, from the psychedelic whimsy of The Piper at the Gates of Dawn to the warm and inviting Division Bell. Even something like The Final Cut, which has received a lukewarm response from critics and fans alike, is possibly better than most other artists' weaker efforts.
Chicago. I'm just in love with their use of instruments (clarinets and trombones FTW!), cool time signatures, and clever songwriting. Yeah, their Eighties period wasn't the best, but their Sixties stuff is made of awesome.
Hey I must say their cheezy songs from the 80s are a huge Guilty Pleasure for me.
Stevie Wonder is a musical genius. He's one of the best songwriters ever.
Okay, so in general, (can I put an entire music genre here? eh) Motown is the best thing ever. Whenever I'm feeling down, it brings me back up again, massively.
Joanna Newsom. Ys. An album of gorgeously orchestrated, epic, beautifully written tracks. The lyrics are spectacular.
Dear God, yes! And now, Have One on Me. Less grandiose than Ys, despite being a triple album, but still clever, endearing and, at times, utterly devastating. She's the best lyricist working right now, and a purely skilled musician. The way her hands fly over her harp is a sight to behold.
For me it would definitely have to be Lupe Fiasco, the only rapper I know of who can rap about skateboarding, riding on giant robots, a gangster zombie rising from his grave, and make it all cool. He's also one of the few artist I know of who tells an ongoing narrative with constantly recurring characters. Managed to take two of Kanye West's most popular songs: Jesus Walks and Diamond are Forever, and make them even cooler by putting his own spin on it. Helped extremely by fact that he's a gamer, anime fan and all around Geek, and planned (put on hold but still plans to make) his early retirement CD to be three different CDs for a total of 30 songs in all!
Schoolyard Heroes, thanks in no small part to lead singer Ryann Donnelly, whose voice is simply amazing. Just listen.
Lacuna Coil. I am one who can get angry very easily, and is quite terrible during it. But, for a band to take that anger and make it seem like nothing when compared to even stronger emotions that appear...it's simply beyond words. The harmony between the two lead singers, the dark atmosphere, the pulls at Gothic's Romanticism roots..and the video for "Our Truth" was simply awe-inspiring...
Oasis. Say what you please about the Gallagher brothers various comments, publicized squabbles and bad-boy posturing, Oasis produced some of the best songs in modern British music history. I defy you to listen to any Oasis song and not feel significantly cheered up. The brilliance of 'Wonderwall' single-handedly makes any comments about 'worlds biggest Beatles Tribute Band' (please) moot. Plus my heart skips a beat at the thought of Liam Gallagher.
Seconded. I own What's the Story(Morning Glory) and I love it. I never understood the Beatles thing though...I love both bands but they never sounded anything like each other.
And screw the Broken Base; as far as I'm concerned, all seven Oasis albums are great.
YES! I thought i was the only one, all Oasis albums are Crowning Music of Awesome, always have loved Oasis and always will!
Leonard Cohen wrote the deepest and most powerful songs that have ever been written, and they even (mostly) have good tunes.
Listening to Leonard Cohen is a religious experience. I will admit to crying the first time I heard "A Thousand Kisses Deep" and "Anthem".
The Birthday Massacre. I happily admit that Chibi is my dream woman. And their videos are so Mind Screwily awesome.
Awesome in superband form comes from Chickenfoot. Joe Satriani on guitar was enough for me, but with Van Halen's Sammy Hagar on vocals and Michael Anthony on bass, plus Red Hot Chili Peppers' Chad Smith on drums, this band is pure concentrated rock.
The fact that "Soap on a Rope" got me in to the band without ever hearing who was in it proves that it's not just names selling this album.
Björk and Tori Amos. Those two ladies put more emotion into their music than some of the mainstream pop artists right now.
Voltaire. (No, not THAT Voltaire). It's TECHINCALLY Gothic, but the music is just a joy to listen to. He manages to enunciate every word, so that you can ACTUALLY tell what on Earth he's saying. And the lyrics are just deliciously hilarious. Just search "When You're Evil" on YouTube.
Porcupine Tree. The album "Stupid Dream" is absolutely beautiful,and "In Absentia" is really powerful. Almost every song is awesome.
PT embodies everything good about prog rock, without any of the crap that other (admittedly great) bands (Yes, anyone? King Crimson? ELP?) sometimes get mired in.
For that matter, Yes. I loves me some Yes. Chris Squire gets the single coolest tone in rock music out of his bass. Are they self-indulgent? Hell yeah. Awesomely so.
The Protomen. Lalalei2001's parents had never even heard of the Mega Man games, and they loved Acts I and II anyway. They have some truly powerful stuff going on there. Not to mention the band itself is awesome beyond belief.
Pfft... you youngsters. If I had to pick one artist to listen to for the rest of my life, it would be Beethoven. It says something that despite all the times I've heard it in all the places I've heard it, the Ninth Symphony's Finale still leaves me in awe of the universe and what one man is capable of.
The seventh is what does it for me!
What about Bach? I have yet to hear a single piece of music by Bach that isn't magnificent.
It's not easy to come up with an album so ground breaking that everything about the genre it's based on has to be rewritten. Miles Davis did just that multiple times.
Bad Religion isn't among the most popular punk rock bands, but many fans of the genre still consider them among the best. They've been credited for saving Southern California's punk-community in the 80s, and thereby likely been the direct cause for many newer bands. They also write awesome philosophical/political lyrics (their use of complex words may even be hindering their mainstream success).
Buckethead. I am absolutely devoted to his music. He is a god! One of the greatest experimental avant-garde guitar virtuosos ever, with a divine amount of technical skill, but that isn't even the best thing about him. It's his creativity, his infinite different styles. Progressive metal, jazz, psycho funk, acoustic, dark ambient... Everything. From epic rockings like Soothsayer to heartwarming music like For Mom. I love it all. He's the best.
Frank Zappa. Made one of the best rock operas ever(Joe's Garage, Acts I, II, III). Trained Steve Vai and helped bring Adrian Belew to prominence. Released over 60 albums in the space of about 30 years. verbally pimp-slapped the PMRC, leading to a parental advisory sticker on a purely instrumental album. And managed to do this while raising 4 kids.
John 5. Metal-Country-Shred-Awesomeness. Of particular note is his Remixology album, wherein he creates both Fetish Fuel(Eat It Up, an original creation mixed with porn clips) and Nightmare Fuel(most of everything else on the album)
Led Zeppelin. One of the greatest guitarists of all time, one of the greatest drummers of all time, not a single bad album.
And arguably the greatest rock song of all time....
Linkin Park. Yes, I know, but they're still one of my favorite bands, since I love their songs, both the new and old stuff. So there.
They change their sound with each album and manage not to lose an ounce of awesome.
Stephen Lynch. "If I Were A Superhero" especially.
Dropkick Murphys, in particular "Loyal To No One" and "I'm Shipping Up To Boston".
Modest Mouse. They are one of the world's most popular indie bands (not an oxymoron) for their song "Float On" which is a very good song granted but if you want to truly experience awesomeness they can grant your wish. I love all of their albums with a passion. From their old music such as "Whenever I Breathe Out" to their newer stuff like "Spitting Venom" it is all amazing. They treat music as the artform it is.
The Killers. One of this generation's greatest lyricist and vocalists, an incredible band, and legendary connections to other bands like Coldplay.
I may like the likes of Depeche Mode, Alkaline Trio, The Clash, etc... but Richard Cheese and his band cannot be topped! Who else can make Me So Horny, Welcome To The Jungle, and You Oughtta Know palatable lounge music?! Not to mention the greatness of the fact in that last one, he kept the lyrics all the same.
Regina Spektor. She's the embodiment of authenticity, never manufactured or artificial. She's also well-read and can seamlessly weave literary allusions in with references to daily life, serious contemplation with offbeat lyrics, academic imagery with passionate imagery, and make it all a seamless, perfect gestalt whole. She's also very down to earth and humble in interviews, almost awkward. Did I mention she's gorgeous, Jewish, and a classically trained pianist? She is an artist who really makes me respect her.
Regina Spektor changed my life. I still remember the first time I heard Samson, and there is no other artist who can speak to me as deeply as she does.
Bruce Springsteen. With or without the E Street Band, he's just one of the most amazing musicians, singers, and songwriters of our time. From "Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)" to "Born in the USA" to "Devils and Dust" to "The Rising", he is simply The Boss.
Say what you want about their lyrics, music videos, and general image, Deathstars is one of the most awesome bands in existence and Synthetic Generation is musically one of the best albums I've ever heard in my life.
Within Temptation. Like Evanescence, but older (and much cooler), they blend orchestral and gothic themes with metal to make epic music. The Silent Force changed the way I look at metal forever.
Freaking SECONDED. The Unforgiving is a perfect album, and my favourite album ever recorded, bar none. And Sharon den Adel seems like such a lovely person, along with the rest of the band. I'd give anything to go to one of their concerts someday.
I would humbly like to mention Scapegoat Wax, a weird sort of alternative/rap group that existed for all of five minutes around 2000. They're brilliant in that sort of late nineties-early 00s chillout kind of way.
Tom Waits is just damn brilliant. There's a reason his songs are covered so often. His albums go from Nightmare Fuel to heartbreaking Tear Jerkers from track to track, and his lyrics are poetry at their finest. And as gravelly and monstrous as his singing voice can get, it totally works.
Jason Mraz with his awesome versatility and always feel good songs deserves a mention here. Love all of his songs especially You and I Both, The Remedy (I Won't Worry My Life), Wordplay, I'm Yours, Make It Mine and Lucky (with Colbie Caillat.)
James is one of the most underrated bands out there. Their Laid album is a masterpiece.
If I die and go to heaven, I'm sure that the angels will sound like Neko Case. Between her legendary voice and her gorgeous songwriting, no singer has ever been able touch my very soul quite like she does.
The Magnetic Fields. This band is awesome and Stephin Merritt is a genius with the songs he writes. The lyrics, the strange instruments they sometimes use. They may not be well known but their music is beautiful and well worth looking for.
Say what you will about the background story, but the music of Coheed and Cambria is nothing but Grade-A awesome. They have one of the finest songwriters of this generation, the two best guitarists of this generation, and their songwriting is top-notch, skilled, and just downright awesome. Each album, by itself, has a huge Crowning Moment of Awesome at some point or another.
Although a lot of people whine about them "Selling Out" I can't listen to an original Green Day song without a general feeling of epic. Jesus Of Suburbia has been given the "Best Song Ever" stamp by a few people, myself included.
Where's the Aerosmith? Sure, they're attention whores and they've made a couple of dodgy albums, but they've got the best vocalist, lyricist AND harmonica player in rock music today in Steve Tyler. Plus, the skill of both guitarists is impossible to deny.
P!nk. Or P!nk. Take your pick. Fantastic voice, brilliant songwriter, and does the most amazing live concerts you have ever seen. I am absolutely not making this up. Go look up some of her big concert performances on YouTube. Five albums, and every one of them is great. "I'm Not Dead" is wall to wall great songs, including the ones that didn't get released in the U.S. But there is no way a woman who writes songs like "Fingers" or "Dear Mr. President" is going to get fair airtime in America.
MORRISSEY. There's a reason he has a plethora of fans who literally worship him. For all his hypocrisy and drama, he has the most beautiful voice and is the greatest songwriter, ever.
White Wizzard. After thirty years, Heavy Metal has made a full circle and returned to its roots WITH NEW BLOOD! Metalheads around the world, put your horns into the air and bang your heads like you don't care! \m/
Evanescence. Their songs take all sorts of emotions and put them in beautiful songs with awesome videos. Not to mention that Amy Lee has a beautiful voice. Have saved many a life.
Gorillaz, gorillaz, gorillaz. Looking for upbeat? Check out 19-2000 and it's Soulchild Remix or Superfast Jellyfish. Looking for something to dance to? Try Dirty Harry. Something sad? Here you are, one Broken coming up. Something strange and deep? Feel Good Inc. Something sweet? On Melancholy Hill for you then. Something smooth? Clint Eastwood or Stylo is for you. Something awesome? Every song they have ever done. Ever.
Madonna. She's a talented songwriter, she has an incredibly honed business acumen, and I'll be damned if she doesn't have a pretty voice. You don't get to be in Evita by having a mediocre voice.
The Delgados, best known for their song The Light Before We Land, used as the opening theme of Gunslinger Girl. I discovered them from that anime series, looked up their album Hate, listened, and was absolutely blown away. I then looked up the rest of their discography and was impressed by the consistency of the band's works in terms of quality. Blissful music, depressing and well-written lyrics, and great vocal work make for a band that should have gained more fans than it did. Far more.
David Bowie. Whether you own every single album he's released or you only know of him through his variousmemeticmutations, his influence on rock music and pop culture is undeniable. Who else can record a canon of glam rock albums, a Philly soul album, a new wave album, two electronica albums, and alternative rock albums while making them all sound awesome? Add in his commanding stage presence, ever-changing yet incredibly attractive features for the ladies (and gents), a gorgeous singing voice, and an ear for musicians and you've got someone who can truly be called a rock god.
Also, his music video canon surpasses that of Michael Jackson — richer, bolder, sexier, funnier, and still full of concept and storytelling surprises (check out those wild and wooly Next Day clips). He's no slouch as an actor, either; he's got quite the One-Scene Wonder reputation, and when you see his leading roles... (swoon)
Between The Buried And Me are one of the most delightfully schitzophrenic bands ever, touching on more styles of music in one album than most bands do in their career and doing every single one well. Not to mention the spine-tingling climaxes to a lot of their longer songs.
This list has so much need for some classic jazz throwbacks it's not even funny. You are never as cool as when you are chilling to some Coltrane, Mingus, or Monk. Even the lighter stuff, like Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald keep it smooth.
JUICE LEE. Underground nerdy rappers who are adorable, have albums covered in manga/anime fanart, and write loving tributes to heist movies and old Kung Fu films steal my heart away. I dare you to listen to the Epic of John Fong and not enjoy it. Also: Punch Kick will make you cry.
With so much love for borderline indie bands here, it seems almost a crime not to include The Republic Tigers. Everything on Keep Color is brilliant.
Joy Division all the freaking way. The music they create will make you feel all kinds of sad.
The music they create will make you feel emotions you didn't even know existed before.
Britney Spears. 7 perfect pop records. An innate understanding of music and emotions which can't be taught. Billions of fans across the world. The intiative to teach herself piano. The intuition to pick songs which are hits and are loved universally. Beautiful ballads (she wrote entirely) like Everytime and Someday. Knows what a good song is. Is unafriad of taking risks like Mmm Papi and Gimme More. Driven like you wouldn't believe... AND SO MUCH MORE!
Abandoned Pools is far too underappreciated, and that makes me very, very sad. (I blame Youtube for being stupid and removing the audio from all videos posted with their songs; no one can actually hear the band.) I've been a fan for several years; several songs from Armed to the Teeth kept me from going batcrap insane when my hormones first started kicking in as a teen. Tommy Walter's singing voice is just so calming, with the perfect mix of croony soothingness and a gentle rasp that just.. .just... hnn. If you have a soul, Goodbye Song will touch your heart and tug ever-so-meekly at the strings. ... Did I mention that they've been on a five-year hiatus, and are now coming out of it?
Television. Pick a line, any line. "I knew there was pain, but pain was not aching." "I don't wanna grow up, there's too much contradiction." "Pull down the future with the one you love!" Add Tom Verlaine's sneers and Verlaine and Lloyd's interlocking, jazzy guitar solos, and the energy of one of the most exciting bands emerging in one of the most exciting settings in history. Who ever said punk was stupid?
Disturbed. They have one of those rare golden discographies with no filler and where every song has some interesting and often satisfying edge that screams "effort". They're one of those bands that has no Magnum Opus because every single album is absolute genius, each in different ways, yet still they always sounds like they're on the upward, like they still haven't reached their peak. And like Queen, their song-writing has a perfect balance and synergy where no member isn't valuable, where each instrument tightly fits together like a well-oiled machine, with each member deeply understanding the other's strengths and weaknesses inside and out as if they can read each other's mind. All this and they still manage to hold onto the teachings and spirit of Metal without outright copying the greats, forging ahead with their own identity; 80's riffs given a modern edge and soloing tastefully interwoven with the song, complex and hard-hitting drumming somewhere between Scott Travis and Vinnie Paul with enough maturity for restraint if it can better the song, bass rhythms that tie the others together in an air-tight harmony yet still managing to over-power and out-speed the instruments it aids and vocals with all the grit, speed, power and beauty that would make metal's legendary voices proud.
Great Big Sea. If you go to a concert and don't find yourself dancing, then check your pulse- you might be dead.
Florence and The Machine. The subjects of her songs range from depression to euphoria to inebriation to just about anything else, so they are never shallow, each song has tons of hidden meaning, her voice is just AMAZING, and it helps that she herself is an artistic, excitable strange girl. Some of her songs (particularly Cosmic Love, Rabbit Heart and Blinding) sound like fairytails in song form.
Tired of modern and mainstream bands? Want something completely different? You also want it loud? Look no further than The Dillinger Escape Plan. Their genre is quite bizarre, but if you learn to like their music like me (took at least a few months to understand them), you'll dig pretty much everything from them. If you're interested, start with Calculating Infinity, which literally build their genre.
Lostprophets. Yes, those guys. So easily derided as a 'Nu-Metal Boyband' (ironic, given that even the band have never claimed to be in the business of making metal), they have literally been my absolute favourite band since the age of 15, and discovering Shinobi Vs. Dragon Ninja via getting floored in a nightclub. Their first album, frankly, doesn't sound like anything else. You cannot list it as 'sounds like x meets y', it just is. And the second album is literally Awesome Music from start to end. 8 years since it's release, and Last Train Home is still his favourite song of all time, and there's still little touches he notices listening to the song, despite clocking up thousands of plays over the years. Frankly, this band does not get enough recognition.
Everything by Sonic Youth. They've been a band for about thirty years now, and they've never stopped making incredible, unique, unprecedented music in their own un-imitable style. Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo are the most creative and out-there guitarists in the world, and because of their approach to songwriting, they can create songs that are psychedelic, heavy, spacy, and ungodly beautiful. Sometimes all at the same time. They've never made a song that's less than great. They are truly the best band ever.
WHITEHOUSE. Whether you like it or not, William Bennett and co. pretty much created a genre of music while looking for an overall sound that would beat the listener into submission. And boy, does it ever.
For a band that's been around in some form since 1997, Showbread sure doesn't get the recognition it deserves. Every album they've made since they first signed with Tooth & Nail is solid gold in musical form, from the post-hardcore of No Sir, Nihlism Is Not Practical to the prog/punk/pop sound of Who Can Know It?; the utterly-unique story-based format of Anorexia and Nervosa to the classic rock-inspired Age of Reptiles, and of course the electro-punk of The Fear of God. Showbread has basically been making amazing music in whatever style tickles their fancy for a wonderful long time, and each album they make is even more amazing than the last. Their next album Cancer will apparently be a science-fiction concept album with a sound inspired by glam rock artists like David Bowie and the Darkness, and I'm practically drooling just thinking about it.
Creature Feature. Horror themed music, synthesizers and so catchy. Songs about grave robbing, zombies and aliens await you.
The Megas. Yes, they may be a cover band who covers the music of Mega Man. But they cover it well and can make you feel every emotion in the spectrum—and that's just the Get Equipped album (their cover of the awesome music from Mega Man 2).
Insomnium. If there is one band that can disprove the stereotype of Death Metal being nothing but "angry, tuneless noise", it is definitely them. They have crafted some of the most beautiful lyrics and melodies ever to grace music. And even Nilo Sevanen's growling manages to be quite emotional (which is quite rare). Seriously, takealisten.
Rick Wakeman. This man is legendary. Yes, he's known for drinking like a fish, having blonde hair almost as long as is shiny cape and doing silly things with music. But you know what? He deserves to be known for that. Reading Wakeman's book, Grumpy Old Rock Star (And Other Wondrous Stories), allowed me to get an insight into the mind of someone wo had been up until this point my favourite entertainer, and I found hidden depths to this character. He battled addictions over the course of his life, went through genuinely heartbreaking moments, and even came close to death on numerous occasions, but never once did he become whiny or preachy, as so many other "celebrities" do nowadays. He stayed down-to-earth and rational. That takes a huge amount of character.
Dude, all these artists and nobody has talked about Steely Dan yet?! Those guys are one of my favorite bands!
Try as hard as you like, you'll never find a group with the Steely Dan sound. Amazingly crisp, technically sound yet easy on the ears, and the best balance between jazz and rock I've ever heard. Plus, there's all kinds of fun Lyrical Dissonance.
The Mars Volta. Despite their last two albums not being up to par, the Mars Volta have still made some amazing albums. Every single person in the band, past and present, are extremely talented (Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, John Theodore, and Thomas Pridgen being the stand outs.) Their first 4 albums are all amazing displays of the bands musicianship and songwriting ability. They are truly one of the most underrated bands currently considering their ability.
Caravan Palace, hands down a fantastic electro-swing band, they always keep the balance between both genres perfect, while at the same time they manage to avoid being repetitive. This band is what got me into electro-swing in the first place and I can't give them enough praise.
The Bee Gees. I know, I know, I know. But hear me out here. They started out in the 60s as a Baroque Pop and Rock act in the vein of The Beatles, producing some beautiful melancholy songs and even some straight-up raw rockers. Everyone knows them for their 70s output, which despite literally carrying the Deader Than Disco stigma, is actually pretty good for the time. (Just try to listen to "You Should Be Dancing" without at least tapping your foot.) After that period declined in popularity, they reinvented themselves once again, producing songs for other artists throughout the rest of their career. They also released material of their own that covered a wide variety of genres, like White Soul and even a bit of AOR. Here's the kicker though: they had hits in 5 consecutive decades through all of their eras, which should tell you something about their versatility. Add to this that a) whatever genre they tried, they did it well and did it right, b)they could write pop hooks like not many other artists, and c) they were just nice, genuine guys... they were simply fantastic. To hell with it, I'm a fan of the Bee Gees and I'm proud of it!
And The Smashing Pumpkins are mysteriously missing from this list. To give at least one particular praise, they're pretty versatile with what they perform, probably best exemplified with "Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness". Soft and symphonic and then loud and metallic, often standing in the middle or just doing both within songs. It results in something that is very unique and euphonious.
Lindsey Stirling is amazing. She is an incredibly skilled violinist, and she loves it — the expressions she wears when performing are wonderful. Her dancing looks spontaneous but often helps convey the sheer joy of pieces like "Spontaneous Me". The music videos are, almost without exception, cut seamlessly and of high quality. Some might say a piece of hers never developes or that all her music is the same, but each composition/cover really has beautiful melody and thick texture, so if there's a point where they're all equal it's in how good they are.
Judas Priest aren't on here? For shame. Not only are they one of the first proper metal bands (alongside Black Sabbath), having formed in 1969 and released their first album in 1974, but, without them, most of the metal bands who have two guitarists would never have done it. Yep, even Iron Maiden acknowledge that they got that idea from Priest. They released one of the best metal albums of all time (Painkiller), several albums which are given just as high regard as Painkiller (Sad Wings Of Destiny, Screaming For Vengence and Screaming For Vengence) and, with the possible exception of the albums with Tim "Ripper" Owens (which fall heavily in Canon Discontinuity), have never produced an album worth completely ignoring. Oh, and to cap it all, their vocalist, in his prime, had a SIX OCTAVE RANGE (for the benefit of those who don't see why this is so impressive: the average male singer has two octaves of normal range and one of falsetto, whilst the average female singer has three) and, even now, has nearly four octaves (in his 60's!). AND, without him, we wouldn't have the well known high pitched scream so popular in metal music today. If you still need convincing, check out their awesome music page on this wiki.
This Troper barely used to listen to music. Nothing in the world of popular music really interested him. Then he discovered Approaching Nirvana, the most criminally underrated group (if you can call two guys who compose together a group) ever. Every single track is pure electronic bliss, whether it's happy, sad, epic, or just plain fun. Wait, why am I bothering to describe them? JUST FREAKING LISTEN!
Tegan And Sara are utterly phenomenal. Heartthrob is quite possibly the greatest album of the millennium to date.
ABBA. If you look past their most famous songs (like Mamma Mia), you'll find out that they sing about a wide variety of things. There are songs about men and women in the real world, about love, about breaking up, about making mistakes and trying again, and much more. Their lyrics are also meaningful without feeling gimmicky.
Devin Townsend. This is the guy who created death and thrash metal albums (Strapping Young Lad works) as well as progressive metal (Deconstruction), alternative rock (The Devin Townsend Band works, Ocean Machine Biomech), and ambient works (Ghost, Devlab) within the span of 20 years and still recognized for how good he pulls off each work. In a shorter version, the one unique thing about him is that throughout his time as a musician, he's met such a wide variety of genres that his versatility is one of his most notable traits.
CHVRCHES. Just...CHVRCHES. No, they're Not Christian Rock whatsoever, they're named that way for easier Googling. Anyway, their songs are awesome ear-candy-filled synthpop (think Depeche Mode but a little more modern and with a female vocalist singing instead most of the time [and no, I LOVE Depeche Mode, I'm not bashing them in any way]). I dare you to listen to the beats in "The Mother We Share" and NOT get an Ear Worm infection. And Lauren Mayberry's voice is simply AMAZING. Even the weaker A Day in the Limelight songs without Lauren can be Easily Forgiven because they're still great, and often time the non-Lauren vocals by Martin Doherty still sound angel-like. And even if you modernize some of their songs to fit better with the less-indie-more-poppy public ("Lies"), they STILL sound great. They are simply unstoppable. They are simply awesome. And they simplyneed more love.
Black fuckin Sabbath, man. Whether it be Ozzie's tenure(s), Ronnie Dio's or anyone else's, they have always managed to rock. And without them, we would probably not have half the bands listed here. I cannot speak highly enough of this band. They introduced me to so many other types of music, and helped me through some rough patches. I will defend them to the end.
The golden sound of Frank Sinatra simply cannot be surpassed, he was so good he was known simply as The Voice and his songs have kept their magic for a long time.
Be Your Own Pet. One of the few bands I've ever been able to sit through the entire YouTube playlist for without wanting to skip past a song and probably the only recent band with a female vocalist that doesn't make me want to rip my ears out. I'm sorry, that's an understatement. She's fantastic. The music is well-mixed, the lyrics really clever when they want to be while still remaining simple, the music videos are always fun to watch, and they gave us some of the most upbeat and hilarious songs about homicide and destruction ever. It's like pop music and Johnny the Homicidal Maniac had a baby.
Relient K. Their word play is epic, their style is all over the place, and I never get tired of listening to them.
Punk and hardcore. because seriously, fuck authority.
Also, I am a huge antifascist (as in: getting into fights with nazis every weekend huge), so I would personally like to thank bands like the oppressed, stage bottles, sin dios and so on, for being awesome and keeping humanity as a whole.
Justin Bieber makes every girl feel special; all he wants is to love and treat us like princesses. His music is catchy, but still so beautiful, it brings tears to this troper's eyes when watching him perform live. To quote "As Long As You Love Me": you're my hallelujah.
Boyce Avenue. Their original music is fantastic ranging from slow, sad music ( Dare to Believe, Brianne) , to triumphant fist pumping music ( Tonight, When the lights die, Hear me now) to love songs that are fantastic ( Every Breath, On my way, Find Me).There covers are amazing and they made Teenage Dream into a love song, So hey there's that. Enough good things about them cannot be said.
Death. They are one of the few artists where it can be said that they don't have a single bad song in their discography. Every album of theirs is amazing in it's own way, but especially The Sound of Perseverance. When Allmusic called Perseverance one of the best metal albums of all time, they weren't whistling dixie.
Judy Collins. Her career spans almost sixty years; she's 75 years old, and she still tours. She's also possibly the most pure soprano on the face of the Earth. Leonard Cohen, who she's collaborated with quite a bit, once described her voice as being liquid silver. I don't think that woman could hit an off-note if she tried.
The Romantic Period in general has produced many of the greatest works of all time. Therearequitealotof composers to choose from but nonetheless there's a reason why this music is performed and used in other productions to this day as it's timeless filled to the brim with some of the greatest works ever composed.
Love is a Losing Game by Amy Winehouse. One of the most beautiful, moving and poetic songs ever recorded. George Michael named it as his favourite ever song and did a pretty awesome cover but Amy's version is still the definitive.
Not that George Michael would disagree with you for one second that her's was the definitive.
Don't know if I can do this for just one song, but: "Bros" by Panda Bear is one of the most beautiful songs out there, period. Catchy melodies that switch and turn, lots of lovely warm reverb, and wonderful sound effects - they're all together for twelve minutes of musical bliss.
Video Killed The Radio Star: Somehow still simultaneously both futuristic and a throwback, even thirty years later it still manages to be relevant commentary... and it's one of the greatest karaoke songs of all time.
I love McArthur Park, it's so bad. It is truly an exemplary example of So Bad, It's Good, as the lyrics are so ludicrous and the music so melodramatic that it combines to become one of the greatest songs of all time. The fact that Richard Harris seemed to sing it from the bottom of his heart only makes it funnier.
Seconded. Actually, I can't think of anything to add, you just summed it up so well.
I realize that many didn't care for it but "Faith Of The Heart", by Russell Watson (aka, the theme song to Star Trek: Enterprise) is solid gold. I've been fortunate to hear the "full" song and it's even better.
Edwin Starr's "War". Good God, y'all!
Deathstars's "Death Dies Hard". One of the best rock songs I have ever heard, and I have heard many.
How about "Damn Me" from the same band? Or "Motherzone?"
"Maggie May" by Rod Stewart. No matter how hoarse Stewart's voice is, he always performs it with gusto, and the lyrics are awesome too. Stewart's best song (by a wide margin) and one of the best songs of all time.
I have to agree with this. Almost no one else that I know likes DragonForce, even though they're mostly all metal fans, I love them and their songs. I know that they've pretty much made 4 albums out of one song, but the songs and solos are just so much fun to listen to (and flail at when playing Guitar Hero) that I can't help but love them. The fact that they manage to play so fast without it just sounding like noise is a great accomplishment.
"This Corrosion" by The Sisters Of Mercy is what I like to call awesome in a can. The Dark Wave instrumentation, the choral backing vocals, the lead singer's own great voice, and, above all, the catchiness.
Not technically a song, but The four Seasons by Vivaldi never gets old for me. Yes I know it's been played to death. Yes, it's so popular it's almost not cool to like it. But I have loved it ever since I first heard a snippet of "Spring" at age eight and ran to get my mum so she could tell me what it was before the advert was over. An advert for cheese.
"Hello" by Evanescence is an amazing song, especially the line "Has no one told you? She's not breathing". It's a great way for Amy Lee to honor her dead little sister.
Afterlife by Avenged Sevenfold. I cannot listen to the violin opening without wanting to wave my arms like I'm a conductor, which doesn't change even when the violins stop and the guitar kicks in. The guitar solo is a great combination of shredding and melody, managing to show off Synyster Gates's talent without feeling out of place in the song. All of this doesn't even touch on the greatest part of the song: the lyrics. The song is about a man who dies young and, after seeing how perfect the afterlife is, is given the choice to stay or go back to Earth, deciding that he needs to go back because it was before his time. A good story on its own, it took on a whole new meaning when The Rev, who wrote it, died at age 28. I just can't describe the exact effect the song has in words, it's that powerful.
Hey Soul Sister by Train. Not as awesome, perhaps, as some of these other examples, but it's lyrics are so sweet and sincere that it never fails to put a huge smile on my face.
Windows in the Skies by U2 is a big, epic, emotional rock track that faced the misfortune of being a bonus track in a compilation CD and having been played live exactly once. But it need not stay that way. Click that link up there. Come on! Do it!
Four letters: F. E. A. R. The best thing Ian Brown has ever written.
Usually, I'm not a fan of slow rock songs, but somehow The Dillinger Escape Plan, of all bands, was able to do a fantastic one with Unretrofied, which has quite a groovy bass line on the verses and simple drumming that seems immediately sucks you in, as well Greg Puciato proving he could make melodic vocals. The part after the second chorus is also a nice switch on suddenly turning into quite a intese feeling, as well. Sure, it's tehir most mainstream song, but this song introduced me to the band in the first place.
Shine on You Crazy Diamond, Pink Floyd. And Echoes too.
Gothic Lolita by Emilie Autumn. The mix between Nightmare Fuel, Tear Jerker and her unique style of singing that always manages to impress this troper. No matter how many times he listens to it. Emilie's other songs are also awesome on their right, but this one is really a masterpiece.
'How To Save A Life' by The Fray is a musical masterpiece. No other song is so emotionally charged. I am not ashamed to admit that I cry every single time I listen to it.
Rebecca Black's Friday. Yes, you read that right. This is like the Gurren Lagann of bad tween pop. It takes everything that has ever sucked about Noughties pop - Auto-Tune, bad tween singing, simplistic beats, and inane lyrics - cranks them up Serial Escalation and the result is sheer magic.
"Linus and Lucy." For those of you wondering what that is, I mean the theme song for Peanuts. Come on, don't tell me you can't hum it! Pure nostalgia for anyone who's ever seen a Christmas special or read the newspaper comics while eating breakfast.
Howard Goodall writes the best television music ever.Blackadder undoubtedly has the best theme song of all time, to the point that I was for a long time convinced that it was an actual piece of classical music. (Okay, okay, Mike Nelson is a close second.)
FUCKING "DANGER ZONE" BY KENNY LOGGINS. I haven't seen Top Gun myself, but this song, especially used in fast-paced action scenes, it...it just sends me chills of awesomeness down my spine!
Jim Guthrie did and amazing job of Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery EP, something that you can casually listen to in teh background, yet manages to ebb and flow around what you are doing. And it fits so well into the game!
Jason Webley. His songs range from absolutely hilarious to completely heartshattering. The romance for the world in his songs will open new rooms in your soul by kicking down the door and covering everything in tomatoes and okra.
The soundtrack of Coraline features some of the most beautiful combination of instruments and vocals to go with the already extremely awesome movie. It's creepy but humorous, serious but playful, intelligent but emotional. But why read the description when you can listen to it yourself?
The soundtracks of the Golden Sun games are all brilliant. In fact, the soundtracks of the first two are widely regarded as the best thing that will come out of your GBA's speaker. This is incorrect. They are the best thing that will come out of a pair of headphones plugged into your GBA.
The Lion King soundtrack, for example listen to the song called "To Die For" and try not to get chills.
How to Train Your Dragon's score (courtesy of John Powell) is simply incredible. Such energy, such emotional power! I don't think any music has captured the feeling of flight so flawlessly.
Sucker Punch, is one soundtrack everybody must surely have. Flawless covers, beautiful angst, nice timing, amazing time had by all.
Coraline soundtrack is the right amount of creepy and cute