NF's top 100 artists (2018) - #88

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Postby NothingFails » Fri Mar 30, 2018 6:08 pm

Starting soon!!!

Last time I did a top 100 artist was in 2009 and my tastes have changed a bit since then and also discovered a lot of artists since then that didn't appear back then. Plus, my love for alternative and rock music is stronger now than in 2009 where I was more slanted to the pop side.

Rankings are based on things like:
- enjoyment of the work
- consistency of their discography (for example, My #3 artist at their peak I think is superior than my top 2 in any period of their careers but they have stronger all around discographies)
- must have a minimal release date of their first recording before 12/31/2009.... there are at least two on my list who saw their debut albums after 2009, but had singles out prior so it counts.
Last edited by NothingFails on Thu May 10, 2018 7:57 pm, edited 13 times in total.
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Postby Goldmoney » Fri Mar 30, 2018 6:12 pm

I hope Kween is on here :oops:
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Postby NothingFails » Fri Mar 30, 2018 8:43 pm

#100. Linda Ronstadt

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I first heard of Linda Ronstadt sometime as a kid when she was in her AC duet phase. I didn't really grow to really check her out until sometime in my 20s when I started hearing some of her 70s music and learning about what a vast array of genres she was capable of. Rock and roll, country, jazz, Tejano, adult contemporary, childrens music, new age, etc... Linda never limited herself musically and at her prime had one of the best voices music had to offer.

Years active: 1967-2005
Favorite era: 1974-1980
Favorite album or two: Heart Like A Wheel/Simple Dreams
Favorite songs:

Hurt So Bad
Someone To Lay Down Beside Me
Poor Poor Pitiful Me
You Can Close Your Eyes
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Postby NothingFails » Fri Mar 30, 2018 8:45 pm

Goldmoney wrote:I hope Kween is on here :oops:
she is 8-)
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Postby Goldmoney » Fri Mar 30, 2018 11:32 pm

8-) Linda R. is kewl but most of her big hits are covers of black artists! :lol:
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Postby NothingFails » Sat Mar 31, 2018 3:29 am

Goldmoney wrote:8-) Linda R. is kewl but most of her big hits are covers of black artists! :lol:
well she had a lot of hits from white artist cover songs too lol (Buddy Holly, Rolling Stones, Roy Orbison, etc...), it is funny that probably her entire Greatest Hits are cover songs.
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Postby NothingFails » Sat Mar 31, 2018 6:11 pm

99. Foo Fighters

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I first learned of Foo Fighters in spring/summer 1995 as someone who had been a fan of Nirvana's. Hearing that the drummer was going to do some new band got a lot of us curious, but I don't think even the most optimistic of people would've expected them to become a flagship in the rock genre selling out arenas more than twenty years later. I got a chance to see them at a free record store concert back in 2000 and they were good. They have never been the most innovative band but whereas many of their 90s alt-rock peers, they've just continued to keep trucking year after year. I do think they are a tad bit overrated in the grand scheme of things, many others in the genre are just as good/if not better but don't have the clout Grohl has. The latest album IMO being the low point in a career that up until now had been pretty solid.

Years active: 1995-
Favorite era: 2007-2014
Favorite album or two: Wasting Light
Favorite songs:

The Pretender
Best Of You
Arlandria
Times Like These
I Am A River
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Postby Goldmoney » Sat Mar 31, 2018 6:14 pm

Nah

“Best of You” is pretty iconic tho. My friends of a certain group play it on Guitar Hero all the time. :lol:
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Postby NothingFails » Sun Apr 01, 2018 1:43 am

98. Steely Dan

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Few personify the smoothness of the 70s better than Steely Dan. I knew their name as a kid since my older brother was a fan of their music, but it wasn't until a few years ago that I actively checked their music out. The talent these two men (as well as all the session musicians they employed) had was limitless and while unfortunately they are better known to younger people as that group out of nowhere who won Album Of The Year over Eminem, their 1970s material is still fresh and wonderful. "Aja" is one of the most technically perfect albums I've ever heard, such crisp production and no other group was ever able to successfully merge jazz with rock music to such an extent they essentially turned into their own genre of music.

Years active: 1972-1981, 1993-
Favorite era: 1977-1981
Favorite album or two: Aja/Gaucho
Favorite songs:

Aja
Deacon Blues
Rikki Don't Lose That Number
Do It Again
Black Cow
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Postby NothingFails » Sun Apr 01, 2018 4:21 pm

97. The Pixies

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One of the pivotal groups of the pre-grunge alternative scene who bridged the gap between the 80s and 90s and were equal parts Talking Heads and Nirvana (whose biggest hit "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was written as an homage to them), The Pixies shot like a supernova and in a relatively short time gave us a series of classic albums and great tracks. I first discovered them around 1996 when I found "Doolittle" used as I'd heard good things about them. They have been in reunion mode for quite a few years but while their two recent albums have been decent, without Kim Deal the magic just isn't the same, but like David Byrne said in an interview that at least now they're playing to the crowds they should've played in their heyday.

Years active: 1987-1992, 2004-
Favorite era: 1988-1990
Favorite album or two: Doolittle/Surfer Rosa
Favorite songs:

Dig For Fire
Gigantic
Debaser
Cactus
Wave Of Mutilation
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Postby navi » Sun Apr 01, 2018 7:35 pm

99. Foo Fighters
Favorite era: 2007-2014
Favorite era: 1995-2000

97. The Pixies
some 90 places too low :wink:
My year(s) in lists by Ivan (2008 - 2013)
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Postby NothingFails » Sun Apr 01, 2018 9:09 pm

96. Sting

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It took me a long time to finally be able to successfully enjoy Sting's music on its own terms without comparing it to The Police. While he does have quite a few eras I don't care for when he got self-indulgent to the extent his music became unlistenable (like his classical period or his ill-fated venture into Broadway), the strong points of his career more than make up for it. One thing I respect in hindsight is that he didn't just pick up where The Police left off and instead went and did his own thing and got deeper into genres like jazz and world music. His most recent album from 2016 was a nice return to form for him where he went back to his bread and butter and proved he still was capable of making a solid tune.

Years active: 1977-
Favorite era: 1985-1993
Favorite album or two: Ten Summoner's Tales/The Dream Of The Blue Turtles
Favorite songs:

Russians
50,000
Moon Over Bourbon Street
Desert Rose
Fortress Around Your Heart
Fields Of Gold
The Empty Chair
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Postby NothingFails » Mon Apr 02, 2018 5:32 pm

95. Father John Misty

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One of the newest artists on the list who makes it on a technicality as he'd been releasing albums since 2004 but only started "Father John Misty" in 2012.... Joshua Tillman has emerged as one of the most exciting, innovative and head-scratching artists to come around in recent years. Many people are put off by his pretention and admittedly he is in a genre that is an acquired taste. But I think he's quickly turned into one of the great satirical lyricists of our time who is capable of great things. I heard a track or two of his debut and didn't think much about it, but he quickly won me over with "I Love You Honeybear" and then got even more grandiose with "Pure Comedy", an album that even amongst indie circles was an album you either considered a pretentious overblown mess, or you considered it on of the greatest albums of 2017... I was in the later camp. I like his new single "Mr. Tillman" which is a different style for him so I'm curious how his next album will be since right now he's one of the most interesting artists making music.

Years active: 2004-
Favorite era: 2015-
Favorite album or two: Pure Comedy/I Love You Honeybear
Favorite songs:

Ballad Of The Dying Man
Bored In The U.S.A.
Leaving L.A.
Pure Comedy
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Postby NothingFails » Thu Apr 05, 2018 1:08 am

94. The Cure

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I first heard The Cure as a kid when they were having their moment of US pop success with songs like "Love Song" (which still is surprising it went all the way to #2) and "Just Like Heaven" but it wasn't until years later I actively sought them out and thought of them as more than that group with that weird guy with the lipstick and uncombed hair (lol). To me, they went downhill sharply after the end of the 80s and their last two albums were especially unlistenable IMO, but I really love two distinct trilogies in their career... their goth rock trilogy from 1980-1982 (Pornography especially gives them the reputation for the dark and dreary music even though the majority of their well known hits sound nothing like that) and their somewhat more conventional but still brilliant trilogy from 1985-1989.

Years active: 1977-
Favorite era: 1980-1989
Favorite album or two: Disintegration/Pornography
Favorite songs:

The Hanging Garden
The Blood
Pictures Of You
Just Like Heaven
The Walk
Pornography
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Postby Goldmoney » Thu Apr 05, 2018 1:21 am

I’m not into rock much but Sting is one of the greatest frontmen ever. 8-)
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Postby RayRay » Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:03 pm

Hope to see Madonna at #1.
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Postby heppolo » Fri Apr 13, 2018 9:26 am

The Cure had some classics, their 80s-early 90s stuff is legendary.
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Postby stevyy » Fri Apr 13, 2018 9:39 pm

Pure Comedy was the best release of 2017 by FAR. FJM is my prophet.
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Postby CrazyCrazy » Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:47 pm

Oh this will be good as always! :D Steely Dan are the only ones on my radar atm, love their funky sound, really intricate instrumentation and infectious melodies and Donald's voice is delish.

I need to get more into the others and I'm sure I'll take a listen when I'm ready. Don't lose motivation John! I for one always appreciate these lists. :D
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Postby NothingFails » Sat Apr 14, 2018 1:33 pm

Oh now that I'm using Spotify on my phone, I decided that I'm slowing the list down and literally going through the best parts of every album in the entire discographies before moving onto the next artist. I'm currently going through the two 1993 live albums from The Cure lol (they only have four studio albums afterwards, another live record and a couple "new" songs on compilations). #93 has a smaller discography to comb through before really writing a good writeup and "faves" list on so it'll be faster. Plus I've been busy lately but there's no rush on my end
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Postby NothingFails » Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:02 pm

Definitely going to post the rest from now on only after revisiting the entire discographies. Going up through Bloodflowers (2000) makes me realize how harsh I actually was on 90s Cure. I do find "Friday I'm In Love" an overrated song that is uncharacteristic of their greatness but I'd forgotten how good as a whole the Wish album was. Plus Bloodflowers was a brilliant land stand artistically for them. I'm not however looking forward to revisiting "The Cure" and 4:13 Dream as they were both really unlistenable albums, but who knows, maybe after a decade I may have realized there was something really good on those I missed
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Postby Wayne » Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:22 pm

I have a massive soft spot for Linda, she was the first of her kind really - her vocal delivery in Blue Bayou was a game changer.

I like Deacon Blues by Steely Dan but not overly familiar otherwise.

Sting was an exceptional front man but I am more familiar with his solo stuff.
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Postby Goldmoney » Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:36 am

How much longer for Kween? (hopefully a while)
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Postby NothingFails » Sat May 05, 2018 1:53 am

93. Bangles

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Years active: 1981-1989, 2000-
Favorite era: 1984-1987
Favorite album or two: All Over The Place/Different Light
Favorite songs:
Manic Monday
Walk Like An Egyptian
James
Going Down To Liverpool
Eternal Flame
Hazy Shade Of Winter
If She Knew What She Wants
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Postby JSparksFan » Sat May 05, 2018 2:40 am

"You're No Good" is a classic. I just re-listened to it, and it sounds as great as ever.

Sting has a beautiful voice. My sister adores his collaboration with Sheryl Crow, "Always on Your Side". I'm listening to "Fields of Gold" now, and it sounds better than I remember it being.

The Bangles nailed the harmonies on "Eternal Flame". That song is such a pleasant listen. I think I prefer "Walk Like an Egyptian", though. That one is a more adventurous effort.
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