In celebration of a New Year, and the Relaunch of Lyriquediscorde, I am going to do a Music Listography refresh. When I originally went through the series here at Lyriquediscorde I chose a photo from the Film Almost Famous to represent each category, labeling the feature “You Are Home”, and for this refresh, I’m going back to that Theme.
Listography lists are fun to do, especially the Music Listography. Lists tend to evolve over time, some favorites change, others stay for that forever haul. I hope that you decide to play along, too. Feel free to add your 20 to the comment section, or put up a Listography list of your own on your blog or through Social Media.
courtesy of Music Listography : Your Life In (Play)Lists
Though I will be following the book from each list to the next, my answers will not reflect a particular order. I am such a music obsessive that it will be challenging enough to stick to things like “top 20“, much less try to decide who’s #1, or #13, that’s just too cruel. So, without further ado, here we go with the first list.
List Your Top Twenty Favorite Bands
Listen to my list via Spotify and YouTube
1. Duran Duran
Duran Duran was my first band love, that first band that caught my attention, my adoration, my devotion, most of my teenage allowance, and that part of me that would forever be obsessing and falling for Music. My Mother still refers to them as “my boys” when she sees them, and in a way, they always will be “mine”. Duran Duran is part of my history, part of my DNA, and their discography, especially in the 80’s and 90’s, will always have a place in my life – always.
2. The Beatles
I was born into loving The Beatles. I do not think there has ever been a year in my life that The Beatles were not a part of, first with my Mother who was, and is, an enormous fan, second with my oldest daughter and how both her Father and I were fans (and named her after the Song “Julia”/John Lennon’s Mother), and then lastly (and always) the way I seem to discover a Song, or Album, that attaches itself to my life, my memories, and my Music Obsessions. Sometimes I may take them for granted, as they really have been with me my entire life, but most of the time I know what they have meant to me/my life, and that they will always be with me.
3. The Rolling Stones
The Beatles were always with me, with or without my consent, but The Rolling Stones, on the other hand, I had to come to on my own. I still remember picking up a copy of Some Girls (to this day, my favorite Album of theirs) and devouring it, song-by-song, and then going from there, discovering a new favorite Song, over and over, along the way. In a lot of ways, they are more “mine” than The Beatles, though I think that’s mostly because I was responsible for finding them and falling for their Music.
4. The Velvet Underground
Duran Duran led me to a lot of Music, all those hours of reading liner notes and interviews, or watching their stints at being VJ’s on MTV, gifted me with a long list of Artists and Bands to dig in and discover. The Velvet Underground was one of those bands (thank you, Nick Rhodes), that I discovered and uncovered, and became Musically Obsessed with. In the late 80’s I went thru a New York/Andy Warhol/Velvet Underground phase which never completely went away because I never stopped loving their Music, as well as Lou Reed’s solo work.
5. Roxy Music
Another Duran Duran discovery was Roxy Music, Bryan Ferry, and Brian Eno. I vividly remember seeing the video to “Angel Eyes” and being immediately enamored. It didn’t take long to load myself up with all their Albums and to take them in, and learn each one, from start to finish – I was completely hooked (and still am).
6. The Who
It took me awhile to make it to The Who and their Music, even though certain Songs and Albums have always been with me. It was Quadrophenia and Tommy that I had in my life, but not much else until last year. Paul Weller and my wonderful Music Obsessed boyfriend took me deeper into their Music, and the more I heard the more I loved, enough so that now I’m trying to fill in the Album gaps I have in my own collection.
7. Fleetwood Mac
At my first Advertising job, I sat in a cubicle pool with other assistants who were all Music fans and it became a thing that at 2pm every day we would play Fleetwood Mac. Before then, though, it was my Mother singing in the kitchen along with the Rumours Album that I remember more vividly than any other Music from my childhood (yes, even more than The Beatles). Stevie and Lindsay are my favorites, but really the entire band is full of Memories and Songs I will love for always.
8. The Libertines
As much as Duran Duran was my first band love of my adolescent and early twenties years, The Libertines were that kind of love from my thirties, and beyond. That kind of fandom that Duran Duran introduced me to reared its Obsessive head with The Libertines, and took me in completely. I owe them many memories, and friends, which is part of that magic that Music provides, innit?
Britpop is a big love of mine (thus the Weekly Britpop Tuesday), and as with all Music Genres, everyone has their favorite. Though there are three others that mean the world to me for varying reasons, it was Damon, Graham, Alex, and Dave of Blur that first stole my Britpop loving heart, and it is the four of them that will always be my favorites. It’s forever “Coffee, TV, and Blur” for me.
The first 45′ Single I ever bought was “Call Me” by Blondie, and I played it pretty much non-stop on my first turntable. Debbie Harry was all things cool, and she was definitely one of my first heroes I looked up to as a young girl (along with Olivia Newton-John, Princess Leia and Wonder Woman). She continues to inspire me as a woman, an artist, and a musician, and her band Blondie will always be one of my best-loved bands.
11. The Jam
Last year was the year of Paul Weller in all his incarnations, as well as the year of falling in love with my person. Though I’d heard The Jam before, I had been more of a fan of The Style Council and later Weller solo music until I really started listening, and digging deep into The Jam discography. I wish I hadn’t missed out on them when they were still together, and I was a young teenager who would have loved seeing them live, and blasting their albums loudly – but, better late than never.
Hole and Courtney Love came into my life when I needed them the most, their Music defiant, emotional, raw, and so real to me. No matter what is said about Courtney I have always loved her, and in many ways related to her (her daughter and my oldest daughter were born the same year, Courtney and I are both widows in a very similar way), and her Music just gets me/I just get the Music. Whenever I hear a Hole Song play I have to turn it instantly up and sing/scream-a-long.
13. Rilo Kiley
Lyrically, I feel like Rilo Kiley and Jenny Lewis get exactly what its like to grow-up and live in Los Angeles, in the same way, that I feel Tiffanie DeBartolo and Francesca Lia Block do, in books. Beyond that, I feel like the Songs get what its like to be alive right now, especially as a woman. Some of their Songs have been there for me during some very painful moments, as solace, as camaraderie, and as an anthemic release – Music is better than any medication.
Chrissie Hynde is another hero of mine. So many Songs from the Pretenders are so loaded with memories for me, from my teenage into adult life. If I woke up tomorrow and was in a band, I would want to be Chrissie Hynde.
I know for certain that I have spent a long time taking R.E.M. for granted, leaving them off of Top Lists, and forgetting often how much I love their Music. But all I have to do is start playing their Albums, listening, and feeling, their Songs, and it becomes so crystal clear. So many of their Songs mean the world to me, and so do they.
16. Mazzy Star
Mazzy Star and Hope Sandoval have been part of my personal Soundtrack of falling in love. There is something so dreamy, so hopeful, so drenched with love and passion that I can’t help but associate the two – love and Mazzy Star. Just try it, turn on “Fade Into You” and kiss someone special, you’ll see what I mean immediately.
17. The Kills
If Mazzy Star is love, then The Kills are sex – imagine the possibility of a mash-up! The collaboration between Alison Mosshart and Jamie Hince is palpable and brilliant, wicked and raw in all the best ways. And live – they are just so incredible live.
18. Concrete Blonde
Johnette is one of my all-time favorite voices, and Concrete Blonde has been one of my all-time favorite bands since 1988. I still remember the first time I heard them, where I was, who I was with, and how I was feeling. I really never stopped listening to them since that day.
19. Counting Crows
It all began with “Anna Begins”, “Murder of One”, and the entire August and Everything After Album, and it continued hard through the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Los Angeles, love, loss, and insomnia, they all reside in those Songs, and all so relatable to me. Some of my stories are in there, too.
20. July Talk
July Talk came into my life through a fellow Music Obsessive and friend, she kept raving and I finally showed up at a show, and she was so right – I was so blown away. Add to the specialness of this band is that I got to introduce them to both my daughters, who then became big fans, as well – and we’ve even gotten to see them live together, a few times. Take my word for it, go show up at a show if you can, and be blown away.
My Top 20 Bands
There are more bands I love. Many, many more. You can’t love and obsess over Music the way I do without having more than 20 favorite bands. But, for today, for right now, these are my Top 20.
I’d love to hear about yours.