Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Rockin' the Paradise

I’m really busy, but here are my Top 10 1970s artists. Don’t let Janet say I never told her anything.

1. Styx. My absolute favorite band of the era, cheese and all. They had a hopeful grandiosity that was exactly what I needed in junior high. All hail to the Lords of the Ring!
2. Elton John. Don’t go beyond the seventies, but Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Tumbleweed Connection and Madman Across the Water are crazy good – and all in different ways.
3. David Bowie. Ashes to ashes, funk to funky. The sleazy, sideways world he created endlessly fascinates.
4. Laura Nyro. Man, she could write, and she’d change the meter of her songs at the drop of a hat. Eli & the Thirteenth Confession was the freshest thing I’d ever heard for a while – and I’d first heard it in 1988.
5. Eagles. Yeah, everyone loves to hate the Eagles, but I wore my Hotel California cassette down to ribbons, and so did you. They called it paradise, I don’t know why.
6. Todd Rundgren. A wizard. A true star. A local guy made mindblowingly good.
7. Hall & Oates. Yeah, two more locals. I’m not talking about “Private Eyes” or anything after, I’m thinking of Abandoned Luncheonette and Bigger Than the Both of Us. That first side of Abandoned Luncheonette still holds up great. (Side 2 is self-indulgent as hell, but there ya go.) Oates should sing more.
8. The Cars. The music of my cousins, and it had me from groove one. Just what I needed.
9. Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers. Another band I first heard from my cousins. Petty’s “Refugee” had me utterly baffled and transfixed.
10. Joni Mitchell. Again, I didn’t hear a lot of her work until later, and I’ve still got a lot to explore. But Court and Spark is still a dart to the heart, and I listened to Blue maybe a million times on one of the longest nights of my life.
11. Steely Dan. This one goes to 11, because nothing says glorious excess like the Dan. So many of their songs are like seeing something pornographic out of the corner of your eye. A mix of temptation and the art of the con.



Natsthename said...

I forgot Todd and Steely Dan! ARGHH! See, there was lots of good stuff back in the 70's! (I also left out Roxy Music!)

Rob S. said...

And now that I think of it, I left out Rickie Lee Jones, Dr. John and Tom Waits! (Although, being a big fan of New Orleans music, I tend to put Dr. John in a different category altogether, and I don't really associate Waits with any decade. But still.)

Janet said...

I wasn't nearly as tormented who to choose with this decade. The seventies scared me, so overall it was a no brainer:)

Dave said...


I like you, but I can't stand Stynx.

For a short time I liked Renegade, had the 45 rpm single & everything. Then I discovered college radio, realized AOR was crap, and that was that.

Thanks for playing the game, though - and your Tom Waits add makes up for Stynx, boy howdy!