25 ESSENTIAL BANDS/ARTISTS
Not in strict order of merit but here's a quick list -
1. The Beatles
No surprise there, I hope. The one who made guitar bands cool again.
2. The Beach Boys
Brian Wilson created true emo music and probably the best pop album ever - Pet Sounds.
3. Bob Dylan
Dylan elevated folk music into pop culture phenomena, went electric and people have been trying to catch up since...
4. The Who
Created the rock opera and the power trio for a slew of followers.
5. The Kinks
The quintessential English band.
6. Rolling Stones
Pop's dark princes.
7. Jimi Hendrix
The 1st genius of electric guitar.
8. Velvet Underground
Pop meets the underground. Literally.
9. The Doors
More than just a Jim Morrison vehicle, the Doors were consummate genre-benders.
10. Pink Floyd
From psychedelic pioneers to prog professionals, the Floyd's influence still extends far and wide.
From prog to pop, Genesis covers enough ground to justify the closest examination.
12. Electric Light Orchestra
Jeff Lynne and company brought the Beatles' orchestral psych-fests to their logical conclusions.
13. David Bowie
The pop chameleon spawned a million and one genres.
14. Roxy Music
Experimental and glam chic - the ultimate statement in rock cool.
15. Neil Young
The uncompromising anarchic rocker who succeeded on his own terms.
16. Todd Rundgren
The whiz-kid who mastered every musical challenge put before him.
17. Elvis Costello
Pub-rocker who ended up writing and performing with Burt Bacharach. Now that's versatility!
18. Joy Division
Where would modern rock/post punk revival be without Ian Curtis and company?
Severely under-rated pop masters with a capital 'P'.
20. The Jam
Much more than mod revivalists, the thinking man's post punk band.
21. The Police
Not punks (in any shape or form) but the Police defined the new wave in every other way.
Re-fined progressive rock into a palatable pop format, without sacrificing technique and verve.
Ireland's finest became the biggest rock band on the planet.
24. Robyn Hitchcock
Standing on the shoulders of Dylan, Barrett and Lennon, Hitchcock made quirky folk-rock his own.
25. The Replacements
Raw and "in your face", proto-alt-rock at its best!
Not definitive of course... but a good start.