Recently on FaceBook, one of my friends posted a meme that requested participants post their top ten favorite artists and albums of all time. We were to post one per day. It seemed like an easy enough task so I jumped in. I will not post all ten artists and albums here, nor will I bore you with all of those that I left out but deserve a place in any top ten list. Also, these are not listed in any particular order because it is just not fair to place some of these artists above others. So, let’s get started.
No. 10: The first artist and album I posted was Ray Charles, “What’d I Say”. I was in junior high school and this was the first album that I ever bought.
No. 9:The Beach Boys – Little Duce Coupe. As a child of the ’60’s, I grew up in the golden age of muscle cars & hot rods. The Beach Boys did as much to define the image of our day as any band ever. They undoubtedly wrote and recorded more songs about fast cars than anybody. Wheat jeans and shoes with no socks ruled the day. Long live the “Little Duce Couple”.
No. 8: The Rolling Stones – Big Hits (High Tide & Green Grass). I liked The Beatles, but I was really a “Stones” fan. “Satisfaction” and “Honky Tonk Women” were just the best Stones music ever.
No. 7: James Taylor – Sweet Baby James. During the folk rock era of my music tastes, nobody did it better than James Taylor. His music may have been the first time I really listened to and absorbed the lyrics of songs. “Fire & Rain” was an instant classic and one of my favorite songs to this day. We’ve all lost loved ones who made our days brighter and our lives better just by being in our life. When we look back on our lives, we’ve all had days of Fire and days of Rain. No one has written a better lyric that this from Sweet Baby James.
No 6: Led Zepplin – Led Zepplin II. The late 60’s & early 70’s were my personal “Golden Age” of music. While I loved the folk rock of James Taylor, Carly Simon, Carole King and others I also had an appreciation of the hard rock of our day and Led Zepplin’s “Whole Lotta Love” was at the top of the list.
No. 5: Elton John – Tumbleweed Connection. Sir Elton John is quite possibly my all time favorite artist. At one time I may have owned as many as eight Elton John albums including the scarce “Friends” soundtrack that he scored. I saw him twice in concert in Tulsa prior to the release of the “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” album. Tumbleweed Connection was probably not one of Elton’s biggest selling albums, but I loved every song on it. “Love Song” and “Country Comfort” were the hit singles from this release but “Where to Now St. Peter” & “Burn Down the Mission” were among my favorites.
No. 4: Creedence Clearwater Revival – Willie & The Poor Boys. Right behind my collection of Elton John albums, ranks CCR. I loved everything they recorded and I especially liked the light hearted Willie & the Poor Boys. Even after they split up, I bought John Fogerty music.
No. 3: Eric Clapton – Riding With the King. One of the all time best rock/blues guitar players. From his days with Cream and Derek & the Dominos, Eric Clapton has always been a force in the music world. Today as a soloist he is as good as ever. “Layla” was his biggest hit as a part of Derrik & the Domonos, but his duet album with BB King, “Riding With the King” is a classic.
No 2: Garth Brooks – Ropin the Wind. Garth did as much to change country music as the Beatles did to change rock and roll. He brought big sound, big shows, and an energy that had never been seen in this genre. His songs brought back the classic themes in country music but added the intensity of a rock concert. He proved that good guys can wear black hats, and not all country stars need to wear rhinestone shirts or jackets. One of my favorite albums was “Ropin The Wind” and my favorite song off of the album was “Rodeo”.
No. 1: Linda Ronstadt – Heart Like a Wheel. I believe to be the best female pop, rock, country vocalist of all time, Linda Ronstadt. I believe that Trisha Yearwood is just as good but never truly crossed over into the pop/rock genre. There are other great female vocalists that are in my playlist, Grace Slick (Jefferson Airplane), Janis Joplin, Martina McBride, Heart (Nancy & Ann Willson) and The Supremes (with Diana Ross), but I loved Ronstadt. She was the female version of The Eagles. Her album Heart Like a Wheel contained the mega hit, “When Will I Be Loved” written by Phil Everly of the the Everly Brothers. I am sure that there are days when all of us ask the question, “When Will I Be Loved?”
Well, that’s it for my top 10.