While everyone has heard the name of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Ramones and Styx, those bands are all terrible. For the really great bands of the rock n' roll era, you need to search out beyond the obvious names. This list could easily have been three times this size, but I wanted it to include only the bands who changed the music forever. I didn't even get around to listing all the great solo artists from Leo Sayer to Leo Sayer.
But maybe some other time. Now join me in celebrating true greatness. You Y! Music readers are the best! I'm sure you'll agree with my wonderful, if kind of obvious, picks!
Be sure to write in all your faves! I'm always looking for new music to check out. Extra special thanks to the guy who suggested I check out Creed. "Awesome" doesn't even begin to describe the experience!
10) Angel: First of all, their logo can be read upside down and it looks exactly the same. They had a guitar played named Punky Meadows who inspired Frank Zappa in a fit of jealousy to write "Punky's Whips" and they wrote a song called "The Winter Song" that featured the line: "Winter is here, it's the coldest time of year." While their actual stance on Global Warning has never been discerned, Angel continue to live on in the hearts and minds of music fans the world over.
9) Toe Fat: Featuring future members of Uriah Heep, Toe Fat earned the distinction of being listed as an influence on the band Wolfmother because some knucklehead decided to drop their name in a moment of sheer randomness. Their two albums, Toe Fat and Toe Fat Two remain important cornerstones in the collections of musical youth all over the globe.
8) Wolfsbane: While Blaze Bayley went on to join Iron Maiden, for ten solid years Wolfsbane were the true groundbreakers in popular music. Their fans (known as HMS--Howling Mad S***heads) have kept the fire burning for this once fine band. It seems like record stores the world over owned multiple copies of their 1989 debut album, Live Fast, Die Fast.
7) White Wolf: This Canadian heavy metal band released important albums such as 1984's Standing Alone and 1986's Endangered Species. Their singer Don Wilk is only bested by drummer Loris Bolzon and guitarist Cam McLeod for coolest band member name. The White Wolf revival awaits, though it must be admitted that many fans feel the band were even better when they were known as Slamm. Anyone have any early demos? The world awaits!
6) Hoobastank: Nothing stops Hoobastank from being one of the greatest bands our nation has ever heard. They even released a new song this year called "Never Be Here Again" as part of the Team USA Olympics soundtrack. Can you beat that? These legends are so new!
5) Ultimate Spinach: With such well-known tunes as "Ballad Of The Hip Death Goddess," "Fragmentary March Of Green" and "Pamela," Ultimate Spinach remain among the most beloved bands of the psychedelic era. Though they continue to perform in the greater Oregon area, they will be forever remembered for putting Boston on the musical map.
4) Vertical Horizon: Another band who are still making music, Vertical Horizon continue to exist. Just the other day a friend of mine was remarking how bands today don't make music like they used to in the good old days. Then we discussed these guys and got totally psyched.
3) Freddie And The Dreamers: As the late, great Lester Bangs noted: "Freddie And The Dreamers represented a triumph of rock as cretinous swill, and as such should be not only respected, but given their place in history." Here they are! Kids everywhere continue to "Do the Freddie" at an alarming pace!
2) Bloodrock: Fort Worth, Texas' finest? Well, they sure got great reviews. But their fan base is solid. Fights still break out over whether Bloodrock 2 or Bloodrock 3 is the band's most important album. But, numerically speaking, you really can't go wrong.
1) Pablo Cruise: Well, you knew these guys were likely to land here in the top spot. I mean, seriously, who doesn't love these guys? Their 1981 hit "Cool Love" may be the coolest love song of all-time. But their 1979 hit "I Go To Rio" may be their most influential as it inspired the entire "Rio" movement that hit a fever pitch a few years later with Duran Duran. Pablo Cruise, the greatest band EVER!