Monday, 5 April 2010

My Top 30 Rock Gawds

Originally Written: 25/10/07
Disclaimer: I don't care what you say, the emphasis is on the word "MY" not "THE" so it is an opinion thing. However, all "Masterpieces" are based on ratings above 80% on, which is the greatest music website in the world, check it out, I don't agree with everything, but it's a damn good place to start.

Prayer: Dear Lord, please give me the charisma, the stage presence and the utter insanity of any given one or combination of the following. Amen.

John Lennon
01. John Lennon (1940 - 1980)
"Half of me thinks I am a loser, the other half thinks I am God Almighty."
Masterpieces: [with The Beatles]: A Hard Day's Night (1964); Help! (1965); Rubber Soul (1965); Revolver (1966); Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967); Magical Mystery Tour (1967); The Beatles (1968); Abbey Road (1969) [solo]: John Lennon / Plastic Ono Band (1970); Imagine (1971)
Justified: I feel I am John Lennon reincarnated, I know this seems a little crazy, but I am busy compiling the evidence for that note, so be patient before judgment. Synonymous with Rock God. Part of the biggest band in history. Ability to write poppy number 1 hits and Avant Garde pieces which changed music. Everybody has to love him or they are not worth my time. Politically active. Conspiracy theories run wild still to this day over his death.

Jim Morrison
02. Jim Morrison (1943 - 1971)
"I see myself as a huge fiery comet, a shooting star. Everyone stops, points up and gasps "Oh look at that!" Then — whoosh, and I'm gone... and they'll never see anything like it ever again... and they won't be able to forget me — ever."
Masterpieces: [with The Doors]: The Doors (1967); Strange Days (1967); LA Woman (1971)
Justified: No frontman before or after had the stage presence of the Lizard King. A member of the 27 club.

David Bowie
03. David Bowie (1947 - present)
"I always had a repulsive need to be something more than human. I felt very puny as a human. I thought, 'Fuck that. I want to be a superhuman'"
Masterpieces: Hunky Dory (1971); The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars (1972); Aladdin Sane (1973); Station to Station (1976); Low (1977); "Heroes" (1977)
Justified: Writing pop songs beyond the formula. Changing his persona more times and much better than Madonna ever could.

Bob Dylan
04. Bob Dylan (1941 - present)
"I consider myself a poet first and a musician second. I live like a poet and I'll die like a poet."
Masterpieces: The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan (1963); The Times They Are A-Changin' (1964); Another Side of Bob Dylan (1965); Bringing It All Back Home (1965); Highway 61 Revisited (1965); Blonde on Blonde (1966); John Wesley Harding (1967); Blood on the Tracks (1975); The Basement Tapes (1975); Desire (1976); Time Out of Mind (1997)
Justified: So many masterpieces over so many years. Unarguably one of the greatest lyricists to ever grace our ears.

Kurt Cobain
05. Kurt Cobain (1967 - 1994)
"I use bits and pieces of others personalities to form my own."
Masterpieces: [with Nirvana]: Nevermind (1991); In Utero (1993); MTV Unplugged in New York (1994)
Justified: The reason why I picked up the guitar. Started and destroyed the Seattle Grunge movement. Glamorized depression, heroin and suicide. The face of Generation X. A member of the 27 club. An interesting conspiracy theory surrounds his death.

Freddie Mercury
06. Freddie Mercury (1946 - 1991)
"I'm so powerful on stage that I seem to have created a monster. When I'm performing I'm an extrovert, yet inside I'm a completely different man."
Masterpieces: [with Queen]: Sheer Heart Attack (1974); A Night at the Opera (1975)
Justified: Flamboyant performer and almost oblivious to what went around him on stage. A voice better than almost all other entries. A genius composer. A proper legend.

Paul McCartney
07. Paul McCartney (1942 - present)
"Somebody said to me,'But the Beatles were anti-materialistic.' That's a huge myth. John and I literally used to sit down and say, 'Now, let's write a swimming pool'."
Masterpieces: [with The Beatles]: A Hard Day's Night (1964); Help! (1965); Rubber Soul (1965); Revolver (1966); Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967); Magical Mystery Tour (1967); The Beatles (1968); Abbey Road (1969) [solo]: Ram (1971)
Justified: Continues a successful solo career. Member of The Beatles. Holds so many world records it's disorientating. Refreshingly optimistic.

Elvis Presley
08. Elvis Presley (1935 - 1977)
"I don't know anything about music. In my line you don't have to."
Masterpiece: Elvis (1956)
Justified: The King. Come on now, I don't need to justify this.

09. Morrissey (1959 - present)
"That's why I do this music business thing, it's communication with people without having the extreme inconvenience of actually phoning anybody up."
Masterpieces: [with The Smiths]: The Smiths (1984); The Queen is Dead (1986) [solo]: Vauxhall and I (1994)
Justified: Partnership with Marr only second to Lennon/McCartney in my opinion. My favorite lyricist of all time. Pessimistic and melancholic, introspective and clever, self loathing and self worshipping. Still running a successful solo career.

Bob Marley
10. Bob Marley (1945 - 1981)
"I love the development of our music, that's what I really dig about the whole thing. How we've tried to develop, y'know? It grows. That's why every day people come forward with new songs. Music goes on forever."
Masterpieces: Soul Revolution (1971); Catch a Fire (1973); Burnin' (1973); Natty Dread (1974); Exodus (1977)
Justified: God of Reggae. Spread love and peace and awareness of the benefits of marijuana. Considered a prophet of the Rastafarian religion. Not 'Rock' per say, but he still rocks.

Jimi Hendrix
11. Jimi Hendrix (1942 – 1970)
"I've been imitated so well I've heard people copy my mistakes."
Masterpieces: Are You Experienced? (1967); Axis: Bold as Love (1967); Electric Ladyland (1968)
Justified: Pioneer of psychedelic rock. Generally agreed as the greatest guitarist of all time. Part of the 27 club.

Joe Strummer
12. Joe Strummer (1952 - 2002)
"Yesterday, I thought I was a crud. Then I saw The Sex Pistols and I became a king and decided to move into the future"
Masterpieces: [with The Clash]: The Clash (1977); London Calling (1979)
Justified: Member of the greatest most talented popular punk band of all time. Liberal rather than Anarchy. Politically active. Just really fucking brilliant.

Frank Sinatra
13. Frank Sinatra (1915 – 1998)
"I'm not unmindful of a man's seeming need for faith; I'm for anything that gets you through the night, be it prayer, tranquilizers, or a bottle of Jack Daniels."
Masterpieces: Songs for Young Lovers (1954); In the Wee Small Hours (1955); Songs for Swingin' Lovers! (1956); A Swingin' Affair! (1957); Frank Sinatra Sings for Only the Lonely (1958); September of My Years (1965)
Justified: The real first pop star. Academy Award winner. One the earliest recordings of a concept album.

Ozzy Osbourne
14. Ozzy Osbourne (1948 - present)
"Sharon gave me these two doves, told me to go into the conference room and throw them up in the air. I did that, but one of them didn't I picked it up, bit its head off and threw the body towards all the suits around the table...hoping they would, you know, see the funny side."
Masterpieces: [with Black Sabbath]: Black Sabbath (1970); Paranoid (1970); Master of Reality (1971); Vol 4 (1972); Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (1973); Sabotage (1975); Heaven and Hell (1980) [solo]: Blizzard of Ozz (1980)
Justified: Complete mad man, lives up to reputation. From being declared a Satanist that will lead your kids to suicide, to a house hold name comedy act on The Osbournes. Biting heads off animals and murdering cats. Yep, the real deal.

Thom Yorke
15. Thom Yorke (1968 - present)
"It's always confused the living shit out of me that people can shag to our music. This one girl comes up to me, she shags to Paranoid Android. How?"
Masterpieces: [with Radiohead]: The Bends (1995); OK Computer (1997); Kid A (2000); In Rainbows (2007)
Justified: Modern day music hero. Read my note on Radiohead.

Frank Zappa
16. Frank Zappa (1940 - 1993)
"You can't always write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say, so sometimes you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whipped cream."
Masterpieces: Freak Out! (1966); Absolutely Free (1967); We're Only in It for the Money (1968); Uncle Meat (1969); Hot Rats (1969); The Grand Wazoo (1972); Over-nite Sensation (1973); Apostrophe (') (1974); Roxy & Elsewhere (1974); One Size Fits All (1975); Zappa in New York (1978); Joe's Garage (1979); You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore, Vol. 1 (1988); You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore, Vol. 2 (1988); The Best Band You Never Heard In Your Life (1991)
Justified: Timelessly weird without substance abuse. Multi instrumentalist in many genres. 57 studio albums. Never commercially successful yet phenomenally influential on the underground.

Mike Patton
17. Mike Patton (1968 - present)
"I got one entire song from fortune cookies. On another one, I took words from different Frank Sinatra songs and pasted them together. Another one, I was just driving around and there was a piece of paper on the ground, so I stole it."
Masterpieces: [with Faith No More]: Angel Dust (1992) [with Mr Bungle]: Mr. Bungle (1991); Disco Volante (1995); California (1999) [with The Dillinger Escape Plan]: Irony Is a Dead Scene (2002)
Justified: True use of voice as an instrument. Own record label to produce countless works, much more than one a year. Member of so many bands it's daunting. Has achieved commercial success and a huge cult following. Collaborates with the biggest names. Pioneer of Nu metal which he rejected before it was cool to reject.

Iggy Pop
18. Iggy Pop (1947 - present)
"I stare at myself in the mirror and I think, 'Wow, I'm really great-looking.'... I think I'm the greatest, anyway."
Masterpieces: The Idiot (1977)l; Lust for Life (1977)
Justified: Godfather of punk. Insane stage antics like cutting himself up and rolling in peanut butter. Said to invent the stage dive.

Anthony Kiedis
19. Anthony Kiedis (1962 - present)
"Chemistry is beautiful and important to any musical endeavor, and it's also impossible to figure out or force it."
Masterpiece: [with Red Hot Chilli Peppers]: Blood Sugar Sex Magik
Justified: One part and co-founder of a massively talented and commercially successful modern day band. John Frusciante means more to me, actually. Original style. Read Scar Tissue if you are lacking respect.

GG Allin
20. GG Allin (1956 – 1993)
"I believe I am the highest power, absolutely."
Masterpiece: Eat My Fuc (1983)
Justified: God here we go. Shitty yet productive musician. The real deal, forget Manson and Ozzy. Defecated and urinated on stage. Got people to defecate and urinate on him. Cut himself up. Was born "Jesus Christ Allin". Beating up his crowd. Threatening suicide on stage. Going to jail often for things like rape and torture of prostitutes. John Wayne Gacy Jr (serial killer homosexual pedophile who dressed like a clown) painted a portrait of him. Died of overdose, naked and covered in feces, body was never washed and fans were invited to perform oral sex on the corpse, washing drugs down his dead throat with Jack Daniels. These are just a few highlights people.

Lou Reed
21. Lou Reed (1942 - present)
"Why aren't I on the cover of Hip Hop Magazine? I never sung a note in my life. I was fucking rapping since '65."
Masterpieces: [with The Velvet Underground]: The Velvet Underground & Nico (1967); White Light/White Heat (1968); The Velvet Underground (1969); Loaded (1970) [solo]: Transformer (1972); Berlin (1973)
Justified: A pioneer of new tunings, distortion and lo-fi. Recorded a double album made entirely of guitar feedback. Taboo subjects in songs became a trademark. Early connections with Andy Warhol and the Chelsea girls, most notably Nico who recorded songs on Velvet's debut.

Marilyn Manson
22. Marilyn Manson (1969 - present)
"When all of your wishes are granted, many of your dreams will be destroyed."
Masterpieces: Antichrist Superstar (1996); Mechanical Animals (1998)
Justified: Huge concepts to albums. Known for his intelligence. Constantly evolving. Always in trouble. Scapegoat for columbine. One of the most controversial artists of our time. Painter. Writer. Film director. A ton of style.

Robert Plant
23. Robert Plant (1948 - present)
"You know, people can't fall in love with me just because I'm good at what I do."
Masterpieces: [with Led Zepplin]: Led Zeppelin (1969); Led Zeppelin II (1969); Led Zeppelin III (1970); Led Zeppelin [IV] (1971); Houses of the Holy (1973); Physical Graffiti (1975)
Justified: He was in Led Zepplin. Jimmy Page deserves this spot just as much. Mystical lyricist, impressive range. Has been called the quintessential rock frontman. I believe he has channeled the Devil in some recordings.

Trent Reznor
24. Trent Reznor (1965 - present)
"The Grammys make me hate music, and certainly everyone in the ass-licking music industry."
Masterpieces: [as Nine Inch Nails]: The Downward Spiral (1994); The Fragile (1999); Still (2002)
Justified: One man band. Multi-instrumentalist. Discovered Marilyn Manson. Redefined concept albums in 2007.

Pete Townshend
25. Pete Townshend (1945 - present)
"I smash guitars because I like them."
Masterpieces: [with The Who]: The Who Sell Out (1967); Tommy (1969); Live at Leeds (1970) Who's Next (1971); Quadrophenia (1973)
Justified: Inventor of Rock Opera. Pioneer of smashing instruments on stage, blowing stuff up and major feedback. One of the biggest influence for the Punk movement.

Frank Black
26. Frank Black (1965 - present)
"The truth is that critics are by definition critical. That's their job."
Masterpieces: [with The Pixies]: Surfer Rosa (1988); Doolittle (1989)
Justified: Unconventional lyrical themes. One of the main (if not the main) contributors to the quiet/loud/quiet/loud clean/distorted/clean/distorted sing/scream/sing/scream formula.

Keith Richards
27. Keith Richards (1943 - present)
"I looked upon myself, in a sort of romantic and silly way, as like a laboratory."
Masterpieces: [with The Rolling Stones]: Aftermath (1966); Beggars Banquet (1968); Let It Bleed (1969); Sticky Fingers (1971); Exile on Main Street (1972)
Justified: Unusual entry as not a frontman but decidedly more rock n roll than Jagger. Known for his innovative rhythm. Taken more drugs than almost every other rockstar yet lives. Snorted his father's ashes (he stands by this story whatever his publicist says). It has been said that besides cockroaches, he would be the only thing to survive a nuclear war.

Sid Vicious
28. Sid Vicious (1957 - 1979)
"I just cash in on the fact that I'm good looking, and I've got a nice figure and girls like me."
Masterpiece: [with The Sex Pistols]: Never Mind the Bollocks - Here's the Sex Pistols (1977)
Justified: Couldn't play the bass or sing to save his live. Part of the most overrated album of all time (my opinion). Died of overdose while awaiting trial on the murder of his girlfriend, Nancy. Conspiracy theories run wild. True rock n roll, no matter for the music.

Steve Tyler
29. Steve Tyler (1948 - present)
"We believed that anything worth doing was worth overdoing"
Masterpieces: [with Aerosmith]: Toys in the Attic (1975); Rocks (1976)
Justified: Energetic performer. The Demon of Screamin'. Huge vocal range. Tyler/Perry one of the greatest partnerships in music of all time (Toxic Twins). His daughter is Liv Tyler.

Chris Cornell
30. Chris Cornell (1964 - present)
"When I was maybe nine years old, I listened to the entire Beatles catalogue, non-stop, for about a year, being a naive child, I didn't know who sang what song. I didn't know it was a different guy."
Masterpieces: [with Soundgarden]: Badmotorfinger (1991); Superunknown (1994)
Justified: Powerful vocalist. One of the very few true pioneers of the Seattle Grunge movement. Large body of work. Good looking bloke really.

Honorable Mentions: Madonna, Tupac, Eminem, Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, James Hetfield, Brian Wilson, Bruce Springsteen, Syd Barret, Billy Idol, Chuck Berry, Cat Stevens, Eric Clapton, I'm sure there is more

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