I am not musically talented. I have never played an instrument and don’t have that much desire to learn how to play one. However, I do listen to music often. I believe I started listening at age 13 or so to the Y100 top 40 every Sunday morning. This gave me a pretty strong pop foundation of 90’s music. I also developed a liking for the obvious 90’s bands like Smashing Pumpkins, Weezer, Bush, Green Day, Oasis, Nirvana and the like. For whatever reason I then really started getting into hip hop in High School. Tupac’s Greatest Hits, Dr Dre’s 2001, Eminem The Slim Shady LP, DMX It’s Dark and Hell is Hot, and everything else ranging from Jay Z, Snoop, The Wu Tang Clan, and The Hot Boys (Juvenile was my favorite). Once I hit college one of my roommate was big into Classic Rock and that hooked me for a long time. Since college I’ve been able to listen to whatever I want and have geared towards Alt-Rock and SynthPop. Aside from Country, R&B, and everything else not that popular, I’ve at least put a toe in the water. Lengthy intro behind us, here are my 3 favorite types of music in order.
3. Late 2000’s+ Alt-Rock
I don’t want this category to be confused with the “grunge” period of the 90’s with Nirvana, Pearl Jam, SoundGarden, and Alice in Chains. Although I believe that period was more influential, I don’t necessarily like it more. Groups that I particularly like in this period are Gaslight Anthem, Panic at the Disco, Anberlin, Muse, Atlas Genius, and Awolnation. This doesn’t even count the bands that just get too mainstream but are still great like Black Keys, Passion Pit, Monsters of Men, Killers, Mumford and Sons, and Imagine Dragons. With the ease of bringing music to the masses there is just more to listen to. This genre wins over others for the sheer amount of quality bands. I believe this will continue to be the case as music continues to grow.
2. New Wave
I will take flack for this. Everyone knows that the 80’s were a complete step backwards after the unbelievable music produced in the late 60’s and throughout the 70’s. You had Bruce Springsteen becoming a mega star with Born in the USA, Prince with Purple Rain, U2 with Joshua Tree, and Michael Jackson with Thriller but these albums are the cream of the crop. These aren’t even the type of music I’m referring to with New Wave. I’m talking about Depeche Mode, Joy Division, New Order, REM, Talking Heads, The Cure, and the Smiths. I have to imagine that this type of music doesn’t even blip on most people’s radar but I just keep getting more out of it. I’ve listened to the popular songs by these type of groups and find deeper tracks that I like even more than their popular songs. New Wave on Sirius is my go to station and I rarely get tired of it. It’s probably because I haven’t exhausted it like I have other types but still, this is my current favorite. And of course the Saturday Night Safety Dance that just cued up in my headphones.
1. Classic Rock
There really isn’t any other choice. If you disagree with this period of time being the greatest music ever created, you just haven’t listened enough. Just starting with the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, the Doors, and the Who, you have enough to cement any argument. Throw in the other amazing artists they play on classic rock stations like Bob Dylan, Rush, Fleetwood Mac, Billy Joel, Elton John, and the Eagles and it’s a landslide. Do you think we’re going to be talking about the Black Keys the way we talk about these bands? This era was just an onslaught of music. It’s one question I ask musicians and never seem to get a good answer, why were these groups so good? Why has no one touched Led Zeppelin? Why can’t artists compare to the Beatles? With no good answer, it doesn’t make sense to give this #1 rating to any other type of music.