Gusto’s Top 25 Musicians – 15-11

15. Eagles

The Eagles are an American rock band formed in Los Angeles, California in 1971 by Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Bernie Leadon and Randy Meisner. On their 4th album Joe Walsh, replaced Leadon which would be the ensemble I would most relate to (Timothy B. Schmitt is currently the 4th). They have sold over 120 million albums worldwide and 100 million in the U.S. alone. They are the fifth highest selling music act in U.S. history and the highest selling American band in U.S. history. No other American band sold more than the Eagles during the 1970s. A few of their most famous songs that I think are noteworthy – Desperado, Take is Easy, Hotel California, Take it to the Limit, Witchy Woman, Peaceful Easy Feeling, New Kid in Town, Life in the Fast Lane, and Lyin’ Eyes. I think it’s awesome too that Glenn Frey (Smuggler’s Blues, The Heat is On, and You Belong to the City), Don Henley (End of Innocence, Dirty Laundry, Boys of Summer), and Joe Walsh (Life’s Been Good, Life of Illusion) all had success as solo artists. I find some of their songs a bit too lovey dovey but they have a crisp sound and are obviously extremely talented. I honestly haven’t listened to them enough to give them my best opinion.

14. James Taylor

I’m a little annoyed that I can’t find his total career album sales but his greatest hits sold 12 million US copies. His soothing voice, deep and insightful lyrics, and easy to listen to soft rock make for a combination that lands him at #14. I don’t really have a problem going to sleep listening to music and many times I’ve put on James Taylor and let it roll through the play list. Sweet Baby James was his first album of commercial success and Fire and Rain was the hit off the album. Other of his better songs are Carolina in my Mind, Sweet Baby James, Mexico, Your Smiling Face, Handy Man and You’ve got a Friend. I actually think JT might be a bit high on this list but I do like the music so you won’t see much of a complaint from me.

13.Pearl Jam

Pearl Jam is an American rock band that formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1990. Since its inception, the band’s line-up has included Eddie Vedder (lead vocals, guitar), Jeff Ament (bass guitar), Stone Gossard (rhythm guitar), and Mike McCready (lead guitar). The band has sold an estimated 60 million albums worldwide. I think it’s hard to place a band like Pearl Jam on this list. There is no doubt that the music is great sounding and their songs are great to rock out to but I feel like they just sort of get grouped in here somewhere among the top 25. They have plenty of hit songs but when you compare any of their songs to a song like Fire and Rain, it’s just two different worlds. Yellow Ledbetter, Last Kiss, Alive, Black, Jeremy, Daughter, Better Man, Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town, and Even Flow have all hit the charts. Their music touches dark subjects like depression, suicide, loneliness, and murder and they have been called the most influential 90’s band. I certainly think Pearl Jam is an awesome band but I think they would be closer to the 25 part of this list.

12.The Beach Boys

The Beach Boys are an American rock band, formed in 1961 in Hawthorne, California. The group was initially composed of brothers Brian, Dennis and Carl Wilson, their cousin Mike Love, and friend Al Jardine. Rolling Stone has them listed at #12 on their list and the album Pet Sounds as the #2 album of all time. I’m sure those who read this far probably had no idea. I don’t really find their music that incredible. I know the songs Good Vibrations, Wouldn’t it be Nice, Kokomo, Surfin USA, Help Me, Rhonda, California Girls, and I Get Around. I think these are all good songs but if these are their best, I just don’t know how they earn this spot. I think their ranking has more to do with what their unique sound during their time. When Paul McCartney says Pet Sounds was inspirational to Sgt Pepper, I probably am missing something.

11.Michael Jackson

Critics always say that the 80’s wasn’t music’s finest decade but Michael Jackson was the 80’s. He brought a different sound that was specific to the 80’s and I think it sounded pretty damn good. His high pitched squeals and amazing dance moves made him unique, the songs all sound great with his awesome singing voice, and the lyrics are really pretty decent. He has sold an estimated 750 million copies worldwide to date. Songs like The Way You Make Me Feel, Man in the Mirror, Thriller, Billie Jean, You Are Not Alone, Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough, Wanna Be Startin Something, Beat It, Human Nature, Smooth Criminal, Rock With You, PYT, Baby Be Mine, Bad, and of course Will You Be There were all chart toppers. I actually think Jackson is getting slighted a bit at #11.