My top fifty favorite rock bands, part 4

I am counting down my top fifty favorite rock bands. This week I will count down from #20 to #11.

In case you have not seen part 1, part 2, or part 3 of this list. Here are the three criteria I used to create it:

  1. I must own at least one of their albums on vinyl.
  2. The band released more than one album.
  3. I still have to enjoy listening to their music.

For example, I don’t own any Dave Matthew’s Band records on viny, so they are not on the list.

Let’s start the list with one of the best modern bands out there right now — Kings of Leon. They have released several killer albums in a row, and I really enjoy their music.

Also at #20, is another modern band — Black Keys. They are two dudes making excellent guitar-based songs. I really enjoyed their last few albums. Yes — I have two #20s on the list. It is rock-n-roll. I can count them down however I want.

At #19, from Australia, Crowded House. I cannot believe that I forgot to include their debut album in my list of top debut albums of all time. It is a great record with several hit songs. Since then they have released a lot of great music. I really enjoy listening to this band.

At #18 is a classic new wave band from Wales — Alarm. They sound a lot like U2, but never became as popular. They released several good albums, full of excellent songs. The Alarm was most popular in the 80s and their hairstyles prove it. Look below — how much product do you think they used for that photo?

The Hoodoo Gurus are another band from Australia. I am noticing that I like a lot of bands from down under. They are a new wave college radio band with lots of guitars. I saw them live back in the day, and they put on quite a show. Besides, it is just fun to say, the Hoodoo Gurus.

I cannot neglect the 1990s. At #16 is the post-punk power trio — Green Day. They have written many angry sounds explaining the state of the world from their perspective. Most of them are good, and some of them are not. Dookie is an epic album, and I like some of their more recent music as well.

At #15, arguably the best rock trio of all time — Rush. They released several killer albums. 2112 is an experimental masterpiece. Moving Pictures may be a picture-perfect album. They also released some pretty strange stuff that I don’t quite understand. But, if you are looking for top-quality musicianship and lyrics that will make you think, then Rush is for you. Awesome rock band for sure.

Let’s get a little darker with one of the all-time best new wave bands, the Cure. They have been around for a long time and produced a ton of great music. Robert Smith taught me that “Friday I’m in Love”. Sure — some of their music is weird and slightly dark, but they are in the rock-n-roll hall of fame for a reason.

At #13 is Queen. This band has aged well for me. I actually enjoy their music more now than when I was young. So many great albums and hit songs. They experimented a lot which I appreciate. Boy, could they play. Watch this video from the Live Aid concert and you will realize that they were hands down the best band that day. That is saying something considering the line-up for that event.

At #12 — REM. When I was in college, this band rules the airwaves. Their first half dozen albums stack up well against any other bands. Tons of quality songs — end-to-end enjoyable.

Let’s finish this part of the list with the legendary band, Van Halen. Their debut album changed the face of rock-n-roll with Eddie’s guitar playing. They released several excellent albums with the original line-up. When David Lee Roth left the band I was worried. They came back with Sammy Hagar in the band and released 5150 — a killer album. I saw both versions of the band live, and they were awesome.

There you have it — part 4 of my list of top fifty favorite rock bands. If you recommend a band — let me know in the comments. All feedback is welcome. Feel free to post your own list.

I am Doug Keating and this is my letter to sons.

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