Rob's favorite pop/rock songs, which seem to change with the tides

Return to the Jukebox From Hell or The Music Videos From Hell

Letters A-M / Letters N-Z
(thanks for the .25 MB file size limit, Freeservers).

Naked Eyes
Promises, Promises1983
The NeatsThis American band sounded a lot like The Smiths.
New OrderThe remaining members of Joy Division formed New Order, a band with the same nihilistic tone, but fusing some of that with synthesizer dance music. "Blue Monday" (UK #9, 1983) represents that description well. "Blue Monday" is actually based on the default rhythm of a drum machine.
Blue Monday1983
Fine Time1988
In a Lonely Place1981
Perfect Kiss1985
True Faith1987
Stevie NicksBecause of her dominance of Fleetwood Mac in the 1970s, a lot of people probably confuse Nicks' solo work with the band. The "Belladona" album was her most popular.
Edge of Seventeen1981
Stand Back1983
Stop Dragging My Heart Around1981
Nine Inch NailsAs I stated earlier, much of Nine Inch Nails' work can be traced to Ministry. Trent Reznor's disturbing video imagery made him very popular on MTV.
Down In It1990
Head Like A Hole1990
Perfect Drug1997
NirvanaNirvana probably thought of themselves as a novelty act at first. They said they wanted to be like The Pixies. They ended up on the wrong end of a lawsuit by Killing Joke for ripping off the song "Eighties" for "Come As You Are". "Smells Like Teen Spirit" put their music, as well as the music of many other Seattle bands, into the mainstream consciousness. I'm still not sure how it happened.
Drain You1991
Heart-Shaped Box1993
Lake Of Fire1994
Rape Me1993
Smells Like Teen Spirit1991
The Man Who Sold The World1994
Ted NugentNo one can question Nugent's guitar technique, but his off-stage life definitely overshadowed his music.
Cat Scratch Fever1977
Great White Buffalo1975
Gary NumanFirst with his band Tubeway Army, Gary Numan released some of new wave's seminal tracks. Surprisingly, Numan hit the U.S. Top 40 with "Cars" (U.S. #9, 1980/UK #1, 1979).
Are Friends Electric?1979
You Are In My Vision1979
OasisOasis was one of the most talked-about bands of the 1990s, particular because of their public arrogance, and self-described rivalry with Blur.
Bring It On Down1994
The OffspringThe Offspring have been around a lot longer than people realize. But they didn't find success until 1994, when "Come Out And Play" became an international hit.
Come Out And Play1994
I Choose1997
Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)1999
Oingo BoingoOingo Boingo will probably be known for making it into every comedic movie released in the mid-1980s. It seemed that way. Oingo Boingo developed some inventive rhythms not seen in any of their contemporaries. Danny Elfman would go on to a highly successful career arranging music for TV (The Simpsons) and film.
Dead Man's Party1985
Just Another Day1985
No One Lives Forever1985
Nothing Bad Ever Happens1983
Weird Science1985
OMDI'm sure they preferred their full name, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. Their only recognizable hit, "If You Leave" (U.S. #4, 1986), doesn't sound much like their other stuff.
Tesla Girls1984
Ozzy OsbourneOzzy certainly knows how to cultivate an image. Less-gifted parents, preachers and politicans nationwide have tried to equate Ozzy with some sort of American cultural decay. In terms of music, Ozzy performs wildly in concert. He's also surrounded himself with terrific guitarists, like the late Randy Rhoads.
Bark At the Moon1983
Flying High Again1981
I Don't Know1980
Mama, I'm Coming Home1990
Mr. Crowley1981
No More Tears1990
Over the Mountain1981
Perry Mason1996
Shot In the Dark1986
Suicide Solution1981
The Outfield
Since You've Been Gone1987
Voices Of Babylon1989
OuthouseThis was not a national band, pretty much familiar to Kansas City and surrounding markets.
PanteraThis heavy metal band transformed from high-pitched screeching metal to low, roaring, thrash-metal.
Cemetery Gates1994
Cowboys From Hell1992
Pearl JamOf all the Seattle bands that hit it big in the early 1990s, Pearl Jam probably identified most with the album rock of the 1970s. They even went as far as to collaborate with Neil Young. Pearl Jam released the hugely popular album "Ten" at pretty much the same time as Nirvana's "Nevermind", but their returns came only after Nirvana became hugely popular.
Spin the Black Circle1994
Pet Shop BoysThe British duo had a real knack for dance-pop, whether disco or techno. "West End Girls" (US #1, 1986/UK #1, 1985) is one of the best pop songs of the 1980s.
Can You Forgive Her1993
Domino Dancing1988
It's A Sin1987
Love Comes Quickly1986
West End Girls1985
Tom Petty and the HeartbreakersAlthough they didn't sound much like the punk and new wave bands of the time, Tom Petty is often grouped with them. His albums drew upon the Rolling Stones, the Kinks, the Byrds, and other 1960s bands. Petty wisely created some seminal MTV videos ("You Got Lucky", "Don't Come Around Here No More") to help what probably would've been the end of his career in the mid-1980s.
American Girl1976
I Need To Know1978
Running Down A Dream1989
Strangered In the Night1976
PhishThis is the Vermont-based band that fans follow around the nation like they were the Grateful Dead. Phish actually resembles the Dead in many ways, though with fewer drug references.
Down With Disease1994
Wilson Pickett
Mustang Sally1966
Pink FloydPink Floyd has to be one of the most inventive bands of the rock era, experimenting successfully with complex lyrics just as much as atmospheric sound. Many of their songs are extremely long, and thus, never saw radio airplay. Syd Barrett, a heavy drug user, eventually gave way to David Gilmour, but the transition didn't affect the band one bit until Roger Waters left in 1983. Since then, Waters and the rest of the band have been at odds over the use of the "Pink Floyd" name. I don't know where to begin on recommendations, so just start with "Dark Side of the Moon", which spent around 13 years on the Billboard Top 200 Album chart.
Another Brick In the Wall (1-3)1979
Arnold Layne1967
Be Careful With That Axe, Eugene1967
Brain Damage/Eclipse1973
Comfortably Numb1979
Great Gig In the Sky1973
Goodbye Blue Sky1979
Hey You1979
High Hopes1994
Interstellar Overdrive1967
Keep Talking1994
Momentary Lapse of Reason1987
One Of These Days1971
Pigs (3 Different Ones)1977
Run Like Hell1979
Shine On You Crazy Diamond1975
Speak To Me/Breathe/On the Run1973
Welcome To the Machine1975
Wish You Were Here1975
Young Lust1979
The PixiesIf there was a total darling for college radio, it was the Pixies. I still don't know why the appealed so easily to college students, but I like it! The Pixies' sound changed quite a bit, from the abrasize "Surfer Rosa" album, to the pop tune "Here Comes Your Man" and the environmental song "Monkey Gone to Heaven."
Here Comes Your Man1989
Monkey Gone To Heaven1989
Where Is My Mind1988
The PoliceMuch like Tom Petty, the Police were grouped into the new wave genre because it didn't fit the super-group rock of the late 1970s, or the artsy rock of the early to mid-1970s. Their music started out with a definite reggae lean, gradually moving to synthesizers. They scored several U.S. hits, and elevated to the status of the biggest bands in the world by their breakup in 1984.
Bring On the Night1979
Canary In A Coalmine1980
Don't Stand So Close1980
Driven To Tears1980
Every Breath You Take1983
Hungry For You1981
Invisible Sun1981
King Of Pain1983
Message In A Bottle1979
Murder By Numbers1983
One World (Not Three)1981
Regatta de Blanc1979
So Lonely1978
Spirits In the Material World1981
Synchronicity II1983
The Bed's Too Big Without You1979
Too Much Information1981
Walking In Your Footsteps1983
Walking On the Moon1979
When the World Is Running Down1980
Wrapped Around Your Finger1983
Positive NoiseWhat is it about Scottish bands getting funky? Positive Noise took a little cue from Average White Band, and recorded ahead of APB. If you know this band, you're a real music junkie.
Feel the Fear1982
Prefab SproutPrefab Sprout had mild success in England, and nothing more than a cult following in the U.S., but if you like airy, Roxy Music-style arrangements, or if you're a current fan of Belle and Sebastian, you'll like Prefab Sprout.
Goodbye Lucille #11985
The PretendersThe deaths of two band members certainly squashed the creativity of the Pretenders. No one can argue the distinctive vocals of Chrissie Hynde, though. I probably cause numerous traffic accidents jamming to "Mystery Achievement."
Message Of Love1981
My City Was Gone1982
Mystery Achievement1980
Private Life1980
Show Me1983
The Wait1979
Wynona's Big Brown Beaver1995
PrincePrince is the ultimate D.I.Y. artist. He writes, he records, he produces, and he plays nearly all the instruments. Occasionally, he gets a little full of himself (as you can see in the Jukebox From Hell). But Prince can lay claim to some of the most notable songs of the 1980s.
Let's Go Crazy1984
When Doves Cry1984
The ProclaimersThis Scottish band (and supporters of Scottish independence) released "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" in 1988, but it didn't become popular until its use in a movie in 1994.
I'm On My Way1988
The Prodigy
PropagandaThis German band had a brief run on the dance charts, then quickly disappeared.
Murder Of Love1985
P Machinery1985
The Psychedelic FursThis band really didn't see much American recognition until one of their first songs, "Pretty In Pink", was used several years later in the movie of the same name.
Love My Way1982
The Ghost In You1984
Public Image Ltd.This is the group John Lydon formed after the breakup of the Sex Pistols. "Death Disco" is a rather haunting dance track. "Seattle" represents a much more mainstream rock sound (and reportedly, written about the arrogance of Pearl Jam predecessors, "Mother Love Bone").
Death Disco1979
QueenEveryone knows Queen, from Freddie Mercury's strong voice, to the layers and layers of guitars, to the operatic jokes. "We Will Rock You" and "We Are the Champions", thought to be about overcoming homosexual discrimination, have been constants at every single sports arena and championship match. Their sound transformed from thundering heavy metal, to post-disco disco (see the "Hot Space" album). Freddie Mercury died in 1991.
Bohemian Rhapsody1975
Stone Cold Crazy1974
QueensrycheIn my opinion, Queensryche released the best hard rock album of the 1980s, in "Operation Mindcrime". Many of the themes in the album (as well as 1990's "Empire") have great relevance today. Queensryche heavily drew on Pink Floyd, by tying an entire album together, but they also drew from Kiss, with their theatrical stage productions.
Anarchy X/Revolution Calling1988
Anybody Listening1990
Della Brown1990
Eyes Of A Stranger1988
I Don't Believe In Love/Waiting For 221988
Jet City Woman1990
Just Another Rainy Night1990
Operation Mindcrime1988
Queen Of the Reich1983
Screaming In Digital1986
Silent Lucidity1990
Spreading the Disease1988
The Lady Wore Black1983
The Mission1988
The Needle Lies1988
The Thin Line1990
RadioheadEasily, one of Britain's most influential groups, Radiohead bridged some of the sweeping melodies of David Bowie and Pink Floyd, and merged it with pained lyrics of alienation, machination, and sorrow. 1997's "OK Computer" is considered one of the seminal albums of the decade.
Karma Police1997
Paranoid Android1997
Gerry Raferty
Baker Street1978
RainbowNever mind the name, or Ronnie James Dio's homely look, Rainbow was one of the top European metal groups of the 1970s.
Man On the Silver Mountain1975
The RainmakersFew people will remember The Rainmakers. This Kansas City band had a brief national following; "Let My People Go-Go" even hit the Top 40 in England (#18, 1987). I would describe Bob Walkenhorst's vocal style as unique, to say the least.
Let My People Go-Go1986
Snake Dance1987
The RamonesThe Ramones often blistered through each song in less than two minutes. As with most punk songs, much of it mirrored the style of early rock and roll records.
I Wanna Be Sedated1978
RandyandyIf you're a huge fan of Was (Not Was), and I mean huge, then perhaps you've heard of Randyandy. Or perhaps you have a huge capacity for meaningless memory, like myself. Randyandy's "Motor Song" funks on the level of George Clinton, so if you can find a copy, consider yourself lucky.
The Motor Song (Stick In Your Dipstick)1983
RattOf the 1980s hard rock bands, Ratt had more sense of melody and hook than many of their peers.
Lay It Down1985
Round And Round1984
Real Life"Send Me An Angel" was released twice, and hit the Top 40 twice in the U.S. (#29, 1983 and #26, 1989)
Send Me An Angel1983
Red Hot Chili PeppersThe Chili Peppers were probably ahead of their time, in mixing hard rock, funk and rap in the mid-1980s. Their vulgar and sometimes direct songs were also a little too much for some. They finally started to make waves in 1989, with one of the best remakes I had ever heard, recording Stevie Wonder's "Higher Ground".
Breaking the Girl1991
Higher Ground1989
Knock Me Down1989
Under The Bridge1991
Red RiderRed Rider probably never made many waves outside of Canada. But their lead singer, Tom Cochran, did score a solo hit 11 years after "Lunatic Fringe", with "Life Is A Highway".
Lunatic Fringe1981
Politics Of Dancing1983
R.E.M.Another group I hold to a high standard, R.E.M. has generally defied pop convention with their simplistic hooks and often indecipherable lyrics. In the 1980s, R.E.M. released records almost every year. It was amazing how the band sounded like The Byrds or Simon and Garfunkel, yet sounded modern at the same time.
All The Way To Reno2002
Bang and Blame1995
Can't Get There From Here1985
Don't Go Back To Rockville1984
Driver 81985
Fall On Me1986
Feeling Gravity's Pull1985
Finest Worksong1987
Gardening At Night1982
Get Up1989
It's The End Of the World As We Know It1987
Local Oddfellows 1511987
Losing My Religion1991
Man On the Moon1992
Near Wild Heaven1991
Orange Crush1989
Perfect Circle1983
Pretty Persuasion1984
Radio Free Europe1981
South Central Rain1984
Talk About the Passion1983
The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight1992
Try Not To Breathe1992
The ReplacementsThe Replacements never really achieved the success they deserved, mostly heard on college radio stations. They transformed from rowdy garage rock band to heartbreaking songwriters.
Bastards Of Young1985
I'll Be You1989
I Will Dare1984
Kiss Me On the Bus1985
Take Me Down To the Hospital1983
The Ledge1987
Ready To Go1995
The Rolling StonesThe Stones wanted to stake a claim among the great blues bands of the 20th century. Instead they became one of the most popular rock and roll bands in history. Mick Jagger spawned endless imitations of his sly stage presence.
Brown Sugar1971
Can't You Hear Me Knocking1971
Gimme Shelter1969
Monkey Man1969
Mother's Little Helper1966
Paint It Black1966
Street Fighting Man1968
Sympathy For the Devil1969
Wild Horses1971
Romeo VoidMany of the songs Romeo Void recorded in the late 1970s and early 1980s were re-recorded for release on a major label in 1984.
A Girl In Trouble1981
Never Say Never1981
Roxy MusicRoxy Music epitomized the avant garde sector of the 1970s, with over-the-top costume, Bowie-esque glam rock, and artsy pop that inspired many of the new wave bands of the late 1970s. By the early 1980s, Roxy Music used Bryan Ferry's smooth voice to its advantage, creating a more soulful style.
Dance Away1979
Love Is the Drug1975
More Than This1982
Oh Yeah1980
Out Of the Blue1973
RushRush set themselves apart from the hard rock bands of the 1970s with their virtuoso skills, and lyrics steeped in fantasy, morality and science fiction ("2112" as a prime example). Neil Peart and Alex Lifeson are generally considered to play some of the most complex percussion and guitar melodies respectively. As far as I know, Rush only hit the U.S. Top 40 once, with "New World Man" (#21, 1982)
A Farewell To Kings1977
Distant Early Warning1984
Fly By Night1975
Force Ten1987
Ghost Of A Chance1991
Lakeside Park1975
Passage To Bangkok
Red Barchetta1981
Red Sector A1984
Show Don't Tell1989
2112 (Overture/Temples of Syrinx)1976
What You're Doing1977
Working Man1973
SantanaSantana receives the credit for pushing Latino music into the rock and roll era.
Black Magic Woman1970
Evil Ways1969
No One To Depend On1971
Oye Como Va1970
Soul Sacrifice1969
School Of Fish
Three Strange Days1991
Screamin' Cheetah WheeliesThis southern rock band released the infectious "Magnolia" twice, though they didn't find success either time.
Shakin' The Blues1994
SealSeal started out with a series of club songs, but soon merged soul and pop to create a distinctive sound. "Crazy" is still one of my favorite pop songs.
Prayer For the Dying1994
The Sex PistolsThey didn't originate punk, but they were certainly the most visible icons. The Sex Pistols got away with their success, despite very little musical talent (great production work helped control their sound). It was their anti-establishment lyrics and uncontrollable performances that drew fans.
Anarchy In the U.K.1976
God Save the Queen1976
Pretty Vacant1976
Pete ShelleyShelley formerly sang with the Buzzcocks, and "Homosapien" would've been one of their songs, had the band not imploded.
Kenny Wayne ShepherdShepherd brought the Stevie Ray Vaughan style of rock back to the mainstream in the late 1990s.
Deja Voodoo1996
ShineheadThis is a novelty remake of the Sting song "Englishman In New York".
Jamaican In New York1993
Paul Simon
Simple MindsThey'll forever be known for the hit "Don't You (Forget About Me)", but Simple Minds created a nice catalog of songs mirroring the style of U2 and Roxy Music. The end of "Once Upon A Time" is especially nice.
Don't You (Forget About Me)1985
Once Upon A Time1985
Siouxie and the BansheesThis band had the distinction of containing one member of the Sex Pistols, before that band even existed. Siouxsie and the Banshees had a long career of gothic, moody punk, expanding into new wave, and culminating with some surprising hits, like "Peek-a-Boo", which was the #1 song on the very first Billboard Modern Rock chart in 1988 (it only peaked at #53 on the Hot 100).
Cities In Dust1985
Fear Of the Unknown1991
Kiss Them For Me1991
Sisters Of Mercy"More" falls under the category "catchy tune". Short on lyrics, you couldn't help but dance to this gothic-tinged number. Singer Andrew Eldritch has one of the deepest voices I've heard in rock music.
This Corrosion1987
Skid Row
Youth Gone Wild1989
Smashing PumpkinsChicago's Smashing Pumpkins didn't draw as much influence from 1970s rock or 1980s underground music as their peers. It didn't matter. Billy Corgan had a distinctive melancholy voice that seemed to suit any genre the band tried.
Ava Adore1998
Cherub Rock1993
The End Is The Beginning Is The End1997
Patti Smith
Because The Night1978
The SmithereensThe Smithereens took power pop to a much heavier sound.
Blood And Roses1986
The SmithsThe Smiths were somewhat of an anti-new wave band, marking the end of synthesizer-driven pop with their moody guitar sound, while keeping the elegant, romantic crooning vocal style. Morrissey's unusual, yet smooth style set him apart from other bands of the era. The Smiths often sang about the most uncomfortable topics they could find, like child molestation ("The Headmaster Ritual") and homosexuality ("Hand In Glove"). "How Soon Is Now" remains one of the distinctive songs of the 1980s.
Bigmouth Strikes Again1986
Girlfriend In A Coma1987
Headmaster Ritual1985
Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now1984
How Soon Is Now1984
There Is A Light That Never Goes Out1987
Soul Asylum
Black Gold1992
Somebody To Shove1992
SoundgardenOf the major "alternative" rock acts of the 1990s, Soundgarden rocked the hardest. Chris Cornell's powerful vocals (said to have shaken the speakers in the recording studio) matched well with the Black Sabbath-style riffs.
Black Hole Sun1994
Face Pollution1991
Fell On Black Days1994
Jesus Christ Pose1991
Like Suicide1994
Mind Riot1991
Room's A Thousand Years Wide1991
Rusty Cage1991
The SpecialsThe Specials were one of the major acts of the ska revival of the late 1970s. After their breakup, the principal members reformed as Fun Boy Three.
Ghost Town1981
The Spinners
I'll Be Around1972
Split EnzThe first successful New Zealand band in the United States, Split Enz has a real knack for pop hooks and melodies reminiscient of early Beatles work. After the breakup, part of the band formed Crowded House.
Hard Act To Follow1981
I Got You1980
One Step Ahead1981
Wax Ecstatic1996
Buffalo Springfield
For What It's Worth1968
Bruce SpringsteenSpringsteen landed on the cover of Time magazine in 1975 for a reason. His music ushered in a revival of sorts of 1950s rock and roll. Springsteen's legendary concerts lasted through all hours of the night, with Springsteen usually on the brink of exhaustive collapse. His lyrics often deal with the disillusion, faded glory, and lost dreams of working class Americans. If Springsteen names a song after your town, your town has probably seen better days.
Born To Run1975
Dancing In the Dark1984
I'm On Fire1984
One Step Up1987
Tenth Avenue Freezeout
Tunnel Of Love1987
SqueezeIt's not hard to decipher the British invasion influence of Squeeze. What is hard to understand, is how they didn't have a Top 40 hit in the U.S. until 1987 ("Hourglass", #15)
Annie, Get Your Gun1982
Another Nail In My Heart1980
Black Coffee In Bed1982
Cool For Cats1979
Stabbing Westward
Steely DanNamed after a steam-powered part of the male anatomy in a William Burroughs novel, Steely Dan brought that sort of sleek vulgarity to rock, wrapping it up in a jazzy style with just enough edge to make them an AOR favorite. The descriptive lyrics create some of the most realistic images I can think of, in any song. Despite their musical abilities, Steely Dan rarely performed in concert, and actually relied very heavily on studio musicians by their 1982 breakup.
Cousin Dupree2000
Deacon Blues1977
Do It Again1972
Don't Take Me Alive1976
Kid Charlemagne1976
My Old School1973
Time Out Of Mind1980
Stereo MCsThe Stereo MCs were one of the first British hip-hop groups to achieve any sort of success.
Elevate My Mind1990
Step It Up1992
StingAfter the breakup of the Police, Sting wasted no time maintaining his success. 1985's "Dream of the Blue Turtles", a mostly jazz pop record, immediately spawned two top ten hits in the U.S. (along with one of the best non-hits you'll ever hear, "We Work the Black Seam"). Sting recorded his followup, "Nothing Like the Sun", in both English and Spanish.
Be Still My Beating Heart1987
Desert Rose2000
Fortress Around Your Heart1985
If You Love Somebody, Set Them Free1985
Soul Cages1990
We Work the Black Seam1985
Stone RosesThe Stone Roses were another one of those bands providing a bridge between British new wave, and the pop of the mid-1990s.
Driving South1994
Fool's Gold1990
I Wanna Be Adored1989
Love Spreads1994
One Love1991
Stone Temple PilotsCritics accused this band of starting the generation of "grunge rip-offs", but Stone Temple Pilots had some interesting songs, particularly the oddly-structured "Big Bang Baby".
Big Bang Baby1996
Big Empty1993
Naked Sunday1992
Sex Type Thing1992
Sour Girl2000
The StranglersThe Stranglers weren't really a punk band. Bu they bridged the gap between outright punkers and pop bands modifying the punk sound. In the 1980s, The Stranglers changed their sound dramatically, going for more of an Adult Contemporary feel.
Bring On the Nubiles1978
Golden Brown1982
The SuburbsA largely unknown band outside of Minneapolis, The Suburbs fell into that power pop genre.
Love Is the Law1983
The SugarcubesThis was Bjork's band, before she achieved solo success. "Motorcrash" is a terrific place to start.
The SundaysThis British band sounded a lot like the Smiths, with a female vocalist. "Here's Where the Story Ends" is an exceptionally depressing song with a terrific hook.
Here's Where the Story Ends1990
My Finest Hour1990
Wild Horses1992
SupergrassOne of the great, upbeat, British groups of the late 1990s, Supergrass seemed to draw from every groundbreaking British artist (Rolling Stones, The Jam, Radiohead).
Caught By the Fuzz1995
Pumping On Your Stereo1999
What Went Wrong1999
Goodbye Stranger1979
Swan's WayIf you know this band, then you're a music junkie. "The Anchor" sounds like it could've been used in a 007 movie.
The Anchor1984
T-RexT-Rex was one of the great glam/trash bands of the 1970s.
20th Century Boy1972
Talk TalkWith a mournful-sounding lead vocalist, Talk Talk made a transformation from new wave to ambient jazz-pop in five years.
Life Is What You Make It1986
Talk Talk1982
Talking HeadsThe Talking Heads explored just about every type of music, from minimalist new wave ("Don't Worry About the Government") to funk ("Cities"), to gospel ("Road to Nowhere"), and world rhythms ("Nothing But Flowers"). "Nothing But Flowers" is a song I wish I had written. I'm very jealous of the lyrics. In concert, David Byrne ignores the stuttered vocals of the early days, effortlessly making every song much more powerful (compare the studio and concert versions of "Life During Wartime"). You must see the "Stop Making Sense" film. And of course, what would an art band be without lyrics covering the important things in life, like buildings and food?
Burning Down the House1983
Crosseyed and Painless1980
Don't Worry About the Government1977
Girlfriend Is Better1983
I, Zimbra1979
Life During Wartime1979
Making Flippy Floppy1983
Nothing But Flowers1988
Psycho Killer1977
Pulled Up1977
Road To Nowhere1985
Stay Up Late1985
Take Me To the River1978
Television Man1985
The Lady Don't Mind1985
This Must Be the Place1983
Uh Oh, Love Comes To Town1977
Wild Wild Life1986
Tears For FearsFrom the start, Tears For Fears generated a lot more sophistication than their peers. Rich vocals combined with lyrics derived from psychology textbooks made them superstars in the mid-1980s. A good test of a great song involves peeling back the layers of music, and just singing it, with minimal accompaniment. That happened with "Mad World", which turned into an exceptionally haunting remake by Gary Jules, for the movie "Donnie Darko".
Dog's A Best Friend's Dog1993
Everybody Wants To Rule the World1985
Head Over Heels/Broken1985
Laid So Low1992
Mad World1983
Mother's Talk1985
Pale Shelter1983
Sowing the Seeds of Love1989
Working Hour1985
Temple of the DogA combination of Chris Cornell and Eddie Vedder.
Hunger Strike1992
10,000 Maniacs10,000 Maniacs felt like the northern version of R.E.M., with much of the same jangle pop style, and an eccentric singer (Natalie Merchant).
Like the Weather1987
Trouble Me1989
TenderloinLocal Kansas City band
Pawn Shop1997
TeslaTesla might've been one of the more creative hard rock bands of the 1980s, with a penchant for radio and engineering terminology, along with a love for "hippie classics" ("Signs").
Modern Day Cowboy1986
The TheIt's hard to slot The The into any category. Their new wave beginning transformed into dark dance pop ("Infected"), then slick Smiths-style rock ("Beaten Generation"), and even a tribute to Hank Williams in the mid-1990s. Singer Matt Johnson also had an eye for talent, allowing both Sinead O'Connor and Neneh Cherry to provide secondary vocals before anyone knew who they were.
Beat(en) Generation1989
Kingdom of Rain1989
Slow Train to Dawn1986
Uncertain Smile1982
They Might Be GiantsThe king of intellectual bands, They Might Be Giants had a whimsical sense of humor, and a real knack for melody. As far as I know, this is the only band to have recorded songs about the Replacements, and the 11th President of the United States.
Ana Ng1989
Don't Let's Start1987
Istanbul (Not Constantinople)1990
They'll Need A Crane1989
Thompson TwinsDespite the name, the Thompson Twins were actually a trio, with several backing musicians.
Doctor Doctor1984
Lay Your Hands On Me1985
All Mixed Up1996
'Til Tuesday"Voices Carry" was the genesis of Aimee Mann's critically-acclaimed solo career.
Voices Carry1985
Toad the Wet SprocketToad the Wet Sprocket brought a laid-back rock and roll sound to an era when abrasive grunge dominated radio.
Fall Down1994
Hold Her Down1991
Something's Always Wrong1994
Tom Tom ClubRap, hip-hop and dance dominated this side project of Talking Heads members Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz.
Genius of Love1981
Sunshine and Ecstasy1992
ToolIn terms of technical skill, Tool was one of the best bands of the 1990s. They combined elements of Black Sabbath with Jane's Addiction, adding some of the most disturbing lyrics you'll hear in a mainstream band.
Ænima 1996
Prison Sex1993
TrafficTraffic helped define the long-form, progressive jazz and blues rock of the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Dear Mr. Fantasy1969
Freedom Rider1971
Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys1971
Rock and Roll Stew1971
Traveling WilburysGeorge Harrison, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne.
Handle With Care1988
TravisTravis is one of the more consistently melancholy Brit-pop bands.
Last Train2001
Why Does It Always Rain On Me1999
Trip ShakespeareTrip Shakespeare was the predecessor of Semisonic, a power pop vehicle for Dan and Matt Wilson.
U2It only took a few years for U2 to become one of the biggest bands in the world, a claim they can still make today. U2 started off as an abrasive post-punk band, often using religious imagery in their lyrics, culminating with the powerful, politically-charged album "War". Their style has changed a lot; by 1984 U2 used more of a synth-pop sound ("Unforgettable Fire"), and by 1987, elements of blues("I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For"). A transformation in the 1990s to dance-rock didn't sit well with most fans, but U2 doesn't seem to have any desire to stop, continually churning out music, and performing around the world.
A Sort of Homecoming1984
Angel of Harlem1988
Bullet the Blue Sky1987
Drowning Man1983
Even Better Than the Real Thing1991
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For1987
I Threw A Brick Through A Window1981
I Will Follow1980
In God's Country1987
Last Night On Earth1997
Like A Song1983
New Year's Day1983
Pride (In the Name of Love)1984
Red Light1983
Sunday Bloody Sunday1983
Trip Through Your Wires1987
Until the End Of the World1991
When Loves Comes To Town1988
Where the Streets Have No Name1987
With Or Without You1987
Van HalenMuch like the punk bands, Van Halen based their music off 1950s and early 1960s rock and roll. There was a twist, though. Some guy named Eddie Van Halen redefined lead guitar for the 1980s. In concert, he would sometimes play with his back to the audience in order to conceal his technique. David Lee Roth, of course, was a very appropriate front man for the era. Roth used humor to easily make up for any shortcomings on talent. Naturally, he was an MTV star. Roth left Van Halen in 1985, and Sammy Hagar joined. That effectively ruined Van Halen, as many of their songs suddenly steered towards the soccer mom crowd. Hagar left in 1997, and Gary Sharone (of Extreme) joined.
And the Cradle Will Rock 1980
Eruption/You Really Got Me1978
Hot For Teacher1984
I'll Wait1984
Mean Street1981
Running With the Devil1978
The Vandals
Urban Struggle 1982
VASTVAST stands for Visual Audio Sensory Theater. Despite their clever use of a Romanian choir, this band never seemed to catch on.
Niles Edge 1998
Pretty When You Cry1998
Stevie Ray VaughanSadly, his cocaine addiction stunted his career, and his death stopped his career's revival. Vaughan played a mean guitar, based on southern blues.
Couldn't Stand the Weather 1984
Velvet UndergroundLou Reed's band became one of the forerunners of distorted guitars and deconstruction.
Rock And Roll 1970
Violent FemmesThe Violent Femmes had a pretty basic setup - acoustic guitar, bass, drums, the occasional xylophone, and a vocalist who could express both pain and arrogance with his lyrics. "Gone Daddy Gone" and "Add It Up" are considered required listening for college students.
Add It Up 1982
Gone Daddy Gone1982
Kiss Off1982
Joe Walsh
Rocky Mountain Way 1973
Was Not WasThe project of two record producers has had an interesting history. Was Not Was released a new version of "Out Come the Freaks" with each successive album. The novelty track "Dad, I'm in Jail" is amusing. And what is "Walk the Dinosaur" about anyway? I have my theory.
Out Come the Freaks1981
Spy In the House of Love1988
White StripesFor a minimalist duo, the White Stripes can generate a real tough sound.
Fell In Love With A Girl2001
White ZombieThis is strictly a studio band. They can produce a good sound, but they can't replicate it in concert.
More Human Than Human 1995
Thunderkiss '651993
WhitesnakeYou might laugh, but these guys put out a good power pop sound. For whatever reason, "Fool For Your Lovin'" (originally 1980) and "Here I Go Again" (originally 1982) didn't catch on well the first time, so both were re-recorded, polished up, and re-released in the late 1980s.
Fool For Your Lovin'1980
Slow And Easy1984
Still Of the Night1987
The WhoThe Who tried it all. They tried to blow your eardrums out. They tried the rock opera. They even worked in synthesizers. In the end is a career with a wide range of sounds.
Baba O'Riley 1971
Behind Blue Eyes1971
Emminence Front1982
I Can See For Miles1967
My Generation1966
Pinball Wizard1969
Who Are You1977
Won't Get Fooled Again1971
Robbie Williams
Millennium 1999
Steve WinwoodWinwood started his career young, singing as a teenager for the Spencer Davis Group. He became part of many other supergroups, like Traffic, then set out on his own. They call it "blue-eyed soul", but hey, Winwood sounds a lot like Ray Charles on the "Arc of A Diver" album. "Back in the High Life" was an appropriate title, because it propelled Winwood to the top of the charts in 1986.
Arc Of A Diver 1981
Night Train1981
One and Only Man1990
Split Decision1986
Still In the Game1982
While You See A Chance1981
Stevie WonderWhat can one say about Stevie Wonder? He started recording before his teen years, and helped define the long form of soul, funk and r&b as a 20-year-old. Unfortunately, the 1970s saw his creative peak.
Higher Ground 1973
I Wish1976
Living For the City1973
Master Blaster1980
That Girl1982
Too High1973
World PartyKarl Wallinger's voice perfectly suited his combination of despair and rock. "Ship of Fools" (US #24, 1987) became one of my favorite songs of the period.
Here Comes the Future2000
Is It Like Today1993
Private Revolution1987
Ship Of Fools1987
Way Down Now1990
XMost people think X is pretty boring, and I tend to agree. However, "The Hungry Wolf" is an excellent, driving, rock track (what was it about 1982 and songs about hungry wolves, anyway?)
The Hungry Wolf 1982
See How We Are1987
White Girl1982
XTCXTC is certainly one of the quirkiest pop bands of the era. Sadly, chart success eluded them in the United States.
Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead 1992
Dear God1986
Generals and Majors1980
Life Begins At the Hop1979
King For A Day1989
Making Plans For Nigel1979
Mayor of Simpleton1989
Senses Working Overtime1982
The Yardbirds
Heart Full of Soul 1965
YesYes put together some of the lengthiest, and some of more complex songs of the 1970s. Like many progressive rock bands of the time, their sound changed and simplified in the 1980s, leading to more commercial success with "Owner Of A Lonely Heart" (US #1/UK #28, 1983).
Close to the Edge 1972
Owner Of A Lonely Heart1983
Neil YoungNeil Young is certainly one of the strongest writers in the rock and roll era. Despite his folksy appearance, Young has explored a lot of musical territory, from country ("Harvest Moon"), to hard arena-style rock ("Rockin' In the Free World"), to synthesizer pop ("Computer Age") to just plain yelling ("Union Man").
Cinammon Girl 1969
Harvest Moon1972
My My, Hey Hey1979
No More1989
Old Man1972
Rockin' In the Free World1989
Southern Man1974
This Note's For You1988
Tell Me What You Want1983
ZZ TopThe little ol' trio from Texas owe a lot of their success to the blues, from which many of their 1970s works were inspired. They also advanced their career astronomically by harvesting the power of music videos, whether they were sexy ("Gimme All Your Lovin'") or bizarre ("TV Dinners").
Heard It On the X1975
Gimme All Your Lovin'1982
Fool For Your Stockings1978
Got Me Under Pressure
La Grange1973
My Head's In Mississippi
Sharp-Dressed Man1983
Sleeping Bag1985
TV Dinners1983
Waiting For the Bus/Jesus Just Left Chicago1973