XPN Essential Songs

August 21, 2008

I’ve been waiting for this list, for a while. Or a list just like it.

For the past 4 years, the radio station in Philadelphia, WXPN comes up with a list of the best somethings in music.  The first year it was songs, the second year it was albums, the third year it was artists, the fourth year it was moments. 

And each time (except for the first year), the answer was obvious (and dominated by the 60’s and 70’s, which is normal given their demographics).
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885 Musical Moments

September 19, 2007

Well, here we go again.  This year my favorite radio station, WXPN, is counting down the top 885 musical moments.  For the past two months, they’ve been gathering top musical moments, submitted by listeners, in a blog/community/web 2.0 type thing. 

So, go here to vote:

My top 10 (in random order) are ones that have obviously impacted me, so that I noticed.  Obviously there were several on the list that impacted me more than these (like when the first record was created), but that happened outside of my knowledge. 

1.       Aerosmith and Run DMC collaborate on “Walk This Way,” 1986

2.       Unknown Bruce Springsteen plays the Main Point in Bryn Mawr, PA, April 24, 1973

3.       Johnny Cash sings at Folsom State Prison in Folsom, California, January 13, 1968

4.       Paul Simon records “Graceland” in South Africa, featuring South African musicians, October 1985-June 1986

5.       Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper and Richie Valens die in a plane crash, February 2, 1959 – “The Day the Music Died”

6.       Phil Spector introduces his distinctive “Wall of Sound” production process, pioneering the 60s girl group sound as well as influencing future rock production techniques, 1963

7.       Elton John collaborates with Bernie Taupin and scores his first big success with “Your Song” in 1970

8.       Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” enters the charts in 1973, and stays there for 741 weeks, making it the longest running, consecutively charting album of all time

9.       The Rolling Stones release four landmark records in a row: “Beggars Banquet” (1968), “Let It Bleed” (1969), “Sticky Fingers” (1971), and “Exile on Main Street” (1972)

10.   Marvin Gaye releases “What’s Going On,” the title track of his influential 1971 album, and both the song and album become a huge hit 

Let me know what you think… If there’s anyone out there that is.  



885 Most Memorable Musical Moments

885 Greatest Artists (Part 3)

October 24, 2006

Referencing my previous post here….

Well, the WXPN Greatest Artists countdown is complete. The Top 10 list was pretty predictable, but such is life. The Beatles is a popular band, so it makes sense that a popular band would be a popular pick using a popular way of determining artists.

The full list is located here.

Well, here’s how my picks did….

1. Bruce Springsteen (4)

2. Southern Culture on the Skids (379)

3. Richard Thompson (43)

4. Joe Satriani (640)

5. Garbage (448)

6. Buddy Guy (213)

7. Brian Setzer

8. Jimmy Buffett (116)

9. Meat Loaf (517)

10. Little Feat (110)

Honorable Mention: Tower of Power (456), Prince (39), Stevie Wonder (22), Billy Joel (48), Paul Simon (20), Sheryl Crow (183), Marvin Gaye (75), Sarah McLaughlan (101), Pink Floyd (9), Marah (584)

Other personal mentionables: Marc Broussard (865), Kenny Wayne Shepherd (826), Def Leppard (738), Weird Al Yankovic (737), Marc Cohn (729), Michelle Shocked (650), Wallflowers (543), Joe Walsh (495), The Chieftans (491), Raul Malo (489), Cracker (467), Trout Fishing in America (461), Five for Fighting (408), Cowboy Junkies (333), Train (278), Public Enemy (259), Cake (236), Al Green (229), Black Crows (190), AC/DC (180), John Lee Hooker (166), Muddy Waters (109), Stevie Ray Vaughan (60), The Clash (24), Johnny Cash (18),

885 Greatest Artists (part 2)

August 30, 2006

(Referencing my previous post here. )

Okay, I’ve finally made my decision.  And it’s kindof weird.  I’m not sure I agree with my own decision.   (How in the world can I not agree with myself)

Anyway, as I am not personally ranking all 885 greatest artists.  I am going to vote for those bands which I am the biggest fan of.  So, while I might think that the Rolling Stones are better than Jimmy Buffett, talent-wise, career-wise, impact-wise.  I’ve decided to rather be an advocate for those bands which I claim my strongest ties to as an enjoyer of music.

So with that in mind, here is my new, adapted, altered, and disclaimered list of my top 10 artists:

1.  Bruce Springsteen

2.  Southern Culture on the Skids

3.  Richard Thompson

4.  Joe Satriani

5.  Garbage 

6.  Buddy Guy
7.  Brian Setzer

8.  Jimmy Buffett

9.  Meat Loaf

10.  Little Feat

Honorable Mention: Tower of Power, Prince, Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel, Paul Simon, Sheryl Crow, Marvin Gaye, Sarah McLaughlan, Pink Floyd, Marah

885 Greatest Artists

August 1, 2006

Once again, I predicted this…

One of my favorite radio stations, WXPN, has gotten people to participate with their radio station for the past two years with a countdown.

In 2004, they counted down the 885 Greatest Songs of all time.

In 2005, they counted down the 885 Greatest Albums of all time.

This year, they are doing the 885 Greatest Artists of all time. Listeners are supposed to submit their top 10 favorite music artists.

Now smartly, they have allowed people to add an additional 10 Artists to the list. I have thought that there would be an issue because top 10 artists would get many of the same classic rock artists. I mean as much as people like newer artists, it is kindof tough when you put them against the true music heavyweights.

The Voting is between August 1st and September 10th.

Please tell everyone you know about this one. It’s always fun to vote on this, and then listen along as they countdown the music. (And WXPN does stream online).

My Picks (as of August 1st, 2006).

I have basically decided to pick 10 ‘classic’ artists, and 10 more ‘modern’ artists. And I judge my artists as my ‘favorites’ from the pool of great artists.

I would never claim that Sarah McLaughlan is ‘better’ than The Beatles. However, I don’t like The Beatles enough to really vote for them.

01. Bruce Springsteen
02. The Rolling Stones
03. Paul Simon
04. Pink Floyd
05. Stevie Wonder
06. Buddy Guy
07. Little Feat
08. Richard Thompson
09. Johnny Cash
10. Jimmy Buffett

And ten more

– Prince
– Southern Culture on the Skids
– Sheryl Crow
– Sarah McLaughlan
– John Coltrane
– Tracy Chapman
– Green Day
– Meat Loaf
– Marvin Gaye
– Green Day

I’d be curious to see anyone else’s list. (Even if that’s just you, Zonker)

Okay, that’s it for today.



Everyday Albums vs Special Occassions

August 23, 2005

Posts based on wxpn’s 885 greatest albums of all time:


Those Special Albums vs Everyday Listening

Okay, I’m trying to come up with my top 10 list of albums. But, they are like my special albums. Albums I appreciate for their artistic talent and musical stylings. But they’re not necessarily the albums I listen to most often.

It’s like the top 10 albums are the really special meals I prepare once or twice a year, that really take a lot of time to prepare and cook and have ingredients that I can’t get in the local store. And then there’s the ten or so meals that I eat most frequently, the macaroni & cheese, grilled chicken, and beef stroganoffs of my musical taste.

No, it’s not the Brittany Spears or N-Sync or anything (thats akin to McDonalds or food you microwave at 7-11).

My top 10 frequently listened to albums (over the last 5 years) would probably be:

1. Southern Culture on the Skids – Liquored Up and Lacquered Down
2. Garbage – Version 2.0
3. Bruce Springsteen – The Rising
4. Buddy Guy – Feels Like Rain
5. Jimmy Buffett – License to Chill
6. Brian Stetzer Orchestra – The Dirty Boogie
7. The Commitments – Volume 1
8. The Commitments – Volume 2
9. Richard Thompson – Mock Tudor
10. Weird Al Yankovic – Running with Scissors

My top 10 listen frequently listened to albums (of all time) would probably be:

1. Billy Joel – Storm Front
2. Rush – Permanent Waves
3. Little Feat – Waiting for Columbus
4. Tower of Power – Monster on a Leash
5. Joe Satriani – Surfing with the Alien
6. Van Halen – OU812
7. Stray Cats – Built for Speed
8. Pink Floyd – The Wall
9. John Mellencamp – The Lonesome Jubilee
10. Styx – Paradise Theater

This is more of a discussion than a problem. I just like to know if others feel the same way.