Friday, July 3, 2009

What, only crap has been produced after 1978?

Last Friday night, on Real Time, Bill Maher interviewed Billy Bob Thornton, and during said taped interview, BBT made a statement that irked me. He passionately related a story to Bill Maher about how he was having an argument with a 20 something year old women about memorable music and musicians, and he said "you can't name 100 bands, starting from 1978 or after, who will be remembered in 100 years!" The delusional Thornton, who needs to get out more often, then continued with "I don't have enough paper in my house to write down all the names of all the bands from the 50s to 1978 who will continue to be remembered 100 plus years from now."

As the son of a retired book binder and print shop foreman, I can honestly say, BBT needs more paper in his home. And, since he claims his "Boxmasters" band is a "modbilly" genre, you would have thought he might've tangentially thought of SCOTS or Stray Cats, both whose origins are in the last 31 years and both of whom make far better music IMHO. He also got The Police wrong, stating they were pre-1978 - really, oh omniscient BBT?

So Dr Desert Flower and I put a list of about 80 bands together, 10% of which turned out to be pre-1978, and then I googled a bunch, and emailed a few readers of this blog, and gathered a few more names, to get to 109. I feel better now. Yes, such future prediction arguments are inane and pointless, but I felt slightly insulted by another baby boomer completely dismissing my generation, and all the music I grew up with, again.

So here's a list of 109 bands that a) became famous between 1978 and the present b) sold many "albums" [back when albums were sold in stores and not downloaded so much] c) were more than 1 hit wonders d) actually sang and played and created most or all of their own material [sauf teeny bopper air heads, country, rap sampling, par exemple]. There's more than 109, but that's enough for now, in my perspective (add a comment, and state your inputs). I don't like all the bands on the list, but I understand their larger body of work, and 100 or however many years from now, when people plug straight into their heads, there'll be a few copies of at least some of these artists songs around, just as there will be The Who, The Rolling Stones, and Zeppelin tunes still digitally recorded somewhere. The makers of the harpsichord might've thought the same way BBT did. Who knows?

I think some things are timeless.

1978 Bauhaus
1978 The English Beat
1978 Echo & the Bunnymen
1978 Midnight Oil
1978 Public Image Ltd
1978 Prince
1978 The Dead Kennedys
1978 The Pretenders
1978 XTC
1978 The Police (Outlandos d'Amor, 2Nov78 UK & US) Recorded Jan–March 1978)
1979 Beastie Boys
1979 OMD
1979 Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five
1979 Hüsker Dü
1979 Stray Cats
1979 The Circle Jerks
1979 The The
1979 The Replacements
1979 INXS
1980 Eurythmics
1980 Frankie Goes to Hollywood
1980 INXS
1980 REM
1980 The Call
1980 The Fixx

1980 Def Leppard
1980 Depeche Mode
1980 New Order
1980 U2
1980 X
1981 Anthrax
1981 Duran Duran
1981 Front 242
1981 Metallica
1981 Ministry
1981 Pet Shop Boys
1981 Pantera
1981 The Alarm
1981 Sonic Youth
1981 Violent Femmes
1982 Everything but the Girl
1982 The Art of Noise
1982 The Pogues
1982 The Smiths
1982 Thomas Dolby
1983 Run-D.M.C.
1983 Southern Culture on the Skids
1983 The Dead Milkmen
1983 The Red Hot Chili Peppers
1984 Dinosaur Jr.

1984 Dr. Dre
1984 Primus
1984 Soundgarden
1984 The BoDeans
1984 The Cult
1984 The Jesus and Mary Chain
1985 Erasure
1985 Guns N'Roses
1985 Jane's Addiciton
1985 Love & Rockets
1985 Screaming trees
1985 The Bodines
1985 The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
1985 The Offspring
1985 The Stone Roses
1986 Howard Jones
1986 N.W.A
1986 Pixies
1986 The Proclaimers
1986 They Might Be Giants
1987 Alice in Chins
1987 Green Day
1987 Nirvana
1987 Public Enemy
1987 Rollins Band

1987 The Wonder Stuff
1988 Beck
1988 Barenaked Ladies
1988 Deftones
1988 Morrissey
1988 NIN
1988 The Smashing Pumpkins
1988 The Traveling Wilburys
1989 Phish
1989 The Charlatans UK
1989 The Verve
1990 Live
1990 The Cranberries
1990 Pearl Jam
1990 The Black Crowes
1990 Tool
1991 Moby
1991 Rage Against the Machine
1992 Radio Head
1992 Stone temple Pilots
1992 Wu-Tang Clan
1993 Dave Matthews Band
1993 Korn
1994 The Bloodhound Gang
1994 Blink-182

1994 Cake
1994 Oasis
1995 Foo Fighters
1996 Anti-Flag
1997 The White Stripes
1998 Coldplay
1998 System of a Down
2002 The Killers
2002 Kanye West


  1. who knows what will be "memorable," but for my money a few of the best albums produced since 1978 would include (in no particular order):

    1. Paul Simon, Graceland
    2. My Bloody Valentine, Loveless
    3. Pixes, Doolittle
    4. Lou Reed, New York

  2. 2008 Lady Gaga

    "Poker Face"? I barely know 'er.

    buh-dum pisht!

    Seriously though, that's a decent list. Maybe overkill to prove how ridiculous BBT is, but... Anyway I think just looking at how well some of the earliest of that list are holding up indicates their stuff will be around for a long time.

    You might add:
    1978? Van Halen
    1978 Blues Brothers (maybe)
    1983 Run DMC (hugely influential and a major reason rap became mainstream)

    many more...

  3. Zim,
    it was "new artists" or "bands since 1978". Lou and Paul were long long before 1978.

    1983 Run-D.M.C.
    They were in there =)

  4. A couple off the top of my head:

    Dead Kennedys
    Queens of the Stone Age

    I reckon ole Billy Bob been up thar at the nervous hospital since 1978...

  5. 1978 The Dead Kennedys
    already in there

    1986 N.W.A
    already in there


    I did not include Queens.. as I ma not sure they have "staying power" ... but I will take it under advisement

  6. Speaking of 80s music, I just bought from iTMS some Guadalcanal Diary and The Reivers (aka Zeitgeist). I think Guadalcanal Diary deserved much better than they got. For the Reivers, I used to have Translate Slowly on tape. Hadn't listened to it in nearly 20 year. Joe, checkout the tracks "Araby" and "Things Don't Change" if you're not already familiar with them.

  7. Ron, thank you. Things Don't Change sounded like a combination of Sonic Youth, Replacements, and a hint of Echo & the I liked it alot. Good stuff.

    Araby sounded alot like Hoodoo Gurus, who I like tremendously.

    As a collective whole, we are much better than our individual components.


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