Tuesday, September 27, 2005

CMJ's 25 Most Influential Artists of the Last 25 Years

Because we love lists, I present this for you reading pleasure. CMJ ranks their 25 most influential artists of the last 25 years. I find this intesting because this timespan almost exactly matches my conscious music-listening lifetime. From the first album from the number one artist on the list (which I've owned on vinyl, cassette, and compact disc) to today (as shown in whom they've influenced).

Why bother listening to CMJ? When I was in college, and everything now know as "Alternative", "Indie", or "Post-"something or other was then known simply as college rock. It's sometimes hard to remember that in the days before Nirvane (B.A.E), college radio stations were really the only places in the U.S. that played much of the music that I and many of my friends literally grew up on. Heck, a borrowed version of the CMJ 500 a few years ago shaped much of my music aquisition habits (filling in the holes I had in my collection).

My favorite excerpt:

23. REPLACEMENTS
Two generations of mood-swingin' janglepunks remember the Replacements adoringly. The Replacements, however, probably don't remember anything at all. Between bouncer-taunting on-stage antics (kicking perfume into an unsuspecting crowd, passing out on stage on a major label's dime) and their even rowdier backstage antics (pissing all over their rented Winnebago, pissing in hotel ice machines), who knows where they found the time to invent an idiom where tender, mature introspection and brawny brat muscle meet in the parking lot to share a cig and listen to Alex Chilton. (CRW)
Thank You: Big Star, New York Dolls, Kiss
You're Welcome: Wilco, Evan Dando, Ryan Adams
I probably would have listed The Replacements higher on the list (hey, I was once known in faraway Portland, Oregon, as Replacements-dude after all). There assessment and influence mapping is really spot on. I still have a mp3 of Wilco covering "Color Me Impressed," where Jeff Tweedy opens the song saying, "Everything we do is based on The Replacements." Of course, they only know about three-quarters of the song, so they have to shift into "I Wanna Be Sedated." It's still one of my favorite mp3s in my iTunes libary.

I also dig that they include Uncle Tupelo (number 17) and Superchunk (number 25). I'll leave it up to you to check who is number one on the list though. All things considered, it's not really a surprise.
NP: "Color Me Impressed" - The Replacements (these don't always happen in a vacuum)

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