Assignment 2007 - Part II

Assignment 2007 - First Installment

Most important here is the listing of influential recording artists, roughly ranked. I am deeply moved by many of these artists and many have shaped my craft as a recording artist and producer (and wannabe engineer).

The songs – and I debated whether to do this or not – are samples, examples, memories. Song samples herein are either entry points, the song that convinced me that there was more, songs that just got my attention, or where I “got it.” In some cases, these songs were remnants in my brain that I revisited and enjoyed and explored more. Basically where religion was caught.

As far as “rankings” are concerned, this is simply an exercise. These lists could be different on any other day. And, as far as influence and love, it’s all so close. But, it’s a rough order because Americans love order.

But, there’s so much more either under-explored or newly introduced to me. This is in no way an exhaustive list. But, it’s how I answer the question re: major historical.

This is the chronological list, as I remember being introduced to the music. It’s not perfect. Again, there’s so much more and I’m cheating so many artists. Plus, I’ve added some notes. Whatever.

Of course, I could do the same exercise for other media – design, photography, etc. – but I won’t. It’s too grueling.


1. Sly and the Family Stone – “Family Affair” – One of my earliest music memories.
2. Aerosmith – “Uncle Salty”
3. Marvin Gaye – “Got to Give It Up” – The bassline? Are you serious?
4. Stevie Wonder – “I Was Made To Love Her” ” – Perhaps my earliest music memories.
5. Parliament – “Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof of the Sucker)” – Bigger than Jesus.
6. War – “The World Is a Ghetto”
7. The Jackson 5 – “Dancing Machine”
8. James Brown – “Say it Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud” – Exactly.
9. Curtis Mayfield – “(Don’t Worry) If There’s a Hell Below, We’re All Gonna Go
10. Gary Numan – “Cars”
11. The Rolling Stones – “Emotional Rescue” – Still, the world’s most under rated rock band. Seriously.
12. ELO – “Don’t Bring Me Down” – Growing up.
13. Devo – “Jocko Homo” – Pop music doesn’t have to be in 4/4.
14. Al Green – “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?” – Made me sad as a child, so powerful.
15. Richard Pryor – “When Your Woman Leaves You”
16. Queen – “Fat Bottomed Girls”
17. David Bowie – “Fame”
18. Ray Charles – “Georgia on My Mind”
19. Maynard Ferguson– “La Fiesta”
20. Johnny Guitar Watson – “A Real Mother for Ya”


1. Wolfgang Mozart – “Don Giovanni” – Oh, this is music.
2. Johann Sebastian Bach – “The Brandenburg Concertos” – Oh, this is perfect music.
3. Ralph Hardimon – Arr. Of “Capriccio Espagnol” by Rimsky-Korsokov – Oh, I can play this?
4. The Beatles – “A Day in the Life”
5. Led Zeppelin – “The Battle of Evermore”
6. Jimi Hendrix – “Are You Experienced? – Oh. Just, oh.
7. The Police – “Voices Inside My Head”
8. Miles Davis– “Splach” – Classic entry point.
9. Talking Heads – “Burning Down the House” – Obviously.
10. Hector Berlioz – “Symphonie Fantastique” – Good god!
11. Yes – “The Revealing Science of God – Dance of the Dawn”
12. Frank Zappa – “The Torture Never Stops”
13. Dimitri Shostakovich – “Festive Overture”
14. Ludwig van Beethoven – “Fifth Symphony”
15. Van Halen – “Hot For Teacher” – How to rock, 101.
16. Lynyrd Skynyrd – “Sweet Home Alabama”
17. Tom Petty – “Don’t Come Around Here No More”
18. Tower of Power – “What is Hip?”
19. Cheap Trick – “Dream Police”
20. Prince – “Darling Nikki” – How to get laid.


1. Beck – “High 5 (Rock the Catskills)” – I get it, let’s do this shit.
2. Soundgarden – “Limo Wreck”
3. Richard Walkling – “I’m Coming Home – File under, duh!
4. The Flaming Lips – “Lightning Strikes the Postman”
5. Lenny Kravitz – “Fields of Joy (Reprise)
6. Public Enemy – “Anti-Nigger Machine”
7. Beastie Boys – “High Plains Drifter”
8. NWA – “Fuck the Police” – I wanna fuck you too!
9. Phish – “Billy Breathes”
10. Nirvana – “Rape Me”
11. Ben Harper – “God Fearing Man”
12. Red Hot Chili Peppers – “Hollywood”
13. Ween – “Roses Are Free”
14. Guns N’ Roses – “It’s So Easy” – It’s so fucking easy.
15. Jane’s Addiction – “Three Days”
16. Ice Cube – “The Wrong Nigga to Fuck Wit”
17. Ice T – “Midnight” – I’ve seen all of this story.
18. Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – “Bellbottoms”
19. MMW – “We Are Rolling”
20. Anthrax – “Now It’s Dark”


1. Firey Furnaces – “Chris Michaels” – Yep, it all comes together. They made this for $30k.
2. The White Stripes – “The Denial Twist”
3. Kanye West – “Gone” – Ph.d. in production. Million dollar production.
4. OutKast – “Ghetto Musick” – Ph.d. in production. Million dollar production.
5. Marilyn Manson – “The Dope Show” - Just genius.
6. TV on the Radio – “Dirtywhirl” – The album I would have made.
7. Deltron 3030 – “Virus” – The concept album.
8. Radiohead – “Creep”
9. Dizzee Rascal – “Fix Up, Look Sharp”
10. Arcade Fire – “Crown of Love”
11. The Roots – “Water”
12. Eminen – “The Real Slim Shady”
13. Sufjan Stevens – “The Black Hawk War, or, How to Demolish an Entire Civilization and Still Feel Good About Yourself In the Morning, or, We Apologize for the Inconvenience But You're Going to Have to Leave Now, or, "I Have Fought the Big Knives..."– All around, WTF?
14. Manu Chao – “Promiscuity”
15. D’Angelo – “Chicken Grease” – I'd fuck him.
16. Will Oldham – “After I Made Love to You” – Shit. Makes me frisky and sad.
17. Clipse – “Hello New World” – Best album of the decade so far.
18. Sigur Ros – “Svefn-G-Englar”
19. The Wiggles – “Eagle Rock” – The most sexual children’s song ever.
20. Oasis – “Rock and Roll Star”

The next installment is the two to three CD track listing of this influence arc. Whew.

Lastly, remember - before you start buggin' - this isn't the "best of" list in any way. These are not my favorites either. It's the "most influential, historically." And, my god, are there hundreds of songs that I never explored the album or artist more - esp. the history of what's now called "classic rock." I grew up with KMET ("little bit of heaven, 94 point 7"), remember?

I'm grumpy, huh?