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Top 5 “A”rtists

April 8, 2014

And the alphabet series begins!

Here are my Top 5 Artist names that begin with the letter A:

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5. Anthrax
My musical & non-musical reasons for Anthrax approval are coming up in Album Review #302!

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4. Amos, Tori
Tori released 4 strong consecutive records in 1992, 1994, 1996, and 1998.  The only other group I can think of that did the same?  Sloan, and they’re among my all-time faves of any letter.

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3. Aerosmith
If Tori had a stellar mid-90s, Aerosmith’s mid-70s output is, to borrow the Jack Nicholson/Helen Hunt film title, as good as it gets.

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2. Age of Electric
Speaking of the mid-90s, this was a golden age for CanCon.  Age of Electric released two albums, both are keepers, notably Make a Pest a Pet.

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1. Adams, Bryan &/or Ryan
I’m bending the rules already and it’s only the first week!  Between the two Adams lads, they’ve got it all: Bryan contributes consistency & decades of arena anthems (not to mention a successful second career as a photographer), Ryan provides the cred & movie star spouse.  As luck would have it, both are born on November 5th.  If I had to choose one, I’d have to give Bryan the nod as he and my daughters were born in the same hospital.

Now critical darling, Bryan is not.  Take this scene from the (excellent) South Park film:

Newscaster: But, Mr. Minister, it isn’t like this film is the first troublesome thing to come out of Canada. Let us not forget Bryan Adams.

Canadian Representative: Now, now, the Canadian Government has apologized for Bryan Adams on several occasions!

Say what you will, but BA has been consistently writing songs that have resonated with millions of people around the world since 1980.  Surely the opening ‘D’ chord of Summer of ’69 is among the most instantly identifiably intros & will likely put the bulk of the planet in a good mood upon hearing.

I get it that fist-clenched power ballads aren’t for everyone but even the haters have to grudgingly respect his career longevity.  He still looks and sounds exactly the same after 34 years and he hasn’t so much as lost a step when performing live.  Considering his less than perfect vocal technique & decades of living on the road, that’s impressive!

To celebrate the “A”s, reviews of Air, Anthrax and AC/DC are up next.

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14 Comments
  1. Give me Ryan over Bryan any day Stephen!! Haha

  2. jprobichaud permalink

    Noticeably absent from this list is Arcade Fire, a band who deserves mention whether you love or hate ‘Reflektor’. My own top five would likely include BritPop renegades The Auteurs and Ottawa band Amos the Transparent. I like this idea though.

  3. Massive respect for the Anthrax inclusion. They get a hard time being the minnows of the “Big 4” but my enjoyment of their stuff just grows and grows. A great band. Can’t wait to read your review.

  4. And before the Canadian contingent turn up you better get your apologies for not including Anvil in quick!

    • Thanks HMO – I’m already prepping my formal written apology in the event Black Sabbath doesn’t make it into the top 5 B’s!

      • No need to apologise! I’m sure there’s plenty of competition out there!

      • I think (perhaps fittingly) that B and S will be the hardest two letters – I’m glad to hear you’ll be forgiving as I’m expecting some comments to say this is (those two letters) when favourite artists are left off!

  5. Age of Electric! I love those guys, and haven’t heard that song in close to 2 decades. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. Did you ever get into Limblifter, which included the guitarist and drummer brothers from AoE? They had some pretty catchy tunes as well.

    • I never had any limblifter albums – but I quite liked the singles, Tin Foil, Vicious, and especially Ariel vs. Lotus.
      The other brothers from AoE had a group ‘static in stereo’ as well – I only heard one tune (before my time I think it was called) but they were 1 for 1!

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