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Top 5 “D” Artists

May 10, 2014

Another good letter for music & musicians, that’s 4/4 so far!

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5. Dirty Pretty Things
I have a new tie-breaking criteria for the top 5s: when in doubt, the tie goes to the artist whose album I’d be more likely to play at the time of writing.  So although Def Leppard & Deep Purple were contenders, today feels like a Dirty Pretty Things kind of day.

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4. The Darkness
Justin Hawkins & friends brought some much needed fun into the music business.  Though they shouldn’t be quickly dismissed as a novelty, they’re great!  If I wasn’t watching the video, I’d swear it was Robert Smith singing “dancing on a Friday night.”

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3. Death Cab for Cutie
A trio of 21st Century artists in a row?  Maybe I’m not living in the past after all! …

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2. Drake, Nick
Or maybe I am.  But hey, with musicians this talented, can you blame me?

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1. Dylan, Bob
Of all the #1s in my Top 5s, this may be one of the least controversial.  50+ years into his career, few have been more influential.

Even if I leveled the playing field and restricted him to one year of output vs. the entire discographies of everyone else, he’d be #1 based solely on his 1965 efforts: Bringing it all Back Home & Highway 61 Revisited.

Two undisputed classics released only 5 months apart, that’s not even fair!

To celebrate the “D”s, reviews of Depeche Mode, The Divine Comedy, and hopefully a third “D” are on the calendar for this week, enjoy!

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23 Comments
  1. Props for including DPT, such an underrated (and missed, for my money) band.

    • Thanks Jimmy – If I had to choose, I think I still prefer the Libertines overall, but both DPT and Babyshambles had some solid tunes as well

  2. Dylan, Nick Drake, and Death Cab are all great picks. However, I would say Depeche Mode would be in my own top 5 on the strength of ‘Violator’ alone and The Decemberists and Doves would have to be there as well.

    • Did you see The Decemberists on the Parks & Rec season finale? Them and Jeff Tweedy, not a bad way to wrap up a season!
      Doves has 2 albums on the list – Lost souls and The Last Broadcast – I’ve reviewed the latter and definitely liked it. Yet another good Manchester band!

      • No. I didn’t see the episode but heard they were going to be on it. The Decemberists have been on a hiatus for a bit now but there seems to have been some activity of late. Hopefully, there will be a new album.
        Doves might actually be my number one ‘D’ band. Those first two records were dynamite.

  3. The Darkness! My favourite! I really enjoyed this list. But where in tarnations is Deep Purple?

    • ‘where in tarnations’ – dag nabit Mike, what did I say about using such strong language around here?!

      DP was on the bubble – perhaps left off as I haven’t had a chance to hear In Rock yet – I wouldn’t be surprised if they one day make the cut on a revisited list 😀

      • I think DP has always been a sore spot for me, I’ve been a fan for so long, and they’re still not in that darned Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, tarnations! I hope when you get to In Rock, you enjoy it as much as I do. I was surprised how heavy it was, for 1969. Perhaps the heaviest album to come yet by anybody.

    • That’s surprising to hear they’re not in the hall – I assumed they would have been inducted years ago.
      Mrs. LeBrain can probably relate to my similar frustration with the Hockey Hall of Fame – they finally fixed an glaring oversight a couple years ago when they welcomed former Maple Leaf Doug Gilmour to the Hall!

      • We were there at the ACC the night they raised his jersey to the roof! What an amazing night. We were in a private box (CN’s) and the food kept coming and coming and coming. Sushi, roast, ribs, spring rolls, chips, nachos, wings, pizza, and ice cream. We had actually stopped for street meat before the game because you can’t go to a game and not get street meat. That was a loooong train ride home.

      • To quote John Lennon, I’m just a Jealous Guy – of the game, not so much the train ride home!

  4. My top five:
    5, The Doors
    4. Dire Straits
    3. Doobie Brothers
    2. Depeche Mode
    1. Duran Duran

    (haha, yeah, I live in the past…)

  5. Just out of curiosity, is there any Daft Punk album included in the 1001 list?

    • There is – Homework from 1997. I wouldn’t be surprised if Random Access Memories makes it onto a revised list someday

      • Yeah, RAM ended up being my favourite album of 2013. Great stuff. I think it works much, much better as an album than their classic ‘Discovery’.

  6. dandy warhols. 🙂

    • They’ve got a record on the list – ‘The Dandy Warhols Come Down’ from ’97, I haven’t heard it yet but am now inspired to check it out, thanks for the recommendation!

  7. I was aware of “Pretty Things” but clueless about “Dirty Pretty Things” Great song.

  8. I didn’t know if Dirty Pretty things would have been a concern over the pond. They didn’t quite hit the heights of The Libertines unfortunately.

    • DPT weren’t exactly huge in North America – I got into the Libertines when I worked for a couple summers in the UK in the mid-2000s! The Libertines were mainly in the news here because of Kate Moss (and her relationship with the self-destructive Pete Doherty).

      To give you an example of their lack of Canadian exposure, I went into a music store looking for a Libertines t-shirt. The clerk asked, “Libertines…do you mean Silverstein?” Yikes!

      • The Libertines were great weren’t they! Some amazing singles on those two albums. DPT didn’t have that ‘edge’ and Babyshambles were, well, a shambles. Barat and Doherty clearly needed each other like all good music partnerships.

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