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Top 5 “M” Artists

July 16, 2014

Do you hear that?

The sound of Jon Bon Jovi singing Whoa we’re halfway there?

Lucky Letter #13/26, the Top 5 Ms!

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5. Mika
Believe it or not, in the first draft, Motörhead was my #5.  But until my daughter starts belting out Ace of Spades, her car sing-alongs with Mika’s Life in Cartoon Motion bump him into the Top 5.

Like The Darkness, Mika brought some fun back into music in the mid-00s.  Grace Kelly, Lollipop and Big Girl are practically perfect pop ditties.

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4. McCartney, Paul
Speaking of songwriting, few have been better at the craft than Paul McCartney.  Much like Lennon with the “L” artists, this ranking is based solely on his post-Beatles output.  He hasn’t always been consistent but when he’s on (as with Ram), he’s on.

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3. Metallica
Four albums made the 1001 (Master of Puppets, …And Justice, Metallica, and S&M); many would argue that merely scratches the surface!
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2. Modest Mouse
Yes there’s the inevitable Johnny Marr bias but a lot of their stuff without him is equally strong.

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1. Morrissey
Hard to believe he’s been a solo artist, singing his patented 3-note range, for 26 years!  Viva Hate set the bar, later raised by Your Arsenal & Vauxhall, hopefully his 2014 album will be a return to form.

And there will hopefully be a couple “M” reviews before too long, enjoy!

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29 Comments
  1. Manowar! There goes your chances of entering Valhalla. I’d also include Motorhead, Megadeth, Mott the Hoople, alongside Metallica. Honourable mentions to Morbid Angel, Montrose and Mercyful Fate

    • And let’s not forget…Bret Michaels.

      • HMO if it’s any consolation, Venom is currently on my top 5 ‘V’s!

        Have you been to Maui? It’s gorgeous but in addition to the scenery, I think you’d enjoy the Man-o-war/jellyfish warning signs at some of the beaches!

      • Never been to Maui. Never been anywhere except Canada and the US, unfortunately.

  2. A rare occurrence of us not being on the same page, as McCartney would be the only one here who would crack my Top 5. I really like Metallica (as you might remember from my own blog series covering their discography) and can’t argue about their inclusion on your list but I’m not as passionate about them as a number of other “M” artists. I’ve never been able to get past Morrissey’s voice, which is a shame because I like a lot of things about The Smiths otherwise. His solo work? Not so much.

    My “M” list would have to be whittled down from these, some of which are glaring omissions from your list (but who am I to judge?): Bob Marley, Van Morrison, The Moody Blues, Joni Mitchell, Marillion, Charles Mingus, Aimee Mann, John Martyn, The Mahavishnu Orchestra, My Morning Jacket, John Mellencamp, Sarah McLachlan, John Mayall, Midnight Oil and Madness.

    Still not sure how you manage to come up with Top 5’s. I could barely reduce my list to the ones listed above. I give you much credit for your efforts.

    • Marillion! How’d I forget them? Shame on me. They would have to knock Mott off my top 5 I think.

    • You’ll be pleased to hear that at least the book didn’t overlook Marley/Mitchell/Van Morrison, all of whom have at least 3 on the 1001 list!

      Mellencamp has to be one of the more consistent ‘M’s and Sarah McLachlan’s voice has that great, instantly identifiable quality.

      I plan on revisiting my lists towards the end of the project to see what I’d change. We’ll see after the next 672 records!

  3. Agree with most of that but Mika?!! Huh?!

    • Thomas – good to see you back from the world cup sir. I’m sure you can relate – if your daughter sings along with it, an artist automatically goes up in your books!

  4. I would have Mott and Marillion both higher than Metallica! Heck if quality were concerned, I’d put Megadeth over Metallica. But Metallica has obviously had the biggest influence.

    Also: Van Morrison!

    • I have a theory that the great singers are polarizing – much like Rich isn’t a fan of Morrissey’s, I struggle to appreciate Van Morrison’s voice (though for many, I get how essential it is for them).

      I was really impressed with his live album Too late to stop now – the backing band was particularly strong

      • I don’t like Morrissey either but there’s no denying his “sad-sack-o-shit” style has influenced boatloads of people. I have no issued with him being included on such a list.

        Here’s a big one that would HAVE to be on my list:

        MAX WEBSTER.

        HAS to be on there. Has to be.

      • Nothing wrong with Kim Mitchell or his affiliated groups!

        Did you see him on his “to the Max” tour? It was a good one.
        I was actually at the Waterfront in Hamilton this weekend, reminiscing with friends about seeing another Kim Mitchell show there about 15 years ago. I believe Sass Jordan opened, we definitely got our $2 entry fee’s worth!

      • I’ve never seen him live in any format 😦

      • Never seen him YET that is 😀
        He’s an entertainer – bizarre sense of humour though, started singing about syphilis to the tune of the beatles’ Yesterday at what I thought was billed as more of a family friendly show!

  5. What? Mr. Mister?!

  6. Megadeth, My Bloody Valentine, Men At Work and Max Q…I’ll let you have Morrissey haha

  7. Good to see Modest Mouse there. ‘Good News…’ particularly is an amazing album. My own list will also include Muse and Mars Volta

    • Nothing wrong with those picks – I hear Muse puts on a great show. I don’t know Mars beyond ‘deloused’ but that was a solid record, especially the first half.

      Modest Mouse is one of those groups that gives me hope for new music!

  8. Great choices. Good to see Modest Mouse in there. And of course Morrissey is a legend. I love his solo stuff. He’s my favourite miserable bastard!

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