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Top 5 “W” Artists

October 11, 2014

I tend to be quite fond of many things beginning with W (including my wondrous wife, naturlich).  No exception here with the Dubya artists!


5. Welch, Gillian
I’ve gone back to Time (The Revelator) as much or more than any other album from the past year.  What a title track.


4. Wilson, Brian
Good Barenaked Ladies tune, an even better songwriter.


3. Who, The
Would not have made my Top 5 a couple years ago.  At that point, of course, I hadn’t heard Live @ Leeds or The Who Sell Out.


2. Wilco
Really enjoyed seeing Jeff Tweedy on Parks & Recreation last year.


1. Weezer
No group has been more infuriating (with the possible exception of Radiohead) over the last 19 years.  Then again, no group produced two better mid-90s albums (also with the possible exception of Radiohead).

The (aforementioned) Who, Wilco & Williams, Robbie are up next, enjoy!

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  1. No White Stripes?

    And you’re right about Weezer. Damn. Those first two records are great.

    • White Stripes have grown on me in recent years – I put them in the same category as the RHCP, listen to them happily in a friend’s car!

      • Fair enough!

        I won’t question the exclusion of Whitesnake. 😉

      • The prominence of ‘here i go again’ in the film old school definitely didn’t hurt the case for Whitesnake!

  2. NO TOM WAITS. Oh man!

    I do not disagree with any of your choices either, except maybe Weezer (and that’s my humble opinion and ain’t it great that it’s all so subjective)! Damn, maybe you need a list of the Top 6…

    • The good news is the 1001 list did not make the same mistake I did – he’s on there a few times! I’ve only explored ‘nighthawks’ so far, swordfishtrombones and a couple others still to go

  3. A solid list, Geoff! I would echo Mike’s White Stripes, though.

  4. A fine list. I’d try to put Tom Waits on there, too (at least for his work through the eighties), and Stevie Wonder, through the same period. Going farther afield, there’s also Hank Williams (not Junior).

    • Stevie’s on the list 4 times I believe – I’ve only explored ‘innervisions’ so far. I’d argue living for the city might be the strongest song of the 70s!

  5. I would add Wyclef, and cool Montréal band We are wolves!! Check it out:

  6. That’s a pretty solid list, Geoff, but it’s hard to imagine anyone coming in ahead of The Who, but since you’ve only recently come around to them your placement of them at #3 makes sense. Here are some W’s that should also be considered, including a few no-brainers for me at the top of this list:
    Stevie Wonder
    Tom Waits
    Hank Williams
    Rufus Wainwright
    Loudon Wainwright III
    The Waterboys
    Weather Report
    Paul Weller
    Ron Wood
    The Wonder Stuff
    Wishbone Ash
    Steve Winwood
    Johnny Winter
    Steven Wilson
    Jackie Wilson
    Tony Williams
    Lucinda Williams

  7. I love The Who. And Weezer. Great list.

  8. Overlap: Wilco.

    I know the others but won’t bore you with why I don’t rate them as highly as others seem to.

    Here are another four, unranked:

    Steve Winwood
    Eberhard Weber
    Muddy Waters
    Robert Wyatt

    • Not familiar with Eberhard – the other 3 have selections on the 1001. Just bought a nice copy of arc of the diver on vinyl recently for $4!

  9. The Who would definitely make my list. Some other Ws that should definitely be considered…
    Wildhearts (The)
    Warrior Soul
    Witch Cross

    • Good news – your comment filtered properly, no more spam!
      Not familiar with anything after WASP alas

      • Yay! hopefully that’s me out of the woods then.

        I’m sure you’re not alone in your unfamiliarity! (And I’d wager none of them troubled the list!)

  10. There certainly is a huge Tom Waits sized hole there. I couldn’t imagine a top 5 ‘W’ without Waits. Good call on Wilco and Gillian Welch, but I’m afraid anything past Pinkerton rules Weezer out for me. I’d have to throw Whiskeytown in there. Jim White, too … Ween … and who could forget the Wu-Tang Clan!

    • The book did not forget – 36 chambers is on the list!

      I’ll have to plead (relative) ignorance on Waits – what I’ve heard I like but admittedly I haven’t explored any full records beyond Nighthawks. I did enjoy that he inspired a couple lines of dialogue in the Millers movie with Jason Sudekis!

      • 36 Chambers is a great album.

        Waits has such an incredible catalogue and I would encourage anyone to explore it. I really don’t think you’d be disappointed …

  11. jprobichaud permalink

    Wow! Lots of good Ws huh? I would definitely add The Waterboys, The Wonder Stuff (but only for nostalgia’s sake), The Wooden Sky, and though I am not a huge fan, Tom Waits deserves a nod.

    • A couple of my students saw Wooden Sky the other night, had good things to say – apparently the opener ‘absolutely free’ was exceptional!

  12. jprobichaud permalink

    Ohhh. And The Weakerthans!

  13. Don’t tell anyone, but apart from a few singles I’ve never liked The Who at all.

    No Tom Waits or Ween?! I love Gillian Welch unreservedly and Time is her best, I think – My First Lover is such an incredible tune too. Never out on vinyl though ..

    • No vinyl? Denied!
      That’s surprising, I guess it was released a few years before the vinyl resurgence.

      I saw Ween when I went to a taping of David Letterman – I remember my friends & I being initally disappointed thinking the Wee- would end in -zer! They did well though.

      And I’ll ask for similar discretion – up until last year, I didn’t get the who’s appeal!

  14. ianbalentine permalink

    See Rich Kamerman’s list…Weller, Steven Wilson, Wonder Stuff…all could be considered.

  15. Tom Waits and Paul Weller for me I think!

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