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Top 5 Musical Roberts

March 1, 2017


Splendid logo by Sarca @ caughtmegaming


With the Artist of the Week Series, I’m hoping to do at least a Top 5 with each Artist.

Is Bob Marley the Top Musical Robert?

He’s not far off!


5. Robert Fripp
Perhaps my favourite discovery of the 1001 list so far, a guitarist with a knack for playing the right tones at the right times.


4. Robert Marley
As in the Jamaican singer, though “Robert Marley” from the Muppet Christmas Carol is also noteworthy in his own way.


3. Robert Plant
“Robert Plant, Bobby Plant, let me be your sycophant” – Weird Al, at 2:02!


2. Robert Zimmerman 
Would be #1 for many…


1. Robert Smith
…but it could only be Robert Smith for me.


Verbalize the Positive

A tip of the hat to my personal favourite Robert.

When I teach grade 10 math, I inevitably show my students the Rick Mercer Report clip below, where Rick exclaims, “I feel like I’m back in Grade 10 math!”

But then I’ll pause the video after he says the line (around 4:00) and ask if they caught the name of the Mad Hatter/Tap Teacher.

At which point, I not-so-modestly point out, that’s my brother!

Cheers Robert, looking forward to Pinnochio next week!

(starting at 3:00)

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  1. I would take off Fripp, Dylan and Smith and replace with Halford, Johnson and Seeger.

    My order would be 5 Johnson 4 Seeger 3 Marley 2 Halford 1 Plant

    Bland, Palmer, Weir and Dylan runners up

    • Admittedly, I’m not overly-educated in Judas Priest (British Steel is the lone entry on the 1001) – but I imagine after I hear more, he’d climb on my list!

  2. It’s funny, I wouldn’t have recognized Marley as a Robert. Along with Bop, I’d add Seeger… and venturing off probably on a lonesome road, I’d also add Zombie.

  3. The Bobs have it, I would add Robert Wyatt, would remove Marley, for all sorts of reasons not the least the kidnapping of his image.

    • I’m pleased you mentioned his image being kidnapped – that will be the thesis of my Exodus review!

  4. Don’t know about the running order but it’s a fine selection of Boabys.

    • I was thinking of you yesterday HMO – when I was talking about the marketing behind U2’s New Years Day, I remember you said you had an album named “pancake Tuesday” coming out this year – I was disappointed that it wasn’t on Amazon when I checked yesterday!

      • I’ve not put it on Amazon. The album ‘Pancake Tuesday’ will be sneakily included on the inside of all of the pancakes in the world. Whether you like it or not. And it can’t be removed.

      • Haha, fittingly taking U2-esque marketing to the next logical level, nice!

      • It’ll be next year though. Just wait.

  5. It’s hard to quibble with any of those too much, even though I also like Robbie Robertson (The Band), Robert Forster (The Go-Betweens), Bob Mould (Hüsker Dü), Bob Pollard (Guided By Voices), and Robert Scott (The Bats). Robert might have more notable musicians than any other name.

  6. Cool list …Palmer I would have to squeeze in there as he had a decent solo career along with that Powerstation Album which is a classic…
    Of course being a MetalBoy Halford would have to in there as well as HMO will be Screaming For Vengeance!
    But overall cool stuff and hey this is your Sandbox so your rules!

    • And with those suggestions Deke, I’m starting to think ‘Robert’ is a statistically strong musical name!

  7. Great list. The Robert Smith was a nice one. I wouldn’t have thought of him but worthy of the list.

  8. Plant and Smith are critical. For J, I’m going to add Robert Deleo of STP.

    • I had to look up if he was the bass or guitar Deleo – either way, talented!

    • Yas!

      • Glad you appreciated. Gotta give the only member of STP who looked clean cut some respect! Always tidy hair, often a suit jacket…well dressed bass player.

      • A sharp dressed man! A Hollywood Vampire, too…

      • My buddy Peter used to think Dean looked like a zombie in the Big Bang Baby video. Watch it again…you’ll see!

      • Ha! A zombie in a lovely shirt!

      • I haven’t seen that video in years! That was fun re-watching, the hearts ‘nothing’s for free’ part is fantastic

      • They really nailed their videos after Core, I reckon.

        I don’t mind telling you that watching the videos these days almost makes me cry ☹️

  9. I like your list… Fripp’s an interesting choice but cool, agree agree agree… until #1. I know it’s all subjective, and good on ya for wanting him there, but from here the Cure was never on the radar. The music never spoke to me, and when I saw them live, we left early. I likely wouldn’t have even considered him for a list of Roberts, myself!

    Who would I place at #1? ROBERT POLLARD. Toiling away in relative obscurity, writer of close to 2000 songs, his projects like Guided By Voices and all the incredible piles of other side stuff have been consistently awesome over two, maybe even three decades by now. I’ll always say it, that everyone should get to his work and never look back. Brilliance!

    • The good news is, I’ll eventually get to GBV – they’ve got one on the list!
      And not to worry about not being a Cure enthusiast, my brother and I agreed to disagree about them years ago. I can totally see how his voice isn’t for everyone – but I suppose the greats are always polarizing! 😀

      • Yup, definitely polarizing! So is using words like greats! Hahaha!!

        I looked it up. I agree with the GBV album on the list, but if there was only gonna be one, I’d have chosen a different one!

  10. Couldn’t agree more with your list this week! I knew it had to be Smith at no.1, even if Zimmerman exists. I would like to add Robbie Robertson.

    Love the last clip! Was that the Cheshire cat just randomly walking at the back? I love the Mad Hatter’s jacket too. Would totally wear it in real life. Died at the Chad Kroeger wig.😂

    Your brother was so prompt and obedient in bringing his leg down, making it even more hilarious. Is there a way to see the production online? Are there clips on YouTube?

    • I wish there was a way to see it online – it was a great production! The National Ballet sometimes puts out clips from shows as promos on Youtube (search National Ballet of Canada) but alas, none in their entirety.
      Oh and recently you were asking about Canadian shows – the Rick Mercer Report (the comedian in the clip) is a weekly satire of Canadian events & politics, a funny show that’s about as “Canadian” as it gets!

      • I find it hilarious that Nickelback is also despised in Canada, a country known for being certifiably nice. Satire must be difficult to do!

        I understand why Nickelback is hated, but I loved the track Chad Kroeger did for the Spiderman soundtrack.

      • Though full credit to the Nickelback singer for explaining his band – I once saw an interview where he said, “Nickelback doesn’t suck. Nickelback is very good at what they do.”
        I think that’s a valid claim, people generally seem to love/hate them.
        I call my Grade 9 algebra unit the ‘Nickelback unit’ for that very reason!

      • I actually liked them a lot back in the early 2000s. But I was in my teens, and I’ve never been a snob when it comes to music. Which is no fun, since half the passion of having opinions about music seems to come from hating most of it!

      • Though I’m worried as I’m getting older, I’m losing the ability to love/hate music. I suppose there have been a few recently that have been drifting towards love but I’ve had a tough time summoning up hatred for anything recently, I suppose that’s a nice problem to have!

      • It is, especially when most music criticism seems to venture towards hate. Even with the greats, like The Beatles, Bob Dylan etc. The Rolling Stone review of Hounds of Love made my blood boil, even if it wasn’t negative! Loving or hating certain types or artists in music makes you a lot more limited, I think. Most people use music as something personal, dependable, and it is fine if they don’t like or venture out to something else. But in a project like yours, you’d have to be more open and fair, else you’d fail to recognize the value in something, as past critics have done. I think loving or hating something too much might even cloud your judgment!

  11. Robert DeLeo would be my number one, naturally. Halford would be in there, too… maybe even Plant.

    • I had to look it up – I remembered STP was Weiland, the Deleos, and could totally picture the drummer but not the name – Eric Kretz!

      • Eric is probably the least memorable. Not a slight on the man, but he had some talented folk around him and, well, he’s a drummer. Robert, though, he is definitely a creative force and quite incredible player.

  12. I simply had no idea who I was going to see and #1 and was astounded! Over the weekend I’ll drag out some Cure and try to find what I’ve missed. Playlist sorted, thanks Geoff!
    PS. Normally this is the place where I list a few more contenders, but Mr Aphoristical has done the job.

    • My pleasure!
      I should note, on first listen, The Cure may have no appeal – and the appeal may not grow on subsequent listens.
      But I’ve adored them since I first got into music so I’m completely unreasonable about them! 😀

      • Those artists are part of our core DNA, aren’t they? No reason, comparison or argument will budge us one whit from our entrenched lurve.

  13. The British Bobs. Dr Robert from The Blow Monkeys, Robbie Williams, Mad Bob Smith as already discussed, and Robert Palmer. btw if ever I had the opportunity to change my name by deed poll I would be a Bob….Bob Dobalina.

    • I could see that as an effective stage name!
      I was always partial to Arrested Development’s ‘Bob Loblaw’ too:

  14. There was a time way back when everyone seemed to be a Robert, or at least a Bobby – Bobby, Rydell, Bobby Vinton, Bobby Vee, Bobby Curtola, and for hockey fans, Bobby Hull.

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