There are a select few who withstand all categories of time - classic, decade, contemporary. These few are always there, always a must in my music collection. The following are some of my always there favorites.
There truly is nothing to say here. The Joshua Tree ("heroes to superstars" - Rolling Stone) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U2), Achtung Baby ("reinvention") (Id.), ten other successful albums, 22 Grammy Awards (more than any other band), and 150 million plus records sold (Id.). Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 2005. A rank of 22 on Rolling Stone list of 100 Greatest Artists of All Time (Id.). And never discount U2's cause for human rights around the globe. My reflection on U2 in earlier posts is insignificant in the overall picture. U2 is, quite simply, timeless. U2 is always there.
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers.
I am not sure how to follow U2 in words, but what I can say here is that Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers is all-American. "Refugee" and "Runnin' Down a Dream" (both Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers Greatest Hits and the latter just Tom Petty) are just a few with positively influential lyrics and upbeat tone. This influence landed Tom Petty into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002 (http://rockhall.com/inductees/tom-petty-and-the-heartbreakers). I am not sure if any other all-American band can come close in such influence to Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. . .
(Belated Happy Birthday to Tom Petty)
. . .On his own, Paul Simon could. I am too far removed from Simon & Garfunkel, but Paul Simon as an individual musician stands out in all-American music much like Tom Petty. Case in point: the album, Graceland, and namely the song, "You Can Call Me Al." An addictive song for its time in 1986 with a goofy music video featuring the comical Chevy Chase and dead pan Paul Simon that left positive memories then and now. This span of time makes Paul Simon timeless. Paul Simon is always there.
"Addicted to Love" and "I Didn't Mean to Turn You On" just to name a few. And then there is The Power Station. Although I am not entirely familiar with The Power Station, I maintain the belief that Robert Palmer was incredible and had more to offer to the music world if not for his tragic death in 2003. I honored him in earlier blog posts and honor him now.
I honor all of the musicians named here and so many more in this rock genre and its various subgenres. Rock artists in all styles truly know how to play it.