Favorite musical artists, and perfect albums

At one time or another in my life, these bands have held the spot in my heart as “my favorite band or artist.” Sometimes the affair lasted only a matter of months, most went on for several years, but they were all profound, life-changing loves.

I believe musical fandom is a deeply personal experience. I believe dogma has no place in music, and that most music critics are scoundrels. So these groups are in no way a recommendation of what you should listen to, just a historical record of artists who changed me irrevocably.

How did these artists worm their way into my ears and to my heart? Consistently excellent albums, never losing sight of the vision that made them great in the first place. A place in this list means I know their back catalog (and even unreleased material) like the back of my hand.

  • Vigilantes of Love
  • Self
  • Toto
  • Aimee Mann
  • Momus
  • Jim Carroll
  • The Negro Problem
  • Wire
  • Prince
  • David Wilcox
  • Mac Macanally
  • Thomas Dolby
  • The Coup
  • Kim Fowley
  • Grandmaster Melle Mel
  • The Human League
  • The Birthday Party
  • Cocteau Twins
  • The Smiths
  • Upsahl