40. Blind Melon. Conceded. Shannon Hoon was one of the first in a long line of alt-pop singers whose voice could drive me to violence.
39. Bob Geldof. Odd one to include here. No one has heard Geldof’s solo work. You could say that about thousands of artists, some of whom are quite bad. So why pick on the guy who did Live Aid and Live 8, along with some fine songs with The Boomtown Rats?
38. There is no 38. These guys can’t even bloody count.
37. The Doors. I understand the need to deflate the Doors mystique, but they did too many good songs to merit a complete dismissal here. You may think The End goes overboard, but it’s a piece of music you simply have to hear and ponder at least once or twice in your life if you take music or pop culture seriously. Or Vietnam-era movies.
36. 98 Degrees. Boy bands are easy targets. No points awarded.
35. Paul Oakenfold. Heard of him, but I’m having trouble placing his songs.
34. Live. They were on MTV in ’91 and the radio in 2003. You can’t dismiss their career as “brief.” It’s easy to ridicule ambitious bands because they sometimes fail. 50 Worst Rock and Roll Records had a classic line on U2: “If U2 weren’t full of shit, they wouldn’t be as brilliant as they frequently are.” Live haven’t been brilliant as often as U2, but that’s a high bar to set. Every now and then, they get it right.
33. Japan. Who?
32. The Hooters. Harmless.
31. Arrested Development. Ridiculous to include them here. Tennessee has one of the best melodic hooks you’ll ever hear in hip-hop, and Mr. Wendel and People Everyday were fine for innocent pop songs with a message. The chatter in Blender says it all: “Too positive.” Heaven forbid.
30. Richard Marx. Conceded.
29. Skinny Puppy. Vague memory.
28. Crash Test Dummies. A solid one-hit wonder. I know some people can’t get past the voice, but that’s a simple matter of taste.
27. Color Me Badd. Blech.
26. Celine Dion. Easy targets continue.
25. Jamiroquai. Jay Kay is white? And what’s wrong with sounding like Stevie Wonder?
24. Bad English. OK, sure. Not a great supergroup.
23. Creed. Agreed.
22. Primus. If you can’t get past the voice or the quirky bass riffs, fine. But they threw everything at the wall, and some of it stuck.
21. The Alan Parsons Project. The use of their song in the coolest player introductions in sports history is an “appalling fact”? Something tells me these guys don’t “get” sports.
We’ll pick up tomorrow, though the top 10 or so are mostly deserving of their places.