Eric Clapton/Derek & the Dominos /Cream/Yardbirds

AKA, the guy who was in a lot of bands. There are a lot of easy (and accurate) jokes to make about how the more sober and responsible Eric Clapton became in his personal life, the more boring his music got. I can’t even imagine losing a kid, so I’m giving him a pass. As long as I never have to hear “Wonderful Tonight” again.

Eric Clapton AllMusic page

Derek & the Dominos AllMusic page

Cream AllMusic page

Yardbirds AllMusic page

Eric B. & Rakim

How awesome are Eric B. & Rakim? They are so awesome that even my friend Leigh likes them. If I were to rank everyone I know based on their interest in rap, Leigh would come in pretty far down near the bottom—probably just ahead of my mother and Fr. Kowalewski, my high school freshman religion teacher.

Eric B. & Rakim AllMusic page

Emmylou Harris

During the early/mid 90s, about once a year a female artist released an album that completely blew me away: Shawn Colvin’s Fat City (her one happy album—short marriage), Cassandra Wilson’s Blue Light Til Dawn (before she started repeating herself and got boring), and my favorite of all, Wrecking Ball by Emmylou Harris. Not sure who decided to team the country darling up with moody electronics, but I’m awfully glad they did. Of course, she also recorded a trio album with Linda Ronstadt and Dolly Parton—nobody’s perfect.

Emmylou Harris AllMusic page

Eminem

A friend once explained to me that it was OK to like Eminem, because he wasn’t actually homophobic—he just acted homophobic because he knew it would sell more records. So pretending to hate gay people for money is better than actually hating gay people. Glad we cleared that up.

Eminem AllMusic page

Elvis Presley

OK, look: If I left out every racially suspect white performer from the 50s, thiis would be a much shorter blog. Love him or hate him, it’s hard to argue that someone nicknamed “The King” didn’t have some kind of influence in popular music—at least on other racially suspect white performers.

Elvis Presley AllMusic page

Elvis Costello

Elvis Costello started out all poppy and punky, and was just about the best thing on the radio. Then he went country (bad idea), then started hanging out with folks like McCartney (ugh), string quartets (?), and Burt Bacharach (!?!). Then he married Diana “I’m blond! I can sing the notes!” Krall. Needless to say, pretty much everything after the poppy punky stuff has sucked.

Elvis Costello AllMusic page

Elton John

Champion of dumpy white gay guys who wear glasses everywhere. We can even forgive “Sad Songs Say So Much.” And marrying that woman. And all the Disney stuff. Maybe.

Elton John AllMusic page