Yoko Ono

Yesterday was Yoko Ono’s birthday, and today is mine. So it seems fitting somehow to end round 2 with this list. Not that I’m a fan of hers or anything, but it does give me a chance to dedicate this to Pete and close with these immortal words:

“People of Earth. How are you?”

Yoko Ono AllMusic page


Is it OK to admit that the only Yes song I actually like is the vaguely danceable (and much less than 10 minutes long) “Owner of a Lonely Heart”? Probably not. But come on now … “Siberian Khatru”?

Yes AllMusic page


Squeeze wrote songs that are clever, catchy, and fun. So of course they never caught on in America. God forbid we should show the world we have taste or anything.

Squeeze AllMusic page

Sex Pistols/Public Image Ltd.

I’ve already given the Sex Pistols their due, so I’ll use this space instead to give a shout out to my all-time favorite album review. It’s for Public Image Ltd.’s album This Is What You Want … This Is What You Get, and it reads, in its entirety: “If this is what you want, this is what you deserve.”

Sex Pistols AllMusic page

Public Image Ltd. AllMusic page

Ry Cooder

Award-winning director Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station, Creed) went to the same high school as my kids, and he and Max actually graduated together. So I am only two degrees of separation from actor Michael B. Jordan, which means we are clearly destined to meet one day. Score!

Ry Cooder is a different person entirely.

Ry Cooder AllMusic page

Roy Orbison

PEOPLE! How is this possible? Hundreds of lists, thousands of listens—and nobody … not one of you … busted on me for skipping Roy “Mr. Crying/It’s Over/Only the Lonely Himself” Orbison in round one! I even threw everyone (myself included) a clue by including Van Halen’s lame cover of “Oh Pretty Woman” on their list! I’m embarrassed … for all of us.

Roy Orbison AllMusic page


The big shtick about the Residents is that the group members always wear masks or crazy headgear that covers their faces in public, so nobody knows what they look like. You can see the joke that’s coming: “If I made music that sounds like that, I’d …” Except I have no idea what their music sounds like, so I can’t comment. Check back with me after track 4 or so.

Residents AllMusic page

Psychedelic Furs

Here we have the whole Gordon Gano/Violent Femmes thing all over again. Richard Butler supposedly said he wrote “Love My Way” to celebrate gay people, but he supposedly isn’t gay. Come on now: Psychedelic Furs? That just sounds like a 60s lounge act named in honor of Joan Collins. No straight man would name his 60s lounge act in honor of Joan Collins.

Psychedelic Furs AllMusic page

Peter Gabriel

Peter Gabriel named his first three (or four, depending on where you live) solo albums Peter Gabriel. The music on those albums was very cool, weird, and original. Then he released a bunch of albums with actual titles. The music on those albums was increasingly bland and predictable. I guess he can only come up with interesting music or an interesting album title, but not both.

Peter Gabriel AllMusic page

Nine Inch Nails

In the early 90s, I was a pretentious snob who never turned on the radio and only listened to classic female jazz vocalists, “worldbeat” (does anyone remember when that was a thing?), and, of course, Joni Mitchell. Today, when I hear 90s radio acts like Nine Inch Nails, I am thankful that I was a pretentious snob who never turned on the radio and only listened to classic female jazz vocalists, “worldbeat”, and Joni Mitchell.

Nine Inch Nails AllMusic page