Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Best Musicians of the Decade

Let’s say that there was a new version of We Are The World, but this edition had to feature only artists that started, or at least made it big, in or after 2000. Based on my ground rules, you couldn’t include U2, Green Day, Britney, Christina, Jay-Z, Eminem, or even Justin Timberlake or Beyonce since their bands released their first album prior to 2000. I should also point out that my definition of making it big is when they first became known nationally. For example, the Goo Goo Dolls were around for about eight years before receiving mainstream success or attention. So who would make the cut? Here are my thoughts:

Coldplay
Nickelback
Kanye West
Miley Cyrus
Kelly Clarkson
John Mayer
Alicia Keys
Jonas Brothers
Norah Jones
Maroon 5
Fall Out Boy

I have to be missing someone, right? Is this the all-decade team? Are there even any Hall of Famers from this class?

Please share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below, especially if I am missing someone.

I’d love to see the thoughts of Sheena Beaston and the folks at Friday Morning Riffs on this as well.

Trivia Tuesday will return next week.

15 comments:

Messiah said...

Would the White Stripes or the Killers make your cut? I'm sure the Black Eyed Peas would find a way to find a way in to whatever was being filmed.

Get Fresh Designs said...

ew.

Captain Easychord said...

not to be picky or anything, but many of the artists involved with the we are the world project had been around much longer than 8 or 9 years at the time... michael jackson, bob dylan, billy joel, etc... so if your focus really is on what a new version would look like, reaching back into the 90's for acts like radiohead and pearl jam would be eminently reasonable...

if you're just looking to see the best acts of the aughts, you may need to wait awhile... some of 'em won't peak until the next decade...

and as an aside... that's a truly awful list of artists...

Gilahi said...

I'm with you on Nora Jones, but overall I think that video truly did kill the radio star. You have to be at least moderately good-looking and able to keep rhythm with a drum machine to be "big" these days, but the real talent is just way too often overlooked. I think your gauge is wrong. Popularity shouldn't be the measure, talent should, and there's a paucity of talent on the airwaves these days.

Wv: comobol - A really good name for a rock band.

Brad said...

Nickelback, really?

restaurant refugee said...

I am not sufficiently hip to critique or comment about this list. Thank you for reminding me of that fact.

lacochran said...

My big regret is that Zamfir was born too soon.

Sean said...

Before I go through the individual comments, the idea behind this was to pick the best artists of the decade. By best, I mean well-known/highest selling artists. When you look at We Are the World, you had MJ, Tina Turner, Stevie Wonder, and The Boss among others. You had many hall-of-famers and all-stars (and Dan Aykroyd for some reason). While we're still early in many of the artists from this decade's careers, could any approach this level? If you're going to have a We Are The World song, you need to have artists people know and want to hear.

Messiah - Black Eyed Peas would probably make it. I'm not sure about The Killers. The first album was great but the past two haven't done nearly as well. The White Stripes could be an interesting arguement. They've had some hits, but I'm not sure how popular they really are in terms of record sales. Plus, Jack White has now been in 3 bands (that I know of) this decade. Maybe he goes as a solo artist like Lionel Richie.

Captain - I guess I was trying to go for all-decade team. If you go into the 90s, you could also include Sheryl Crow, No Doubt and Snoop among the other artists I included in the preface. Oh, you also got my point that this is not a good list (yet?)

Gilahi - I think the bigger point is that music is all about the single these days. There seem to be a lot of 1-hit or 2-hit wonders this decade. It's all about downloads and ITunes sales. I agree with you about the good-looking part of things since MTV began.

GFD - Yeah.

Brad - I think you have to include Nickelback. They get a ton on radio airplay and sell albums and tickets.

Restaurant Refugee - You can never be insufficiently hip! (Does that make sense?)

Lacochran - Maybe Zamfir's regret was being born too soon. That's your big regret in life too? :)

Anonymous said...

i hope you realize adding jonas brothers voided your entire list. . . . .

Sean said...

Anonymous - Did you really have to be anonymous to write that the Jonas Brothers voided my list? Look at the facts though. The Jonas Brothers are one of the biggest bands in the country courtesy of the marketing machine known as Disney. Seriously, look how quickly they sell out their concerts in major arenas?

Sheena Beaston said...

while i don't care for practically ANY of these artists, it's safe to say you're nearly spot on due to album and ticket sales, radio popularity, etc...

Sean said...

Thanks Sheena. Yeah, the first decade of the 21st century is not going to go down as the golden age of music.

Captain Easychord said...

well yeah... if you were to remake we are the world today, most of the artists would be from the 80s and 90s...

but our collective and near-universal scorn for the aughts most popular artists is probably a product of age... kids love this crap and they probably do see it like we saw the bands we grew up with... back in the day, our parents generally frowned and said, "this sucks compared to music from when I was younger... guns 'n' roses is no zeppelin, REM is no crosby stills and nash, etc... we just don't get popular new music because we're too old*... now get off my lawn!

* that doesn't make it suck any less... and if only all those kids were tuning into free music sunday, they might have a little better perspective!

Sean said...

Captain - You're probably right about it being a generational thing.

I actually thought of a few other artists I should have included that make me feel better about this decade: John Legend, Nelly Furtado and Linkin Park.

Anonymous said...

Ok 1st of all, those bands formed b4 2000 were allmost all better than the ones u listed. 2nd, y iusn't linkin park their if they are the 5th or 6th or whatever top selling artist of this decade??? their 1st album came out in 2000 so that should count. Plus bands like Green Day are far more important (in this decade) than those like Nickleback, so why on earth aren't they alowed on the list?