A taste of my favorite music
Listening is easy, hearing is hard...
I know that musical taste is a completely subjective thing, however I also believe that almost anyone can enjoy most any musical genre if the music is well written and any preconceived notion about the artist is left at the door.
Now some of my personal "Must Hear" music...
First on my list of "must hear music would have to be Bob Seger's mostly ignored album, "It's a Mystery". When this album came out it was generally ignored by radio and the music channels, apparently they thought Seger was too old to be relevant. Perhaps he is, but I don't think so and maybe if you give this album a listen you will agree that he is not only still relevant but that he just may hit a bit too close to the truth of today's culture with some of the songs.
Next up I have two bands that I am putting together here, because the one reminds me a bit of the other. Pink Floyd and Queensryche, I think that you almost can't go wrong when listening to these two bands. For those who just want a sample from each, rather than stumbling blindly onward, I would suggest "Comfortably Numb" by Pink Floyd and "Silent Lucidity" by Queensryche as a starting point for each.
Now for two truly gifted singer/songwriters. The artist once again known as Prince and the now deceased front man for "Queen" Freddy Mercury. Both of these men have had their problems in the press over the years, Freddy due to his lifestyle and sexual orientation and Prince due to his much publicized name change (a ruse on his part as part of a contract fight). As a starting point for listening to Freddy I suggest Queen songs, "Who wants to Live Forever?", "Bohemian Rhapsody" and perhaps "Bicycle Race". I know you have probably heard at least one of these before but if you don't already love these songs stop listening and start hearing. For Prince I suggest you listen to some of his more recent works such as the album "Musicology". While all of his music has withstood the test of time, in my opinion, I think this album has a bit more "serious" bend to it and may be more easily digested for someone who is not already a fan. Once again, please put away all preconceived notions before listening.
Now for a bit of blues. I can not make any list of blues without leading off with, Stevie Ray Vaughn. SRV, died many years ago in a helicopter crash but his hard driving blues lives on in albums such as "Texas Flood". For a couple of younger, more contemporary and much more alive blues slingers check out Kenny Wayne Shepard and Johnny Lang.
Finally I am going to end this list with my favorite female musicians. Just because I left them for last do not think that I consider them any less important or talented than the men, as a matter of fact this is more a case of saving the best for last. Each woman here deserves every accolade ever afforded her and more. First is of course Ella Fitzgerald, no way I can do this woman justice, suffice it to say, if you haven't listened to her yet, do it now! Next would have to be Melissa Etheridge, pick a song and give it a listen, you won't be sorry. Bonnie Raitt, much like Miss Etheridge, pick any song and give it a chance. Finally I am going to end this list with a newer artist, Joss Stone. I first heard her sing when she was 16 and she blew me away! At that tender age she was singing soul that gave me goosebumps and sent me running to find out more about her. If you haven't heard of this young woman yet, you will, I have no doubt, so you might as well give her a spin now.
I'm looking back over my selections here and realizing I could go on forever. With each name I type I think of 3 more I feel I should include and yet I would still only be scratching the surface. I know I covered a narrow range of genres here, but this gives you an idea of my musical opinions and perhaps a few new things to listen to, while still keeping the article short enough that it won't (hopefully) scare off all potential readers. Perhaps at a later date I will revisit this subject, we shall see.