Although my time on this earth has been graced with many talented musicians and memorable albums, to me, the grass has always seemed greener on the other side of the music time-line. So, I thought I’d soothe my mis-placed soul and make a list of the top 10 bands that make me want to journey backwards. Grab your time-turner and hang on!

WORDS: Steph Perrin

10. Oasis

So, I’m the only person this side of 1995 that isn’t an acoustic guitar-playing college douchebag that still admits “Wonderwall” is one of their favorite songs. SO WHAT! So maybe I embarassed myself by singing along to every song in their set at the top of my lungs, alone, at Virgin Fest in 2008. WHAT OF IT? Perhaps I would’ve been better off among others of my kind during the glory days of the Brothers Gallagher in the early 90s, when they were in their song-writing prime with albums like Definitely Maybe and (What’s The Story) Morning Glory which both served as life preservers in my adolescence. I’m still hanging on boys!

9. The Smiths

Who wouldn’t want to see Morrissey circa The Queen is Dead at his mopey, melancholy best? The UK’s alternative music scene in the 80s was killer, and The Smiths certainly played their part in slaying the hearts of any and all disenchanted youth that crossed their path. And if not for the music, I’d hop in my Delorean just to go back and see Moz’s hair at its flippy finest. Swoon!

8. Heart

Since I heard “Crazy On You” for the first time in the sixth grade, Heart have made me wish I had been alive to witness their domination of the boys-club rock scene in the 1970s. The duo, made up of sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson, were a rarity to be sure, making a name for themselves as one of the first female acts to hold complete creative control. Had I been there to behold such a wondrous sight and sound, I’m certain I would have had Dreamboat Annie blasting on my record player to psyche myself up for a kegger at the water tower (because the 1970s were EXACTLY like Dazed and Confused, amIright?)

7. Fleetwood Mac

Summer 2010 has been the season of Fleetwood Mac. I’ve had Rumours in constant rotation, “Tusk” hasn’t left my headphones, “Tell Me Lies” has reverberated from car stereos, and their tracks have even followed me from the radios of cafes and restaurants. Fleetwood Mac has been everywhere. And I am 100% A-ok with that since my pals and I dream of the days when Stevie Nicks reigned supreme. Long live the Mac.

6. The artists on Motown Records between 1959-1971

Nothing makes me want to over-romanticize the 60s quite like the jams from Motown Records. They just make me want to throw on my clam-diggers and watusi! I mean really, how is a girl supposed to have a love life based in modernity when songs like “My Girl” exist in this world, huh? Honorable mention must go out to Motown-related gems Al Green and Sam Cooke for being survival staples of my summer.

5. Tie: The Clash and the 1970s CBGB scene

What I wouldn’t give to rewind at warp speed to the beginnings of punk rock in London and New York. After reading Lester Bangs’ essay on The Clash, it has become crystal clear to me that their songs were built on ethics that today’s snotty auto-tuned pop-punx couldn’t dream of! Offering up top-notch live performances, respecting their adoring fans, and sticking to their moral-guns makes me wish I had been there in the flesh to sing their praises. As for CBGB, their line-up in the mid-70s included punk pioneers The Ramones, Patti Smith and Blondie in regular rotation. ‘Nuff said.

4. The Rolling Stones

Boy, do I daydream about the time when The Rolling Stones were working to make a name for themselves, when Mick Jagger’s hips could thrust effortlessly and Keith Richards could still string together a coherent sentence. But those days are long gone amigos. The Stones had a song for every colour of your mood ring, and an equal number of scandals and romances to match, which would’ve been a real treat to see unravel. The boys continue to write the book on rock and roll, but I still think the first chapter would’ve been the most fun.

3. The Velvet Underground

The Velvet Underground would be my top priority for a sight-seeing trip back to 1960s New York. Although their last album Loaded took my VU V-Card, their 1967 debut The Velvet Underground & Nico stole my heart. These records inspire nothing less than feeling totally bad-ass (leather jacket optional, but recommended) while managing to have some of the most beautifully written slow burners too. A special mention must be made of Mr. Reed, who later went solo and penned one of my favourite songs in the universe, “Walk On the Wild Side”. Thanks Lou, I owe you one.

2. Led Zeppelin

In middle school, Led Zeppelin was one of the first bands that helped me discover the treasures of late 60s and early 70s rock and roll. And my ears, heart and soul haven’t turned back since! Some people dismiss Led Zeppelin as cock-rock for muscle-brained bros, but they’ve clearly never heard the beauties on Houses of the Holy or Led Zeppelin III. I can’t even describe my feelings for the track “That’s The Way”. All I want in this world is to fall through a hole in the space-time continuum to find myself in their Bron-Yr-Aur cottage. Is that too much to ask?

1. The Beatles

I will never find the right words for my feelings about The Beatles, a common conundrum, I am sure. They are at the heart and soul of my love for music, they changed the world, and I wish more than anything in this or any other world that I could have been there to see it happen. The End.

  1. So I just want to admit I dribbled at your music taste

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