When it comes to me and music, I love variety. My musical tastes span a wide range of genres—Rock, rap, instrumental, country, pop, hip hop, metal, etc. I like artists in each of these genres, but also like those that cross genres, such as rap/metal or pop/country. But if you were to pin me into a corner, I’d have to say hard rock is my genre of choice. The electric guitar is the beginning and end of almost all my music. Almost.
Compiling a list of bands and artists I love was easy. But to come up with an “all-time favorite” list, I had to draw up some criteria:
- I’ve had to be listening to the band for at least 10 years
- They have to have more than five albums
- I have to own the complete catalog of studio albums
I may have fudged some of these a bit, but I had to have a starting point. And besides, if you don’t have rules, you can’t know when to break them.
Sadly, my criteria above eliminated Queen, which I have only just discovered through a 30-song greatest hits collection. I also had to drop Bishop Briggs and The Score, who are relatively new and have only released a couple of albums each.
But what remains is the cream of my crop. You’ll notice a lot of old bands on this list, along with a lot of Christian music. In large part, this is the stuff I grew up on and, truth be told, still love today. Many of these bands are still putting out music, but for those that aren’t, if they dropped a new album today, I’d be the first in line.
Stoney’s List of Favorite Bands and Singers
Due to the variety of artists listed below, ranking them would be near impossible. Best I could do was put them in alphabetical order. You may notice that almost all the artists below are bands. I do like solo artists here and there, but it’s the bands that get me going.
- Audio Adrenaline – I like their earlier stuff the best, but they have been consistently strong throughout their music career. Mostly high-energy pop with a lot of guitar.
- AWOLNATION – Though they only have four albums over ten years, I love their musical creativity. I’m looking forward to many more years of their music.
- Bon Jovi – I pretty much said all there is to say about Bon Jovi here.
- Collective Soul – I’v been a fan of theirs since their first single, Shine. Some albums are better than others, but none have ever disappointed me.
- Creed – Another group with only four albums that made the cut, but only because they’ve been around so long, and I have both Scott Stapp solo albums. Love his voice and style.
- Evanescence – Hard rock edge with haunting vocals. The first two and latest albums are the strongest of the five.
- Guardian – If you like Christian hair bands from the ’90s, this is one of the best. They went away with most of the ’90s hair bands, but in 2014 they released a new album that was every much as great as the earlier stuff.
- Holy Soldier – HS only released three albums in the ’90s, but they were hugely influential. Such a great metal sound on their first two albums, with the third one moving to a more guttural sound that was equally as good. Wish they made music today!
- Huey Lewis & The News – Huey is a departure from my “normal” sound, but who can resist Power of Love, I Want a New Drug, and Couple Days Off?
- Idle Cure – Another hard-rocking Christian band from the ’80s and ’90s. And they never lost their edge right up to their last album.
- Imagine Dragons – They made the album requirement with the fifth album that dropped just a few weeks back. I fudged a bit on the span of years. Their albums go back to 2013, and I’ve only been listening to them for about five years. But I love their sound so completely I had to include them here.
- Information Society – One of the few techno-pop bands I love and can’t get enough of. Their first album is a classic (especially with all the Star Trek clips), but I have enjoyed every album since.
- Kelly Clarkson – Yes, I like Kelly Clarkson. Every album. She’s just so goooood!
- Ken Tamplin – An amazing guitarist that was involved with several bands (Shout, Magdallan) and released several solo albums, all consistently fantastic. The album Tamplin released my second year of college, and it remains one of the best rock albums ever made.
- Kutless – Not a hard-rocking band, but a great band nonetheless.
- Linkin Park – Linkin Park has one of my all-time favorite albums, A Thousand Suns. But almost all of their albums have been fantastic.
- Natasha Bedingfield – Bedingfield is my very own Pocket Full of Sunshine. Her music just makes me happy.
- Newsboys – A Christian band from the ’80s and ’90s that’s still going strong today, having just released a new album. Their sound and style have changed with lead singers, and while they are no longer the quirky band I used to love, their music is still top-notch.
- Nickelback – Don’t @ me. I love Nickelback. Love, Love, Love.
- One Bad Pig – A punk-metal band from the ’90s, with only four albums (the most recent was 2016). But I fell in love with them from the first album and loved every one since.
- P!nk – I’m a huge fan of P!nk. She’s got to be one of the most talented artists working today. I love her stuff.
- Petra – Another band I have said enough about here.
- Plumb – I’m not sure how I would describe plumb musically. Rock with pop undertones? Consistently good, however, I must confess to having never listened to her children’s album. But her Christmas album is one of my faves.
- Poison – One of my favorite 80’s hair bands that I’ve been listening to since the beginning. Can’t get enough.
- RUN-DMC – You can read about my love of RUN-DMC here.
- Shinedown – This band surpassed Nickelback as one of my current favorite hard-rock bands. All their albums have been great, but Threat to Survival has to be an all-time fave. Just a lot of hard-rocking awesomeness.
- Skillet – I discovered Skillet only a few years ago but have since gone back and purchased all their albums. Unashamed rock and roll and I love it.
- Third Day – This is a southern rock band that was consistently great over many years and albums. Each album seemed to be better than the last. I’m sad the band members parted ways a few years back.
- Thousand Foot Krutch – A hard-rocking/quasi-rap/metal band with pop undertones. Fantastic music all the way around.
- TobyMac – DC Talk was one of the greatest bands of the ’90s, but I think TobyMac’s solo career has far surpassed them in musical goodness.
The list above doesn’t quite show the breadth of my musical tastes. I like a lot of stuff, but not in large doses. The artists above are those I love in large doses over and over. I never get tired of them. Collectively, they have produced some of the greatest music in existence. In my non-humble opinion.