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Did the Top 500 Artists Train Make the Correct Stops to #1?

                  This past Memorial Day weekend, Quirky T listened to the WCBS-FM 101.1 Top 500 Artists of the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s countdown.  For a complete list of all 500 artists, go to  I couldn’t even name 500 artists, let alone rank them so I give the radio station much credit for compiling this extensive list.  Lists like this are always fun to see which choices you agree or disagree with.  Of course my top artists of all time are

7. Barry Manilow

6. Jon Secada

5. Huey Lewis

4. Gloria Estefan

3. Phil Collins

2. Genesis with Phil Collins

1. The Beatles

CBS-FM 101.1 didn’t exactly agree with my list.  Jon Secada wasn’t on the list since his music was released in the 90’s and Gloria Estefan wasn’t on the list despite the fact that her first albums were released in the mid 80’s. 

Here is how the radio station ranked my top favorites.

 171. Ringo Starr

156. Barry Manilow

109. George Harrison

102. John Lennon

95.   Genesis

83.   Phil Collins

60.   Huey Lewis

24.   Paul McCartney

1.     The Beatles

        Overall, I’m happy my favorites racked so high.  I’m surprised that Paul McCartney at #24 is ranked so much higher than John Lennon at #102.  Of course, Paul has a whole decade more, the 80’s, of music than John had.  I am pleasantly surprised that Huey Lewis ranked so high at #58.  As a fan of the Phil Collins led Genesis, I was happy to see that Phil Collins (#83) ranked 171 spots better than Peter Gabriel (#254), the man he replaced as the lead singer of Genesis.

        The list as a whole is heavy on artists from the 1970’s.  That can be seen in the fact that, 17 of the top 20 artists had hits in the 70’s with The Beatles’ “Let it Be” being released in 1970.  As far as the top 20 artists, I disagreed with more of the artists on that list than I agreed with.  Here is the list of the artists I agreed should be in the top 20, although I don’t necessarily agree with the order for them.

14. Michael Jackson

13. The Beach Boys

9.   Chicago

6.    Eagles

4.    The Rolling Stones

3.     Billy Joel

2.     Elton John

1.    The Beatles

          As I listened to the last hours of the countdown, I thought there was no way The Beatles could not be the #1 artist.  If they weren’t, the whole list is meaningless.  No band has been more influential to music than The Beatles.  No band has produced more songs that have stood the test of time and are still listenable and popular 50 years later.  I could go on and on but I will save it for other posts on The Beatles.

          The question really wasn’t “Will The Beatles be #1?” but “Which Beatles song will the station play when The Beatles are announced as #1?”  That leads to the discussion of which Beatles song represents or sums them up the best.  That is hard to say – is it an early Beatles song, a heavily studio produced later song, a John song, or a Paul song?  WCBS-FM 101.1 chose “Let It Be” which as a later, Paul song does represent the band well.

            Quirky T would like to know what passengers on the Guitar Train think of the WCBS-FM 101.1 list of the Top 500 Artists. 

Did you agree with the Top 20?  Whose ranking did you strongly disagree with and why? 

Who should have been included and wasn’t?

Since this list is for artists in the 1960’s – 1980’s, it should be fixed as to the artists included and also not change in their order.  But is that true?  Does time and people’s tastes change the list? 

Do artists’ deaths change the list?  Note that the recently deceased Donna Summer is ranked #19 and the Bee Gees, whose member Robin Gibb, just died are ranked #8.

Tell Quirky T what you think.

    All Guitar Train passengers should keep in mind that any comments on the Guitar Train blog must NOT contain profanity or ethnic, racial, gender, or physical insensitivity.  If you don’t like a musician’s music, only make comments on his or her music, not on his or her looks.  Anyone who violates this will have to disembark at the next stop on the Guitar Train and will not be allowed back on the train.

–         This post was conducted by Quirky T exclusively for the Guitar Train. 

–     Look out for Quirky T’s next post – Why did they choose THAT song?  Quirky T explores some of the questionable songs played to announce certain artists in the Top 500.


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