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Popular(?) Artists I Haven't Heard A Full Album By

"But Sandwich, you don't even listen to music you DO rate." I hear you cry. Yeah, but what about artists that I haven't even pretended to listen to? How's that for rare?
For You

Starting off with an artist that I actually had an excuse not to listen to. For one, I never had any exposure to Prince as a kid, so I pretty much knew him exclusively from parodies like on Chappelle's Show. It also doesn't help that I wasn't exactly clamoring to seek out pop rock/funk at the time, so I kind of just let him fall to the wayside.

Years later, when I decided to give the guy a try, there were no streaming services with his music available. In the vein of artists trying desperately to stave off the internet age, Prince kept the bulk of his discography (aside from his newer works) behind a barrier. And he did so till the very end, until his death in 2016. Since then, his work has been added to streaming services. So why haven't I checked him out? No clue.
2Creedence Clearwater Revival
Creedence Clearwater Revival

This one's a doozy.

Creedence is one of the most popular acts of the 1960s, with critical and commercial acclaim out the ass. Yet, aside from a single or two, I haven't listened to any of their albums. I'd probably like them and their discography is on streaming, so what the hell am I waiting for?

I guess that after so many ratings, I want to keep a few big bands in the vault for a lazy, no-recs-in-queue day. But apparently I don't have very many of those.
3Fiona Apple

This was actually the artist that pushed me to make this list. Just THIS YEAR, Fiona Apple released an album. And I'm never gonna listen to it apparently. Just like The Idler Wheel back in 2012, just like When the Pawn... back in goddamn 1999.

Anti-hype is a powerful drug, y'all.

I don't think it's clear just how inescapable Fiona Apple was back in the day. She was everywhere. Everyone was talking about her nonstop. Now, I know how much of a prick I must sound like, saying that I won't listen to an artist just because they're popular. But after literally decades of not caring about Fiona Apple, I'm not sure I'm ready to make the transition into caring.
4Acid Bath
When the Kite String Pops

Pretty sure someone on sputnik asked me why I didn't have Acid Bath rated. And I think I answered something to the effect of "I just hadn't heard it."

Well, however many months later, I still haven't heard it. And unlike the last 3 artists on this list, I don't think I've heard a single song by Acid Bath. Hell, I probably don't even know what they sound like. There's a clown on the cover of this one, so... sludgy clown metal?
Of Fracture and Failure

Looking for artists to fill this list out with, another (un)familiar name appeared in the form of Ulcerate. Apparently, they put out the best album of 2020 earlier in the year, so that's nice.

Despite being called a pretentious hipster metalhead on numerous occasions, the fact is that I'm not much of a metal guy. Or at least, a standard metal guy. Maybe when I was a tween I dabbled in some Irontallica or what have you, but I was a pretty twee kid. And that twee kid emerged from his cocoon an embarrassing twee adult.

I'm sure they're a fine group, but I don't have the heart to find out for myself. I guess I'll just have to take your collective words for it.
The Frailty of Words

Could probably fill this entire list with metalcore acts, but I'll resist the temptation.

Simply put, this just doesn't seem like my kind of thing. I've never listened to it, but sometimes you just know, y'know?

Cool album covers though.
7Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift

Once upon a time, I posted a soundoff on Taylor Swift's 2017 album Reputation. Not to toot my own horn, but it was a pretty good soundoff. But here's a dirty little secret for you: I hadn't even heard a song off the album when I posted it. Or since.

I've probably heard a song of hers on the radio at my old job. They had a big boombox in the middle of the work area where they'd play nothing but the Top 40 on loop, so I'm sure I have. But I guess it just wasn't catchy enough to hook me. Truly tragic.
8Big Thief

Here's another band I meant to get around to, but just never did. They aren't exactly popular in a traditional sense, but they did see a spike in popularity in 2019 after releasing two LPs (U.F.O.F. and Two Hands) back-to-back. They also signed to mega-indie label 4AD at the time, so that could also be why.

Whatever the reason, I just never really got around to listening to them. All of their albums are reasonably well-received, so I'm not really sure why I'm hesitant. Maybe I just don't trust you fuckers anymore, I dunno.

Edit: Listened on April 18, 2022
9Mercyful Fate

I already talked about how I'm not really a metal guy, but I just wanna say this: I don't hate metal. At least, I'm pretty sure I don't. I like some early metal and some of the hardcore punk/metal blends I've heard. Does that count?

I'm counting it.

So there's a very good chance I'd at least enjoy some 80s heavy metal like Mercyful Fate. And I can say that doubly for certain because I've heard the lead singer's solo work (King Diamond) and liked it. So what, I'm just gonna listen to the solo project and not the original band? I guess so, cause I haven't heard a single lick of Mercyful Fate.
10FKA Twigs

If I actually do end up filling out this entire list (doubtful), it'll mostly be comprised of artists that I know by name, but haven't heard anything by. FKA Twigs is one of those I know by name, but also by album cover. The album cover to LP1 to be clear.

I honestly have no idea what this artist sounds like, but judging by the fact she's signed to Young Turks, I'm gonna assume this is alternative pop or whatever. That's pretty much all Young Turks puts out, so it's a safe bet. I'm sure I'll bite the bullet and check it, but I'll wait for a brighter day to catch up.
High Voltage (Australia)

๐’๐ฎ๐ ๐ ๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐›๐ฒ ๐๐ž๐๐ž๐ฑ
The fact that I forgot to add AC/DC to the list is poetic, because that pretty much sums up my relationship to these Aussie hard rockers. I wasn't around in the 1970s, so I don't know if they were as big a joke then as they are now, but I'm betting they weren't. Honestly, I don't think I could listen to cock rock like AC/DC. Especially with those vocals.

And it may make someone mad (the one AC/DC fan on, but I don't really like any of the well-known staple singles they put out, so I'm guessing it's for the best that I haven't subjected myself to a full album of the same thing.
12Operation Ivy

So with pretty much all of these other acts, I can give the excuse that I just don't know where to start with them. Which is bunk for two reasons:

1. I listen to stuff chronologically.
2. Operation Ivy has one album.

Yes, probably one of the best known ska punk acts of all time and I haven't even heard a song off it. I mean, they only have one EP and an LP. 0 excuses. I guess ska just isn't a draw for me.

๐’๐ฎ๐ ๐ ๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐›๐ฒ ๐’๐ฅ๐จ๐ญ๐ก๐œ๐จ๐ซ๐ž๐’๐š๐ฆ
This is a quality entry, because I actually do like some of her stuff. Just a few months ago, I commented on Confessions on a Dancefloor and came clean that I liked the song "Hung Up" a lot. And I genuinely do like that song. Probably more for the ABBA sample than Madonna herself, but it counts. And just like every geek, I listened to the Weird Al parody of "Like a Virgin" a lot. Of course.

So why no full albums? I guess I'm scared that listening to a full album's worth of Madonna will sour her for me. I get the distinct impression that I'd get tired after a few tracks. Maybe someday I'll take the plunge.
14Lana Del Rey
Lana Del Ray a.k.a Lizzy Grant

I will go to my grave without hearing a single song by this gal, and I'm super neutral about it let me tell you.

I'm sure Del Rey's a fine artist, but I'm just not all that into major label pop stuff. I mean, it's great there are fewer nagging executive voices behind the scenes these days (I assume), but I don't think there will ever be a time when I can turn a blind eye to it.
15Bob Marley and The Wailers
The Wailing Wailers

๐’๐ฎ๐ ๐ ๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐›๐ฒ ๐’๐ฅ๐จ๐ญ๐ก๐œ๐จ๐ซ๐ž๐’๐š๐ฆ
Nope, never heard a Bob Marley record. Not even that compilation everyone owned back in the 80s and 90s. I guess my excuse in this case was that I'm the son of two immigrants and they didn't know/care about Bob Marley and the Wailers, so I missed out on it growing up. Plus, I never smoked "teah 'erb," but that's not exactly a mandatory thing I hear.

I'm kind of a picky listener when it comes to reggae, so I'm not really sure whether I'd like Marley's music or not. I'm gonna give a tentative yes, but only if the stuff with the Wailers isn't just slow jams or something.

๐’๐ฎ๐ ๐ ๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐›๐ฒ ๐’๐ฅ๐จ๐ญ๐ก๐œ๐จ๐ซ๐ž๐’๐š๐ฆ
So I haven't listened to Operation Ivy, but I also haven't listened to the follow-up band in any meaningful way. What do I mean? Well, without even looking it up, I knew there was probably a Rancid track in a Tony Hawk game back in the day and sure enough, I was right: THUG 2. I never owned it, but my cousins owned a few of them.

Hope I don't offend anyone by saying this, but Rancid are "Tony Hawk punk" in my eyes. Pop punk to fake-skate to. Totally unjustified, and I'm sure they have a very nice discography, but I can't help it.
17Cypress Hill
Cypress Hill

๐’๐ฎ๐ ๐ ๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐›๐ฒ ๐’๐ฅ๐จ๐ญ๐ก๐œ๐จ๐ซ๐ž๐’๐š๐ฆ
Oh man, you thought I was gonna fill this list up with pop starlets and metal acts?

Well, you were right.

That is, until Sloth reminded me that hip hop is a genre that exists. I'm sure I've heard Cypress Hill's first album at some point, but that was probably decades ago. Back when I wasn't actually paying attention to music, a family member probably had this on tape in their crappy 90s car while I sat in the backseat.

Probably wouldn't hold up to scrutiny these days, but I'm sure it'd be an interesting album to check in retrospect.
18Devin Townsend
Ocean Machine: Biomech

Oh, how could I forget about Devin Townsend? While I have listened to the Devin Townsend Project and Strapping Young Lad, I skipped out on Townsend's solo work. And if those bands are anything to go by, then it's probably for the best I never moved on to his solo stuff. I probably wouldn't make it out alive is what I'm saying.
The Bones of What You Believe

๐’๐ฎ๐ ๐ ๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐›๐ฒ ๐’๐ฅ๐จ๐ญ๐ก๐œ๐จ๐ซ๐ž๐’๐š๐ฆ
Once again, I probably have heard a song by CHVRCHES on the radio at some point. But not traditional Top 40 radio. I probably heard them on "cool corporate" radio. Y'know, like you'd hear at a trendy restaurant or bar. Cause even though CHVRCHES is signed to EMI, people like to categorize them as an alternative/indie group. Which they're not. As if Buffalo Wild Wings gives a shit about playing independent music overtop drunks yelling at ballsports.

I'm being really negative, but as a pretentious hipster metalhead, I have to keep up my quota of disliking corporate pop disguised under the veil of "alternative". And CHVRCHES is one of the many examples of that happening in the modern day.
Emergency on Planet Earth

๐’๐ฎ๐ ๐ ๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐›๐ฒ ๐’๐ฅ๐จ๐ญ๐ก๐œ๐จ๐ซ๐ž๐’๐š๐ฆ
I have no clue about this group aside from their logo. This truly is one of those acts that I just never thought about listening to even once. Not because I dislike them, but because it's ever-so-slightly out of my realm. But somehow, I ALSO feel as if I've heard enough from whatever genre Jamiroquai plays to know that I'd probably be bored by it.

Again, I don't even really know what kind of stuff they make.

So basically, I'm pre-judging a band I've never heard based on my opinions of a genre I've probably never heard. Genius, I know.
21Circa Survive

๐’๐ฎ๐ ๐ ๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐›๐ฒ ๐’๐ฅ๐จ๐ญ๐ก๐œ๐จ๐ซ๐ž๐’๐š๐ฆ
You know the odd thing about having Circa Survive on here is? I actually own not one, but two of their albums. Yes, really. Story goes a bit like this: I was scouring eBay for a copy of City of Caterpillar's debut when I found a lot with about 8 CDs, including CoC and two Circa Survive special editions. So I guess that shows you just how proactive I've been in avoiding this band.

Looking at the tags (alternative rock, post-hardcore) and label (Equal Vision), I pretty much know they're not for me. Even owning two of their albums, I still dread ever trying them out. It's situations like this that have made me stop purchasing from eBay lots. Cause now I have two Circa Survive albums in my collection that'll never be played. Shame, shame.
Pretty On The Inside

๐’๐ฎ๐ ๐ ๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐›๐ฒ ๐’๐ฅ๐จ๐ญ๐ก๐œ๐จ๐ซ๐ž๐’๐š๐ฆ
Have I ever mentioned how much I don't like grunge? Just another interesting factoid about ol' SandbitchButthole.

No, of course anyone that has seen me suddenly appear in popular grunge threads on sput knows how I feel about grunge. So why haven't I taken the opportunity to mass-1.0 Hole's entire discography yet? Honestly, I'm not sure. I guess I just kind of missed this group at the time. Probably was too busy ignoring all the alternative radio rock coming out at the time. And honestly, with how bitter I've become, listening to any of Hole's songs would probably whip me into a frenzy. For my own mental sanity, I've decided to keep my distance.
23A Perfect Circle
Mer de Noms

๐’๐ฎ๐ ๐ ๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐ ๐›๐ฒ ๐’๐ฅ๐จ๐ญ๐ก๐œ๐จ๐ซ๐ž๐’๐š๐ฆ
Imagine my shock, a young lad in 2003, seeing the awful cover for Thirteenth Step at a shop I frequented. I think that cover might be the sole reason I never listened to A Perfect Circle.

I'm kidding, but I'd be lying if I said it wasn't at least a factor. A Perfect Circle just screams 2000s alternative rock cheese in the worst way possible. From their whole edgy (wow, first time I've said that in a while) aesthetic to being fronted by the tool from Tool. It's like when an animal's color lets predators know it's poisonous. Back away from the circle slowly.
2450 Cent
Power of the Dollar

I thought long and hard about what rapper(s) to include here, but the most glaring omission would probably have to be Mr. Half Dollar himself. Pretty much every person alive around 2003 probably has heard "In Da Club" and I'm ready to admit that I really like that song. Great beat, decent rhymes, catchy as all hell. Pretty good pop rap.

But can I really stomach a bunch of "In Da Clubs" in a row? I'm not known for my accurate predictions, but I'm pretty confident that the answer is no.
25Sly and The Family Stone
A Whole New Thing

List needed some old blood, so how about Sly and The Family Stone? Psychedelic funk group that has earned their place as one of the best acts of the era. I assume. Critics and fans alike have nothing but praise for their work and they were no slouch commercially either. Yet all I know about the band is the iconic cover for There's a Riot Goin' On.

I will probably listen to their stuff one day, but I'll put it on this list just as a reminder. Be sure to check back 10 years from now to see if I actually keep my word.
26The Sisters of Mercy
First and Last and Always

As someone who loves his goths, it's shocking I haven't bitten the bullet and just checked these guys out already. I don't know, I guess a lifetime's worth of gothic rock has kind of made listening to them unnecessary. Why listen to major label stuff when there's dozens of underground groups to check? I'll probably cave and listen to them someday. I just need the proper motivation or something. Need like a particularly rainy, scummy day.
My Name Is Skrillex

Y'all remember the 2010s? I don't know if Skrillex is a household name like they seemed to be back then, but Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites was inescapable. So much so that I pretty much know exactly how it sounds without ever actually sitting down to listen to it. At least the first part(s). But to my surprise, "Skrill" has only released a single full album. He did release lots of EPs, but those kind of dried up after the mid-2010s. Guess people got sick of dubstep by then? I'm only speculating.

Not to sound close-minded, but I doubt I'd be able to stomach a full album of Skrillex. Or even an EP's worth. Maybe one day, when I'm old and gray, I'll feel a twinge of nostalgia and check one of his things out just to see what I was missing out on.
Bergtatt - Et eeventyr i 5 capitler

What a shock, another metal act on the list. Yeah, I'm predictable. The only thing I know about Ulver is that they drastically changed their sound at some point. What point? No clue, but people seem to like both their classic and modern eras well enough. I wouldn't know, cause I haven't heard any of it. I don't really know why I haven't checked them yet. Maybe I thought their album covers looked too much like a t-shirt you'd find at a flea market. Nah, that's probably not it.

Honestly, there's a good chance that I'll listen to Ulver at some point. It's still a bit weird that I haven't had the urge to check such a popular act.
29The Weeknd
Kiss Land

Another act I've probably heard on a soulless, corporate FM radio station at some point. Don't ask me which song, because I don't know. I can't even remember the name(s) of the song(s) I've heard by him after hearing it/them 1000s of times. I probably wouldn't even know what this guy looked like if he didn't plaster his face on all his album covers. I really do appreciate it, Mr. The Weeknd.

There's a lot of pop rap/r&b that flies under my radar, and this guy's pretty much a stealth aircraft. I'm sure I'm missing out, yeah yeah.
30Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Piano Concerto No. 1 in F major, K. 37

And I dare call myself a music fan? What a blunderbuss. I am of the opinion that nobody actually listens to this classical crap. You don't have to tell me I'm wrong. I already know I'm wrong, because there's always that one guy you know that plays classical music in his car or whatever. Freaks me out, as judgmental as that is. In the same camp as those people that only listen to movie/game soundtracks. Get outta here.

Probably more famous in name than anything, but this list needed some variety. I like classical music, but listening to entire compositions? Nah, I'll pass.

Alright, so I'm digging around RYM's "Top Albums of All-Time" chart and see the name Brockhampton. I look at the cover for a bit and immediately know it's going on this list. No goddamn idea who/what Brockhampton is. I don't think I've heard their name said before. There's a good possibility that I just have a bad memory, but me not even knowing their name is a real bad sign.

Another pop rap act (I think), so there's a snowball's chance in hell that I'd check their stuff. Maybe on a dare? Or if I was forced to under threat of violence.
Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow

Another (supposedly) classic act on the list, yippee. I was actually pretty obsessed with Deep Purple at one point in my life, so this one is a shock to both you and me. But yeah, thinking about it, I really haven't heard an album by Ritchie Blackmore's sequel band Rainbow. I'm not even sure if I've heard a song by Rainbow before. I probably have, but I definitely couldn't tell you the where, why, and how. Judging by the averages on sputnik, they're on the list of hard rock acts that have 3-4 great albums and then completely fall off by the 80s. It's a long list, that one.

I'd probably get around to listening to them, but honestly... why bother, y'know? I'm not the hard-rock-loving teen I once was. Probably didn't age very well either.
33Ozzy Osbourne
Blizzard of Ozz

Another case of knowing an artist from another band, but never actually listening to them. I've heard all the Black Sabbath I ever want to hear I think, but I like them. Generally. They have a few good ones, alright? But after hearing about Lee Kerslake's passing (way to date this list), that got me thinking about Osbourne's solo work. And, I guess I just never realized it, but those first few solo albums seem to be well-regarded. I just assumed 1980 was the expiration date for all Black Sabbath-related products (give or take), but I guess I was wrong.

Me eventually checking out Osbourne's discography isn't entirely out of the realm of possibility. Maybe one day I'll throw one on just to see what I was missing. But I've listened to enough Black Sabbath for one lifetime, I think.
Leave a Whisper

Have I heard something by this band before? 2000s hard rock? Atlantic Records? Probably a safe bet. But past the year 2009, is there really a reason to check them? While they seem to be "popular" (at least in my warped use of the word), they don't seem to be very well-regarded. And the similar bands are pretty gross.

If I'm ever in a really dark place and the only prescription is hard rock from Jacksonville, I guess Shinedown would be my pick. Though, it would have to be a particularly dark, dark day.
35Alanis Morissette

Ladies and gentlemen, the star of the record store used CD bin, Alanis Morissette! Yeah, I've never sat down and listened to a full album by this one. And considering the kind of music she plays (poppy alternative rock), that's probably for the best.

I could probably find her entire discography sitting at the bottom of a second-hand shop. But even then, I probably wouldn't have the drive to check her work. There are probably more worthwhile grunge-lite acts out there for me to check. Just saying that hurt my soul.
36Alicia Keys
Songs in A Minor

So as I'm writing this, I'm currently in the middle of listening to Georgie Sweet's first album. It's pretty mediocre, but has some solid production. But that album got me thinking. I really haven't listened to a lot of R&B like this. Sure, it was all over the radio for a while, but it feels like it sort of tapered off after a certain point. One of the big names that I remembered was Alicia Keys, whose star emerged in the 2000s and ended in the 2010s. And sure enough, I have never checked out a full album by her.

It's clichรฉ to equate neo-soul stuff with coffeeshops or beatnik clubs, but I can't help it. That's not a bad thing though. I might actually try Alicia Keys' discography someday, when I'm in the mood for it. Dunno what the proper mood is, and there aren't very many beatnik clubs around me right now, but I'm sure I'll figure something out one day.
37The Blue Nile
A Walk Across the Rooftops

Does this count? I think it does. I don't know what brought it to my attention, but I haven't checked this band out. Sophisti-pop (god) isn't really my brand, but I enjoy it well enough. Not really sure why, but I never got around to their stuff. Especially since there's a good chance that I'd like them.

So why did I write this instead of taking 3 seconds out of my life to find their albums online? And that's the thing, isn't it? I could sit my fat ass up straight, crack my knuckles, go download all their albums, and finally get on with it. But I just don't. I lean back, crack open a cold water, and just write this instead. Truly something went horribly wrong at my birth to let this happen.
38Liz Phair
Exile In Guyville

For some of these artists/bands, I think I may have heard at least one of their songs somewhere. But for Liz Phair, I'm absolutely positive I have. "Why Can't I?" was a fairly big hit in it's time, so of course I've heard it. So yes, the only Liz Phair I've heard is from her major-label sellout album. Lucky me.

Here's the thing though. I'm not sure if I'd like her early stuff either. I mean sure, it probably wouldn't be as bad as her later stuff, but do I really want to drop everything and listen to some Matador alt. rock? Eh. Her super early demos would probably interest me, and Exile In Guyville seems to be well-regarded enough to warrant a listen. So just to be clear, I'm not letting her awful cash-in crap ruin her for me. It's just general alt. rock apathy.
Pure Pleasure

Have absolutely no clue about this guy aside from a few singles from the 90s. Or was it the 2000s? Both? Boombastic? Again, no clue. I remember not minding his voice all that much, at a time when everyone around me was calling him annoying. Is that enough to justify me checking his work? Apparently not.

I barely listen to regular reggae, so jumping to pop reggae seems sacrilegious. I am secure enough to admit that I like the few singles I've heard from him, but that's probably more due to the production. "It Wasn't Me" comes to mind. I'm sure if I looked hard enough, I could find out that most people hate that song, but I always thought it was fine.
40Marvin Gaye
The Soulful Moods of Marvin Gaye

Here's something for all you romantics out there. Like I need to even say it, but yes, I have heard a Marvin Gaye song before. I don't think it's possible to find someone that hasn't heard at least one tune by him. And I will say, I really like what I've heard. But I've never sat down and checked a full album. Incorrigible, ain't I?

Will I ever? Probably. Will I forget to update this list whenever I do check his stuff? Absolutely.
41Earth, Wind and Fire
Earth, Wind and Fire

I feel like this band's only gotten more known with age. Lots of young people like them. Of course the oldies like them. So, what about me? I have no idea, cause I've never taken the time to check one of their albums. I'm historically not a funkmeister or anything, so I guess that's not a big surprise. I guess I just have a bad habit of thinking of Earth, Wind and Fire as a singles band. I mean, even here on Sputnik, none of their albums have cracked 100 ratings. And in my defense, they have released a lot of singles.

There will be a time when I find myself in need of boogieable funk music. And when that time comes, I'll put on some Earth, Wind and Fire. Just need to find a discotheque near me. Preferably next door to the Alicia Keys beatnik club I plan on visiting.
42Kid Rock
Grits Sandwiches for Breakfast

If I could die without hearing a Kid Rock album in full, I would say my life was worth living.

Probably one of the most popular alt/industrial metal bands out there and I've never given them a full minute. I don't even think I've heard any of their songs in full, even their most popular singles.

As for why I've never gotten to them, this one's an open-and-shut case. I don't like industrial metal. For that reason alone, I'm happy to abstain from rating them for a while longer.
44Denzel Curry
Nostalgic 64

Wow, another rapper I haven't checked. Really showing my rockist tendencies. And you know what? Good. Everything 'cept rap and country still in the YouTube bio, brother. (C)rap will never beat good ol' fashioned rock n' roll!

No, I'm sure this guy's fine. I might even like one of his albums, or at least a few songs. I'm just not the kind of guy that listens to rap very often. If you asked me 20 years ago, you would've had better luck.

I have been fortunate enough to work at a job that doesn't play Top 40 radio on loop like my old one did, so I have been completely out of the loop of popular music. Frankly, it feels fantastic. So, as a fun boredom exercise, I decided to check the Billboard Hot 100. And since I'm writing this in early January of 2023, it's full of Christmas songs. But there are a few remnants of last year's hitmakers on there.

Like SZA!

Who? What? Oh, I mean, I totally know who that is. She's a singer! An R&B singer. Signed to Top Dawg, then RCA; good for her, I guess. Has decent ratings on sputnik and RYM. Um, and, yeah! So there. On the list it goes. Maybe the retirement home I'm staying in years from now will be blasting some SZA on the oldies station or something, who knows?

Okay, enough jokes at the youngins expense. It's time for some AOR: the daddliest genre. The picked-apart dregs of what was once interesting music. This is the band your friend who is "super into music" would use to argue that music "just isn't the same anymore."

And yet, I'm sure that I could stomach an album by these guys. Hell, I've done it with other AOR bands. So why does Foreigner get the shaft? I've heard all the singles I need to hear to know what they're about, I guess. I could be wrong, but the greatest hits seem to be all you need with these guys.
47The Doobie Brothers
The Doobie Brothers

Perhaps they aren't as well known nowadays as they were back in their prime, but the Doobie Brothers sold a fuckton of records. If there was a middle-of-the-road, inoffensive rock band, these guys would be it. I'm not usually a fan of calling things "classic rock," but that term was made for this band, because their sound is basically an amalgam of every genre that had even touched a rock station in the 1970s.

And all that isn't a knock on them. Everything I just said is why they were that popular. But modern music listeners just don't care as far as I can tell, because they are not popular at all. If you polled 100 people under 50, I doubt any of them could list a Doobie Brothers song. And I'm one of them, because I can't think of a reason to listen to this band in 2023. If I find one, they'll be on the checklist.
48The 5th Dimension
Up, Up and Away


Yeah, okay. They're not popular NOW. But back in the day, this group had a ton of hits. I wouldn't be surprised to find out that someone knows one of them.

A lot of 60s pop groups/artists rerecord other people's songs or employ songwriters, and the 5th Dimension is no exception. I'm actually not sure if any of their songs are originals. I doubt it, but I'm not gonna put any more effort into researching it. That's likely the reason I haven't listened to them. Simple as. And unlike some of the entries on this list, I don't see myself ever checking them.
49X Japan
Vanishing Vision

I saw the "X Japan are back" news article on the front page of this dying website and thought, "huh, that's a band." Progressive(?) speed(?) glam(?) metal(?) band from Japan just isn't something I want right now. I'm sure one day, one very sad, depressing day, when I've all but run out of things to listen to, I will listen to an album of theirs and be thoroughly whelmed.

I will say, the high ratings on all of their albums is very intriguing. I'm probably missing out, but I don't really care all that much.
50Johnny Cash
Johnny Cash With His Hot And Blue Guitar

Talk about a glaring, egregious omission. One of the most popular artists of all time and I have yet to sit down and listen to an album of his. It's not my fault he has dozens of albums. All these 50s and 60s country guys just piled their singles into what I could only call "collections" rather than albums. That sentiment is reflected in the average ratings for his releases, which seemingly jump all over the place in terms of quality. I love starting from the beginning of an artist's catalog and working my way chronologically, but for Cash, I just don't think I could do that.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, "Hurt," "Ring of Fire," "Folsom Prison Blues;" I've heard them and like them. I'll probably try an album of his one day. I'll put it this way: he has a better chance than most artists on this list.
51The Guess Who
Shakin' All Over

*Insert Slappy Squirrel bit here*

Yeah, I know that bit's about the Who, not the Guess Who, but whatever. Another classic pop-turned-hard rock band I've never heard a full record by. And judging by how few ratings they have on here, I guess I'm not the only one. I'm sure their 60s and 70s stuff is probably fine.

Will I ever check this group? There's always a chance, but I don't really see why I would. Got too much music to listen to.
52Shania Twain
Shania Twain

One of the best selling country artists of all time and I can't think of a single song off the top of my head. Don't know if I should be proud or scared. Yeah, contemporary country pop from the 90s and 00s? Nah, I'm good. I'm sure she's a very nice person.

Despite her insane sales numbers, she doesn't have that many albums, so I could theoretically... Nah, I'm good.
53Lionel Richie
Lionel Richie

I've heard so many Lionel Richie songs over the course of my life, I probably have heard an album's worth of this guy just through cultural osmosis and supermarket radio. And I think that's all I really need. Just the blandest 80s music you could conjure.

And yet, I bet I could stomach an album. I'm no stranger to 80s synth cheese. But this is so far down on the theoretical checklist, it may as well not be on there.
The Karelian Isthmus

Metal is a well I need to dip into more often for this list, because I could basically fill out the entire thing with all of the famous metal bands I've never heard. Like Amorphis!


Maybe not "commercially successful" when compared to other artists on this list, but certainly popular in online spaces. And I've never heard a single song. There's probably one person on who's like, "OMG, HOW?" Or at least that's what I'd like to believe. In reality, I just made up a guy. Whatever, melodic death folk metal, fuck, shit, poopy.
55War (USA)
Eric Burdon Declares "War"

I almost had to double-check this one, but it's true: no War for me. "Why Can't We Be Friends?" No clue. I've heard a few singles by this band. After all, I am a human being born in North America after 1970. Like, even if you don't listen to music, surely you've watched George Lopez, right? The Venn diagram on that must be crazy.

Well, they play poppy funk and soul, so I doubt I would HATE anything they released during their golden years, but I just don't know if I want to take the plunge. I'm sure I'm missing out. Apparently they released something as recently as 2021 (dating the list further), so who knows?
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