Record Store Geek

Arena Rock's 10 Greatest Bands

Page 4 of 4

10. Journey

I had to start here because I first thought of this blog when I heard they were coming to town, and then really put it into action when I saw the Youtube clip of Steve Perry singing with the Eels. I thought, "I've been saying it all along, that boy could sing." (still can, check out the vid). But it wasn't just Steve, it was the totally-underrated Neil Schon on guitar, and a band full of players.

Spotify Deep Cut: "Loving You Is Easy" from Evolution.

Three Albums:Evolution, Infinity, Escape

Jumped the Shark: The three over-blown, popular, sappy cuts that you love off of Escape (which still has enough rockers to make it a solid album).

9. Foreigner

We were stuck in Oklahoma City on a family vacation, and all I had was the city's fantastic rock station, KATT. I heard "Seventeen" from Head Games (I still can't believe they went that deep), and I made my mom take me to the store so I could spend my vacation money on it. Like most of the bands on this list, they've produced some of the fluffiest hits on Earth, but overall, they were just a solid hook-heavy rock band. Don't tell me that Lou Gramm didn't have pipes.

Spotify Deep Cut: "Seventeen" from Head Games

Three Albums: Head Games, Double Vision, Foreigner

Jumped the Shark: "Waiting for a Girl Like You" started the sap trend, and then "I Want to Know What Love Is" killed off the band for good.

8. REO Speedwagon

To me the REO story most typifies the story of most of these bands. They toil for years as a simple midwest rock band. Great singer. Great guitarist. Tight band. They build a loyal fan base, but never make it big.

Then a big-ass ballad hits, and their lives are never the same. The band instantly gets rich, and soon after loses all rock credibility. Never did this happen on a bigger scale then the zillion-selling Hi-Infidelity. I assure you, they are better than that album.

Spotify Deep Cut: "Like You Do" from Live: You Get What You Play For

Three Albums: Live: You Get What You Play For, Nine Lives, REO T.W.O.

Jumped the Shark: "Keep On Loving You" (makes me shudder just thinking about it).

7. Styx

This might be the band I've taken the most shit over. I will admit that they went bad, and I mean really bad, but like most of these bands, they've got a hard-working background and a string of solid albums (which, as I told you in 10 Hall of Famer Artists Who Never Matched Their Debut, is hard to do). Styx seems to fit the common AR theme: Great vocalists and guitarists, solid rhythm section, lots of great rock hooks.

Spotify Deep Cut: "Midnight Ride" from Equinox

Three Albums: Equinox, Pieces of Eight, Grand Illusion

Jumped the Shark: "Mr. Roboto." I still can't believe that song exists. Uggh.

6. Bad Company

I wasn't sure if Bad Company qualified. They were sort of a super-group, formed out of successful '60s bands -- on Zeppelin's label -- and they really don't have an obviously annoying, cheese ballad like most of their list-mates. But they still have taken shit from critics, and I've taken shit for them.

I don't care. I can still listen to almost all of their albums. They should be in that silly HOF, sure as Paul Rodgers can sing the blues.

Spotify Deep Cut: "Weep No More" from Straight Shooter

Three Albums: Desolation Angels, Bad Company, Straight Shooter

Jumped the Shark: In my book, Bad Company never really jumped the shark.

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Steve Wiley
Contact: Steve Wiley