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Blender music mag’s January issue will name the 50 greatest “geniuses” in rock ‘n’ roll history:

    Music magazine Blender has put the 61-year-old folk-rock icon [Bob] Dylan atop its list of the 50 rock geniuses of all time.

    “He’s the civil rights anthem writer who abandoned the cause, the electric poet turned born-again traditionalist, the free-spirit visionary who found God, the bittersweet love lyricist with a side order of surreal sarcasm, the hermit who can’t quit the stage,” Blender’s editors said in the magazine’s January/February issue, which hits newsstands on Dec. 24.

    Former Beatle John Lennon was No. 2 on the list, followed by rock ‘n’ roll pioneer Chuck Berry, rapper Eminem and late reggae icon Bob Marley. [Reuters]

Eminem #4 genius in rock history?? I know these lists are mostly to stir up some controversy and sell some copies of the mag, but does ANYONE on earth, including Eminem himself, really think he belongs in the top 50, let alone at #4? I doubt it.

I haven’t seen the rest of the list, which doesn’t hit the stands until next week, but I have no problem with the other four in their top 5. While I can name about 500, or maybe 5000 who should come in front of Eminem, let’s name a few, in no particular order:

Elvis Presley
Little Richard
Buddy Holly
Paul McCartney
Jagger/Richards (can’t separate them without fucking things up)
Phil Spector
Jimi Hendrix
Pete Townshend
David Bowie
Ray Charles
Sam Cooke
Fats Domino
Jerry Lee Lewis
Everly Brothers
James Brown
Aretha Franklin
Marvin Gaye
Holland/Dozier/Holland
Stevie Wonder
Roy Orbison
Smokey Robinson
Brian Wilson
Berry Gordy
Otis Redding
Paul Simon
Roger McGuinn
Eric Clapton
Jeff Beck
Jimmy Page
John Fogerty
Sly Stone
Jim Morrison
Jerry Garcia
Robbie Robertson
Janis Joplin
Neil Young
Frank Zappa
Duane Allman
Lou Reed
Joni Mitchell
Carlos Santana
B.B. King
Muddy Waters
Howlin’ Wolf
Burt Bacharach
John Lee Hooker
Herb Alpert

And that’s just the first 15 years of rock ‘n’ roll history. The thought of Eminem in this crowd is laughable.

About Eric Olsen

  • http://www.geocities.com/ericwrong E

    Lists are shit. You don’t need genius or any kind of smarts to make GREAT rock’n’roll, just a pulse and some enthusiasm (talent optional).

  • http://www.xanga.com/mfinley Mike Finley

    Where is Brian Eno? Bruce Springsteen? George Clinton? Captain Beefheart? Roger Waters? Andy Partridge? John Mclaughlin? Michael Stipe? Brian Ferry? Mark Knopfler? Jeff Tweedy? Warren Zevon? Garland Jeffreys? John Cale? Kate Bush? Peter Gabriel?

    There’s a big bias there toward the 50s and 60s, and away from everything since.

  • http://www.kalyr.com/weblog Tim Hall

    Lists like this are always meaningless – they just reflect the tastes of the readerships of whatever publication they appear in. They’re *always* biased towards one decade, typically over-filled either with 60s artists, or with contemporary fluff that probably won’t pass the test of time.

    I don’t know why they’re taken so seriously – like the way the national press in Britain trumpeted the NME “most influential artists” list a few months back; headed by the NME fanboy’s favourites, The Smiths.

    Personal lists (like Erics), are another matter – they’re supposed to be quirky and give you an idea where someone is coming from musically.

  • Eric Olsen

    Mike, It’s exactly the ’50s and ’60s, that’s why I said “and this is just the first 15 years of rock ‘n’ roll.” Had I gone to the present I would have had to add 50 more names.

  • bside

    not to mention the fact that soley within the world of rap (because that’s where eminem comes from), there are many names that belong before eminem, i.e. Run DMC, Chuck D (and Public Enemy), naughty by nature, beastie boys, sugar hill gang, easy e, etc, etc, etc

  • Mark B.

    I think it’s a shame EVERYONE has missed one BIG name. I think he should be in the top 5! Billy Joel! Quality lyrics and brilliant arrangements. You can’t tell me that “Slim Shady” is more intelligent than “Scenes From An Italian Restaurant” or “She’s Always a Woman” not to mention “Goodnight Saigon” and “Downeaster Alexa” and so on and so on. Absolutley rediculous! Joel should be in at #2 or #3, enough said.

  • Mark Fletcher

    I think it’s a shame EVERYONE has missed one BIG name. I think he should be in the top 5! Billy Joel! Quality lyrics and brilliant arrangements. You can’t tell me that “Slim Shady” is more intelligent than “Scenes From An Italian Restaurant” or “She’s Always a Woman” not to mention “Goodnight Saigon” and “Downeaster Alexa” and so on and so on. Absolutley rediculous! Joel should be in at #2 or #3, enough said.

  • http://www.xanga.com/mfinley Mike Finley

    That’s weird. You two guys said the SAME EXACT thing. What are the odds of that?

    But I would hold out for Bill Joel to occupy the bottom 5, not the top. Why? Hard to say, just a gut thing.

    I liked his “Innocent Man” record though.

  • MarvelFreak89

    Eminem is not number four!!! Repeat, not number four! Where is Ozzy? He was in Black Sabbath, the man that founded heavy metal! Where is Roger Waters, the genius of Pink Floyd? I don’t remember seeing Kurt Cobain on there!

  • Manan

    You know Blender magazine’s crowd, so don’t be too disappointed….

    But to put Eminem there…..I have to say,leaves me with much contempt for the magazine. What has he done in enhancing our understanding of the world other than litter his lyrics with considerable motherbashing?

    Jim Morrison was a far more talented man than this boy could ever hope to be, besides being a real artist, and not a con man.

  • Duane

    WHERE IS SLASH???!!! Huh? … oh, geniuses … sorry … nevermind. Just a habit.

  • Wesley

    Yes, I agree that billy joel should be near the top of the list. He is in the rock and roll hall of fame and is in the songwriter hall as well. His music is timeless and has been covered by many artist’s. His rock shows are incredible, his albums flawless and he is a down to earth human. He also has a huge broadway hit a number one classical album that really is beautiful. His legacy and greatness will live on in songs such as summer highland falls, ballad of billy the kid, river of dreams, uptown girl, piano man, and so it goes, until the night, honesty,ect… What a talent!!!

  • Bradley

    John Lennon has to be first. A Liverpool fella working it out on his Martin D-28. Peter Townsend invented a sound and identify for the Who. Keith Richards who pulled melody after melody out of thin air. Jimi Hendrix who had such a beautiful voice and played so unbelievably at the same time took flight as artistist/genius in his compositions. Jimmy Page’s, genius goes from the pen, to the recording studio, to guitar on stage.
    Bon Dylan who is truly creative I saw it in his eyes when we met. His favorite painter was Monet. Paul McCartney writing Blackbird with seamless chord changes and towering musical abilities which were the envy of John. Gram Parsons who wrote what he lived. Bob Marley’s introspective sensitive lyrics, charisma, and so distinct reggae beat. Roger Water’s mastery of lyrics and what a gifted ear. The controlled and divine voice of Patsy Cline denotes extraordinary talent.
    Genius’s who are consistant to name a few.
    And it’s true these are only personal favorites. I’m also a big fan of Robert Schumann and Jean Sibelus. Genius’s in their respected eras.