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FUV Essentials

So many variables determine what makes an artist or band “essential” — longevity, impact, influence, history. On-air and online, we celebrate the musicians who have shaped our cultural soundtrack for the past fifty years. Let’s love these FUV Essential artists while they’re here, and honor those who have departed too soon.


There are plenty of revered record labels, but few kindle instant recognition and affection quite like Motown. In the Sixties, the beloved Detroit-born label became a springboard for a dazzling list of legacy artists, zigzagging from Marvin Gaye to Diana Ross and the Supremes to Stevie Wonder. It irrefutably defined a new sound too, doled out via 45 rpm records and full-length albums. Motown changed music—and the entire label is one of our FUV Essentials.

Fleetwood Mac

Finding that elusive algorithm of survival is hard for twenty or thirty years, let alone five decades. So if there's one regent of resilience—and reinvention—it's probably Fleetwood Mac, marking its 50th anniversary in 2017. With a forthcoming 'Buckingham McVie' album on the horizon and 'Rumours' turning 40, it's a fine time to celebrate this FUV Essentials band.

The Beatles

John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr — the Beatles — were four lads from Liverpool, England who spearheaded an unparalleled musical and cultural revolution that still resonates today, more than five decades after the band released its debut album.

Ray Charles

Ray Charles, one of our FUV Essentials, was not only a virtuosic musician and song interpreter, but a man who founded a genre, intuitively merging various elements of bebop, gospel, blues, jazz, swing and country. He laid the cornerstone to what became modern soul, R&B and early rock 'n' roll.

The Replacements

The Replacements were the essence of rock 'n' roll — self-destructive, badly behaved, and exhilarating. Although their tenure was short-lived when compared to fifty years of the comparatively mild-mannered Rolling Stones, the 'Mats influence was arguably as mighty as those wiry British icons. Celebrating an American supernova, the Replacements are this week's FUV Essentials.

BØRNS: Five Essential David Bowie Albums

Garrett Borns, who records as BØRNS, has covered David Bowie's "Moonage Daydream" extensively in his live sets—a supple, tender take on that song from The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. So when we asked BØRNS if he'd compile his Five Essential David Bowie Albums for us, we weren't too surprised to find that album in his top five picks.