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.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Pretenders' landmark debut album and Chrissie Hynde and Martin Chambers will be together again, touring with the 2020 lineup of the band with Journey this spring and summer throughout North America. We're celebrating the band (and Hynde as a solo artist) as an FUV Essentials again.
The Pretenders (photo by Joel Ryan/AP)
David Bowie was the very first FUV Essentials artist: a consummate shapeshifter, rock star, and genius innovator. No artist defined the restless progression and mutability of music over the past five decades quite like Bowie, who would have turned 73 on January 8, 2020.
David Bowie from Aladdin Sane (photo by Brian Duffy)
On Joni Mitchell's 76th birthday — and fresh off of Brandi Carlile's magnificent October concert, recreating Mitchell's 1971 album Blue in its entirety — we're spinning songs from Mitchell's Clouds, Hejira, Ladies of the Canyon and so much more today, steeped in the music of this iconic FUV Essentials artist.
Joni Mitchell (Original photo: Asylum Records [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)
Had he lived, Tom Petty would have turned 69 on October 20 of this year. As Damn the Torpedoes turns 40 in October 2019 (and Full Moon Fever marked its 30th anniversary this past spring), we're saluting Petty as an FUV Essentials.
Tom Petty (Original photo by Takahiro Kyono from Tokyo, Japan, CC BY 2.0) https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)
Steely Dan's Donald Fagen and the late Walter Becker (photo by Danny Clinch, PR)