Here is where I talk a little about various artists whose music I own. (S/T means self-titled.)
Since MTV was a big part of my early music experience, I tried to find videos of one song for each band just for fun. Apologies in advance for some of the more lurid examples, I mostly picked them based on the song, not on the video content!
The Offspring (1992 Ignition, 1994 Smash, 1997 Ixnay on the Hombre, 1998 Americana, 2000 Conspiracy of One, 2003 Splinter, 2008 Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace, 2012 Days Go By) — In the mid-90s there were two factions: the Green Day fans, and The Offspring fans. I was the latter, by far (always hated Green Day). There’s nothing particularly complicated about The Offspring, but every few years they put out another album of solid punk/pop music that I enjoy, and hope they keep doing so on into the future.
Orbital (1991 Orbital, 1993 Orbital 2, 1994 Diversions, 1994 Snivilisation, 1996 In Sides, 1999 The Middle of Nowhere, 2001 The Altogether, 2004 Blue Album) — Another mid-90s discovery for me, along with The Chemical Brothers. These two were my “gateway drugs” into the wider world of techno, and I am happy that I got the chance to see both of them perform in San Francisco in late 1996.
The Paper Raincoat (2009 Safe In The Sound) — Picked up this EP after hearing them play at Bumbershoot. As far as I can tell, that’s all they ever released.
Perturbator (2012 I Am the Night, 2012 TERROR 404, 2014 Dangerous Days, 2016 The Uncanny Valley) — Randomly came across this darkwave band just a couple of years ago and immediately picked up all the albums because I love the sound.
Pet Shop Boys (1986 Disco, 1986 Please, 1987 Actually, 1988 Introspective, 1990 Behaviour, 1991 Discography: The Complete Singles Collection, 1991 How Can You Expect to Be Taken Seriously?, 1993 Very, 1994 Disco 2, 1995 Alternative, 1995 Paninaro ’95, 1996 Before, 1996 Bilingual, 1996 Se a vida e, 1997 Somewhere, 1999 Nightlife, 2002 Release, 2003 Disco 3, 2005 Battleship Potemkin, 2006 Fundamental, 2009 Yes, 2012 Elysium, 2012 Format: B-sides and Bonus Tracks (1996-2009), 2013 Electric, 2016 Super) — Clearly I love the Pet Shop Boys. They were actually the first synth-based crack in my hair metal phase during high school, when I discovered songs like “Opportunities” and “It’s a Sin.” Lots of people seem to think they were one hit wonders but they just keep on putting out great album after great album, mixing uptempo dance music with more contemplative works. My favorite album is probably 1993’s Very, with the 1-2 punch of “Dreaming of the Queen” and “The Theater” creating just an amazing mood.
Pop Will Eat Itself (1987 Box Frenzy, 1989 This Is the Day… This Is the Hour… This Is This!, 1990 Cure for Sanity, 1992 The Looks or the Lifestyle, 1994 Dos Dedos Mis Amigos, 1995 Two Fingers My Friends!, 2011 New Noise Designed by a Sadist) — When I discovered these guys in college I was over the moon. The ultimate mash up of techno/industrial with copious samples and pop culture references all done in an edgy British rap style. As the 90s progressed they had to reduce the samples but still put together a great string of albums.
The Postal Service (2003 Give Up) — This is an utterly charming mix of Ben Gibbard‘s vocals backed electronically. People keep saying they should do another one, but I think they’re smart to keep this one-off project as a standalone.
The Prodigy (1992 Experience/Expanded: Remixes & B-Sides, 1994 Music for the Jilted Generation, 1997 The Fat of the Land, 1999 The Dirtchamber Sessions Volume One, 2004 Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned, 2009 Invaders Must Die, 2015 The Day Is My Enemy) — Man I love this band. Picked them up starting in the mid-90s with “Firestarter,” of course, but I love pretty much everything they’ve put out. Always intense and in your face, this is great music to listen to when you need to get yourself moving.
Propellerheads (1998 Decksandrumsandrockandroll) — Another techno band famous for a track from The Matrix soundtrack, I really wish they had released some more stuff as this is one of my favorite albums.
Purr Gato (2013 Heart Beat, 2016 Our Electric Universe) — Very recent discovery, a nice little bit of local darkwave techno.
Joan Osborne (1995 Relish, 2000 Righteous Love, 2002 How Sweet It Is, 2008 Little Wild One) — Always loved her voice and style, ever since “One of Us” hit it big in (again) the mid-90s. The only reason the collection is incomplete is due to lack of time.
The Perfect Gentlemen (2003 4 Beers & A Tag) — Saw this group perform a really funny classic barbershop set when we went to see The Baudboys and was happy to pick up this fun collection.
PIG (1991 Praise the Lard, 1995 Sinsation, 1996 Wrecked, 1999 Genuine American Monster, 1999 The Swining: Red Raw & Sore) — Raymond Watts is a fascinating singer/songwriter. After doing some early work as part of KMFDM, he left and went off on his own pretty wild tangent. With a deep, menacing growl of a voice, haunting music, and visceral lyrics, he’s pretty much unlike any other band I’ve experienced. Unfortunately, his stuff is pretty hard to get ahold of unless you’re in Japan, where he seems to have secured a following of sorts.
Pantera (2003 The Best of Pantera: Far Beyond the Great Southern Cowboys’ Vulgar Hits!) — Picked up a copy of Vulgar Display of Power back in the day and was blown away by the crazy aggressiveness of it. Used to own everything from that album onward but eventually scaled back to this collection.
The Police (1995 Every Breath You Take: The Classics) — As a kid I owned Synchronicity and Ghost in the Machine, but never picked up any of their earlier stuff. Apart from the wholly unnecessary “Don’t Stand So Close To Me ’86” and the missing “Synchronicity II“, I guess I decided that this collection covered most of my favorites.
Prince (1984 Purple Rain, 2016 4Ever) — I will admit to ignoring Prince for many years between the mid-80s and his untimely death. Revisiting his catalogue now reveals a bunch of good stuff I missed, though “Batdance” is a terrible song and doesn’t belong anywhere near the words “Greatest Hits.”