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!
S’Express (1989 Original Soundtrack, 1991 Intercourse) — Early in college picked this up to see if I was into house music. Apparently not too much, but it did insinuate itself into my musical consciousness enough that I’ve kept them in my collection.
Schoolyard Heroes (2003 The Funeral Sciences, 2005 Fantastic Wounds, 2007 Abominations) — This local Seattle goth horror/punk band really caught my attention during their brief period of activity. Enjoyed all their albums, especially the second. Too bad they’ve moved on, but at least we got to see them live (even if we were seriously the oldest people in the audience!)
She Wants Revenge (2005 S/T, 2007 This Is Forever, 2011 Valleyheart) — Discovered this band thanks to a girl in church wearing their T-shirt, ironically. Found out they had a really droll goth rock sound that I liked, with nice dark lyrics and a mood to match.
Skinny Puppy (1985 Bites, 1986 Mind: The Perpetual Intercourse, 1987 Cleanse Fold and Manipulate, 1988 VIVIsectVI, 1989 12 Inch Anthology, 1989 Rabies, 1990 Too Dark Park, 1990 Tormentor, 1992 Last Rights, 1996 The Process, 1998 Remix Dystemper, 2004 The Greater Wrong of the Right, 2007 Mythmaker, 2011 HanDover, 2013 Weapon) — Loved the dark industrial sounds of Skinny Puppy since I first got a chance to hear them in high school. Their earlier works were very sample-heavy, with a dark horror theme. Then they hooked up with Al Jourgensen of Ministry and produced Rabies, with a more guitar-heavy sound and one of their best songs, “Worlock.” A lot of fans thought that was the end, but they came back stronger than ever with my absolute favorite album (and album artwork) in Too Dark Park, a 35-minute magnum opus of incredible music. To me, definitely one of the pinnacles of the industrial scene. After a bit of a fallow period, their newer 21st century albums seem to have found them revitalized with a bit of a tweaked sound.
Sting (1985 The Dream of the Blue Turtles, 1986 Bring On the Night, 1987 …Nothing Like the Sun, 1991 The Soul Cages, 1993 If I Ever Lose My Faith in You, 1993 Ten Summoner’s Tales, 1994 This Cowboy Song, 1996 Mercury Falling, 1999 Brand New Day, 2003 Sacred Love, 2009 If on a Winter’s Night…, 2013 The Last Ship, 2016 57th & 9th) — I liked Sting as part of The Police, but when he went solo in the mid-80s I found his new sound challenging and ultimately very enjoyable. Especially those first few albums had a heady intellectualism about them that fit well with my graduating high school and moving on into college. I also personally feel Bring on the Night is probably my all-time favorite live album by any artist. And his recent stuff has been great as well, from the great winter-themed If on a Winter’s Night to the stage soundtrack for The Last Ship.
Stone Temple Pilots (1992 Core, 1994 Purple, 1996 Tiny Music… Songs From the Vatican Gift Shop, 1999 #4, 2001 Shangri-La Dee Da, 2010 S/T) — Originally lumped in with the grunge bands of the early-to-mid-90s, I connected with these guys from the start. Yes, Core slots in nicely with the grunge of the era (and in fact is one of my favorite albums of the times), but their subsequent releases were much more varied and interesting.
Styx (1972 S/T, 1973 Styx II, 1974 The Serpent Is Rising / Man of Miracles, 1975 Equinox, 1976 Crystal Ball, 1977 The Grand Illusion, 1978 Pieces of Eight, 1979 Cornerstone, 1981 Paradise Theatre, 1983 Kilroy Was Here, 1990 Edge of the Century, 1999 Brave New World, 2003 Cyclorama) — Styx’s Cornerstone was the first album I ever purchased, when I bought the cassette tape from the local drug store. Then I joined a record club or two to pick up a bunch more of their stuff and was hooked. I know these albums (well, everything up through Kilroy) so well that they are just a total part of me. For a while I thought I had outgrown them but came back recently found myself loving them all for totally different reasons. These days I can really see the yin-and-yang of Dennis DeYoung and Tommy Shaw and their influence on the songs. I appreciate that all the band members can sing and harmonize together. And I don’t think there’s another band in my collections whose songs can give me the chills as much as these guys.
System of a Down (1998 S/T, 2001 Toxicity, 2002 Steal This Album!, 2005 Hypnotize, 2005 Mezmerize, 2006 Lonely Day) — Fell in love with this band with “Chop Suey!” and still love their eclectic mix of humor, politics, metal, and sweet harmonies.
Smashing Pumpkins (1993 Siamese Dream, 1995 Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness) — Never was a superfan, but “Disarm” totally kills me emotionally, and most of their Mellon Collie era stuff is a good listen.
Sneaker Pimps (1996 Becoming X) — These guys released a great moody trip-hop first album, then followed it up by changing singers and direction. Oh well, at least we have one excellent offering anyways.
Soundgarden (1991 Badmotorfinger, 1994 Superunknown, 1996 Down on the Upside, 2012 King Animal) — Picked up on these guys as grunge hit its peak in the mid-90s. “Black Hole Sun” was everywhere on the radio, and Chris Cornell’s voice was hugely compelling in its power. Didn’t end up exploring their earliest stuff, but their last few albums are solid rockers.
The Sugarcubes (1988 Life’s Too Good) — Bjork before she went solo. I owned this album when it came out, then ditched it, then reacquired it recently. Now when I listen to it, it totally reminds me of an Icelandic B-52’s, LOL.
Scorpions (2001 The Millennium Collection: The Best of Scorpions) — Growing up in MTV land of course meant that I was well aware of this German rock band that had apparently been around since the early 70’s. But in the MTV era we got their early 80’s work with those awesome riffs and classic songs that I just couldn’t get enough of.
Billy Squier (2005 Absolute Hits) — Billy Squier was one of those solo rock artists who was all over MTV in the early days. Over the years he accumulated quite an awesome collection of songs, and I was happy to finally see a decent compilation so I could own them.