All-Time Best Band: Lynyrd Skynyrd
All-Time Best Solo Artist: Tom Petty
Best New Band: Torche
Ooooh, that smell? It’s the unmistakable, greasy stink of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Southern-fried triple-guitar overload. You can’t wash it out of your clothes or your hair — don’t even try. Just embrace it, and wear it like a badge of honor. (Skynyrd gets bonus Florida points for fronting like they were from Alabama.) | Yes, he was the second-least-important Wilbury (ouch, Jeff Lynne), but top-hat-loving Tom Petty was the crucial missing link between the Byrds-y folk-rock of the ’60s and the R.E.M. indie-rock revolution of the ’80s. And a late-cresting 2007 documentary (Runnin’ Down a Dream, directed by Peter Bogdanovich) has recently resuscitated Petty’s reputation among hipsters. | Miami metal machine Torche marries triumphant, anthemic vocals with bottom-of-the-barrel bass-line sludge, and sends them off on a catchy, doom-pop honeymoon. For a taste, get your hands on “Grenades.”
Video: Lynyrd Skynyrd
Video: Tom Petty
Listen: Lynyrd Skynyrd, "Simple Man"
Listen: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, "The Waiting"
Listen: Torche, "Grenades"