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.
The "U2 Experience + Innocence Tour" is bound for the New York area for four shows, playing Madison Square Garden on June 25, June 26 and July 1 and Newark's Prudential Center on June 29, as the Irish rockers support their latest album, Songs of Experience.
The Lumineers (photo by Scarlet Page, PR)
Ahead of performing two concerts at Bard College's Fisher Center of nothing but Aimee Mann covers, called "All the Presidents Mann," on June 29, actress, activist, and singer Martha Plimpton chooses her "Five Essential Aimee Mann Songs" for FUV Essentials.
Martha Plimpton (photo courtesy of the artist)
In early 2018, Brian Fallon and bandmates of The Gaslight Anthem reunited temporarily to mark the 10th anniversary of their second album, The '59 Sound, with a worldwide tour, playing the record in its entirety. As any fan of the band knows, there's a lyrical nod or two to Bruce Springsteen on that album — and Brian Fallon considers "The Boss" to be a major inspiration.
The Gaslight Anthem, Brian Fallon in the foreground (photo by Danny Clinch, PR)
The songs of Manchester's The Smiths reflected both politics and personal despair — the resounding damage of Thatcherism on the working class, bullying, abandonment, romantic isolation and estrangement — and the quartet cast that pain against luminous, shimmering melodies. The boys with the thorns in their side will always be FUV Essentials.
The Smiths (an assortment of album and singles art)