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FUV Essentials

There are many variables that determine what makes an artist or band “essential” — longevity, impact, influence, history, discography — and WFUV takes a deeper look with FUV Essentials. On-air and online, we celebrate musicians who have shaped our cultural soundtrack. Let’s love these artists while they’re here, and honor those who have departed too soon.

Brian Fallon's Five Essential Springsteen Albums

As frontman of New Jersey's own Gaslight Anthem, Brian Fallon knows something about the rock and roll heritage of his home state—and Bruce Springsteen. Fallon's fine solo debut, Painkillers, sets him off in a slightly different direction, a journey that he discussed on FUV Live when he recently visited. We asked him if he'd also write about his Five Essential Bruce Springsteen Albums and he quickly agreed.

Susan Tedeschi's Five Essential Bonnie Raitt Albums

Before joining forces with her husband Derek Trucks, the Boston-born Susan Tedeschi was also on her own as a solo performer, nominated back in 2000 for a Best New Artist Grammy, opened for the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, and B.B. King, and studied the transcendent and spirited blues styles of guitarists like Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy, and one of her major influences, FUV Essentials artist, Bonnie Raitt. While on a short tour of Japan this spring, Tedeschi emailed FUV her choices of Five Essential Bonnie Raitt Albums.

Bonnie Raitt

FUV Essentials, both on-air and online, celebrates the musicians who have shaped our cultural soundtrack for the past fifty years, examining their impact, influence and discography. As a deep blues doyenne, a master guitarist, and owner of one of the most heartbreaking, wistful voices to command a breakup ballad or ballsy rocker, Bonnie Raitt is an indomitable force.

BØRNS: Five Essential David Bowie Albums

Garrett Borns, who records as BØRNS, has covered David Bowie's 'Moonage Daydream' extensively in his live sets—a supple, tender take on that song from 'The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.' So when we asked Garrett if he'd compile his 'Five Essential David Bowie Albums' for us, we weren't surprised to find that album in his top five picks.

Steve Rosenthal: Five Essential David Bowie Albums

Producer, engineer and archivist Steve Rosenthal sadly had to close his 28-year-old recording studio, The Magic Shop, earlier in March 2016, falling prey to voracious New York rents. David Bowie recorded his last two albums at The Magic Shop, The Next Day and Blackstar. We reached out to Steve and asked if he'd write about his Five Essential David Bowie Albums as we celebrate Bowie as our first FUV Essential artist.

David Bowie

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.