This year we looked at many of the history-making artists with whom the boomer and older generations grew up. From Elvis Presley (in a great rock trio) to the Rolling Stones, who had a golden anniversary in 2012, we remembered iconic musicians by celebrating their sound, their books or the other talented artists they've influenced.
1. Music for Rolling Stones Fans. If you miss the days when Mick and Co. cranked out great new albums every few years, we offer some alternatives: albums from bands comparable to the Stones for their slightly bluesy style and rockin' good lyrics.
2. Singers Joni Mitchell Fans Will Love. Joni Mitchell's albums span 40 years and multiple genres — including rock, pop, jazz and folk — inspiring a new generation of singers and songwriters. We've picked a few that are worth a listen.
3. 8 Fab 4 Bands. For anyone who loved the Beatles all the way from "Love Me Do" to "Let It Be" — and, really, who didn't? — we suggest albums from eight other fab bands.
4. Great Rock Trios. We highlight seven classic rock trios and their best collaborations, including the Supremes' showstopper "Stop in the Name of Love."
5. A Heart-felt Return. This year Heart came roaring back: The Wilson sisters released a new book and a new album, and rocked some sold-out shows. We talked to them recently about their music and family.
6. Summer Songs of the '60s. You can almost get a sunburn listening to these hot summertime songs from the '60s, starting with the smash hit, "A Summer Place" by Percy Faith, and later the Doors' "Light My Fire." The times they were a-changin'.
7. Summer Songs of the '70s. And then there are the unforgettable summer songs from the '70s. All of the tunes we chose for this slideshow helped define that bell-bottomed decade, such as the Carpenters' "(They Long to Be) Close to You" and the theme from Rocky, "Gonna Fly Now."
8. Must-Own Songs for the 50-and-Older Crowd. Author Jacquelyn Mitchard compiled her list of the 16 songs that everyone over 50 must own — and thousands of readers had something to say about it. See what you think.
9. Nice and Folksy. These are nine of the greatest folk-rock albums ever, and a favorite song from each. The list includes such troubadours as Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen — though you may have your own suggestions.
10. The Meaning Behind American Pie. For 40 years, music lovers have been analyzing Don McLean's cryptic anthem "American Pie," so we thought we'd offer our interpretation of his lyrics in this slideshow ("Lenin" refers to John Lennon, for one, and those "birds" who were "eight miles high"? Click the link above to find out).
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