Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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Stephen Thomas Erlewine -- otherwise known as Tom Erlewine -- has been at All Music Guide since its inception in 1991. Erlewine attended college at the University of Michigan, where he majored in English.…
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Stephen Thomas Erlewine -- otherwise known as Tom Erlewine -- has been at All Music Guide since its inception in 1991. Erlewine attended college at the University of Michigan, where he majored in English. While he was a student, he worked at the student radio station, WCBN FM 88.3, as well as the student-run newspaper, The Michigan Daily. At The Daily, Erlewine spent a year as music editor (1993-1994) and another year as general arts editor (1994-1995). During this time, he continued to be actively involved with All Music Guide, contributing written work to the database frequently. In the summer of 1994, he became a co-editor of the rock section of AMG, as well as the associate editor of the second edition of the company's general record guide. The following year, he was an editor of The All Music Guide to Rock, to which he was also a major contributor. From there, he eventually worked his way up to the title of Senior Editor for AMG, writing thousands of record reviews in the process. In addition to being a member of Who Dat?, Erlewine is also a freelance writer and has written a handful of liner notes, including those for Pub Rock: Paving the Way for Punk.

When reading the following lists, please keep in mind that these lists -- apart from the first record I ever bought and first concert I attended -- are not set in stone. They are subject to change, usually because I neglected to mention a favorite song or album. In any case, the following songs and albums are music I never get tired of hearing:

The Usual Suspects -- Boring Desert Island Discs I Still Love:
The Rolling Stones -- Exile on Main St.; Beggars Banquet; Let It Bleed
Bob Dylan -- Basement Tapes; Bringing It All Back Home
The Band -- The Band
Waylon Jennings -- Honky Tonk Heroes
The Beatles -- White Album; Revolver
The Kinks -- Village Green Preservation Society; Something Else
The Who -- Sell Out; A Quick One
The Clash -- London Calling; The Clash
The Velvet Underground -- Peel Slowly and See
Elvis Costello -- Get Happy!!; Trust
Pavement -- Slanted & Enchanted
Big Star -- #1 Record/Radio City
Gram Parsons -- G.P./Grievous Angel
Beastie Boys -- Paul's Boutique
David Bowie -- Hunky Dory
Nirvana -- Nevermind
New York Dolls -- New York Dolls; Too Much Too Soon
Randy Newman -- 12 Songs; Good Old Boys
Prince -- Sign 'o' the Times; Purple Rain; Parade
Pretenders -- Pretenders
The Smiths -- The Queen Is Dead; Hatful of Hollow
R.E.M. -- Reckoning
Todd Rundgren -- Something/Anything?
Television -- Marquee Moon
Rod Stewart -- Every Picture Tells a Story; Never a Dull Moment
Public Enemy -- It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back; Fear of a Black Planet
The Stone Roses -- The Stone Roses
Sly & the Family Stone -- There's a Riot Goin' On; Greatest Hits
Liz Phair -- Exile in Guyville

The Real Desert Island List -- Albums I Listen to More Than the Previous List:
Nick Lowe -- Jesus of Cool; Labour of Lust
Brinsley Schwarz -- Nervous on the Road
Rockpile -- Seconds of Pleasure
Little Feat -- Sailin' Shoes; Dixie Chicken
Blur -- Parklife
Frank Sinatra -- Watertown
Pavement -- Wowee Zowee; Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
Pulp -- Different Class
Faces -- Five Guys Walk Into a Bar...
Steely Dan -- Countdown to Ecstasy; Katy Lied; Can't Buy a Thrill; Gaucho
Paul Simon -- There Goes Rhymin' Simon
Pixies -- Surfer Rosa; Come On Pilgrim; Doolittle
Suede -- Dog Man Star; Suede
Creedence Clearwater Revival -- Green River; Willy and the Poor Boys
Urge Overkill -- Saturation; Exit the Dragon
Genesis -- Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
Bubblegum Classics, Vol. 3
Hall & Oates -- The Atlantic Collection
Badfinger -- No Dice
David Bowie -- Scary Monsters
Elton John -- Tumbleweed Connection; Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy
Ween -- Pure Guava; Chocolate & Cheese; The Mollusk
Fleetwood Mac -- Tusk
Elastica -- Elastica
Supergrass -- I Should Coco; In It for the Money
Dave Edmunds -- Get It; Tracks on Wax 4; Repeat When Necessary
Bobby Charles -- Bobby Charles
Paul McCartney -- Ram
Meat Loaf -- Bat out of Hell
Led Zeppelin -- Led Zeppelin III
Hüsker Dü -- Warehouse: Songs and Stories
Oasis -- Definitely Maybe
Harry Nilsson -- Nilsson Schmilsson; Son of Schmilsson
The Move -- Great Move!
Mott the Hoople -- All the Young Dudes; Mott
The Sir Douglas Quintet -- The Return of Doug Saldaña
Todd Rundgren -- A Wizard, a True Star; Runt: Ballad of Todd Rundgren; Hermit of Mink Hollow
The White Stripes -- White Blood Cells; Elephant
Bob Seger -- Back in '72; Seven
T. Rex -- Electric Warrior
Thin Lizzy -- Jailbreak
Roy Wood -- Boulders
Merle Haggard -- A Tribute to the Best Damn Fiddle Player in the World (Or My Salute to Bob Wills)
Weezer -- Pinkerton
Pete Townshend -- All the Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes
Rick Springfield -- Working Class Dog
Tenpole Tudor -- Eddie, Old Bob, Dick & Gary

Greatest Single Ever Made:
Brenton Wood -- "Gimme Little Sign"

Runners Up:
Chuck Berry -- "The Promised Land"
Pulp -- "Common People"

Other Desert Island Singles:
Lindsey Buckingham -- "Trouble"
Crabby Appleton -- "Go Back"
AC/DC -- "Highway to Hell"
Adam Ant -- "Place in the Country"
Eddie Cochran -- "Somethin' Else"
Bruce Springsteen -- "Workin' on the Highway"
Genesis -- "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)"
Squeeze -- "Up the Junction"
Charlie Walker -- "Pick Me Up on Your Way Down"
Simon & Garfunkel -- "The Only Living Boy in New York"
Stone Temple Pilots -- "Interstate Love Song"
Al Stewart -- "Time Passages"
The Amazing Rhythm Aces -- "Third Rate Romance"
Jackson Browne -- "Somebody's Baby"
Ian Dury -- "I'm Partial to Your Abracadabra"
The Jam -- "To Be Someone"; "Going Underground"; "Absolute Beginners"
Fleetwood Mac -- "Blue Letter"; "Second Hand News"; "Monday Morning"
Paul McCartney -- "Maybe I'm Amazed"
MC5 -- "Baby Won't Ya"
Joe Jackson -- "Is She Really Going Out With Him"; "Steppin' Out"
The Go-Go's -- "Head Over Heels"; "Turn to You"
Graham Parker -- "Back to Schooldays"; "Local Girls"
Ricky Nelson -- "Stood Up"; "Waitin' in School"; "Believe What You Say"
The Honeycombs -- "Have I the Right"
Doug Sahm -- "Is Anybody Going to San Antone?"; "Nitty Gritty"; "Texas Tornado"; "Juan Mendoza"
Prince -- "Money Don't Matter 2 Night"
Pet Shop Boys -- "What Have I Done to Deserve This?"
Sonic Youth -- "100%"
Bob Seger -- "Get Out of Denver"; "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man"
Buddy Holly -- "Not Fade Away"; "Rave On"; "Well...All Right"
.38 Special -- "Hold On Loosely"; "Caught Up in You"; "If I'd Been the One"
The Outsiders -- "Time Won't Let Me"
Spandau Ballet -- "True"
The Fixx -- "One Thing Leads to Another"
The English Beat -- "Save It for Later"
Red Simpson -- "Six Days on the Road"
Dexy's Midnight Runners -- "Come On Eileen"
XTC -- "Respectable Street"
Lee Dorsey -- "Working in the Coal Mine"; "Holy Cow"; "Ride Your Pony"
Men at Work -- "It's a Mistake"
Bobby Womack -- "Across 110th Street"
Tommy Tutone -- "867-5309/Jenny"
The Damned -- "Neat Neat Neat"; "New Rose"
Wreckless Eric -- "Whole Wide World"
Tony Burrows -- "Every Little Move She Makes"
Bobby Fuller -- "Let Her Dance"
Randy Travis -- "Digging Up Bones"
Charlie Rich -- "Lonely Weekends"; "Sittin' and Thinkin'"
Jerry Reed -- "East Bound and Down"; "Lord, Mr. Ford"
Jerry Lee Lewis -- "Crazy Arms"; "It'll Be Me"; "Don't Let Me Cross Over"
Tompall Glaser -- "Texas Law Sez"; "Musical Chairs"
Bobby Bare -- "Numbers"; "Detroit City"; "Streets of Baltimore"
Richard Berry -- "Have Love, Will Travel"
Lloyd Price -- "Stagger Lee"
David Allan Coe -- "You Never Even Called Me by My Name"
Rocky Burnette -- "Tired of Toein' the Line"
Bob Wills -- "Time Changes Everything"; "Take Me Back to Tulsa"
Merle Haggard -- "Mama Tried"; "Carolyn"
Ray Charles -- "Mess Around"; "I Got a Woman"; "Lonely Avenue"
The Ikettes -- "I'm Blue"
Professor Longhair -- "Tipitina"
Allen Toussaint -- "Brickyard Blues"
The Spinners -- "I'll Be Around"; "It's a Shame"
Jimmy Reed -- "Baby What You Want Me to Do"; "Bright Lights, Big City"
Howlin' Wolf -- "Sittin' on Top of the World"; "Spoonful"; "Evil"; "Forty Four"
Flaming Ember -- "Westbound No. 9"
House of Pain -- "Jump Around"
Robbie Dupree -- "Steal Away"

Favorite Box Sets:
Harvest Festival
Jerry Lee Lewis -- Locust Years
Waylon Jennings -- The Journey: Six Strings Away
America -- Highway
Little Feat -- Hotcakes & Outtakes
Ray Charles -- The Birth of Soul
Loud, Fast & Out of Control

First Record Bought:
Juice Newton -- Juice; followed by Olivia Newton-John -- Physical and Hall & Oates -- Private Eyes

First Concert:
Huey Lewis & the News, supported by Duke Jupiter, at the Castle in Charlevoix, circa 1984

Favorite Concerts:
Ween; Pavement; Nick Lowe; Pulp, Different Class tour, 1996; Bob Dylan, club show, 1999; The White Stripes, 2003

Concert You Wish You'd Seen:
Rockpile

Favorite Music Movies:
Goodfellas; Velvet Goldmine; This Is Spinal Tap; Rocky Horror Picture Show; Hedwig & the Angry Inch

Best Use of Music in a TV Series:
The Sopranos -- particularly the use of Johnny Thunders' "You Can't Put Your Arms Around a Memory," Cream's "I Feel Free," the Rolling Stones' "Thru and Thru," Van Morrison's "Glad Tidings"

Favorite Music Books:
Shakey; The Last Party; No Sleep Til Hammersmith

Favorite Songwriters:
Chuck Berry; Nick Lowe; Ray Davies; Lowell George

Favorite Record Label:
Stiff

Favorite Album Covers:
Ween -- Chocolate & Cheese; Roxy Music -- Country Life

Least Favorite Album Cover:
Scorpions -- Lovedrive

Favorite Music DVDs:
Pavement -- Slow Century; Pulp -- Hits; Led Zeppelin -- The Old Grey Whistle Test, Vols. 1-3; The Who -- Kids Are Alright

Artist You Will Always Believe In:
Nick Lowe

Artist You Will Always Defend:
The Rolling Stones

Albums That You Will Always Defend:
Urge Overkill -- Exit the Dragon; Menswear -- Nuisance

Album You Own That No One Else Does:
Sheb Wooley -- That's My Pa

Singers Who Make Your Skin Crawl:
Patti Smith; Linda Perry

Singers Who Make You Swoon:
Stephen Malkmus; PJ Harvey

Artists You're Supposed to Like but Don't:
Bob Marley; Frank Zappa; Jimi Hendrix

Song You Can't Stand by an Artist You Like:
"My Ding-a-Ling," Chuck Berry

Favorite Teen Idol:
Ricky Nelson

Artist Who Broke Your Heart:
R.E.M.

Band That Should Break Up:
Aerosmith

Band That Should Re-form:
Nobody. Bands always break up when they should. But I am glad that Brett Anderson and Bernard Butler are working together again.

Guilty Pleasure:
I have no guilt, particularly about Rick Springfield.