Top 40 Before 40 Rock Artists - #37 - Taking Back Sunday

Okay, so, now I am getting into the thick of making incredibly hard decisions here. The main issue I have is that I have to EXCLUDE some of my favorite bands, and one of the main criteria I had to consider was “how much I listen and listened to” each artist and band. For that reason, I HAVE to include this next band over some of my absolute favorites such as Pixies and Sunny Day Real Estate. 

It’s a heart-breaking decision to leave those two bands out of the top 40 as I truly do love them, and I just had to really ask myself questions like, “Would you rather have this band’s discography to listen to for a whole year or this other band?” I gotta say, it is hard to make those decisions considering Pixies have one of my favorite songs of all time in “Where’s My Mind?

For those of you who are just joining this list at this point, let me give a quick summary below:

  • In my almost 40 years on this planet, I have had the great pleasure of listening to a lot of music that doesn't make it to the airwaves, and a lot of these bands are some of my absolute favorites.
  • You WILL see some Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame bands on the list too, but for the most part, you are likely going to disagree with this list almost entirely.
  • I am sharing this ranking so that you get some insight into some great bands you may have never heard before AND for a little bit of a personal challenge to myself to rank these bands.

With that said, let's get to #37 on my Top 40 List Before 40:

By Andreas Lawen, Fotandi - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Photo By Andreas Lawen, Fotandi - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

#37 - Taking Back Sunday

The one constant about this band is that they seem to always change. And by that, I mean that there have been several lineup changes in the band. To the point where the founding  members are no longer in the band at all.

That aside, this band has literally managed to rock pretty hard for an “emo-labeled” band for over 2 decades. Some of their songs hit quite hard and definitely don’t come off so much as “emo” as more of something like an energy-filled anger track like something out of Guns N’ Roses’ catalogue.

I have probably listened to their first 3 albums over 200 times each from front to back. They really are that good. They really had a big breakout with their 3rd album, Louder Now (which is the first on a major record label - Warner Bros.). 

That’s when they released the song “MakeDamnSure” which was a pretty great track that had a lot of My Chemical Romance sound to it with a lot more fire. Right behind that single came “What’s It Feel Like To Be A Ghost?” which rocked equally hard.

For those who want to write this choice on the list off as “too emo”, I would urge you to reconsider, because I almost always write off bands with an “emo” label as well, but I would never in good conscious suggest that Taking Back Sunday has ever earned that label nor do that have that sound, in my humble opinion.

I recommend you check out ANY song in their category, but if you want to choose just one album, I would say head to Louder Now and play it front to back. Then if you like it, check out their albums in chronological order to get a full sense of the evolution of the band. You will NOT be disappointed.

For each band or artist in my list, I also want to give some additional bands and artists that didn't make the cut that I would still absolutely recommend, because I still think they are insanely awesome, but I had to make my list only 40 acts long.

Similar Artists That I Recommend That Didn't Make The Top 40:

Sunny Day Real Estate, Midtown, Armor For Sleep

<-- Check out #38 on this list or Check out #36 on this list --> (Available December 15th, 2020)

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