The Top Ten Not-Bonos

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The social conscience and strident voice of Bono has influenced many a singer over the last few decades. The U2 frontman successfully melded the earnest social conscience of Bruce Springsteen with the self-glorifying pomp of European arena acts, realizing that both the Common Man and King Dick were below Jesus on the food chain. Sure there was precedent, but Sting is handicapped by his ego (and jazz bass), while Ian McCullough wanted to be a romantic poet/sex object more than the messiah. Here are ten singers who, at their best (or worst), have aspired to the Almighty’s throne.

1. Chris Martin (Coldplay)

Will he fail the music industry or will the music industry fail him?

2. Stuart Adamson (Big Country)

Dude thought he could be Bono and The Edge. Rest in peace, Icarus.

3. Brandon Flowers (Killers)

Bono took arena rock from the Boss. Tonight, we’re taking it back!

4. Mike Peters (The Alarm)

National Lampoon made this, right?

5. Jim Kerr (Simple Minds)

Ok, he still makes the top ten. Christ, does he ever.

6. Thom Yorke (Radiohead)

Bravo for all the bleeps’n’creeps that have cloaked the origin of Thom Yorke’s reaching voice and political outspokenness, but you can still see the holy one lurking behind those abstractions. And all those bands that have tried to rip Yorke off wind up aping Bono eventually.

7. Cinjun Tate (Remy Zero)

Once upon a time, kids, someone actually bothered to rip off Pop.

8. Ryan Adams

Damn, Ryan, why didn’t you stick with this? If more people had bought your Bono move, would you have still made 18 albums about Jackson City Nights In Tennessee With Mary Lee or would you have chilled for a year before calling up Eno and Lanois? Who am I kidding, you would have done both.

9. Mike Scott (The Waterboys)

The missing link between Bon-Bon and the Arcade Fire.

10. Win Butler (Arcade Fire)

See?

Ryan Adams: So Alive [The Late Show] [YouTube]The Alarm – Spirit Of ’76 [YouTube]Arcade Fire – Rebellion [YouTube]Big Country – Where the Rose is Sown [YouTube]Coldplay – Speed Of Sound [YouTube]Read My Mind – Killers [YouTube]Anyone Can Play Guitar [YouTube]Remy Zero – Save Me [YouTube]Simple Minds – Alive And Kicking [YouTube]Waterboys – The Whole Of The Moon [Youtube]