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Chapter 101: Needles in the Camel's Eye

Proto-alternative rock & power pop

What do you consider the first indie band? (For me it's The Velvet Underground, possibly?) It’s hard to draw a firm line, because whenever you try to call this music underground, alternative, college rock, etc, it wriggles into a new label like a hermit crab. Whatever you prefer to call it, here are the core artists that developed that indie gestalt. Velvets alum John Cale crafts an entire Wes Anderson movie in the space of one song. Patti Smith somehow invents punk and slam poetry at once. Alex Chilton of Big Star really wanted to be one, but had to settle for inspiring superstars to come.
1. Roxy Music

Out of the Blue

2. Raspberries

Go All the Way

3. Big Star

September Gurls

4. Brian Eno

Needles In the Camel's Eye

5. Patti Smith

Piss Factory

6. John Cale

Paris 1919

7. Fairport Convention

Meet On the Ledge

8. Roxy Music

Love Is the Drug

9. Big Star

The Ballad of El Goodo

10. Brian Eno

St. Elmo's Fire