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Prince for me. I was listening to music such as Bob Dylan, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, and Prince doesn't have much in common with those artists. And now I love Prince, Sign 'O' The Times is one of my all time favorite albums. Also, Elvis.
I'm glad you discovered him from this website. If you don't already, make sure you get every album from his "glory days" of 1980-1988. It's well worth it!
For me, I've discovered several from this website, including the Velvet Underground, Franz Ferdinand, Patti Smith and Television.
Black Box Recorder
Timex Social Club
Way too many to even name. A serious shitload. I think at least half of the artists now on my top 50 wouldn't have been there if it wasn't for AM.
Three that come to mind are The Jesus and Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine and Massive Attack
my latest example: The Bats
i think that AM has played a part in my discovery of every artist that i've discovered since finding AM. i've bought so many albums just because they're ranked highly. and even with recommendations from friends, i always check to see whether they're on AM before i bother to check out their music. it's almost a requirement that an artist is mentioned on AM before i listen to them.
Two that leap to mind are LCD Soundsystem and Curtis Mayfield.
Sufjan Stevens and Sly and the Family Stone.
Pulp (Common People came out during my non music years. Great song.)
Nick Drake (I knew about him, but comments on this site inspired me to get the albums, which I love).
I'm sure there are more, but they don't spring to mind. I wish this website (and the world wide web itself) had existed when I was 19 or 20, as it would have been a lot easier to find the good stuff here than the way I went about it.
Gnarls Barkley, Echo & The Bunnymen, The Cure, New Order, Dusty Springfield, Moby Grape, Eric B & Rakim, probably a few dozen others.
I don't know what you really mean by "easily encountered", but the artists I would probably have never listened without AM that I now love are:
The Velvet Underground
And that's just in the top 40
I just realized that I never answered this question myself!
Just off the top of my head:
Lou Reed/Velvet Underground/Nico
Echo and the Bunnymen
Tubeway Army/Gary Numan
moonbeam, yes you have. second post lol.