Rockers are rebels, and pop stars are squares. That tends to be the stereotype, but with freaks like Lady Gaga ruling the pop charts, there are bound to be exceptions on both sides. Today, we’re taking a look at rock stars who indulged in softer sounds, sung about life’s more mainstream pleasures, and defied the leather jacket-wearing norm that has been the genre’s trademark since the time of Elvis. From James Taylor to Hall & Oates to Coldplay, we suggest the ten squarest rock acts of all time after the jump. Add your own picks in the comments.
Don’t be fooled by his crazy love life and history of heroin addiction — James Taylor was born a square, and he’ll die one. He first encountered music as child cellist and took up the guitar as a pre-teen, before attending boarding school at Milton Academy in Massachusetts (he dropped out and returned to public school midway through his junior year). He also summered — that squarest of all verbs — on Martha’s Vineyard. But what really makes Taylor uncool is his music, a tenderized version of folk-rock whose best example is the schlocky “You’ve Got a Friend.” Hell, even his attempt at darkness and depth, “Fire and Rain,” sounds hopelessly gentle.