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10 Bands That Defined The California Sound, As Ranked By Vicki Peterson Of The Bangles

Updated September 7, 2021 5.8k views10 items
Editor's Note: Voting and Reranking have been closed.

The Bangles played a free show at Pershing Square in Los Angeles, California on Saturday, July 14th. In advance of that show, guitarist Vicki Peterson graciously curated this list exclusively for Ranker! Here's what she had to say about it.

The California Sound. Surf guitar? Sure. Shimmering harmony vocals? Yes, please.  Who really defines the music associated with California: that warmth-of-the-sun, top-down-on-the-convertible, singing-at-the-top-of-your-lungs feeling? If someone asked me to compile a list (and, strangely enough, someone did!), I would come up with a too-long roll of bands that shaped the soundtrack of my California childhood. It’s not definitive, it’s not complete, and you can disagree with some of the choices if you like. But here, in roughly chronological order, are 10 bands that (for me) define the California* Sound.