10. Rickie Lee Jones
Rickie Lee may not have had as gigantic a Billboard career following her Best New Artist win as some of the other stars here, but her debut album is such an assured, unpretentiously poetic, rich listening experience. “Chuck E.’s in Love” and “Young Blood” are whimsical and catchy while “Night Train” and “The Last Chance Texaco” are crackling, despairing portraits. She was also so rad, and that made her bohemian folksiness so much fresher than you’d expect.
If timelessness is a criterion for the music and musicians who win Best New Artist,