If you could bring back one great artist that has

departed our world who would it be? We have lost some incredibly talented artists, often under tragic circumstances. If it were possible to have an encore I would vote for Janis Joplin. You?
Beethoven. Toward the end of his life, he was outgrowing the traditional classical symphonic and chamber forms of his time. With the various instruments, both acoustic and electronic, available today for him to play with, and the additional genres for him to hear (I'm assuming we could fix his hearing too), I think the results would be awesome.

In rock, while there are many fine choices already mentioned, I'm with Jaybo, I miss the work of Clarence White.
John Lennon because I miss him...
Rcprince has an interesting point with that perspective, and I think it's one fair answer to my mild "philosophical objection" above. I have to admit, I'd be curious myself... or maybe this: "Rock Me, Amadeus!"
It would have to be Duanne Allman or Jimi Hendrix
I would have loved to see what directions there talent would have taken them.
all the above & Lowell George
"Vincent Van Gogh"

Name sounds familiar, did he sing or have good ear for the music?
I'm surprised that Roy Orbison hasn't been mentioned yet unless I overlooked it.
After reading Rockadanny's post, I want Clifford Brown too.
Gram Parsons. Damn heroin!
LoL, Trelja. The Rolling Stones sort of look (and sound) like the Band of The Undead.

there are so many, but I'll say Jeff Buckley. and, i'll also say jimi hendrix too. I could go on. and on.
Joe, I remember that Rolling Stone Magazine voted Keith Richards the rock star most likely to die in the coming year. That was like 30+ years ago.
Assuming they resume at age and performance level at the time they passed, John Lennon no doubt.

Janis Joplin? Really?

Duke Ellington would also be a contender.

Jim Morrison could have been an interesting choice assuming he also cleaned up his act from what it was at the time of his death.

Gotta put a vote in for Buddy Holly also.

I think a lot of people really miss Johnny Cash as well including myself.
One way we might still receive something of the better part of Johnny Cash as artist/conservator of traditional American music would be for Rosanne to record a second installment of "The List".
I don't know if anyone considered him great, but I don't see anybody mentioning his name, Jim Croce.
I've been passing over this thread for while now. At so many different points in my life, I would have picked so many different artists, including most of the above. As of today, right now, I'd bring back: Johann Sebastian Bach.
If he doesn't show up, I reserve the right to change my mind.
Unsound: You make a very good observation about "different points in my life". BTW, your right to change your mind is reserved! We'll see if he shows up!
I know that everyone is going to hate me for this, but it
looks like everyone else has already covered some of the
greatest Musicians. For a change of pace, I would put my
two cents in for John Barry. I figure he is atleast worth
two cents. Excuse me while I duck out of here......and..
..................NOW you can fire away! Last Response..
I'm out of here!
Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong, Kurt Cobain and Janis Joplin
Armstrong, definitely. Davis, sure why not.

Cobain and Joplin? Not the most uplifting performers, though talented, but whatever.

Maybe they would have pulled themselves together and taken it to another level?

OR if they ever straightened themselves out, possible they lose their core fan base also.

You never know.....

It's A wonderful Life?
@ Mapman Pink Floyd isn't exactly uplifting but there's no denying their place in rock. I do believe, however that both Janis' and Cobain's music would have grown and somewhat matured as time went by. Especially Cobain's. I believe he had a way of writing music, songs and lyrics that showed honest raw emotion and wasn't nearly as contrived as some happy-go-lucky pop tune or the formulated teen angst tune so popular today. Just as Miles and Sachmo redefined the music of their time so did Kurt.

Janis is another one. I think she helped define women's ability to sing about topics that went beyond mindless bubble gum and was one of the pioneers of the bad-a$$ rocker chick with soulful music. Plus that voice. Who wouldn't have wanted to hear more of that?
No doubt the talent of both.

I am a Cobain fan despite all.

But if they were to live on, and be "the one" no less, my hope for both would have been to take a more constructive path for applying their talents then they were on at the time of their death.
@mapman. For bad or worse their pain helped their talent. Listen to Clapton, Dylan or Floyd. You can tell by their songs and the different times or stages in their lives. Even Miles Davis. Picaso. There are many artists that use their personal tragedies as a canvas for the art they make. That's the soul that speaks to the individual appreciating what they've crafted. It's why most of us devote our time and effort into this hobby. It's not all peaches and bubble gum out there. Thank goodness because the art they create is pretty special.

I hear you.

In answering the OPs question, I would not want to bring someone back into the same painful situation that resulted in their demise originally, that's all.

I chose Lennon because he appeared to have conquered many of his demons prior around the time of this death and his artistic output appeared on the rise again as a result.

Not interested in hearing artists wallow in pain indefinitely though I certainly can empathize with their situations. I need to see more evolution from an artist over their lifetime than that in order for them to hold my interest over the long term. But that's just me.

Also, Johnny Cash is another who fought many demons that helped make him a more interesting artist, but his legacy was much greater than being just another tortured artist.
@mapman. I'd like to believe if Cobain had still been around his music would have evolved. I can't necessarily say the same about Janis but I just loved her voice. Speaking of the 27 Club members, I wonder how Morrison would have progressed? Did The Rolling Stones of the same era ever really grow up? lol
Saw Janis a few times, very hit and miss. When she was on she was memorable and dazzling when she wasn't it wasn't worth the time.
Would like to bring Mozart into this. Another artist who was beginning to break into new venues or avenue of creation. What and how it might have turned out is as we all know to well is left unknown
Although not a performing artist, though he did play piano. Is Billy Strayhorn, who composed many of the hits for Duke Ellington. He died all to early at age 51 in 1967. We can only surmise the body of work that was yet to come. But nonetheless what he left behind is timeless.
Ian Curtis, Joy Division. i think we only saw the tip of the iceberg regarding Mr Curtis.
Jackie Wilson, Amy Winehouse.
John Lennon, because the (music) world needs him as much now as ever before.
....I will add another ...how about Tommy Bolin ! Look at his work with The James Gang, Deep Purple and then with Billy Cobham. Not to mention his own stuff....great guitarist and God only know where what he could have done.
I would have loved to have seen Sinatra in Vegas. One more time? Absolutely! I thought about Jim Morrison but honestly, how long could we really expect him to stick around?
Jimi Hendrix & Miles Davis were circling each other at the time of Hendrix's passing. Miles was very much into what was happening at the time between the Rock (Hendrix) and the Funk (Sly Stone). Hendrix songwriting was getting jazzier and it would've only been a matter of time before he started jamming with the "youngsters" that Miles later incorporated in his band (geez, think of it, Jimi and Hancock, Corea, Jarrett, DeJohnette, Zawinul, Williams, Clarke, Cobham....the list goes on and on!!). I've read Miles and Jimi had actually communicated about making music together. But Jimi died. So Miles sought out other guitarists to play what he was hearing in his head, and John McLaughlin winds up on Bitches Brew instead of Jimi. Bitches Brew even sounds like a title Hendrix would've used. Jimi Died in 1970, Mahavishnu's Inner Mounting Flame was released in 1971. Had Jimi lived, you KNOW he would've been all over this music! And that was just on the electric side, Gil Evans(long-time Miles collaborator) released a Big Band record of Jimi's music, so it's totally conceivable that Miles, Jimi, and Evans probably would've done some work together. Truly, who knows what would've happened. The least would've been them 'guesting' some solos' on each others' stuff, or (what I prefer to believe;), they may have changed the course of Jazz/Rock 4ever!

Anyhow, my vote's for Jimi & Miles!!
I'm old enough to remember the death of Buddy Holly. Yup, that's old so I've seen the passing of many rock and roll heroes.

Instinctively, I'd say John Lennon because The Beatles are far and away my favorite band. Now I like Lennon's solo work and McCartney's solo work as well but it's evident that their relationship had evolved to the point that "The Beatles" would never be again. I believe eventually we would have seen them perform together again but the 6 years we celebrate as The Beatles was simply a space in time.

So, my vote goes to Jimi Hendrix whom I consider the most innovative rock guitarist. It would have been fascinating to hear the body of work accumulated over the past 40 years.

Or not.

.......I don't think Frank Zappa was mentioned .....now there was a musical genius
Wilhelm Furtwangler. Unlike previous generations, there does not seem to be a pre-eminent conductor at the present. His magic comes across in suboptimal recordings; it would be a treat to hear him live or with today's recording technology ( done by old school sound engineers- say 1960-77). Then again, it would be hard to separate the man and his art from the time he lived in.
Whacko Jacko....aka Michael Jackson.
11-13-11: Cajunpepe
Whacko Jacko....aka Michael Jackson.

Let's let him stay where ever it is he's at!!!!
Jimi. Always wonder where he would have gone over the decades. Certainly, his last sessions were more funky and "black." Still, hard to imagine a better rock guitarist.
I see that Rolling Stone is listing their top ten all time guitar players - Jimi Hendrix is No. 1 but I still like Janis Joplin and Buddy Holly.
I'd like to make a comment about Jimmy. I do not consider him a best guitarist (many better before and after) but I admire raw power and explosiveness he delivered. I like HIS music, guitar playing, singing - whole package. Please do not classify him as guitarist. He was much more than that.
Michael Jackson....

Jimi and Duke Ellington were the first two names to spring to mind, but I think I agree with the choice of Beethoven. His very late works were getting kind of strange (some critics I've seen have attributed some of that to possible hearing loss) in a very interesting way. Aside from being an immense talent, he was a guy who died while his art seemed poised to take "the next step".

Still like to have Jimi and the Duke back, tho.
I'd have to go with the duke and Beethoven as well.
And buddy holly on the pop/rock side.