Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Full disclosure

We are releasing the vote breakdown for all of the songs that made the list. Hopefully, this will help cease the rumours of fraud. Possibly, Jacob Marley may now rest his weary head.

The total # of votes is in parentheses followed by the points allotted for each vote.

When there were ties, song that had more votes were listed first.

1) “Like a Rolling Stone” (10) 50, 50, 49, 49, 46, 41, 40, 40, 36, 33
2) “I Want to Hold Your Hand” (8) 49, 48, 46, 46, 45, 45, 42, 17
3) “Satisfaction” (7) 50, 49, 46, 46, 45, 43, 15
4) “Tangled Up In Blue” (6) 50, 50, 48, 35, 35, 29
5) “Thunder Road” (7) 43, 40, 39, 36, 30, 28, 13
6) “Waterloo Sunset” (8) 50, 48, 38, 34, 24, 22, 9, 3
7) “Walk Away Rene” (5) 50, 48, 47, 41, 30
8) “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (5) 50, 48, 44, 42, 20
9) “A Day in the Life” (5) 49, 44, 40, 38, 23
10) “God Only Knows” (6) 48, 44, 33, 33, 19, 10
11) “Fortunate Son” (7) 43, 43, 36, 24, 12, 12, 8
12) “Sympathy for the Devil” (5) 47, 47, 36, 25, 23
13) “Good Vibrations” (4) 50, 48, 45, 33
14) “Atlantic City” (4) 49, 46, 39, 21
15) “Louie Louie” (5) 50, 49, 30, 13, 12
16) “Train in Vain” (4) 43, 37, 34, 32
17) “What’s Going On” (6) 47, 40, 29, 11, 10, 7
18) “Layla” (3) 49, 47, 39
19) “California Dreamin’” (4) 44, 32, 29, 26
20) “Born to Run” (5) 47, 41, 18, 14, 10
21) “The Weight” (5) 46, 37, 29, 15, 3
22) “Sweet Jane” (4) 47, 32, 29, 18
23) “Yesterday” (4) 44, 27, 26, 24
24) “The Tracks of My Tears” (5) 46, 26, 20, 18, 7
25) “In My Life” (3) 43, 41, 33
26) “You Really Got Me” (3) 50, 46, 19
27) “Heroes” (3) 48, 44, 23
28) “In the Still of the Night” (3) 48, 47, 15
29) “Baba “O’Riley” (3) 50, 38, 22
30) “I Saw Her Standing There” (3) 44, 33, 32
31) “Summer Wind” (3) 50, 42, 14
32) “Jolene” (3) 44, 43, 19
33) “How Soon is Now” (4) 39, 31, 28, 6
34) “The Harder They Come” (3) 36, 36, 32
35) “Then He Kissed Me” (3) 44, 36, 22
36) “Let’s Stay Together” (4) 42, 35, 16, 8
37) “Don’t Worry Baby” (3) 40, 39, 20
38) “Complete Control” (3) 37, 31, 31
39) “Crying” (4) 50, 25, 19, 4
40) “She Said She Said” (3) 50, 28, 17
41) “Jumping Jack Flash” (2) 50, 45
42) “Positively 4th Street” (2) 49, 46
43) “It Makes No Difference” (4) 49, 25, 16, 4
44) “Mack the Knife” (3) 48, 37, 9
45) “When Doves Cry” (3) 42, 35, 17
46) “I Fought the Law” (3) 36, 31, 27
47) “Summertime Blues” (4) 43, 24, 22, 4
48) “Gimme Shelter” (3) 43, 31, 19
49) “Paint it Black” (2) 49, 44
50) “The Girl from Ipanema” (2) 47, 45
51) “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” (3) 41, 31, 19
52) “Georgia on My Mind” (3) 36, 35, 20
53) “Maybellene” (2) 46, 45
54) “Crazy” (2) 46, 45
55) “All Along the Watchtower” (3) 49, 35, 6
56) “Superstition” (3) 37, 34, 19
57) “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” (3) 33, 30, 27
58) “Your Cheatin’ Heart” (3) 39, 28, 22
59) “What’d I Say Parts I & II (3) 42, 27, 19
60) “I Want You Back” (3) 45, 22, 20
61) “Who Knows Where the Time Goes” (3) 34, 34, 18
62) “River Deep, Mountain High” (2) 49, 37
63) “Mr. Tambourine Man” (3) 40, 36, 8
64) “You Send Me” (3) 36, 31, 17
65) “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On (2) 47, 37
66) “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” (3) 38, 33, 12
67) “1952 Vincent Black Lightning” (2) 46, 37
68) “Pale Blue Eyes” (4) 34, 23, 13, 11
69) “Fairytale of New York” (4) 24, 21, 19, 17
70) “Eleanor Rigby” (2) 40, 39
71) “Feel a Whole Lot Better” (2) 47, 31
72) “Ticket to Ride” (2) 48, 29
73) “Neither One of Us (wants to be the first to say goodbye)” (2) 43, 33
74) “Sultans of Swing” (2) 41, 35
75) “It’s the Same Old Song” (2) 46, 29
76) “Fight the Power” (2) 41, 34
77) “Just What I Needed” (2) 49, 25
78) “Desolation Row” (2) 49, 25
79) “Be My Baby” (2) 43, 31
80) “Stairway to Heaven” (2) 47, 26
81) “This Must Be the Place (naïve melody)” (2) 41, 31
82) “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” (2) 40, 32
83) “America” (2) 38, 34
84) “Can’t Hardly Wait” (2) 48, 23
85) “Under My Thumb” (2) 45, 26
86) “Papa was a Rollin’ Stone” (2) 43, 28
87) “Bohemian Rhapsody” (3) 47, 20, 3
88) “Goodbye” (3) 44, 14, 12
89) “(Sittin’ on) the Dock of the Bay (2) 48, 22
90) “Eight Miles High” (2) 42, 27
91) “Society’s Child” (2) 41, 28
92) “A Case of You” (3) 27, 21, 20
93) “Bridge Over Troubled Water” (4) 36, 16, 9, 6
94) “Me and Bobby McGee” (2) 41, 26
95) “I Fall to Pieces” (2) 34, 33
96) “Won’t Get Fooled Again” (2) 34, 33
97) “The Witch” (2) 42, 24
98) “Beast of Burden” (2) 38, 28
99) “Powderfinger” (2) 36, 30
100) “Space Oddity” (3) 49, 11, 5
101) “You Shook Me All Night Long” (3) 37, 21, 7
102) “Do You Remember Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio?” (2) 44, 21

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Jack's Thoughts on Top 100

The Meat Puppets shirt is gone (probably stolen), but during the time it took me to tally these, they released their "get out of jail" record to much hoopla. I was just waiting to see if the new release would alter our list dramatically.

While expected to dominate, the fact that the 60s had more selections than all of the other decades combined is annoying. The Beatles alone had more selections than the 50s.

As godihateyourband noted, punk was largely ignored, and Buzzcocks, a singles band if there ever were one, did not receive one vote out of 22 lists and 1100 picks.

It took a technicality to get The Ramones, America's most exciting rock band, on this list, and it consequently got America's most lethal producer on for the fourth time.

The lack of SST, Touch & Go, Homestead, etc. was probably inevitable. Dinosaur Jr. had a chance. "In a Jar", "Little Fury Things" (one of the best songs of the late 80s) and "Freak Scene" got votes, but not enough to chart. Black Flag's "Rise Above" only got 2 votes.

Even Sub Pop did poorly, but I was glad to see that I wasn't the only person who felt that Mudhoney's "Touch Me, I'm Sick" deserved a spot.

Sire era Replacements charted, and several Twin/Tone era songs got votes. Oddly, "I Will Dare", a song that on any other day might have been on several of the lists, did not receive one vote.

Hüsker Dü had some votes from Zen Arcade and Will had their cover of The Byrds' "Eight Miles High" at #5. On a different list, one that emphasized favorites, the Hüskers may have fared as well as Dylan. I suspect that "Girl Who Lives on Heaven Hill" would have been on several top tens.

Higher profile 80s bands such as Pixies and REM also failed to chart. Several Pixies songs were nominated but none of them twice. The lack of REM was surprising; even "Radio Free Europe" garnered only 1 vote.

The absence of Sonic Youth may have had something to do with the fact that it's a list of songs.

Hip Hop went nowhere with only PE charting at #76. Neither "The Message" nor "Straight Outta Compton", were on any lists.

Elvis Presley did not make the list. That fact will probably elicit some hate mail.

On the whole, the individual lists were well thought out and eclectic. Songs that I didn't choose but was hoping would make the final list included Boston's "More Than a Feeling", ZZ Top's "Tush" and America's "Sister Golden Hair".

Shaq received no votes.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Thoughts on top 100, Pt. 1

Are we preoccupied with 60s rock, or is it the best we got? Am I pissed off looking at it, or do I sigh, and say ‘it’s what I expected’? Hey, I listed as many ’60 tunes as the next. It doesn’t make me happy, but … as a self-proclaimed believer that ‘punk rock saved the friggin world’, does it invalidate most of the music that informed my adolescence/early adulthood (nyc school of 77/dc hardcore/English punk/indie rock from ‘82- to hell, most of the ‘90s, and some lately), or does it show that music as merely as reflection or refraction of a template that had already been so ensconced in our collective heads? I’ll admit as readily as anyone I think has a brain that The Ramones were nowhere without Spector and the like, that many of my initial fave 2nd generation punk tunes were funny takes on classic rock idioms, or the first time I heard Dinosaur Jr. I thought ‘this is Crazy Horse, but it speaks to me’, or when I heard the Replacements I thought ‘they grew up listening to the same 45s I did!’. Does that diminish the inherent songwriting talents of Dee Dee/Joey, Mascis or Westerberg? Why is "I'm Never Talking to You Again" not rated in the same list as "At 17"? Well, popularity has the biggest hand, but I must admit I was surprised at the results.

Interesting findings:

As previously mentioned, amerindie/college rock (music anyone 40 or near listened to in the ‘80s) was almost completely shut out … and the peeps who contributed to this list are overwhelmingly in that category. No R.E.M, no SY, no Pups, no Huskers, a total SST/Homestead/Touch and Go/Dischord/Twin-Tone no-fer. ‘60s rock is an omnipresent force in our lives, but I gotta admit, I’m flummoxed by the ‘80s. Over the last decade, it’s become the “soundtrack of our lives” as well. I guess there is a difference between Neil Young and the Pixies, Neil friggin charted in the top 40.

Female presence. An alarmingly weak (and I’m being liberal here) 15 songs. The most recent selection is from 1987, The Pogues “Fairytale of New York” featuring vocals from the late Kirsty Maccoll.

Beatles songs= 8

Solo Beatle cuts= zero

39 cuts in our list appeared in the Rolling Stone top 100.

Brits and Yanks split the top 10.

Punk (orig class) . Again being VERY liberal, 4 cuts.

Hip Hop. 1 white people.

Breakdown (thankfully not on the list)

50s 7
60s 56
70s 27
80s 9
90s 3
00s 0

apparently there aren’t any killers fans out there

The most recent song is from 1995. It is, however, the amazing Steve Earle song “Goodbye”.

Top dawgs:

Beatles 8
Rolling Stones 7
Dylan 4

3 each:
Bruce Springsteen, The Beach Boys, The Byrds, The Band

2 each:
The Kinks, The Clash, David Bowie, Ray Charles, The Velvet Underground, The Who, Patsy Cline, Simon and Garfunkel

Monday, August 20, 2007


Here it is kids!

First of all, nice work Jack compiling the numbers. The top 100 (well, 102 with the tie for 100). We had to disqualify “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” cause it was released in 1949 (you’re welcome Mr. Townshend). And thanks to all who participated. An overview will be posted tomorrow. Please feel free to discuss.

1) “Like a Rolling Stone” Bob Dylan
2) “I Want to Hold Your Hand” The Beatles
3) “Satisfaction” The Rolling Stones
4) “Tangled Up In Blue” Bob Dylan
5) “Thunder Road” Bruce Springsteen
6) “Waterloo Sunset” The Kinks
7) “Walk Away Rene” The Left Banke
8) “Smells Like Teen Spirit” Nirvana
9) “A Day in the Life” The Beatles
10) “God Only Knows” The Beach Boys
11) “Fortunate Son” Creedence Clearwater Revival
12) “Sympathy for the Devil” The Rolling Stones
13) “Good Vibrations” The Beach Boys
14) “Atlantic City” Bruce Springsteen
15) “Louie Louie” The Kingsmen
16) “Train in Vain” The Clash
17) “What’s Going On” Marvin Gaye
18) “Layla” Derek & the Dominos
19) “California Dreamin’” The Mamas & the Papas
20) “Born to Run” Bruce Springsteen
21) “The Weight” The Band
22) “Sweet Jane” The Velvet Underground
23) “Yesterday” The Beatles
24) “The Tracks of My Tears” Smokey Robinson & the Miracles
25) “In My Life” The Beatles
26) “You Really Got Me” The Kinks
27) “Heroes” David Bowie
28) “In the Still of the Night” The Five Satins
29) “Baba “O’Riley” The Who
30) “I Saw Her Standing There” The Beatles
31) “Summer Wind” Frank Sinatra
32) “Jolene” Dolly Parton
33) “How Soon is Now” The Smiths
34) “The Harder They Come” Jimmy Cliff
35) “Then He Kissed Me” The Crystals
36) “Let’s Stay Together” Al Green
37) “Don’t Worry Baby” The Beach Boys
38) “Complete Control” The Clash
39) “Crying” Roy Orbison
40) “She Said She Said” The Beatles
41) “Jumping Jack Flash” The Rolling Stones
42) “Positively 4th Street” Bob Dylan
43) “It Makes No Difference” The Band
44) “Mack the Knife” Bobby Darin
45) “When Doves Cry” Prince
46) “I Fought the Law” The Bobby Fuller Four
47) “Summertime Blues” Eddie Cochran
48) “Gimme Shelter” The Rolling Stones
49) “Paint it Black” The Rolling Stones
50) “The Girl from Ipanema” Getz/Gilberto
51) “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” The Shirelles
52) “Georgia on My Mind” Ray Charles
53) “Maybellene” Chuck Berry
54) “Crazy” Patsy Cline
55) “All Along the Watchtower” Jimi Hendrix
56) “Superstition” Stevie Wonder
57) “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” Frankie Valli
58) “Your Cheatin’ Heart” Hank Williams
59) “What’d I Say Parts I & II Ray Charles
60) “I Want You Back” The Jackson 5
61) “Who Knows Where the Time Goes” Fairport Convention
62) “River Deep, Mountain High” Ike & Tina Turner
63) “Mr. Tambourine Man” The Byrds
64) “You Send Me” Sam Cooke
65) “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On Jerry Lee Lewis
66) “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” Crosby, Stills & Nash
67) “1952 Vincent Black Lightning” Richard Thompson
68) “Pale Blue Eyes” The Velvet Underground
69) “Fairytale of New York” The Pogues
70) “Eleanor Rigby” The Beatles
71) “Feel a Whole Lot Better” The Byrds
72) “Ticket to Ride” The Beatles
73) “Neither One of Us (wants to be the first to say goodbye)” Gladys Knight & the Pips
74) “Sultans of Swing” Dire Straits
75) “It’s the Same Old Song” The Four Tops
76) “Fight the Power” Public Enemy
77) “Just What I Needed” The Cars
78) “Desolation Row” Bob Dylan
79) “Be My Baby” The Ronettes
80) “Stairway to Heaven” Led Zeppelin
81) “This Must Be the Place (naïve melody)” Talking Heads
82) “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” The Band
83) “America” Simon & Garfunkel
84) “Can’t Hardly Wait” The Replacements
85) “Under My Thumb” The Rolling Stones
86) “Papa was a Rollin’ Stone” The Temptations
87) “Bohemian Rhapsody” Queen
88) “Goodbye” Steve Earle
89) “(Sittin’ on) the Dock of the Bay Otis Redding
90) “Eight Miles High” The Byrds
91) “Society’s Child” Janis Ian
92) “A Case of You” Joni Mitchell
93) “Bridge Over Troubled Water” Simon & Garfunkel
94) “Me and Bobby McGee” Janis Joplin
95) “I Fall to Pieces” Patsy Cline
96) “Won’t Get Fooled Again” The Who
97) “The Witch” The Sonics
98) “Beast of Burden” The Rolling Stones
99) “Powderfinger” Neil Young
100) (tie) “You Shook Me All Night Long” AC/DC, “Do You Remember Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio” The Ramones, “Space Oddity” David Bowie

Friday, August 10, 2007


might hafta rename blog godihate1-95. bklyn to raleigh/durham should take 8 hrs. meanwhile i'm sittin in overpriced shitty hotel in south hill, va. left at 11:15am, checked in at 11:15pm, with hour and a half drive in morn. lucky ms. gihyb and baby gihyb are flying in to r/d.

savin grace: pulling into hotel, the i-shuffle hit "aftermath usa" by dbt. really hit home when i noticed vibe of hotel. if vacation week's supply of baby's diapers are still in car when i get down there tomorrow mornin, i will be surprised*. i'm fully expecting my dive in pool at 8am (nullifyin need for shower) will be one where i try to avoid floatin body.

honorable mention: i-95 namechecks on the ride via i-shuffle by jay-z, damian marley and ghostface


*When I crawled out of bed this morning
I could tell something wasn't right
There were cigarettes in the ashtrays
They weren't your menthol lights

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Jimmy Eight Cat's Top 50

Before opening Jack's Top 50, i felt intimidated. Prior to Drew's, I felt like the puny schoolkid about to take his first punch in the gut.

There are a few friends of mine that I believe have a great book in them (almost all of them bloggers ... see my list). Drew could write 20. Drew has on occasion, made me believe: Grant Hart is the only singer alive worthy of uttering a syllable (a noble argument); i understood jazz from hearing him talk about it (which I don't); and that maybe "More Than a Feeling" (okay Jack and Larroca too) is worth more than the diaper stain i give it credit for (if it's brown and stinks ...).

Only once, in memory, have I made him change his opinion (and I hope I'm not making this up). He proclaimed his ambivalence to Brian Wilson and the Boys. I played him "You Still Believe in Me". He said, as I recall, "that's nice". That started a run culminating in my turning him onto the Drive by Truckers. Well, those are 2 things in 14 years.

Full disclosure, he wrote the liner notes for my band's latest record. Fuller disclosure, he's a hell of a writer. I look forward to all 20.

ps- Jack, that means you too.


1) “Louie, Louie”-The Kingsmen
It might not be about pussy and beer, but it sure sounds it.
2) “I Want to Hold Your Hand”-The Beatles
No other song has captured the excitement of teen romance as well as this.
3) “Waterloo Sunset”-The Kinks
When Ray Davies was at the height of his songwriting powers he captured regular people’s lives like no other songwriter could or wanted to.
4) “In the Still of the Night”-The 5 Satins
Doo-wop’s greatest, achingly romantic, filled with emotion and more than a touch of sadness
5) “You Really Got Me”-The Kinks
This just explodes out of the speaker like nothing that came before it.
6) “Maybelline”-Chuck Berry
Without this, most of the other songs here wouldn’t exist. This wins out over other Berry songs for coining the word “motorvating”.
7) “And Then He Kissed Me”-The Ronettes
The “best wall of sound” single, and a story song to boot.
8) “Fortunate Sun”-CCR
Know anybody in Iraq ? I didn’t think so. It might be the only timeless Viet Nam song.
9) “This Is My Country”-The Impressions
Four words that dismiss racism as powerfully as any MLK speech. Surely the only charting song that contains the phrase “welts on my back”.
10) "Walk Away Renee"-The Left Banke
Baroque pop genius, and on AM radio too. Damn you Will.
11) “A Day in the Life”-The Beatles
Sit down and listen to it for the first time again. There’s a whole world in there.
12) “Peggy Sue”-The Crickets
For those drums alone, but also one of the first great white rock songs.
13) “I’ll Be Around”-The Spinners
Heartbreak incarnate, with strings.
14) “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On”-Jerry Lee Lewis
Is it really all that surprising he married his 13 year old cousin? The epitome of wild man rock and roll.
15) “The Harder They Come”-Jimmy Cliff
Dismissing religion and yet profoundly spiritual, it’s “Imagine” without the high fructose corn syrup.
16) “Something Else”-Eddie Cochran
There are nights when I stand in my driveway and stare at my ’66 Bel Air and wish there was a woman with me.
17) “Bummer in the Summer”-Love
Timeless and haunting, like capturing summer’s end in a bottle.
18) “In My Life”-The Beatles
Maybe the greatest love song ever, and that’s only the half of it.
19) “Sweet Jane (full version with bridge”-The Velvet Underground
Yearning, hopeful and desperately romantic(with the bridge restored), the fact that’s it’s about drag queen doesn’t make it’s expression of those feelings any less universal.
20) “Feel a Whole Lot Better”-The Byrds
The word “probably” changes the whole meaning. Few songwriters captured ambiguity like Clark did.
21) “There Goes My Baby”-The Drifters
Not just the first R&B record with strings, it’s “Needles and Pins” with soul.
22) “The Same Old Song”-The Four Tops
Motown truth and wisdom at it’s finest.
23) “Jailhouse Rock”-Elvis Presley
It’s been around so long, it doesn’t seem dangerous anymore. It is.
24) “I Only Have Eyes For You”-The Flamingos
The fifties as another country.
25) “Omaha”-Moby Grape
Frenetic, psychedelic pop , with one of the greatest intros ever. And you could have caught it blasting out of the AM radio in your Dodge Coronet in 1967.
26) “Desolation Row”-Bob Dylan
Ten minutes where Bob Dylan really does sound like a poet.
27)”Riding in My Car”-NRBQ
The greatest song to catch on the radio, guaranteed to make you think of someone for the first time in years.
28) “Pale Blue Eyes”-The Velvet Underground
For a guy with his reputation, Lou Reed can be devastatingly vulnerable.
28) “I Want You Back”-The Jackson 5
The greatest bubblegum soul single, with enough hooks for two songs.
29) “Rock and Roll”-The Velvet Underground
I never thought Lou was being metaphorical when he talked about being “saved by rock and roll”.
30) “Tumbling Dice”-The Rolling Stones
For once Mick Jagger sounds like he cares, and from the album where Keith Richards finds the real white blues.
31) “Maybe the People Would Be the Times or Between Clark and Hilldale"-Love
It’s simply beautiful, with the trick of having the last word of each verse dropped only to become the first word of the next.
32) “Blitzkrieg Bop”-The Ramones.
How do you pick one Ramones song? Easy, chose the first song on their first album.
33) “Blue Train”-John Coltrane
The opening riff feels like a New York street scene from 1958.
34) “Box of Rain”-The Grateful Dead
Robert Hunter’s most direct lyrics are especially moving coupled with a gorgeous Phil Lesh tune. Resigned and hopeful at the same time.
35) “The Boys are Back in Town”-Thin Lizzy
It makes me want to get drunk with my friends from college. And only “Summer in the City” comes close as a Summer song.
36) “More Than A Feeling”- Boston
If you could distill being 15, high and hanging at your friend’s house after school into music, it would sound like this.
37) “Wang Dang Doodle”-Howlin’ Wolf
Pure raunchiness, and the Wolf doesn’t curse once.
38) “Sing Me Back Home”-Merle Haggard
I don’t care what he did, I want him pardoned.
39) “Is She Really Going Out With Him?”-Joe Jackson
Admit it, you’ve lived it.
40) “Peter Gunn Theme”-Henry Mancini
The personification of cool.
41) “In My Room”-The Beach Boys
Emotionally, it’s everything Pet Sounds needed to be. I’d like to think it prevented a suicide or two. It also came out the month of Kennedy’s assassination, too.
42 “Walk On By”-Dionne Warwick
Heartbreak for adults from pop’s greatest singer/songwriter team.
43) “Rise Above”-Black Flag
The only hardcore song you’ll ever need, the “We Shall Overcome” of its scene.
44) Tutti Frutti-Little Richard
Imagine what this must have sounded like in 1955. It’s outrageous now.
45) “Irene Wilde”-Ian Hunter
It’s a true story, and that’s really her name. Hunter might be the most sensitive hard rocker ever.
46) “Monday, Monday”-The Mamas and Papas
Changes the world you’re living in while you’re hearing it.
47) “Saturday Night”-The Bay City Rollers
Exciting as sex before you knew what it was.
48) Sweet Home Alabama- Lynyrd Skynyrd
“Southern Man” is shrill and whiny but this makes its point and rocks as hard as any Stones song. The most misunderstood band of the seventies.
49) “Just Like Me”-Paul Revere and the Raiders
Punk rock before there was punk rock, and on daytime TV no less.
50) “It Never Entered My Mind”-Sarah Vaughn
The sound of knowing you blew it. And the way Vaughn sings the line “uneasy in my easy chair” just hurts.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Jack's Top 50

The Top 100 came about after a late night conversation between my good friend Jack and I. I see or talk to Jack from time to time. Sometimes often, sometimes never (we live in different cities). One thing never changes, we'll immediately start discussing nonsense ... like this. Jack is also the funniest guy i've ever met (all apologies to Xmastime).

I met Jack in 1992 a week after I moved to NYC. It was one of those set-ups that record geeks are always getting. “You gotta meet this guy”. “Hey, this is Jack” turned into a 3 hour conversation. Maybe it was the Meat Puppets t-shirt. Jack has the most ridiculously amazing music collection I have ever seen (all apologies to Drew—I was pretty drunk the only time I saw yours, and I kinda pretend I was dreaming). I’ll put it this way, he has every record worth owning on the planet (with the exception of "The White Album", which he hates and I love, but makes me like him even more). There's always an amazing moment at any party Jack throws when someone asks, 'you've got 4 billion records, but you don't have ____' (drag from a smoke and blank stare from Jack). He also has the complete Shaq discography, as well as the best reason for having it—“he’s the only rapper who can back up what he raps about”. Nuf sed.

Here's his list and notes. Enjoy.

1) Walk Away Renee (The Left Banke)
2) Louie Louie (The Kingsmen)
3) I Want to Hold Your Hand (The Beatles)
4) Sweet Jane (full length version) (Velvet Underground)
5) Maybellene (Chuck Berry)
6) I Want You Back (Jackson 5)
7) So Long, Marianne (Leonard Cohen)
8) Summertime Blues (Eddie Cochran)
9) Rise Above (Black Flag)
10) Society’s Child (Janis Ian)
11) Meet on the Ledge (Fairport Convention)
12) White Riot (The Clash)
13) The Stars of Track and Field (Belle and Sebastian)
14) O-o-h Child (The 5 Stairsteps)
15) Fortunate Son (CCR)
16) I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend (Ramones)
17) Fight the Power (soundtrack version) (Public Enemy)
18) Good Vibrations (Beach Boys)
19) No Sleep Till Brooklyn (Beastie Boys)
20) Till the End of the Day (The Kinks)
21) Cigarette (The Smithereens)
22) Reach out in the Darkness (Friend and Lover)
23) Carnival of Sorts (Boxcars) (REM)
24) I Know a Place (Petula Clark)
25) The Good Humor Man He Sees Everything Like This (Love)
26) He War (Cat Power)
27) The Witch (The Sonics)
28) The Girl Can’t Help It (Little Richard)
29) She Loves You (Beatles)
30) I Feel Love (Donna Summer)
31) Caribou (The Pixies)
32) Gimme Shelter (Rolling Stones)
33) Greetings to the New Brunette (Billy Bragg)
34) I Can’t Explain (The Who)
35) Deceptacon (Le Tigre)
36) In the Still of the Night (The Five Satins)
37) Sunday Morning (Velvet Underground)
38) Thunder Road (Bruce Springsteen)
39) Touch Me, I’m Sick (Mudhoney)
40) No Matter What (Badfinger)
41) I Found that Essence Rare (Gang of Four)
42) Teenager in Love (Dion and the Belmonts)
43) Banned in D.C. (Bad Brains)
44) Room with a View (Let's Active)
45) Johnny B. Goode (Chuck Berry)
46) Checkin’ it Out (The Donnas)
47) Bo Diddley (Bo Diddley)
48) Right Back Where We Started From (Maxine Nightingale)
49) Friday On My Mind (The Easybeats)
50) She’s Lost Control (Joy Division)

Last 10 songs to be cut from rough list of several hundred songs:

“Lady Marmalade” (Labelle)
“In My Life” (The Beatles)
“Love Cats” (The Cure)
“Lost Johnny” (the Motorhead version)
“Kerosene” (Big Black)
“Mystery Train” (Elvis Presley)
“Why” (Dirty Wurds)
“Let’s Have a War” (Fear)
“Be-Bop-A-Lula” (Gene Vincent)
“Let’s Have a Party” (Wanda Jackson)

Bands/Musicians with most songs on rough list:
The Beatles with 9 (2 got in)
The Kinks with 5 (1 got in)
Bob Dylan with 4 (0 got in)
The Replacements with 4 (0 got in)

Number of bands/musicians on my final list of 50 that Peter Zaremba
mentions in “American Beat ‘84” - 7

Number that John Cougar Mellencamp mentions in “R.O.C.K. in the
U.S.A. (A Salute to ‘60s Rock)” - 0

Number that Le Tigre mention in “Hot Topic” - 0

Thoughts on Songs:

“Walk Away Renee”
My choice for the best song of the pop era. My friend Will pointed out to me one of the more significant aspects of this song (aside from the fact that it was written by a minor). He said that the song starts in what would appear to be its middle and that the first word is “and”. It is almost as if the song need not be introduced to the listener. Once it’s on, it’s on, and everything that you were doing prior is instantly unimportant.

The not-quite-conventional beginning becomes an abrupt ending in under 3 short and not wholly satisfying minutes, leaving the listener with the same covetous nature which inspired the song.

“Louie Louie”
My favorite version of the Richard Berry song is the popular one. Years ago, I vowed never to purchase it on CD, tape or even vinyl. I felt that to intentionally play the song on a stereo would be to ruin it; it had to be happened upon via the radio in order for it to work.

Around 1997 I bought a Kingsmen compilation from a bargain bin, thus breaking my rule. (I had the Sceptre box set, but that was a gift so it didn’t count). I went home to put on my new Kingsmen CD, unenthusiastically anticipating track 1 (of course it’s going to be Louie Louie). However, I heard something else! In an amazing act of providence, the wrong music had been pressed on the disc. Instead of 10 Kingsmen songs on the Kingsmen comp., there were 10 Willie Nelson songs. I had been granted a reprieve! A year later, the Nuggets box came out and that was that.

“Society’s Child”
Broadside has another version of this song called “Baby, I’ve Been Thinking”. It’s credited to Blind Girl Grunt. While Janis Ian didn’t have Blind Boy Grunt’s staying power or influence, she did have a more appealing voice. In addition, I don’t think Bob Dylan could ever cause as much hoopla. Ian received numerous death threats for this song and a radio station was allegedly burnt to the ground for playing it. I don’t think that was ever confirmed, however.

What I find most impressive in this song is the teenager’s knowledge of her own complicity. The pronouns used to identify those not ready for the possibility of miscegenation shift from “She” to “They” to “I”. At the end of the song, the singer is the person saying that this is not going to happen.

“O-o-h Child”
Occasionally I run into someone who has seen Over the Edge. They invariably mention Cheap Trick’s “Surrender”. Then I say something along the lines of “and there’s also a cover of ‘o-o-h child’ at the end”. That’s usually when the conversation switches to something else.

“Fight the Power”
The first time I saw Rosie Perez was in the summer of 1989. I left work early to see the new Spike Lee movie at The Nickelodeon in Boston. When the opening credits started, I was simultaneously asking myself “who is that?” and “what is this?”. I had heard PE before, but only from a roommate’s tape. He was somebody whom I never bothered to borrow records from so I probably didn’t pay much attention. Later, I got back to my apartment and rounded up friends to see the movie again the next day. I must have seen it 4 or 5 times that summer with different people. After each viewing, the person I was with would always ask me what I thought of the ending, while I would always ask them what they thought of the beginning.

About a year ago, a couple of friends asked me if I would share the expenses to book Pat DiNizio to play at a private home. It was roughly $500 each, but I agreed to it because of this song. The whole show was very good, but I would break it down as follows: Seeing Pat DiNizio play a good show is probably worth about $25. Seeing Pat DiNizio play a good show that includes “Cigarette” is definitely worth $500.

“The Good Humor Man He Sees Everything Like This”
A while back, I had a discussion with my friend Drew about what was the best song on Forever Changes, which is possibly his favorite LP. I chose the conventional pick, “Alone Again Or” and he chose the one with the long title that starts “Maybe the People…” and keeps going.

The next day I played the record in its entirety, something I hadn’t done in years. I decided that we’re both wrong. After the record was over, I played this one again several times. I got to see Love in the fall of 2004 during Game 2 of the series that would eventually become the greatest comeback in the history of sports. I left a few times to check the score. Eventually, The Zombies/Argent came on so I could properly watch the rest of the game.

“Sunday Morning”
I can’t think of an opening track that prepares the listener for the rest of the album less than this one does. While the majority of the remaining tracks are vile and sordid, “Sunday Morning” could easily fit on a Sesame Street soundtrack or any record by The Gentle Waves. This makes Belle and Sebastian sound like Chavo-era Black Flag.

“Touch Me, I’m Sick”
Sweaty, cheesy and wholly inappropriate, this was one of the few singles from that label/era that actually sounded dirty. This song is the aural equivalent of being on a crowded subway when you really don’t want to be. The opening riff sounds like amplified farts.

“Banned in D.C.”
One of the ways that Minor Threat, Black Flag and Bad Brains differentiated themselves from most hardcore (aside from musicianship, songwriting ability and/or work ethic) was their ability to change tempo within a song. This was made all the more difficult by the fact that most of these songs were over in a minute or so. Usually, after several seconds, there would be a return to the previous breakneck pace. This one, however, remains at the slower tempo for its remainder and that last 30 or 40 seconds is probably the best 30 or 40 seconds of East Coast hardcore.

“Room with a View”
In the last handful of years, I’ve gotten old and therefore have ended up at several reunion shows ranging from The Soft Boys to The Stooges to Camper Van Beethoven. The shows were all good, but the reunion I want to see is not The Replacements, Screaming Trees or even Husker Du. I want to see the original Let’s Active trio reform. Ignored by many avid pop fans (even by a lot of Big Star And Badfinger fans), their 1984 release, Cypress, was one of the best LPs of the 1980s. This song was from the EP that preceded it.

“Checkin’ it Out”
Possibly the best teen trash/jailbait anthem ever, it’s essentially a 3-minute version of Linklater’s Dazed and Confused, or the song that The Runaways forgot to write.

“She’s Lost Control”
My friend James had Unknown Pleasures and we would listen to it in these tiny 12’ by 15’ dorm rooms with concrete walls. The rooms were ideal as they gave the impression that you were in the hospital, or more specifically, in quarantine. Joy Division always sounded like a virus to me, or a slightly more melodic Emergency Broadcast System transmission. Upon hearing them, my first thoughts were “how do I get to safety?”

This song, like all their others, makes me seal the apartment. I then prepare for the inevitable. Do I have enough cigarettes? Do I have enough food? What if someone decides to come over? Do I dare let them in?

You never hear Joy Division at parties because there are people at parties and they are usually hoping to have a good time. And I’ve never in my life heard them when I was outdoors. They need to be listened to while indoors even more so than early 60s Beach Boys need to be listened to while outdoors. This is because when you’re listening to Joy Division, you’re not really listening to music so much as you are hiding.

Friday, August 3, 2007

GIHYB Top 50

Stop yr bitchin peons, the final list will be posted Monday, August 20th (summer vacatin & all). Until then, you'll live with this. GIHYB's top 50.

Making my own list was tough. I literally waited until the night before deadline to do it. Disseminating a lifetimes’ worth of something so life changing and so fucking trivial is not an easy task– not to mention geek cred was a bitch. I started with a premise of 25 rockers and 25, well, non-rockers, but I tossed it aside. Didn't end up being much of an issue. But I still get angry every time I look at this list.

1. Waterloo Sunset- The Kinks
2. That's All Right Mama- Elvis Presley
3. Walk Away Renee- Left Banke
(you’ve seen jack’s comments … this song always sounds brand new)
4. Rockaway Beach- The Ramones
(tough call, coulda been one of 20 … or 100)
5. Eight Miles High- Husker Du
(#5? alright. Get over it. My fave single ever (and the b-side SUCKS!!!!!) A cover of The Byrds that shoulda made the 50. Passionate, irate, top of their game. And the thing that throws me, this drug doused ode mighta been fueled by poppers! And I feel like shit for not putting any of their amazing originals.)
6. Satisfaction- The Rolling Stones
(1.000,000 other great songs, … but th riff)
7. Goodbye- Steve Earle
8. Moon River- Henry Mancini
9. The Witch- The Sonics
10. Fight the Power- Public Enemy
11. Like a Rolling Stone- Bob Dylan
(boring, whatever … shoulda been “You’re a Big Girl Now”)
12. The Needle and the Damage Done- Neil Young
13. A Day in the Life- The Beatles
14. Smokestack Lightnin- Howlin Wolf
15. I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry- Hank Williams
16. Georgia On My Mind- Ray Charles
17. I Fall to Pieces- Patsy Cline
18. God Only Knows- Beach Boys
19. Summer Babe- Pavement
20. Sitting in the Back of a Car- Big Star
(tough un, but this epitomizes Big Star for me)
21. Left of the Dial- The Replacements
22. Jak- Volcano Suns
23. How Soon Is Now- The Smiths
24. A Quick One (While He's Away)- The Who
(I'll say this again and again, if The Who had broken up pre-Tommy, they might be the greatest band ever ... then the 2 to 6 decent songs after that would've made a great bonus cd on the Rhino retrospective ... no, not the CSI package)
25. Tracks of My Tears- The Miracles
26. If I Should Fall from Grace with God- The Pogues
27. Memphis- Chuck Berry
28. Heroes- David Bowie
29. Drunken Angel- Lucinda Williams
30. Atlantic City- Bruce Springsteen
(a dude I don’t get (too rock n rolly fer me), all respect due, amazing talent, he honestly perplexes me, send all hell mail to “robbinthompson@steelmill.com”. Fer a moment in time he hit it. Nebraska is a desert island instant. I reluctantly left off ‘dancin in the dark’—some of the greatest lyrics ever, and the worst sounding album that's decent ever-- all apologies to the Mats "Tim")
31. Days- The Kinks
32. The Boxer- Simon and Garfunkel
(Paul Simon still gives me the creeps)
33. Behind Closed Doors- Charlie Rich
34. Love Comes in Spurts- Richard Hell and the Voidoids
35. I Stopped Loving Her Today- George Jones
36. Galveston- Glen Campbell
(Wichita Lineman maybe? Fuckit, Glen’s vocals are undeniable))
37. Summer Wind- Frank Sinatra
38. My Funny Valentine- Chet Baker
39. These Days- Nico
40. This Is England- The Clash
(if you don’t know this, you’re missing out. One of Strummer’s greatest from an AMAZINGLY bad album thanks to Bernie Rhodes.)
41. Stardust Memories- Willie Nelson
42. Windfall- Son Volt
43. Blue- Jayhawks
44. What's Goin On- Marvin Gaye
45. The Have Nots- X
46. Between the Bars- Elliott Smith
47. I'm Always in Love- Wilco
48. Mercy Seat- Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
49. Ballad of Dorothy Parker- Prince
50. Jealous Again- Black Flag