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


Cardinal Point Wine said...

I would like to see some simple stats with each ranked song. Specifically, the total points the song has received thru voting, the number of times the song was voted for, and maybe the average rank by the votees for the math impaired.

The voting should remain dynamic, too. As good as the song may be, "Goodbye" ain't more popular/significant/good than "Space Oddity" to the average pedestrian.

glenn said...

I tried to seperate out what could be construed as "my favorites" and what were the best songs. So, as much as I like "Gary's Got A Boner" by the Replacements, I couldn't put it on my list. I think there is something to be said about the staying power of a song, hence the abundance of 60's songs. These songs are within everyones memories or at least still heard on the radio. I put "Hey Ya" on my list, but who knows, in 10 years it could be considered a 1 hit wonder. I think you also had to consider if a song had any kind of mass appeal. As much as record geeks like the Velvet Underground, the general public doesn't know who they are. They might know the version of "Sweet Jane" from Rock and Roll Animal, but that's about it. I think the list ends up being better than the typical Top 100 AllTime Labor Day Countdown on any AOR radio station. It's more like a Top 100 AllTime Labor Day Countdown on a college radio station.

sdanehy said...

Maybe we should have just put down our FAVORITE 50 songs. I know my list would have been a whole lot different.

rip shaughnessy said...

That would be very hard to calculate. There would be a much greater selection and probably very few repeats. But at least Hüsker Dü would have made it.

Jacob Marley said...

I'd like to see the breakdown as well.

For example, my top ten were:

1. A Hard Day's Night
2. Paint it Black
3. Jungleland
4. Can't You Hear Me Knocking
5. The Tracks of My Tears
6. Just My Imagination
7. God Only Knows
8. Fortunate Son
9. 8 Miles High - The Byrds
10. My Generation - The Who

As I understand it, that means my no. 1 was allotted 50 pts, my no. 2 was allotted 49 pts, etc . . .

Now, of my top ten, five made the top 100

10) “God Only Knows”
11) “Fortunate Son”
24) “The Tracks of My Tears”
49) “Paint it Black”
90) “Eight Miles High”

So, what the hell happened when A Hard Day's Night, Jungleland, Can't You Hear Me Knocking, Just My Imagination, and My Generation come out of the gates with big points.

Are you telling me NO ONE else named these songs?

Hanging chads, my brutha'. Hanging chads.

Or, worse, was there some kind of machine politics at play, where all you music-types got together and "selected" the big songs, thereby drowning out the common man?

I'm following the money on this one.

godihateyourband said...

dear cpw.

how are you going to rank songs based on this "dynamic" theory? the point was it doesn't matter whether bowie or your next door neighbor who released it. but that might be hard for you to understand, since bears and crickets are your neighbors

godihateyourband said...

dear j.m.

yep. the fix is in. there are FIVE songs in the top 20 that I won't even listen to. totally rigged. i'm a snob, i know.



rip shaughnessy said...

I can assure you, Jacob Marley, that the votes were counted by only our most ethical vote counters. Extensive background checks were conducted by GIHYB.

The vote for most pre-arena Who was split among "My Generation", "The Kids are Alright", "I Can't Explain", "A Quick One" etc.

Marley said...

Then show us the stats.

I don't want this august endeavor perverted by a cabal of musical neo-cons. Not when I have served several tours FIGHTING for MY RIGHT to PART-TAY!!!!!

rip shaughnessy said...

Statistics for each song on the list will be provided to GIHYB within the next 72 hours. Statistics for songs that did not appear on the list will be furnished upon request.

It is not the mission of GIHYB to interfere with your right to part-tay.