When Geezers Rock the Earth

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The editors at Rolling Stone have handed down the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, by which they mean the songs that we are declaring great in order to cover our collective asses for 35 years of being wrong about everything, except, possibly, how important we are.

The top 20 alone is a wonderful baby-boomer retro land with the newest track of 1991 vintage. And guess what RS declared "voice of a generation" penned that number? Hint: click-click splatter.

Better still, the list boasts exactly three (3) tracks since 2000 and two of them by Eminem. Quality.

The list can be sorted by different fields which yields the inescapable result that the Reagan years delivered such a shock to the RS mindset that it never really recovered.

And really, what about some Hawkwind or Marillion?

NEXT: More on Somalian Anarchy

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  1. They found room for three Joni Mitchell songs, but no Foghat?

  2. What no Cocteau Twins? That’s it, Rolling Stone has lost all credibility with me.

  3. I resolve in the future not to read lists like this; I invariably just find them annoying. But I can’t resist the first two of many things to pop into my head…
    (1) The second Beatles track to make the list is “Yesterday?” YESTERDAY?!?

    (2) The Velvet Underground’s “Heroin” finally shows up in the mid 400s… eight spots below “Push It.” Words fail.

  4. Please… Didn’t we do this a few months back, with much the same whining?

    A. “Of All Time” suggests songs old enough to have stood the test of time, does it not?

    B. I think RS has enough street cred to make this a fairly universal list, although everyone’s individual taste will not be served.

    C. JETHRO TULL!!!!

  5. It wasn’t the “Reagan years”, it was MTV. And yeah MTV pretty much killed rock n roll. A few folks managed to record good tunes through the late 80’s but by 1990 nothing new was worth listening to. Things have only gotten worse, including? no especially, eminem.

  6. I love how these lists always contain the most “popular” song of each band, regardless of quality… like the B-52’s: “Love Shack” instead of the much better (and more important) “Rock Lobster”, or hell, “Roam”. Depeche Mode: “Personal Jesus” – are you kidding? Yuck. How about “Blasphemous Rumours” or “But Not Tonight” or even “People are People”?? The Smiths: “How Soon Is Now?” – over it already…. but am very impressed by the inclusion of “William, It Was Really Nothing” – how’d THAT get in there?!

    But yeah, these lists suck.

  7. After reviewing the list, I can tell you then number of ‘That’s just fucking retarded’ observations are too many to itemize. I’ll just mention my biggest eye-popping, jaw-dropping, outrage:
    #500 More that a feeling by Boston. Their only appearance.

  8. I’m sure it’s purely coincidental that the top two songs either include “Rolling Stone” in the title or are by the Rolling Stones.

  9. It’s all so subjective, the only thing that these lists are good for is to recall tunes that we might have enjoyed but haven’t thought about in a while.

    What Julian said about “Yesterday”.

    That the list is woefully neglectful of the New Wave genre is indicated by the lack of inclusion of even any Devo or Go Go’s songs.

  10. I don’t know how these can all be called “songs,” since to me a song should be something that other people can do besides the original artist. The popularity of a lot of these recordings is specific to the artist/original rendition. I mean, how many other musicians have done their version of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” or even “Good Vibrations”?

  11. i’ve heard two different versions of smells like teen spirit – one was a rather uninspired jungle mix and the other a rather inspired basic channel-esque minimal house rmx.

    i mean, it is rolling stone after all.

    and i’m sure there’s not a single boredoms song on there.

  12. your definition of song, btw, eliminates like, a whole lot of good stuff.

  13. Too bad musicologists tend to avoid commenting on anything closer to rock and pop than mainstream jazz. When evaluating jazz music, musicians are rated based not only on their skill, but on whether or not they are particularly unique in style, and whether they prove to be seminal to a new school of jazz. Bird Parker and Dizzie Gillespie, for example, are not only known for their personal output, but for their status as icons of the bebop style, just Stan Getz and Dave Brubeck exemplify the “cool” style, and so on.

    Jazz selections become “standards” as they pass the obvious test of time, become part of the repertoire of subsequent artists, and are themselves transformed and treated differently as style trends progress.

    Rating rock and pop music is difficult because the shelf life of both the artists and the repertorire is relatively brief. RIAA and other conglomerations of music suits constantly demand the “next new thing” to keep their profits up. There is basically no test of time to pass, and rather than being venerated, “rock standards” tend to be parodied and discounted as “oldies,” to be played by tribute and cover bands at various Holiday Inns and casinos.

    There is plenty of good, even great, rock and pop music out there. The problem is there are very few objective standards with which to judge their value.

    Oh, and by the way….

    THE TUBES!!!!

  14. I’m not sure if it says worse about the speaker that Rolling Stone can’t find a song after 1991, or that YOU think that’s the biggest deficiency– as opposed to the complete lack of songs before 1950. Schubert, W.C. Handy and Cole Porter are laughing at all of you.

  15. The popularity of a lot of these recordings is specific to the artist/original rendition.

    Well, it IS rock and roll. We’re not talking “standards” here (thank goodness…)

  16. Patrick, you miss the point. Without some kind of standard for evaluation, these lists will ALWAYS be subjective, and ultimately pointless. And a**holes like us will wasted time arguing the relative merits of what’s on the list versus our own personal tastes.

  17. Plus,

    There are many on this list that may more properly be categorized as R&B, blues and/or old school funk. Apparently they don’t even have any standards for the very market niches the industry itself has set up.

    Oh, and, I forgot to mention….

    STEELY DAN

  18. “i’ve heard two different versions of smells like teen spirit – one was a rather uninspired jungle mix and the other a rather inspired basic channel-esque minimal house rmx.”

    Although I’m not a fan of her other music, Tori Amos’ cover of Teen Spirit is very good IMO.

    “(2) The Velvet Underground’s “Heroin” finally shows up in the mid 400s… eight spots below “Push It.” Words fail.”

    Holy crap — that’s seriously screwed up.

    What I can’t figure is why “Imagine” is on the list at all, much less at #3.

  19. You all have lousy taste. And Marillion SHOULD have been on the list.

    Phil

    P.S. Tull and Steely Dan are good suggestions too, WASPB.

  20. How about some other lists?
    Like: best dance tune, best sing along, best sounding on a AM radio, most requested, most played at wedding receptions, best cover, cover better than the original (Heard it Through the Grapevine by Marvin Gaye), etc.
    An awful lot depends on what you grew up with, doesn’t it?

  21. I only needed to look and see that Britney Spears wasn’t in the top 3 to know that the list was worthless!

  22. Tori Amos did a piano and vocal only version of “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. I don’t care for Nirvana, but her take on the song was nice.

  23. No, what I mean is rock and roll is not about “standards”, that is, songs that anyone can sing with their own interpretations. Yes, it happens occasionally, but the emphasis is, and should be, on the artists themselves, their sound, their writing, etc.

  24. Well said, Phil and Sam.

    If these lists keep being perpetrated on an unsuspecting public, I suggest they make distinctions between “best” lists and “most popular” lists.

    “Most popular” lists can take into account sales data, or even better, a ratio of revenues to promotional expenses.

    “Best” lists should be limited to the evaluations of people who know what they are talking about. Polling artists is a good start. A better criteria, it seems to me, would be to poll only *songwriters,* particularly those who do not record and market their own work.

  25. Patrick – “but the emphasis is, and should be, on the artists themselves, their sound, their writing, etc.”

    That’s an interesting point. I’m curious why you think so.

  26. Hotel California??!? Arghhhhh!!!!

  27. Rocket Man???!? Ewwwww!!!

  28. Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?? hahahahahahahaha!!!

  29. Warren, Disco killed rock and roll not MTV. :–)

    Really, that’s a misnomer though because rock always had good stuff, even in the dregs of disco and some of the awful crap that came later. And there’s really great stuff today as well. We may or may not agree on what it is, but it’s there.

    Trouble with Rolling Stone is they’re like me, less picky about the ‘coming of age’ music from our own generation and more picky about contemporary stuff. Plus, when yer an old dog like me you can really fill up 500 slots in a hurry with pretty good stuff, which doesn’t leave as much room for the contemporary stylings.

    I’ve got gigs and gigs of good music, some of which predates me by decades and the rest runs all the way up to the present. I won’t commit to a gig waving contest because I honestly don’t know how much is a lot, but it seems like I have a lot of music on this HD (and I often only copy the good tracks not the whole album). And speaking of Ewwwwwwwwwwww, neither Rocket Man or Do You Think I’m Sexy are on the HD (good gravy man, what IS wrong with RS)

  30. That’s an interesting point. I’m curious why you think so.

    Because the artist is an important component of making music? Otherwise, it’s just an arrangement of notes. Which is fine, if you specify a songWRITING list. If you think “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, for example, is a great song (I don’t, but that’s beside the point…), don’t you think it’s a great song because Nirvana wrote and performed it? When Tori Amos (who I like, for the most part) performs it, it’s just kitschy. Or take “It’s My Life”, a fantastic Talk Talk song – and a horrible No Doubt song. I guess I focus more attention on the sound of the band than on the actual craft of songwriting.

  31. Elvis doesn’t show up until #19, for Hound Dog of all things. That’s a clear, scientific metric for disqualifying this list.

  32. One Allman Brothers song, but three from Aerosmith?

    Two of those rated higher than Whipping Post?

  33. whipping post is the good stuff.

  34. Patrick: “I love how these lists always contain the most “popular” song of each band, regardless of quality… like the B-52’s: “Love Shack” instead of the much better (and more important) “Rock Lobster”, or hell, “Roam”.”

    Uh, Patrick you need to pay closer attention. A) “Rock Lobster” was on the list; and B) It was ranked substantially higher than “Love Shack” (146 compared to 243).

  35. Patrick – “Because the artist is an important component of making music? Otherwise, it’s just an arrangement of notes.

    Mm, true, to a point, but in serious music, for example, you’re just not a real organist unless you’ve performed Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue,” because the piece itself has merit, properly performed more or less as the composer conceived it. Style and delivery are important, but the composition, itself, has stood for a couple of centuries now even though it is just “an arrangement of notes.”

    And, since this is a list of “greatest songs,” not “greatest performances” or “greatest recordings,” it makes the composition itself even more relevent.

    Oh, and FYI — WARREN ZEVON!!!

  36. Lonewacko, I always thought you felt like you were dying!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  37. It’s pointless but:

    “Tears in Heaven”???? “TEARS IN HEAVEN”?????

    Plus the omission of “Gin ‘n Juice.” Come on. To Rolling Stone: I don’t love you hos, I’m out the do’.

  38. Sam wrote,”An awful lot depends on what you grew up with, doesn’t it?”

    I agree.

    There appear to be at least three modes in the distribution of the issue year of the 500 songs ranked; 1957, 1967 and 1987. Assuming 17 is the age at which rock and roll has its greatest impression upon an individual’s life long preferences, the modes correspond to those 17 year olds who have birth years of 1940, 1950 and 1970 which in turn correspond to current ages of 64, 54 and 34, respectively.

    I’m guessing the songs clustered about 1957 were selected for reasons purely academic. The 1967 and 1987 modes I would guess are driven, to a degree, by the personal profiles of the judges. The judges can be grouped into two classes; the elders in their 50’s, composed purhaps of senior editors and such, and the youthful staff in their 30’s, writers and contributors. Senior editors appear to dominate the selection process, 251 of the 500 selected songs were released in the years 1963 through 1973.

  39. Jarod, I feel your pain, dude, but yup, it’s pointless.

  40. TWC,
    I stand by my claim that MTV killed RnR. True, Disco Sucks (Disco still sucks), but as you concede even while disco was ravaging the top 40 there was plenty of ass kicking rock to be found (ZEPPELIN RULES). As for more recent stuff, I like They Might Be Giants and I had a good time at a Phish concert (stop laughing). I got fed up with commercial radio in the early 90’s. Since then I’ve been discovering classical and jazz. Even so, the vast bulk of crap that passes for music these days is just nauseating. There may be good stuff out there but you have to look a whole lot harder.

    Rick Barton,
    I was not a big fan of new wave at the time, but I’ll add the Talking Heads to boost your claim.

    and oh yeah — REO

  41. Warren,

    A big YAHOO for Talking Heads. I agree. “Burning Down The House” has been covered by Living Color, Bonnie Raitt, and some reggae band whose name escapes me, just to name a few, and to me, that says something. A lot of onstage value to that tune as well. Just seems to lend itself to awesome live performance.

  42. And really, what about some Hawkwind or Marillion?

    I guess it’s just the Spirit of the Age!!

  43. And, I’m going to say a word or two in defense of disco. Although it did birth a lot of smarmy, polyester, lowlife danceclub culture, horrible dance moves, not to mention THE CLOTHES, it did bring a lot of good female singers to the forefront at a time when good vocalists were hard to find in rock. Say what you want about Donna Summer, Gloria Gaynor and Evelyn “Champagne” King, the girls had some pipes.

    Made the clothes look good, too.

  44. “An awful lot depends on what you grew up with, doesn’t it?”

    My sixty-something college prof aunt says her musical tastes haven’t changed since she wasn’t 18. She still thinks nothing beats Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons!”

  45. Head Like a Hole
    You’ve got no soul
    I’d rather die
    Than answer this poll.

    Bow down before the one you serve
    Damn boomers got a lot of nerve.

  46. I own 131 albums that would qualify for this list, and only two of their songs are on that list (#256 and #497). And both of those songs are in my short pile of “How did I get that?” albums.

    I knew I had good taste — but I never knew it was this good!

  47. Rolling Stone has no cred. That mag sucks (mostly) and has for a long time.

    This is at least partially because commercial/radio music sucks (mostly) and has for a long time.

    There is a ton of great music being made; no matter what genre, style, mood, etc you’re looking for, it’s there.

    But the odds of hearing it on commercial radio, seeing it on MTV or reading about it in Rolling Stone are slim to none.

    [And yes, of course, these are my thoughts on the matter; I’m not trying to pass them off as accepted facts or general public opinion or whatnot.]

  48. Ah, nostalgia – as a young Hawkfan, Neil’s line in that episode got me into Marillion.

    Now I’m going to have to go listen to “Lost Johnny” and “Sugar Mice”.

    Another great moment in crusty music criticism: “I feel like a Leonard Cohen record. I won’t say anything because no one listens to me anyway.”

  49. “Of All Time” suggests songs old enough to have stood the test of time, does it not?

    Well that sure as heck doesn’t explain what “Imagine” is doing at #3. That song didn’t even stand the test of the 80s, let alone the test of time.

    “Burning Down The House” has been covered by Living Color, Bonnie Raitt, and some reggae band whose name escapes me

    Are you sure about that? Living Colour covered “Memories Can’t Wait” on their first album, but this is the first I’ve heard of them covering “Burning Down the House”.

    Anyway, yeah, it’s unbelievable that there’s nothing by the Talking Heads on this list. I’d also like to file a complaint about the lack of anything by Oingo Boingo or The Replacements. Come on guys, you’ve got friggin’ Norman Greenbaum and Mott the Hoople, and you couldn’t spare room for some of the best groups of the 80s?

    My other big beef with the list: their selection of Led Zeppelin songs is goofy. Is there anyone actually familiar with LZ’s music who thinks that “Stairway to Heaven” is their best song? And if you had to pick their six best songs, would “Kashmir” and “Ramble On” be on the list?

  50. Dan,

    My mistake, it isn’t a cover. There’s a bootleg live recording where LC does a version of it as an encore. I used to have it on my harddrive, an old Naptster download, but I lost it somehow. Look for it on Gnutella if you are brave enough to avoid the possibility of being sued. I think it was a one-off, I never heard them do it again, or heard OF them do it again. It was pretty freaking cool, tho.

  51. On a slightly related note, I just got the latest Eminem release. The bonus CD includes the song “We as Americans”. In it he says, among other things, some lyrics remarkably favorable toward the second amendment:

    There’s an intruder
    in my house
    He cut my phone-lines
    can’t dial out
    I scream for police
    but I doubt
    They’re gonna hear me
    when I shout

    they took away my right to bear arms
    what I’m posed to fight with bear palms?
    yeah right
    they coming with bombs, I’m comin with flare-guns
    We as americans

    [Chorus]

    We as a Americans
    Us as a citizen
    Gotta protect ourselves…

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The LP should nominate Eminem in 2008. He’s clearly a fan of the first and second amendments, he’s living proof that the free enterprise system can lift anybody out of poverty, he’s pretty obviously pro-drug, he doesn’t like authority, and he’s from a swing state ๐Ÿ˜‰

  52. “MTV pretty much killed rock n roll”

    No, I remember, they found the suicide note, & it was signed ‘Bachman Turner Overdrive’.

  53. Warren,

    Yeah, the Heads. Thanks. Also, the Cars and Duran Duran. And while I’m at it, shouldn’t “Karma Chameleon” by Culture Club be on the list?

    Also, for my taste, if I just started going thru my Beatles and Stones collections, a lot of other stuff on that list would have to come off to make room. And, am I given to understand that there are no Gerry and the Pacemakers songs?? Also, what about “Doo Wah Ditty” by Mannford Man? Gimme a break. And no Herman’s Hermits either?? Ok, now I’m starting to get cheesed off.
    No Peter and Gordon or Chad and Jeremy?? What about “Summer Nights” by Mary Ann Faithful? I could go on. Who are the idiots that compiled this list? They left out a lot of great 60’s Mersey era, as well as New Wave music!

    fyodor,

    Kudos to your aunt. At least she stuck with a great one.

  54. Finally, a pro-gun rapper.

  55. “The list can be sorted by different fields which yields the inescapable result that the Reagan years delivered such a shock to the RS mindset that it never really recovered.”

    That is so true. Even when the list does cite an artist from the Reagan Years, it’s often a song that didn’t come out until recently.

    There’s a conspiracy between the Boomers and Echo-Boomers: Generation X is to be scheduled for cultural crucifixion; they’re just arguing about the date.

  56. 500 rock songs listed among the greatest… AND NOT ONE OF THEM BY MEAT LOAF!!!

    There is no justice in this universe. May the flannel wearing slackers who write RS rot in hell.

  57. Geez, what a parochial, provincial list. Hardly anything from the pre-rock era. Hardly anything from outside the US and UK. I call bullshit!

  58. My other big beef with the list: their selection of Led Zeppelin songs is goofy. Is there anyone actually familiar with LZ’s music who thinks that “Stairway to Heaven” is their best song?

    Yes. Just because Stairway has been massively overplayed does not mean it is any less of a song. It is their magnum opus. Queen fans recognise the same problem with Bohemian Rhapsody, the best Queen song by far but massively overplayed and parodied.

    And if you had to pick their six best songs, would “Kashmir” and “Ramble On” be on the list?

    Kashmir, absolutely.
    Ramble On, not hardly.

    – Josh

  59. Herman’s Hermitx
    Jan and Dean
    The Guess Who
    Bob Denver
    Don McLean (American Pie)
    Ted Nugent
    Golden Earring
    Pat Benatar
    Styx

    Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and oh yeah all of 80’s heavy metal

    Who else?

    oh and, not for nuthin but— RUSH

  60. I should first mention that I haven’t looked at the list and don’t intend to. I might if I thought that it might point me toward some interesting music I hadn’t heard of, but considering the source, it’s unlikely.

    As to why some new wave bands didn’t make the list (the Go-Go’s weren’t really new wave were they?), basically it’s because there weren’t any great new wave SONGS. I’ll use an example more appropriate to my taste. I love AC/DC, they were (mostly) a great no-nonsense rock band. However, I wouldn’t put any one of their songs on a “best songs” list. They milked every last drop out of 4 chords (better than any of zillions of lousy punk bands, I should add…just to piss off probably everyone here). But it was their execution that made their music really exciting, not the songwriting. Same thing with New Wave (except the execution mostly sucked).

    Phil

    P.S. I know, AC/DC are still around, but the past tense seems more appropriate for them now.

    P.P.S. AC/DC also stand as an example of why “reaction to the excesses of 70’s rock bands” is a lousy explanation for punk rock.

  61. …and furthermore…what Warren said about Rush!

    Neil Peart is the greatest rock lyricist ever. And Geddy and Alex are no slouches either.

    Phil

  62. White Ango Saxon Protestant Bacehlor ? Hey, sports fan! Of course, Waybill loses a lot of cred for appearing in Xanadu…

    Jeff A. Taylor ? Right on about Hawkwind, man! What tracks?

  63. AC/DC Arrrrrrrgh!
    You ruined my cred Phil
    AC/DC made the list twice (and neither of them was You Shook Me), Therefore I must withdraw my “all of 80’s heavy metal” got snubbed claim.

    However, I now claim that it is even more retarded to snub Hell Bent for Leather while including Highway to Hell.

    While I’m on the subject — MOTLEY CRUE (sorry no umlauts)

  64. Fyodor ? Thank you Dr. Strangelove, for going doo-lally!

  65. And what Phil said about Neil Peart!

  66. There have been a number of bold statements made in this thread, and I was willing to bite my tongue for a bit, but some of you have just taken this too far…

    …For the record, Stairway is not Zeppelin’s best track; 4 isn’t even close to being their best album. The best Zeppelin album was either Zeppelin I, which is one of the best blues albums ever, or Physical Graffiti, which contains Zeppelin’s best song, In My Time of Dying.

    Got that? In My Time of Dying–full stop.

    There was another claim made, I won’t name any names, I’ll just point out that the best–best I say–rock and roll song ever recorded in the history of the universe is Whole Lotta Rosie. Listen to it live, listen to the studio version, either way, cue it up on the ‘phones, and if you ain’t playin’ air guitar, there’s something wrong with you.

    Earlier, there was talk about disco killing rock and roll, so wrong. AC/DC, Judas Priest, and others were still keeping the flame alive, albeit underground. I remember the last hit disco song as being Funkytown circa 1980. Rock and roll destroyed disco, and it did it so fast people couldn’t keep up with it. When I was about 12, I remember seeing the Plasmatics on Solid Gold, that’s right, there were Solid Gold dancers trying to dance to Black Monster!

    P.S. Back to the list, I also noticed that the first two Wailers’ songs to make the list, One Love and Redemption Song, are among the two most un-Reggae like songs the Wailers put out. RS has no shame. No Lively Up Yourself? No Exodus?

  67. No Jammin’?

  68. Three Pink Floyds in the 300s: two from “The Wall” and the title track from “Wish You Were Here”, but not one single song from “Dark Side of the Moon”?! Did I miss it? Please tell me I did…

  69. HEY R.B.

    Props to you on Zep and Rosie. Though I’m the only fan in the world who prefers Zep 2 to Zep 1, I think the band hit thier stride with 4 (despite the OD we’ve all had on “Stairway…”)and I TOTALLY concur that “IMTOD” is by far their best!

  70. cardeblu,
    SERIOUSLY!

    and now that I think about it — KING CRIMSON

  71. I’m not a big fan of Nirvana. I thought that “Smells Like Teen Spirit” was played into oblivion, but the Bad Plus’ cover fixed that. And Herbie Hancock makes something out of All Apologies.

  72. Do any of you have any idea what my post is about?

    Or do you all just think I’m tripping?

  73. Physical Graffiti, which contains Zeppelin’s best song, In My Time of Dying.

    Got that? In My Time of Dying–full stop.

    If you asked 10 Zeppelin fans, you’d probably get 10 different “best songs”.

    Though In My Time of Dying is great, my answer is Trampled Under Foot.

    (my favorite Zep song is How Many More Times, but I know that’s just a guilty pleasure)

  74. The main problem with these lists (other than that they are completely subjective and therefore easy to disagree with) is that they invariably focus on bands and artists instead of the actual songs themselves.

    The reality is that the Kingsmen should be above the Rolling Stones (and most of the other GREAT bands because they came up with, didn’t actually write it though, one of the undisputed top Rock and Roll songs in history) on any of these lists.

    So invariably these lists are filled with a bunch of people’s favorite bands and the Count Five, Lloyd Price, ? and the Mysterians, the Romantics, Suicidal Tendencies, Dexy’s Midnight Runners and basically all of the newer bands get screwed in favor of a bunch of tired old preening rock stars many who were never particularly good in the first place and simply had something else going for them.

    I saw a band of 20 year old kids a year ago do a cover of Slow Down, a song more than twice as old as any of them. They were at least the 153,762nd band to cover that song. I think that says a lot more about song quality than getting famous by protesting the Vietnam War.

    I didn’t chekc the list, but I bet Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs got screwed. Am I right?

  75. The RS list is pathetic.

    Not one song by one of the greatest rock bands of all time – X. They actually made awesome music during the 80’s and they’re from L.A. Talk about obstacles.

    Appalling.

  76. You all are writing as though Rolling Stone is some kind of actual historical record and authority of rock music. They are a magazine written by and for complete musical know-nothings without any taste. Does it take an ounce of critical judgment to deem Bob Dylan or the Beatles worthy of placement in a songs of all time list?? Lists like this are made for those people who can’t be bothered to figure out what they actually like about music but would like to pretend. Rolling Stone is not worthy of being used as toilet paper.

  77. “No Jammin’?”

    Shut up Lou, I like this song.

  78. Whipping Post is good but the best line from those boys ever is:

    Might be your man, I don’t know

  79. If Neil Peart qualifies as a great lyricist, it’s only up until 1991 or so. Let me put it this way: “Counterparts” is one of the most painfully bad albums I have ever heard, and the music is pretty good.

    The list is lame, IMHO. Way too much duplication of the icons, who weren’t necessarily the best artists.

  80. joe,

    Tripping. ๐Ÿ™‚ I recognize “Bow down before the one you serve”, but that’s it.

  81. This list is pretty awful, as per my brain.

    As a guy that listens to Blues and pretty much nothing else, I think I’m sort of unbiased enough to look at a list like this and give a fair judgement.

    Judgement: This list stinks. Lacking large parts of time and genre and heavily overdosed on Beatles, Stones and Dylan.

    Imagine?!?! You gotta be freaking kidding me. That song would get nowhere near a true list of the top 500 rock songs of all time. Like a Rolling Stone? Yikes. I don’t even know if that’s one of Dylan’s five best. Stairway? It’s overwrung crap compared to the best Zep…

  82. “Geez, what a parochial, provincial list. Hardly anything from the pre-rock era. Hardly anything from outside the US and UK. I call bullshit!”
    Yes, more pre-rock on the rock list! And more monophonic subsaharan chants!
    Though, the real problem is that they included song “X,” which is obviously a fetid pile of poo-poo, while completely neglecting song “Y,” and band “Z” entirely. Also, not only don’t I own any of the songs on the list, I don’t even own any songs that use the same vowels as any of the songs on that list! That’s how awesome my taste is!

  83. Sure I do Joe, head like a hole (by NIN), I thought the post was pretty clever, to be honest I just skimmed the names of the bands, you would think that there were only like 60-70 good bands making music in the past 50 years, and that they all pretty much stopped in the 80’s, can’t believe the absence of the replacements, sonic youth, duran duran, husker du, ministry, kraftwerk…etc etc, and I think the only reason ‘William…’ by the Smiths made it was because Dre 3000 of outkast says its his favorite smiths tune

  84. Though I must say, I was very surprised that Pavement was on the list

  85. John, your sure as heck right about one thing. You’re never gonna see or hear any music on MTV.

    Warren, so yer saying video killed the radio star but I say something killed MTV and later VH-1 but nobody told either one they were dead.

    ? & the Mysterions was a great band.

    AC/DC is even better with Jack Black as lead singer.

  86. Joe:

    I knew. I even agree, and I’m not even a NIN fan. But then, look at the list with the “year” sorting – there’re only eleven songs from the last decade.

  87. Dang, this is a day-old topic and it’s Saturday night. In between reading and posting a reply just now, ~10 new posts. Nothing – but nothing – gets people going quite like pointless top N song lists.

    Maybe we should make one. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  88. If I hadn’t already gone on about Whole Lotta Rosie, I might have mentioned that Fat Bottom Girls is my favorite Queen song.

    …but that might tell you all more about me than you want to know.

  89. No Blind Faith? No Cream?? Did I miss them? As mentioned, no Tull?? C’mon. And what about Peter Gabriel and Genesis? Gabriel has to be one of the most influential writers/lyricists of the last three and a half decades. When I saw “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” at #133 I stopped reading. Bleh.

    I’ve long had disdain for RS but now it’s crossed over to pity.

  90. “I can’t get off on the Rolling Stone / But the robots think it’s great…”

    No Frank Zappa on the list either.

  91. There’s nothing I love more than a Zeppelin perv.

  92. Greg,
    Put down the bong dude. Cream hit with three tunes (albeit all woefully undervalued).

    Michael,
    Good call on Zappa

    oh and— THE GREATFUL DEAD

  93. I like joe’s post.

    Every now and then I fantasize about meeting Bush or any member of Congress, and it usually involves me kicking them in the teeth and shouting “I’d rather die than give you control! Bow down before the one you serve! You’re going to get what you deserve!”

    You know, I’m pretty sure that such daydreams are illegal under the Patriot Act ๐Ÿ˜‰

  94. I blogged the list of 500 yesterday under a post titled I Can Hear Music at everyopinion.blogspot.com, if you want to check it out. I also listed my personal favorites who were omitted, along with some of their songs I would have included.

  95. rolling stone sells more copies than reason. that is what the market decided. get over it. market losers.

  96. The RollingStone 500 greatest songs of all time is Heartless. Get it? HEART-less. See what I did there? Cause there’s no HEART on the list. See? tee hee hee

    Oh dear it’s way past my bed time.

    Oh and — LOVERBOY

    Thank You, and Good Night

  97. Yes, more pre-rock on the rock list. And more monophonic subsaharan chants.

    Well, they did call it the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time (although they later qualified it by adding rock’n’roll)…and “all time” doesn’t exactly mean only the last fifty years. And they did throw in a couple of token blues and quasi-jazz tunes as a feeble nod towards ecumenical karma. Bob, you sound pretty damn parochial yourself if you think the only music outside US/UK rock/pop is monophonic subsaharan chants.

    But what I really wanna know is…WHO THE FUCK PUT “CANDLE IN THE WIND” ON THIS FUCKING LIST????

  98. I heard a guy play “Hey Joe” and “Little Wing” acoustic on a subway in Paris in 1995.

    Do you think ANYONE will play ANY eminem 30 years from now?

    I quit buying Rolling Stone years ago – but, this is borderline criminal.

    “Smells like Teen Spirit” above “Hey Joe”… “Back in Black”… wow. I’m sick.

  99. Joe,
    Some of us still remember Pretty Hate Machine fondly. Your comment made me laugh so hard I cried. Can I use it as a signature on emails, (at least the last two lines?) Few people I know will get it either, but who cares?

    Okay, so I’m done with pointing out how idiotic that list is. The real question is how the few decent songs did get on it–for example, how the heck did Pavement make it on that list?

  100. I’m not too broken up over the list. No matter what list they printed, people would complain. The best thing that’s happened is that you guys are arguing about music you feel strongly about and talking about it. Personally, I think in a top 500 list, they’re always going to miss out on favorites.

    As for Eminem and whether he’s going to last is going to be contingent on how big the rap/hip hop movement is going to be in 30 years. I don’t see it going away, and hip hop is going to this generation’s equivalent of the older generation’s classic rock. Scary to think about, but hey, whatever happened to Elvis being devil music?

  101. Hummm… Eleven Dylan songs and the Dead nor Santana dont even appear. and the Beatles were good, but not that good (nearly five percent of the top 500 are beatles tracks)

  102. Just because Stairway has been massively overplayed does not mean it is any less of a song. It is their magnum opus.

    Their magnum opus was the “Physical Grafitti” album, in my opinion at least. Besides, “Whole Lotta Love” was the centerpiece song in their concerts. Stairway to Heaven is a great song, but they did dozens of great songs.

    my favorite Zep song is How Many More Times, but I know that’s just a guilty pleasure

    Heh, that makes two of us actually. Although I don’t feel guilty about liking it. I feel guilty about liking 2 Live Crew.

  103. This is supposed to be “Rock and Roll” songs; true? or am I missing something. How on earth does anybody define “Yesterday” as R&R or for that matter any bloody thing by Eminem. Truth is Rock disappeared after ’89 or so with a few notable exceptions each year, just to keep the flame burning. I was too disgusted to look through 500 of these things but no doubt the Carpenters and Cat Stephens made it in there too.

    I’ve got nothing against hip hop, techno, rap etc. Quite enjoy a lot of it; but it’s not Rock and Roll. If you don’t like the Baby Boomer stuff that’s quite ok too – different strokes for different folks. However a lot of that stuff, including most of the early Beatles is Rock; whether you guys like it or not.

    Let’s try it one other way. If you think Eminem (or whatever his name is) is the greatest and the Beatles suck. Fine!. That means that for you Eminem (whatever etc.) is a better entertainer than the Beatles. However Eminem is not a better Rock act than the Beatles because he doesn’t Rock, he friggin well Raps. Now is that clear, or do I have to explain this even more simply.

  104. Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and oh yeah all of 80’s heavy metal

    Who else?

    oh and, not for nuthin but— RUSH

    ONE Metallica song on the list…and it’s ENTER SANDMAN?! Gaaahhh! As if nothing existed before the “black album.” (And ES isn’t even the best song on THAT record…)

    And RUSH indeed! “Tom Sawyer” is a better song than 490 out of those “top 500.”

    Just another reminder why I NEVER read Rolling Stone. Yeesh.

  105. Pardon me for saying something possibly controversial, but am I the only one who thinks The Beatles are completely overrated? Don’t get me wrong, I think that a lot of their music (“Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band” in particular) is wonderful, I’m just saying – do they really deserve to be one of the greatest bands in the history of the world? There are infinitely better groups out there, most of which have already been covered on this thread.

    I’m not a big fan of rock (I’m more into film soundtracks, like Ennio Morricone, Hans Zimmer, etc.), but if the song’s good I’ll listen to it. I don’t have a preference for band necessarily. But this list sucks.

  106. RS is fully focused on destroying what each of us remember as the best part of Rock, having disgusted guitarists everywhere by putting Jack White in the top 20 while relegating Eddie Van Halen to the 70s somewhere. Among other crimes, that is.

    Rolling Stone writers/editors have always considered themselves stylesetters, not that they’ve succeeded (thank God), and will do whatever they can to piss on your parade of musical memories. That’s their thing.

  107. strother martin fan,

    i agree totally with you. the beatles and RS mag are both completely overrated and should have faded out in 1981.

  108. I’m with Todd Fletcher, not one single Cocteau Twins song? Okay sure – rock opera isn’t cool, but “Blue Bell Knoll” rocks.

  109. “One” by U2 made the top 50? ohhhh yuck.
    “Desire” would have been better. IMHO – If you can’t wiggle your fanny – it’s not a good rock song.

  110. Warren –

    “White Ango Saxon Protestant Bacehlor ? Hey, sports fan! Of course, Waybill loses a lot of cred for appearing in Xanadu…” My favorite B-side of all time is “Night People” on the back of the Tubes “Love Bomb” album. Flat out one of the best rock suites I have ever heard, with some of the most sophisticated and lyrical uses of voice sampling and dub ever. Gotta go find it in vinyl. Hell, I don’t even know if any early Tubes is OUT on cd.

    How the hell did I forget Rush? Good call, folks.

    How the hell did I forget Pink Floyd? Jeez, I’m getting senile…

  111. My three year old nephew just sang “Yellow Submarine” to me over the phone. Sounded a helluva lot better’n Ringo.

  112. I consider myself a Hip-Hop Head, and I speak for many when I say that there some great rap songs, but I dont think Eminem has any of them. Rolling Stone and a lot of the mainstream media has an irrational love for Eminem that can only be explained by his race. Granted these mags also use racial pandering when celebrating some black artists as tokens. However, its really digusting that Eminem now represents rap, and people make judgment on him and the genre based on each other. The two are mutually exclusive.

    Most people I talk to who share similar tastes and an interest in the genre would give Em props for his skills, but he has never done great work. Hes good at wordplay, humor, and some other things,but that doesnt make great songs. Like rock and other genres, most good hip hop songs are album cuts that get no commercial radio play. To me Emenem is really no different than the Backstreet Boys or Britney Spears, Limp Bizkit or any of the numerous TRL house bands of the last 5 years. They all have the same fan base, teenage girls with little taste in music ( Dare I say like much of the Beatles work?).

    This is no secret of course as Em has said in lyrics if he were black he would sell half ( probably much less, check the Soundcsans for Royce Da 5’9 or Master Ace whose style Eminem bit) But this is where I most think Rolling Stones proves to me they dont really know shit about anything. He is just the white rapper who has mainstream acceptance. And I dont think he sucks just because he’s a white rapper. I could list 20-30 white rappers with similar or better skills and maybe a handful with better songs and albums. you just wont find them on TRL/Rolling Stone.

  113. Not to mention the whole fact that its supposed to be “Rock”. There are some rap groups with what I would consider for inclusion, such as Public Enemy, Beasties and Run DMC, whose backing music was hard rock. But not Eminem.

    And yes, the Beatles are an overated boy band. Maybe they got better later but they still are overrated.

  114. OK maybe not all these are list worthy, but is there any living human being that thinks Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” is surperior to the everything ever pressed into vinal by the following???!!!

    Iron Butterfly
    Joe Walsh
    Edgar Winter
    Eddie Money
    Emerson Lake and Palmer
    Steve Winwood
    Chicago
    Blood Sweat and Tears
    Doobie Brothers

    And BTW since If anyone’s mentioned it, I must have missed it…

    How about —YES

    Helllloooooo McFly! Anybody Home?! YES for christ sake

  115. Lists I’d like to see:
    Best dance tunes.
    Best dance tunes when drunk.
    Best Drivin’ tunes.
    Best headphones listenin’.
    Best monster system tunes.
    Best listening when stoned.
    Best listening when stoned on a different night.
    Best listening when standing in the kitchen at a party so you can talk with someone.

  116. I’ve noticed about The Doors that they had a synergy that was lost when JM died.
    Jim’s vocal range was rather limited so they had to produce tunes that accomodated that limitation which may explain why the keyboarding of RM was so dynamic.

    Certainly R&R is white music testified by the enormous proportion of white performers and audience, but Hendrix is much revered in the R&R audience and we don’t give a shit what his color was. And black music of the Motown/Atlantic era was a much enjoyed by whites as blacks, as I recall. Lots of good dancin’ music.

  117. My brother went to see the Stones at JFK stadium (long ago) and he came back raving about Stevie Wonder (the lead in), as did a red neck friend of mine.

    Ooh, another best of list: best live performers.

    I went to see Jethro Tull in D.C. (also a long time ago) and the lead act was Uriah Heep.
    Heep started off with a bungh of new stuff that the audience just didn’t react to. The band conferred a bit and spent the rest of their stage time performing their older stuff and rocked so good that the audience was up and cheering after a few tunes.

    BTW, Jethro Tull seemed to rock harder live than in their albums.

  118. I gave up after the first 5.

    Why?

    Motown ain’t rock’n’roll. Marvin Gaye and Aretha Franklin are superb musicians, and Motown is definitely one of the most important genres(and best) of the 60’s, but IT AIN”T ROCK’N’ROLL!

    And Imagine in the top 3? And ‘Like a Rolling Stone’? Satisfaction does belong there, but it’s the only one.

  119. An short list of songs missing from their list:

    Tori Amos: Little Earthquakes (at the least), Pretty Good Year
    Adrian Belew & David Bowie: Pretty Pink Rose
    Big Head Todd and the Monsters: Bittersweet
    Dead Kennedys: Holiday in Cambodia
    Devo: Jocko Homo
    Filter: Hey Man Nice Shot
    Peter Gabriel: Biko (at the very frigging least), Not One of Us, I Have the Touch
    Genesis: The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (at the least)
    Jethro Tull: Aqualung (at the least)
    King Crimson: Discipline (at the least), Vrooom
    Nine Inch Nails: Closer and Head Like a Hole
    OMD: Genetic Engineering
    REM: It’s the end of the world as we know it (and I feel fine)
    Paul Simon: The Obvious Child (and I’d pick The Boy in the Bubble over Graceland)
    Talking Heads: Burning Down the House (at the very least), Road to Nowhere
    U2: Bad
    Yes: Starship Troopers
    Warren Zevon: Werewolves of London (at the very least), Angel Dressed in Black

  120. FWIW:

    I was born in 1942, played from the mid-50’s through the early 70’s and so was kind of “present at the creation.” Reading the List and the comments here I see what I would expect: any listing of this kind is very subjective, depending on your own life and experience, and I would suggest that everyone has their own, perfectly valid, list of the Top Songs.
    That said, I will comment that, from the perspective of someone who has heard it all, the early music was terribly important, because at that time it was new to us. For example, you had to have been there when Heartbreak Hotel came out; had to have listened to the truly awful flat and unbelievably bland pop that most of us heard in the 40’s and 50’s, to have any appreciation for the impact that Elvis had. Remember that virtually no one outside of the deep south and some urban areas had ever heard the blues. The impact of the raw emotion of that couple of minutes on people who had never experienced it is impossible to describe, but I remember being moved in a way I had never experienced before (I was 14). It is a trite expression these days, but the advent of Rock in the mid-50’s was truly an Epiphany for many people. Over the next few years I sought out that music, and found it in some strange and far away places: WKBW and George “Hound Dog” Lorenz in Buffalo, NY; the GOO on WWVA; a station in Chicago whose call letters and DJ’s I cannot remember anymore. I have found myself wishing, a number of times over the years, when trying to explain this period to others, including my son, that I could go back to an evening in 1958 with a decent tape recorder for just a few hours and return with the music. It would sound terribly quaint today, and you would probably think I’m nuts, but so be it. You see, it really wasn’t Rock that I was hearing, it was American Music. Raw and primitive, all emotion and not filtered through anyone’s idea of what would sell. And it really defies categorization. If you can, sit down sometime and listen to Hank Williams, Elvis, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Arthur Crudup, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, BB King, Howlin’ Wolf, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Mama Thronton, Bessie Smith all at once and try to really tell them apart. You can’t. Emotion is a universal language. There really is no Rock, just the different directions which American music has taken over the years, including the transition it has made to other countries.
    For those of you who are younger, the most important music to you is the music that first moved you, whether in the 60’s or the 90’s. It is all important, because it becomes a part of what you are. So keep your own list of your music and love it. Music has been a foundation of my life, and my life has been infinitely richer for it, and I wish the same for everyone. And I cannot even begin to count the number of times that someone else’s favorite artist has become one of mine and
    so,a final thought: maybe everyone who has the interest should post their own list of their Greatest Songs, and then everyone should listen to everybody else’s list. I bet we would all discover some great songs and artists that we weren’t aware of.

    Mike Hughes (my real name)

  121. My dad has cooler taste in music then Rolling Stone. What a festival of suck. And boring, geez, I mean it the most boring collection of overplayed oldies I could imagine in my wost nightmares. No replacements, no Husker Du — dudes, the 80’s happened. And so did the 90s. Oh, but there’s Eminiem, so you know they’re still “hip” and “cool” and “with it.” Way to go, daddy-oes, keep up that krazy rhythm!

  122. Ah, Warren, the pre-Michael McDonald Doobs had some good stuff. Emerson Lake & Palmer’s Brain Salad Surgery was worth buying just for the album art and the title. Early Chicago successfully melded big band with rock, nobody had done that before. Later Chicago after Terry Kath did the big stupid and shot himself lacked something. Next I suppose yer going to tell me you don’t like Jimmy Buffet. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Mike Hughes: Nice piece–enjoyed reading it. Speaking of trying other people’s favorites just last week I heard a version of All Along the Watchtower that knocked me out. Clapton and Kravitz. Never would have heard it because I’m not a Kravitz fan but someone played it for me.

    And Zep’s greatest song ever was Good Rockin’ Tonight. Yeah, I know, that was a solo effort and not Zep at all. And at the other end of the spectrum is Wynonnie Harris original version of the same tune from somewhere around 1949. Not on the RS list either though it did technically predate rock and roll.

  123. so we’ve got our age schisms, our taste schisms and all that. i think they use lists like this as an excuse to have fun in the office by annoying the fuck out of each other.

    i think it’s all about what you’re doing when you run across a piece of music. i love music more now than i did when i was 17. however, i really would have liked to see:

    fugazi
    swans
    godspeed you black emperor!
    godflesh
    slayer

    or anything heavy, really. anything at all.

    whiter shade of pale grabs me on the ass though. dunno why. it’s really insane and so overly hammondy. makes me want to drink beer.

  124. JonahG is right about Yesterday, which is a great song, but not a ROCK song. The same goes for Jolene, a great country song. This list reminds me why Casey Kasem always used to refer to “the most Xish song of the rock era,” because so many Top 40 hits continued to be from other genres, even through the 60’s and 70’s.

    As for rap, some songs contain raps, but many raps are not “songs” at all, because they have no melody! Not that there is anything wrong with that, but spoken-word poetry isn’t music, even if it is presented with a musical backing. If you want to test if a rap is also a great song, see if you can hum a few bars of it. Add to that the fact that most groups don’t craft their own backing music, but sample others’ work, and they just don’t qualify. Still, the chorus of Public Enemy’s 911 Is A Joke is a tasmanian gorilla of a hook, and tremendously singable. “500 Best Raps” should be a list of its own. Would Charlie Daniels Band’s Uneasy Rider belong on it? (Rap ~= Talking Blues?)

    Kevin

  125. …but spoken-word poetry isn’t music…. – Me, going a bridge too far.

    OK, something rhythmic can be considered music, even if it has no melody, but it is only a “song” in the poetic sense. And let’s not forget to purge “folk” from the list, along with jazz and rap. Jump, R&B, rock n’ roll, rockabilly and blues may be too twisted up with each other for such a separation, though.

    As for age-bias, SF fan Peter Graham* said it best: The Golden Age of Science Fiction is 13. One is always going to have fond memories of the music that first grabbed you when you first started to form your own opinions.

    Kevin

    * as popularized by Terry Carr.

  126. “because they have no melody!”

    you are either high or not high enough.

  127. No Tom Waits?! A travesty.

  128. What a pathetic exercise in baby-boomer self-glorification.

    MC5, Sabbath, Motorhead, Black Flag, Minor Threat, Misfits, I could go on for days…

    Who wrote the wrote the list? Jan Wiener and his primal scream therapist?

  129. How did The Green Slime’s “Green Slime” not make it on the list?

  130. Cletus Nelson ? Nope. His aroma therapist…

  131. White Anglo-Saxon Protestant ? Ringo Starr?

    “I’m clean and sober.
    I still own me own songs.
    I’m shagging Barbara Bach.
    Nobody’s trying to kill me.
    And people say I’m the dumb Beatle…”

  132. huh, I guess is is top 500 of all time. This brings us then to the question – is a cantanta a song? But really, with Rolling Stone, I just kinda guessed that what they actually meant was “top 500 popular songs from the last 50 years.” Kinda like code.

    And when I picked “sub-saharan chants” as an example of music outside the US/UK, I figured it was so off the wall that no one could really think that I was dismissin *all* music outside US/UK. I guess if you’re too parochial to get that…

  133. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000. @

    http://www.bartleby.com/61/8/S0560800.html

    song

    NOUN: 1. Music a. A brief composition written or adapted for singing. b. The act or art of singing: broke into song. 2. A distinctive or characteristic sound made by an animal, such as a bird or an insect. 3a. Poetry; verse. b. A lyric poem or ballad.

    A cantata might not be brief enough to be a song, though a particular selection could be so considered. Your raps might qualify as 3a, but so would The Song of Hiawatha.

    Of course, I may be under- or over-medicated.

    Kevin

  134. Wish they had included “Surfer Girl” instead of “Sloop John B”…

  135. Bob, what have you got against subsaharan chants, huh? You’re not some kind of racist, are you?

  136. Actually, in the early 80’s, a punk rock/new wave radio DJ I listened to regularly played cuts by the “Bone Men of Burundi.” Google has nothing, this is all from memory. People like David Byrne are pretty honest about where they make their musicological raids, aren’t they? There’s nothing so hip as ignoring your own country’s pop music in favor of that from far away, in languages you don’t speak, right? ๐Ÿ™‚

    Kevin

  137. ~20 Beatles tracks, but they only have room for ONE grunge act? That was an important trend in rock music, and if Nirvana was the first name, then Pearl Jam and STP were right there behind them. You’d think that Even Flow or Alive or maybe even Blackhole Sun or Interstate Love Song might have made the cut. I’d say that as many people I went to college with sung along to Alive as to Losing My Religion (and REM had a lot better songs than that).

  138. Does a “Greatest” list that includes 500 entries betray a certain level of indecisiveness? I say it does.

    And how is it that:

    A. There is only one entry for Patti Smith

    and

    B. Said entry is “Dancing Barefoot”?

    I mean, WTF!

  139. Is there some Reason/Rolling Stone conspiracy? I would not think so. however there should be some kind of explanation why when I tried to post, it said “You are not allowed to post comments”

    The ONLY posts I have made lately appaer in this subject and were a little critical about Rolling Stone. If anyone sees why I would be BANNED from posting here based on my above comments please enlighten me. Objreason at aol dot com

  140. Some mighty entertaining reading here. ๐Ÿ˜€

    I had a few notes of just stuff I saw and felt like responding to.

    “And speaking of Ewwwwwwwwwwww, neither Rocket Man or Do You Think I’m Sexy are on the HD”

    I have both. Granted, both are covers. The Rocket Man cover is the infamous version done by William Shatner. Priceless.
    The Do Ya Think I’m Sexy cover is done by RevCo. Better than the original methinks.

    “Plus the omission of “Gin ‘n Juice.” Come on. To Rolling Stone: I don’t love you hos, I’m out the do’.”

    Another cover tune I have. The country/hillbilly version done by the Gourds. Out-freakin-standing.

    “Another great moment in crusty music criticism: “I feel like a Leonard Cohen record. I won’t say anything because no one listens to me anyway.””

    Heh heh, can’t stand him, but have a tremendous cover of Famous Blue Raincoat by Jared Louche.

    I suppose the most important list to anyone is the list of albums that shaped your perceptions. It’s kind of in line with what the gentleman above said about Hound Dog, hearing something that causes an epiphany for you.

    There’ve been a lot of them, but the one that stands out in my mind at the moment was truly appreciating Eric Clapton for the first time. It was just after he’d released a blues album, around 1994 or so. I was in tech school in the Air Force at the time. The on base rec center was closing, but a friend and I convinced the lady in charge to let us stay until SNL was over.
    Well, the end of the show was coming up, and as usual, the last thing is the musical guest. It was Clapton, and he played a song called 5 Long Years.

    My roomie and I sat there stunned for a few minutes as it was one of those times where you just get floored by hearing someone’s musical ability. We both went and picked up the album the next day as a result.
    Can’t think of the name of the album at the moment, but thinking about it now, I’ll need to listen to it when I get home.

  141. Sam – “‘ve noticed about The Doors that they had a synergy that was lost when JM died. Jim’s vocal range was rather limited so they had to produce tunes that accomodated that limitation which may explain why the keyboarding of RM was so dynamic.”

    Sam that “limited vocal range” was owing to the fact that the man was a BARITONE, and one of the few truly masculine voices in rock. Warren Zevon fits in that category, also Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull (although he admittedly abused his voice early on and is paying for it in his dotage. I heard them live here in Des Moines this month. The acoustic/instrumental work was fabulous. The vocals sounded like a lounge crooner trying to rock out.

    Lower ranges have been more popular with metalheads of late, but most of it is gutteral growling, not so much a lowering of the acceptable vocal range.

    Rock’s taste for boy sopranos has always puzzled me.

  142. kev to the rob: i’m saying you’re high or not high enough because most, if not all hip hop, made in the past 20 years has a melody.

    the dictionary definition of music is flat out retarded, however. music is.

  143. “What I can’t figure is why “Imagine” is on the list at all, much less at #3.”

    I agree, it makes absolutely no sense, compounded by the fact that the first three or four Beatles tunes that follow are Mcartney tunes. Paul was a genius, but he was obsessed with writing snappy pop tunes. John was a master genius, and a true musician. Case in point: “Yesterday” vs. “Rain”.

    “Three Pink Floyds in the 300s: two from “The Wall” and the title track from “Wish You Were Here”, but not one single song from “Dark Side of the Moon”?! Did I miss it? Please tell me I did…”

    This proves that the people who made up this list have absolutely no fucking clue. I’m a huge Floyd head, but “The Wall” was clearly an overproduced, bombastic shrine to Waters’ ego. He even admitted it. “Dark Side”? No true rock collection exists without it, even though I personally think “WYWH” is a better album.

    “Motown ain’t rock’n’roll. Marvin Gaye and Aretha Franklin are superb musicians, and Motown is definitely one of the most important genres(and best) of the 60’s, but IT AIN”T ROCK’N’ROLL!”

    This all about political correctness. They can’t have the entire top ten filled with pasty limeys, even though, in my opinion, it’s the way it should be, save Hendrix.

  144. It’s always tough to put together a list like this, but of the three greatest vocal performances in rock history – Since I Been Loving You didn’t make it at all, and Whipping Post and Piece of My Heart are in the high 300s. That seems wrong.

    Ultimatly, though, you have to dismiss this list for one reason – no Grateful Dead at all. Scarlet Begonias is not as good as I Believe I Can Fly? Really? Dylan is at #1, but there is no Dead. That’s a real conundrum.

    Ah Rolling Stone… you know how to make me laugh.

  145. I want to kill this thread before Stevo does. I’m a geezer and therefore perfectly qualified to offer my useless opinions.

    1. Desolation Row is my favorite tune but it isn’t Rock & Roll.

    2. Blue Suede Shoes and I Want to Hold Your Hand Should lead the list.

    3. What? No Traffic. Aw, come on!

  146. I think it’s safe to say that magazines put out lists such as these just to give folks something to talk about to a buzz so folks will buy the magazine. I seriously doubt more than 2 hours was spent determining who should be on the list and in what order. I doubt any list anywhere such as ‘greatest albums” “greatest books”, ‘greatest piece of ass’ is really thought of as serious by those who came up with it. so no real need to complain about the list, it’s just all marketing BS.

  147. “People like David Byrne are…” just another example of The Man ripping off the hard work and real genius of People of Color.

    “There’s nothing so hip as ignoring your own country’s pop music in favor of that from far away, in languages you don’t speak, right?”

    I hope you’re not some kind of racist. Are you?

  148. Random comments:

    No Rock and Roll by LZ? Advanced retardation.

    No Green River by CCR? What next, Stephen Foster was just a product of the Matrix?

    The Lovin’ Spoonful – nice to see recognition of a severely underappreciated band.

    Bizarre Love Triangle but no Blue Monday? Yooookay…

    Wish You Were Here and Comfortably Numb are the *same* *damn* *song*. Meanwhile, DSOTM gets *bupkis*. The Gods of Rock are displeased.

    God Only Know by the Beach Boys at #25 – excellent catch, guys. Gives me goosebumps just thinking about it. One of the most moving rock and roll songs ever recorded.

    Marquee Moon by Television. The quintessential rock critic choice. Tom Verlaine’s voice sounds like that of a parrot being shorn of its wings without the benefit of anesthesia.

    Da Ya Think I’m Sexy
    Bitter Sweet Symphony
    Dancing Queen
    Why not Afternoon Delight, huh? HUH!? Pussies, I tells ya…

    Neil Young. After The Gold Rush. Nothing off of. Crime against humanity.

    Whipping Post – excellent choice.
    One Way Out – um, where the hell is it??

    Imagine.
    Imagine?
    effin IMAGINE?!?
    The drug-induced noodlings of a smelly hippy?
    A loose screw saluting his Marxist buddies?
    Yoko’s bitch and his Magical Naivity Tour?
    And to think he was soooo sexy before the coke-bottle glasses and the Tarzan coiffure. And the nudity. Nude isn’t always sexy, ya know…

  149. ….most, if not all hip hop, made in the past 20 years has a melody. -dhex

    d to the hex: Even I, suburbs-raised whiteboy that I am, know that [hip hop > rap ]. Plenty of hip hop is melodic. The Fugees and Arrested Development come immediately to mind. But many raps have no connection to an original melody. Thought experiment: think of a favorite rap, and try to sing it without any accompaniment. You might be able to copy the toaster’s rhythm, phrasing, intonation, hell – his accent. If you are singing you will be recreating notes, in a particular sequence. Faith Evans crooning a Police tune behind the rhyme doesn’t count.

    I hope you’re not some kind of racist. Are you? – Stop Racism Now

    Is that your sarcasm font? I point out the tendency of art-rockers to appropriate music from other cultures and I get accused of possible racism? BTW, I quite like David Byrne, and the Expanded Heads’ Remain In Light tour may have been the best show I ever saw live. It is just true that there is an “I can find music to tout more obscure than you can” meme among truly hip people.

    Kevin

  150. Sam that “limited vocal range” was owing to the fact that the man was a BARITONE, and one of the few truly masculine voices in rock.

    Being a baritone myself (I sang in the choir for many years) and having lost some of my range in the past ten years, even I have more vocal range than Jim Morrison did. I know this from countless listenings and singing of Doors tunes. The very first album I bought (long ago) was “The doors”. And I bought most of their other albums over the years.

    For examples of significant vocal range, Harry Nilsson and Chris Isaac come to mind.

  151. “But many raps have no connection to an original melody.”

    ? ? ?

    again i must ask

    ? ? ?

    then again, my favorite producer of all time is pete rock.

    i mean, i see what you’re saying, i guess, but most of my favorite songs can’t be hummed. i’ll chalk this up to generational/taste thingies.

  152. i’m saying you’re high or not high enough because most, if not all hip hop, made in the past 20 years has a melody.

    A melody taken from a different song recorded during the previous 20 years — but a melody nevertheless. ๐Ÿ™‚

  153. I’m w/ JDM. How can there not be a single Grateful Dead song on the list? Let’s get over our prejudices and just admit that Sugar Magnolia, Uncle John’s Band, and Scarlet Begonias are among the 500 best RnR songs. Nice to see Cortez the Killer on there though…

  154. Cherry picking ridiculous choices out of lists like these isn’t really worth it – one man’s trash is another’s treasure – and all that.

    But can I assume that everyone in the entire world, other than the 5 people who made this list, would guffaw at the inclusion of:

    #476 Foreigner – I want to know what Love is

    I’m just, … speechless. Especially since, if you just have to include Foreigner, “Jukebox Hero” is the obvious choice.

  155. I just thank the good lord that they didn’t put any Journey on this list. That shit was absolutely horrible.
    I also have to concur with whoever commented on the lack of Tom Waits – it’s a travesty, but not a terribly surprising one. I would have started with Tom Traubert’s Blues, Step Right Up, possibly Ol’ 55, maybe a little Jersey Girl…. I could go on all night, so I’ll stop now.

  156. What? No “Puff the Magic Dragon”? Outrageous!

    And couldn’t they have found a spot on that list (preferably in the top 100) for something by Raffi? Harmonic and rhythmic subtlety is so overrated anyway.

  157. “that’s entertainment” by the jam is good, but there are others that might be better suited.

    as for the 80s and 90s, you have some good music, but it doesn’t get airtime, so try out henry rollins’s show “harmony in my head”, a nice call out to the buzzcocks. it’s findable through google.

    and for anybody who references “generation X”, it was coined in the early 70s, and was a decent punk band (billy idol’s band) in the late 70s. if you like early punk, i’d recommend that.

    new york dolls (267). oh yeah!

    (i’d substitute out “dog” and put “1969” by the stooges)
    and since i hate u2 about as much as “rocket man”, it’s very upsetting to see such representation.

    for sheer balls i’d have nick cave’s “from her to eternity” or “mercy seat”, of which johnny cash did an okay remake.

    cheers,
    drf

  158. What’s with all y’all hatin on Elton John?

    And y’all Journey haters know that “More Than a Feeling” is the best song to snort coke off a uptown hooker’s back to! So suck it.

  159. You mean “More Than A Feeling” the Boston song, or am I missing a reference here?

  160. No Supremes!!?? What the **CK (HECK)? Are you RS people commies? Why do you hate us?

    And speaking of girl groups…They had wonderful songs like, “Cruel Summer”, “Robert DeNiro’s Waiting”, and “Venus”…….It’s BANANARAMA!!!

    http://christian-mclaughlin.com/website/images/bananarama.jpg

    http://perso.wanadoo.es/musica80s/portadas/Bananarama.jpg

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/totp2/features/wallpaper/images/1024/bananarama.jpg

    http://www.buzzstuff.net/archives/bananarama.jpg

    Wow, were they cute or what? One of my fave from the New Wave. And here’s a little clue for you all, the Walrus is Paul….No. Check out an early one from Bananarama called “Really Saying Something” it features Fun Boy Three and the video is strong too. Great tune.

  161. Actually, the rip is a bit unfair — it isn’t us geezers that produced a list in which the top pick as well as many other top cuts are by Bob Dylan — it’s geezer academics! Do you know anyone who would pick “Like a Rolling Stone” as the top song of all time, except someone with a PhD in something arcane, someone who thinks they like music but has no sense of rhythm? I think historians of entertainment will see this list as the event which marked the demise of Rolling Stone — I mean, how can anyone take it seriously any more?

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