The Rock Song Hall of Fame
Version 2.2 - The Top 530 Songs!
New ones marked with a *
Alphabetical List of Artists
Well you gotta start somewhere. In 1954, the ingredients of Rock and Roll were coming together in a way that would precipitate an explosion. One of the more underated ingredients was well-crafted singing of the Hit Parade style that was prevalent at the time. I only mention it here because it was especially significant in 1954. As for Rock and Roll, nobody saw it coming.
- Elvis Presley - That's Allright Mama
- Elvis's first record, and the one that Sam Phillips noticed when Elvis walked into Sun Records and started singing
- The Crew Cuts - Sh-Boom
- In the quest for the Legendary First Rock Song, this one usually, but not always, gets mentioned. Some disparage this version because it was one of those songs where a white band covered a song by a black band, but to me, it is a bridge between the craft of singing exhibited in the early fifties and, well, the rest of Rock and Roll.
- *The Spaniels - Goodnight Sweetheart Goodnight
- Arguably the best rock-and-roll lullaby of all time.
On July 9, 1955, everything changed.
- Bill Haley & his Comets - Rock Around the Clock
- This song is the reason why eveything changed on that aforementioned date. The date that Rock Around the Clock hit number one is like the dividing line between B.C. and A.D. of popular music.
- Bo Diddley - Bo Diddley
- In an interview, Bo Diddley said he played his guitar like a drum. And, yes, the title is his name; or, more accurately, his name is the title. I suspect Elias McDaniel wrote the song first, then picked the stage name.
- Mitch Miller Chorus - The Yellow Rose of Texas
- Rocks conquest was not immediate. This was The Establishment's answer to Rock Around the Clock, and the second Number One song of the Rock Era.
Rock hadn't really found its stride yet.
- Little Richard - Tutti - Frutti
- "Womp-bomp-aloobomp-alomp-bam-boom." What else is there to say?
- Elvis Presley - Heartbreak Hotel
- Someone, not sure who, once said that Rock and Roll is happy songs about sad stuff. This song, which proves the maxim, was the first major hit after Rock Around the Clock. Start singing this song and it should cheer you right up.
- Guy Mitchell - Singing the Blues
- This is not a rock song by any stretch of the imagination. I don't care. It's great.
- Buchanan & Goodman - The Flying Saucer
- They used to say "you're not a hit until you make Buchanan & Goodman."
- Shirley & Lee - Let the Good Times Roll
- SHIRLEY: Feeeels so gooooood when you're home.
LEE: C'mon, baby, Rrrock me all night loooooooooooong.
- Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers - Why Do Fools Fall in Love
- The definition and archetype of the Doo-wop sound.
- The Five Satins - (I Remember) In the Still of the Nite
- "So before the light, hold me again with all of your might in the still of the night."
- *The Cadets - Stranded in the Jungle
- Spoken narrative about a guy who crashes in the jungle, and has various adventures. "Meanwhile back in the states," some guy is trying to pick up his girl friend, singing "Baby baby, let's make romance. You know you're old time lover hasn't got a chance." A hard-to-find record, but worth it.
- The Cadillacs - Speedo
- But my real name is Mister.
Rock and Rollers started exploring new possibilities, while other artists who didn't want anything to do with the new sound got lumped in with the rest of them. And it kept getting better and better.
- Jerry Lee Lewis - Whole Lot of Shakin' Going On
- "Yes, I said come on over, Baby. We've got chicken in the barn. Who's barn? What barn? My barn."
- Buddy Holly - Peggy Sue
- One of the ten most influential songs in Rock and Roll history.
- Chuck Berry - Rock and Roll Music
- I've heard more covers of this song than any other. The Beatles. TheBeach Boys. REO Speedwagon. Just the first three that come to mind.
- The Diamonds - Little Darlin'
- "Mahai Dearrrra, Ihi was wronga tohoohoo try tohoo luhuv two ahoo ahoo ahoo aknowin' wella that my lova (la-la-la-la) wuhuz just fohor you oohoooo weeeooooo."
- Elvis Presley - Jailhouse Rock
- And so Elvis started doing movies. Now, most of his movie songs aren't quite up to The List, but when he did this one, in his first movie, he hadn't gotten into Movie Mode yet.
- Harry Belafonte - Banana Boat Song (Day - O)
- I'm writing this while working third shift. "Daylight come, and we wann go home."
- *Mickey & Sylivia - Love is Strange
- MICKEY: Oh Sylvia
SYLVIA: Yes Mickey
MICKEY: How do you call your lover boy?
SYLVIA: Come here, lover boy.
MICKEY: And if he doesn't answer?
SYLVIA: Oh, lover boy...
MICKEY: And if he still doesn't answer?
SYLVIA: I just say, 'Baby. Oooohhh Baby. My sweet baby. You're the one.'"
- Fats Domino - Blueberry Hill
- Before the guitar dominated Rock and Roll, there was the saxophone and the piano. You could play it wild, like Little Richard or Jerry Lee Lewis. Or, you could caress it, like Fats Domino.
- The Everly Brothers - Bye Bye Love
- Everyone talks about the Everly Brothers like they invented harmony. Harmony has been around for hundreds of years. Of course, most of those hundreds of years were before Rock and Roll, so they don't really count.
- Jimmy Rodgers - Honeycomb
- There is a distinction between song lyrics and poetry. Chuck Berry's lyrics were extraordinarily clever, but they were lyrics. Jimmy Rodgers wrote poetry.
- The Dell Vikings - Come Go with Me
- Another great doo-wop song.
- The Rays - Silhouettes
- "...then two strangers who had been two silhouettes on the shade said, to my shock, "You're on the wrong block." Humor in lyrics for songs that are not "novelty" is a rare thing, but more so now. I wonder what happened.
So far it's been mostly the legends and the giants doing Rock and Roll. But in 1958 some ordinary people started making great songs of their own.
- The Silhouettes - Get a Job
- Arguably the best song of the fifties. And I'm just the guy to argue it.
- Dion & the Belmonts - I Wonder Why
- The only time you notice the Other Three Belmonts.
- The Jamies - Summertime Summertime
- Best four-part harmonies ever. The Beach Boys never got this fancy and made it sound so spontaneous.
- The Elegants - Little Star
- When I was in college, and I'd get feeling kind of lonely, I'd go out and lie under the stars and sing that song. And loneliness didn't seem so bad.
- Chuck Berry - Johnny B. Goode
- Near the top of everybody's list.
- Jimmy Clanton - Just a Dream
- My musical ear may not be the best, but I know when someone is singing flat. Mr. Clanton is flat on this song, but it works. "I can still hear that same mournful song." It would not be as believeable if he was singing on key.
- Robin Luke - Suzie Darlin'
- "I thought you knew. You were all the world to me. All my dreams come true."
- Eddie Cochran - Summertime Blues
- "Well, I called my congressman, and he said, quote, 'I'd like to help you son, but you're too young to vote.' Sometimes I wonder what I'm gonna do, but there ain't no cure for the summertime blues."
- The McGuire Sisters - Sugar Time
- Most people would not consider it a rock and roll song, and I'm sure the McGuire sisters didn't, but there's an electric guitar in there that sounds awfully suspicious to me.
But that's not why it's on The List. It earns that distinction for the well-crafted singing that was almost out of date by this time.
- Buddy Holly - Oh Boy!
- "Stars appear and shadows are falling. You can hear my heart a-calling."
- The Poni Tails - Born Too Late
- Remember when you were a teenager and you fell in love with someone older?
- Frankie Avalon - Dede Dinah
- His first song, which he sang by holding is nose closed. A prediction of his later work?
- Ricky Nelson - I Got a Feeling
- Record companies have been producing Teen Idols since well before Rock and Roll. One thing you will notice as you read this list is that I don't seem to care how the artist got 'discovered', or what he represents, or what genre he 'belongs to'. What matters is, what does the record sound like?
Ricky Nelson was already a TV star on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet. This gave him an unfair advantage in getting the record made. But it also gave him an unfair advantage in that he could get good backup musicians and good production to make a great-sounding record.
Many people believe that Rock and Roll died in 1959, not to be heard again until the Beatles brought it back. And maybe it did. But there were still a lot of great records to be made.
- Dion & the Belmonts - A Teenager in Love
- When you're in love, you feel like a teenager, no matter how old you are.
- The Platters - Smoke Gets in your Eyes
- "Now laughing friends deride tears I cannot hide..."
This, by the way, was the fourth song I picked for The List.
- Ritchie Valens - Donna
- See 'La Bamba', the movie staring Lou Diamond Phillips. Donna / La Bamba, a double-sided hit for Ritchie Valens, turned out to be his only one, giving him the unique distinction of being a one-double-sided-hit wonder.
- Ritchie Valens - La Bamba
- If you wonder what would have happened if Ritchie Valens hadn't died in 1959, I'll tell you. He would have become the greatest guitar player ever. He wasn't there yet, but he was well on his way.
- Connie Francis - Frankie
- "Frankie, I'd rather hide these teardrops deep down inside. I'm crying, but you'll never see. I'd rather cry than have you pity me."
- Ray Charles - What'd I Say
- On chart lists, you will find this song as "What'd I Say (Part 1)". In 1959 songs that were longer than three minutes would not get airplay, so if you had a song longer than that, you'd split it in half. You have to hear both halves of the song to get the full effect.
- Johnny Mathis - Misty
- "On my own, would I wander through this wonderland alone? Never knowing my right foot from my left, my hat from my glove. I'm too misty, and too much in love.
Look at me."
- The Fleetwoods - Come Softly to Me
- Music to dream by.
- Frankie Ford - Sea Cruise
- Produced by Huey "Piano" Smith. I mention this because it has an expirmental quality that was way ahead of its time. The first avant-garde rock song.
- Bobby Darrin - Dream Lover
- "Dream lover, where are you with a love that's oh so true, and a hand that I can hold, and live with as I grow old?"
- The Kingston Trio - MTA
- "Fight the fair increase, vote for George O'Reilly. Get poor Charlie off the M.T.A."
Arguably the best Folk Song before Bob Dylan. And I'm just the guy to argue it.
- Clyde McPhatter - A Lover's Question
- Who is the bass singer? Undoubtedly the inspiration for Johnny Cymbal's Mr. Bassman.
Some years, there just aren't very many good songs.
- Marty Robbins - El Paso
- "From out of nowhere Felita has found me, kissing my cheek as she kneels by my side. Cradled by two loving arms that I'll die for, one little kiss and Felita, Good Bye."
- Roy Orbison- Only the Lonely
- Roy Orbison has, objectively, the best voice in Rock and Roll. The man had a range of five octaves:
"Maybe tomorrow a new romance. No more sorrow. But that's the chance yooooooouuuuuuu've goooottta taaaake if your lonely heart breaks. Only the lonely."
The fifth song I selected for The List.
- Roy Orbison- Blue Angel
- "So love's precious flame / Just burned in vain / But you're not to blame / He thought love was a game / It's such a shame but don't you cry / Don't sigh / I'll tell you why / I'll never say good-bye / Blue Angel."
- Kathy Young & the Innocents - A Thousand Stars
- "Tell me you love me. Tell me you're mine once more."
- Maurice Williams & the Zodiacs - Stay
- There were two waves of doo-wop. The first one peaked in 1958. The second one peaked in 1963. The difference between these two peaks is that 1963 doo-wop has falsetto.
This is the song they learned it from.
- The Drifters - Save the Last Dance for Me
- It doesn't matter who you go to the dance with. What matters is who you leave with.
- Jimmy Jones - Handy Man
- "I'm not the kind to use a pencil or rule.... I fix broken hearts."
- Wanda Jackson - Let's Have a Party
- Only a few times in Rock history has Country and Pop come close enough to kiss each other. 1960-61 was the first time, as you will see. Wanda Jackson was a country singer who made a Rock and Roll record and it sounds fantastic.
Assuming Rock and Roll was dead, (it wasn't, but many thought it was at the time), what do you do? Some people experimented with a few things. Others brought back old styles. In 1961 almost anything could get on the charts.
- The Tokens - The Lion Sleeps Tonight
- When I started listening to Rock and Roll, this was my first favorite song. It just sounds so eerie, like the darkness and the danger of the jungle it's singing about.
- Del Shannon- Runaway
- Oh, that bridge, that synthesizer bridge. You know what I'm talking about.
- Del Shannon - Hats Off to Larry
- "Once I had a pretty girl, her name, it doesn't matter." But the name of the guy who jilted her apparently does.
- Rosie & the Originals - Angel Baby
- Pure cheese. If Mystery Science Theatre 3000 did rock songs, it would start with this one.
- Patsy Cline - I Fall to Pieces
- In an era where many great Country songs were also great pop songs, this one stands out above the rest.
- The Marcels - Heartaches
- "Here we go again..... Yipyipyipyip werpawerpawerpwerp dipdidipdip babababa dumdududumdududumdum Heartaches." The sequel to 'Blue Moon'.
- The Jarmels - A Little Bit o' Soap
- Arguably the most enjoyable song of the early sixties.
- Roy Orbison - Crying
- "I was all right for awhile"
- Ricky Nelson - Hello Mary Lou
- James Burton, famous country guitar picker who also had worked with Elvis, played the guitar solo on the bridge.
- Curtis Lee - Pretty Little Angel Eyes
- Somewhere out there is someone to whom I owe an apology, and this was our song.
I was a jerk. I'm sorry.
- Gary U.S. Bonds - Quarter to Three
- I've never heard a dance hall D.J. play this song at 2:45. I have no idea why; it's a great dance tune.
- Linda Scott - I've Told Every Little Star
- "Maybe... you may love me too. Oh, my darling, if you do, why haven't you told me?"
Of all the songs I've fantasized about having someone sing to me (and mean it), this is at the top of the list.
- Lonnie Donegan & his Skiffle Group - Does Your Chewing Gum Lose its Flavor on the Bedpost Overnight
- "If tinwinches are made o' tin, what do they make foghorns out of?"
- Bobby Vee - Rubber Ball
- "If you strrrretch my love till it's thin enough to tear, I'll just strrrretch my arms to reach you anywhere and like a....."
There was a gap between the experimentation of 1961 and the girl groups and surf music of 1963, leaving not very much in 1962.
- The Cookies - Chains
- Harmonious discord. Sounds like a contradiction in terms, but then, so does this song..
- Barbara George - I Know (You Don't Love Me No More)
- I'm not going to argue that Barbara George had the greatest female voice in the 60's. But I might be willing to argue that this record is the greatest performance by a female singer.
- Gene Pitney - The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence
- "From the moment a girl gets to be full grown, the very first things she learns: When two men go out to face each other, only one returns."
The song was not used in the movie of the same name, but it's still worth seeing.
- The Crystals - He's a Rebel
- And then came Phil Spector, the first producer to have his own distinctive style, called The Wall of Sound. "Why is he always the one to do the things they've never done? Just because of that they say he's a rebel, and he'll never ever be any good."
- The Sensations - Let Me In
- "Open up. I wanna come in again. I thought you were my friend." There are few experiences more painful than being excluded from an event that you feel you belong at.
- The Rivingtons - Papa Oom Mow Mow
- "Funniest sound I ever heard. And I can't understand a single word. Is he serious, or is he playing? Oo-mow-mow is all he's saying."
- Dee Dee Sharp - Gravy
- I'm not sure what the connection's supposed to be between doing a dance called the Mashed Potato and what she is calling 'gravy', but I do know that the Mashed Potato is not an easy dance to do, and anyone who can do it should be rewarded.
There were no less than four wonderful things going on in 1963. First and formost, California surf music arrived, thanks to a young genius named Brian Wilson, who made symphonies out of songs about cars, girls and surfing . Second: Girl Groups, led by Phil Spector's elegantly produced artists, dominated the charts to a degree that they would not until the mid-90's. Third: A doo-wop revival, distinct from the one in 1958 in that it added falsetto voices to the already harmony-rich sound. And fourth: Garage Rock, a direct ancestor of Heavy Metal and Grunge, was breaking into the charts. Things looked very good for the future of popular music.
- The Beach Boys- Surfin' USA
- If everybody had a notion.....
- The Beach Boys- Shut Down
- "Tach it up! Tach it up! Buddy, gonna shut you down!"
- The Beach Boys- Little Deuce Coupe
- "She's got a competition clutch, with a four-on-the-floor, and she purrs like a kitten, till the leg pipes roar. And if that ain't enough to make you flip your lid, there's one more thing I got the pink slip, daddy!"
- The Beach Boys- Catch a Wave
- ...they'd be sittin' on top of the world.
- Chantay's - Pipeline
- An apty-named instrumental. It sounds like they're playing their instuments in a big pipe.
- The Jaynettes - Sally Go Round the Roses
- Makes you wonder what the rest of the story was.
- The Exciters - Tell Him
- "Men and women were created to make loving their destiny. So why should true love be so complicated?"
- The Crystals - Da Doo Ron Ron
- Arguably the best drum accompanyment of the pre-beatle era. And I'm just the guy to argue it.
- The Chiffons - One Fine Day
- The song starts off with a single piano note repeated in staccato fashion. I love that part.
- The Ronnettes - Be My Baby
- "So won't you say you love me. I'll make you so proud of me. We'll make 'em turn their heads every place we go."
- Carole King - It Might as Well Rain Until September
The Raindrops - The Kind of Boy You Can't Forget
- Once upon a time there was a place in New York called the Brill Building. In this building song writers were paid to write hits. And so they wrote, and wrote, and wrote, and many hits were written. The songwriters would produce a demo of the song, which they would sell to the record companies so that their artists could produce them. But occasionally, the demo would be so good that it would be a hit in its own right.
Carole King had been writing there since the late fifties, and the Raindrops were Ellie Greenwich and Jeff Barry, the legendary songwriting team respnsible for Doo Wah Ditty Ditty. These two songs, which sound completely different, were probably written on the same floor by writers writing within earshot of each other.
- Little Peggy March - I Will Follow Him
- An anthem to teenage loyalty, backed by a strong lead and superior background vocals.
This was the second song I selected for The List.
- Randy & the Rainbows - Denise
- The final flowering of the doo-wop sound. It never got better than that.
- The Earls - Remember Then
- "Remember remmemmem, rememmememmber..." In the 1963 doo-wop revival, this one probably comes closest to sounding like 1958. Which, considering the message of the lyrics, is what you wanted.
- Lou Christie - The Gypsy Cried
- That's pronounced "Criyiyiyiyiyiyiyi ahihiyiyied."
- The Kingsmen - Louie Louie
- Another song that's near the top of everyone's list. I'm told the lyrics are great, but then again, I've been told a lot of things about the lyrics.
- *The Surfaris - Wipe Out
- Just try to resist doing the drum solo.
- The Rebels - Wild Weekend
- An instrumental written to be a D.J.'s theme song. An indication of where Rock might have gone if not for the Beatles.
- The Dovelles - You Can't Sit Down
- They have a point.
- Ray Stevens - Harry the Hairy Ape
- "A funny thing happened the other night. You won't believe it, but I swear it's true... "
I'd quote more, but I don't want to spoil any punch lines.
- Nino Temple & April Stevens - Deep Purple
- Besides the aforementioned four great things going on in 1963, there was other great music being produced that had nothing to do with those trends.
"...and as long as my heart will beat, sweet lover we'll always meet here in my deep purple dreams."
- Gene Pitney - Mecca
- "Each morning I face her window, and pray that our love can be, cause that brown stone house where my baby lives is Mecca.... Mecca..... To me."
A generation in Rock and Roll is about seven years. In 1964 the first group of teenagers who had grown up listening to the new music came of age and began producing hits of their own.
This was to be expected.
But what was not expected was that the first group that would take this particularly American form of music to the next level was not from America at all.
- The Beatles - Please Please Me
- Their second single, after Love Me Do. George Martin heard John's Orbisonesque ballad, and told him to speed it up. And the world was pleased.
- The Beatles - Twist and Shout
- The last song on Please Please Me, the album that was released as Introducing the Beatles in the U.S.
Best Album Closer of All Time.
- The Beatles - If I Fell
- Their tightest harmonies, with the possible exception of 'Words of Love' from Beatles For Sale.
- The Beatles - Can't Buy Me Love
- "Say you don't need no diamond rings, and I'll be satisfied. Tell me that you want the kind of things that money just can't buy. I don't care too much for money; money can't buy me love."
- The Beatles - I Feel Fine
- Fthooommmm Bweeeaarrrr.
- The Beatles - She's a Woman
- Sometimes you find a double-sided single wherein both sides are spectacular. The Beatles were especially good at this, with four with both sides on The List. I Feel Fine / She's a Woman was their Christmas present to the world in 1964.
- Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas - Little Children
- "I wish they would take a nap!!!"
- Gerry and the Pacemakers - How Do you Do It
- When the British Invasion was launched from Liverpool, two bands, Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas and Gerry and the Pacemakers rode the Beatles' coattails onto the American charts.
- The Searchers - Needles and Pins
- In the last refrain "...and get down on my knees and prayeyay..." when one of them swoops up an octave to do the harmonies from way up there is why this song's on The List.
- The Dave Clark Five - Glad All Over
- "I'm feeling
- BOOM BOOM glad all over, yes I'ma
- BOOM BOOM glad all over. Baby I'ma
- BOOM BOOM glad all over, so glad you're miiiiiiiiiiiiiine."
- The Kinks - You Really Got Me
- One particularly British innovation to the American sound was the fuzz guitar riff. This song was the openning volley.
- Herman's Hermits - I'm into Something Good
- "Woke up this morning feeling fine. Had something special on my mind. Last night, I met a new girl in my neighborhood."
- Dusty Springfield - I Only Want to Be With You
- "It's crazy, but it's true."
- The Zombies - She's Not There
- One of those extremely rare bands for whom all their best stuff became hits. All three of their top ten songs are on The List, and while I've heard some of their other stuff, none of it was really worthwhile.
- The Beach Boys- I Get Around
- When you sing along with this song, you have to sing harmony: I have no idea which voice is the lead on the chorus.
- The Beach Boys- Don't Worry Baby
- Speaking of double-sided singles, the Beach Boys themselves have two of their own with both sides on The List: I Get Around / Don't Worry Baby, and Surfin U.S.A. / Shut Down.
Don't Worry Baby is a beautiful ballad about an insecure guy (with more problems than just losing his car), made confident by the woman who loves him.
- Jan & Dean - New Girl in School
- Jan and Dean: Pale imitations of the Beach Boys? Or musical artists in their own right? You decide. But before you do, dig this: "I got it bad for the new girl in school / The guys are flippin' but I'm playin' it cool. / Everybody's passing notes in class / They really dig her, now, she's such a gas. "
- Betty Everett - The Shoop Shoop Song (It's In His Kiss)
- "How 'bout the way he acts?" "No, no, that's not the way. And you're not listening to all I say."
- The Shangri-las - Leader of the Pack
- MARY: Hey, there's Betty.
MARGIE: Is she really going out with him?
MARYANN: I don't know let's ask her.
ALL THREE: Hey, Betty, is that Jimmy's ring you're wearing.
ALL THREE: Gee, it must be great riding with him. Is he picking you up after school today?
ALL THREE: By the way, where'd you'd meet him?
BETTY: I met him at the candy store. He turned around and smiled at me. You get the picture?
ALL THREE: Yes. We see.
BETTY: That's when I fell for the leader of the pack.
- Gene Pitney - It Hurts to Be in Love
- "How long can I exist? Bonnie lips I've never kissed. She gives all her kisses to somebody else.
She thinks I'm just a friend. Though it hurts, I must pretend."
- Johnny Rivers - Memphis
- Combines Chuck Berry's lyrics with Duane Eddy's instrumental.
- Jay & the Americans - Come a Little Bit Closer
- "Then the music stopped. When I looked, the cafe was empty. And I heard Jose' say, 'Man, you know you're in trouble plenty'"
- The Righteous Brothers - You've Lost that Loving Feeling
- MAVERICK: You see that girl?
MAVERICK: She's lost it.
GOOSE: Oh. No, she hasn't, man.
MAVERICK: Yes, she has. She's definitely lost it.
GOOSE: I hate when she does that.
- Grabbing a 'Mr. Microphone.' You never close your eyes any more when I kiss your lips.
--Top Gun (written from memory, so probably not exactly accurate).
And so, as the music world tried to adjust to the staggering events of 1964...
- The Beatles - Help!
- Best prayer in Rock-and-Roll
- *The Beatles - I'm Down
- The B-side of Help was Paul McCartney trying to be Little Richard. Many artists tried to be Little Richard but the only two who could do it were Paul McCartney and, of course, Little Richard.
- The Beatles - Act Naturally
- Sung by Ringo, who was sort of the star of the Beatles' second film (Help!). It wasn't used in the movie, though.
- The Beatles - Ticket to Ride
- Most songs I can tell you why I like them, but not this one. Running it through in my head, I can't tell you. But when I get into my car and put the tape in, and the song plays, I know it belongs on The List.
- The Rolling Stones - The Last Time
- It took me a long time to warm up to the Rolling Stones. I didn't like them at first. Or at second. I'd heard their stuff for years before I figured out why everyone thought they were so great: Keith Richards is simply the best guitarist of the Sixties.
- The Rolling Stones - Satisfaction
- Near the top of everyone's list. It's a classic from the very first riff; but then they spice it up with lyrics like "When I'm watching my TV, and man comes on to tell me just how white my shirts can be. But he can't be a man, cause he doesn't smoke the same cigarrettes as me. I can't get no."
- The Animals - We Gotta Get Out of This Place
- "See my Daddy in bed: he's dyin. See his hair, baby, turning gray. He's been working and slaving his life away....
We gotta get out of this place if it's the last thing we ever do. We gotta get out of this place. Girl, there's a better life for me and you."
- The Dave Clark Five - Over and Over
- This song is my proof that you feel music in your throat. Maybe it's just that the song perfectly fits my vocal range, and if it didn't it wouldn't mean anything to me.
- The Yardbirds - Heart Full of Soul
- "Sick at heart and lonely. Deep in dark dispair (whoooowaoh). Thinking one thought only: WHERE IS SHE? TELL ME WHERE!"
- The Byrds - Mr. Tambourine Man
- To try to explain the roots of the Byrds would be to minimize them. They were folk. They were California. They were copying the British sound. Blah blah blah. Who cares where they were from? The important thing is this record has really tight harmonies over really great lyrics.
"I'm ready to go anywhere. I'm ready for to fade on to my own parade. Cast your dancing spell my way. I promise to go under it."
- The Turtles - It Ain't Me Babe
- "You say you're looking for someone... someone to open each and every door... It ain't me, Babe." Men are just as cramped in their gender roles as women are. Nowadays, when noone knows what the rules are anymore, men are expected to be sensitive-but-not-whimpy and no one will tell us where the line is.
- The Searchers - Love Potion #9
- Just for fun.
- Dino Desi & Billy - I'm a Fool
- Three children of celebrities got together and decided to form a band. This fun song was the result.
- We Five - You Were On My Mind
- "I got troubles. I got worries. I got wounds to bind. So I went to the corner, just to easy my pain. Just to ease my pain.... Well, I got a feeling, down in my shoes. Way down in my shoes. I got rainbows. I got moonbows. I got to wash away my blues."
If this song comes out two years later, anti-drug paranoia keeps this peppy tune off the air.
- The Zombies - Tell Her No
- "And if she should tell you, 'I love you', just remember, she said that to me."
- The Vogues - You're the One
- Pure syrup: "Everything is sweet / Every time we meet / Oooh you're so tender / I must surrender / My love is your love / Now and forever." But the loop-de-loop harmonies of the vocals is what puts this song on The List.
The best year Rock and Roll has ever seen. Twenty-five songs made The List.
- The Beach Boys- Good Vibrations
- Brian wilson spent something like $30,000 to make this, the best single of all time. This was the first song I selected for The List.
- The Beach Boys- Barbara Ann
- "Scratch it, Carl, scratch it!" From an album called The Beach Boys Party!
- The Beach Boys- Sloop John B
- From Pet Sounds, which was the Greatest Rock Album Of All Time for about six months.
- The Knickerbockers - Lies
- Lots of new bands were trying to imitate the Beatles. These guys came the closest. By the way, the band is from New Jersey. Honest.
- The Hollies- I Can't Let Go
- "I tried and I tried but I can't say good-bye. I know that it's wrong, that I should be so strong, but the thought of you gone makes me want to hold on."
- The Hollies- Stop! Stop! Stop!
- "Like a snake her body fascinates me. I can't look away now!" There but for the grace of God go I.
- The Beatles - Day Tripper
- "Got a good reason": Best bass line ever.
- The Beatles - Paperback Writer
- Nobody could touch the Beatles when it came to songs about the publishing industry. Not that anybody ever tried.
- The Beatles - Rain
- ".sdeah rieht edih dna nur yeht semoc nair eht nehw ,nnnnnniiiiiiaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrR"
Oh, and by the way, in case you didn't know, Rain was the B side of Paperback Writer.
- The Beatles - Got to Get You Into My Life
- Started off as an album track off of Revolver in 1966. Made the top ten when it was first released as a single ten years later.
- Herman's Hermits - Leaning on the Lamp
- Starts slow and gets faster as if the "Certain Li'le Lady" was getting closer. "She's wonderful she's marvelous she's fabulous she's beautiful, and anyone can understand why I'm leaning onthe lampost atthe corner of the street incaseacertaininlittlelady comes by!" Peter Noone, who was never afraid of sounding English, did his best vocals on this record.
- The Rolling Stones - Mother's Little Helper
- "...and if you take more of those, you will get an overdose..." Did the Rolling Stones do the first anti-drug song? Not really. They were trying to point out the hypocrisy of the anti-drugginess of the Establishment. Point taken.
- Los Bravos - Black is Black
- In an alternate universe, there was a Spanish Invasion in 1966, led by this band from Madrid.
- Crispian St.Peters - The Pied Piper
- "...and you, always contemplating what to do in case happiness found you. Can't you see that it's all around you? So follow me. I'm the Pied Piper, and I'll show you where it's at."
- Percy Sledge - When a Man Loves a Woman
- The story goes that Percy Sledge had just broken up with his girlfriend right before a show. He told the band to play something sad and slow and wrote the song right there on stage. Three days later he polished and recorded this, the best slow-dance song ever.
- The Association - Cherish
- "Oh, I'm beginning to think that man has never found the words that could make you want me. That had the right amount of letters, just the right sounds, that could make you hear, make you see that you are driving me out of my mind. I could say I need you, but then you'd realize that I want you just like a thousand other guys who say they love you (with all the rest of their lies) when all they wanted was to touch your face, your hands, and gaze into your eyes."
- The Walker Brothers - The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Any More
- "Loneliness is a cloak you wear. A deep shade of blue is always there."
- Simon & Garfunkel - The Sounds of Silence
- "The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls."
- Simon & Garfunkel - I Am a Rock
- "And a rock feels no pain. And an island never cries"
- The Mamas & the Papas - I Saw Her Again
- You have to hear this song in stereo. AM just won't do, for this song. The singers actually switch from left to right channel at different points during the chorus.
- The Swingin' Medallions - Double Shot o' my Baby's Love
- "Was't wine that I had too much of..." I think it was Rock and Roll, not love, that you had too much of. This Garage Band classic is second only to Louie Louie.
- Count Five - Psychotic Reaction
- One of the first psychadelic records.
- The Turtles - You Baby
- "...and who believes that my wildest dreams and my craziest schemes will come true? You..... "
In the mid-sixties, Americans started to put together vocal bands that tried to sound like the Beatles. Of those bands, the Turtles were the most American-sounding.
- Tommy Roe - Hooray for Hazel
- "She's selfish and she's spoiled and she knows that she's cute."
- The Left Banke - Walk Away Renee
- A beautiful ballad with chilling falsetto vocals
If 1966 was the best year in Rock and Roll, 1967 was certainly the most interesting. Psychadelic and Acid Rock was produced by and producing the Summer of Love.
- The Beatles - Strawberry Fields Forever
- It was February, 1967. The Beatles hadn't released anything in more than six months (which was an eternity in the volatile music climate of the sixties). They decided to release two songs from an album they were working on that was going to be about childhood. The two songs were Strawberry Fields Forever and Penny Lane. The album became Seargent Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
"No one, I think, is in my tree. I mean it must be high or low." It's not easy being a genius.
- The Beatles - Penny Lane
- "Meanwhile, back..." Paul McCartney and John Lennon had sort of a competition going. Often, two sides of a single or two similar songs on an album (such as You Won't See Me vs. Nowhere Man) would demonstrate the similarities and differences in their personalities and musical styles.
Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever is the best example of this. Both are about places in Liverpool where the Beatles grew up. But where John waxes poetical and personal, Paul weaves a story around characters in a place called Penny Lane. The two songs were put together as a double-A-sided single.
- The Beatles - When I'm Sixty-Four
- When they released Strawberry Fields Forever / Penny Lane, they had three songs recorded for the album they were working on. This was the third.
- The Beatles - A Day in the Life
- The Best Album Track (i.e. not released as a single) of all time.
- The Beatles - I am the Walrus
- "Element'ry penguins singing Hare Krishna. Man you should have seen them kicking Edgar Allen Poe." Just to pick a line at random.
Hello Goodbye was a number one single. I Am the Walrus, the B side, peaked below the top 40. I wonder which song people were buying the record for.
- The Hollies - Carrie Anne
- "When we were at school our games were simple. I played a janitor. You played a monitor. Then you played with older boys and prefects. What's the attraction in what their doing?" I always sort of envied the couples who had grown up together, fallen in love, and married.
- The Doors - Light My Fire
- The Love Theme from the Summer of Love. Jim Morrison didn't write the lyrics, but Ray Manczarek wrote that excellent keyboard riff.
- Jefferson Airplane - White Rabbit
- "Remembe what the doormouse said."
- Jefferson Airplane - Somebody to Love
- "When the truth is found to be lies. And all the joy within you dies. Don't you want somebody to love?"
- The Mamas & the Papas - Creeque Alley
- A history of the mamas & the papas in a song. To my knowledge, no other band has done this.
- Smokey Robinson & the Miracles - I Second That Emotion
- Once upon a time there was a place called Hitsville. It was a family of artists working together to make beautiful music.
- The Supremes - The Happening
- "I saw the light too late, when that fickle finger of fate, it came and broke my pretty balloon. I woke up. Suddenly I just woke up. To the happening." Holland, Dozier, and Holland decide to show the silver lining behind a break-up: Gained Wisdom. And, of course, this catchy song.
- The Supremes - Reflections
- This song belongs on the list, if for nothing else, than for the opening where it goes: "Whoop whoop whoop whoop whoop whoop whoop whoop whoop brrrrowwww"
- Lulu - To Sir with Love
- "If you wanted the moon, I would try to make a start. But I would rather you let me give my heart to Sir with love."
- Leslie Gore - California Nights
- She is best remembered for songs like "It's My Party" and "Maybe I Know (That He's Been a-Cheatin')". This one is different. I can think of no song that better captures the feelings generated by walking on a beach at night.
- Jackie Wilson - (Your Love is Lifting Me) Higher and Higher
- "I'm so glad I finally found you / You're that woman in a million girls / And now with mada lovin' arms around you / Honey, I can stand up and face the world"
- Neil Diamond - You Got To Me
- Just slightly catchier, just a little bit more fun, than his very similar "I Thank the Lord for the Night Time." Unfortunately, it doesn't get as much airplay.
- The Monkees - Girl I Knew Somewhere
- Not bad considering it was the first time they were allowed to write their own song.
- The Young Rascals - How Can I Be Sure
- "...in a world that's constantly changing..."
- Tommy James & the Shondelles - Mirage
- Even the teeny-bopperest band is going to come out with a gem once in a while. Maybe in twenty years I'll include a New Kids on the Block song. Maybe not.
- The Music Explosion - A Little Bit of Soul
- "Now when your girl is gone / And your broke in two / You need a little bit o' soul / To see you through" Burma Shave
After Seargent Pepper was released, artists became more concerned about creating great albums than they were about creating great songs. As a result, the number of great songs went down just a little bit.
- The Moody Blues - Ride my See - Saw
- "Ride, take a free ride, take my place, have my seat, it's for free." Art rock. Groovy. This was from an album called In Search of the Lost Chord
- The Moody Blues - Tuesday Afternoon
- "The trees are drawing me near. I've got to find out why." From another great album called Days of Future Past
- Iron Butterfly - In-a-Gadda-da-Vida
- Simple lyrics, simple groove. Really long break.
- Steppenwolf - Born to be Wild
- When you hear this song, roll down the windows. Doesn't matter if it's 40 below outside.
- Cream - Sunshine of your Love
- Rumor has it that Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce did not get along, and Eric Clapton had to do some convincing to get them to appear on stage together. With a power trio that can make music like this, any amount of effort is worth it. Thank you, Eric.
- Big Brother and the Holding Co. - Piece o' my Heart
- "TAKE A!!!"
- The Beatles - Hey, Jude
- The movement you need is on your shoulder.
- The Beatles - Revolution
- "You say you want a revolution? Well, you know, we all want to change the world." The B side of Hey Jude
- Donovan - Jennifer Juniper
- "Would you love her?" "Yes I would, sir."
- Donovan - Hurdy Gurdy Man
- "Histories of ages past, unenlightened shadows cast, down through all eternity, the crying of humanity."
- The Box Tops - Cry Like a Baby
- "You left the water running, I...."
- Deep Purple - Hush
- "She's got a love a-like a-quicksand. Only took one touch of her hand. She's the best girl that I ever had. Sometimes, she's gone, it makes me feel so sad. Na nana na nana na nana na."
- The Grass Roots - Midnight Confessions
- "But the little gold ring you wear on your hand makes me understand there's another before me, you'll never be mine. I'm wasting my time."
- The Human Beinz - Noboody But Me
- "No no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no no..."
- The Association - Everything that Touches You
- "In my most secure moments, I still can't believe I'm spending those moments with you."
- The Cowsills - Indian Lake
- The best bubble-gum song ever.
- John Fred & his Playboy Band - Judy in Disguise (With Glasses)
- "Cantaloupe Eyes, come to me tonight"
- Manfred Mann - The Mighty Quinn (Quinn the Eskimo)
- Nobody knows what the song's about. Bob Dylan isn't telling, and Manfred Mann just sang the words perfectly deadpan, not giving anything away. Lyrics like "I like to go just like the rest, I like my sugar sweet, but jumping queues and making haste just ain't my cup of meat." Whatever.
- The Monkees - Valeri
- The Monkees got more artistic credit for this song than any other when it got included on an anthology album called Nuggets-the Best of the Psychadelic 60's, one of the first compilations of that era, one of the few compilations that you find on lists of the greatest albums of all time.
- Spanky & Our Gang - Yesterday's Rain
- I bought this 45 at a garage sale. The song peaked at number 95. It deserved better, much better.
- Simon & Garfunkel - Scarborough Fair / Canticle
- Never have two songs been blended so inextricably. See 1971 - No Sugar Tonight.
- The Supremes - Love Child
- MURPHY BROWN: Miles, for the last time it's "Love Child, never meant to be, Love Child, take a look at me," not "Love Child, take a look or three"!
...and so the Sixties came to an end...
- The Beatles- The Ballad of John and Yoko
- "The newspaper said, 'She's gone to his head. They look just like to gurus in drag.'"
- The Beatles - Abbey Road Suite
- Which goes from "You Never Give Me Your Money" all the way through to "The End"
- The Beatles - Get Back
- Scene: The Rooftop of Abbey Road Studios, where the Beatles have just finished their last public appearance, closing with Get Back.
BEATLES: (singing) Get back, get back, get back to where you once belonged. Get back. Wooooooo....
MO STARR: Yay!
PAUL: Thanks, Mo.
JOHN: I'd like to say thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves and I hope we passed the audition.
And that was the last we heard from a band called The Beatles.
- *The Who - Pinball Wizard
- This song doesn't make much sense outside the context of Tommy, the rock opera it was taken from. Scratch that. It doesn't make that much sense within the context of Tommy, either.
- The 5th Dimension - Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In
- Mystic crystal revelation from a musical called "Hair!"
- The Cowsills - Hair
- "I want it long, straight, curly, fuzzy, snaggy, shaggy, ratsy, gnatsy, oily, greasy, fleecey, shining, steaming, gleaming, flaxen, waxen, knotted, polka-dotted, twisted, beaded, braided, powdered, flowered and confettied, mangled, tangled, spangled, and spaghettied."
- The Youngbloods - Get Together
- "If you hear the song I sing, you will understand: you hold the key to love and fear all in your trembling hand. Just one key unlocks them both, it's there at your command. C'mon people now, smile on your brother, everybody get together, try to love one another right now."
- Canned Heat - Goin' up the Country
- "I'm gonna leave the city. Got to get away. I'm gonna leave the city. Got to get away. All this fussing and fighting, man, you know I sure can't stay."
- The Moody Blues - Never Comes the Day
- "If only you knew what's inside of me now, you wouldn't want to know me somehow. But you will love me tonight." When you're in love, you can't believe she loves you as much as she does, in spite of all the evil you know is within yourself.
- The Zombies - Time of the Season
- A British Invasion leftover that managed to have exactly the right sound for its time. Which means that when it was recorded ('67) it was ahead of its time. In other words, it was too psychadelic for 1967.
- Crosby, Stills & Nash - Suite: Judy Blue Eyes
- "Something inside is telling me that I've got your secret. Are you still listening? Fear is the lock and laughter the key to your heart. And I love you."
- Peter Paul & Mary - Day is Done
- "Is it the thunder in the distance you hear? Would it help if I stay very near? I am here.
And if you take my hand, my son, all will be well."
- Credence Clearwater Revival - Bad Moon Rising
- "Don't go round tonight, cause it's bound to take your light. There's a bathroom on the right." I know those aren't the exact lyrics...
- Mercy - Love Can Make You Happy
- "...if you find someone who cares to give a lifetime to you."
- Andy Kim - Baby I Love You
- Best of late 60's teenidol bubblegum.
- Sir Douglas Quintet - Mendocino
- "The Sir Douglas Qunitet is back," says Doug Sahm at the beginning of the record, "and we'd like to thank you for all the beautiful vibrations. And we love you." Then they go into a song with the most beautiful synthesizer since 'Runaway'."
- Desmond Dekker & the Aces - The Israelites
- The first reggae song to make the top ten. There would not be a second one for more than fifteen years.
- Edgar Hawkins Singers - Oh Happy Day
- "Oh happy day when Jesus washed, He washed my sins away." Either you get it or you don't. If you don't get it, find someone who does and ask him to explain it to you.
- Elvis Presley - Suspicious Minds
- Ladies and gentlemen, the King is back.
The Seventies began with a whisper, as Simon and Garfunkel hit number one with the most beautiful ballad of all time.
- Simon & Garfunkel - Bridge Over Troubled Water
- "When you're weary, feeling small, when tears are in your eyes, I will dry them all. I'm on your side when times get rough, and friends just can't be found. Like a bridge over troubled water, I will lay me down."
- *Simon & Garfunkel - El Condor Pasa
- "I'd rather be a forest than a street."
- Simon & Garfunkel - Cecilia
- I feel sorry for every woman named Cecilia. I cannot see or hear that name without hearing "Cecilia, you're breaking my heart. You're shaking my confidence daily. Oh, Cecilia, I'm down on my knees. I'm begging you please to come home."
- John Lennon - Instant Karma (We All Shine On)
- "What on earth are you trying to see, laughing at fools like me? Who on earth do you think you are? A superstar? Well, right you are!"
- The Moody Blues - Question
- "I'm looking for someone to change my life. I'm looking for a miracle in my life, and if you could see what it's done to me, I'd lose the life I knew to safely lead me through."
- Crosby, Stills & Nash - Teach Your Children
- "Don't you ever ask them why, if they told you you would cry, just look at them and sigh. And know they love you."
- Guess Who - No Sugar Tonight
- I've seen the title as No Sugar Tonight / New Mother Nature. They sing the two songs separately, then both at the same time, and it works very well. See 1968 - Scarborough Fair / Canticle. This song was the B side of 'American Woman', and as such was a number one record. It never gets credit for it, though.
- Mark Lindsay - Arizona
- "She says she believes in Robin Hood and brotherhood and colors of green and grey. And all you can do is laugh at her. Doesn't anybody know how to pray?"
- Michael Nesmith & the First National Band - Joanne
- One of those gems that I heard on the radio exactly once. Fortunately, I had a tape in the recorder at the time. I never heard it on the radio again.
- The Kinks - Lola
- "She walked up to me and she asked me to dance. I asked her her name and in a dark brown voice she said 'Lola. L-o-l-a. Lola.'"
- Jaggerz - the Rapper
- "Hey girl, I'll bet you there's someone out to get you. You'll find him anywhere; on a bus, in a bar, in a grocery store. He'll say 'Excuse me, haven't I seen you somewhere before?"
- Smokey Robinson & the Miracles - Tears of a Clown
- "If I appear to be care-free, it's only to camoflage my sadness."
- Shocking Blue - Venus
- When Bananarama covered this song, they left out the seven-note aaah which, for me, makes the song. In fact, I've used it as a mating call. It never worked, though.
- Credence Clearwater Revival - Travelin' Band
- "Listenin' to the radio, talkin' 'bout the last show, someone got excited, had to call the state militia, wanna move." Arguably the best high-energy rock song of the seventies.
- Norman Greenbaum - Spirit in the Sky
- "Tell yourself. You know it's a must. You gotta have a friend in Jesus. So you know that when you die, he's gonna recommend you to the Spirit in the Sky."
- Led Zeppelin - Whole Lotta Love
- Easily the most revolutionary song of the year.
Then the music world began to notice that they didn't have to copy the Beatles any more.
- The Who - Won't Get Fooled Again
- "While the men who spurred us on sit in judgment of our wrongs. They decided the shot gun sings the song. I tip my hat to the new revolution, take a vow for the new constitution... then pick up my guitar and play, just like yesterday, then I'll get on my knees and pray we don't get fooled again." A great anthem to disillusionment that the youth revolution did not come to pass as expected. Besides that, the greatest keyboard hook of all time.
- Janis Joplin - Me and Bobby McGee
- "Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose. Nothing. And that's all that Bobby left me."
- Chicago - Beginnings
- "Only the beginning of what I want to feel forever."
- *Gordon Lightfoot - If You Could Read My Mind Love
- "What a tale my thoughts would tell. Just like an old-time movie about a ghost from a wishing well in a castle dark or a fortress strong with chains upon my feet. I will never be set free as long as I'm a ghost you can't see."
- The Doors - Love Her Madly
- Whatever happened to Ray Manczerek?
- The Moody Blues - The Story in Your Eyes
- "...and the sound we make together is the music to the story in your eyes. " Now, I don't mess around with superlatives. When I say someone is the greatest, I usually have a top ten list in mind, with the Greatest as number one.
Justin Hayward is the greatest poet of the twentieth century.
- Brewer & Shipley - One Toke Over The Line
- I do not recall at this time, Senator.
- Ringo Starr - It Don't Come Easy
- Ironic that the Best Post-Beatles Former Beatle Song would be sung and written by Ringo.
- Paul & Linda McCartney - Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey
- "Admiral Halsey notified me he had to have a bath or he couldn't get to sea. I had another look and I had a cup of tea and a butter pie." "Butter pie??" "The butter wouldn't melt, so I put in a pie, all right?"
- George Harrison - What is Life
- "Tell who am I without you by my side." Try saying that without closing your lips, as Mr. Harrison seems to all through this song.
- Stephen Stills - Love the One You're With
- Love the harmonies, but the philosphy, not so much.
- The Temptations - Just My Imagination
- "To have a girl like her is truly a dream come true. Out of all the fellows in the world, she belongs to you..... But it was just my imagination running away with me."
- *The Temptations - Don't Let the Joneses Get You Down
- "The Joneses got a new car today. Here's what you should say: 'Hooray for the Joneses!'"
- The Chi-Lites - Have You Seen Her
- "You know, it's funny. I thought I had her in the palm of my hand."
- Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds - Don't Pull Your Love Out
- I would love to hear just the piano track for this song. The song itself is lame, but the piano, wow!
- Emerson, Lake & Palmer - Lucky Man
- Another lame song redeemed by cool sounds.
- The Grass Roots - Temptation Eyes
- By 1971, the Grass Roots were an anachronism, but still making great music. See 1968 - Midnight Confessions.
- Alive 'n' Kicking - Tighter Tighter
- "Woman you touch-a my soul now. Honey, total control now. Hold on, Baby, just a little bit tighter."
Guitar heroes started taking over, art-rock was dominating, and wimp-rock artists started making themselves known.
- The Raspberries - Go All the Way
- Arguably the greatest opening hook of all time. Better than Satisfaction? It builds on Satisfaction and all the other hooks that went before. In other words, Go All The Way is where opening guitar hooks was at its zenith.
- Derek & the Dominoes - Layla
- Some would argue that this song has the greatest opening guitar hook of all time. And I would have trouble refuting them.
- Eric Clapton - Let it Rain
- A mood for a song that perfectly suited its lyrics.
- The Moody Blues - Nights in White Satin
- This song is not about a guy who rides on a horse combatting bad guys wearing white armor made of satin. No. It's about a guy who can't sleep because he can't stop thinking about the woman he loves.
- Badfinger - Day After Day
- One of those songs that I had heard and loved but never knew the title of because DJ's assume that everyone knows it. I happened to be in one of those record stores where you can listen to samples of new CD's when Best of Badfinger was released. And there it was. So I bought one. Managers of record stores, take note.
- Elton John - Honkey Cat
- "Livin' in the city ain't where it's at. It's like trying to find gold in a silver mine. It's like trying to drink whiskey from a bottle of wine."
- America - A Horse With No Name
- "I've been through the desert on a horse with no name, it felt good to be out of the rain..." Reading those words, I bet you heard the harmonies, didn't you.
- Nilsson - Without You
- "Well, I can't forget this evening or your face as you were leaving, but I guess that's just the way the story goes."
- Austin Roberts - Something's Wrong With Me
- "Something in your eyes that just won't let me forget you... Something got a hold on me the day that I met you. Something's wrong with me."
- Lobo - I'd Love you to Want Me
- "It took time for me to know what you tried so not to show: Something in my soul just cried. I see the want in your blue eyes."
- The Doobie Brothers - Listen to the Music
- "What the people need is a way to make them smile."
- The Stylistics - You Are Everything
- "How can I go on, living life as I do, comparing each girl to you, knowing they just won't do -- they're not you."
- The Hollies - Long Cool Woman (in a Black Dress)
- "I fear I felt a fire playing over my night. My temperature started to rise. She was a long cool woman in a black dress. Justified my beautiful song. With just one look I was a bad mess, cause that long cool woman had it all."
- Elvis Presley - Burning Love
- Someone once saw my list and said "You put the Hunka Hunka song in there?" I hadn't even noticed the Hunka Hunka part (it's at the end). I was more intrigued by the hook at the beginning.
- Jethro Tull - Thick as a Brick
- "Really don't mind if you sit this one out." The full version of this song is 42 minutes long.
The gap between the singer-songwriters and the hard rockers got wider. Not much in the middle any more.
- Elton John - Crocodile Rock
- This song is so good that radio stations still play it to death until you're sick of it.
- Elton John - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
- "You can't plant me in your penthouse, I'm going back to my plow."
- Elton John - Grey Seal
- "Your mission bells were wrought by ancient men. The roots were formed by twisted roots, your roots were twisted then. I was re-born before all life could die. The Phoenix bird will leave this world to fly. If the Phoenix bird can fly then so can I. And tell me, Grey Seal, how does it feel to be so wise? To see through eyes that only see what's real? Tell me, Grey Seal" A friendly jibe at John Lennon. Might be Bernie Taupin's best lyrics.
- Roberta Flack - Killing me Softly with his Song
- "I felt he took my letters and read each one out loud. I prayed that he would finish, but he just kept right on strumming my face with his fingers. Singing my life with his words."
- Eagles - Peaceful Easy Feeling
- "I get this feeling I may know you as a lover and a friend. But this voice keeps whispering in my other ear, tells me I may never see you again."
- *John Denver - Rocky Mountain High
- This song never meant anything to me. Until I spent a week in Denver.
- Joe Walsh - Rocky Mountain Way
- "Bases are loaded and Casey's at bat. Playing it play by play. Time to change the batter." I have no idea what that means.
- The Moody Blues - I'm Just a Singer in a Rock and Roll Band
- "So if you want this world of yours to turn about you and you're the only other person to know, don't tell me, I'm just a singer in a rock and roll band."
- Edgar Winter Group - Frankenstein
- Arguably the best instrumental of all time.
- Sweet - Little Willy
- The guy who formed this band had a dream: a heavy metal band with bubble-gum lyrics. It worked.
- The Carpenters - Top of the World
- I wouldn't want a steady diet of cotton candy like this. But once in a while, when nobody's looking...
Paul McCartney & Wings - Band on the Run
- "Well, the rain exploded with a might crash as we fell into the sun. And the first one said to the second one then, I hope you're having fun."
First Class - Beach Baby
- This song makes me nostalgic for a place and time I never actually lived in. Which is pretty impressive, when you think about it.
Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods - Billy Don't Be a Hero
- Typical 70's fluff, you say? Maybe so. But I've never changed the station when this song was on the radio.
Elton John - Don't Let the Sun Go Down on me
- "Although I search myself, there's always someone else I see. I'm just a lone fragment of your life to wander free. But losing everything is like the sun going down on me."
Carl Carlton - Everlasting Love
- One of those songs that is too good to pin to any one singer. Carl Carlton was neither the first singer nor the last; rather, his version is representative of all the great versions that have come along.
Paul McCartney & Wings - Helen Wheels
- "Slow down, driver, wanna stay alive, wanna make this journey last."
Blue Swede - Hooked on a Feeling
- "Oooga-chaka ooga-chaka oooga-ooga-ooga-chaka."
The Carpenters - I Won't Last a Day Without You
- "When there's no getting over that rainbow, when my smallest of dreams won't come true, I can take all the madness the world has to give, but I won't last a day without You." Best prayer since Help.
Olivia Newton-John - If You Love Me Let Me Know
The Allman Brothers Band - Jessica
- That's the instrumental that goes bweer neer neer neer neereeneeeeeeeeer
Paul McCartney & Wings - Jet
- Not many artists can get away with a line like "Was your father as bold as a Seargent Major?"
Reunion - Life is a Rock (But the Radio Rolled Me)
- "(breath) BeebeeBumbleandtheStingersMotttheHoopleStapleSingers LonnieMackandTwangin'Eddyhere'smyringwe'regoingsteady Takeiteasytakemehigherliarliarhouseonfire Locomotioncocoapassiondeepdeeppurplesatisfaction SammyCookandLeslieGoreandRitchieValensendofstory..."
Golden Earring - Radar Love
- "I've been driving all night, my hands wet on the wheel, and there's a voice in my head that drives my heel.....and the radio plays a forgotten song...." Have you ever driven all night long?
Rick Derringer - Rock and Roll Hootchie Koo
- If ever a song was made for a beer commercial, this one was.
David Essex - Rock On
- "...and where do we go from here?"
The Hues Corporation - Rock the Boat
- Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you... the Irresistable Groove
The Hollies - The Air that I Breathe
- "If I could make a wish, I think I'd pass. Can't think of anything I need."
Gordon Lightfoot - Sundown
- "Getting lost in her loving is her first mistake."
ABBA - Waterloo
- "How could I ever refuse; I feel like I win when I lose. Waterloo. I was defeated, you won the war. " ABBA didn't know it, but this song is a metaphor for the seductiveness of their music: you try not to like it, but you can't help yourself.
Bachman Turner Overdrive - You Ain't Seen Nothin Yet
- "...and then -- and then -- she looked at me with big brown eyes and said 'You ain't seen nothing yet. B-b-b-baby you ain't seen n-n-n-nothing yet...'"
Pure Prarie League - Amie
- This was a major hit in Cincinnati, and it still gets lots of airplay. I am constantly amazed to find people in other parts of the country have never heard of it. Nationally, just for the record, it peaked at #24.
Neil Sedaka - Bad Blood
Sweet - Ballroom Blitz
The Doobie Brothers - Black Water
- "I've built me a raft and she's waiting for glory. Ol' Mississippi, she's calling my name."
Jethro Tull - Bungle in the Jungle
Paul McCartney & Wings - Junior's Farm
Queen - Killer Queen
- Dynamite with a laser beam.
The Carpenters - Only Yesterday
Elton John - Philadelphia Freedom
- "'Cause I live and breathe this Philadelphia Freedom. From the day that I was born, I waved the flag." Are you sure this guy is from England?
*Aerosmith - Sweet Emotion
- Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet Emoooooooooooooooooooooooshun
The Doobie Brothers - Take Me in your Arms
- Arguably the best song of the seventies. And I'm just the guy to argue it.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show - Time Warp
- I didn't include this in early versions of the List because it didn't really qualify. It's not a single. It wasn't even an album track. It was a song from a movie. But then I decided to lighten up.
Paul Simon - 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover
Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody
- The year it came out it was voted the best song of all time by a music poll in Britain.
Heart - Crazy on You
The Four Seasons - December 1963 (Oh What a Night)
Gary Wright - Dream Weaver
Elvin Bishop - Fooled Around and Fell in Love
- Another otherwise-lame song redeemed by the instruments. This one has an eerie slide guitar in the background.
ABBA - I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do
- No song is a better demonstration of the energy with which two lovers will pursue each other.
Heart - Magic Man
- "Try to understand. Try to understand. Try try try to understand."
Boston - More Than a Feeling
- Could there be more than one Boston song on this list? Probably not. Could there be less than one Boston song? No way.
The Steve Miller Band - Rock'n' me
- "I went from Phoenix, Arizona, all the way to Tacoma, PhiladelphEEEa, Atlanta, L.A."
The Bay City Rollers - Saturday Night
Orleans - Still the One
- You'd probably like this song more if it wasn't in so many commercials.
Gordon Lightfoot - The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald
- "Lake Huron rolls, Superior sings in the rooms of her ice-water mansions. Old Michigan steams like a young man's dreams: the islands and bays are for sportsmen. Farther below, Lake Ontario takes in what Lake Erie can send her. And the iron boats go, as the mariners all know, with the gales of November remembered." Pure poetry
Manfred Mann - Blinded By the Light
- The line is "Revved up like a deuce."
Linda Ronstadt - Blue Bayou
- "If I could only see that familiar sunrise through sleepy eyes, how happy I'd be." The only time anyone ever produced a better version of a song than Roy Orbison.
Alan Parsons Project - Breakdown
- An album track from I Robot, sung by Allan Clarke of the Hollies.
Kansas - Carry On, My Wayward Son
Steve Miller Band - Fly Like an Eagle
- "Time keeps on slippin' into the future."
Andy Gibb - I Just Want to be Your Everything
*Steve Miller Band - Jungle Love
- "But lately you live in the jungle. I never see you alone. But we need some definite answers. So I thought I would write you a poem."
Jimmy Buffet - Margaritaville
- "I stayed here all season. Nothin' to show but this brand new tattoo. But it's a real beauty. A mexican cutie. How it got here, I haven't a clue. Wasted away again in Margaritaville."
Elvis Presley - Moody Blue
- She's a complicated lady.
Stevie Wonder - Sir Duke
- Stevie Wonder is one of those artists that I wish I had more of a taste for.
10cc - Things We Do for Love
- "Like walking in the rain, and the snow, when there's no where to go and you're feeling like a part of you is dying. And you're looking for the answer in her eyes. You think you're gonna break up, then she says she wants to make up."
Aerosmith - Walk This Way
Elvis Presley - Way Down
- It was his last hit before he died. But that's not why it made the List.
Player - Baby Come Back
- "Have you used up all the love in your heart? Nothing left for me? Ain't there nothing left for me????? Baby come back!"
Gerry Rafferty - Baker Street
- Arguably the best clarinet within a popular song.
Kansas - Dust in the Wind
- BILL: I'm Bill. This is Ted. We're from the future.
TED: Now what?
BILL: I don't know. Philosophize with him.
TED: (clears throat) All we are is dust in the wind, Dude.
(SOCRATES does not understand.)
BILL. (scoops up sand) Dust. (Blows it away) Wind.
TED: (points at SOCRATES) Dude.
(Enlightenment comes upon SOCRATES as he now understands.)
-- Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure
Frankie Valli - Grease
- Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons were ahead of their time. About 16 years ahead of their time.
Olivia Newton-John - Hopelessly Devoted to You
- "My head is saying 'Fool forget him.' My heart is saying 'Don't let go. Hold on till the end.' That 's what I intend to do. I'm hopelessly devoted to you."
Foreigner - Hot Blooded
Yvonne Elliman - If I Can't Have You
Cars - Just What I Needed
- "I don't mind you coming here and wasting all my time."
Billy Joel - Only the Good Die Young
- The narrator of this song is actively evil. Not misguided, not misunderstood, but actively evil. That's all I have to say. Thank you.
Meat Loaf - Paradise by the Dashboard Lights
- Any singer with the moxie to put Phil Rizzuto in a popular song has to go on the list.
Jackson Browne - Running On Empty
The Bee Gees - Stayin' Alive
The Carpenters - Sweet Sweet Smile
- A country tune that didn't do very well on the pop charts, but should have.
ABBA - Take a Chance on Me
ABBA - The Name of the Game
- " And you make me show what I'm trying to conceal. If I trust in you, would you let me down? Would you laugh at me if I said I care for you?"
John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John - You're the One That I Want
- DANNY: C'mon guys, you know you mean a lot to me, it's just that Sandy does too and I'm gonna do anything I can to get her.
(Enter Sandy, wearing tight clothing, smoking. This is a complete change of character for Sandy.)
DANNY: (surprised and excited) Sandy!
SANDY: Tell me about it, stud.
DANNY: I got chills, they're multiplyin', and I'm losing control, cause the power you're supplying is electrifying....
SANDY: You better shape up, 'cause I need a man, and my heart is set on you....
REO Speedwagon - Time for Me to Fly
- "I'm tired of holding on to a feeling I know is wrong. I do believe that I've had enough." Will a little more love make it right?
Olivia Newton-John - A Little More Love
- "Will a little more love make you stop defending? Will a little more love bring a happy ending? Will a little more love make it right?" Gee, co-dependent much? Why does she stay with this guy? I believe it's time for you to fly, Olivia.
Robert Palmer - Bad Case of Loving You (Doctor Doctor)
George Harrison - Blow Away
- "All I've got to be is to be happy."
The Charlie Daniels Band - The Devil Went Down to Georgia
- "I told you once, you sonovabitch, I'm the best there's ever been."
The Ramones - Do You Remember Rock and Roll Radio?
- "It's the end, the end of the 70's. It's the end, the end of the century." The Ramones did for punk what the Beach Boys did for surf music.
Electric Lights Orchestra - Don't Bring Me Down
- "You're looking good, just like a snake in the grass. One of these days you're gonna break your glass. Don't bring me down. No no no no no. I tell you once more, before I get off this floor, don't bring me down."
*Jimmy Buffet - Fins
- "Can't you feel them circling, honey, can't you feel them schooling around? You gotta dance to the left, dance to the right, and you're the only bait in town."
Toto - Hold the Line
Gloria Gaynor - I Will Survive
- "I should have changed that stupid lock, I should have made you leave your key, if I'd have thought for just one second, you'd be back to bother me!"
Dionne Warwick - I'll Never Love This Way Again
Little River Band - Lady
Little River Band - Lonesome Loser
Billy Joel - My Life
The Knack - My Sharona
*Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band - Old Time Rock and Roll
- "Today's music ain't got the same soul." That was true in '79.
Supertramp - Take the Long Way Home
- "If you're the joke of the neighborhood, why should you care if you're feeling good? Take the long way home."
Supertramp - The Logical Song
The Doobie Brothers - What a Fool Believes
- The only time the Grammies(TM) got it right.
Pink Floyd - Another Brick in the Wall Part II
- Many rave about Dark Side of the Moon, but to me, the Wall is the best Album, as an Album, as opposed to a collection of songs.
ABBA - Chiquitita
Molly Hatchet - Flirtin' With Disaster
Rush - Free Will
*Lipps, Inc. - Funkytown
Billy Joel - It's Still Rock'n'Roll to Me
- Probably the most dated song on the List.
John Lennon - Just Like Starting Over
- His last big hit before he died. But that's not why it's on the List.
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers - Refugee
Bette Midler - The Rose
- "When the night has been too lonely, and the road has been too long / And you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong / Just remember in the winter, far beneath the bitter snows / Lies the seed, that with the sun's love, in the spring, becomes the rose."
The Vapors - Turning Japanese
- "No sex, no drugs, no wine, no women, no fun, no sin, no you, no wonder it's dark. Everyone around me is a total stranger. Everyone avoids me like a cyclone ranger. Everyone. That's why I'm turning Japanese."
The Romantics - What I Like About You
- Want a workout? Turn on this song. Dance your heart out.
Olivia Newton John w/ ELO - Xanadu
Billy Joel - You May Be Right
- "I was only having fun. Wasn't hurting anyone. And we all enjoyed the weekend for a change."
AC/DC - You Shook Me All Night Long
- In 1980 there was a short-lived phenomenon called Arena Rock. Songs were produced that seemed designed for the imperfect sound systems at large stadiums where sporting events would take place. This song is the best example of something that you'd hear between innings or during time outs.
George Harrison - All Those Years Ago
- "And you saw the way to the truth when you said 'All You Need Is Love.' " A tribute to John Lennon.
The Moody Blues - Gemini Dream
- "Came back for you. Nice to see that you can too." The Moody Blues 'broke up' in 1974 and came back together in 1978. This song was written on that first tour after the breakup.
Depeche Mode - Just Can't Get Enough
- Early technopop at its best
Earth, Wind & Fire - Let's Groove
- Late technofunk at its best.
Juice Newton - Queen of Hearts
Blondie - Rapture
- A showcase for Debbie Harry's voice, which, we learn in this song, was capable of much more than we heard in "Call me" or "The Tide is High"
ABBA - Super Trooper
*Soft Cell - Tainted Love
REO Speedwagon - Take it on the Run
Electric Lights Orchestra - Twilight
- Allow me at this point to plug my favorite concept album: Time, by ELO, which this song opens. Thank you.
Foreigner - Waiting For a Girl Like You
The Carpenters - Want you Back in my Life Again
- "I don't want to be your 'Remember When.'" I'm sure by now you're tired of seeing Carpenter songs, but hey, the woman had the most beautiful voice in the last half-century.
Paul Davis - 65 Love Affair
- "If I could go back in time."
The Alan Parsons Project - Eye in the Sky
Survivor - Eye of the Tiger
- I hear this song and I feel like I can conquer the world.
Laura Branigan - Gloria
Quarterflash - Harden my Heart
- "Darling, in your wildest dreams, you never had a clue..."
Flock of Seagulls - I Ran (So Far Away)
Kim Wilde - Kids in America
Don Henley & Stevie Nix - Leather and Lace
- "You in the moonlight, with your sleepy eyes, could you ever love a man like me?"
Hall & Oates - Maneater
Billy Joel - Pressure
- "Psych 1, Psych 2, what do you know? All your life is channel 13. Seseme Street, what does it mean?"
Crosby, Stills & Nash - Southern Cross
Juice Newton - The Sweetest Thing
- "I only know that, when I'm with you, you're my sunshine, you're my rain. The sweetest thing I've ever known is loving you."
Melissa Manchester - You Should Hear How she Talks About You
Prince - 1999
- "Don't worry, I won't hurt you. I only want you to have some fun."
Toto - Africa
- "I know that I must do what's right, sure as Killamanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti."
Naked Eyes - Always Something There to Remind Me
Michael Jackson - Beat it
- Way to go, Eddie Van Halen.
Dexy's Midnight Runners - Come on Eileen
Dionne Warwick - Heartbreaker
- The Bee Gees last hurrah. They wrote it, and that's them singing in the background. They were extremely uncool by this time.
Duran Duran - Hungry Like the Wolf
Total Coelo - I Eat Cannibals
- This song went nowhere in the charts, but apparently a lot of people have heard of it. Anybody know where I can get their album?
Air Supply - Making Love out of Nothing at All
- Actor's training excercise: sing this song, with feeling, but without using hand gestures.
Duran Duran - Rio
Electric Lights Orchestra - Rock'n'Roll is King
Men Without Hats - The Safety Dance
McCartney & Jackson - Say Say Say
Journey - Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)
Thomas Dolby - She Blinded Me with Science
- "I don't believe it ! There she goes again ! She tidied up, and I can't find anything !"
The Eurhythmics - Sweet Dreams are Made of This
Billy Joel - Tell Her About It
Kajagoogoo - Too Shy
- "Moving in circles, won't you dilate," it says. Huh?
Bonnie Tyler - Total Eclipse of the Heart
- "Every now and then I get a little bit nervous that the best of all the years had gone by."
Phil Collins - Against All Odds
Cyndi Lauper - All Through the Night
Billy Joel - An Innocent Man
- "I'm only willing to hear you cry because I am an innocent man."
The Pointer Sisters - Automatic
Madonna - Borderline
Matthew Wilder - Break My Stride
Bruce Springsteen - Dancing in the Dark
Huey Lewis and the News - The Heart of Rock and Roll
The Thompson Twins - Hold me Now
- This song is made by the guy in the background who sings: Them: Hold me now. Him: In your loving arms. Them: Oohh, warm my heart. Him: My poor and tired heart.... Him, that guy.
Culture Club - Karma Chameleon
Yes - Owner of a Lonely Heart
Laura Branigan - Self Control
Billy Joel - The Longest Time
- Billy Joel was way behind his time. About 25 years behind his time. I think that's what he was shooting for. It worked.
Wham! - Wake Me Up Before You Go - go
- Every once in a while you hear a song that restores your faith in popular music. This was one of them. Andrew Ridgely was great. I wonder what happened to the other guy.
REO Speedwagon - Can't Fight This Feeling
- "Every teenage guy at that time bought that record for some girl," said the girl I bought the record for.
Wham! - Careless Whisper
- "I'm never gonna dance again. Guilty feet have got no rhythm."
John Fogerty - Centerfield
Bruce Springsteen - Glory Days
- Reaganmania. USA! USA! USA! USA!
Bruce Springsteen - I'm on Fire
John Cougar Mellencamp - Lonely Ol' Night
Madonna - Material Girl
- "...and I ummumma Terial girl.... "
"Weird Al" Yankovic - One More Minute
- "I'd rather rip my heart right out of my rib cage with my bare hands and then throw it on the floor and stomp on it till I die, than spend one more minute with you."
Journey - Only the Young
- "They're seeing through the promises and all the lies they dare to tell. Is it heaven or hell? They know very well."
Tears for Fears - Shout
- Flashback... Driving to summer camp. The song comes on the radio. Of course, the only lyrics the gang knows is the chorus. Which they sing at the top of their lungs. "Shout Shout Let it all out. These are the things I can do without, come on... I'm talking to you, come on." During the verses, we just listen.
a-ha - Take On Me
- This song is here for the openning keyboard hook. I'm a sucker for a good keyboard hook.
Don Henley - The Boys of Summer
- "A little voice inside my head said 'Don't look back. You can never look back.'"
The Eurythmics - Would I Lie to You
Miami Sound Machine - Conga
- As she said in a completely different song, the rhythm IS gonna get you.
Peter Cetera - Glory of Love
- "I am a man who will fight for your honor." Bash us all you want ladies, but deep inside all us men is a knight in shining armor waiting to rescue the damsel in distress.
Peter Gabriel - In Your Eyes
- "In your eyes, the resolution of all the fruitless searches."
Mr. Mister - Kyrie
- Lord, have mercy on the road that I must travel. Lord, have mercy through the darkness of the night....
*Dire Straights - Money for Nothing
- A disgruntled appliance salesman gives his opinion of rock-and-roll musicians. "Now that ain't working. That's the way you do it. Money for nothing and your chicks for free." Meanwhile, back in real life. "We got some in-store microwave ovens. Custom kitchen dileverayayays. We got to move these refrigerators. We got to move these color TV's."
The Dream Academy - Life in a Northern Town
Michael McDonald - Sweet Freedom
Phil Collins - Take me Home
Berlin - Take my Breath Away
The Bangles - Walk Like an Egyptian
Dire Straights - Walk of Life
- Johnny B. Good '86
The Moody Blues - Your Wildest Dreams
- This song demonstrated to a young generation, myself included, that not all the music of the early seventies was a waste of vinyl.
Heart - Alone
Billy and the Beaters - At This Moment
- "If you stay I'll subtract twenty yeeeeeeeeeeeeaaars from my life. I'd get down on my knees, and kiss the ground that you walk on, if I could just hold you again."
Aerosmith - Dude (Looks Like a Lady)
Belinda Carlisle - Heaven is a Place on Earth
U2 - I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
REO Speedwagon - In My Dreams
- "I used to thank the Lord, when I'd wake, for laughter, love, and the golden sky above me. Now I wish the stars would go on shining. You see, in my dreams, you love me."
The Georgia Satellites - Keep Your Hands to Yourself
Madonna - La Isla Bonita
Starship - Nothing's Gonna Stop us Now
REM - Stand
*U2 - Where the Streets Have No Name
Paul Simon - You Can Call Me Al
- "A man walks down the street. It's a street in a strange world. Maybe it's the third world. Maybe it's his first time around. He doesn't speak the language. He holds no currency. He is a foreign man. He is surrounded by the sound, the sound, of cattle in the marketplace."
*Madonna - Crazy for You
*Billy Ocean - Get Out of My Dreams Get Into My Car
The Travelling Wilburies - Handle with Care
- The Travelling Wilburies. Let's review. You have George Harrison, who was on 21 Hall-of-Fame Beatles songs, plus 3 as a soloist. Then there's Roy Orbison, who had 3 songs himself, the first in 1960, giving him a spread of 28 years, the longest on the List. Then you have Bob Dylan, who didn't make the list himself, but wrote three: "The Mighty Quinn (Quinn the Eskimo), It Ain't Me Babe, and Mr. Tambourine Man"; Tom Petty, who has "Refugee" from 1980 on the list. And Jeff Lynne, who's Electric Lights Orchestra also contributes three songs to the List. A total of 34 songs. The Beatles, including solo work contribute a grand total of, you ready? 34. Together, these two bands account for 55 (George Harrison and the Beatles overlapping), which is about 1 out of 8 songs on the list.
The Bangles - Hazy Shade of Winter
The Beach Boys - Kokomo
- I hate myself for liking a song made by the Beach Boys without Brian Wilson.
Eric Carmen - Make me Lose Control
- "Turn the radio up, for that sweet sound."
UB40 - Red Red Wine
- Written by Neil Diamond. I am not making this up.
Guns 'n' Roses - Sweet Child o' Mine
- "Her hair reminds me of a warm safe place where as a child I'd hide and wait for the thunder and the rain to quietly pass me by. "
Boy Meets Girl - Waiting for a Star to Fall
- Been there, am there, live there, am the mayor of there.
The Pet Shop Boys - What've I Done to Deserve This
- a.k.a. the Wattavei song.
Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville - Don't Know Much
- Plenty of good quotes in this song, but quoting it won't capture the beauty of these two voices together.
Taylor Dayne - Don't Rush Me
The Bangles - Eternal Flame
Milli Vanilli - Girl I'm Gonna Miss You
- I don't care who sang on the record. I like the song.
Madonna - Like a Prayer
- Arguably the best song of the eighties.
Enya - Orinoco Flow
- Sail away, sail away, sail away.
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers - Running Down a Dream
- "I had the radio on. Me and Del were singing a little Runaway. I was sublime."
REM - Stand
Mike + the Mechanics - The Living Years
Paula Abdul - Straight Up
*They Might Be Giants - Istanbul (Not Constantinople)
- "Every gal in Constantinople lives in Instanbul, not Constantinople. So if you've a date in Constantinople she'll be waiting in Istanbul." The most fun since Walk Like an Egyptian.
The B-52's - Roam
Elton John - Sacrifice
- I would not be at all surprised if this guy produces a couple more Hall of Fame songs before it's over. There are very few artists I would say that about, and no others whose career started before 1980.
Madonna - Vogue
C+C Music Factory - Gonna Make You Sweat
Enigma - Sadeness Part 1
Chris Isaak - Wicked Game
- "Strange what desire will make foolish people do."
U2 - Mysterious Ways
- If you're wondering why there isn't more U2 songs on the list, the reason is, I'm working on it. I only recently discovered the best band since the Beatles, and I'm now playing catch-up. I accept all responsibility for the ommission.
Eric Clapton - Tears in Heaven
B-52's - Revolution Earth
- Not your typical B-52's song; and I am not a fan of Fred Schneider's singing. This song showcases Kate Pierson's vocal ability like none else in the B-52's catalog. She sings like she's trying to say that singing is the most pleasureable activity known. If you sing along, or if you just listen, you see her point.
Annie Lennox - Walking on Broken Glass
Ace of Base - All That She Wants
Duran Duran - Come Undone
The Proclaimers - I'm Gonna Be
Snow - Informer
Billy Joel - River of Dreams
The Cranberries - Linger
The Cranberries - Dreams
- The trouble with more recent songs is it's hard to tell what date is most appropriate. This song was on an album released in '94 (called Everybody Else Is Doing It So Why Can't We), and released as a single that year, peaking at number 42. But I was hearing it on the radio a lot in '97. When the reference books are published that are up to date, I will have more accurate dates. Of course by then, their will be new songs not covered in those reference books.
Ace of Base - The Sign
Melissa Etheridge - I'm the Only One
KMFDM - Juke Joint Jezebel
- I heard this song on the radio. It sounded like all the evil of stinging wasps come from hell. Then this sound was offset by a female vocalist that added a human touch to it that made the song interesting and worthwhile. So I bought the album. Turns out the female voice that makes the song is not a regular member of the band. When I listen to the rest of the album, I feel like I've stumbled on a dark side of Rock and Roll that I didn't want to know about. I have to listen to Amy Grant, just to get the taste out of my mouth.
Dead Eye Dick - New Age Girl
- Best dog bark of all time.
Amy Grant - Big Yellow Taxi
- Not her best work: Her Christian music, songs like 'El Shaddai', 'I Have Decided', and, especially, 'My Father's Eyes' is among the most moving music I've heard of any kind. But that is another list for another time.
- Jars of Clay - Flood
- "Rain rain on my face. It hasn't stopped raining for days. My world is a flood. Slowly I become one with the mud. But if I can't swim after forty days, and my mind is crushed by the thrashing waves, lift me up so high that I cannot fall. Lift me up."
Donna Lewis - I Love You, Always Forever
- "Everywhere I will be with you. Everything I will do for you. You've got the most fabulous blue eyes I've ever seen." Now, imagine the sexyest voice you've ever heard singing that to you.
Los Del Rio - Macarena
- "I am not trying to seduce you." This song has been overplayed. People are sick of it. But there's a reason it's over played. I used to argue that it was the greatest single of the nineties. Then I heard Mmm-bop. q.v., 1997
- Before I get to the songs, I just want to say that 1997 is proving to be the best year in pop music since the 60's. Maybe not the best year in Rock and Roll, maybe not the best year for artistic advancement, but it is the best year for actual TUNES that we've had in a long, long time. Thank you.
No Doubt - Don't Speak
- "Hush, hush, darling. Hush, hush, darling."
*Savage Garden - I Want You
- "Every time I look into your face I just close my eyes and I am taken to place where crystal mind and magenta feelings take up shelter in the base of my spine just like a chic-o-cherry cola." I see that creative lyric writing is alive and well. Compare this to John Lennon's "cellophane flowers of yellow and green towering over your head."
*The Cardigans - Lovefool
Hanson - Mmm-bop
- These aren't the first group of youngsters to take the pop world by storm. But they've got the best vocal harmonies I've heard since the Bangles and the best doo-wop since, well, the Jamies (see 1958 - Summertime Summertime).
The Wonders - That Thing You Do
- Best British Invasion style song in thirty years. See 1966 - Lies. I know it's not a 'real' song, and the Wonders aren't a 'real' band. But the song is a real song, and one that would have been a number one record in 1965, and in the Hall of Fame no matter what year it comes from.