I keep forgetting to mention this – on the way home last month from a business trip to Austin, I picked up a copy of Rolling Stone for the plane. As I’ve mentioned a few times before, buying and reading Rolling Stone is not something I do on a regular basis. I am, after all, a music fan, not a guy who likes to sniff cologne samples, check the latest fashion and leaf through 46 pages of ads before getting to the table of contents. But I digress.
My excuse for buying the issue was a good one, though: it claimed to have compiled the “Top 500 Songs Of All Time.” Knowing this would be good fodder for a blog post, I took the plunge. I was right. I wish I could expense these purchases to my blog business, but I don’t have one. Anyway….
First and foremost, I don’t know who voted for these songs, but I can tell you one thing. There are a lot of songs out there, hundreds of thousands of songs in fact. Just step back for a second and think about all the music out there. So I’m feeling pretty confident when I tell you that Foreigner’s “I Want To Know What Love Is” has NO BUSINESS being on this list. But there it is, slotted in at #476 next to Rick James’ “Superfreak” and Del Shannon’s “Runaway.” That, my friends, is a travesty. I mean, I strongly object to Foreigner being on this list at all, but if you have to include one of their songs, it should, without question, be “Dirty White Boy.”
Oh, that’s not all. Weezer’s “Buddy Holly,” a fine song in its own right, also drops in at #497, but I believe I could think of many others that should have been there. Salt and Pepa’s “Push It” is #440. I can accept that. “Bittersweet Symphony” (382) I cannot accept. Are you serious? Yes to “Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)” and no to Roberta Flack’s “Killing Me Softly With His Song.”
It’s a sin to include Eric Clapton’s “Tears In Heaven.” A nice idea for a tribute to his fallen son, a horrific idea as one of the top 500 of all time. No way. They’ve got U2’s “One” as the 36th best song of all time and the horrifying “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” at #93. Complete blasphemy. “Love Shack” (243) no. “Walk Away Renee” (220) definitely yes!
Rod Stewart’s “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy” hits at #301, but “Hot Legs” is nowhere to be found. This clearly should be reversed. Lots of people like to poke fun at Rod’s post-Faces career, but everyone knows it and just won’t admit it – “Hot Legs” is a great rock song. Had the Faces made “Hot Legs,” it would have generated way more respect than it currently does.
It was very very nice to see “Thirteen” and “September Gurls,” by Big Star, along with “Marquee Moon,” by Television and Pavement’s “Summer Babe” – one of my all time indie-rock faves. #1, by the way, was “Like A Rolling Stone” and it’s hard to argue with that.
One more mildly amusing note: within the list, they also asked some famous artists what their ten favorite songs of all time were. The Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson picked five Beach Boys songs out of the ten. Such a humble lad.