Mouse rant blog vent mouse.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Stop taunting me

It's just out there, taunting me. Yes, The Rolling Stone has put forth another effort to demonstrate that it the most irrelevant music magazine currently being published, and that's a tall order considering that Spin is still out there. The new issue catalogs the top 500 rock songs, many of which are not even rock songs, probably because the entire staff of the magazine couldn't come up with 500 genuine rock songs, while a two-bit fan like me probably listened to 500 separate actual rock songs this weekend alone. So, to weasel out of their duty to rock, they simply call these songs the top 500 of the rock era, which is the last 50 years, give or take a few. They couldn't come up 500 rock songs in 50 years. Can they go away yet?

Okay, this is what they say about who came up with the songs.

Welcome to the ultimate jukebox: the second edition of the ROLLING STONE 500, a celebration of the greatest rock & roll songs of all time, chosen by a five-star jury of singers, musicians, producers, industry figures, critics and, of course, songwriters.... The 172 voters, who included Brian Wilson, Joni Mitchell and Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, were asked to select songs from the rock & roll era.

Yeah, I'm sure that Brian Wilson didn't pull rank on Jeff Tweedy, but whatever. Here's the top songs they came up with. Some of these songs are good, but.....

1. Like a Rolling Stone - Bob Dylan

2. Satisfaction - The Rolling Stones

What a coincidence that #1 and #2 would both have "Rolling Stone" as the song title or the band name!

3. Imagine - John Lennon

My high school's prom theme. This song is good, but it's sort of played out. There are better Lennon songs.

4. What's Going On? - Marvin Gaye

5. Respect - Aretha Franklin

Both these songs rule and should be above the first three. Still, I wouldn't call "What's Going On?" a rock song, but "Respect" definitely rocks, even if it's technically called R&B.

6. Good Vibrations - The Beach Boys

7. Johnny B. Goode - Chuck Berry

Clocking in at #7, the song that should be #1 on principle. I can't argue with #6--I listen to that song like 2 or 3 times a week, because it rules.

8. Hey Jude - The Beatles

Kill me now. This is neither rock nor even arguably a song. This is the kick-off anthem to Paul McCartney's Total Asshole phase of life, which is still going on.

9. Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana

You can almost see Jann Wenner coming in and pleading with the team to put this song in the top ten, lest people think that he's totally out of it, not realizing that there's toilet paper still stuck to his thousand dollar loafers.

10. What'd I say? - Ray Charles

Thank god that movie is out, or they would have forgotten Ray Charles for sure.

11. My Generation - The Who

12. A Change Is Gonna Come - Sam Cooke

No problems here, though I would have picked something a little more rockin' for Sam Cooke. But then again, I'm always happy to commit heresy if it means I can dance like a fool.

13. Yesterday - The Beatles

Paul McCartney sold his soul to the devil, which is why he wasn't immediately executed for writing this piece of crap.

14. Blowin' In The Wind - Bob Dylan

I'm trying really hard not to hippie-hate. So far, no Ramones. I'm guessing I can wait a good, long while before that's going to happen.

15. London Calling - The Clash

Another sop to those of us who have taste. Fuck off, RS. You can't win me over by whining, "I like The Clash." That hasn't worked since high school.

16. I Want to Hold Your Hand - The Beatles

My favorite Beatles song, so okay.

17. Purple Haze - Jimi Hendrix

18. Maybellene - Chuck Berry

19. Hound Dog - Elvis Presley

Fair enough, though it's patently ridiculous to have anything by the Beatles higher than Jimi Hendrix, Chuck Berry, or Elvis Presley.

20. Let It Be - The Beatles

Enough! Did these shitty Beatles ballads get an entire generation laid by the prom queen and for that they are eternally grateful or something?

As you can imagine, the rest of the list just furthers the cause of suckitude. This list is a perfect example of someone pissing on your leg and telling you it's raining. If you can't think of 500 actual rock songs that actually rock, then scrap the idea. There's nothing particularly enlightening about putting Johnny Cash next to Bob Marley, except of course to push the pathetic cause of making the Boomers the Most Important Generation of All Time Ever and Don't You Forget It.

For fuck's sake, Procul Harem is #57.

38 Comments:

Blogger Diane said...

When they say "rock" songs, Amanda, they mean songs from the rock era. That would include rock, pop, r&b, hip hop, and folk. If anyone were ever to do an actual pure "rock" list, that would be interesting. But no one ever does. And sometimes it is hard to distinguish rock from pop, and then--if there were such a list-- none of the great r&b songs would be on the list, and...oh, you know. It gets complicated.

Personally, I'd put "Jumpin' Jack Flash" above "Satisfaction." However, I am delighted to see "What'd I Say" in the top 10 (though it isn't a rock song). It's one of my all-time favorites. As well as I can tell, rock--real rock--has disappeared from mainstream music. On the other hand, I don't lieten to much mainstream music.

11/20/2004

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blues are the foundation of rock, in my humble and myopic opinion. That Elvis gets credit for "Hound Dog", when that song was done ever so more brilliantly by Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton, boggles my mind. But hey, I are a blues fan. I guess I just wanna be sedated!

And no "Doors" on the top 20, for shame.

spot

11/21/2004

 
Blogger La Lubu said...

Amanda, Rolling Stone has always written about rock and roll about as well as Pat Boone sang it.

And I loved the crack about Jann Wenner and the toilet-paper!!

11/21/2004

 
Blogger La Lubu said...

Oh jeez....I just had to go there and see for myself. Gahh! You're right! It's puketastic!

Stevie Wonder doesn't make an appearance until 104. Patti Smith isn't on there until 323. Curtis Mayfield isn't on there at all (well, The Impressions' "People Get Ready" is), and neither is George Clinton. I mean, what-the-fuck?!

I can't fault 'em for a broad definition of "rock", because rock is like gumbo...you can put damn near anything in there...but to have Foreigner and Sonny and Cher make the list and leave off a musical giant like George Clinton?!!! Kiss my ass!

Besides, a more accurate title for the list would be "Top 500 Rock Songs Our Lazy Asses Could Think Of While Flipping Through the Billboard Charts", since everything on there is a single....no album cuts.

11/21/2004

 
Blogger TWM said...

"Enough! Did these shitty Beatles ballads get an entire generation laid by the prom queen and for that they are eternally grateful or something?"

Hey, don't underestimate the profound impact "getting laid by the prom queen" can have on one's musical tastes. Instead of dissing the experience, perhaps you should rent yourself a crown, throw on your favorite rock song, and influence some guy's musical choices for decades to come?

11/21/2004

 
Blogger Amanda said...

Who says that's not how I spent my weekend?

11/21/2004

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Oh, man. Check this out. The folks over on Bubba Blab started a thread to counter the Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs Of All Time.

The list is now complete, and here it is: http://www.southknoxbubba.net/bb500.htm"

11/21/2004

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is "Cathy's Clown" in this list? Why are all the songs with random syllabic titles ("Tutti-Frutti", "Be-Bop-A-Lula", "Da Doo Ron Ron") in there? WHY IS CATHY'S CLOWN IN THERE?!?!

I'm not even done reading past the three hundreds, and I'm annoyed!
Jennifer

11/22/2004

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rolling Stone was once a pretty good magazine, but that was long ago. These guys would have been better off if they had just had admitted that they don't listen to music recorded after 1978 (or 1982 or something like that; look at the list by year and you'll see what I mean).
Two final points--even a bad Beatles song is better than most of the Beach Boys (and definitely better than Good Vibrations), and the Ramones (and their British friends the Sex Pistols): really more of a fashion statement than a rock band. Rock is dead and gone corporate; these guys just want to sniff glue. Play it once, it's a great joke. We get it. Just don't play it again. And, the fact that THREE Ramones songs made this list ought to be cause for concern for you.

1/03/2005

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rolling Stone was once a pretty good magazine, but that was long ago. These guys would have been better off if they had just had admitted that they don't listen to music recorded after 1978 (or 1982 or something like that; look at the list by year and you'll see what I mean).
Two final points--even a bad Beatles song is better than most of the Beach Boys (and definitely better than Good Vibrations), and the Ramones (and their British friends the Sex Pistols): really more of a fashion statement than a rock band. Rock is dead and gone corporate; these guys just want to sniff glue. Play it once, it's a great joke. We get it. Just don't play it again. And, the fact that THREE Ramones songs made this list ought to be cause for concern for you.

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"and the Ramones really more of a fashion statement than a rock band"

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Also, saw Toby Keith in March '05 and Terrible Ted Nugent was the opening act, my ears hurt for a week, don't suppose STRANGLEHOLD was on that list.

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