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.