Look for the girl in the faded blue Dodgers hat and she's gone...

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Greatest Songs EVER. According to Rolling Stone. (469-460)

Let's get on with it!

469. "It's Too Late"-Carole KingI like Carole Kings music in small doses. If I listen to too much of her in one sitting than she starts to have an annoying voice. I personally like the other song on this single a little bit better ("I Feel the Earth Move"), but this track is also very good. It's got a sort of jazzy feel to it, but there's also elements of soul here. The production is very sparce, but for this it works. It really doesn't need more than her and the piano.

468. "Search and Destroy"-The StoogesFinally! Some good old fashioned punk from the godfather himself! The guitars on this track are abrasive and they get up in your face and won't leave you alone. It has witty and sarcastic lyrics and the chorus is super catchy. It's the kind of song you would play while you were driving a ferarri at very high speeds.

467. "Welcome to the Jungle"-Guns and RosesAah, the Guns and Roses. The good times I have had screeching along to Axel Rose's nails on a chalkboard type vocals never stop. This track has a classic Slash guitar riff, catchy and very easy to rock out to on the air guitar. This is a song that everyone knows like the first five lines of, but after that they just like to sing the "Welcome to the Jungle" parts. The G&R are at their prime here and to this day hair metal fans rejoice when this song comes on.

466. "Runaway"-Del Shannon
I normally try to avoid this type of music, and this song just furthers that opinion. It's really shmaltzy, the strings are overdone, and the vocals on the chorus are only heard by dogs. The truth is I'm sure there are so many other songs that didn't make it on this list that are better than this one.

465. "Surrender"-Cheap Trick

This track is amazing. I love it on so many levels. The vocals and harmonies are pure hook and keep your attention the entire track. This entire song is pure hook and will forever be stuck in my head. The guitars are great as well, the song wouldn't be as catchy without the great riff. When you hear this song you just want to get up and dance and scream the chorus at the top of your lungs. I highly recommend this one.

464. "Standing in the Shadows of Love"-The Four Tops
I was pleasantly surprised by this track. The first thing that hit me was the great vocals by the singer Levi Stubbs. He's got a great gravelly tone and he really gets into the song and sells the heartbreak in the lyrics. It's really actually ahead of it's time and it doesn't sound like anything that motown was putting out at that time.

463. "Rain"-The Beatles
Finally, a Beatles track! "Rain" is one of the Beatles least known tracks, being as it was the B-Side to "Paperback Writer". John Lennon's vocal is very mystical and it has a very raspy tone to it, and the guitars all blend to create the unique sound of the track. This song is famous for it's use of both backwards guitars and backwards vocals, which was revolutionary at the time. The lyrics are about "people moaning about the weather all the time." and I'm sure I could fit into the category of people he's singing about. This song is also famous because it has it's own music video, years before MTV was even fathomed. Great track overall, great for a bad weather day.

462. "Respect Yourself"-The Staple Singers

In my overall opinion, I think this track is overrated. It's not really earth shattering, but its good. It's got very positive lyrics, the kind your best friend gives you when you ask if these pants make you look fat. It's definitely got a heavy groove that really carries the song, and sometimes overwhelms the vocals. A good track, just not a great one.

461. "Kiss"-Prince and the Revolution

I think that Prince has a really annoying voice. Its too high pitched and squeaky for my tastes. This track definitely has a huge groove and brings the good kind of funk. The bassline is sick and is classic Prince. This is the kind of track I would dance around my bedroom to.

460. "One Fine Day"-The Chiffons

This is classic girl group pop. The harmonies on this track are tight and perfect and the production is flawless. The Chiffons and the Supremes are pretty much the two best girl groups from this era.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Greatest Songs EVER. According to Rolling Stone. (479-470)

Because I'm certain you hunger for more of my amazing insight.

479. "Lady Marmalade"-Patti LaBelle

I honestly didn't think I was going to like this track before I listened to it. Turns out it's REALLY catchy. It'll be stuck in my head for the next week now. The vocal arrangement is genius and really adds much more to the famously dirty lyrics. I can see where this would have been a big dance hit in it's day, it defiantly makes you want to get up and groove.

478. "White Rabbit"-Jefferson Airplane

I admit that I really only listen to this song when I'm sick and just want noise to occupy my thoughts. This track really pioneered the genre of acid rock, and I'm guessing that when one is on acid this song takes on new meaning (but then again doesn't everything?). Grace Slick's voice is perfectly unusual and fits the song perfectly with it's strong alto. It's a great song on occasion, but other times it just gives me a headache.

477. "Super Freak"-Rick James

Really? Super Freak? I have no idea how this song could possibly be anything but the butt of many Rick James jokes. Sure, it's catchy and it will stay in your head for time and all eternity, but there are just so many better songs out there that you could put in this spot.

476. "I Want To Know What Love Is"-Foreigner

This song is as cheesy as they come, but we all love some good cheese. If you ever attended a high school dance during the 80's I'm sure you slow danced the heck out of this one. (although I really can't say because I was obviously not there.) It's full of melodrama and it builds until it finally gets to a gospel choir joining in on the chorus. The good thing about this song is the vocals which just sound heartbreaking. It's a good song, just not a great one.

475. "Sabotage"-The Beastie Boys

The Beastie Boys are the most overrated group in the history of music. The only song of theirs that I sort of like is "Fight For Your Right To Party" but it pretty much ends there. So needless to say, I came in and expected to hate this track. I was actually pleasantly surprised. It takes them into more of a rock place and doesn't have as much rapping as they are known for usually. The guitars are great and I'm pretty sure I've heard it several times before on car commercials. It's kind of got a highlight reel quality, much like "Remember the Name" by Fort Worth. Pretty good track overall.

474. "One Nation Under a Groove"-Funkadelic

I make no secret of the fact that I loathe the genre of funk. This song didn't do anything to change my mind, but I didn't hate it either. It was just O.K. The vocals on this song we're really good and actually kind of funny, they didn't just lend themselves to funk they also had elements of soul. The production on this track is also excellent and actually very current. My complaint: It's super long at 7:29.

473. "Do Right Woman, Do Right Man"-Aretha Franklin

A gorgeous track from the queen of soul. I had limited knowledge of the Aretha Franklin catalogue, but this is definitely on any essential list. The piano on this track is beautiful and it's just the icing on the cake which is her vocal. It just oozes through the speakers with ease and you feel like she's singing right to you.

472. "Where Did Our Love Go?"-Diana Ross and the Supremes

This is the Supremes at their peak. Their harmonies are spot on and the production is classic motown. The thing is, this track sounds almost exactly like "Baby Love" which I consider to be a better track. Nonetheless, it's worth a listen but you won't be raving about it.

471. "On the Road Again"-Willie NelsonI am by no means a country music expert. However, to me Willie Nelson sort of transcends country music and appeals to all sorts of different genres. This track is Nelson at his best vocally, he just sounds so happy. The Guitars are very rock and roll more than they are country. Good times were had by all on this track.

470. "Free Man in Paris"-Joni Mitchell

Like the Smiths, I had heard people talk about Joni Mitchell, but I hadn't heard that much of her repertoire. This track is the pure definition of ear candy. It just pleases your brain and makes you want to sway along with it. The lyrics are what make this song however. Mitchell again fires off her trademark thought provoking poetry set to music.

The Greatest Songs EVER. According to Rolling Stone. (489-480)

The moment you've all been waiting for! The countdown continues!

489. "I Will Survive"-Gloria GaynorThis is another one of those songs that you've heard a million times before. You and your friends might have even choreographed a dance or two to it. I've shaken what my momma gave me to it in the kitchen with my mom and sisters. It's timeless and even though disco is dead, this song will always survive.

488. "Rhiannon"-Fleetwood Mac
This is Stevie Nicks at her eerie hippie chick finest. This is also Fleetwood Mac doing what it does best. It doesn't sound different from any of their other stuff, but you find yourself bobbing your head pleasantly as you listen to it. The lyrical content is very similar to "Maria" by Blondie, which takes the third person view of a guy tries to get the girl story.

487. "Under the Boardwalk"-The DriftersThe beginning of this song sounds an awful lot like Ben E. King's "Stand By Me", but once it gets going the similarities end. It's a classic motown track, with probably more strings than needed, but it doesn't care. The harmonies are great, and it's the kind of track you would listen to while napping in the noonday sun in a hammock.

486. "How Soon is Now?"-The Smiths
The Smiths are one of those bands that I had heard everyone talk about and say how great they were, but had never really heard before. Upon listening to this track, I will be hi-tailing it to itunes to purchase it. The guitars are so eerie and the riff will stay in your brain and haunt your dreams. Morrisey's vocals complement the arrangement perfectly to the point where you don't care what he's singing about you just wanna hear him. An amazing track I highly recommend. My only beef: it's really long and repetitive coming in at 6:47

485. "Graceland"-Paul SimonThe truth is, I've always thought of Paul Simon's solo records as overrated. So I came into this track with a sort of predisposition to not like it. Upon listening, it's very happy and I was bored through half of it. It just doesn't have the same delicate atmosphere that he was famous for with Simon and Garfunkel. Overall, I thought it was kind of...bland.

484. "I Love Rock and Roll"-Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

Everyone knows this song. You grandma knows this song. What you all don't know? Joan Jett was not the first to do it. It was originally done by a little known band called the Arrows. This version is of course more well known than it's predecessor. This is the track that you play when you feel like kicking trash and taking names, and every time it comes on the radio your banging on the steering wheel whilst you headbang. The chant and the shredding riff just established Joan Jett as the resident queen of the post punk rock era.

483. "Just Like Heaven"-The Cure
I've always liked to maintain neutrality when it comes to the Cure. The lead singer scares the heck out of me, which is why this song will always be a tad bit confusing because it's so...romantic. The first version I had ever heard of this song was an obscure band called Gatsby's American Dream on those Punk Goes 80's albums. I really like this song, its just so lovely and the lyrics are just romantic and make you wish you had someone to sing this song to.

482. "I'm Eighteen"-Alice Cooper
Before this track, the only exposure I'd had to Alice Cooper (which i think I'm glad for...) is his appearance in the movie Waynes World. But when this track came on, it wasn't was I was expecting. It wasn't Kiss meets AC/DC like I'd anticipated. It was sort of solemn, and it doesn't really have a climax. Cooper's vocal is really good here though, it has almost a sort of Johnny Rotten quality to it. Good song though for when your feeling sort of bland and uninspired.

481. "Young Americans"-David Bowie

When I listened to this song, I was convinced I'd heard it before somewhere. Upon research, I decided that I had probably heard it in Sixteen Candles. But then again, it has that quality where it just sounds like something you've heard before. The thing is, this song wasn't even the biggest hit from the album it comes from of the same name. This was David Bowie's soul period and I personally found myself missing good old Ziggy Stardust. It's got the seventies sax and percussion section, and to me it felt like it was best suited for a cruise ship.

480. "Into the Mystic"-Van Morrison

The version of this song that I'm guessing more people are familiar with would be the version that The Wallflowers did. This track has a very laid back, swaying in the breeze vibe to it and while you listen to it it feels like the world is just great and nothing could possibly go wrong. The lyrics are very specific to the time from which it comes (the late 1960's), my favorite line being :I wanna rock your gypsy soul". I really liked this track which I didn't expect to. I would put it on a happy, calm sort of playlist.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Greatest Songs EVER. According to Rolling Stone. (500-490)

I was reading another blog that I like to follow, and one of the things she did was she went through Rolling Stone's list of the 500 greatest albums and gave her opinion on all of them. I thought, "Hey that's a good idea!" so instead of albums, I'll do the greatest songs.

500. "More Than A Feeling"-Boston

People will look back on my life when I'm dead and one of the first things they will think about is this song. Pretty much since I could speak I could sing this to you. It's the perfect song for blasting out your car speakers on a Friday afternoon with the windows rolled down, as you tap out the catchiest riff ever played by humans. Once it get's in your brain you'll be tapping it for the rest of time. There's just something about the phrase "More than a feeling", that brings to mind a state of euphoria that is beyond a feeling per-say.

499. "The Boys are Back in Town"-Thin Lizzy

The truth is, you've probably heard this song a thousand times before and have never known it. It's been used in everything from Toy Story 3 commercials to the movie A Knights Tale, because of it's iconic twin guitar leads and catchy as all get out chorus. And who doesn't like a good "This is my house fool!" type of lyric?

498. "Rainy Night in Georgia"-Brook Benton

I had never heard this song before, and I'm kind of glad I went to grooveshark and looked it up. I'm not normally one for this type of syrupy R&B, but this song was able to sort of balance that by adding a more soulful element as well. The vocal just sounds so sad and depressed and you find yourself feeling so bad for the narrator. My only beef is that you would have to be in a certain mood to actually go and seek this song out.

497. "Buddy Holly"-WeezerI've never understood what people see in Weezer. However, this song isn't half bad actually. It's very happy and it instantly put me in a perky "Mickey" sort of mood. I would put it on if I was in a bad mood and it was cloudy outside, but other than that I couldn't see myself playing this song regularly.

496. "Miss You"-The Rolling Stones

Would I put this in my top ten favorite Rolling Stones songs? Absolutely not. It sounds to me like it could be on an album called "The Stones do Earth Wind and Fire". It just sounds to me like the Stones on a "we can do anything, we're the Rolling Stones" trip. Funk=fail.

495. "Shop Around"-The Miracles

Smoky Robinson was like the Brian Wilson of Motown. He could crank out a perfect pop song any time he freaking wanted. With this song in particular, I'm ashamed to admit that my first exposure to it was when David Archuleta sang it on American Idol. It just sounds effortless and it just glides along smoothly. The lyrical content is very similar to that of "You Can't Hurry Love" by the Supremes.

494. "Desperado"-The Eagles

If you've never heard this song before in your life I have but one question to ask, do you have to pay rent for the rock you've been living under? I mean even if you normally hate the Eagles like I do, you have to appreciate the loveliness and simplicity of this song. Being a piano player, it has one of my all time favorite piano parts and the vocal is just beautiful.

493. "Then He Kissed Me"-The Crystals

The first time I heard this song, I had no idea that this version existed. I, like many others, instead knew the Beach Boys reworded version "Then I Kissed Her". This is classic 60's girl group pop and listening to it can only be compared to eating cotton candy.

492. "Running on Empty"-Jackson Browne

I am so unfamiliar with the catalogue of Jackson Browne that I don't feel worthy to pass judgment on this track. However, I will say that it has a great guitar line and describes how we all feel most days.

491. "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me"-Dusty Springfield

This song is distinctively 60's. The production on this track brings in both soul and motown influences, and her voice fits it perfectly. Her vocal just sounds so beautifully desperate. It's not a track I'd catch myself listing to normally, but every so often I could see myself going for something like this.

490. "Brown Sugar"-The Rolling Stones

This track has a riff that will have you singing this song even if you don't know the words. You'll just be humming the riff (which I'm now convinced was lifted by Foreigner on their song "Hot Blooded"). You can't help but feel happy when you hear it, and when it's over your thinking to yourself "That didn't last nearly long enough..." And Mick Jagger delivers the classic Rolling Stones lyrics the way only Mick Jagger could.

Stay tuned for more of the 500 greatest songs of all time!