Friday, September 30, 2005

Top 500 songs in your lifetime

Blender magazine is kind of a new, improved version of Rolling Stone. They cover music but slant it towards today rather than rehashing Bob Dylan and how great Revolver was by the Beatles, which Rolling Stone is obsessed with. Blender also doesn't seem to have much of a political philosophy, while Rolling Stone is stuck in the 60's and whatever the most left-wing rant you can bring to bear is included. Blender, on the other hand, is a spin-off of Maxim magazine, which although it now is copied by everyone so it doesn't stand out anymore, pioneered the "laddie" magazine in the US focusing on music, gadgets, and girls.

Blender had a cool issue with a list containing (in their words) "The 500 Greatest Songs Since you were born (the best tunes of the 80's 90's and 00's)". This is in their October Issue, you can see it on their web site, or buy it at the newstand.

I love these kinds of lists. And figuring that it was from Blender, it would actually be interesting. I remember in high school they would always have something like the "500 greatest rock songs" that they would tie together with the Indy 500 and then the top song was always "Hey Jude" or "Freebird" or "Stairway to Heaven" or some other boring combination of the three.

Blender didn't disappoint. While I didn't agree (or like) the #1 pick "Billie Jean" by MJ I couldn't believe that they picked "B.O.B." (Bombs over Baghdad) by Outkast which is one of my favorite songs as #2. This is a BOLD choice since the song really didn't chart at all - think of all the songs over the last 25 years that were bigger hits or received more noteriety - but what a great choice from the start at least it is controversial and not off Revolver. That song moves well and just songs like it is from another dimension.

Given that you have only 500 songs and 25 years to cover from rock to rap to everything else in between, I figured that lots of my favorite songs would fall through the cracks to be replaced by the "Hey Jude's" of our day. But look at some of the songs in the top 500 - songs I love that I never guessed would have been picked:

  • B.O.B. by Outkast as #2 (!!)
  • Love Will Tear us Apart Again by Joy Division at #7 (also the oldest song, from 1980)
  • Just a Friend by Biz Markie at #27 - this is just crazy - have you ever heard this guy? He caterwails way off key... I can't believe it - I don't love this song but have to give it credit just for being way, way out there
  • Crosseyed and Painless by the Talking Heads at #35
  • Got your Money by ODB at #42 (this song makes no sense but ODB is craaazeee)
  • Monkey Gone to Heaven by the Pixies at #48 (ever listen to the lyrics on this??)
  • Enter Sandman by Metallica at #65 (I guess Metallica had to go somewhere but I didn't figure this high - for whom the bell tolls would have been better, but who is griping)
  • Girls Girls Girls by Motley Crue at #77 - Rolling Stone magazine would have picked Tracy Chapman instead, I am sure
  • Feel Good Hit of the Summer by Queens of the Stone Age at #91 - I'd have picked "the Lost Art of Keeping a Secret" but who is quibbling... this is kind of a novelty song almost and I am sure was never even played on the radio but a fun choice anyways
  • Round and Round by Ratt at #112 - another one no one admits to liking - but what's not to like :)
  • Lit Up by Buckcherry at #143 - along with B.O.B. at #2 this is where the list won me over - Buckcherry is one of those bands that you can't believe are even alive...
  • Danger! High Voltage by Electric Six at #161 - Dan and I both love Electric Six - this isn't the best song on their album but who's complaining - look at the millions of crappy albums put out in the last 25 years and this is on top - the album was probably made for 5 dollars and these guys are legally insane (check out "Dance Commander" or "Gay Bar" for their best songs"
  • Debaser by the Pixies at #199 - I think this is Dan's favorite song - we saw them at the Aragon recently
  • Where's Your Head At by the Basement Jaxx at #227 - ever see the video of this - probably the nuttiest video I have ever seen
  • Institutionalized by the Suicidal Tendencies at #244 - "all I wanted was a pepsi" - I still remember some poll that voted them "worst band, biggest assholes" - but I love the fact that they are dislodging some crap from the list
  • Ace of Spades by Motorhead at #263 - this song is literally perfect in what in intends to do... and is always the theme of madness on Conan late night (like when the Seattle space needle took on the CN tower in their Canadian shows...)
  • Rock N Roll High School by the Ramones at #279 - never a hit but a great song
  • Down by the Water by PJ Harvey at #284 - a scary song, with a mega bass line
  • One Armed Scissor by At-the-drive-in at #288 - the guys that became Mars Volta
  • Heart Shaped Box by Nirvana at #352 - should be higher in the ranking but my favorite Nirvana song
  • Never Say Never by Romeo Void at #390 - never a hit but a huge smash - those guitars are great - and the singer sounds way way better than she looks
  • Celebrated Summer by Husker Du at #394 - one of my definite all time favorites... saved me a letter to Blender - I still can't believe I saw them at my lecture hall at U of I
  • Last Goodbye by Jeff Buckley at #423 - too bad he died so young
  • We are all on Drugs by Weezer at #485 - this has to be about the newest song on the list... make fun of druggies and the chorus is "we are all on drugs" - very catchy
  • History Lesson Part II by the Minutemen at #490 - I couldn't hardly listen to the minutemen in the 80's but I'll still give them props...

So, all in all, a great list, and highly recommended.

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