100 songs. 25 years. Lots of bad choices.
[First in a series of three]
I just don't have the stamina to take on news blogging tonight. That train wreck of a Road Map to Peace makes my head hurt, anyhow. And I'm still catching up on the driving songs suggestions.
Good thing for me (and you) that I always feel like bitching about music.
VH1 has listed the 100 greatest songs from the past 25 years [link via that other blogger named Michelle who also has kids and thinks Michael Moore is an ass]. I think I'll grab a nice cold Killian's and sit myself down and jot down my thoughts about this. I think I feel another survey coming on, too.
Here's the full list.(Text file - opens on a new page)
UPDATE: Here's an MP3 treat for you, from the list. Radiohead- Creep (acoustic version)
Ok, down below, here we go.
25 years. We're talking a quarter of a century. In all that time, I would venture to say that there are a lot of songs recorded that were far better than a good portion of these tunes.
I don't know the criteria for what makes a great song, according to this list. Sales? Influence on a genre? Generational anthems? Well, I know what I like, and that's what I'm going by. Sort of.
I'm not going to cover them all - I'll leave that up to you if you wish. Feel free to debate in the comments about songs that should have been there but aren't and songs that are there but leave you pondering why.
Songs that I agree on:
1. Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit: The song made grunge. Regardless of whether you think the leaders of grunge were other, lesser known Seattle bands, Nirvana was the band that made the genre mainstream. And it is a damn good song, even if you don't know what the hell Kurt Cobain was going on about.
6. Run D.M.C., Walk This Way: No list covering the past 25 years would be complete without the song that brough rap to the forefront of the MTV generation.
19. Public Enemy - Fight the Power: It was an anthem for some, a shock to others and either way you saw it, you had to admit the song had people talking. Everyone, even old ladies, knew who Public Enemy was once this song hit the airwaves.
27. Grandmaster Flash - The Message: For months after I bought this record (12" vinyl), I went around repeating the verse don't push me 'cause I'm close to the edge," and everyone sang along with me. It was catchy, it was lyrically tight and almost everyone knew the words.
38. The Clash - London Calling: Not my favorite Clash song, but the one song, besides Rock the Casbah, that made The Clash a household name. Great lyrics, great bass riff.
44. Gloria Gaynor - I Will Survive: Is there anyone who has not gotten up on the dance floor at a wedding or in a bar and belted this one out? Is there anyone who has not cried this song out to themselves after a nasty breakup? You can't hear this song without relieiving all that turmoil all over again.
43. Marvin Gaye - Sexual Healing: If you don't see this as one of the best of the last 25 years, you haven't gotten laid much.
66. Squeeze - Tempted: Damn, I used to love this band. Saw them three times. Played that one album to death. This is a great song, in every way. Lyrics that make you perform karaoke in the shower. A chorus that will make you cry if you're heart has ever been broken. A melody that lingers in your head for hours, and you don't even mind. By the way, this song comes from East Side Story but, in my humble opinion, Argy Bargy was a much better album.
75. The Ramones - I Wanna Be Sedated: Many will argue that there are better Ramones songs, but aren't all Ramones songs basically the same anyhow? I mean that in the best possible way. Of all their tunes, Sedated is the one that will get everyone in the vicinity jumping around like lunatics when it comes on the radio.
83. Band-Aid: Do They Know It's Christmas?: You know, when you look at the lyrics to this song, you realize that they are pretty damn stupid. Even so, I dare you not sing when you hear this in the mall at Christmastime.
84. Radiohead - Creep: Yes, there are better, crisper, more complex Radiohead songs. But Creep is the anthem for all of us who have been shunned, stepped on, pushed aside and made fun of. It's also has a subtle, stalkerish vibe to it, some clinging desperation that's just right for a moody moment.
Let me explain that while I think Smells Like Teen Spirit should be in the top 100, I certainly don't think it's the greatest song to come out since 1978. That's something I have to put a lot of thought into.
So, I could only come up with 11 out of 100? No, I'm sure if I glanced again, there would be more I would be inclined to agree on, but these are the tunes I feel strongly about.
Part Two tomorrow, when I cover the worst of the list.
Now, what do you think the greatest song of the past 25 years is?