Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Five Greatest Songs of All-Time

The Five Greatest Songs of All-Time - The Early Show - CBS News: "You may never get everyone to agree on the greatest songs ever, but Rolling Stone magazine is giving it a shot.

On Friday, it unveils a special collector's edition with its definitive list of the 500 greatest songs of all-time."

The top 5 are at the link.
Hat tip to Jane Johnston Ray.


Todd Mason said...

Quick Poll, CBS asks...
Which is your favorite?

"Respect," by Aretha Franklin
"What's Going On," by Marvin Gaye
"Imagine," by John Lennon
"(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," by The Rolling Stones
"Like a Rolling Stone," by Bob Dylan

...oh, I suppose in this bunch it might be the Dylan, but all of them except Dylan and Gaye wrote easily better songs.

michael a. gonzales said...

I don't understand Rolling Stone magazine's passion for list of "best" whatever; does anybody take these things seriously?

Jerry House said...

And where, I ask, is "Seven Old Ladies"?

Max Allan Collins said...

I despise these lists. Absolutely, utterly despise these lists.

At least ROLLING STONE could have the courtesy of saying the "best rock songs" or something. That would explain the absence of, oh, I don't know...Cole Porter. Frank Loesser. Johnny Mercer. Rodgers & Hart/Hammerstein. Steve Sondheim.

Still, not the Beatles ("Imagine" superior to "Help" or "Hard Days Night" or "Eight Days a Week"?). Not the Beach Boys ("God Only Knows"). Not the Zombies ("She's Not There"). Not the Hollies ("Bus Stop"). Not Carole King or Ellie Greenwich or Bobby Darin or Neil Sedaka or the Everly Brothers. Not Elvis Costello, Blondie, Kate Bush, on and on.

But of course we get the tone-deaf pretentious Dylan ("the penguin in his top hat and the frog who wants the vote" gibberish) and the over-the-top Franklin (both songs so over-saturated in their day and on oldies stations now that I risk running into a semi hitting the switch-stations buttons).

We do, of course, get two songs with "rolling stone" at part of it. "Satisfaction" is an important song but is it really better than a dozen other Rolling Stones songs you could pick off the top of your head head ("Paint It Black," anyone?).

Notice nothing on the list, except "Imagine," really has a melody? I'm Old School -- a "great song" ought to have music and lyrics -- as opposed to words and lyrics.

RS has never done one of these list issues that hasn't sent me tossing said issue against the wall, like I was trying to squish a really big, annoying, ROLLING STONE-size bug.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me I remember a poll that voted Lennon's IN MY LIFE as the #1 song of the last century. While Frank Sinatra said that George Harrison's SOMETHING (IN THE WAY SHE MOVES) was the best song he ever heard.

MP said...

I hate these lists, too, although on this one I'd have to agree with # 1. But I'd call it a tie with an even better Stones song than "Satisfaction"--"Gimme Shelter".

Rusty said...

Gotta agree with Mr. Collins on Cole Porter et al., along with any number of Tin Pan Alley tunesmiths whose work is still sung today. But go back even further: "Barbara Allen," for instance, is at least 500 years old and is very much a part of the general repertoire among folk, bluegrass, country and even probably the occasional rock or pop vocalists. Stephen Foster songs like "Hard Times," "Beautiful Dreamer," "Oh, Susanna," "Camptown Races," and "Old Folks at Home" are still widely known and sung today. We could no doubt make a strong case for some of the old Western songs, like "The Cowboy's Lament" or "Home on the Range." And I'd better not even start on gospel songs and hymns.

If they hadn't thrown that "of all time" in there, I might have given them a pass. I don't reckon I'll be around in 500 years to see if anybody still remembers "Like a Rolling Stone," but I'd bet against it. Seems likely that "Barbara Allen," in some form, will still be around.