27 August 2007

Rolling Stone Greatest Songs

Another list from the editors of The Rolling Stone.  This time, they ranked the 500 greatest songs of all time.  Once more, I will only post the top 20, but I encourage you to visit their website to view the complete list.

1."Like a Rolling Stone," Bob Dylan
2. "Satisfaction," The Rolling Stones
3. "Imagine," John Lennon
4."What's Going On," Marvin Gaye
5. "Respect," Aretha Franklin
6."Good Vibrations," The Beach Boys
7."Johnny B. Goode," Chuck Berry
8."Hey Jude," The Beatles
9."Smells Like Teen Spirit," Nirvana
10."What'd I Say," Ray Charles
11."My Generation," The Who
12."A Change Is Gonna Come," Sam Cooke
13."Yesterday," The Beatles
14."Blowin' in the Wind," Bob Dylan
15."London Calling," The Clash
16."I Want to Hold Your Hand," The Beatles
17."Purple Haze," Jimi Hendrix
18."Maybellene," Chuck Berry
19."Hound Dog," Elvis Presley
20."Let It Be," The Beatles

You know, I have made no secret of not "getting" The Beatles, but can even a Beatles fan explain to me what makes "I Want to Hold Your Hand" a greater song than "Let It Be?"  I'd also like to note that it seems the RS editors really meant to call this a list of Greatest Song Recordings, because there are several songs on the list that are the same song, but recorded by different artists.  Whether Elvis sings "Hound Dog" or I do, the song is still "Hound Dog."  His iconic recording, however, will probably stand out more to the average listener than mine.  And, I will confess right now that there is about an entire quarter of the top 20 that I don't even know how the song goes, including "Like a Rolling Stone."By my count, I think I have five of the top 20 in my personal library.  Maybe.  I can't say for sure about "Respect" or "What'd I Say," but I know I have "Good Vibrations,""Johnny B. Goode" and "Hound Dog."