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March 23, 2007 8:47 AM   Subscribe

Cockeyed Absurdist - jonmc's 300 most favorite songs and why, including Iron Maiden, The Exciters, Neil Young (as a greaser), Captain Beefheart, Hanson, and of course, The Dictators.
posted by hellbient (134 comments total) 57 users marked this as a favorite

 
It's a great thing.
posted by caddis at 8:50 AM on March 23, 2007


Great blog. Great post.
posted by OmieWise at 8:52 AM on March 23, 2007


Choosing Number of the Beast over something off Killers is kind of getting me off on the wrong foot.

Metal. Serious business.
posted by The Straightener at 8:55 AM on March 23, 2007


*puts on football helmet*

First of all, thanks for the very complimentary posts and comments. Second, I want to be very clear that these are personal favorites, not objective 'bests.' I did this to keep busy, articulate some ideas to myself and to get people to listen (or re-listen) to the songs. I was somewhat inspired by comments from adamgreenfield and y2karl who said that i was more interesting when I talk about things in positive terms, so thanks for that.

Now, commence with the 'WTF's' and 'are you crazy?'s.
posted by jonmc at 8:56 AM on March 23, 2007


This looks good. I have to agree w/ the Hanson entry. It's worth checking out their serialized documentaries, available free on iTunes
posted by veggieboy at 8:56 AM on March 23, 2007 [2 favorites]


A critic is like a eunich living in a whorehouse. He's seen the act commited and has a basic idea of how "it," is done, but lacks the basic equipment needed to get the job done himself.
posted by Wonderwoman at 8:57 AM on March 23, 2007 [8 favorites]


The Straightener: 'Running Free' is in there too. The full list is posted over at MeCha.
posted by jonmc at 8:58 AM on March 23, 2007


wtf? are you crazy?
posted by AwkwardPause at 8:59 AM on March 23, 2007


Cool. This is jonmc, putting his money where his mouth is - or at least, putting in the considerable time and effort to share his passion and insight. We all know there's a salami, Limburger, cheddar, and banana pepper sub where his mouth is.
posted by taz at 9:03 AM on March 23, 2007


What, no Wing? Hummph.
posted by miss lynnster at 9:04 AM on March 23, 2007


giovanni is the man
posted by matteo at 9:06 AM on March 23, 2007


Ten years or so ago, I'd go into records stores looking for Handsome Family {mp3} records. Invariably, staff always led me to the Hanson section with a look of pity in their eyes--similar, I assume, to the looks I gave shoppers when I worked in a record store in the early 90s and every second customer purchased a New Kids on the Block cassette. "I know, I know," I'd say, "it's not for you." They'd insist: "Really. It's not!"

Kudos to you jonmc for having the balls to stick by what you like regardless of what everyone thinks of you for doing it. ;)
posted by dobbs at 9:06 AM on March 23, 2007


dobbs: you were one of the people I most wanted to see this, since we agree pretty rarely on music, but usually for interesting reasons, and thus it'd be interesting to see where our likes intersect.

(note, doing this was fun, but but exhausting. I did the last 13 entries in a one-day blitz)
posted by jonmc at 9:09 AM on March 23, 2007


nice post, hellbient!

A lot of people have music blogs.

A lot of people know a lot about music.

Not a lot of people write about music in such an interesting, accessible, meaningful, original, respectful, loving, and descriptive way. It's good stuff.

Keep on choogling, jon.
posted by Miko at 9:11 AM on March 23, 2007


Truly awesome. Maybe his name should have been linked to his profile for those who aren't aware?

Anyway, the Hanson one is about the best, most accurate music review I've ever seen, anywhere.

Fun fact:

Way back when I was still a sparkle in my parent's eyes, they were hanging out with another couple who's last name happened to be "Hanson." Eventually my parents left Tulsa to move to Northern California, to raise myself and my 5 younger siblings (one less in total than their friends back in Oklahoma would eventually sire).

Our families stayed friends, and eventually the day comes when the eldest Hanson brothers come out to LA to record their first album, and they hire my sister on to nanny for the rest of the kids.

This led to a series of years where the band would be coming into whatever town I happened to be living in at the time and I'd get to go backstage at their shows and wait for them to finish so we could hang out and catch up. I've never seen guys (well, boys, really, then) be so clawed at and lusted over by so many women, but it was interesting to see up close how it affects the psyche.

I'm pretty sure they have a place in NYC now, my mom told me to give them a ring a while back but I don't think I ever followed up on it. Maybe I can get them out to a MeFi meet-up, but that would require myself actually showing up for one, finally.

Anyway, jonmc was right on - Zac's an incredible drummer, which was astounding at the time given his age.
posted by allkindsoftime at 9:12 AM on March 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


Well, it's bedtime here in the inscrutable Orient, but upon reading just a couple of jonmc's posts I'd say I'll definitely be back for more. That there's a bookmarked blog! Thanks for the post, hellbient.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:18 AM on March 23, 2007


is this jonmc something that I would have had to read any metafilter thread anywhere ever that could possible be construed to an invitation to pose about music to understand?
posted by felix at 9:23 AM on March 23, 2007


My top 300 is just "Put it in Your Mouth" by Akinyele repeated 300 times with no explanation, which is why Jon's list is so much better.

Hanson has some kind of crazy songwriting workshop where they bring in all kinds of different people to collaborate on songs. I heard Andrew W.K talking about it, he said he wrote a slowjam.
posted by Divine_Wino at 9:24 AM on March 23, 2007 [4 favorites]


this thread is worthless without styx.
posted by quonsar at 9:28 AM on March 23, 2007


you have too much time on your hands.
posted by jonmc at 9:30 AM on March 23, 2007


Huh. Someone else remembers Jason & the Scorchers. Who knew?
posted by miss lynnster at 9:30 AM on March 23, 2007


Any fan of Beefheart is a friend of mine. My favorite Beefheart track is "Batchain Puller" I saw the Captain with FZ, long about 1978. He just sat on the stage in a rocking chair during the entire Zappa concert. Then for the encore he got up and did " Willie The Pimp"!......Rock On Johnmc!
posted by Yer-Ol-Pal at 9:33 AM on March 23, 2007


Second, I want to be very clear that these are personal favorites, not objective 'bests.'

And the difference is ... ?
posted by docgonzo at 9:33 AM on March 23, 2007


Great stuff. I remember starting to read this many months ago and being super-impressed by the quality of the Rose Tattoo track- I had previously only read about them in a Bon Scott biography and never really heard their music.

That said, I'm not really feeling the Hanson thing. yeah, they were better than most of the boybands (they actually predated the trend by a few years I think), but I don't think that song is that special as a piece of pop. But then, it's not my top 300, is it?

Speaking of pop, Jon, have you heard this guy Mika yet? You gotta check it out. It sounds like Freddie Mercury singing Archies songs, produced by the Neptunes.

posted by drjimmy11 at 9:34 AM on March 23, 2007


40. The Band "It Makes No Difference"

One of the most freaking depressing songs ever recorded. I saw Rick Danko play this solo in a dive bar about the size my kitchen in '88. He got totally wasted drinking Jack Daniels during the show. I'm sort of amazed that he managed to live another dozen years after that, he looked so bad at that point.

Great song choices overall , Jon.
posted by octothorpe at 9:35 AM on March 23, 2007


docgonzo: meaning that they're the songs that I, personally, like best, often for very personal reasons. 'Best' seems, to me, anyway, to imply that decisions can be universally implied, when it's based on taste, ultimately. (also, I tried to be rigorously honest about what I actually listen to, no substitutions to make myself look cooler)
posted by jonmc at 9:36 AM on March 23, 2007


i want that hat.
posted by phaedon at 9:37 AM on March 23, 2007


I'm sort of amazed that he managed to live another dozen years after that, he looked so bad at that point.

I feel you on that. You look at Danko in The Last Waltz and he's this handsome, charming guy, but I saw him interviewed on PBS just before he died and I was shocked at how bad an unhealthy he looked. Hope he never lost that amazing voice, though.
posted by jonmc at 9:39 AM on March 23, 2007


Domo arigato , jonmc.
posted by Haruspex at 9:40 AM on March 23, 2007


Domo arigato, jonmc.
posted by Haruspex at 9:41 AM on March 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


Jonmc:
Now THIS is a great selection of songs. Congratulations on your superb taste. Although there are many among the 300 I haven't heard, you can be sure that I will seek them out, after your recommendation. I'm glad that you cited "Abba Zabba" as great Beefheart, and ranked "I Knew You When" by the hillbilly genuis Joe South and his protege Billie Joe Royal -- along with so many other great songs. As far as your top ten goes: It is unimpeachable. I salute you for all time.
As always,
Richard J. Fazenmyer, III
posted by Faze at 9:41 AM on March 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


awesome stuff jonmc :)
posted by Stynxno at 9:42 AM on March 23, 2007


I'm pretty sure they have a place in NYC now, my mom told me to give them a ring a while back but I don't think I ever followed up on it. Maybe I can get them out to a MeFi meet-up, but that would require myself actually showing up for one, finally.

::faints::
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:42 AM on March 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


allkindsoftime: if you can swing that hanson thing, please do. i know people who would die to meet them.
posted by Stynxno at 9:43 AM on March 23, 2007


Oops. I'm not faster than the internets.
posted by Haruspex at 9:43 AM on March 23, 2007


Faze: South's 'Games People Play' is in there, too. I figured you'd dig a lot of the choices (I also figured you'd hate some of the others, but I kind of figured that about everybody. that's part of the fun, right?)
posted by jonmc at 9:44 AM on March 23, 2007


I like your selections jonmc.

And the name cockeyed absurdist, well, what else needs said? :-)

I went through a similar exercise recently when loading only the "best" of my music collection. It was damn hard to do and I've bought some really crappy music in my past!
posted by nofundy at 9:48 AM on March 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


I love Jason & The Scorchers' "Bible and a Gun"

And the only reason I've heard that song is that lo so many years ago, the cockeyedabsurdist sent it to me over IM (with a flurry of other songs, as was the case whenever I caught Jon on IM).

I'm kicking myself for not posting this to MeFi, btw. I've been following the list as well.
posted by eyeballkid at 9:48 AM on March 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


(also, Faze: there's streaming audio of every track accompanying each entry)
posted by jonmc at 9:49 AM on March 23, 2007


(disclaimer: I know that's not the Jason & The Scorcher's song on the list-- my post was really just a reply to miss lynnster above)
posted by eyeballkid at 9:51 AM on March 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


nofundy: I think you'll really like this one.
posted by jonmc at 9:51 AM on March 23, 2007


Gems in the commentary as well:

It never had the impact it should have, but in an insane kind of way, that's almost appropriate, since our generation never really did either."

Perfect.
posted by Haruspex at 9:56 AM on March 23, 2007


No ABBA? No Boney M? I guess I just haven't got far enough up the list yet...
posted by Meatbomb at 9:57 AM on March 23, 2007


Thanks, jonmc.
but seriously, no jane's addiction?
posted by juv3nal at 10:16 AM on March 23, 2007


Heh. 'Jane Says' was a contender, but I was a Replacements man in that era.
posted by jonmc at 10:17 AM on March 23, 2007


I'm not a huge music buff, so lots of stuff on the list I don't recognise, but props on your #1 choice. And very eloquently justified to boot.
posted by slimepuppy at 10:22 AM on March 23, 2007


This is a great project.
posted by interrobang at 10:24 AM on March 23, 2007


JohnMC's favorite music sucks.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:24 AM on March 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


Of course, I don't actually believe that.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:25 AM on March 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


Wow...that's a whole lotta work jonmc. I'm going to have an enjoyable weekend working through these. I've already found a couple of old favorites I'd forgotten about. Great blog and thanks hellbient for posting it.
posted by adamvasco at 10:27 AM on March 23, 2007


You resurrected Cockeyed Absurdist and didn't let me know?
posted by MrBaliHai at 10:28 AM on March 23, 2007


allkindsoftime: if you can swing that hanson thing, please do. i know people who would die to meet them.

Like ThePinkSuperhero, apparently.

Shit now look what I've done - how underwhelming will I be when I finally show up to my first NYC mefite meetup with no Hanson in tow.

I can't exactly call them up and be like "Hey guys, long time no talk, want to head out to a bar and meet a bunch of net nerds I know?" But PERHAPS I could plan to meet them for drinks and we might just happen to choose the same bar that a meetup just might planned to happen in at the same time. You guys would have to like super-promise to keep it on the DL though.

...

This is not going to end well.
posted by allkindsoftime at 10:29 AM on March 23, 2007


*just might BE planned
posted by allkindsoftime at 10:30 AM on March 23, 2007


That Hanson chick is pretty hot.
posted by slimepuppy at 10:33 AM on March 23, 2007 [2 favorites]


Listening to "Bastards of Young" now, for the first time in years—what a great song, and what a great list! Many thanks, jonmc. You should make a book out of this.

I still can't listen to "Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad?" though. Too much heartache associated with that album. When I told my first wife how it had gotten me through breakups, she said "I hope you never have to play it because of me." But I did.
posted by languagehat at 10:40 AM on March 23, 2007 [5 favorites]


That is the saddest sad that ever sadded, languagehat. Dang.
posted by wemayfreeze at 10:42 AM on March 23, 2007


Shit now look what I've done - how underwhelming will I be when I finally show up to my first NYC mefite meetup with no Hanson in tow.

No, no, we will still love you just the same :-D No need for crazy secret schemes.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:46 AM on March 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


Regarding Hanson - the song was produced by the Dust Brothers, so before we wet our pants about the guitar and how great the drums are, how do we verify that indeed Zac played the drums on the album without significant enhancement from producers known for their beats? I'm not sure myself, but I'm just saying...quite possible the kid did nothing that's distinguishable in the final product. Anyone seen them live (not that that's proof either)?
posted by spicynuts at 10:46 AM on March 23, 2007


hat: do you honestly think it's good enough? (I realize that my spelling and punctuation was pretty bad and it'd need some editing).
posted by jonmc at 10:47 AM on March 23, 2007 [2 favorites]


(oh, and Stynxno is my boyfriend, and he was referring to me :-p So don't fear that there's a whole troupe of screaming Hanson loving MeFites).
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:47 AM on March 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


spicynuts: does it ultimately matter? you're talking process not product.
posted by jonmc at 10:48 AM on March 23, 2007


well, you pointed out how great a drummer he is. i'm merely stating that there is a high probability he didn't do any drumming. i was merely curious since I know a thing or two about the Dust Bros.
posted by spicynuts at 10:56 AM on March 23, 2007


Xposted from MeCha:

The commenting process on Vox always annoys me, and I've gone a couple of times and gotten more wrapped up in listening than writing anything back, but I have been reading it. Just so ya know.

The couple things I'd say to this steamer are that a) I can never do this, and as such am a bad critic. I can give you the best songs for a video on self-defense or the best ten-song run on any given jukebox, but I can't ever make a statement about what my favorites are. They're too fucking broad, and I've never really understood the ranking process. That's why when I was 11, my list of the top 20 greatest guitarists ever included Stevie Ray Vaughn at 18 or so, and then tricked down into endless formulas that looked more like Time Cube Math meeting Dr. Bronner metaphysics. I just new that it had to end with Jimi Hendrix, because that was who I'd been told was the greatest guitarist ever.
B), the other complaint that I always have, and this list dodges it somewhat but not completely, is that the top 10 should nearly always be left off. The interesting writing, the new discoveries, the beautiful reading moments (and thinking moments and listening moments) always come for me in the top half of the list. At some point, I'll compile a list of the "Last 30" or so on a bunch of top 200 lists and argue that they're a better view of any given time or aesthetic, especially when the lists are compiled out of many people's votes.
posted by klangklangston at 10:57 AM on March 23, 2007


I love annotated collections like this! Thanks, jonmc and hellbient!
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:59 AM on March 23, 2007


klangklangston-You're point about the top ten is a great one.
posted by OmieWise at 11:02 AM on March 23, 2007


It would be better if there were more Bruce Springsteen in there.
posted by oh pollo! at 11:03 AM on March 23, 2007


Great work, jon. Have you given any thought to an index post -- or at least a list? (Maybe there already is one, and I'm just missing it).

It would be better if there were more Bruce Springsteen in there.

And more cowbell. Or Blue Öyster Cult.
posted by pardonyou? at 11:07 AM on March 23, 2007


klang: I'm not sure whether 'steamer' is meant as a putdown, but I definitely get your point about the beginnings of these type of countdowns often being more interesting, since that's where things get quirkier and more individualistic, whereas because of what a friend of mine calles their 'undeniableness' the stuff near the top is going to be more familiar. Interesting perspective, regardless, thanks. (and I used vox cause it's free and has a very generous upload policy).

oh pollo: I wondered if I was pushing it with the amount of Bruce I had already.
posted by jonmc at 11:08 AM on March 23, 2007


I had the very great honor and pleasure of actually opening for the Dictators at the Pontiac (used to be Dobbs) in Philadelphia, back in ought-one. Handsome Dick is a wonderful person; he even said nice things about our little band.
posted by Mister_A at 11:08 AM on March 23, 2007


or at least a list?

xposted from MeCha here's the list:

300. Magic Lanterns "Frisco Annie"
299. Bruce Dickinson "Tattooed Millionaire"
298. Eternals "Babalu's Wedding Day"
297. Rose Tattoo "The Butcher & Fast Eddie"
296. Dirtbombs "Livin' For The City"
295. Dion "Lookin' For The Heart Of Saturday Night"
294. Archies "Bang-Shang-A-Lang"
293. El Chords "Peppermint Stick"
292. Geechie Wiley "Last Kind Word Blues"
291. James McMurtry " Levelland"
290. Ly-Dells "Three Little Monkeys"
289. Charlie Daniels Band "Trudy"
288. Outkast "Hey Ya"
287. Pretenders "Kid"
286. Iron Maiden "The Number Of The Beast"
285. Dictators "The Next Big Thing"
284. Napoleon XIV "They're Coming To Take Me Away, Ha-Haa!"
283. Boomtown Rats "I Don't Like Mondays"
282. Screamin' Jay Hawkins "Constipation Blues"
281. Johnny Thunders "Too Much Junkie Business"
280. Mott The hoople "Saturday Gigs"
279. Status Quo "Paper Plane"
278. Bottle Rockets "Gotta Get Up"
277. Stevie Ray Vaughn "Life by The Drop"
276. Billy Joel "Miami 2017 (Live at WTC Tribute)"
275. Hanson "Mmm Bop"
274. Grass Roots "Sooner Or Later"
273. Cream "Spoonful"
272. Billy Joe Royal "I Knew You When"
271. Allen Toussaint "Soul Sister"
270. Trust "Prefabricated"
269. Blackfoot "Highway Song"
268. Axe "Rock 'N' Roll Party In The Streets"
267. Los Canarios "Peppermint Frappe"
266. Bob Dylan & The Band "Tiny Montgomery"
265. Jackson Five "ABC"
264. Nick Lowe "Heart Of The City"
263. Jason & The Scorchers "White Lies"
262. Rod Stewart "Every Picture Tells A Story"
261. Jim Carroll "Day & Night"
260. Dictators "Stay With Me"
259. Sonics "Psycho"
258. Mamas & The Papas "Go Where You Wanna Go"
257. Social Distortion "I Was Wrong"
256. Monkees "(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone"
255. Neil Young "Fuckin' Up (live acoustic)"
254. Iggy Pop "The Passenger"
253. Steve Earle "Copperhead Road"
252. Television "Marquee Moon"
251. Nick cave & The Bad Seeds "The Ballad Of Robert Moore & Betty Coltrane"
250. Wendy O. Williams "It's My Life"
249. Mountain "Theme From An Imaginary Western"
248. Patti Smith "Gloria"
247. Johnny Copeland "Sufferin' City"
246. J. Geils Band "Houseparty (live)"
245. Paul Revere & The Raiders "Just Like Me"
244. Impressions "This Is My Country"
243. ZZ Top "Jesus Just Left Chicago"
242. Harvey Averne Dozen "Never Learned to Dance"
241. Peppermint Trolley Company "Baby, You Come Rollin' Cross My Mind"
240. Elmore James "Blues Before Sunrise"
239. Motorhead & Girlschool "Please Don't Touch"
238. Hollies "Bus Stop"
237. Rainmakers "Downstream"
236. T-Rex "Children Of The Revolution"
235. Funkadelic "Super Stupid"
234. David Allan Coe "Longhaired Redneck"
233. Shirley Ellis "Nitty Gritty"
232. Captain Beefheart "Abba Zabba"
231. Bobby Womack "Across 110th Street"
230. Rainbow "All Night Long"
229. Public Enemy "Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos"
228. Graham Parker "Local Girls"
227. Monster Magnet "Space Lord (live)"
226. Chris Bell "I Got Kinda Lost"
225. Iron City Houserockers "Junior's Bar"
224. Canned Heat "On The Road Again"
223. Neil Young "Wonderin'"
222. Left Banke "Walk Away Renee"
221. Kinks "Waterloo Sunset"
220. Lynyrd Skynyrd "Was I Right Or Wrong?"
219. Joan Jett & The Blackhearts "Bad Reputation"
218. Little Eva "The Locomotion"
217. Dictators "I Stand Tall"
216. Miracles "I Gotta Dance To Keep From Crying"
215. Lou Reed "Intro/Sweet Jane (live)"
214. Twisted Sister "You Can't Stop Rock And Roll"
213. Stevie Wonder "Sir Duke"
212. Little Steven & The Disciples Of Soul "I Am A Patriot"
211. Bob Seger "Feel Like A Number"
210. Little Richard "The Girl Can't Help It"
209. Kinky Friedman "They Ain't Makin Jews Like Jesus Anymore"
208. Rolling Stones "Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing In The Shadows?"
207. Stooges "Gimme Danger"
206. Jonathan Richman & the Modern Lovers "Road Runner"
205. James Brown "Say It Loud"
204. Impressions "Choice of Colors"
203. Exciters "Do-Wah-Diddy"
202. Tom Waits "Step Right Up"
201. Fastbacks "On The Couch"
200. Jack Scott "Goodbye Baby"
199. War "Summer"
198. AC/DC "For Those About To Rock"
197. Faster Pussycat "Bathroom Wall"
196. Jive Five "My True Story"
195. Amboy Dukes "Journey To The Center Of The Mind"
194. Randy Newman "Sail Away"
193. Joe Cocker "I Think It's Going To Rain Today"
192. Deep Purple "Space Truckin' "
191. The Band "Don't Do It"
190. Rose Garden "Next Plane To London"
189. Clash "Remote Control"
188. Elvis Costello "Welcome To the Working Week"
187. Led Zeppelin "When The Levee Breaks"
186. Santana "Soul Sacrifice (live from Woodstock)"
185. Ramones "Rockaway Beach"
184. ZZ Top "Balinese"
183. Neil Young "Powderfinger (live)"
182. Boogie Down Productions "The Blueprint"
181. Alice Cooper "Eighteen"
180. Kiss "Beth"
179. Trashmen "Surfin' Bird"
178. Bruce Springsteen "Badlands"
177. Howlin' Wolf "How Many More Years"
176. Judas Priest "Livin' After Midnight"
175. Iron Maiden "Running Free"
174. Isley Brothers "It's Your Thing"
173. Joe Cocker "Cry Me A River (live)"
172. Chuck Berry "Memphis, Tennessee"
171. Detroit (feat. Mitch Ryder) "Rock 'n' Roll"
170. Talking Heads "Once In A Lifetime"
169. Jethro Tull "Hymn 43"
168. Rolling Stones "Let's Spend The night Together"
167. The Who "My Wife"
166. Beach Boys "I Get Around"
165. Manowar "Carry On"
164. Bo Diddley "Ride On Josephine"
163. Faces "Stay With Me"
162. Vandalias "Hey Now"
161. Billy Joe Shaver "Live Forever (live)"
160. Willie Nelson "Whiskey River"
159. Cadillacs "Speedo"
158. Otis Redding & Carla Thomas "Tramp"
157. Thin Lizzy "It's Only Money"
156. Nazz "Open My Eyes"
155. Bob Marley & the Wailers "get Up Stand Up"
154. Raspberries "Go All The Way"
153. Stiff Little Fingers "Barbed Wire Love"
152. Buddy Holly "Rave On"
151. Kiss "Rock And Roll All Nite"
150. Irma Thomas "Wish Someone Would Care"
149. Isley Brothers "Shout"
148. Creedence Clearwater Revival "It Came Out Of The Sky"
147. Bobby 'Blue' Bland "Ain't No Love in The Heart Of The City"
146. Flamin' Groovies "Shake Some Action"
145. Flying Burrito Brothers "Sin City"
144. Fugs "I Couldn't Get High"
143. Gear Daddies "She's Fucked Again"
142. Little Feat "Willin'"
141. Glen Glenn "One Cup Of Coffee"
140. Raspberries "Overnight sensation (Hit Record)"
139. Move "Do Ya"
138. Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers "Change Of Heart"
137. Ike & Tina Turner "Proud Mary"
136. Joe Bataan "Subway Joe"
135. Junior Walker & the All-Stars "Way back Home"
134. Metallica "For Whom the Bell Tolls"
133. Chris Farlowe "Handbags & Gladrags"
132. Rolling Stones "Under My Thumb"
131. Bruce Springsteen "Independence Day"
130. Lee Dorsey "Ride Your Pony"
129. Ramones "53rd & 3rd"
128. Small Faces "Itchycoo Park"
127. Rainbow "Since You've Been Gone"
126. Journey "Don't Stop Believin'"
125. Mudhoney "Touch Me, I'm Sick"
124. Huey 'Piano' Smith & the Clowns "Don't You Just Know It"
123. R.E.M. "It's The End Of The World As We Know It (live)"
122. Bob Dylan "Ballad Of a Thin Man"
121. Beatles "Happiness Is a Warm Gun"
120. Replacements "Color Me Impressed"
119. Richard & Linda Thompson "I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight"
118. Ricky Nelson "Hello mary Lou"
117. Robert Johnson "Come On In My Kitchen"
116. Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes "I Don't Want To Go Home"
115. Rolling Stones "Gimme Shelter"
114. Crystals "He's Sure The Boy I Love"
113. Ronnie Spector "She Talks To Rainbows"
112. Run DMC "Rock Box"
111. Soundgarden "Burden In My Hand"
110. Van Halen "Panama"
109. Spirit "Fresh Garbage"
108. Joe South "Games People Play"
107. Steely Dan "Dirty Work"
106. Frank Zappa "Joe's Garage"
105. Gary 'U.S.' Bonds "Quarter To Three"
104. Michael nesmith "Different Drum"
103. Stooges "Search & Destroy'
102. Patti Smith Group "Babelogue/Rock N' Roll Nigger"
101. Sweet "Little Willy"
100. Bellrays "Minds Eye"
99. Jefferson Airplane "Mexico"
98. Dr. Dre "Dre Day"
97. Tom Waits "Ol' 55"
96. Toots & the Maytals "Pressure Drop"
95. U2 "Jesus Christ"
94. Johnny Cash "Guess Things Happen That Way"
93. Bob Dylan "Tangled Up In Blue"
92. Ann Peebles " I Can't Stand The Rain"
91. Warren Zevon "Poor Poor Pitiful Me"
90. The Who "Pure & Easy"
89. Beatles "Ticket To Ride"
88. Yardbirds "Shapes Of Things"
87. Bruce Springsteen "Born In The U.S.A."
86. Mott The Hoople "All the Young Dudes"
85. Marvin Gaye "What's Going On?"
84. Big Star "Thirteen"
83. Bob Luman "Lonely Women Make Good Lovers"
82. Blondie "Rip Her To Shreds"
81. Blasters "Border Radio"
80. Funkadelic "Can You get To That?"
79. Lynyrd Skynyrd "Free Bird"
78. Premiers "Farmer John"
77. The Band "The Weight"
76. Prince "Let's Go Crazy (Extended Version)"
75. Pete Townshend "Rough Boys"
74. Ramones "Do You Remember Rock 'N' Roll radio"
73. Dictators "Pussy & Money"
72. Ray Charles "What'd I Say"
71. Coasters "Yakety Yak"
70. Chuck Berry "Too Much Monkey Business"
69. Rocket From the Tombs "Ain't It Fun?"
68. Rolling Stones "Paint It Black"
67. Ronettes "Be My Baby"
66. Gene Vincent & his Blue Caps "Be-Bop-A-Lula"
65. Beach Boys "Don't Worry Baby"
64. Bottle Rockets "Welfare Music"
63. Dion "The Wanderer"
62. Animals "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood"
61. Creedence Clearwater Revival "Run Through The Jungle"
60. MC5 "Kick Out The Jams"
59. David Bowie "Oh! You Pretty Things"
58. New York Dolls "Trash"
57. Black Sabbath "War Pigs"
56. Dolly Parton "Jolene"
55. Lovin' Spoonful "Summer In The City"
54. Easybeats "Friday On My Mind"
53. Eddie Floyd "Big Bird"
52. Elvis Costello "Psycho (live)"
51. Roy Orbison "Oh, Pretty Woman"
50. Everclear "Father Of Mine (Unplugged)"
49. Fastbacks "I'm Cold"
48. Jerry Lee Lewis "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On"
47. Janis Joplin "Down On Me (live)"
46. Lone Justice "Ways To Be Wicked"
45. Sly & the Family Stone "Dance To The Music"
44. Bruce Sprinsteen "Rosalita (Come Out Tonight) (live)"
43. Buffalo Springfield "Bluebird"
42. Van Morrison & the Holmes Brothers "That's Where It's At"
41. Rolling Stones "You Can't Always Get What You Want"
40. The Band "It Makes No Difference"
39. Elvis Presley "Suspicious Minds"
38. Crystals "Da Doo Ron Ron"
37. Kinks "You Really Got Me"
36. Beatles "I Saw her Standing There"
35. Bruce Springsteen "Backstreets"
34. Ramones "We're a Happy Family"
33. Merle Haggard "Mama Tried"
32. The Who "Baba O'Reily"
31. Beach Boys "California Girls"
30. Jackson Five "I Want You Back"
29. Jimi Hendrix "Are You Experienced?"
28. Sly & the Family Stone "Everyday People"
27. Love "Alone Again Or"
26. Manfred Mann "Pretty Flamingo"
25. Joan Jett "Light Of Day"
24. Fats Domino "Ain't That A Shame"
23. Elvis Presley "Trouble"
22. Tim Hardin "Reason To Believe"
21. Junior Walker & the All-Stars "Shotgun
20. Guns & Roses "Get In The Ring"
19. Jimi Hendrix "Little Wing"
18. Miracles "Tracks of My Tears"
17. James McMurtry "Where's Johnny"
16. Little Richard "Good Golly, Miss Molly"
15. Replacements "Bastards Of Young"
14. Bruce Springsteen "Thunder Road"
13. Four Tops "Reach Out (I'll Be There)"
12. Aretha Franklin "I never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You)"
11. John Prine "All The Best"
10. Beatles "A Day In The Life"
9. Rolling Stones "Sympathy For The Devil"
8. Derek & the Dominos "Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad?"
7. Bruce Springsteen "Jungleland"
6. Rolling Stones "Rocks Off"
5. Kingsmen "Louie Louie"
4. Dobie Gray "Drift Away"
3. Byrds "Eight Miles High"
2. Cheap Trick "Surrender"
1. Bob Dylan "Like A Rolling Stone"
posted by jonmc at 11:10 AM on March 23, 2007 [6 favorites]


Handsome Dick is a wonderful person;

Indeed he is. I've shot the breeze with him several times at his bar and he's always been a blast. He's a true racontuer.
posted by jonmc at 11:11 AM on March 23, 2007


Thanks, dude!
posted by pardonyou? at 11:11 AM on March 23, 2007


(also, my favorite comment I got on the blog was from mefi's dejah420, who said that her toddler son loved #24 because it made him want to dance. The kid's an obvious prodigy.)
posted by jonmc at 11:14 AM on March 23, 2007


Personally, I'm waiting for juanmc's list, and wonder whether it will include Daddy Yankee's Gasolina

On a serious note, way to go Jonmc!
posted by drezdn at 11:16 AM on March 23, 2007


Thank you, jonmc, for not sullying your list with "Jane Says." The fact that you even refer to it as a contender just knocked you out of my will and off my Christmas list. Don't make yourself one of the fourteen people on Earth who won't get a free cup of coffee when I win the lottery.

And I'm still shocked, shocked, that you don't see Christian Vander in the same light as Robin Zander.

All that said, Ima Suri Dondai, and he is jonmc!
posted by breezeway at 11:17 AM on March 23, 2007


Hey, someone else who loves The Bottle Rockets' "Welfare Music." The lyrics are so natural that it's obviously a slice of life the singer knew, at least in people around him. Henneman remains plain-spoken while being poetic at the same time -- not an easy task. I still regularly rock to "Radar Gun" whilest driving too fast. That is indeed a great, great album.
posted by Devils Rancher at 11:18 AM on March 23, 2007


It would be better if there were more Bruce Springsteen in there.

It would be none too hard to do a similar project ranking just he top 300 Bruce songs.

Seriously, though -- I am like klangklangston in that my brain doesn't take well to ranking. Invariably, there's an arbitrariness to lists like this, to me, and I can't really graspe the shades of difference that separate a 53 from a 55, say. My approach to music is more global -- four circles (songs I absolutely love, songs I like well enough to enjoy the listening, songs I find interesting but don't enjoy enough to listen to recreationally, and songs I don't like or find interesting at all). That being said, though, lists are enjoyable to read if the writing's good, regardless of what the content is. Much better to read than any 'four circles' blog. An strong organizing structure can be a good thing, and by positing something, at least it opens debate.
posted by Miko at 11:19 AM on March 23, 2007


That Rose Tattoo track fucking rocks. Good show, jon; thanks for posting, hellbient.
posted by Kwine at 11:21 AM on March 23, 2007


Kwine: all of Rose Tattoo's stuff is seriously ecxcellent. Check out 'Tramp' and 'One Of The Boys.'
posted by jonmc at 11:22 AM on March 23, 2007


5. Night
4. Reno
3. 4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)
2. Badlands
1. Incident on 57th Street

posted by Miko at 11:26 AM on March 23, 2007


Enjoyed it from the beginning - even when I didn't care for, or even listened to the song, the write-ups were always interesting.
Thanks, jonmc!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:27 AM on March 23, 2007


Nicely, nicely done.

And:
meaning that they're the songs that I, personally, like best, often for very personal reasons. 'Best' seems, to me, anyway, to imply that decisions can be universally implied, when it's based on taste, ultimately. (also, I tried to be rigorously honest about what I actually listen to, no substitutions to make myself look cooler)

should be on a pledge that everyone must sign before being allowed to talk about music.
posted by COBRA! at 11:35 AM on March 23, 2007


hat: do you honestly think it's good enough?

I honestly do. Of course, I'm a sucker for this kind of thing (you'd laugh if you saw how heavily annotated my copy of Rock Critics' Choice: The Top 200 Albums is), but so are lots of other people (which is why they keep putting out books like that), and your take on both the music and how to write about it is original and (I think) salable.

I understand the idea behind "the top 10 should nearly always be left off," but it's wrong. For one thing, the top 10 provide a good litmus test (can this person really find something interesting to say about "Like a Rolling Stone"?); for another, hell, it's only ten entries, skip 'em if you want; and for a third, nobody would buy a book that left off the top 10.

I too am curious about what klangklangston meant by "steamer." Soft-shell clam??

Currently listening to: "It Makes No Difference." Christ, The Band were great. I was going to say I'd have picked "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down," but listening to this I can't ask for anything different.
posted by languagehat at 11:39 AM on March 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


This comment alone makes me like you more than I did before jonmc. To be brutally honest, the hyperbole you employ in some of your music posts and comments (here and on MeCha) had rubbed me the wrong way in the past. Things like "this is the best guitar solo in the history of all rock-n-roll!" (I am paraphrasing) would make me cringe. But that comment makes everything better :)

I am really glad to see this project seen through and congratulate you on the hard work you obviously put into it. I have been reading the site all morning (except when I went to a doctor's appointment) and I am very impressed with the passion and research that went into this.

languagehat is probably right that this project could be a nice self-published book, but the beauty of this project is the ability to stream the songs and to follow the links to supporting information such as the youtube videos and photographs that accompany the entries. I wasn't familiar with all of the songs—and in some case I was only familiar with the cover versions of a song—so having the music right there was awesome. Thanks!

But if you do turn it into a self-published book, hopefully lh will offer to edit your horrible spelling mistakes and typos! ;)
posted by terrapin at 11:39 AM on March 23, 2007


Regarding Hanson - the song was produced by the Dust Brothers, so before we wet our pants about the guitar and how great the drums are, how do we verify that indeed Zac played the drums on the album without significant enhancement from producers known for their beats? I'm not sure myself, but I'm just saying...quite possible the kid did nothing that's distinguishable in the final product. Anyone seen them live (not that that's proof either)?

Umm...maybe me? The guy who said:

Zac's an incredible drummer, which was astounding at the time given his age.

I watched him at his shows, both from back-stage and from the audience, and saw him warm-up before shows, if that helps. I wasn't in studio for the actual production but I can attest to the fact that the kid could freakin jam.
posted by allkindsoftime at 11:46 AM on March 23, 2007


To be brutally honest, the hyperbole you employ in some of your music posts and comments (here and on MeCha)

Well, I always assumed that since we were dicussing music, which is ultimately a matter of taste, that the 'in my opinion' was always implicit.
posted by jonmc at 11:47 AM on March 23, 2007


Oh terrapin, you old charmer.
posted by Mister_A at 11:50 AM on March 23, 2007


Thanks for the title listing, jon. From that, I only recognize 85 of the 300, and it took me all the way up into the 80s before I recognized any three in a row.

Next week when I'm in Florida with nothing better to do, I will actually go through your blog and read the posts. Should be entertaining.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:54 AM on March 23, 2007


"I'm not sure whether 'steamer' is meant as a putdown, but I definitely get your point about the beginnings of these type of countdowns often being more interesting, since that's where things get quirkier and more individualistic, whereas because of what a friend of mine calles their 'undeniableness' the stuff near the top is going to be more familiar. Interesting perspective, regardless, thanks. (and I used vox cause it's free and has a very generous upload policy)."


Nah, I meant "steamer" in terms of size (massive dump) rather than quality. What, am I the only one who enjoys taking a great big shit? Though I'll cop to liking the list more as a bit by bit thing rather than seeing it all as a lump. I had much more fun reading the entries than reading the list of entries. But that's just me.

"I understand the idea behind "the top 10 should nearly always be left off," but it's wrong. For one thing, the top 10 provide a good litmus test (can this person really find something interesting to say about "Like a Rolling Stone"?); for another, hell, it's only ten entries, skip 'em if you want; and for a third, nobody would buy a book that left off the top 10."

Well, except it doesn't provide a good litmus test, at least to my eyes, and, no offense jon, I didn't see anything in the top ten that really moved me (at least not nearly as much as the stuff in the higher numbers). By the time the pressure gets down to the top ten, I think there's already such a force of consensus and canonical wisdom (no matter how our poor test example here swears it's just his opinion) that things are deformed and distorted. Unless you're putting Mmmbop as your #3 or something, it's almost always anti-climax. The only real exceptions come from lists of only ten, and then it's nearly always around number 6 that things fall apart.

Were I getting all formalist on this, I'd say that I'd be far more interested in buying a book that alluded to the top ten throughout the rest, but never made them explicit. But that's probably too much Bartholme in my blood surogate.
posted by klangklangston at 12:05 PM on March 23, 2007


(The other problem, and I'll cop to this being my fault entirely, is that I'm a sucker for the new, and nearly all of Jon's top ten I know backwards and forwards in my head, which made me less likely to listen to 'em again. Except Louie Louie, which I will never hear too often. My father says that's because I didnt' live through it).
posted by klangklangston at 12:07 PM on March 23, 2007


What an excellent site, Jon. Thank you for building it. And I agree with languagehat, it would make a good book.
posted by Songdog at 12:23 PM on March 23, 2007


I, for one, enjoy taking a great big shit. I believe I established this elsewhere, quite recently.
posted by breezeway at 12:23 PM on March 23, 2007


#301 Bonnie Raitt (with John Prine) - Angel From Montgomery

Don't know why, it just popped into my head after reading your list.
Oh, and another one I thought of while reading your list:

#302 Don Williams - Tulsa Time

Thanks for including Lou Reed and also the Animals. Old times.
Yes, I did like your recommendation.
posted by nofundy at 12:25 PM on March 23, 2007


I know that may have come off as a back-handed compliment, jonmc, but I intended it as praise :)
posted by terrapin at 12:26 PM on March 23, 2007


nofundy: GYOFB and make your own list! ;)
posted by terrapin at 12:27 PM on March 23, 2007


Yeah, yeah, whatever you say terrapin. :-)

Angel From Montgomery
posted by nofundy at 12:35 PM on March 23, 2007


I love that song, nofundy. Saw them both perform it live at the Santa Barbara bowl the night Jackson Browne debuted his I'm Alive CD. Had burritos with all three of them later than night and got stoned with Jackson's personal assistant on a hill behind the stage. Shortly after smoking up, I felt a hand on my shoulder and heard someone whisper near my ear "this is fuckin' great" and I turned to see it was John Prine. I think I babbled "umm, yeah."

Ahhh, memories.
posted by terrapin at 12:46 PM on March 23, 2007


#303 Mountain - Mississippi Queen

#304 JJ Cale - Magnolia

#305 George Thorogood - Who Do You Love?

#306 Kinks - Lola

#307 Sonny Rollins - Brand New Tennessee Waltz

#308 Paul Simon - Kodachrome

#309 Louis Armstrong - What a Wonderful World

#310 ...

Oh, wait, I'm not jonmc ...
posted by nofundy at 12:46 PM on March 23, 2007


Jonmc - just a thought - could you add dates to these? - I'm having trouble working out what my musical "ages" are.
posted by adamvasco at 12:46 PM on March 23, 2007


Great list jon, I've been reading it all morning and I find the writeups, even the ones on songs I know really well, are all interesting.

As far as the concept of lists go, I used to make the argument of "What's the difference between #234 and #235?" Then I realized that this complaint is pretty hollow and misses the point. For both the writer and the reader, there isn't much difference between those at #110 and those at #170. The list format is just a device to get people interested and to keep them reading. If it was 300 songs without any numbering I'm sure people would get tired pretty quick, but when you're at #123 out of 300 you think "I'm nearly halfway there, I'll keep reading."

The important thing is that jon put his thoughts out there and they are quite entertaining to read. If you feel that you can make a similar post but are afraid of getting bogged down with which song you'll put at #82, just start thinking of songs and number them as you write them down. Whatever comes to mind first is probably going to be up near the top anyway. This isn't even a definitive list for jon, if he did it again I'm sure the rankings would probably look quite different.
posted by crashlanding at 12:47 PM on March 23, 2007


Wow, what an excellent site, Jon.

So good, I spent my entire lunch break on it. I only get one of those a day, you know.

I'm even willing to forgive you the 'white text on dark barckground' thing.

I'll have to check this out later on when I have the time to read (and listen!) to the rest of it.

Thank you. You have made my day better.
posted by Afroblanco at 12:50 PM on March 23, 2007


My list would look a lot like this, but with every Springsteen song replaced by a Metallica song.
posted by Mister_A at 1:04 PM on March 23, 2007


225. Iron City Houserockers "Junior's Bar"

Dude, rock on. Joe's the best. Special Ed teacher by day, unsung rock hero by night.

On "Have a Good Time But Get Out Alive" Junior's Bar is immediately preceded by Old Man Bar, the same tune played slowly to a downbeat accordian accompaniment and Tom Waits-worthy lyrics. As one reviewer noted, when you listen to the album you come to realiize that the kid on the make in Junior's Bar ("I hope I don't go home alone tonight") is destined to end up as the lonely drunk in Old Man Bar ("I hope that no one sees me here tonight"). Just heartbreaking stuff, and pure rock and roll genius to put them the two songs in reverse order on the album.

Being a Joe Grushecky fan sometimes feels like rooting for Joe Shlabotnik. Back in the '90s a friend of mine heard Grushecky was going to play the Park West in Chicago and called for tickets 10 minutes after they went on sale. To our amazement, the show was sold out—because some Bruce fans found out that Springsteen would be playing guitar on Grushecky's mini-tour (Springsteen had produced the album American Babylon.) Outside the venue on the night of the show the scalpers were touting "Springsteen tickets!" We bought two and were just about the only ones in the place who'd even heard of Grushecky. Great show, of course.
posted by stargell at 2:03 PM on March 23, 2007


God, this is wonderful. I feel compelled to keep coming back and mentioning songs that blow me away, both those I've loved for years, like the Dolls' "Trash" and the Blasters' "Border Radio" (I found out about the Blasters while they were still on the Rollin' Rock label, and I still can't believe they didn't Hit It Big), and those I'm discovering now, like Rocket From the Tombs ("Ain't It Fun" is fucking terrifying).

This is like listening to the greatest radio station in the world.
posted by languagehat at 2:28 PM on March 23, 2007


Seriously, where is Styx? The Best of Times anyone?

Solid list. It wouldn't be my top 300, but it's pretty hard to argue with.

Oh, and the "4000 holes in Blackburn, Lancashire" line comes from the same newspaper issue that the verse about the guy who died in a car came from (The Daily Mail from either Dec. 18th 1966 or January 17th 1967, Google informs me). It's about the state of the roads in Blackburn, apparently that's how many potholes there were in the city.
posted by Kattullus at 2:31 PM on March 23, 2007


Cool stuff Jon...as I started flipping through the list I bumped into "Trudy" and thought I would share a little lost music serendipity. Just after Christmas I bought a new TV and was cleaning out the electronics cabinet to hook up wiring...in the back with the dust bunnies there were a couple of 20+ year old homemade cassettes. One of them was a serious beer drinkin collection that my college roommates would jam into the tape player at about 1:30 in the morning. Stuck right in the middle between Jerry Jeff Walker and Waylon Jennings was CDB and "Trudy." I must have listened to that tune hundreds of times but hadn't heard it in literally decades. I quickly downloaded it and have been wearing it out on my ipod. Lotsa music that I dont recognize from bands that I do...I forsee many hours picking through your list for more great ideas...thanks for doing the heavy lifting...Holy Smokes! Jason & the Scorchers! :^)
posted by cyclopz at 2:31 PM on March 23, 2007


Cool, a blog.
posted by melt away at 3:23 PM on March 23, 2007


Where's Stairway?
posted by cortex at 4:21 PM on March 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


NO STAIRWAY.

DENIED.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:54 PM on March 23, 2007


jonmc's 300 most favorite songs
I don't care.
posted by jouke at 5:02 PM on March 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


#19 Jimi Hendrix, Little Wing. I rarely hear it, but whenever I do I'm glad. I'd trade a million billion guitar solos for another Little Wing.
posted by ferdydurke at 5:05 PM on March 23, 2007


I read jonmc way back when - View From The Counter, then the original Cockeyed - and have always been major-ly impressed with his insight, his words, and his knowledge. I was delighted to see him begin this list several weeks ago, and mad mad props to him for the well-deserved kudos here.

I think Jon should be paid to write professionally. Not just about music, either - this guy is all over it.
posted by davidmsc at 8:30 PM on March 23, 2007


I am sure I read that you were compiling such a list when you started your site. I think you had perhaps five entries when I first saw it. Somehow that escaped me over time as I went back now and then to listen to a new entry and see your comments. Now that the whole opus is complete, well, that is pretty cool, you know with the comments, the music to listen to and all your work. I still think you failed to appreciate Jim Carroll though. Dylan at number one, I think that is about right.
posted by caddis at 9:02 PM on March 23, 2007


caddis - 261. Jim Carroll "Day & Night"
posted by hellbient at 9:18 PM on March 23, 2007


That is an excellent extended bit of writing, jonmc. Interesting, informative, insightful. If you've not already done so, you ought to be doing rock criticism professionally.

Good post and gratifying to see such nice work from a mefite who's so familiar to all of us.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:18 PM on March 23, 2007


Wow. Thank you. Haven't heard Abba Zabba in far too long. Also, this is the kind of list where the known tunes are such that the unknown ones are now things I want to listen to. Well, almost all of them.

Obviously, if anyone makes a list of 300 great tunes for them, everyone else will be able to snipe at this or that inclusion or omission, and as has been said elsewhere in special acronyms, have your own go at it then, why don't you, if you want one with Stairway in it.

Writing's pretty damn good too, I note in passing, as I try and navigate down to 'Running Free'.
posted by motty at 9:54 PM on March 23, 2007


Great list, but it looks like you are of the school that maintains people stopped making good music [x] years ago?
posted by tehloki at 10:00 PM on March 23, 2007


It's a pleasure to see so many soulful ladies on your list. That Ronnie Spector version of "She Talks to Rainbows" is sublime. "Little Sparrow" would be my choice it but it's good to see Dolly, so often underestimated as an artist, get a mention. I've been on a Sly and the Family Stone kick of late -- "Underdog" and "Trip to Your Heart" in particular -- so it's good to see them too. You have my respect for writing with passion and honesty about what you love. Well done and thanks.
posted by melissa may at 10:25 PM on March 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


My next step will probably be to dig out the strangest songs in my collection, rank free since that's beyond subjective. Should bend a few minds though.
posted by jonmc at 10:31 PM on March 23, 2007


That is an awesome next step.
posted by furiousthought at 11:34 PM on March 23, 2007


Proceed.
posted by homunculus at 11:46 PM on March 23, 2007


it looks like you are of the school that maintains people stopped making good music [x] years ago?

tehloki, people definitely stopped making good music [x] years ago. Didn't you know?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:23 AM on March 24, 2007


I like Dutch psychedelic trance. Am I broken? If I were to make such a list of favorite songs, about half of them would be electronic to some degree.
posted by tehloki at 2:32 AM on March 24, 2007


Then again, most of the groups in jonmc's list were defunct long before I was born, so I really don't have the same experience of music.
posted by tehloki at 2:33 AM on March 24, 2007


I like Dutch psychedelic trance. Am I broken?

most of the groups in jonmc's list were defunct long before I was born...


Well, tehloki, *in my best clueless middle-ager voice*: I reckon I'm a bit older than you, but I had myself a good Dutch psychedelic trance or two back in the day! Some potent 'shrooms over there in Holland, I'm tellin' ya!

But seriously folks... jonmc is a meat-and-potatos, non-electronica kinda guy. He's sorta charming that way, don't you think? And nah, you ain't broken. But there's certainly a lot to be said for listening to groups that were defunct long before you were born, and with the miracle of wax cylinder recording and every sound-capturing technology that's come since, there's no reason to not be intimately familiar with all sorts of ooooold music, from Charley Patton on up!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:12 AM on March 24, 2007


I make lists for my groceries.
posted by juiceCake at 6:29 AM on March 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


I make lists for my groceries.

Yeah, but I bet when you list, say, carrots, corn flakes and butter you don't ponder what it is you like about carrots, corn flakes and butter, then collect those thoughts and spin them into entertaining and enlightening commentary that others might enjoy reading.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:57 AM on March 24, 2007


When I listen to Aphex Twin, my playlists look like freaky tripped-out shopping lists.

-Grass
-Mold
-1 Stone, in Focus
-10 Cocks
posted by tehloki at 7:15 AM on March 24, 2007


My list would look a lot like Mister_A's, only with all the Metallica replaced by Springsteen.
posted by Kwine at 8:12 AM on March 26, 2007


I disagree with many of your choices Jon (no surprise there, personal taste and all...), and I think your musical knowledge is sketchy once you venture from the music you love, but it was a very good read. That said:

Stevie Ray Vaughn "Life by The Drop"

It's a good song, but it certainly isn't representative of what he was about musically. Such a talented guitarist and showman, and this isn't it.

Kiss "Beth"

Again, a bit of an anomaly for kiss. What ruined it for me is hearing criss sing it in concert. Possibly one of the worst voices ever recorded, bad enough that it should keep it off any list (and yes, I know, the voice of the common man, but even the common man shouldn't scare away cats).

Metallica "For Whom the Bell Tolls"

Ride the Lightning was a transitional album for Metallica. Cliff Burton had little influence on killem all. It's definitely on lighting, but much more apparent on Puppets, metallica's peak. Burton dies, and Metallica was never the same. Should have been something from Puppets (and Lars has never been a precise drummer, to the point of being a joke among the other band members).

Guns & Roses "Get In The Ring"

Weirdest choice for me. Just an awful song. Nothing in it even resembles what was so great on jungle. The only thing memorable is the obvious signs of Rose's Paranoia that would eventually destroy the band.

Hanson "Mmm Bop"

I saw Hanson live several times (on tv) and there were always several shadow musicians in the background helping out. Better than a boy band no doubt, but I think we're overstating their musicianship.

To be brutally honest, the hyperbole you employ in some of your music posts and comments (here and on MeCha) had rubbed me the wrong way in the past. Things like "this is the best guitar solo in the history of all rock-n-roll!" (I am paraphrasing) would make me cringe.
posted by terrapin


Agreed, and the hyperbole that does sneak through is my only complaint.

Robert Johnson was, by far, the greatest and most influential of the blues singers to arise from the Mississippi Delta in the 1930's.

I'm a huge robert johnson fan, but that statement is simply wrong. Johnson's legacy has been enhanced by his legend. Johnson himself believed there were better musicians. B.B. King has said in interviews Johnson was considered just one of many until clapton decided to make johnson his god.

Speaking of blues, it's a shame to have srv on the list and buddy guy no where to be found, but the biggest name left off the list, especially considering the multiple rolling stones songs, is Muddy Waters.

And that's what makes this the most utterly human song ever written, and that's why it's my favorite.

I don't even know what that means, but I'm thinking some of those storied blues legends would disagree very strongly.
posted by justgary at 10:28 PM on March 26, 2007


This post really makes me feel better about jonmc - he's so much better when he has room to stretch out and explain his tastes rather than making terse pronouncements as he does so often in MeFi threads.

I'm another Jason and the Scorchers fan - saw them a couple of times in Manchester in the Eighties.

Imagine a small pub (the Gallery, for those interested) filled way beyond capacity with drunk lads all singing along with J & the C's as they played Sweet Home Alabama and the dark Manchester rain pounded down outside.

Imagine a short geeky teen standing on a bar stool at the back, drunk and unsteady on his feet. Unsteady to the point of falling over, knocking over other larger teens in a domino cascade as the band watched, laughed and never missed a note.

Under normal circumstances that would have been good enough reason for a major fight, but the band played on and smiled and all was good.

Anyway - there's some great stuff there and it's wonderfully justified. Thanks for the post hellbient and thanks for the blog jonmc.

I'd trade a million billion guitar solos for another Little Wing.

Me too.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 11:24 PM on March 26, 2007


Wow. Good stuff, jonmc.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 8:14 AM on March 27, 2007


Yeah, but I bet when you list, say, carrots, corn flakes and butter you don't ponder what it is you like about carrots, corn flakes and butter, then collect those thoughts and spin them into entertaining and enlightening commentary that others might enjoy reading.

Actually, the list leads to many interesting conversations on the origin of dishes and the wonders of cuisine. So you lose the bet. Carrots, cornflakes, and butter, is something I'll pass on.
posted by juiceCake at 9:11 AM on March 30, 2007


I'm a little late to the game, but good post, and good blog.

Thanks to hellbient & jonmc!
posted by Bearman at 10:14 AM on March 30, 2007


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