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1000 best songs from 1955-2005
June 20, 2007 6:29 AM   Subscribe

The Definitive 1000 Songs Of All Time 1955 to 2005. They are up to 601 at the moment
posted by wheelieman (64 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Who are these people and what's the point of something like this?
posted by thirteenkiller at 6:32 AM on June 20, 2007


Clocking in at a impressive 11.45 minutes, this gem, i would presume never got played from start to finish on a local radio station , your welcome to correct me if you can recall '72 coherently. I have read vigourisously that it was "Poo Bah'd" if a song clocked longer than 3 minutes in the old days due to stringent radio control.
That's is sum written rite their. Pourly espressed an factuitously rong.
posted by Floydd at 6:35 AM on June 20, 2007


People love lists. We evolved to love lists. Cavemen made lists.
posted by MarshallPoe at 6:35 AM on June 20, 2007


Is this something I would have to have free time to be able to appreciate?
posted by cerebus19 at 6:37 AM on June 20, 2007


Totally subjective list with no given reason for existence other than "merely to question Rolling Stone Magazine's Top 500 Songs" and no given selection criteria whatsoever!

Eye-bending layout and popup ads!

Content lifted (uncredited) from other sites including fye.com and wikipedia!

Yes folks, this list truly has it all!!!!
posted by googly at 6:39 AM on June 20, 2007


I respect the work and the thoroughness, but Human League? *shudders*
posted by jonmc at 6:40 AM on June 20, 2007


Your favorite 1,000 bands suck.
posted by zardoz at 6:43 AM on June 20, 2007


What, no Tony DeFranco and the DeFranco Family? Consider this list "Poo Bah'd."
posted by Floydd at 6:43 AM on June 20, 2007


Ambitious. Can't speak to the content as yet, but dumping that enormous fucking pop-up? YES PLEASE.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:44 AM on June 20, 2007


Is this something I would have to have free time to be able to appreciate?

I've been finding myself with hours and hours of free time. Some days I wake up screaming "Dear God! WHY can't I find something to do?" I still can't appreciate this list.
posted by piratebowling at 6:45 AM on June 20, 2007


Also, what's up with the random fan art from "The Crow"?
posted by piratebowling at 6:48 AM on June 20, 2007


also, I did it first and better. nyahnyahnyah!
posted by jonmc at 6:51 AM on June 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


You did "making a list of songs" first?
posted by Wolfdog at 6:55 AM on June 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


Definitive? Such a strange word for such a subjective endeavor.
posted by caddis at 6:56 AM on June 20, 2007


well, blog and mefi wise. and I definitely did it better.
posted by jonmc at 6:57 AM on June 20, 2007


They are definitive songs. Like, "This, you can be sure, is a song."
posted by Wolfdog at 6:57 AM on June 20, 2007


The only thing worse than lists are listmakers' justifications as to why their selection process was anything more than completely subjective and arbitrary. You're either preaching to the converted or picking a fight--it doesn't matter whether you're a recognized rock critic or a guy from New Zealand with enough time on his hands to seek out Helen Reddy performances on YouTube.
posted by thivaia at 7:01 AM on June 20, 2007


Wow, tough room. I guess I won't be posting my "THE DEFINITIVE 100,000 PEOPLE OF ALL TIME 1955-2005" to projects anytime soon. Which is okay, I guess, since I'm only up to 60,010.
posted by hermitosis at 7:01 AM on June 20, 2007


*waiting for the bitching about Rock the Casbah at 999*
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:03 AM on June 20, 2007


I gotta say I love the fact that they've put so much work into the history and background -- very thorough. but I had to close the window what I got to Christopher Cross' Sailing.

Yacht Rock. Bleargh.
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:03 AM on June 20, 2007


>>> Also, what's up with the random fan art from "The Crow"?

This confused me, too. Then I figured it out. If the song's artist is dead, their post gets a visit from Eric Draven.

Of course.
posted by grabbingsand at 7:06 AM on June 20, 2007


*waiting for the bitching about Rock the Casbah at 999*

Actually I was kind of fascinated by his statement that no one, outside of a few critics, really likes The Clash.

I must have missed that memo.
posted by thivaia at 7:10 AM on June 20, 2007


Oldies stations do this every summer.
posted by DU at 7:13 AM on June 20, 2007


Where did they rank Mortician's Hacked up for Barbecue? I assume it's in there somewhere.
posted by The Straightener at 7:25 AM on June 20, 2007


I am making a list called The Greatest Things Ever Made in the History of the Universe from the Start of Time until the Massive Explosion that Burns Us All. It covers one gin and tonic I drank in March of 1992.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:45 AM on June 20, 2007 [4 favorites]


We're looking for someone who doesn't immediately 'Pooh Bah' everything he eats.
posted by Flashman at 7:45 AM on June 20, 2007


First thing when I went to the site (after being annoyed by the pop-up ad):

"Papa Was A Rolling Stone"

Clocking in at a impressive 11.45 minutes, this gem, i would presume never got played from start to finish on a local radio station, your welcome to correct me if you can recall '72 coherently. I have read vigourisously that it was "Poo Bah'd" if a song clocked longer than 3 minutes in the old days due to stringent radio control.

Realized the guy was a moron, came back here to say so. (And yes, the song did get played from start to finish on the radio. Golly! What times those were!)

I gotta say I love the fact that they've put so much work into the history and background


Except, as googly said:

Content lifted (uncredited) from other sites including fye.com and wikipedia!

posted by languagehat at 7:47 AM on June 20, 2007


Yaaay, another list of things that I'll probably disagree with. And this one's really long, too!
posted by Afroblanco at 7:47 AM on June 20, 2007


1955-2005 /= all time

also, fuck this shit.
posted by es_de_bah at 7:57 AM on June 20, 2007


Here, I sit, eagerly anticipating The Definitive 1000 Songs Of All Time, 1355 to 1405.
posted by koeselitz at 8:09 AM on June 20, 2007


I've really got to question Twist and Shout at #894.
posted by PHINC at 8:14 AM on June 20, 2007


koeselitz

Your favorite monastic chant sucks.
posted by Sangermaine at 8:15 AM on June 20, 2007


vigourisously

I don't know what to make of this word. Help?
posted by danb at 8:16 AM on June 20, 2007


Terrible design. When Maddox out-designs you, something is wrong.

As far as the list goes, I have no idea. I couldn't get past the first page.

It's not that the Clash are at 999, its that they wrote better songs than Rock the Casbah.
posted by jeffamaphone at 8:18 AM on June 20, 2007


I thought it meant vigorously, then I thought it meant vicariously. But now I think it means vigourisously.
posted by goatdog at 8:19 AM on June 20, 2007


seriously. The Definitive Songs of all time from 1955-2005? What do these songs define and how is 1955-2005 all time?
posted by shmegegge at 8:19 AM on June 20, 2007


OH! Maybe it's that these songs define the period of 1955-2005 better than any other songs from all of history. So the 1812 overture, for instance, while bang on for 1812, just doesn't compare to Rock The Casbah where 1956 is concerned.
posted by shmegegge at 8:20 AM on June 20, 2007


I'm working on a The Definitive 1000 Songs Of 2008-2062.

53: Burnswild Funk: »Let Me Love You (Come On!!!)«
Yes, Jean Paul Gosselaar may have been the first artist to release a swirling orb featuring the wonderful sounds of a mellotrue, but Burnswild Funk was the first band to use that instrument properly. This, their debut orb, is one of the finest examples of early palaver-swizz and it's an epic drama. The Nu-Strain break at 1:44 is the grrrrove and the dolphin singers compliment the soundscape perfectly. All in all an amazing achievment and it, of course, lay the foundation of many, many things to come. Plug in your iNeurons and switch/on the mp6 here.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 8:22 AM on June 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


Jean Paul Gosselaar

Is he in some way related to Mark Paul Gosselaar?
posted by shmegegge at 8:36 AM on June 20, 2007


shmegegge: Dude, where have you been? You really ought to pick up a copy of New! Improved! Hello! FOX MARK magazine once in a while. Yeah, Jean Paul is his son. His and Maria Shriver's.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 8:45 AM on June 20, 2007


"papa was a rolling stone" is 11.45 minutes long?? the radio version i've heard is only 3-4 minutes. until i got to l-hat's comment, i assumed the 11.45 minute song was "in-a-gadda-da-vida".
posted by bruce at 9:00 AM on June 20, 2007


Some time back Rolling Stone Magazine came out with their own list. It was obviously an egocentric one because the top two songs were Bob Dylan's "I'm a Rolling Stone" and "Satisfaction" by The Rolling Stones. Those two songs allegedly beat out "Imagine." Admittedly I'm a little biased towards John Lennon, but "Imagine" is in my not so humble opinion a better song than most anything either the Stones or Dylan ever dished out. Your mileage will no doubt vary.

There's too many of these list things. It's so subjective. There's no objective criteria. Maybe someday, someone will make a list of the one thousand best lists of this sort of all time. Then one could distill another list from comparisons of all those lists... and we still wouldn't know anything more than we do now.
posted by ZachsMind at 9:12 AM on June 20, 2007


Rolling Stone's list

According to Wikipedia, the album version of "Papa Was a Rolling Stone" is 11:47; the edited single is 6:54.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:45 AM on June 20, 2007


Bob Dylan's "I'm a Rolling Stone"

It's 'Like A Rolling Stone.' Just so you know.
posted by jonmc at 9:51 AM on June 20, 2007


It's hard to take seriously any page that has a picture of "The Crow" on it.
posted by interrobang at 9:54 AM on June 20, 2007


The Definitive 1000 Songs Of All Time 1955 to 2005.

Finally, we can get this settled once and for all!
posted by obvious at 9:57 AM on June 20, 2007


Even CKLW, which was a Top 40 "Boss" format station, sometimes played the full version of "Papa Was a Rolling Stone." Usually late at night, though. Probably to give the DJ time to run to the can. Plus the Temps were from Detroit, so it's logical their hometown would play the whole song.
posted by Oriole Adams at 10:01 AM on June 20, 2007


In 1990, Was (Not Was) came out with a version of "Papa Was A Rolling Stone" that blew everybody away. I doubt you'll ever see their version on any of these silly lists. Don Was rocks.
posted by ZachsMind at 10:40 AM on June 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


Actually, jonmc, that wasn't a careless error by Zachsmind. It was a cunning reference to the allegation that "Dylan got the idea from the Hank Williams song 'Lost Highway,' which contains the line, 'I'm a rolling stone, I'm alone and lost.'"
posted by googly at 10:41 AM on June 20, 2007


Here, I sit, eagerly anticipating The Definitive 1000 Songs Of All Time, 1355 to 1405.

"L'homme armé" better come in at #1 or I'm calling foul.
posted by languagehat at 10:49 AM on June 20, 2007


Thanks for trying to help, Googly. However, I freely admit it was a careless error, cuz I really don't give a crap about Bob Dylan. Despite my awareness that he was an integral and formative catalyst for music history through the sixties and seventies, and also inspired many talented people whom I do admire, objectively the music he himself churned out leaves me pining for stereophonic chalkboard scratching.

Was (Not Was) is their own top one thousand list of great songs. They cover such a wide range of genres and had such amazing energy, with all kinds of visiting talents throughout their discography, they're like a whole list of cool songs from different bands, yet I doubt you'd ever see them on these lists. Truly unsung heroes of music.
posted by ZachsMind at 10:54 AM on June 20, 2007


Hums "Zaz Turned Blue."
posted by Floydd at 12:12 PM on June 20, 2007


Floydd's link to npr.org reminded me of their NPR 100 which came out around the turn of the millenium. I think this is one of the better lists of its kind. It endeavors to cover the history of American music overall for an entire century, but being ethnocentric to the US, it's far too focused to be more than a novelty.
posted by ZachsMind at 12:38 PM on June 20, 2007


It was worth it only for linking to this (YouTube).
posted by evilcolonel at 1:00 PM on June 20, 2007


How u mine fish?
posted by SentientAI at 1:03 PM on June 20, 2007


I like it, thanks for posting.

Although, this worries me:

Rockers Online

United States: 10
Canada: 9
Netherlands: 1
Germany: 1
21 Rockers 4 countries


Who's the German? Speak up, Kraut.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 1:49 PM on June 20, 2007


Wow, tough room. I guess I won't be posting my "THE DEFINITIVE 100,000 PEOPLE OF ALL TIME 1955-2005" to projects anytime soon. Which is okay, I guess, since I'm only up to 60,010.

What number am I?
posted by misha at 2:00 PM on June 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


Or how about the definitive 1,000,000 numbers of all time?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 2:14 PM on June 20, 2007


So far...

12 Songs from the 1950s
40 Songs from the 1960s
100 Songs from the 1970s
128 Songs from the 1980s
99 Songs from the 1990s
19 Songs from the 2000s

Aw yeah! Suck it 1950s and 60s and 00s! You've been pwn3d by the 70s, 80s and 90s. In your face 60s-loving Rolling Stone! Boo Ya!

(also, the author has responded to some of your comments on the front of this)
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:25 PM on June 20, 2007


Zachsmind: In 1990, Was (Not Was) came out with a version of "Papa Was A Rolling Stone" that blew everybody away.

Abso-fucking-lutely. I love the original, but that's one of the best cover/updates of a Motown classic ever. I still keep the first three songs from Are You Okay on my iPod. Last I saw of Sir Harry Bowens and Sweet Pea Atkinson, they were singing backup for Lyle Lovett. I kinda thought they deserved better than that, though I s'pose a job's a job.
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:36 PM on June 20, 2007


Wow. You can snark all you want, but the guy's responding to us, and that's worth something.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:15 PM on June 20, 2007


Good, people are finally starting to turn against Top X lists. I strongly dislike them.

Top 10 Reasons Why, in my opinion, Top X lists suck:
  1. They always seem to allow for either too many or too few items. The list ends up excluding something really important or having a bunch of filler.
  2. That tendency to have too many or too few items makes Top X lists a really facile way to create controversy and drive people to your site/blog/YouTubery/whatever. Far too many people will instantly say "How could you possible exclude XYZ?!?" or "XYZ?!? Are you insane?" And it'll bring people to you like moths to a really good fistfight.
  3. About half the time, the things they're listing aren't even what they're supposed to be talking about. Top 10 Reasons Linux Sucks? Half of it'll be about Windows, not actually about Linux. Top 5 Baby Names To Avoid? Half of them will be names that are actually incredibly cool.
  4. Lists are sometimes appropriate, but in the same way that Powerpoint presentations are: only for certain subject matter, and only when carefully applied.
  5. They usually have no cohesive ideas, just random snark with very little context.
  6. They foster short attention spans.
That's my opinion, anyway.
posted by jiawen at 7:28 PM on June 20, 2007


Bottom Line: Calling his list 'definitive' is begging for criticism, and not necessarily the good, constructive kind. I'd constructively start criticism by saying, "stop calling it definitive, cuz it's not, and it ain't never gonna be." It's a list put together by one brain, and no more or less definitive than any other alleged definitive list out there.

I've made lists of what I believe to be best movies and put it up at my online journal, but I don't call it definitive. Even if you took a million people's lists and compared them, then picked the ones that majorities of people chose, you couldn't call the final result definitive. It's an impossible goal, and it's not truth in advertising.
posted by ZachsMind at 12:34 PM on June 21, 2007


I almost made this an AskMe thread but I thought better of it.

I reluctantly admit that in recent days, this has been sitting on my head and crushing it: is it remotely possible to come up with an actual 'definitive' list of best songs of the past fifty years or so?

I hesitate to do this but my curiosity has got the better of me. I'm thinking to make this work you'd need something like a 'board' or 'community' of people, self-appointed, to objectively agree upon X number of already formulated lists, then determine a criteria for songs to include.

However, the problem starts with the people. Why would these people have any more or less right to determine what's best definitively? Maybe they can't be appointed. Maybe you'd need certain kinds of people for it to be valid, but someone's always going to argue that because Y kind of person wasn't included they're not gonna accept the list as definitive. What'd make it definitive?

There must be some process for this - some objective system - something that'd surpass mere subjective opinion and achieve a more objective criteria.

Or is it patently absurd to even use words like 'best,' 'greatest,' or 'definitive' when it comes to music? Or movies for that matter, or anything artistic whose value depends so intrinsically upon the eye/ear of the beholder?

Maybe something that surpasses lists. Maybe some way to catalogue songs the way books get catalogued for libraries. Some kinda dewey decimal system that rates a song not on subjective criteria but on what the listener is looking for in terms of content.

...or does this already exist?
posted by ZachsMind at 2:25 PM on June 24, 2007


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