Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Ralph's Rockin' Five

A panel for the Louisville Courier-Journal has chosen the Top Five Greatest Rock Songs Ever. Here they are:

1. "Satisfaction," the Rolling Stones
2. "Born to Run," Bruce Springsteen
3. "Johnny B. Goode," Chuck Berry
4. "Respect," Aretha Franklin
5. "Walk This Way," Aerosmith

What do they know?

It's a good discussion starter, but everyone will come up with their own list. First, define your terms. What is rock? What makes it great? Why five?

Here's my list, and it's very idiosyncratic. They aren't the greatest, the best played, the best written, the most influential, or the ones with the profoundest lyrics. I only had one criterion. These are the songs that, with the inevitability of a chemical reaction, get me up in 5 seconds (or less) and cause me to jump up and down, wherever I am, and play air guitar while singing the words.

You won't know some of them.

1. "Gimme Shelter," the Rolling Stones
2. "What's the Frequency Kenneth?" REM
3. "Obviously 5 Believers," Bob Dylan
4. "Don't Do It," the Band
5. "Mississippi Queen," Mountain

Honorable mention (takes 6 seconds): "Paper Thin," John Hiatt; "Black Math," the White Stripes; "Crossroads," Cream; "Killing Floor," Electric Flag; "Two Fat Feet," the Fiery Furnaces; "Won't Get Fooled Again," the Who.

I know: slanted towards classic rock. Sorry, them's my roots. What are your favorites?


John W Leys said...

Off the top of my head I'd have to go with

1) Won't Get Fooled Again - The Who
2) Burning Love - Elvis
3) Subterranian Homesick Blues - Bob Dylan
4) Awaiting on You All - George Harrison
5) Baba O'Reily - The Who

Michael said...

The only common thread I can think of for my top five are that I like a certain kind of forward-motion feeling in the music, and I veer towards the great music of the 80s (which in my mind was interrupted by the hair bands and not defined by them, no matter what some may say):

1) New Year's Day - U2
2) Red Rain - Peter Gabriel
3) It Can Happen - Yes
4) Enter Sandman - Metallica
5) Daytripper - The Beatles

Honorable mention - "Pride" - U2, "She Blinded Me With Science" - Thomas Dolby