Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs 460-451

460. “My Sweet Lord” – George Harrison (1970)
Even though The Beatles were mainly focused on McCartney and Lennon, George Harrison penned some of their greatest work, most notably “Something,” the best track on the acclaimed Abbey Road. But this song, which I had never heard before now, may top them all. This is simply music at its best, something all of The Beatles knew something about.
Burnes’ Turns: Yes
Top 500 Consideration: Yes

459. “Paradise City” – Guns N’ Roses (1987)
Speaking of music at its best, you won’t find a Rock n’ Roll anthem in history that can top “Paradise City.” Though “Welcome to the Jungle” is an excellent track worthy of Top 500 contention, “Paradise City” is even better. In a catalog full of perfection, “Paradise City” rises near the peak of Guns N’ Roses work, despite its status as a popular track that casual listeners who couldn’t tell “Right Next Door to Hell” from “Perfect Crime” still love. Simply, it’s one of the greatest songs of all time. Period.
Burnes’ Turns: Yes
Top 500 Consideration: Yes

458. “Cupid” – Sam Cooke (1961)
I don’t claim to be the best Sam Cooke historian or enthusiast, but I did know this song well before I heard it here. I originally liked it enough to put in Burnes’ Turns, but then it fell from grace and was removed. I still like it a lot, but it’s just not really unique enough to warrant multiple listens unless you heard it before you heard all of the other Soul songs from this era that sound just like it.
Burnes’ Turns: No
Top 500 Consideration: No

457. “The Twist” – Chubby Checker (1960)
This one is better than it has any right to be. It’s really just another one of those typical Rock and Roll songs about “dancing” (laden with innuendo) except this one was performed by a significantly less famous artist. But somehow, I like it better than a lot of the Chuck Berry and Little Richard songs this one rips off. It’s still pretty much just a novelty song, but as far as those go, it’s about as good as you can expect.
Burnes’ Turns: No
Top 500 Consideration: No

456. “Penny Lane” – The Beatles (1967)
“Penny Lane” has never been my favorite Beatles song and hasn’t held a place in my playlist for years, but returning to it after all that time, it’s better than I remember. There are just so many little musical jingles throughout that you really have to be plugged in to notice, and McCartney’s vocals here are fantastic. The Fab Four made lots of better music, but my spot for this song has gotten a lot softer with this replay.
Burnes’ Turns: Yes
Top 500 Consideration: Yes

455. “Heroin” – The Velvet Underground (1967)
Masterpiece. That’s what I think when I hear the opening distorted chords of this seven-minute epic that sounds like I imagine a Heroin trip may feel. I’ll never know for sure, but I do know that there’s never been a piece of music written that even closely resembles this. At times it’s pretty. Then it’s painful. But it’s always gripping, fascinating, and dangerously addicting.
Burnes’ Turns: Yes
Top 500 Consideration: Yes

454. “Leader of the Pack” – The Shangri-Las (1964)
Well that escalated quickly. This is the first time I’ve ever heard this Phil Spector wall-of-sound ripoff, and throughout the first couple of minutes it’s exactly that. But this breakup anthem takes a dark turn when the now-dumped boyfriend gets hit by oncoming traffic. Yikes. It’s a totally different take on the light-hearted and innocent subject matter these types of songs usually cover, and all of the tire-screeching sound effects make it absolutely haunting. Step aside, KISS.
Burnes’ Turns: Yes
Top 500 Consideration: Yes

453. “Pressure Drop” – Toots and The Maytals (1973)
This reggae track sounds awesome at first, but Bob Marley this certainly isn’t. The track just never really goes anywhere from its excellent opening, and it’s hurt significantly because of that. You’re better off just sticking to the Reefer King himself, because even his deepest tracks offer more than this ripoff.
Burnes’ Turns: No
Top 500 Consideration: No

452. “Come as You Are” – Nirvana (1991)
Anyone who’s familiar with Nirvana past “Smells like Teen Spirit” should be familiar with this Metallica-esque tune. It’s the typical Nirvana with Cobain’s run-of-the-mill subject matter (though, I suppose it turned out that he did, in fact, have a gun). If you have an affinity for that kind of stuff, this is for you. If not, it’s skippable.
Burnes’ Turns: Yes
Top 500 Consideration: No

451. “I Got You Babe” – Sonny and Cher (1965)
Many years ago, my grandma gifted my brother two stuffed bears that sang this song when you pressed their hands, and that buried it in my mind forever. It’s really not a bad song, but I’ll be damned if it isn’t sickeningly sweeter than a shot of straight maple syrup. Some people are into that. I’m not one of them.
Burnes’ Turns: No
Top 500 Consideration: No

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