Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs 430-421

430. “Blue Suede Shoes” – Elvis Presley
Apparently this cover was never as successful as Carl Perkins’ original, but as a kid this is the version I always heard years before I even discovered who Carl Perkins is. I”m not sure which version is superior; they both sound nearly identical. But one thing’s for sure: neither are worthy of being considered one of the greatest songs of all time.
Burnes’ Turns: No
Top 500 Consideration: No

429. “Piano Man” – Billy Joel
Joel wrote this track about a bar pianist when he was actually employed as one, so his stories stem from a significant aura of authenticity. My grandma is a huge fan, so I got pretty tired of hearing this song and shut it out for years. But coming back to it now, I’ll be damned if it isn’t one of the most gripping and emotional songs I’ve heard.
Burnes’ Turns: Yes
Top 500 Consideration: Yes

428. “It’s Your Thing” – The Isley Brothers
I heard the nearly identical Jackson 5 version way before I heard this one. Apparently Berry Gordy was majorly pissed that his former employees had nicked his song, but it was a massive hit for The Isleys in ’69. It doesn’t really hold up after all these years, but I’m sure at the time this was one of the catchiest, funkiest recordings ever.
Burnes’ Turns: No
Top 500 Consideration: No

nothin-but-a-g-thang

427. “Nothin’ but a ‘G’ Thang” – Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg
Amazingly, due to his refusal to put his music on most digital platforms, I had never heard Dre’s debut solo single until moments before writing this. After hearing it for the first time, though, I get what the hype is all about. Dr. Dre proved himself to be the greatest producer on the streets with that sampled bass line from Leon Haywood’s “I Want’a Do Something Freaky to Ya,” but it was his chemistry with young up-and-comer Snoop Dogg that stole the show. Considering this track went to No. 2 in ’93, these guys were as dangerous as they came.
Burnes’ Turns: Yes
Top 500 Consideration: Yes

426. “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” – Crosby, Stills and Nash
Although I can respect the effort that goes into them, I’m just not that big a fan of tracks that are made up almost entirely of vocal harmonies. Also, full disclosure: my opinion of this group is tarnished after I listened to Crosby’s atrocious solo album a few years ago, which he released AFTER he criticized Kanye West’s music. Unforgivable. There are many who would love this music (my grandpa, for instance), but it just isn’t for me.
Burnes’ Turns: No
Top 500 Consideration: No

425. “Fuck tha Police” – N.W.A.
The fact that the Crosby, Stills and Nash song appears on the list surrounded by Rap tracks is some of the most delicious poetic justice I’ve seen. Obviously, “Fuck tha Police” is one of the most important Rap tracks ever recorded, and it’s never been more important than it is today. Back when I was working at The East Texan, I once recommended this track in my weekly Burnes’ Turns column, and proceeded to deliver the issues across the campus with my partner in crime Sean Bates. We took about fifteen to the University Police Department, who already had it out for me after I wrote an editorial railing against nationwide police brutality. They probably didn’t even notice.
Burnes’ Turns: Yes
Top 500 Consideration: Yes

424. “Juicy” – The Notorious B.I.G.
Though I’ve changed my tune more recently, I once thought Biggie was superior to Tupac simply by virtue of this one track. I’ve heard it so many times that it doesn’t hit me near as hard as it once did, but there’s no doubt that this is one of the catchiest, funkiest, and greatest classic ’90s Rap tracks ever cut.
Burnes’ Turns: Yes
Top 500 Consideration: Yes

423. “The Boys of Summer” – Don Henley
I know The Eagles are considered one of the greatest bands in music history, but I’ve always preferred the Pop sheen of Don Henley’s solo work in the ’80s. This is probably because some of his recordings appeared on the first mixed CD that my dad ever made me over a decade ago that is almost single-handedly responsible for introducing me to music beyond The Backstreet Boys, The Dixie Chicks, and Christian music. I’m not sure if this is going to make it on my Top 500, but it’s definitely a sentimental track to me based on Henley’s vocal delivery alone… and I had never even heard it before today.
Burnes’ Turns: Yes
Top 500 Consideration: Long Shot

422. “I Can’t Help Myself” – The Four Tops
I’ve always wanted to be blown away by The Four Tops, but it never really happened until this track. Of course I’ve heard it many times over the course of my life, but it takes on a different meaning when you really listen to it. It’s definitely a classic for all time, and that vocal delivery from Levi Stubbs is the stuff of legend.
Burnes’ Turns: Yes
Top 500 Consideration: Yes

421. “Young Blood” – The Coasters
When this was released in ’57, I doubt that it helped to mend racial relations between sheltered white suburban fathers and the black kids across the railroad tracks, but its appeal was clearly as big as the pants of the men who cut this track as it shot up to the No. 1 position on the charts. I know they were hard up for anything related to Rock n’ Roll back then, but today I’d hardly consider this one a classic.
Burnes’ Turns: No
Top 500 Consideration: No

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