Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs: 360-351

360. “The Great Pretender” – The Platters
My grandfather still has his original copy of this on a 78 from when this song was No. 1 on the carts in 1955. He still loves it to this day. I’m a huge fan of The Ink Spots, and The Platters carried on the high tenor style of crooning from Bill Kenny, but I think this one’s a bit too bluesy and cliche for me now. But I can understand that back in ’55, this was revolutionary.
Burnes’ Turns: No
Top 500 Consideration: No

359. “The Loco-Motion” – Little Eva
This song was on Wii Music which my brother and I used to play all the time back in the day, so there are probably some pretty interesting covers on it still saved on my old Wii. It was one of the best options in a game filled with nursery school music, but that doesn’t make it one of the greatest songs of all time.
Burnes’ Turns: No
Top 500 Consideration: No

358. “Spanish Harlem” – Ben E. King
I liked this song a lot, and it isn’t just because of the genius of Phil Spector at work in the production. But the imagery that the lyricism, the instrumentation, King’s voice, and even the single’s cover art evoke is impressive. It isn’t quite enough for me to consider it one of the greatest of all time, but it’s definitely a keeper.
Burnes’ Turns: Yes
Top 500 Consideration: No

357. “That Lady (Parts 1 and 2)” – The Isley Brothers
This is a nice little jam and is definitely The Isley Brothers’ best work that I’ve heard to date. They’re right on the edge of being great for me, though R&B really isn’t my thing. However, there’s no denying the brilliant guitar work from Ernie Isley, ripped straight from the heart of former Isley Brothers sideman Jimi Hendrix.
Burnes’ Turns: Yes
Top 500 Consideration: Long Shot

356. “Candle in the Wind” – Elton John
Another Elton John classic. There’s no denying that this is a great ballad, but it also sounds a bit too similar to all of Elton John’s other work and as a result it doesn’t quite shift that final gear for me. Probably because when they were making this album, Elton and Bernie were too nervous to leave their hotel room (it’s a long story) so all they could really do was stay cooped up and write music that all began to run together.
Burnes’ Turns: No
Top 500 Consideration: No

355. “California Love’ – Tupac and Dr. Dre
When Tupac spits “Fresh outta jail” at the beginning of his verse in “California Love” he wasn’t lying; he’d just spent eight months in a California prison. Luckily for him, Dre was waiting on the outside armed with possibly his greatest beat ever. The result was an instant Hip-Hop classic for all time that left all the competition (especially on the East Coast) in the dust.
Burnes’ Turns: Yes
Top 500 Consideration: Yes

354. “La Bamba” – Ritchie Valens
I will never understand everyone’s infatuation with this song.
Burnes’ Turns: No
Top 500 Consideration: No

353. “Piece of My Heart” – Big Brother and The Holding Company
This is definitely a great song with one of the great vocalists of all time Janis Joplin wailing away, but as is the case with Jimi Hendrix, I feel that while Janis was a master of her craft, she also wasn’t much for writing and arranging songs. Her band Big Brother and The Holding Company are sloppy as hell, and this isn’t even an original song; it’s actually a cover of Aretha Franklin’s sister. Neither version is really worthy of being called one of the greatest.
Burnes’ Turns: No
Top 500 Consideration: No

352. “Jim Dandy” – Lavern Baker
This is a classic Rock n’ Roll song from an unsung pioneer of the genre. Despite it’s historical significance, though, it isn’t much of anything in today’s progressive musical world.
Burnes’ Turns: No
Top 500 Consideration: No

runaround-sue

351. “Runaround Sue” – Dion
Wow this is a great song. I’m a sucker for vintage Doo-Wop, and this heartbreaker about a poor sucker who’s in love with a promiscuous girl named Sue is as great as I’ve ever heard the genre sound. This was Dion’s only No. 1 hit. He deserved it.
Burnes’ Turns: Yes
Top 500 Consideration: Yes

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