Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs: 230-211

230 “Mannish Boy” – Muddy Waters
It’s clear that for straight-ahead Blues, you can’t do better than Muddy Waters. This song never really goes anywhere and it’s limited by the boundaries of its genre, but as far as this type of music goes, it’d be hard to find anything better.
Burnes’ Turns: No
Top 500 Consideration: No

229. “Good Times” – Chic
I appreciate that this song created one of the greatest undercurrent beats of all time, propelled by Nile Rogers’ classic dance riffing, but I’d much rather hear it under “Rapper’s Delight” than this annoying multi-layered vocal.
Burnes’ Turns: No
Top 500 Consideration: No

228. “Should I Stay or Should I Go” – The Clash
Did you know that if you cup your mouth over your phone speaker when you listen to this song, you can speak through the killer fuzz bass in this song? It’s a long story. Needless to say, this song doesn’t even approach the level of anything on London Calling and should be nowhere near a list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
Burnes’ Turns: No
Top 500 Consideration: No

227. “Fire and Rain” – James Taylor
My grandparents have always been majorly enamored with this song, but for me it’s always been a bit of a bore. I think in order for me to fully appreciate it, I’d have to lose somebody unexpectedly, and I’d rather not go through such trauma just for the sake of full appreciation of a song.
Burnes’ Turns: No
Top 500 Consideration: No

226. “Hoochie Coochie Man” – Muddy Waters
Songwriter Willie Dixon’s advice to Muddy Waters: “Just do the same the over again.” The man knew how to follow instructions.
Burnes’ Turns: No
Top 500 Consideration: No

225. “Dance to the Music – Sly and The Family Stone
Apparently Sly Stone hated this song. I echo his assessment. This could be the worst song on this list so far.
Burnes’ Turns: No
Top 500 Consideration: No

224. “Oh, Pretty Woman” – Roy Orbison
Are we going the wrong direction on this list? I’ve liked a lot of Orbison’s stuff on this list, but this one doesn’t approach his other work.
Burnes’ Turns: No
Top 500 Consideration: No

223. “Walk on the Wild Side” – Lou Reed
This song is constantly on the edge between being a good song and a bad one. That makes it better than anything else in the 220s so far, but it’s definitely not conducive to being one of the greatest songs ever.
Burnes’ Turns: No
Top 500 Consideration: No

222. “Walk Away Renee” – The Left Banke
Singer Michael Brown wrote this song about Left Banke bassist Tom Finn’s girlfriend. Awkward. He left the band, but returned after this song became a big hit. I like it, but not quite enough to warrant repeated listens.
Burnes’ Turns: No
Top 500 Consideration: No

221. “Spoonful” – Howlin Wolf
My cousin Brett was far-from-impressed with this, another Blues song from Howlin Wolf. I like it a lot better than the first one, but it’s definitely not a great song.
Burnes’ Turns: No
Top 500 Consideration: No

220. “Boom Boom” – John Lee Hooker
Brett thought this, yet another Blues song, was better than the Howlin’ Wolf one. I disagreed.
Burnes’ Turns: No
Top 500 Consideration: No

219. “Jolene” – Dolly Parton
This is the best song we’ve heard in a while other than “Walk Away Renee,” but it still really isn’t Top 500 material. According to Brett, Jack White did a cover of this song that is much better than the original. My take: who cares?
Burnes’ Turns: No
Top 500 Consideration: No

218. “Do You Believe in Magic” – The Lovin Spoonful
This is not a bad song at all, but it’s so syrupy that it’s hard to take it seriously as great.
Burnes’ Turns: No
Top 500 Consideration: No

217. “Your Cheatin’ Heart” – Hank Williams
Hank Williams said shortly before his death that this was the greatest song he ever recorded. I like the song, but if that is the case, then he will not be featured on my list.
Burnes’ Turns: Yes
Top 500 Consideration: No

rockin-in-the-free-world

216. “Rockin in the Free World” – Neil Young
Before this, everything I heard from Neil Young was typically subdued and lovely, but this driving rocker railing against pampered First World pompousness is a brilliant change of pace. It may be his greatest triumph.
Burnes’ Turns: Yes
Top 500 Consideration: Yes

215. “1999” – Prince
Maybe I’m in the minority here, but I hate this song. Not only is it not Top 500 material, I actually find it to be actively bad. I hate the chorus, I hate the multi-layered, dissonant vocals and I hate the fact that it appears on this list.
Burnes’ Turns: No
Top 500 Consideration: No

214. “Caroline, No” – The Beach Boys
I’ve never thought “Caroline, No” was as great as Rolling Stone seems to think it is, but there isn’t a bad song on Pet Sounds and this one is no exception.
Burnes’ Turns: Yes
Top 500 Consideration: Yes

213. “96 Tears” – ? and The Mysterians
The marketing for this song was much more interesting than the song itself. Per Rolling Stone: “? promoted the single throughout [Michigan], all without ever revealing his real name (Rudy Martinez) or removing his sunglasses.” The song itself: a typical organ-led melody that you’ve heard a hundred times before.
Burnes’ Turns: No
Top 500 Consideration: No

212. “In My Room” – The Beach Boys
This is every Beach Boys song you’ve ever heard. If you’re into that, this one is for you.
Burnes’ Turns: No
Top 500 Consideration: No

211. “Gloria” – Them
You can hear the influence that Howlin Wolf had on Van Morrison on this song, but other than historical intrigue there is absolutely nothing interesting about this one.
Burnes’ Turns: No
Top 500 Consideration: No

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s