Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs: 190-171

190. “Back in Black” – AC/DC
This was Bryan Johnson’s introduction to the world as the frontman of AC/DC after the death of Bon Scott, and he arrived all guns blazing and armed to the teeth with one of the greatest riffs of all time and the killer flow (and high register) to back it up. It was almost like nothing had changed.
Burnes’ Turns: Yes
Top 500 Consideration: Yes

189. “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Loved You) – Aretha Franklin
I can’t hear this without thinking of the Aerosmith cover that I grew up listening to. It’s a good Blues song (certainly in the top percentage of that genre), but not the best song that Aretha cut and not Top 500 material.
Burnes’ Turns: No
Top 500 Consideration: No

188. “Who’ll Stop the Rain” – Creedence Clearwater Revival
John Fogerty’s goal in writing “Who’ll Stop the Rain” was penning something that would stay relevant forever. In that sense, he accomplished his goal. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s one of the greatest, but is it great? Certainly.
Burnes’ Turns: Yes
Top 500 Consideration: Long Shot

desolation-row

187. “Desolation Row” – Bob Dylan
There’s no doubt about it; this 11-minute masterpiece is Dylan’s most epic accomplishment. For nearly a quarter of an hour, he sets the stage of a crossroads for famous characters of both historical and fictional significance before launching into one of his greatest harmonica solos of all time. Dylan says he wrote in the back of a cab car, which likely means he was writing whatever came to mind. And what a brilliant mind he has.
Burnes’ Turns: Yes
Top 500 Consideration: Yes

186. “Please Please Me” – The Beatles
Many prefer The Beatles at their most drugged-out and experimental, but my favorite era of The Beatles is actually their early careers. Though I admit that Abbey Road and the white album are probably overall better LPs, Please Please Me has always been my favorite, and the title track is a big reason why.
Burnes’ Turns: Yes
Top 500 Consideration: Long Shot

185. “The Thrill is Gone” – B.B. King
Though B.B. King was a Blues man through-and-through, he also knew how to explore other musical ideas when necessary to expand his appeal. He never did it more successfully than on “The Thrill is Gone” a string-laden song tackling the frustrations of growing older. It was a hell of a mid-life crisis.
Burnes’ Turns: Yes
Top 500 Consideration: Yes

184. “Save the Last Dance for Me” – The Drifters
This song carries a more significant sardonic wit with it than other Drifters songs, but at its core, it’s still another Drifters song.
Burnes’ Turns: No
Top 500 Consideration: No

183. “Green Onions” – Booker T. and The MGs
This is not a bad song by any means, but I’d rather hear the same chord progression under the vastly superior Stevie Wonder song.
Burnes’ Turns: No
Top 500 Consideration: No

182. “Hey Ya!” – OutKast
Mainstream critics lauded “Hey Ya!” as OutKast’s greatest triumph. Hip-Hop Heads know better. If you want to really hear some incredible stuff, look to Aquemini. Leave the Pop for Lady Gaga.
Burnes’ Turns: No
Top 500 Consideration: No

181. “Love Will Tear Us Apart” – Joy Division
This is another fascinatingly unremarkable song from the ’80s that probably sounded great at the time, but doesn’t hold up today.
Burnes’ Turns: No
Top 500 Consideration: No

180. “September Gurls” – Big Star
I like this a lot. Though this sunny ’70s Pop song rapped up in a blanket of loneliness wasn’t a hit in its day, it manages to hold up well four decades later. In Big Star drummer Jody Stephens’ own words, “They were fairly dark records wrapped in a pop package. Maybe that’s what made them enduring.”
Burnes’ Turns: Yes
Top 500 Consideration: Long Shot

179. “Free Fallin” – Tom Petty
This isn’t a bad song by any means, but it’s a bit sappy for my taste. Give me “A Face in the Crowd” over this any day.
Burnes’ Turns: No
Top 500 Consideration: No

178. “Don’t Worry Baby” – The Beach Boys
This Phil Spector-inspired love song stands out in a discography full of overrated and overworked stuff like “Good Vibrations.” It may just be my favorite Beach Boys song of all time.
Burnes’ Turns: Yes
Top 500 Consideration: Yes

177. “I Fought the Law” – The Bobby Fuller Four
This slice of outlaw badassery sounds like a mix between a Phil Spector-produced group and Buddy Holly with a little bit of Johnny Cash thrown in. I didn’t expect much going into it, but my expectations were exceeded in every conceivable way.
Burnes’ Turns: Yes
Top 500 Consideration: Long Shot

176. “Paint it, Black” – The Rolling Stones
Other than “Can’t You Hear Me Knockin’,” this was my introduction to The Rolling Stones due to its inclusion in Guitar Hero III. I wasn’t a fan of it back then, and though my opinion of the song has increased somewhat since that time, it isn’t enough to warrant it a place on my list. Fun fact, the comma in the title was originally a misprint, but it made it seem so much more ominous and strange that it’s stuck after all these years.
Burnes’ Turns: No
Top 500 Consideration: No

175. “God Save the Queen” – The Sex Pistols
When this was released in ’77 (in a sleeve with Her Majesty being punctured by a safety pin), the outrage in England was severe. As the BBC banned the song, they probably didn’t realize that this was exactly the kind of reaction The Sex Pistols wanted.
Burnes’ Turns: Yes
Top 500 Consideration: No

174. “Dancing Queen” – ABBA
Everybody knows this song, but I don’t think everybody gives it the credit for what it is: damn near perfection. ABBA may not have hit it out of the park on every occasion, but there is no doubt in my mind that this is one of the greatest songs of all time.
Burnes’ Turns: Yes
Top 500 Consideration: Yes

173. “Dream on” – Aerosmith
As Aerosmith is one of the most major forces that got me into music, “Dream on” was one of the first songs that I ever wanted to hear repeatedly. As a hardcore Aerosmith fan, I have no problem admitting that this song is overhyped and overplayed, but I also have so many fond memories with the track that I can’t fault it. One in particular: at my senior prom a couple of my friends had the DJ play the song just so I could get on stage and hit the high notes at the song’s climax. It was an evening full of those.
Burnes’ Turns: Yes
Top 500 Consideration: Yes

172. “99 Problems” – Jay-Z
I’m far from a Jay-Z fan, but there is no denying this Rick Rubin-produced Funk-Rap anthem that destroys everything in its path. The man was out of control that day.
Burnes’ Turns: Yes
Top 500 Consideration: Yes

171. “Both Sides Now” – Joni Mitchell
I had no idea that Joni Mitchell made stuff like this. The soaring orchestral string section that would be at home on the Skyrim soundtrack are incredible, but Mitchell’s voice seems to float even above them. I can honestly say I’ve never heard anything like this.
Burnes’ Turns: Yes
Top 500 Consideration: Yes

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