It’s been a hectic couple of weeks for me as I’ve moved into not only my first house, but a different state. But through it all, I’ve had some great music to accompany me as I’ve trekked through a considerable swath of Bob Dylan’s discography, continued to enjoy the magic of one of music’s most underrated auteurs, and discovered the Hard Rock bliss of Jane’s Addiction.
- “Paradise City” – Guns N’ Roses
That layered intro alone is pure Rock n’ Roll bliss. This is Guns N’ Roses at their peak, and considering how great and deep their catalog is, that makes this an easy selection for one of the greatest songs of all time.
- “Like a Rolling Stone” – Bob Dylan
Speaking of the greatest songs ever, “Like a Rolling Stone” came in at No. 1 on Rolling Stone‘s 500 Greatest Songs back in 2011. Name bias aside, “Rolling Stone” is undeniably Bob Dylan’s greatest song; even the man himself has acknowledged it. “Rolling Stone’s the best song I wrote,” Dylan said at the close of 1965, arguably his most important and revolutionary year as an artist. Nobody has argued the point since.
- “Pigs in Zen” – Jane’s Addiction
I’ve never listened to Jane’s Addiction in my life (other than “Stop” when I would play Guitar Hero II as a kid), but I was instantly blown away by this sonically satisfying romp that closed their debut studio album Nothing’s Shocking back in 1988. It’s clear that Guns N’ Roses wasn’t the only satisfyingly original Rock band from the late ’80s.
- “Billy Jack” – Curtis Mayfield
It’s well-established that Curtis Mayfield is one of music’s greatest vocalists and songwriters, but he’s also one of the greatest guitarists to ever live. It’s impossible to listen to that guitar-laden intro and not be blown away, and the six-minute epic that follows tells a sobering story about a doomed gangster that hits home.
- “Outlaw Blues” – Bob Dylan
Mayfield gave us “People Get Ready,” but I’ve never heard a Civil Rights anthem as badass as Dylan’s “Outlaw Blues.” On the surface, it seems like a relatively tame Blues tune (albeit with great production and instrumentation), but in the context of a Mississippi with anti-miscgenation laws still in effect, it becomes a socially-minded Rocker for all time. Bonus points for the line about dark sunglasses. Only the best can pull it off.
For more playlists, including my master Burnes’ Turns playlist that contains over 2,000 songs, search for Andrew Burnes or Burnes’ Turns on Spotify.