DATE: 11/19/2004 01:21:00 PM
Top 500 Songs - Rolling Stone magazine has released a list of the top 500 songs of all time. Roger L. Simon has the top twenty on his site, and if those are representative of the entire list, it's not a good sign:
Like a Rolling Stone, Bob Dylan
(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction, The Rolling Stones
Imagine, John Lennon
What's Going On, Marvin Gaye
Respect, Aretha Franklin
Good Vibrations, The Beach Boys
Johnny B Goode, Chuck Berry
Hey Jude, The Beatles
Smells Like Teen Spirit, Nirvana
What'd I Say, Ray Charles
My Generation, The Who
A Change is Gonna Come, Sam Cooke
Yesterday, The Beatles
Blowin' in the Wind, Bob Dylan
London Calling, The Clash
I Want to Hold Your Hand, The Beatles
Purple Haze, The Jimi Hendrix Experience
Maybellene, Chuck Berry
Hound Dog, Elvis Presley
Let It Be, The BeatlesJann Wenner is showing his age and his inability to distinguish between songs that are "important" and songs that are good. "Like a Rolling Stone" is a great song, but I prefer Dylan's "Tangled Up in Blue" or "When He Returns." Putting "Imagine" above any Beatles song is a travesty. If it weren't for the fact that boomers love Lennon's faux-philosophy of 'happy,' that song would have been quickly forgotten.
The only modern song in the top twenty is "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana. Now that the 90s are behind us, I think we can all agree that "Teen Spirit" sucked. It was a terrible song with nonsensical lyrics sung by a guy who really never should have been allowed behind a microphone. Nirvana was great when the slacker generation was in college, angry at our parents and hating our jobs. Now that we're married and working in careers, hearing Nirvana is a jolt, a reason to wonder why the heck we ever liked that stuff.
I can think of a few other recent songs that should take Nirvana's place in the top twenty. "Ghost" by the Indigo Girls is a far superior song, lyrically and musically. "Where the Streets Have No Name" by U2 is a classic. "In Your Eyes" by Peter Gabriel is overplayed, but still a great song.
Jann Wenner is something of a joke. He's what we think of when the phrase "aging boomer hippie" comes to mind. Maybe it's time to let someone new take over the reigns at Rolling Stone, or just shut down the rag altogether.