OK…everyone seems to have a Top 100 of the Greatest Songs of all time, but what exactly is the criteria these people/companies use? The songs that make the most money? Longest air-play? Popularity? Chart standing? Weeks on the charts? What is the criteria?
The “100 Greatest Songs of the Past 25 Years ” by VH1 has:
1. Nirvana, “Smells Like Teen Spirit”
2. Michael Jackson, “Billie Jean”
3. Guns N’ Roses, “Sweet Child O’ Mine”
4. Eminem, “Lose Yourself”
5. U2, “One”
6. Run-D.M.C., “Walk This Way”
7. Prince, “When Doves Cry”
8. Whitney Houston, “I Will Always Love You”
9. The Police, “Every Breath You Take”
10. Madonna, “Like a Virgin”
as their top 10. Are they friggin’ kidding? None of those songs would even make my top 500. Not that they’re not good songs, but they hardly rate anywhere near the best.
The Top 10 off of The Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Songs has:
1. The Twist – Chubby Checker
2. Smooth – Carlos Santana
3. Mack the Knife – Bobby Darin
4. How Do I Live – LeAnn Rimes
5. Macarena – Various
6. Physical – Olivia Newton-John
7. You Light Up My Life – Various
8. Hey Jude – The Beatles
9. We Belong Together – Mariah Carey
10. Un-Break My Heart – Toni Braxton
Gawd yer killin’ me!!! Are you serious? Maybe you could argue ‘ Hey Jude ‘ if you were desperate or delusional, or both. But the rest don’t even come close to being ‘ the Best ‘.
OK…let’s take a gander at the Top 10 in Rolling Stone’s Magazine’s Top 500 Songs of All Time, maybe we’ll have better luck:
1. Bob Dylan – Like A Rolling Stone
2. Rolling Stones – Satisfaction
3. John Lennon – Imagine
4. Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On
5. Aretha Franklin – Respect
6. Beach Boys – Good Vibrations
7. Chuck Berry – Johnny B. Goode
8. Beatles – Hey Jude
9. Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit
10. Ray Charles – What’d I Say
Well…we’re getting better…but not much. So, the three major music mongols ( VH1, Billboard, and Rolling Stone Magazine ) apparently suck…yep, I said it, ‘ suck ‘ …at picking the Best songs of all time. Whatever criteria they’re using to generate their picks must include a generous helping of narcotics.
Seriously…Billie Jean and Physical??? Pass those shrooms over, n’ let’s pick another song. I am personally amazed at how ridiculous these picks are. The only one that might even have any consideration at all would be John Lennon’s – Imagine, and I wouldn’t have it in my Top 10, maybe the Top 25.
Cripes, I can think of 100’s of songs that could easily knock any of those picked by VH1, Billboard, and Rolling Stone Magazine out of the Top 10. So, what’s the problem? Well, it appears that they have lost touch with reality, too many drugs, too little sense.
The criteria for a great song should be a song that made a major impact on the music scene or, was great in it’s composition, or affected the social conscientiousness. So even though ‘ Imagine ‘ was a great song in itself, the fact is, ‘ Give Peace A Chance ‘ had a greater social impact, in it being a major anthem of the American anti-war movement. But..is ‘ Give Peace A Chance ‘ a Top 10 contender? No…but with that being said, it far exceeds the ones picked by VH1, Billboard, and Rolling Stone Magazine.
Should we pick ” Without You ” ( released on the No Dice album in 1970 ), written by Pete Ham and Tom Evans of the British rock group Badfinger and popularized by Harry Nilsson? A song about suicide, in which, ironically, the authors both ended up committing suicide. Ham having hung himself in the garage of his Surrey home at the age of 27 because of financial turmoil. And Evans who hung himself in his backyard from a willow tree because of financial turmoil and being distraught over Ham’s death. A song that Paul McCartney once described as ” The killer song of all time “. Not only is it a great song, but it had a social impact upon the conscientiousness of suicide, and has an interesting underlining, albeit tragic, story behind it. Maybe even this song wouldn’t make my Top 10, but it clearly deserves it more than the ones picked by VH1, Billboard, and Rolling Stone Magazine.
So…you’re expecting me to now tell you my Top 10?