Sunday, September 30, 2012

Music Sunday: The Everybody's Got An Opinion Edition

Last week, I shared a few of my own favorite songs. It wasn't a "favorites" list, exactly, because I didn't rank the songs in any order and because there are songs that I like at least as much as some of those I shared that I didn't include. It also wasn't a "best" list, because I don't really believe there is any objective way of deciding what is the "best" in art of any kind.

It seems, however, that everyone has an opinion on what the "best songs" are. Of course, Rolling Stone Magazine has it's "500 Best Songs of All Time" list. And I happened on another "best" list, this time the "100 Greatest Songs Ever" list from a blog called Consequences of Sound, which made its list on the occasion of the 5-year anniversary of its existence. Reviewing the two lists, I found some interesting comparisons among the top ten songs from each list.

There are just two songs that made the top 10 on both lists.

Rolling Stone chose Bob Dylan's "Like A Rolling Stone" as the greatest song of all time, while Consequences of Sound put Dylan's song in the third slot on its list. This live performance was at Newport:

The other song that made both top 10 lists is Aretha Franklin's "Respect". Rolling Stone puts it at number five, while Consequences of Sound rates it at number eight.

Three other artists made both top ten lists, but with different songs. Consequences of Sound rated the Beach Boys at number one, with "God Only Knows", from their classic album "Pet Sounds", while Rolling Stone placed their "Good Vibrations" at number six.

The Beatles' "A Day in the Life" comes in at number five on the Consequences of Sound list, while The Beatles don't show up until number eight on the Rolling Stone list, with "Hey Jude". You'll want to watch the video for "A Day in the Life" closely for some interesting, and perhaps unexpected, guest appearances.

Rolling Stone Magazine rates "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction", by the Rolling Stones, as the number two song of all time in it's greatest list, while the Stones don't show up until number seven on the Consequences of Sound list, with "Sympathy for the Devil".

Otherwise, the two lists have some very different choices. For purposes of comparison, the Rolling Stone Magazine top ten reads, in full:

1. Bob Dylan, "Like A Rolling Stone"
2. The Rolling Stones, "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction"
3. John Lennon, "Imagine"
4. Marvin Gaye, "What's Going On"
5. Aretha Franklin, "Respect"
6. The Beach Boys, "Good Vibrations"
7. Chuck Berry, "Johnny B. Goode"
8. The Beatles, "Hey Jude"
9. Nirvana, "Smells Like Teen Spirit"
10.Ray Charles, "What'd I Say"

The Consequences of Sound top ten list reads, in full:

1. The Beach Boys, "God Only Knows"
2. Talking Heads, "Once in a Lifetime"
3. Bob Dylan, "Like A Rolling Stone"
4. Michael Jackson, "Man in the Mirror"
5. The Beatles, "A Day in the Life"
6. The Velvet Underground, "Sister Ray"
7. The Rolling Stones, "Sympathy for the Devil"
8. Aretha Franklin, "Respect"
9. The Notorious B.I.G., "Juicy"
10.Radiohead, "Idioteque"

The biggest different between the two lists, from my point of view, is that I know, well, all the songs on the Rolling Stone list, while there are three songs on the Consequences of Sound list that, to be honest, I had never even heard of before I read that list (those would be "Sister Ray", "Juicy", and "Idioteque"). I should probably go investigate those, to see what I might be missing.

What the two lists point out is that, everybody has an opinion regarding music. No two people have exactly the same taste in music, and that is to the good, I think. What I am wondering is, what is your top ten list of "best" or "favorite" songs? Drop me a comment and let me know. Did any of your favorites make either of these lists? What do you think of these lists? In relation to your favorites, do they match at all, or do these published lists miss the point entirely in comparison to the music you like?

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