Thursday, February 23, 2006
Top Ten Songs from the 70s
As I continue to illegally download mp3s (Thanks Limewire!) I often find myself pondering what's truly podworthy and what's not. It took about at least 45 minutes of my valuable time to come up with this list, so it may not be perfect. Let the criticism begin!
Top ten songs from the 70s (subject to change!):
10 Same Old Lang Syne--Dan Fogelberg: This is nothing more than my own guilty pleasure. Dan Fogelberg doesn't belong on anybody's top ten list, but this lilting, evocative and personal song struck a chord with me when it came out and still does when I hear it today.
9 Paranoid--Black Sabbath: The twisted symbiosis of darkside marketing and brilliant song crafting resulted in this alternative classic. Ozzie went on to perfect the paranoid theme and 25 albums later is still going strong. Well...not strong, but still going, which is quite surprising.
8 Come Sail Away--Styx: I wasn't a huge Styx fan, but you can play this at my funeral and I'll "be" happy. Sentimental, some would say sappy, yet powerful. from the much-maligned pioneers of commercial rock.
7 The Kinks--Lola: The brilliantly clever magic of the lyrics are deftly mated to a catchy and unforgettable melody--the highlight of the group's incredible career. And it makes a great ringtone for your cellphone..
6 Kashmir--Led Zepellin: The previous five Zep albums could not have predicted this. Known for their powerful, yet derivitive, metal rock, this all-time LZ classic was like King Kong at Mardi Gras--it stood out even from the background of the transcendent Physical Graffiti album.
5 Can't You Hear Me Knocking--Rolling Stones: At the height of their drug-inspired songwriting powers, this song just plain rocks at its beginning and then wonderfully fades into horn-induced instrumental fog.
4 Rosalita--Bruce Springsteen: I was a Springsteen early adopter. Loved his first album (Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J), but Rosalita came out on his second (The Wild, The Innocent and the E Street Shuffle, 1974). Resurrected the artform of the folksy power ballad, originated a few years earlier by Dan Fogerty and Creedence Clearwater.
3 All the Young Dudes--David Bowie: The opening notes of this seminal (pardon the pun) Bowie classic are duplicated only by the first fifteen seconds of Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club band, recorded six or seven years earlier by the Beatles. Instantly recognizable, this anthem of the emerging uncloseted Dude set was first recorded by Mott the Hoople, who, with Davie Bowie's direction, was able to turn it into a top ten popular hit and an enduring classic. David's version wasn't bad, either.
2 London Calling--The Clash: CBS called them "unlistenable." The rest of us called them the only band that mattered. From their stunning second album (1979), this underground hit with its spooky lyrics and haunting, desperate mood defined the best of punk rock and led directly to the grunge movement ten years later.
1 Tangled up in Blue--Bob Dylan: I still haven't fully solved the lyrics, though I'm sure I've listened to this song over a thousand times, which just proves that true artistry is timeless and provocative. From probably the best album of the 70s (Blood on the Tracks).
Honorable Mention: Almost anything by Neil Young.