June 7th, 2008


100 Geetar Songs

So, I have 77 out of the 100 top all-time guitar songs according to this month's issue of Rolling Stone. Some are obvious, some are curious, some I'm surprised I even own (I'm looking at you Ventures, Jeff Beck, and two B.B. King songs).

At this point, I'm tired of arguing with Rolling Stone about their flagrant omissions and their downright disgusting inclusions, but I'll go ahead and list the ones I don't think belong:

My Generation by The Who (too high at 15)
A Hard Day's Night by The Beatles (too high at 22)
Where The Streets Have No Name by U2 (furthering their bizarre obsession with The Edge, clocking in at 28)
I Saw Her Standing There by The Beatles (really? anything before 1966 by the Beatles pretty much is dead to me; at 45 no less)
My Iron Lung by Radiohead (they have better guitar songs; at 52)
Soul Man by Sam & Dave (at 61)
Bullet With Butterfly Wings by Smashing Pumpkins (obvious attempt to capture the 90s grunge sound, already taken care of with 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'; at 70)
Vicarious by Tool (they have better guitar songs too; at 100)
And, I'd say around half of the 23 I don't personally have in my iTunes (though, it is a travesty that I don't have Joan Jett's 'I Love Rock N' Roll')

Now, on to the omissions. I'm glad Jimi Hendrix is represented with 3 songs (including two in the top 12), but can you have a list without his rendition of the Star Spangled Banner at Woodstock? It's one of the most recognizable versions of our national anthem ever! And, no Steppenwolf? Not even Born To Be Wild? Why Metallica's 'Master of Puppets' when you could have had 'Fade To Black' or 'One'? Hell, why not have all three? And you can't tell me the Rolling Stones' 'Satisfaction' doesn't deserve a slot. Ditto Cream's 'Sunshine Of Your Love'.

I'm sure there are about another hundred songs I'm not thinking about right now, but I'll end this with some praise for surprises I found in the list.

Nice to see the Kinks at number 4 with 'You Really Got Me'. Love 'Cowgirl In The Sand' by Neil Young at 16 and I about flipped my shit when I saw Black Sabbath's 'Black Sabbath' at 17. That song single-handedly set the template for heavy metal for decades to come. Nice to see 'Purple Rain' crack the top 20 as well as 'Killing In The Name' at 24. 'Debaser' by The Pixies is an odd one, at number 50 no less, but I'll take it. Kudos to The Strokes for hitting number 71 with 'Take It Or Leave It'; not even a single, this song closed out their 5-star debut. I like that Phish made it, as well as My Morning Jacket and Queens of the Stone Age.

Oh! And Frank Zappa's 'Willie The Pimp'! I don't care that it's only at 75, that's something I never would have thought about including until I actually listened to it, but man, inspired!

Here's my final two beefs. For the list, Rolling Stone interviewed a couple handfuls of "legendary" guitarists. I use the quotes around legendary because among the rabble, they included John Mayer. Now, I'm sure he's sincere about the blues, and he's probably very technically sound, but to put him in the same group as Carlos Santana, Jimmy Page, B.B. King, Kirk Hammett, Eddie Van Halen, Buddy Guy, and Omar Rodriguez Lopez (of The Mars Volta) is a crying shame. Especially since Eric Clapton's still alive and kicking ass. Especially since this was an excuse to see Slash shirtless one more time. Especially since they could've gone a little more ballsy and put Mike McCreedy on the cover, who'd provide some real insight into guitar playing. But, whatever, John Mayer gets lots of pussy so I guess he's good for sales. But, do you HAVE to include a song by John Mayer just because you interview him? You're killing my percentages here because I'm never going to download his albums, so there's no way in hell I'll ever get to 100 out of 100 songs! My playlist in iTunes right now has 23 filler songs!

Also, 'Free Bird' doesn't appear until number 62??? What the hell, man!?! It's been the number-one most requested song at every concert since 1973!!! Shit can't even crack the top 50??? For shame.
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    No Hotel California either?