D e c e m b e r   2 0 0 4

Guest Writer

Your guess is as good as anybody's
500 greatest songs?
by Neil Anderson

he cover story of a recent Rolling Stone magazine is – wait for it – the 500 greatest songs of all time.

Gosh, now there’s a surprise. A music magazine doing a list. Who would have thought of it? I admit that I haven’t scrupulously adhered to standard journalistic practice in the sense of actually bothering to read the article. But I feel confident in asserting that reading the list is a complete, joyless waste of time which will hasten the cultural collapse of Western Civilization.

Let’s see if I can guess some of the songs that made the list:

(1) “The Weight,” by the Band. Self-aggrandizing hippie twaddle. Essential listening for the Stone’s readership. An inspirational homage to sitting on your fat ass.

(2) “Fortunate Son,” by Creedence Clearwater Revival. Self-pitying hippie twaddle with a voice that burrows like a cicada with untested rusty dental instruments into your skull. Remember how this song bridged the generation gap back in the '60s?

(3) “Mr. Tambourine Man,” by Bob Dylan. Whining hippie twaddle. Never has so much scorn been directed toward a tambourine player and it seems excessive. He’s a solo tambourine player, for fuck’s sake. His life’s already about as bad as it can get.

(4) “Born to be Wild,” by Steppenwolf. Hermann Hesse meets Lee Marvin, with results just as ghastly as one would expect.

(5) “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” U2. Self-aggrandizing wanna-be-hippie-at-least-I’m-a-Christian twaddle that reassures Baby Boomers they’re still hip. Reminds me of how much I hate Sting.

(6) “Stairway to Heaven,” Led Zeppelin. Pseudo-spiritual melodrama all dressed up with nowhere to go. Will make you start looking for the exit door to Hell.

(7) “Hotel California,” the Eagles. Incontrovertible proof that the '70s were just as bad as you remember. If you were in California during the '70s, you can’t remember, and why the hell do the rest of us need to be reminded?

(8) “California Girls,” by the Beach Boys. “Brian Wilson was a genius.” Sure he was.

(9) “Wonderful Tonight,” by Eric Clapton. Sure you are.

(10) Anything from Sting’s solo career. Especially songs that use world tragedies as metaphors for extraordinarily trivial incidents in Sting’s maudlin little life.

(11) “Wild Thing,” by the Troggs. Tonya Harding insisted that this be played while she skated. Self-explanatory.

(12) “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” by Bonnie Raitt. No. You can’t. Give up.

(13) “Everybody Hurts,” R.E.M. Yes, when you sing.

(14) “My Generation” The Who. … R-r-r-r-r-redefining boomer hypocrisy for the last 40 years.

How close did I come? Of course, all of the above songs made the top-500 list. I already know, because I cheated. I didn’t even bother to write this article myself. But so what? Does that make the Rolling Stone’s list any better? Of course not.

If you must, read the list and bask in the reassurance that there are other losers out there be-bopping to Lynyrd Skynyrd’s "Sweet Home Alabama" – just like you!

See more from Neil in our archives.

site design / management / host: ae
© 2001-2005 nwdrizzle.com / all rights reserved.