Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day Countdown

For Memorial Day weekend, WBIG-FM in Washington -- 100.3 on your dial -- is counting down the top 500 Classic Rock Songs of All Time.  Number 103 is on the air right now -- "In Your Eyes" by Peter Gabriel.

Comments flow!

283 comments:

  1. Number 102: "Man in the Box," by Alice in Chains.

    Released in 1991. I don't expect to hear too many songs on this countdown that were released after the Reagan Administration. Layne Staley, who sings this song, made his last appearance with Alice in Chains on July 3, 1996. He died in 2002.

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  2. Number 101: "You Can't Always Get What You Want," by the Rolling Stones

    This is my second-favorite Rolling Stones song, and it's also the best part of "The Big Chill."

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  3. Number 100: "Imagine," by John Lennon

    This song gets too much attention for its lyrics, and not enough for the fact that it's really pretty.

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  4. Number 99: "I Love Rock 'n' Roll," by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. I hated this song when it was a hit, and I hate it now.

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  5. Number 98: "You're My Best Friend," by Queen.

    By the way, you can listen to this countdown, wherever you are, on iHeart Radio.

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  6. Number 97: "Won't Get Fooled Again," The Who

    This song, which was one of the highlights of Live Aid, should be ranked much higher.

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  7. Number 96: "Come As You Are," Nirvana

    Released on March 3, 1992. This may be the last song of the top 100 to be released.

    Almost exactly two years after this song was released -- on March 1, 1994 -- Kurt Cobain played his last concert.

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  8. Number 95: "Big Shot," by Billy Joel

    I went through a phase where I was all down on Billy Joel, but now I think that was silly. This is a fine song.

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  9. Number 94: "Sunday Bloody Sunday," by U2

    This is my favorite U2 song.

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  10. Number 93: "Burning Down the House," by Talking Heads

    This song, to me, is highly overrated. I like several other Talking Heads songs better than this one.

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  11. Number 92: "Under Pressure," by Queen and David Bowie

    One the best videos that MTV ever had.

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  12. Number 91: "Come Together," by the Beatles

    In the top 100 so far, Lennon leads McCartney 2-0.

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  13. Number 90: "Rebel Yell," Billy Idol

    Not as a good a song as "White Wedding." Could they have two Billy Idol songs in the top 100?

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  14. Number 89: "Hot for Teacher," by Van Halen

    Van Halen has its moments, although I'm not sure this is one of them.

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  15. Number 88: "You Better You Bet," The Who

    Released on February 27, 1981. This was the last song by The Who to reach the top 20 in the United States.

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  16. Number 87: "Jack and Diane," John Cougar Mellancamp

    I once spent a month or so bagging groceries at Wonder Market in Paducah, and I pretty much spent the whole time listening to this song in my head.

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  17. Number 86: "Vasoline," Stone Temple Pilots

    Released on June 1, 1994, almost two months after Kurt Cobain died. This is now the newest song in the top 100.

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  18. Number 85: "Centerfold,' The J. Geils Band

    When I was a junior in High School, this song played on MTV about once every 30 minutes.

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  19. I always wondered how much Centerfold's success was due to the video. Especially among my middle school classmates.

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    Replies
    1. I think the video had a lot to do with it.

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  20. Number 84: "The Waiting Is the Hardest Part," by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

    One of my disappointments as a classic rock fan is that I don't like Tom Petty very much. But I do like some of his songs, and I like this one a lot.

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  21. Number 83: "Breakfast in America," by Supertramp

    Supertramp is probably my favorite band of all the bands of which I own none of their albums. This song is just OK, but I really like "The Logical Song." Maybe it will turn up later.

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  22. Breakfast in America is often being played around our house.

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  23. Number 82: "Sharp Dressed Man," by ZZ Top

    Apparently, a lot of the WBIG fans who voted on this countdown were listening to MTV back in the day.

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  24. Speaking of videos that made a song a hit. Sharp Dressed Man

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  25. Number 81: "Us and Them," Pink Floyd

    I never got the whole Pink Floyd thing, and I suppose I never will.

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  26. Number 80: "Maybe I'm Amazed," Paul McCartney and Wings

    Lennon 2, McCartney 1. I love, love, love this song -- one of my all-time favorites, and a great song to listen to while you're playing Extra Innings in your room back in 1977.

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  27. Number 79: "Come on Feel the Noise," by Quiet Riot

    Released in July 1983. I stopped listening to MTV in around 1986, so this song is roughly half-way through the 1980's for me.

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  28. Number 78: "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," by Queen

    I think a lot of the WBIG listeners must have had that Queen's Greatest Hits album that we had growing up.

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  29. Number 77: "Photograph," Def Leppard

    Released on February 3, 1983, just a few months before Quiet Riot's big hit. I really liked this song back in 1983, and I still think it's pretty good.

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  30. Replies
    1. Maybe the Rush fans split their votes among a bunch of different songs.

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  31. Number 76: "Tom Sawyer," by Rush

    There was a really clever episode of "Chuck" that combined this song, terrorism, and Japanese video games from the early 1980's. It was very well done.

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  32. Number 75: "Runnin' on Empty," by Jackson Browne

    If you ever watch "The History of the Eagles Vol. I," you really want to see all the parts that feature Jackson Browne. He was good friends with Glenn Frey, and there's some great stuff about how Glenn Frey learned how to write songs by listening to Jackson Browne work on his songs over and over and over.

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  33. I've never been a big jJackson Browne fan.

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    Replies
    1. He seems like a much nicer person than Glenn Frey.

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  34. Number 74: "Time," by Pink Floyd

    My kids really like "Time," the album by ELO. But I don't think they would have any interest in this song, and neither do I.

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  35. I've been forced to turn off the countdown.

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  36. Number 73: "Fat Bottomed Girls," by Queen

    I'm starting to think the whole Queen's Greatest Hits album is in the top 100.

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  37. Back in Black at 71. Thought this would be higher.

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  38. Number 72: "Lights," by Journey

    I like this song, which is apparently a big deal at San Francisco Giants games.

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  39. Number 71: "Back in Black," by AC/DC

    I listened to a lot of classic rock this basketball season while watching UK, and I learned that I don't really like AC/DC all that much.

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  40. Meanwhile, on TV they're showing "The Living Daylights," which I saw in theaters. I thought Timothy Dalton would be James Bond for years.

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  41. Number 70: "Hold On Loosely," by .38 Special

    One of the most generic hit songs ever made.

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  42. Number 69: "Burnin' for You," Blue Oyster Cult

    Who voted for this?

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  43. Number 68: "Every Breath You Take," by the Police

    Released May 20, 1983. Apparently 1983 was the greatest year in rock history.

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  44. Oh your back. Been listening and commenting from phone.

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    Replies
    1. Sorry, I should have said something. Thanks for the help.

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  45. So a big part of "The Living Daylights" turns on the issue of which of two Soviet Generals is telling the truth. But the one who turns out to be the bad guy is played by the guy who was the villain in "The Fugitive," and the one who turns out to be the good guy is played by John Rhys-Davies. So there's not that much drama.

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  46. Number 68: "Separate Ways," by Journey

    Another hit from 1983 -- released on January 5 of that fateful year. I have never felt more hip to the culture than I did the day I watched the world premier of this video on MTV.

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  47. Oh, no! The bad guy from The Fugitive has captured James Bond. These days, the 1980's are seen as this very right-wing time. But in this movie, it's literally true that the main good guy (other than Bond) is a Soviet General, while the main bad guy (Joe Don Baker) is an American.

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  48. Number 66: "Rock the Casbah," by The Clash

    I like the song "London Calling," but other than that I don't get the Clash.

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  49. I wonder how low London Calling will be

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  50. Number 65: "Panama," by Van Halen

    Not surprised by this -- from what I've seen of the countdown so far, this is very much a Van Halen crowd.

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  51. Meanwhile, James Bond is now getting help from a bunch of guys who are, I'm pretty sure, the precursors of Al-Qaida.

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  52. Number 64: "Don't You Forget about Me," Simple Minds

    At Vanderbilt there was a group of students who got together in the mornings to coordinate efforts to improve the school. They referred to themselves, non-ironically, as "The Breakfast Club."

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  53. Number 63: "Over the Hills and Far Away," Led Zeppelin

    GETTIN' THE LED OUT! This may be a sign that the serious part of the countdown is about to begin.

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  54. Number 62: "Hollywood Nights," Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band

    This is a great song. Bob Seger also turns up in that Eagles documentary, and he seems like a really nice guy.

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  55. Hmm interesting I wonder how low Seger will be.

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  56. Number 61: "Don't Look Back," by Boston

    This is a pretty decent song. Meanwhile, James Bond and the precursors to Al-Qaida are doing all sorts of damage to the bad guys.

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  57. I owned the Boston albums when I was younger but to me they have not aged well. Eric was right

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  58. Number 60: "Brown-Eyed Girl," by Van Morrison

    Now we're starting to jump all over the place, from genre to genre and decade to decade.

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  59. Van Morrison how low will he be. It would be fun to compare this to a classic countdown from say 1984.

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  60. Hmm I would have thought all along the watchtower would be lower

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  61. Number 59: "All Along the Watchtower," by Jimi Hendrix

    I would like to know more about why Jimi Hendix decided to record this odd song.

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  62. Number 58: "The Logical Song," by Supertramp

    I really love this song.

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  63. And here we are at the end. James Bond, John Rhys-Davis, and the precursors to Al-Qaida have defeated Joe Don Baker and the bad guy from "The Fugitive." Peace will be maintained between the West and the USSR!

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  64. Number 57: "Dust in the Wind," by Kansas

    This was, of course, the slow skate song for my sixth grade skating party.

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  65. Number 56: "Jukebox Hero," by Foreigner

    YEAH! Now this is getting fun.

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  66. Loved Juke Box Hero don't know when I last heard this song

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  67. Number 55: "Losing My Religion," by R.E.M.

    I remember that when this song became a big hit, I was so happy for R.E.M. because I thought they deserved to be rich and famous. And I still do.

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  68. Number 54: "Killer Queen," by Queen

    I like all the Queen songs in this top 100, and think they're basically in the right order.

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  69. Number 53: "Brain Damage/Eclipse," by Pink Floyd

    I actually do like this Pink Floyd song.

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  70. Number 52: "Jump," by Van Halen

    Released on December 21, 1983 -- so another song from that big year. I'm really hoping this is the last Van Halen song on the countdown.

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  71. I used to think that if I wrote a history of rock 'n' roll, I would start with Elvis and I would end with the Live Aid concerts in 1985. And seeing so few songs after 1985 on this countdown makes me think I was right.

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  72. Number 51: "Should I Stay or Should I Go," by the Clash

    A cover song, of course, but a pretty good one.

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  73. Replies
    1. I think grunge was pretty huge in D.C. I can remember going to high school football games at Northern Virginia in the early 1990's, and being surprised that all the kids were dressed as if they were going to Ballard Memorial High School in about 1979.

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  74. Number 50: "Under the Bridge," Red Hot Chili Peppers

    Released on March 10, 1992. Someone, somewhere, must have written a good book about the mini rock revival that took place in the early 1990's. But I've never seen it.

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  75. What's the deal with Green Day, by the way. Don't people like them? Because I think they're great.

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  76. Number 49: "Give a Little Bit," by Supertramp

    A fine song, although not as good as "The Logical Song."

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  77. Number 48: "In the Air Tonight," by Phil Collins

    Released on January 5, 1981. A fine song, although I would have ranked it this high.

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  78. Number 47: "Beast of Burden," by the Rolling Stones

    This song just isn't very good.

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  79. Number 46: "T.N.T.," by AC/DC

    This is a pretty good song, although I've heard too much AC/DC lately to really enjoy it.

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  80. Number 45: "Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For," by U2

    From May 1987 -- a rare post-Live Aid song. An excellent song from an excellent album.

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  81. Wow our generation has really taken over the classic rock era apparently

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  82. Number 45: "I Won't Back Down," by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

    I don't know why we now have two songs at 45 -- either their count or mine is off.

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  83. Number 44: "Peace of Mind," by Boston

    I heard a lot of Boston during basketball season as well.

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  84. Number 43: "Don't Bring Me Down," by Electric Light Orchestra

    Wow, an ELO song -- we haven't had one of those yet.

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  85. Number 42: "Money," by Pink Floyd

    I like this Pink Floyd song as well. I wonder if this will be the last Pink Floyd song, or if we still have to wait for "Another Brick in the Wall."

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  86. Well I'll miss the countdown for a bit.

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  87. Number 41: "Barracuda," by Heart

    YEAH! I like this song, although I think they were petty in not letting Sarah Palin use it.

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    1. I think they were smart not to let her use it. She's turned out to be more redneck than even most Heart fans.

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  88. Number 40: "Wanted Dead or Alive," by Jon Bon Jovi

    Released on March 3, 1987. A lot of people don't like Bon Jovi -- I'm not a big fan myself. But I really like this song.

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  89. Number 39: "Night Moves," Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band

    This is a fantastic song.

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  90. Number 38: "Sultans of Swing," by Dire Straits

    I wish we had had more Dire Straits on this countdown. But it's an odd list. Lots of Queen and no Springsteen. A fair amount of Tom Petty and no Lynyrd Skynyrd.

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  91. Number 37: "Another One Bites the Dust," by Queen

    So it turns out that Queen is the most popular band among people our age. I didn't know that, but I'm not too surprised.

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  92. Number 36: "Any Way You Want It," by Journey

    No, wait. Journey may be the most popular band among people our age.

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  93. Number 35: "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet," by Bachman-Turner Overdrive

    I'm very surprised that this song is this high. I would have put this song around number 223.

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  94. Number 34: "Enter the Sandman," by Metallica

    Released July 29, 1991. There's a bunch of songs up until the end of 1983. Then there's a few outliers in the late 1980's, mostly from U2. And then there's a whole clump of songs from the early 1990's.

    This song, of course, was for years and years the song that the Yankees played whenever Mariano Rivera came out to pitch the ninth inning. The crowds at Yankee Stadium would go absolutely berserk -- as they should have. It was, and is, the best baseball entrance song of all time.

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  95. Number 33: "Magic Man," by Heart

    This is my favorite Heart song, and I am happy to see it ranked so high.

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  96. Number 32: "Turn the Page," by Bob Seger

    That's three songs for Bob Seger in the top 100 -- compared to none for the Eagles and none for Springsteen. Very interesting.

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    Replies
    1. Although now I really wish they would play "Ramblin Gamblin Man."

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  97. Number 31: "You Give Love a Bad Name," by Jon Bon Jovi

    Bon Jovi's first number one hit -- it reached the top of the charts on November 29, 1986. I'm pretty sure I spent all of that month listening to R.E.M. or songs recorded before 1983. But you know what? This is a pretty good song.

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  98. Number 30: "Comfortably Numb," Pink Floyd

    I am not surprised to see this song so high. I am surprised to see that Pink Floyd is doing so much better than Led Zeppelin.

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  99. Number 29: "Band on the Run," by Paul McCartney and Wings

    Lennon 2, McCartney 2

    I always liked this song, and I'm not surprised it's this high.

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  100. Number 28: "Go Your Own Way," by Fleetwood Mac

    Here's a surprise -- we haven't heard from these guys at all. This would not be my favorite Fleetwood Mac song, but it's a solid song. Plus this always reminds me of Eric's analysis of Lindsay Buckingham's career, which makes me happy.

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  101. Number 27: "With or Without You," by U2

    Another song from "Joshua Tree," which did, in fact, live up to all the hype.

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  102. OK back on after a trip to the park. I'm really getting curious to see what is the top 20.

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    Replies
    1. So am I. This countdown has been all over the place.

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  103. Number 26: "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da," by the Beatles

    McCartney 3, Lennon 2

    I am surprised that this song is this high. If I made a list of my favorite Beatles songs, there is a good chance that this song would not crack the top 50.

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  104. They just said number 24. Man I can't stand this song, never could. This makes me think of a college road trip up to the horse track up to Turfway Park. Man that place was depressing back in 1987.

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    Replies
    1. You should have followed George Mason in 2006. Don't forget that both the Sweet 16 game and the Elite 8 game were at the Verizon Center here in D.C. I know someone who was there when Mason beat UConn to reach the Final Four -- he said it was the most electric atmosphere he had ever seen at a sporting event.

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  105. Number 24: "Livin' on a Prayer," by Jon Bon Jovi

    OK, a couple of points. First, I told you that they had two number 45 songs in a row. Now they've caught up by skipping from 26 to 24.

    Second, this song was the theme song for George Mason's big run to the Final Four in 2006. It got a huge amount of publicity in this area back then, which might explain at least part of why it's so high. On the other hand, it's a great song, so maybe it would be this high everywhere.

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  106. Number 23: "Black Dog," by Led Zeppelin

    Take that, Pink Floyd!

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  107. Replies
    1. I can think of at least one Queen song that we still haven't heard.

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  108. Nats just beat the Cubs 2-1 in Wrigley. LET'S GO NATS!

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    Replies
    1. Have you had a chance to enjoy the Bryce Harper surge.

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    2. Yep. I was at Nats Park on Friday when he homered to left.

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  109. Is the entire Queen greatest hits album in the top 100? You know we still haven't reached their top song.

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    1. I'm pretty sure that Queen has more songs than any other band in the top 100.

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  110. Number 22: "We Will Rock You / We Are the Champions," by Queen

    I thought this would be the last Queen song, but I just remembered that there's at least one more that I had forgotten about.

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  111. Number 21: "Hey Jude," by the Beatles

    McCartney 4, Lennon 2

    This is traditionally the highest-ranked Beatles song, although it seems hard to believe that "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" is the second-most popular Beatles song.

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    Replies
    1. The Beatles premiered this song on a British TV show -- I think it was David Frost's show. The clip where they play this song for the first time is one of my very favorite clips of the Beatles -- they just seem so cool, and happy, and successful.

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    2. I was never a big Beatles fan, but I'm surprised this isn't top 20.

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  112. OK now we are ready for the top 20, this will be good. I'm assuming that Hungarian Rhapsody will be one of those songs.

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  113. They've taken down the page where the top 500 contest was. I'm curious to know the methodology.

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  114. Number 20: "Gimme Shelter," by the Rolling Stones

    This is, by a pretty big gap, the best song the Rolling Stones ever did, and one of the greatest rock songs that any band ever did. It's hard to do menace in a rock song, but the Stones captured it here. This sounds like the music you'd hear at the end of the world.

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    Replies
    1. Funny we both had the same response to this song. If you ever wanted to make a short of someone's life going down the toilet as they fell into alcoholism, what better song for the soundtrack.

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    2. Maybe the decline and death of Brian Jones affected them more than they've ever been willing to admit.

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  115. OK by far the best Stones song. The opening to this song is fantastic. No other song to me represents the Stones sound and vibe better than this song. I'm assuming that they will have a couple more in the top 20.

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  116. I'm so disappointed that In Your Eyes was at 103. At the end of this they will print the entire 500 list, I'm curious to see it. http://www.wbig.com/features/big-500-782/articles/15/492757/the-big-500-countdown-13618403/

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  117. NO WAY this is a top 20 song. My checks for free.

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    Replies
    1. A good song for the workaholics here in D.C.

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  118. Number 19: "Money for Nothing," by Dire Straits

    I knew a guy at school who swore that at the beginning of this song, Mark Knopfler was trying to get his guitar to sound like ZZ Top. In fact, he claimed that Knopfler talked to the guys at ZZ Top, and that they refused to help him. I don't know if any of that is true, but I really like this song. And good for Sting for singing back-up -- the song wouldn't have worked otherwise.

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    1. For now, this is the highest ranked song from the 1980's. "Enter the Sandman" is the highest song from the 1990's, although I don't expect that to last.

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    2. I'm expecting some 90's music any moment here. Still waiting for Smells Like Teen Spirit and Welcome to the Jungle.

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    3. "Welcome to the Jungle" was released on October 3, 1987.

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    4. Oh yeah, don't know why I had that in my mind for 90's.

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  119. Number 18: "Another Brick in the Wall," by Pink Floyd

    And Pink Floyd strikes back! I thought this might be the highest-ranked song from the 1980's, but it was released on November 30, 1979.

    Now this is a good example of a song that tries to sound menacing, but doesn't seem menacing to me at all. But maybe school just isn't as scary as death.

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  120. Number 17: "Pride (In the Name of Love)," by U2

    OK, now this is the top song from the 1980's -- it was released on September 4, 1984. As I said before, my favorite U2 song is "Sunday, Bloody Sunday," but this is a fine song as well.

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    Replies
    1. President Reagan signed the law making Martin Luther King's birthday a national holiday on November 2, 1983 -- less than a year before this song was released. I think the 1980's had a lot to do with how we perceive Martin Luther King, Jr. -- he was a big presence in that era.

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  121. Number 16: "Carry On My Wayward Son," by Kansas

    From the time I first heard this song, until I was about 20 years old, this was probably my favorite song of all time.

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  122. Replies
    1. This list is not approved by the Rolling Stone Record Guide.

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  123. Number 15: "Dream On," by Aerosmith

    This was the song that ESPN chose to go along with the video it made at the end of 1999 to capture all the highlights of sports in the 20th Century. It was a fantastic video -- one of the very best things that ESPN ever did -- and this song was perfect for it. Someone else made one of my favorite UK basketball videos to this same song. It's just great for that sort of thing.

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  124. Number 14: "Who Are You," by The Who

    This song was released on July 14, 1978, less than three months before Keith Moon died. In a way, I'm glad that this song is the last big hit from the original Who line-up. It really lets each one of them shine, and it captures their basic sound and worldview almost perfectly. There are times, when you listen to this song, and you can truly believe that The Who were the greatest rock 'n' roll band ever.

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  125. OK this seems about right for Who Are You. I figured it would be in the top 20 and I figure it will be the top Who song.

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  126. OK I thought Teen Spirit would be top 10

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    Replies
    1. It should be the top song from the 1990's.

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  127. Number 13: "Smells Like Teen Spirit," by Nirvana

    This was released on September 10, 1991, less than a month after I got married and at a time where I had pretty much quit listening to all new music not released by R.E.M. Every time I heard this song, I had a feeling that I was missing out on something big, but I never bothered to look into it until Kurt Cobain died. It's one of those songs that became so famous that you don't think it could be that good -- but it really is that good.

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  128. It now seems clear that "Vasoline" by Stone Temple Pilots, is the last song to make this list.

    Where's the love for Green Day? I think they're great.

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  129. Number 12: "Life's Been Good," by Joe Walsh

    Well, we haven't heard from any of the Eagles so far in the top 100, but now we get Joe Walsh. From what I could tell in the Eagles documentary, he seems like a really nice guy, and this is a very entertaining song. But it shouldn't be ranked this high.

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  130. Freebird!! I always remember someone yelling that out when we saw 10,000 Maniacs in Nashville. Natalie Merchant was not amused

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    Replies
    1. That's pretty funny, but it's also a good example of how Southern humor doesn't always translate well into other cultures.

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  131. Number 11: "Freebird," by Lynyrd Skynyrd

    FREEBIRD!

    Actually, I was wrong before. I always thought this song was better than "Carry On Wayward Son." I don't necessarily think "Freebird" is the best rock song of all time, but it is my personal favorite, and it's the one I tend to listen to at special moments in my life. For example, the whole time I was in college and law school, I ended almost every semester with a loud playing of "Freebird." I'll probably do the same thing if I ever retire from work.

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  132. Number 10: "Sympathy for the Devil," by the Rolling Stones

    This is a fantabulous song, and another good example of how Keith Richards and Mick Jagger could evoke menace. For years, I've thought that this was the song they were playing at Altamont when Meredith Hunter was killed -- but Wikipedia informs me that they were actually playing "Under My Thumb."

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  133. Number 9: "Welcome to the Jungle," by Guns 'n' Roses

    Released on October 3, 1987, so this is now the top-ranked song from the 1980's. I always thought it was a shame that Guns 'n' Roses were unable to continue working together -- I don't think they ever really reached their potential.

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  134. Number 8: "Don't Stop Believin'," by Journey

    This song was released on October 6, 1981, so now it is the top-ranked song from the 1980's. This would be a great choice for top song from the 1980's, as I think almost everyone who went to high school during that decade would regard this song as part of the soundtrack of their lives.

    The highest-ranked Journey song is now higher than the highest-ranked Queen song, but I don't expect that to last.

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  135. Number 7: "Sweet Emotion," by Aerosmith

    I'm not going to make any effort to justify the ranking of this song. To me, it's just a pretty generic Aerosmith song.

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  136. Number 6: "You Shook Me All Night Long," by AC/DC

    The DC area loves its hard rock. I'm pretty sure that this song was number one on this list last year. It was released on August 19, 1980, so it becomes the top song from the 1980's. It was the first single released by AC/DC after the death of Bon Scott, their original lead singer.

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