Monday, May 31, 2021

This Year's Memorial Day Countdown

According to the listeners of WBIG-FM, on your dial at 100.3 in the DC area, or available everywhere on iHeartRadio.com.

We have been counting down the top 500 songs of the rock era, and now we are at number 10, which is "Tom Sawyer," by Rush.  There was once an episode of Chuck that centered on this song, and it was a really good episode.

17 comments:

  1. Number 9 is "(Another) Brick in the Wall," by Pink Floyd. When I was in college, there was a guy on my hall who spent most of his time trying to play the guitar. He could play the opening notes to "Run Like Hell," by Pink Floyd, and he played it about 1000 times in one semester. I don't think he ever played the whole song, or even anything more than a few notes. Ever since then, that guy has represented all Pink Floyd fans to me.

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    1. When I lived in Washington, D.C., I would open the window on my first-floor studio and hear somebody playing a flute somewhere in the 15 or 16 floors above me. Over and over, this person would play the same run of notes. It wasn't unpleasant at all, but I thought it was curious to hear only this same ... I don't know anything about music; it wasn't a melody ... just a run of notes ... not scales exactly. So one day I mentioned it to someone in the laundry room in the basement. That person told me the person playing the flute was part of the National Symphony Orchestra and had been for years.

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  2. Number 8 is "Crazytrain" by Ozzy Osbourne. Today on Twitter someone asked what would your state's walk-up song be. For Kentucky, I would go with that opening theme song for "Justified."

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  3. Number 7 is "Sweet Home Alabama," by Lynyrd Skynyrd. American populism in one song.
    "Watergate does not bother me -- does your conscience bother you?" I know several people from Alabama who always make sure to turn up their radios whenever Ronnie Van Zant says "Turn it up."

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    1. Watergate still bothers me, and I've never known what the heck that conscience line meant.

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  4. Number 6 is "Smells Like Teen Spirit," by Nirvana. It now seems fitting that Nirvana is the most recent group played on classic rock stations. It was Generation X's best contribution to a genre that so many of us loved so much. Someday I'm going to write a much longer piece about the wisdom of Kurt Cobain.
    After the events of the last year, the line "I feel stupid -- and contagious" sounds more prescient than ever.

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    1. I really wish I had taken Kurt Cobain's sickness more seriously.

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  5. Number 5 is "Hotel California," by the Eagles. I saw a really good documentary on the Eagles a few years ago, and was struck by how much they all seem to have disliked each other.

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    1. Tony Kornheiser talks about that documentary all of the time, and I want to see it.

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  6. Number 4 is "Sweet Child O' Mine" by Guns 'n' Roses. "Appetite for Destruction," the album on which this song appeared, was released on July 21, 1987, when Axl Rose was only 25 years old. At the time, I thought that rock 'n' roll, like the Reagan Revolution, would last for a really long time. But they were both gone by the summer of 1994, and we've lived in a very different world ever since.

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    1. This was the leadoff karaoke number at our 10th Heath Class of '86 reunion.

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  7. Number 3 is "Black Dog," by Led Zeppelin. There's a part in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" where one of the characters is going out on a date, and another character advises him to play Led Zeppelin IV. Then when we see the date, they are listening to a different album -- Physical Graffiti, I think. At the time, I thought the movie people had made a mistake. But only now, years later, do I realize that we are supposed to understand that the guy on the date made the mistake. And, indeed, everything goes pretty badly for him after that.

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  8. Number 2 is "You Shook Me All Night Long," by AC/DC. I never took AC/DC all that seriously when I was a kid, but now they are regarded as giants.

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    1. I had a crush for a summer on a person who loved this song.

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  9. Number 1 is "Bohemian Rhapsody," by Queen. This was my favorite song in the world when I was 11 years old, and apparently a lot of other people felt the same way.

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