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“Dolby’s Top 500 Classic Rock Songs of All Time (500-251)”

500 38 Special – “Hold on Loosely”

Oh loosely goosey, you‟re such a silly goose for wanting to leave this guy, especially with all the classic songs they wrote although seeing as desperation seems to be the songwriter‟s formative artistic trait, it begs the question as to whether relationship steadiness and happiness are really actually better. But that‟s neither here nor there, I guess.

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499 Bachman-Turner Overdrive – “Let it Ride”

Like a Steppenwolf Jr., sort of, BTO usurp the reins of heavy metal and continue to “take care of business” here in a highly assertive, white and male sort of way, which of course makes them quintessential “classic rock.”

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498 Billy Joel – “We Didn’t Start the Fire”

Billy Joel just seems to be a master in general, every one of his songs a little different from the other ones and full of character. Actually I have a funny story about really hating the song “The Longest Time” until I found it was by Billy Joel, at which point its existence made full sense to me. Am I platitudinous? Don’t answer that.

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497 Credence Clearwater Revival – “Up around the Bend”

The most awkward placement of a song in any movie history probably goes to this Chronicle cut popping up in Remember the Titans, in the middle of their most important football game. Still, you won‟t find a bad song on Chronicle, and these jaunty minor-chord prompts are probably even more approachable at first than darker sessions like “Run through the Jungle” and “Commotion.”

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496 Steve Miller Band – “Fly Like an Eagle”

How’s this: the sixth song in my counting down on this entire list and already it’s the second which was picked up by a black pop artist in the 1990s (and actually it won‟t be the last to accomplish that exact feat), this time falling into the lap of Seal for his lucrative mid-’90s reinterpretation of it. You‟ve got to like, then, that the metaphor betokens something not human but animal, a great equalizer, for all intents and purposes.

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495 Fleetwood Mac – “Monday Morning”

This, you might say, was Fleetwood Mac’s first BIG SONG, at least in terms of their full-length albums, as it leads off as track one their first mega-successful LP, the self-titled album from 1975 and their first one with Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham on it, of which, yes, the “Stevie” is the girl and the “Lindsey” is the guy, just in case you forgot.

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494 The Who – “5:15”

I know for a fact I’ve sat alone in a blank room and gotten some ENTERTAINMENT out of this song at some point in my life, and I guess yes it is meant as entertainment despite the fact that it‟s literally about this crazy British bastard being so nervous that all he could do was belt out some globe-sized platitude about it, sort of more “magic bus” than “Magic Bus,” every bit appropriating the existence of the Stones’ “Mother‟s Little Helper,” which may or may not also rank on this list (wink, wink).

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493 Pure Prairie League – “Amie”

How dignified is it to have a “thing” for Southern Ohio? Well, let’s rewind here: Jorma Kaukonen of Jefferson Airplane calls it home, being affiliated with the “hippie” college of Antioch in Yellow Springs, and then this band who I could have SWORN was going to be from the South actually hails from right over in Waverly, smack dab in the middle of the state’s Southern border, which seems to exist as an actual place in more of ideal sense than a pragmatic one, you have to admit.

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492 The Band – “The Night They Drove Old Dixie down”

Here we have the proud ascertainment of the phenomenon of somebody other than Bob Dylan actually having written any of The Band’s songs, with Canada’s Robbie Robertson having piped in for this one (from the way I understand it this unit was entirely Canadian but spent many formative days lodged in Bob Dylan’s cottage in upstate New York, playing, doodling and generally becoming themselves with the best of ’em).

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491 Credence Clearwater Revival – “Travelin’ Band”

Right up there at the top in terms of “frenetic” installments from this band with other heavyweights like “Commotion,” “Travelin‟ Band” jabs in as probably the more Apollonian option, with America still coming to terms with its own identity as a veritable assembly-line factory of foursome-bound rock (see GFR’s “We‟re an American Band,” et. al.)

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490 Tom Petty – “Here Comes My Girl”

Now here with this one, the subject matter is so median, ubiquitous, and the means, given one or two “jazzy” guitar chords thrown in here and there, are so conventional, that it doesn‟t even seem to MATTER where this person is from or what his objectives were: it’s an audible blueprint for how to become as much of a white male as you can be, a pretty solid Tom Petty track a lot of people forget about a lot of times.

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489 Steve Miller Band – “Wide River”

Sure, placing anything from the ’90s on this list is sort of like “cheating,” as that‟s more allotted as the start of “alternative rock” and “grunge” and ergo the end of “classic rock.” There’s lots of compelling things about this song, though, like that it’s really good (arguably Miller’s best number from a musical standpoint if lacking the ubiquity to place thusly for radio-orinted purposes of this list), and that it‟s the title track leadoff cut on his first album after the grunge explosion.

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488 Scorpions – “No One Like You”

No doubt, this song has the rudiment TEETH to stand as a worthy constituent of this list, a sort of hazy, vaguely psychedelic and guitar-noodly verse tensing up into a climactic chorus of very few, well crafted power chords, in classic mainstream metal form.

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487 The Who – “Love Reign O’er Me”

Quadrophenia was the album where The Who really, well, did a bunch of stuff that you can‟t do and generally blew your mind doing so, which is to say, it‟s exactly like all their other albums, although their ability to shorten the word “over” in a title to “o‟er” like a modern day John Donne and actually get away with it is pretty singular, you‟ve got to admit.

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486 Pink Floyd – “Shine on You Crazy Diamond (Pts. 1-5)”

It’s all about taking your inherent predicament and spinning it into something memorable and that’s going to be both valuable and understandable for the whole of humanity. Well, you could say Floyd did that, with even a couple of compelling extenuators at play: these guys were all in the shadow of the Beatles, to their disadvantage in a certain sense, and this song was actually written by Roger Waters about his former bandmate Syd Barrett, fallen to mental illness.

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485 Heart – “Crazy on You”

Oh thank God this song at least has some muscle musically speaking because this band sort of strikes me as like the Salt „n Pepa of the ’70s — just like so pathetically enamored with men that their songwriting output (if you can call it that or if it actually is that) comes to resemble something more like kitsch than artistic genuineness. Either way, it works well enough, you can‟t deny.

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484 The Guess Who – “No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature”

The Guess Who in my opinion split their time pretty ably and evenly between listenable but outdated potential-oldies-exhibits and rhythmic, relevant classic rock, into the latter of which I‟d say this two-pronged mammal definitely lands itself, for its ability to rest on flowery major chords but still somehow edgy and proviso of that dangerous, Dionysian freedom we like to attach to this stuff when we can.

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483 Fleetwood Mac – “Warm Ways”

Now, calling this album “The White Album,” that‟s just pompous, baby, and these guys are nowhere NEAR as good as the Beatles but this is a hummable enough tune which shows the vulnerability of an emotionally sodden lover and how that sort of thing can also stand as anthemic sometimes, which is pretty cool.

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482 David Bowie – “Rebel Rebel”

I‟m definitely quite the devil‟s advocate when it comes to Bowie. I simply refuse to acknowledge his greatness and part of it stems from how it seems like every discussion of Bowie inevitably dissolves into one of show-biz, or of fashion, subjects which supplant music themselves, which of course I dislike as an egghead music nerd, and stuff.

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481 Steve Miller Band – “Rock ‘N Me”

One thing you have to give this song is the ability to congeal around a brief, but catchy and perennially hummable chorus, sort of like R.E.M.’s “Talk about the Passion.” Steve Miller Band, which was originally dubbed the “Steve Miller Blues Band,” hails from San Francisco, hence the “northern California where the girls are warm” reference.

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480 U2 – “Pride (In the Name of Love)”

I kind of sort of have a new favorite U2 album (yeah right it‟s not better than The Joshua Tree), but amusingly enough, I‟m still trying to decide just what KIND of album it is, that is, scrappy, dark-horse merchant of hauntingly beautiful renderings like “Bad,” or big-shot, commercial flexer wielding household-singalong tunes like this one. Anyway, credit U2 with unleashing these huge singles but giving them the ability to be played on the album run-through and not hog the spotlight too much.

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479 The Who – “Bargain”

Now, I am a ’90s guy through and through — in fact I was one of the earliest proponents of Collective Soul even before NYU “higher mind” Tim Sommer came around to them, but even I will admit that there’s such a thing as a “classic rock spirit” where the guy singing seems to know everything, have seen everything, and be like a cooler, deeper-voiced version of your dad, and that’s kind of what this song is to me.

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478 Bob Seger – “Night Moves”

Bob Seger, though fairly basic and straight-ahead in general strategies, has quietly crafted what you might classify as a pretty well-rounded little cluster of hit songs, this one literally taking it back to the basics, addressing general problems like “awkward teenage blues” and the year 1962, which was of course a problem in that we didn‟t have the Beatles yet.

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477 Pink Floyd – “Welcome to the Machine”

In a weird way you could almost posit “Welcome to the Machine” as the centerpiece to Floyd’s appealing, off-kilter followup to The Dark Side of the Moon, 1975’s Wish You Were Here. Even more tense, deliberate and painstaking than the industry-defiant, riff-heavy “Have a Cigar,” “Welcome to the Machine” takes a stone-faced, ingenuous look at the innards of globalized commerce, and the inevitable occlusion of the self therein, which is sort of not only what this track represents but also becomes, in a sense.

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476 America – “Tin Man”

I think one thing that‟s going to become thematic on this list, hopefully, which is especially impressive given that these songs are here for four minutes and gone (a separate, slightly different “classic rock albums” list might also be plausible), is the undeniable reality that through abstract means, these artists painted a very concrete picture, which often involved stepping outside of themselves, in this case one of “America” despite that the band was actually composed of Americans based in Britain.

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475 Rush – “Working Man”

I have to say that although this a band I enjoy very much, particularly the Exit… Stage Left live album, this song in particular is one you don‟t hear too often. I put it on this list, along with its penchant for furthering heavy metal with some expansive structure and complex rhythms, for just what it‟s about, which, seeing as it comes from their self-titled debut, can‟t be chalked up to mid-career crowd-pleasing, as I was afraid it would.

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474 Men at Work – “Who Can it Be Now?”

Wow, I can‟t believe this song is really by the same band that does “Down under,” which is about as “’80s” as you can get (an entity all but exclusive of “classic rock”), with its light, synthy instrumentation and memorable music video… nonetheless this track conversely has that Eddie Money punchiness that defines the sort of mold of what I‟m going for on this collection.

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473 Steve Miller Band – “Jet Airliner”

With Steve Miller, it seems like the blueprint was pretty simple: make everything BIG, grandiose, hence all his songs about traveling (I think I even left off “Take the Money and Run” of this list, since I really can’t stand it… I mean it’s about how taxes are bad but then it’s about driving on publically funded roadways), and this track is no exception, with a catchy, smooth enough chorus to let it skate by.

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472 Fleetwood Mac – “Go Your Own Way”

Uh oh ’90s cover alert again: you‟ve got Northwest pop-punkers Seaweed taking on this project for the soundtrack of Clerks, one of my favorite movies, and to be honest this is probably my favorite thing about “Go Your Own Way,” but it‟s pervasive enough that to leave it out of the top 500 might have been a tad bit tacky.

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471 Styx – “Lady”

It‟s funny being from the Midwest and just assuming that Styx is like from another planet or something, only to come to find out by and by that they‟re a bunch of freakin‟ Chicagoans. Maybe this speaks to their tendency to bombast and taking on foreign, grandiose themes — it‟s the Midwestern inferiority complex, the need for the tallest building, the need to reach out to something celestial or otherworldly as a way of wiping out what has been your identity up to this point.

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470 Talking Heads – “And She Was”

I put a couple Talking Heads tracks on this list — really they‟re sort of one foot in “new wave” and one in the older, more traditional guard (not really fitting in with “punk,” the way I see it, as is often told as the case with their late-’70s New York scene). “And She Was,” anyway, seems not really bound to any style or movement, a perfect song sort of like “Walk of Life” that popped up in the ’80s in spite of itself and had no choice but to gush forth with melody and undeniable distinction.

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469 America – “Lonely People”

There’s this weird moment on this Yo La Tengo song “Lewis” (which is actually an awesome story about what by that point was a former bandmate, Mike Lewis), where Ira Kaplan makes public his goal to “forget every hit song America ever had,” and let’s just say that when you really look at this band‟s catalogue and output, the methodical ability to continually produce catchy and meaningful anthems within the restrictive format of radio rock, that jealousy becomes fully understandable.

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468 Credence Clearwater Revival – “I Heard it through the Grapevine”

This is definitely one of those cases of the 10-minute song I always THINK is going to suck this time, I always THINK is finally going to be boring and unlistenable, but then always putting on a show with enough rhythm and R&B sass as to pull its weight, time and time again. I think part of the issue is that it‟s a fairly dangerous emotion Fogerty’s dealing with, but a strong one, so that once you can bring yourself to get in the bath once again, it’s understandable to want to stay in again for a while.

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467 Kansas – “Dust in the Wind”

Topeka, Kansas is certainly a place you don‟t hear about very much, despite that it’s one of our proud state capitals, but nevertheless it plays launching pad for the band Kansas, who I guessed named themselves that as an immediate disclaimer to any analytical onlookers. In all fairness, the Sunflower State is a beautiful place in its own way, with a beaming sun and gradual climbing elevation as you make your way west to the Rockies.

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466 The Police – “Don’t Stand So Close to Me”

My friend had this Best of the Police disc in college he’d crank in his car and this cut here was one of the just slurry of classic songs on it, which were undeniably catchy to an infectious extent, and each seemed to handle subject matter that was slightly different, which was a nice bonus too.

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465 Journey – “Wheel in the Sky”

When I was growing up our classic rock station sort of immortalized this song with this commercial bit of this guy asking “Where were you the first time YOU heard “Wheel in the Sky,” and at the time it seemed like such an odd selection to so emphatically extol like that — but take another listen and you do find that the guitar has this amazing, velvety quality in the intro that almost makes it sound like a synth, and the band has this almost animal way of foreshadowing a rhythmic takeover, then with some pretty decent, booming drum sound too, to complement Steve Perry‟s high, Geddy Lee-like voice.

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464 Eagles – “Desperado”

There was that famous South Park episode where every time Cartman started hearing “Come Sail away,” he had to sing the entire thing without stopping… well “Desperado,” while a tad mournful and discouraging by comparison, is like that song that makes you stop everything and shut up and give all the lyrics a listen, with classic lines like “Don‟t you draw the queen of diamonds boy / She‟ll beat you if she‟s able / The queen of hearts is always your best bet” and “Don‟t your feet get cold in the wintertime?”

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463 Stevie Ray Vaughn – “Pride and Joy”

Sort of like a kitschy, white incarnation of Jimi Hendrix, SRV boiled blues-rock down to these little digestible capsules, most notably in the form of this radio staple full of grungy riffs and that classic Chicago-blues six-eight time signature.

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462 Toto – “Rosanna”

This was always like one of those songs that just seemed to creep into your psyche, or crawl on your skin like slime, no unmistakable and impossible to forget after you first hear it, to where, once you get older, you actually realize, that means it‟s GOOD.

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461 U2 – “Where the Streets Have No Name”

Of particular note here I guess would be the music video, for which the band decided to shoot in Los Angeles and make it a live concert in front of 30,000 people. I finally found some coherent information on this event on Diffuser, which states that the band staged what was sort of a part-concert, part-video shoot, on top of a liquor store, apparently unbeknownst to the police, who then showed up two minutes into the shoot to break up the party. Oh, the ’80s, and their bombast… eh, it‟s still probably the punk-est thing U2 has ever done.

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460 Golden Earring – “Twilight Zone”

This band’s creations seem to occlude its identity, like they were a mad scientist who creates monsters behind the scenes — these ridiculously catchy and ubiquitous cheese-rock trotters that everybody knows but nobody knows the source of.

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459 Big Country – “In a Big Country”

One kind of charming thing about this song I guess would be that pre-’90s way it has of relinquishing all sarcasm, irony and tongue-in-cheek for when the groundwork of a rock song can still rest on a simple, innocent statement of some way. Big Country hails from Scotland. Think this might be their flagship song, maybe?

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458 Orleans – “Still the One”

As far as I know, this band is a one-hit-wonder, although I might have just stuck my foot in it… anyway, I remember this catchy tune gracing some movie about politics or a president… was it Wag the Dog? I used to think it was by Kansas… I think my old hacking site Kazaa claimed it was.

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457 The Police – “Roxanne”

Like Cage the Elephant‟s “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked” and Soul Asylum‟s “Without a Trace,” “Roxanne” is a song at least in part devoted to having fallen in love with a whore, literally… is it possible that Cage the Elephant’s rip-through is the best tune out of all of these? Duuuude. By the way, nobody seems to know what the he** “put(ting) on the red light might refer to”… I even found a site that was even called “SongMeanings” and it was just the lyrics, and then a bunch of jerk offs commenting, misspelling words and offered tepidly educated guesses at its origin. Also, apparently the subject of a song was originally a character in a French play, interestingly enough.

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456 Bob Seger – “Turn the Page”

I swear it’s not on purpose that like half my list is songs that were covered in the ’90s, but yes Metallica did pick this one up around ‟97 and to pretty auspicious results, from what I remember, both artistically and commercially. It’s a pretty sad song, really, and certainly a testament for how hard on the psyche and countenance that the obligation of touring can be for a lot of these individuals.

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455 Aerosmith – “Rag Doll”

“Rag Doll” pumps forth from Aerosmith’s ’87 album Permanent Vacation, which ironically directly follows up the band’s 10-year vacation during which they suffered breakups and probably every kind of addiction on the planet. With this being the case, like lots of their best work, I think it really lounges out of the speakers at you with a certain freedom, like a band so loose because they’ve got nothing to lose and even willing to kinda-sorta rip off “Summer in the City.”

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454 Starship – “We Built This City”

Wow is this bizarre: this song is not by “Jefferson Starship,” as originally claims to be the case, but this shortened permutation which in fact during “We Built This City”‘s recording featured NONE of the original members of Jefferson Airplane. Also, it was written by the British Bernie Taupin, who also had his hand in the lyrics of “I Guess That’s Why They Call it the Blues,” one of my favorite songs. Well, we‟ll dust it off for this list thanks to its ubiquity and generally tending to be better than Huey Lewis & the News.

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453 Credence Clearwater Revival – “I Put a Spell on You”

Credence handle this ‟56 Screamin’ Jay Hawkins number in fine form for both their original catalogue and then Chronicle, Vol. 1, their shining greatest hits collection. You‟ll duly notice the way Fogerty seems to FEEL the role right down to the point of almost actually sounding like a black Delta Blues denizen, when he howls out these words.

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452 The Rolling Stones – “As Tears Go by”

Aw, looga those baby Stones, they’re so cute! This dainty little number comes in their early days but seems to pour forth with a wisdom and maturity beyond their years as well as their iridescent ability to glean influences from various entities like prior rock and roll and also Motown and soul.

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451 Heart – “Magic Man”

Sort of like the signature Heart “metal” sound from the inimitable “Barracuda” pared down to a digestible capsule of love-mood astonishment, “Magic Man” trots along as a worthy soundtrack to keepin‟ in sleazy in most situations, blossoming out into a furiously catchy chorus, you‟ve gotta admit.

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450 Electric Light Orchestra – “Shine a Little Light”

The British Electric Light Orchestra is definitely one of those “bands” that‟s preceded by its frontman, who probably needs them less than they need him. In the case of this funky romp, which isn’t as cheesy as the title sounds thankfully enough, the guy basically plays lead guitar during the chorus, which is the primary guitar at work at that time, and somehow manages to sing this chorus really fast and right on key, into the mic. How he even attempts to do that and doesn‟t topple over amazes me, let alone actually getting it all right.

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449 The Police – “De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da”

This was always one of the many really good Police tunes, I thought, very much akin to “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic,” but also of note is this really ironic and hilarious video of Sting getting into a cussing and threatening match with this boisterous fan during this childish, kindergarten love song, quite the melding of forces.

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448 Styx – “Come Sail away”

Of course this became a FULL-FLEDGED gag song after that South Park episode of 2004 or so where the one character always has to sing the whole thing whenever he hears any chunk of it at all — well part of this might be that it soared in popularity around like 2000 through 2003 or so, when the world was reeling from 9/11 and a severe downturn in the quality of radio rock, then turning to this anthem as a much-needed otherworldly sort of antidote (remember sci-fi I think had waned in popularity in movies too, giving way to an overwhelmingly comedy-dominated collection of Super Troopers, Not Another Teen Movie, Old School, etc.)

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447 John Mellencamp – “Lonely Ol’ Night”

I’m in the music group on Facebook (sort of against my will) and the theme the other night was “’90s one-hit wonders.” It sounded fun enough, but it was amazing how hard it was to come up with songs that nobody‟s was colossally sick of. I guess John Mellencamp is a good example of how one-hit wonders are pretty overrated, the fashion fluff of sleaze merchants like VH1 with no real nose for born artists.

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446 George Thorogood & the Destroyers – “I Drink Alone”

George Thorogood seemed to be one basic dude, who I just learned is from Wilmington, Delaware, right on the interstate between Philly and Baltimore — anyway the themes of his songs tend to not be rocket science, but you‟ve gotta love the honesty and of course those blues-rock guitar chops that are sort of like a more verbose, less technical version of Stevie Ray Vaughn.

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445 Nick Lowe – “Cruel to Be Kind”

Ack, I was just dissing one-hit-wonders and now here I go with this Nick Lowe noise… so what’s surprising here is how natural he sounds on the mic, expressing these deep relationship grievances, stepping in and out of roles and delivering a song that’s remarkably distinct, for its casual tone.

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444 Steely Dan – “Rikki Don‟t Lose That Number”

“Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” is sort of the flagship opener on Pretzel Logic, the band’s third album, and one of their biggest hits. Back in my hometown of South Bend, Indiana, this Steely Dan cover band plays the Midway Tavern every Thanksgiving break and always seems to draw quite a crowd, even of people who were born in the ’80s or ’90s.

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443 The Cars – “Just What I Needed”

In possibly the first ever instance of palm-muting (Eve 6 was all ears) Boston‟s The Cars deliver what‟s probably their biggest hit with their prototypical light-heartedness which would bely a couple of later dark dirges.

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442 Fleetwood Mac – “Gold Dust Woman”

It’s the closeur on the remarkable Rumours but I‟ll always remember this tune as a perennially playable radio number, with a curious darkness running through its dainty, major-chord makeup.

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441 Loverboy – “Working for the Weekend”

Oh yeah, who could deny this favorite and my personal favorite memory of this song is Will Ferrell dancing around to it in that fake moustache on what must have been… Letterman in about ‟01? Eh, some memories are best recalled loosely, I guess.

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440 Gary Wright – “Dream Weaver”

Isn’t it appropriate, in a way, that this spooky, fly-by-night arbiter of cosmically catchy tune would be a one-hit wonder, on the scene with some celestial majesty in a single incident and then gone like the ephemeral night itself.

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439 Toto – “Hold the Line”

Wow I somehow keep running into a bevy of songs that Kazaa used to say were by the wrong artists — no this is not Foreigner, it‟s probably a little better than them, and yes believe it or not it’s by the same band that cranked out “Africa,” which is like the “Mmm-Bop” of 2018, despite that it came out in the early ’80s, of course.

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438 The Doors – “Touch Me”

“Touch Me” is definitely one of the poppier, jauntier numbers by The Doors, appearing originally on the band‟s stupefyingly upbeat, and surprisingly listenable ’69 album after all these years, The Soft Parade. It‟s the optimistic side of Jim Morrison, though centering topically on a lady of his choice, which I guess is hardly too surprising.

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437 Electric Light Orchestra – “Can’t Get it out of My Head”

Amusingly enough Gerry O’Keefe, which is a person whose exact role I don‟t even know but is an entertaining party to follow on Facebook nonetheless, shared this song and gave it the tab “Need To Get Out More Song 101,” or something like that. What I remember is the big, lush instrumentation with hearty keyboard and even some strings, but how hilariously laid-back the band seemed in the video, decked out in tie-dyes and various casual garbs.

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436 Heart – “Barracuda”

It doesn‟t get much more “classic rock” than this, probably Heart’s best and most famous song with that relentless, infectious heavy metal riff that‟s like Black Sabbath on coffee and LSD and almost seems to presage certain heady grunge expeditions like STP’s “Trippin’ on a Hole in a Paper Heart” or Pearl Jam’s “Spin the Black Circle.”

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435 Eagles – “In the City”

The Eagles were one of those bands with co-lead singers and this one here is Joe Walsh, not Don Henley, who typically shouldered the load in vocals. Actually, this song reminds me pretty much straight up of one of those solid Joe Walsh solo songs like “All Night Long” and whatnot, with its simple chord progression and clear, straight-ahead lyricism. Nice handy-dandy rocker here.

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434 Pink Floyd – “Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 2”

You might think I ranked this song sort of low… eh… yeah I guess… I‟m sort of more of a David Gilmour guy than a Roger Waters one, typically melting before the former‟s pristine pop efforts like “Learning to Fly” and “Take it back.” It‟s obviously a pretty good song. I can‟t say I fully understand it, though, and I feel a certain culture gap before this daunting British entity of “hellish grammar school,” or whatever. After all, in America, students hit the teachers (and hopefully don‟t shoot each other).

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433 Steve Perry – “Oh Sherrie”

That Journey guy has solo sh**! Haha. Aww! What could be more American? This was always a proud expedition here to spout at bars and jukeboxes, though I wouldn’t recommend it for grocery stores, reserving it for some good ol’ beery arm-tossing or pool-shooting.

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432 Nazareth – “Hair of the Dog”

My favorite memory of this song is probably one of my friends one time laughing about somebody’s older brother mouthing it straight at somebody else in intimidation, with the guy‟s two jowls apparently opening out with an unusual and hilarious vertical breadth. It’s probably a good song to play at sports games after a brawl, it would seem.

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431 The Rolling Stones – “Time is on My Side”

Wow is The Rolling Stones’ early segment of its discography smattered in other artists’ material — I had no idea this song was actually a cover until I just looked it up and its grounding on ’65’s The Rolling Stones No. 2, proviso of myriad other covers and one key original, “Off the Hook.”

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430 The Cars – “Shake it up”

The quintessential Cars song in many ways, “Shake it up” moves along with their signature Rolling Stones groove and some words about just losin’ your mind and gettin’ down. This band doesn‟t really strike me as sound wizards, fitting seeing as the bands he produces are frat boy vagabonds like Guided by Voices and Weezer.

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429 Lynyrd Skynyrd – “Tuesday’s Gone”

It’s so sad, but last summer I really, really saw this dude sitting alone in his car on the side of the road listening to this song — it was sort of like with “Come Sail away,” where he had to listen to the whole thing without stopping, except he wasn’t actually singing along to it. “Tuesday’s Gone” is one of the early, founding Skynyrd classics that they actually wrote, too.

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428 Bruce Hornsby and the Range – “Mandolin Rain”

You knew I’d have to chime in with some “dad rock” here at some point, and Hornsby and company belt out dad rock in the finest pedigree — actually I can just see some pipe-smoking 40-something looking out the window to his daughter playing this song while she heads off to prom with some roughnecked football-playing goon.

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427 Grand Funk Railroad – “Some Kind of Wonderful”

GFR’s rendition here by and large does the trick but I actually just learned recently that this was originally a Motown number by The Soul Brothers Six, whose version definitely blows GFR out of the water, mind you.

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426 Dire Straits – “Romeo and Juliet”

One definition of “classic” would be that it’s picked up and performed by other bands, this particular number falling into the lap of the Indigo Girls in what must have been some time in the ’90s — also it‟s sort of the good-ol’-boy, hopeless romantic foil to Lou Reed’s “Romeo and Juliette,” which shows the sociological perils of everyday urban life even as completely removed and autonomous from romance.

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425 Def Leppard – “Photograph”

I’m not gonna lie: I really can‟t believe Def Leppard is in the rock and roll hall of fame (there must have been a strong late-’80s, poodle-hair contingent on the voting panel)… hauntingly enough, this song pipes in with that same metronomic drum beat of cheesy snare sound, but eh it‟s a hummable enough tune so let’s give it a whirl this time.

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424 Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band – “Mainstreet”

Out of all the songs that are about a particular street (“On Broadway”; “Across 110th Street”; “Walking in Memphis”, et. al.), this one just seems to pass with such a light freshness and lack of excessive sentimentalism that it makes for a perennially rewarding listen. And it‟s nice to hear Seger pipe in with something resembling satisfaction before this place, or this cathartic conclusion he‟s come to about this place, whatever the case may be.

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423 Aerosmith – “Walk This Way”

I think I‟m the only person I know who actually prefers this original version to the Run-DMC rap remake (which oddly enough came out 11 years later). “Walk This Way,” along with its endearing honesty and spicy Joe Perry riff, in part represents Aerosmith’s preternatural knack for belting out tunes that would not only be danceable but DISTINCTLY danceable, and quintessentially so, here.

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422 Bruce Springsteen – “I’m Goin’ down”

Ah, relationship woes: they always make for juicy classic rock or alt-rock fare, this particular swatch coming across perhaps a tad more light-hearted than, say, Nirvana‟s “Heart-Shaped Box,” which was originally titled “Heart-Shaped Coffin.” But what an awkward juxtaposition, on the “Born in the U.S.A.” album! Yeah, they all did too much coke in the ’80s to actually think things through.

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421 The Who – “I Can See for Miles”

There’s plenty to keep the listener’s appetite whetted on this rock and roll monstrosity, like a set of creative key changes, a unique permutation on the verse‟s main vocal theme and of course the type of definitive metaphor in the lyrics that seems to ensure that this music remains permanent, with an almost intimidating level of authority.

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420 Traffic – “Rainmaker”

I guess it’s a testament to the epochal prowess of classic rock at large that a song like this can be such a Jethro Tull ripoff but still somehow have such a distinct VIBE about it, and what‟s more, come across as perfect driving music, like for radio in general or for other bands on the road to learn from (of which there might have been just a few, around this time).

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419 Judas Priest – “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin‟”

One of two Judas Priest tracks on this list, “You‟ve Got Another Thing Comin'” is the more confrontational no doubt, perfect for readying for white trash bouts with unruly step-dads, and whatnot. In history, Judas Isciarot was one of the 12 disciples of Christ who “betrayed” him by “kissing him and addressing him as “Rabbi.”

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418 Quiet Riot – “Cum on Feel the Noize”

Quiet Riot hailed from LA and belted out this household butt-rock staple… interestingly enough their first album rolled out in ’77, which is about six years earlier than I would have thought. Also amusing is that “quiet riot” was the prescient, mistaken way one of the eventual members heard a British lad attempt to articulate a different potential name: “Quite Right.”

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417 Stealers Wheel – “Stuck in the Middle with You”

Most famously rendered in Quentin Tarrantino’s famous and awesome blockbuster film Reservoir Dogs (in which a character is actually “stuck” in a room with a lethal man hoisting a knife), these Bob Dylan sound-alikes wield their most famous hit here which is infinitely playable and vaguely bluesy in a refreshing sort of way.

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416 Credence Clearwater Revival – “Proud Mary”

Much of the book on classic rock is still being written, I feel like, how it was so white-male dominated (I think that‟s why its radio presence has dissipated a tad and the main old rock radio bulwark in my hometown of South Bend has gone under), but these guys will always be at the forefront of the zeitgeist, with their cavalier, devil-may-care lyrics about travel and of course, their feature as the band “The Dude” in The Big Lebowski preferred to absorb.

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415 The Cars – “Drive”

I swear to God I thought this was like Duran Duran for so many years. I mean there’s no palm muting, for Christ’s sake! Without question I’d say it sidles methodically out of the speakers as something pretty unique and definitive, especially seeing as it marks a somber stylistic turn away from the Boston band’s usual jovial party-rock.

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414 Tommy James – “Draggin’ the Line”

With “Draggin’ the Line” his biggest solo hit, Tommy James is known originally as the scribe behind the great “Crimson and Clover” and the frontman of Tommy James and the Shondells. And you’ve got to like the sentiment in this cut here for some good ol’ grounded, Midwestern style of values, being happy with what you’ve got and not griping. James’ son was born when he was 17, as his memoir reports.

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413 Santana – “Oye Como Va”

It‟s that Mexican song… yup… it’s that Mexican song… really this is probably my favorite Santana tune although I’m sure there are lots of them I’ve never heard. The instrumentation is a winner right away, right off of how the bassline beautifully fondles that main organ, and then the percussion explosion of bongos, etc.

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412 Eagles – “I Can‟t Tell You Why”

Quintessentially Eagles for its ability to get across a distinct, undeniable romantic message without a lot of excess noise, “I Can’t Tell You Why” is a cool slow-burner with this stead guitar segment at the end, surprisingly ambient and laid-back where other bands would have tried to plot down an overly verbose statement of quote-unquote “shredding.”

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411 Electric Light Orchestra – “Turn to Stone”

“Turn to Stone” comes on ELO’s seventh album Out of the Blue and by this point these guys had really mastered their production, that thick layer of electric rhythm guitar like a surreal sonic ride that carries you throughout the whole song with a firm kinetic energy.

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410 The Cars – “Let‟s Go”

You might have Googled “she likes the night life baby” but what you were actually looking for was this cut, which again ups the energy in typical Cars form but unleashes probably their most prominent use of the Moog synth, and the ability of that instrument to really take a song over, of their entire careers.

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409 Seals and Crofts – “Summer Breeze”

Almost like a softer, more reflective Steely Dan, these guys forge up some serious melodic dynamism for what‟s far and away their biggest hit here. The origin of the band is LA but the members originally hail from Texas, according to Wikipedia.

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408 ZZ Top – “I Thank You”

Sort of just un-sleazy enough to qualify as one of the listenable ZZ Top songs in my book (to say nothing of their work on 1983’s MTV-catering Eliminator), “I Thank You” isn’t quite bluesy but it’s got this cavalier disposition in the vocal as to denote the best moments of the old blues singers, when they really get in a groove and forget all their troubles.

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407 The Rolling Stones – “Miss You”

The Stones were so full of evolutions, I don’t think anyone would deny and this sort of late-era hit marks that sort of spontaneous tension and spookiness they’d come to master in the mid-’70s and beyond. Some Girls certainly makes for a viable classic in its own right what with “Beast of Burden” and “Shattered” being also among its list of crimes.

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406 John Mellencamp – “Small Town”

This is a pretty catchy song, used on our “pump up tape” in high school cross country around ’98 or so, but what I have to say was really weird was hearing it on the north side of Chicago, somewhere around Skokie, at a job interview, where the office was broadcasting solely John Mellencamp tunes. It was a little taste of apple pie Indiana right in the big city there, I guess, something they‟d probably never admit they need sometimes, of course.

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405 The Who – “Boris the Spider”

I still remember this family friend of mine one time remarking that “That’s an Entwistle number if there ever was one,” and surely the bassline does seem to take prominence in the song‟s theme, all throughout. Entwistle also provides vocals on this humorous 1966 ditty about killing a spider.

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404 Lynyrd Skynyrd – “Don’t Ask Me No Questions”

This is one of those gratifying classic rock tunes, sort of like Mellencamp‟s “I Need a Lover,” that comes with a rogue sort of set of “words to live by” for bands on the road, trying to keep their sanity, which of course is probably the lion‟s share but then maybe they deserve that anyway.

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403 Don Henley – “Dirty Laundry”

This song is actually fairly fun to go back to because it’s got a vague ’70s disco vibe, with that four-on-the-floor drum beat and snare drum so full of pop. It was just like these LA dudes to get the absolute upper echelon of producers on their solo albums and you might say it paid off on this particular session.

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402 The Georgia Satellites – “Keep Your Hands to Yourself”

As far as I know this band was definitely a one-hit wonder, so it‟s fully welcome that this tune is not only fun but also Southern-kitschy and also probably a little geographically authentic, what with the stereotype of the South being slow and everything being proper down there. Yeah, I have no use for the South, obviously (just kidding).

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401 Steve Miller Band – “Joker”

This is typically a pretty popular song and I have ranked it premiere amongst Steve Miller tracks. And as far as why it didn’t crack the top 400, I have to say that the ridiculous extent to which it‟s overplayed didn‟t hamper its case nearly as much as that whistle cat-call did… wonder if that was at least considered cool back in the ’70s?

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400 AC/DC – “You Shook Me All Night Long”

Lots of things are baffling or noteworthy about this tune, like the fact that the title is the words to the verse of a Zeppelin song (“You Shook Me”), the phrase “American thighs” would go on to christen a Veruca Salt album, and… Brian Johnson already had American “groupies” on his first album with the band, Back in Black? Hmm, something tells me it was actually written by the group‟s former and late lead man, Bon Scott.

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399 Eagles – “Witchy Woman”

This cut is a practice in the Eagles’ methodical songwriting technique — a melodic tune with just enough tension and suspense to make an impression, and full of distinct imagery like “Sparks fall from her finger tips” and “She’s got the moon in her eyes”.

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398 U2 – “New Year’s Day”

War I have to say is an album by U2 I never really fully got into, but I always found this song to rock along with a certain velocity, unlike “Sunday Bloody Sunday” which I’ve always found to be full of a manufactured sort of indignation before war. Of course, the exact message in “New Year’s Day” is more complex, oddly bemoaning a reunion in the backdrop of apparent monotony.

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397 Tom Petty – “It’s Good to Be King”

This I guess is Tom Petty’s plea for sympathy that he’ll never be “king”… well Mr. Petty I’m pretty sure most people would give their left nut to be you, and America doesn’t have “kings” in the first place. All things considered, he’s still put together a decent tune here, Wildflowers being probably not the worst Sunday-night campfire singalong album of them all.

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396 John Mellencamp – “Ain’t Even Done with the Night”

I didn’t grow up in the ’80s and I’ve never really heard any whole John Mellencamp album, let alone this one, but I have to say this slow little tune was a grower for me and in general all his songs have a way of being sort of distinct, all just different enough from the other ones that they forge their own path, this one holding up in that particular regard.

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395 The Who – “Happy Jack”

“Refreshing” would probably be the operative word for describing how my friends and I felt about this tune the first time we heard it — it’s got that real off-kilter drum beat that‟s very tom-heavy and an overall musical blueprint that‟s very tense and cinematic. Wikipedia reports that the song‟s about a real person Pete Townshend saw while vacationing who remained jolly even as children commenced playfully burying him in the sand.

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394 The Guess Who – “Share the Land”

This is a very funny song and the best song by Canada’s The Guess Who for many reasons, one being that it sounds like Burton Cummings is saying the name “Shibby,” but it’s actually just the confluence of the background vocal uttering “Shake your hand” while Cummings is mouthing the word “Maybe.” So there: he‟s saying maybe he’ll be there, promising not to try not to fu** with your mind, just like Eve 6.

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393 Ozzy Osbourne – “Mama, I’m Coming Home”

So yeah, “Mama, I’m Coming Home”… this song is definitely pretty catchy but I just can‟t seem to get past the general theme — is he talking about his actual mom here? By the way remember when Ozzy Osbourne was like a thing? He was the last hope for music, you might say. The No More Tears track was co-written by Lemm Lilmister and Zakk Wylde, Wikipedia doth report.

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392 Journey – “Any Way You Want it”

“Any Way You Want it” comes from Journey’s 1980 album Departure, which popped up right in the midst of their initial immersion into live albums, compilations and soundtracks, and was the last Journey LP to feature keyboardist Gregg Rolie.

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391 The Cars – “My Best Friend’s Girl”

Per about the standard Cars game plan, “My Best Friend’s Girl” revs its combustion engine up to that usual medium, rollicking tempo and major-chord, verse/chorus infrastructure. One thing notable, or at least funny, about this song (since otherwise it‟s not a very funny song) is that Kurt Cobain would tease the riff from it at concerts after he’d found out Courtney Love was cheating on him.

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390 The Rolling Stones – “Start Me up”

According to Wikipedia, “Start Me up” climbed as high as number two on the U.S. Billboard singles chart upon its Tattoo You release in 1981. It marks an interesting shift back to rock and roll basics immediately following the disco-oriented, genre-amalgamating Emotional Rescue, which I know is an album a lot of Stones fans extol significantly.

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389 The Zombies – “Time of the Season”

This is another one of those songs that definitely sounds ahead of its time, seeing as it‟s attached to 1968, the year of the likewise futuristic Steppenwolf, and proudly already channels that psychedelic spirit of classic rock which would come to fuller fruition in groups like Led Zeppelin. The British group is also responsible for the excellent “She’s Not There,” an earlier pop single which I didn’t deem quite “rocking” enough for this list.

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388 Duran Duran – “Hungry Like the Wolf”

This song by the British band eventually grew on me, with a strange sort of catchiness to it and the singer almost SOUNDING like he morphs into a predatory wolf, or something… in a good way. According to Wikipedia this 1982 cut was the band‟s first successful music video, hence getting them into the U.S. market.

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387 Electric Light Orchestra – “Evil Woman”

There‟s been no word yet as to if this “evil woman” is an “American woman,” like The Guess Who once clamored about, but the Brits do seem to have a fixation on “American thighs,” et. al. like in David Essex’s “Rock on” and whatnot. Anyway, it almost seems appropriate that “Evil Woman” rocks along on a riff of piano, which chicks probably don’t “dig” as much as the caterwauling, face-melting electric guitar which was becoming fairly popular around this time.

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386 Credence Clearwater Revival – “Commotion”

“Commotion” is founding R&B at its finest, fast, frenetic, jazzed-up and panicked, lamenting the “So much going on” around “the White House,” coming to power around a “whoa-whoa-whoa” refrain or two before pointedly telling the “commotion” to “Get get get gone”. Sometimes the direct, primal approach is the best.

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385 Led Zeppelin – “Houses of the Holy”

The obvious knock on this number was that it didn‟t actually make the CUT of the album Houses of the Holy, ending up as a sessions outtake to be reused for the band’s followup, the double-disc Physical Graffiti. Well let’s not forget that Houses of the Holy basically DEFINES the classic and that it’s still a rollicking and amusing number, featuring of course the great lyrical pairing “So the room is spinning faster / Are you dizzy when you’re stoned?”

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384 AC/DC – “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap”

Ever proclaimers of the “no more Mr. Nice Guy” tenet, our favorite unruly Aussies chime in here with an anthem for the down at heart, for the wronged, for the bitter and mean, saying hey, I don’t need a lot of money, just some good ol’ human attrition… and a little bit of money.

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383 Yes – “Long Distance Runaround”

Interestingly, Fragile seems to be Yes’ most famous album while at the same time not housing any of their most famous songs (“I’ve Seen All Good People”; “Owner of a Lonely Heart”). “Long Distance Runaround” was a single off of Fragile and a solid enough album cut to tie the whole thing together, an album which to my liking closes with an excellent cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s “America.”

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382 Peter Gabriel – “Solsbury Hill”

I‟m not really an ’80s guy and I always thought this song was by Phil Collins… I guess it doesn‟t matter but sometimes it’s funny in the midst of these lists when we get a break from the Zeppelin/Sabbath mimicry and get a true dose of songwriting that‟s more informed by Motown and something more traditional. You always know it when you hear it, that‟s for sure.

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381 Don Henley – “Sunset Grill”

It‟s where the Eagles get big, and “’80s”: with this wet, schmaltzy synth taking the intro riff and the snare drum sound deep and resonant like Bon Jovi. In the vocal itself, Don Henley’s persona seems to have evolved from caustic, seasoned commenter on life to sweet talker, so I guess you could say this song is for boozy late nights when everyone’s ready for some bad decisions.

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380 America – “I Need You”

The story of America in and of itself is something to behold, three Yankees all sons of US Air Force personnel stationed in London, as Wikipedia reports. In general all the songs tend to be purposeful and full of longing, which you can certain understand.

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379 Ozzy Osbourne – “Mr. Crowley”

“Mr. Crowley” was inspired by British occultist Aleister Crowley and appears on Ozzy‟s debut solo effort Blizzard of Oz, as reports Wikipedia.

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378 Billy Idol – “Eyes without a Face”

Taking on about the exact same tempo, instrumentation and subject matter as Roxette’s “It Must Have Been Love,” Billy Idol’s monster ballad here mosies in here at five full minutes, throws in a slight phrasing wrinkle in the chorus and usually scoots along as listenable, not stale.

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377 Them, Van Morrison – “Gloria”

“Gloria” is probably one of the most covered songs in history, not unlike “And it Stoned Me” or “Wild Nights,” for that matter, handled by Patti Smith and ubiquitous to the point where Kurt Cobain joked that Nirvana would one day be covering it at benefit concerts. To listen to The Best of Van Morrison is to behold the absolute upper echelon of rock and roll history.

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376 Lynyrd Skynyrd – “Free Bird”

I have no idea why I ranked this song so low but then it is pretty arbitrary, when you get down to it, and everybody makes fun of “Sweet Home Alabama” so much even though it‟s a better song — well anyway my “Rock Music in the ’70s and ’80s” professor used to joke around that whenever he was seeing band and the show sucked, he‟d sarcastically yell out “Free Bird” for them to cover.

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375 Traffic – “Light up or Leave Me Alone”

It‟s safe to say that Traffic’s 1971 The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys album is the band’s classic, providing the title track, “Rainmaker” and this album cut, which I like for its ability to unlike their other songs establish a bona fide “groove,” a loungy R&B stew which likely went on to inform the style of Steely Dan and many others.

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374 Billy Joel – “Piano Man”

I think I had this song on my top 100 oldies list and I‟ve ranked it sort of low here because it‟s not all that “rock” and lots of construction workers and heating and air conditioning repairmen would term in “pu**y.” Well, there‟s one of these lists for everyone, you might say. “They‟re sharing a drink they call loneliness / But it‟s better than drinking alone” is still one of the best sets of lyrics ever.

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373 Eagles – “Life in the Fast Lane”

One ironic thing about the Eagles is that though they were megastars in the industry, apparent hard partiers and suave debonairs all around, they were oddly also sort of grounded, and prone to pragmatic messages about how to live like “Desperado” and “The Long Run,” et. al. LA is like a bottomless pit you can either boldly take in yourself, or indirectly through Don Henley and company, and avoid a lot of traffic jams in the process.

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372 Led Zeppelin – “Thank You”

It‟s very strange to me that after IV Keith Moon would complain to Jimmy Page that he never wrote a “ballad,” when this memorable slab of unmitigated romantic ardor bubbled up on the band‟s second album, three albums before Moon‟s plaint would spawn the albeit excellent “The Rain Song.” “Thank You” is a major grower, with a very effusive vocal but a curiously tense and fertile chord progression taking off in the chorus.

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371 Credence Clearwater Revival – “Who‟ll Stop the Rain”

One of a tandem of Credence songs about “rain,” this track nestles about midway through the band‟s greatest hits collection Chronicle: 20 Greatest Hits and offers a sort of warming, good-ol‟-boy vocal on the part of John Fogerty, about going “down Virginia,” as if he‟s too world weary to fully construct his sentence about retreat.

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370 Van Halen – “Jamie’s Cryin'”

“Jamie’s Cryin'” is just a CHUGGER of classic rock power, built around that one invincible riff sort of like “Sweet Emotion” and full of seminal machismo and swagger.

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369 The Doobie Brothers – “Rockin’ down the Highway”

It‟s always funny to think about the phenomenon of touring as it relates to these bands and how inevitable it is that said entity will start hogging some of the songwriting focus. The Doobies take that conundrum and turn it on its head in a fun, care-free way here, as was surely typically their custom.

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368 Rod Stewart – “Rhythm of My Heart”

This is where Rod Stewart hit his stride, I’d have to say, with this infectious chord progression, groove and overall musical blueprint. Also, what is that cool woodwind instrument in the song’s intro? Sometimes questions are as fun as answers.

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367 The Doors – “Soul Kitchen”

A credit Doors cut here with an intro that would basically give birth to that of “When the Music’s over,” “Soul Kitchen” has the proud distinction of materializing in the Forrest Gump (though oddly it‟s not on the soundtrack… I’m pretty sure I remember hearing it in there when they’re in ‘nam).

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366 Phil Collins – “A Groovy Kind of Love”

It‟s certainly hard now, as ever, to find a love song that‟s just this BARE and pure in its disposition and message, the type of thing that‟s quintessentially British, and relatively innocent, in a sense. Note the astonishing lack of eccentricity or unconventional qualities in this “groovy” kind of love — sometimes it‟s the commonplace that can be the scariest and most powerful.

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365 Ozzy Osbourne – “Crazy Train”

Lester Bangs once made the ironic point that Black Sabbath actually did carry a certain Christian sort of paradigmatic morality about them, which I suppose would amount to basically pointing out all the maladies and dysfunction in the world and trying to control them by bringing them to the surface. Note the hidden message in this song “To learn how to love / And forget how to hate”, a quest in which they undoubtedly fought fire with fire.

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364 Rush – “Freewill”

Ah, discussions of the existence of free will are so fun… it‟s like, if there‟s no free will, why would you be able to ask whether or not there were a free will? And as odd as it seems, you still can‟t cement its proof based on that. Typically with Geddy Lee and his band Rush I like to just think that he‟s seen more than me and I should just believe what he says, especially since this is a way more comforting thought and this is a great song to rock out to on a beautiful day.

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363 The Rolling Stones – “Under My Thumb”

It‟s funny what‟s considered sexist and what isn‟t — I mean I don‟t remember anyone lambasting Fetty Wap for that “She walks by I press rewind / To see that a** one more time” (probably because everyone just thought he had Down’s Syndrome and felt bad for him), but for some reason this song is a point of compunction among many women. I think it‟s pretty good and also note the SINGULARITY of the woman in it — Jagger is committed to her, if also to reforming her, for the lack of mention of any other parties in the song‟s rhetoric. And why wouldn’t you take his word?

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362 Journey – “Open Arms”

This is probably one of the more bearable, less nauseating Journey tracks here, and really a pretty guileless message for a bunch of San Francisco city slickers. Here, Steve Perry’s voice takes one of the richest, most inspirational tones and timbres he‟s probably ever mustered up in his career.

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361 Jethro Tull – “A Song for Jeffrey”

A promising early cut from the Tull here, “A Song for Jeffrey” comes from the band‟s little-known debut album This Was (which would give way to Stand up, in my opinion their masterpiece) and pipes in with the band‟s frenetic flute madness, true to form and sure to propagate some smiles.

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360 Darryl Hall & John Oates – “You Make My Dreams”

I had no idea I liked Hall & Oates until I heard this track on this student radio show on some little station back home and thought, I‟ve probably heard this infectious pop nugget a million times and never knew who it was by. They must be from the Midwest, or have some hindering circumstance like that which precludes them from fame.

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359 Jackson Browne – “The Pretender”

You definitely can‟t beat some good ol‟ Jackson Browne sometimes… I love Evidence‟s take on “Late for the Sky” and this is one of his many good original cuts here, which they say “predicted the yuppy movement,” or whatever, although it seems professional American ennui had been taking place some decades before Browne got rolling, too.

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358 The Cars – “Good Times Roll”

It’s funny how the symbolism of “cars” can change depending on where you‟re at — for this Boston classic rock mainstay they probably represent simplicity, compared with the futuristic, high-society subway system which runs through the city‟s ritzier segments. And then the strategy of this song would seem to follow suit, letting go of your worries and “responsibilities” and just rockin‟ down the highway.

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357 AC/DC – “Back in Black”

I wasn’t even born yet in 1980 so I can‟t really speak on it with too much authority but it certainly seems odd to me that one of the first singles new singer Brian Johnson would sing on (after the death of Bon Scott, that is) would be about being “back.” How can the new guy be “back”? Was this song actually written by Scott in examination of an impending switch into mortality? Do we believe Wikipedia when they say it wasn‟t?

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356 Bob Seger – “Fire down below”

This is a pretty good song… I never knew what it was about so I just looked it up and it seems clear that it handles prostitution, with the mention of multiple women who seem to be alone and of the “street lights.” And then that‟s probably some sort of burning STD they carry with them, which apparently Johnny Cash‟s “Ring of Fire” might have also been about.

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355 Scorpions – “Rock You Like a Hurricane”

Wow, this band is really from Germany, eh? I had no idea. Well I guess they remind me more of Iron Maiden than anybody, who are English, so I suppose in a roundabout way it kind of makes sense. Anyway, they must have taken an American class in dumb, straight-ahead, wood-chopping classic rock, because this stuff exhibits some serious sangfroid.

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354 Guns N’ Roses – “November Rain”

This song came out in ‟92, which marks it at probably around the last song chronologically on this list. Its use of strings probably disqualify it from “grunge,” the main zeitgeist of the time, and most of this band’s CATALOGUE appeared in the ’80s, so it cozies up with the classic rock style for that reason.

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353 Van Halen – “Runnin’ with the Devil”

I suppose the big debate with any Van Halen song is “Is it Van Hagar?” (Don’t let Joe Dirt near any of your Van Hagar records or they’re liable to catch a Black Cat or a roman candle.) This cut’s pleasingly about as far from such tomfoolery as possible, issuing on the band‟s 1978 self-titled debut, right in the thick of the David Lee Roth days along with “Jamie’s Cryin’.”

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352 The Doobie Brothers – “Jesus is Just Alright”

The frictions and points of irony abound here, I’d say, such as why this obvious weed-smoking classic rock band would tout “Jesus” so inconspicuously in one of their songs and why this note of “piousness” would be one of their few songs set in a minor chord… but I suppose their ability to keep us on our toes speaks to why they‟re on this list in the first place.

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351 The Police – “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic”

I remember riding in the car with one of my friends one time, he had the Police’s greatest hits on and I realized that whoa, all of their songs are great. This here is certainly one of the more approachable numbers on this list, with a nice straight-ahead message that seems just destined for a Julia Roberts movie. Oh, it was used in a Julia Roberts movie.

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350 Don McLean – “American Pie”

From time to time I’ve been known to make the sacrilegious comment that we‟re PROBABLY ready for an abridged version of this song, but at the end of the day that‟s probably just because we’ve all heard it so much and it‟s been so ingrained in our DNA. My favorite part will always be “And then we were all in one place”… I always imagined this euphoric pile of people on top of each other with a vaguely magical, partying sort of disposition about them.

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349 Eagles – “The Long Run”

In an odd way this song seems to carry the core Eagles/Don Henley message pretty well intact: like just “takin’ in easy” and having a “peaceful easy feeling,” which I think in his more effective later solo stuff would give way to a more intense, noxious feeling of desire, also proudly enough.

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348 Bruce Springsteen – “Brilliant Disguise”

I think I get this feeling sometimes too: like women’s identities are ephemeral, or like their façade is their primary trait. That Soup Dragons line will always be the best though: “Your vanity will always be your greatest thing”.

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347 Tom Petty – “Runnin’ down a Dream”

One of those great sports “pump-up” songs like “Hit Me with Your Best Shot” and “We Will Rock You,” this is one you‟d bring in later in the season around a team‟s “dreams” of winning the world series. Also, it‟s got a vaguely fall type of feel to it anyway.

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346 Led Zeppelin – “Whole Lotta Love”

We‟re getting to the point in this list now where it’s going to be a veritable gaggle of Led Zeppelin songs all the time and is not going to let up — this one honestly ponies up in lots of ways to just about their best work, and I always wondered how in the world Jimmy Page played that introductory riff, which is truly innovative within heavy metal and within popular rock at large.

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345 REO Speedwagon – “Time for Me to Fly”

I remember hearing “Roll with the Changes,” the opener on You Can Tune a Piano But You Can’t Tuna Fish, and falling in love with it — this was the nice ballad respite after that brisker rocking tune on the album, co-mega-hit single and perennial radio proton.

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344 Styx – “Babe”

Sadly enough, this bar I was in about a month ago was playing like Styx’ greatest hits or something and it was pretty much a train wreck — this was definitely one of the better songs I heard (no idea how to judge “Come Sail away” at this point). Just as this band is from Chicago but seems worlds divorced from the Blues Brothers zeitgeist that was going on at the time, this song is way less cultural and way more archetypal than lots of others.

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343 Journey – “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin'”

Journey gets such a bad rap but really at the end of the day they had some pretty da** listenable tunes and they‟re better than a lot of bands that have tried to it. On “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’,” the sound is thick and the rubric is a sort of Chicago blues stomp, the murky thickness of the mix allowing for a curiously textural contrast in Steve Perry’s voice.

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342 Billy Idol – “Rebel Yell”

Short of actually making too much sense, “Rebel Yell,” which as far as I can tell pertains to that whiskey brand of the same name, tends to just “rock,” like a song you can put on late at night drinking shots with the delusional sense that you’re gonna, like, get some. So high school, in other words.

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341 The Doobie Brothers – “Black Water”

Certainly a sensible choice for Umphrey’s Mcgee cover territory at one show I saw of them, “Black Water” is just infinitely hummable and ingrained in our psyches as this sort of redneck lullaby, a little bit more hippie-ish and country, perhaps, than the band’s typical m.o., and for that reason more expansive and even creative as well.

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340 The Allman Brothers Band – “Statesboro Blues” (live)

Ok I’m really trying not to get on a “womanizing” streak here and I don‟t at all condone the disposition of disallowing a woman “the nerve to turn (you) from (her) door”… I guess there usually aren‟t girls around when I listen to this stuff and it‟s funny how adversarial some of this stuff can indeed be, like “Ramblin‟ Man” and “Whipping Post.” The most romantic song of the band, “Jessica,” has no words in it.

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339 Emerson, Lake & Palmer – “Lucky Man”

How ironic that the defining statement of this verbose, elaborate art rock unit would be this concise little four-minute pop song. “Lucky Man” is the final song on the band’s self-titled debut and one of two cuts under five minutes.

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338 The Jimi Hendrix Experience – “All along the Watchtower”

I think this is definitely a successful Bob Dylan cover for how he slows it down and gives the song a sort of vibe it didn‟t have before — but then at this point in his career, Electric Ladyland his final album with the Experience, Hendrix was exhibiting a level of artistry that was utterly undeniable, furnishing songs like “Burning of the Midnight Lamp,” my favorite in the Hendrix catalogue.

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337 Jackson Browne – “Doctor My Eyes”

Commendable in and of itself within the Browne oeuvre for straying away from the narrative and melodramatic and getting a little zoomed-in emotional, as well as metaphoric, “Doctor My Eyes” trots along as a most light and digestible capsule of classic pop-rock. It’s probably not a partying song like “Rebel Yell,” though maybe a testament to the next-day consequences.

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336 Fleetwood Mac – “Landslide”

One of these things is not like the others on the band’s 1975 self-titled album (which strangely isn‟t their debut) and that would be “Landslide,” picked up as covers material by The Smashing Pumpkins to astonishingly passable results and seemingly owning to this wisdom and steely-eyed mourning disposition well beyond its years, as well as being a rare FM ballad.

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335 Van Halen – “Right Now”

What we have here is some quality “Van Hagar” to rival any and sundry… that’s not what Joe Dirt ordered! With this corny life lesson about living in the moment and being the best person you can be! I wanna go back to checking out your sexy teacher!

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334 Aerosmith – “Back in the Saddle”

The “otherworldly” elements you‟d have to say are in full force on this cut, with Steven Tyler’s inimitable screeching yowl taking the forefront, and you‟ve got to respect the ability of “back in the saddle” to have caught on as an ubiquitous phrase you still hear copiously to this day.

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333 Grand Funk Railroad – “We’re an American Band”

There is something just so inarguably AMERICAN about this particular GFR project, the tackiness, the simple, mindless objective, the incredibly simple musical infrastructure at work but still a certain care-free aspect, as if they‟re comfortable in their own shoes as kitsch, a perfect soundtrack to drinking “red cups laced with acid,” as they say in Almost Famous.

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332 George Thorogood & the Destroyers – “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer”

Speaking of good ol’ tacky American rockers, it doesn‟t get much sleazier than this, the Delaware blues man stamping out this raucous epic spanning eight and a half minutes (originally a John Lee Hooker tune, apparently) and only three drinks. Christ, I wish I had that self-control.

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331 The Doobie Brothers – “Listen to the Music”

This you might say is THE classic Doobies track and in being that carries a sort of time-honored classic rock mantra, which of course would materialize somewhere around just not being a square, even if you’re not making any other impression. I think the general consensus is that no cover of this could ever do it justice, but I did one time see it soundtrack a rather festive session of frisbee-tossing on a college green, in 2003, no less.

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330 James Gang – “Walk away”

Famously covered by Phish (or it’s famously if you grew up with a bunch of hippie friends like me), this methodical stomper chugs along with a sort of median nice-guy melancholy laced with just a tad bit of frustration, but is light and care-free enough to still get played with regularity today.

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329 Peter Frampton – “Show Me the Way”

And yes this does feature on your precious Frampton Comes Alive! which one of my bosses declared one time as the “last good album” (I think this was in 2011), in fact being the first famous song on said live album. For as fractal as the music world would become in 1976, with things dissipating in one direction into punk rock and the other into disco and whatnot, this almost plays as a nice sort of swan song for the first, pre-hair metal wave of classic rock.

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328 Jackson Browne – “Running on Empty”

Certainly one of the best by a tried and true master of the craft, “Running on Empty” I think speaks to a lot of Americans who are overworked and carrying multiple obligations like family and maybe looking after other loved ones, all the while unavoidably reminiscing about the good old days too, of course.

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327 Huey Lewis & the News – “If This is it”

The guy in American Psycho really didn’t chainsaw someone to death to this song, I promise. Sorry I was forced to watch that movie one time and have been trying to exorcise it from my system ever since… real catchy tune here… I think I heard it one time on some student radio station with some kids who actually didn‟t grow up ’90s brats like me.

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326 Journey – “Who’s Crying Now”

Possessive of an undeniable VIBE, this is certainly one of the best Journey songs and of course also replete with that classic rock ATTITUDE of conquering your opponents who yes did look so sweet at the time.

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325 Led Zeppelin – “Good Times Bad Times”

The first song on Zeppelin‟s first album is hardly the epic rock opera we’d come to know them for in years ensuing, but it’s a handy enough little tune with a busy, garage rock type of riff governing the whole thing and some good ol‟ white boy frustration to go along.

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324 Free – “All Right Now”

Of course it might be a tad ironic that this band proclaims to be “free” and then only encounters a situation in which it’s “alright now” when said participant comes across some bedroom company… eh it’s a pretty good song in a fast food jingle sort of way, like for a movie, especially if you only hear the chorus.

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323 Kansas – “Carry on Wayward Son”

Probably the randomest “Carry on Wayward Son” reference I can think of is from an MTV show in the ’90s called Austin Stories where this girl calling a radio station finally gets of “perma-hold” (’90s for being on hold for a really long time) and they make her request this song… to hear her obediently and morosely articulate “Can you please play ‘Carry on Wayward Son’ by Kansas” was to behold television greatness, which typically that show was as a general rule.

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322 Jackson Browne – “Somebody’s Baby”

Oh let’s see what cheesy movies was this song in… oh yeah, all of ‟em… there‟s no movie named after it I can find on IMDB but it did apparently spawn an episode of Coach, which certainly carries a level of prestige all its own.

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321 Blind Faith – “Can‟t Find My Way Home”

For some reason the version of this on my Steve Winwood boxed set was way better than the track two on the Blind Faith self-titled debut… also there‟s a strong chance that it‟s a tad bit creepy that they put a naked 14 year old girl on the cover, but oh well. Steve Winwood had a hit single with the Spencer David Group, Traffic, Blind Faith and as a solo act, which you‟ve gotta admit is pretty impressive stuff.

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320 Joe Walsh – “All Night Long”

This song seems like pretty conclusive algorithmic proof that the ticket to success in life is just crafting a Guitar Hero-like riff that meanders and hits the tonic note the maximal amount of times within one post-chorus bridge. Joe Walsh was certainly the more macho, let-‘er-rip type of songwriter in the Eagles and this song struts as classic proof thereof.

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319 Talking Heads – “Wild Wild Life”

This album True Stories from 1986 is commonly known as that one with just the giant words “Talking Heads” on the front that looks like a fourth grader put it together on Photoshop… well believe it or not it did come late in their career and received pretty dour reviews, though you wouldn‟t have thought it from this handy, Dionysian romper.

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318 Nazareth – “Love Hurts”

Or, less briefly, a how-to guide for turning any Gatorade commercial into a celestial revelation. The unruly cousin to this would of course be “Love Stinks” by the J. Geils Band, which I through sheer stupidity have left off this list.

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317 The Doobie Brothers – “China Grove”

It‟s clear that the band was definitely smoking a lot of “doobies” when they wrote this, seeing as it‟s a tale set in “San Antone” in the “Lone Star State” (far away from their own hometown of San Jose, indeed), and claims that the people of that town are “proud of where they came” which is the “china grove”, presumably referring to the ceramic material and not the country, as it’s lower-cased in the lyrics according to Google.

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316 The Allman Brothers Band – “Southbound”

One of what seems like a gaggle of songs about “drivin‟ south” or “goin’ to the country,” “Southbound” chugs along at a pretty brisk pace for the Allmans and shows off some technical chops on the part of guitarist Dickey Betts (sadly this came on Brothers and Sisters, right after the passing of original lead guitarist Duane Allman) for a nice blues-rock standard. Apparently it also spawned the name of a Doobie Brothers album.

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315 Humble Pie – “Live with Me”

In trying to get into Humble Pie a couple years ago, the more I absorbed of him the more I sort of got a little bit of a lustful vibe (which is really funny since in Almost Famous he buys that groupie from the guy in Stillwater), but listening to this music it‟s impossible to miss that the initiative was there, with these big, full arrangements replete with guitar virtuosity and beautiful, lilting organ.

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314 Pink Floyd – “Mother”

One of the lighter, less bombastic tunes on The Wall, “Mother” is anyways not lacking in “dark sarcasm” (the pot calleth the kettle black… tisk…), a satire about an overly protective maternal figure who helps “build a wall” in a child‟s psyche by dogmatizing herself and vilifying the outside world. It roughly mimics the venerable “Comfortably Numb” in energy and intensity level.

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313 The Rolling Stones – “Angie”

I think this song perhaps tends to be a TAD bit divisive, but still, you‟ve gotta admit the primary reasons for disliking it would either be (a.) jealousy or (b.) the sheer fact that you‟ve heard it a million da** times (or a causation of one of the other, of course)… the greatness of this song hits me though every time I hear it, like my left brain knows that my love for it is fleeting.

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312 U2 – “Desire”

“Desire” was the first single off of Rattle and Hum, which seems like sort of a contract-filling stopgap between The Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby (similar to Jane‟s Addiction‟s sort of mutt half-live album Kettle Whistle). With dramatic, theatrical lyrics about addiction and this ancient human vice, it’s poised for magnetic radio play all the way.

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311 Beatles – “Dig a Pony”

Maybe it’s to this list’s credit that out of all the evolutions of the Beatles, the “classic rock” phase came last so as to mark ultimacy, where the music, even if not as intense as what came to before, earmarks an undeniable “freedom,” almost like an immediate presage to when the members would no longer be bound with the obligation of actually being in the band. At the same time, I guess, they’d always been pretty goofy lyricists.

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310 Joe Walsh – “Life‟s Been Good”

Though the intro riff might be kind of a “Houses of the Holy” ripoff, this is usually a pretty fun song, Walsh‟s most popular tune WRONGFULLY in my opinion but still a pretty light and lucid snapshot of a rock star’s life.

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309 Rick Springfield – “Jessie‟s Girl”

I’ve been sitting here for like a freaking hour trying to think of something to say about “Jessie’s Girl” but all I can really come up with is that it’s a good song and EVERYBODY KNOWS IT — well I did see something in the movie Sound City about the studio owners getting Springfield a part in a soap opera… maybe one that had the significant other of an individual of a certain name in it?

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308 Led Zeppelin – “In the Evening”

Well, as it is in the beginning so shall it be in the end, and it shouldn’t be too shocking that Led Zeppelin sprang into their final studio album In through the out Door fully one-track minded. Anyway, I think Plant’s vocal on this tune has an other-worldly, ephemeral quality to it, all the more evidence that he really means what he says, which of course can’t be fun.

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307 The Band – “Up on Cripple Creek”

Wikipedia has the songwriter responsible for this nugget as The Band’s Robbie Robertson, the same individual charged with “The Night They Drove Old Dixie down” and ergo unlike “Ophelia” not sounding juts palpably, obstinately Bob Dylan-y.

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306 Santana – “Evil Ways”

I think on this cut the guitar sound tends to be pretty crystal-clear, making for a pleasing listen, and the song and the subject matter itself are simple and understandable enough to where it fits into any situation and can play in any room as bona fide classic rock.

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305 AC/DC – “T.N.T.”

Here AC/DC upped the intimidation factor, being Austrialia’s favorite sons bragging about “I’ll win a fight” and comparing themselves to a detonating explosive. On a sad note, this title track was sung by Bon Scott, the initial AC/DC singer who would die at a night club just five years later, to be replaced by the similarly sounding and acting Brian Johnson. I guess it’s like they say: a bomb only has one time to explode.

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304 REO Speedwagon – “Roll with the Changes”

You know I really fell in love with this song in high school when I heard it on the radio and then bought the CD of You Can Tune a Piano but You Can’t Tuna Fish — at five and a half minutes, there are no frivolous moments and its got this undeniably high level of energy and vibrancy about it, REO Speedwagon‟s best song going away.

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303 Neil Young & Crazy Horse – “Cowgirl in the Sand”

Like lots of Neil Young songs (including “Down by the River” from this same album), it seems like this tune has been covered by everybody and their mom at some point — but Wikipedia does credit it to Young himself here, and the amorous desire of Young’s seems as always classily occluded by a love for imagism and a great plurality of said worldly images.

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302 Peter Frampton – “Baby, I Love Your Way”

Probably classic rock‟s proudest answer to the “chick flick” realm, this song it still undeniably catchy and great, picked up for covers material by Big Mountain in the early or mid-’90s. And yes it is on Frampton Comes Alive, the last good album to come out.

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301 AC/DC – “It‟s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll)”

I swear it’s just a coincidence that this song is only three slots ahead of “T.N.T.,” the name of the album which spawns it. And yes I was just joking when I said I had an index card spewing machine that kept putting Blur one slot ahead of Oasis on the videos list, for the record.

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300 Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – “Our House”

Ah, what white liberal’s mom hasn‟t tortured them with some spirited, impromptu renditions of this… and that was even before she was a cat lover, to make things even crueler. This one gets the Dolby Crosby nod for just being an easy enough capsule to swallow, not a stab at “epic” or rock opera but just a catchy little jingle to put on for some good, cheap hooks.

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299 Golden Earring – “Radar Love”

Golden Earring is Dutch, apparently, and though they were founded in ’61 this is as far as I know their biggest hit. It’s great energetic, coke-fueled classic rock groove, but what does it mean? Maybe “radar” spelled backwards is some code word or something.

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298 Pink Floyd – “Poles apart”

“Poles apart” would of course hail from Pink Floyd’s FINAL album, The Division Bell, er, their final album with any lyrics on it (to take nothing away from the textural and interesting The Endless River, of course). It’s a vaguely psychedelic and sad tale about growing old and dour and though coming in ’94 and so a little late for this list, wields an anti-grunge gentility and maturity marking it as anachronistic.

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297 Eagles – “Take it Easy”

There seems to be a never-ending motif of relaxation and steadiness to Don Henley’s work and as this is the first song on their first Greatest Hits collection, that‟s all the more reason to classify it as the “quintessential” Eagles song, which in my opinion is perhaps not as much of an abomination as The Dude in The Big Lebowski might have stated.

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296 David Bowie – “Modern Love”

Part of the groovin’ gang of “new oldies” (how’s that for an oxymoron), “Modern Love” is probably my favorite Bowie song and I thought sidled decently into the classic rock realm for not being disco-y like “Fame” and having old, antiquated themes like church and anti-modern discussions.

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295 John Cougar Mellencamp – “I Need a Lover”

The message of this song might be foul, but I’m sorry it rocks and is great driving music. Even better, one time I heard a DJ do the most ingenious thing up in South Bend where he spliced the beginning of “Foreplay/Long Time” so that this song bled right into the rocking first verse of that one. They’re both great songs of summertime freedom, I guess. We‟ll think about the rest later.

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294 Classics IV – “Spooky”

It was actually astonishingly hard to find who originally did this song on my Google searches, partly because it’s a one-hit-wonder with a name that sounds like an installment of Bach concertos and also because so many bands have covered it since. See, we‟re already looking ahead to Halloween now… perfect.

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293 The Jimi Hendrix Experience – “The Wind Cries Mary”

Ok I can’t REALLY honestly say I’ve ever heard this song on the radio, but it is certainly a concise nugget of great, imagistic songwriting, full of majestic things like names being spoken by the wind, as if some celestial atonement for the throes of this life that at one time existed only in Hendrix‟ own mind.

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292 George Thorogood & the Destroyers – “Bad to the Bone”

Boy I remember when the saying “bad to the bone” was like all the rage on all the playgrounds and radio shows in this fine land — probably until Eminem dropped and didn‟t use the phrase on an entire monster, platinum hip-hop album. You can hear the Muddy Waters influence in this one, Thorogood speeding things up and “rocking out” a little more… Chicago style?

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291 The Rolling Stones – “Shattered”

Evening out the album Some Girls which features “Beast of Burden” and “Miss You” but with which I’m otherwise not too familiar, this fantastic song is truly singular within the Stones catalogue. I have this one memory of having it on a mix CD in college and my roommate cracking up over the “sex and sex and sex” part. Yup, that‟s the Rolling Stones for ya — in other cases it would be college kids making old guys uncomfortable with their vanguard lewdness.

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290 ZZ Top – “Just Got Paid”

I think this song was written by some old blues dude in the early ’60s and Rapeman would eventually do a really rad version of it but ZZ Top I think perfect it, with that rich Texas blues rock sound and a crisp, tight rhythm section capping things off. It‟s a great song about the frustrations of the work week.

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289 Jethro Tull – “Bungle in the Jungle”

This is one of those songs that you‟d probably never think to call like your FAVORITE Jethro Tull song, but that can still seep into your consciousness and stay there for like hours and hours. Thematically, the matter at hand is a little less desperate and a little more reflective of a SUCCESSFUL rock star, fitting as it came out in ’73 or so I guess.

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288 Black Sabbath – “Paranoid”

You’ve gotta give credit to Sabbath on this title track coming with a slightly different strategy from their great but sort of monochromatic, bluesy self-titled debut: this song chugs along more like a 100-yard dash and might be one of the first examples of palm muting in rock history. It also makes you wonder if Ozzy‟s character here and “iron man” are actually the same person.

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287 Talking Heads – “Take Me to the River”

One of the finer covers this band ever pulled off and probably my favorite version of this old Al Green classic, “Take Me to the River” comes on their second album More Song about Buildings and Food and offers a nice, lazy but groovy respite from the busy New York funk that pervades the rest of that project.

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286 Metallica – “Enter Sandman”

This song kicks off the band’s methodical, radio-minded but still rocking self-titled album, giving way to more gems like “Sad but True” and “The Unforgiven.” It‟s a classic song that hardly needs an introduction but I‟ll just end by commending Metallica for first establishing themselves as complete gods of the thrash underworld and then pandering to mainstream qualifications later down the road.

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285 KISS – “Lick it up”

I’ve always had a weird affinity for this song even though I‟m not really the hugest KISS fan — oh, it could be that it came out the exact month I was born, on an album of the same name. So yeah, you should lick stuff up. That‟s the moral of the story, I guess. This is going great.

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284 Deep Purple – “Smoke on the Water”

Our swim team‟s theme song in high school (corny, I know), “Smoke on the Water” is easily the most high-profile offering from the British Deep Purple, whom according to legend Rick Rubin actually prefers to Jimi Hendrix (so you can see why I can‟t stand Rick Rubin, clearly).

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283 AC/DC – “Highway to He**”

With how iconic this song is it‟s hard to believe I didn’t rank it as the premiere AC/DC song on this list… well I stand by what I said but this song is certainly charming for its extreme simplicity and three-chords-and-alotta-balls blueprint. Also, interestingly, “he**” was the actual name of a bar they‟d go to down in Australia, per certain reports.

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282 Lynyrd Skynyrd – “Sweet Home Alabama”

People tend to either love or hate this song — I typically vouch for Skynyrd in general, gravitating more toward “The Ballad of Curtis Loew” and “Call Me the Breeze” for certain occasions but still giving this one the nod for being so ubiquitous, popping up in Forrest Gump, 8 Mile, et. al.

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281 Eagles – “Best of My Love”

Here‟s another song that I guess is more Eagles-y than thou: the themes seem the same, like settling down, maximizing the amount of virtue you can give to one person (whereas “Life in the Fast Lane” is all about predicaments of other people, you‟ll kindly notice).

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280 Bob Seger – “Hollywood Nights”

So like Stranger in Town is really Bob Seger‟s 10th album? That’s what Wikipedia seems to want to say, not sure if they’re fibbin’… but anyway this song completely stands alone amidst the Seger catalogue with this relentlessly frenetic drum beat that seems to mimic crazy LA life itself.

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279 Led Zeppelin – “Immigrant Song”

Placed inconspicuously in the great Jack Black comedy School of Rock, this is one of those tunes that actually sort of GREW on me once I saw it in a movie — it‟s the first song on Led Zeppelin III but that‟s sort of a red-headed step child type of album. This is the type of thing Zeppelin perfected — laying down this lightning fast groove like “Whole Lotta Love” that no other band could even imitate, let alone initially conceive.

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278 The Rolling Stones – “Let’s Spend the Night Together”

The obvious thing to talk about with this song would be the rumors that it were actually penned by Mick Jagger to David Bowie. What I’d like to point to, though, is that the David Bowie COVER which features on Aladdin Sane is actually pretty dang energetic and listenable, taking the tempo up a notch and coming with certain emotive “ooh”‘s and “ahh”‘s, like the coked-up ’70s would have certainly seemed to dictate.

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277 U2 – “With or without You”

Honestly if I were to tell you my MAIN spiel on The Joshua Tree it would be that it‟s DEFINITELY not front-loaded like the official Reddit page on the album suggests (I know, I’m really digging underground for that source): “Trip through Your Wires” and “One Tree Hill” might even be the album‟s two best songs. This one is obviously a juggernaut, bolstered in DD scope by endorsement of this tour by Ed Kowalczyk of my precious LIVE.

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276 Cream – “Crossroads”

Now one thing interesting about Cream’s version of “Crossroads” (the song originally having been penned by Robert Johnson, of course) is that the authoritative version IS a live version — that‟s the recording you tend to hear on the radio, the “Live at the Fillmore” second disc of the band‟s monstrous third album Wheels of Fire. Jack Bruce still handles lead vocals on this run-through, who happens to sound just like Eric Clapton, in my opinion.

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275 Eagles – “Lyin’ Eyes”

The Eagles probably didn‟t get enough credit for taking an unflinching look at the real world as it really is, not how it is in Hallmark cards. As far as I know, this is an ode the entire original work of Don Henley that paints this cinematic portrayal of a marriage fallen to extramarital affair. My favorite part of all though is all the sympathetic little nuggets of microcosmic humanity sprinkled in along the way, like “Every form of refuge has its price”.

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274 Styx – “Renegade”

I sort of learned the hard way in a bar recently that you can only go so far into Styx’s catalogue without, well, wanting to drink some more, but I think this song proves that when the summon up enough machismo and drama they can make for a pretty entertaining listen.

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273 Journey – “Separate Ways (Worlds apart)”

San Francisco hath no fury like Steve Perry’s scorn, at least not in the late ’70s or early ’80s, so luckily on this tune we get him painting a benevolent picture of a friend, and at the same time it becomes clear that he was probably to an extent born into an adversarial landscape, with all the ironic sympathy he‟s able to conjure up here.

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272 Motley Crue – “Home Sweet Home”

I have to confess that though I’m a music junkie I FIRST heard this song just three years ago, down here on Terre Haute‟s classic rock station 98.5 (South Bend actually doesn‟t have a classic rock station anymore)… talk about a monster ballad! Every thorn has its roses, folks.

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271 The Allman Brothers Band – “One Way out”

This is one of those riffs that’s just so infectious you’re not sure whether to like it or hate it… well the Allmans seem to be the one band in general that I just NEVER get sick of. I was even in the mood for them after those shootings in Dayton and El Paso this past weekend. “One Way out” sort of KNOWS it‟s not as good as “Gimme Three Steps” and is ok with that, which you‟ve gotta respect in a way.

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270 Aerosmith – “The Other Side”

I was all psyched up for this album Pump being in any way merited and then what should I hear on the first track but “Her lovin‟s so tight / Her lovin’ squeaks / And I’m ready”. Hmm. I’m really glad I didn‟t go on the record as endorsing this album. How could it be so full of classic singles? I may never know.

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269 Huey Lewis & the News – “I Want a New Drug”

This chord technique has certainly caught fire a la the Grateful Dead’s “Throwing Stones” and Umphrey‟s McGee’s “Ringo,” of hitting the major chord a minor seventh up from the tonic and then a perfect fourth leading back into the new measure, and I‟m not sure if Huey started it but I have no reason not to think it I guess.

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268 Led Zeppelin – “Black Dog”

I still remember buying Led Zeppelin IV and Houses of the Holy both on CD on this same trip to this now-defunct store Media Play way back in the day and to be honest when I need to envision pure power and transcendence, my mind still races back to that parking lot and I feel the energy of this music flowing back through me. I guess that‟s how I atone for some of the slightly regrettable subject matter of this song.

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267 Bruce Springsteen – “Glory Days”

The Boss busted this one out for the ’09 Super Bowl (of course changing the lyrics from baseball to football) so that just shows you its staying power — along with “Hungry Heart” I think it shows you his best knack for cruel, but direct, humanistic songwriting.

..

266 The Rolling Stones – “Wild Horses”

Ah, Sticky Fingers… just a perfect album. This song hardly needs an introduction so I might just dwell on how superior Sticky Fingers is to its successor Exile on Main St., an album which believe it or not actually OPENS with the same guitar riff “Brown Sugar” does on Fingers. Now you‟ve heard it all, eh.

..

265 Eagles – “Already Gone”

I have this memory of my old calculus teacher which is sort of just like maniacally sad and maniacally awesome at the same time, of him just having gotten a divorce and putting this very song on one day in class… I sort of tended to side with him since he was the type of person a lot of people like to take pot shots at just like… hey… the Eagles. What a coincidence.

..

264 The Who – “My Generation”

Well, Roger Daltrey certainly didn‟t die before he got old, that‟s for sure… more than anything this cut forms some of the great time capsule that is a Best of the Who collection in any permutation… I think I had 20th Century Masters back in the day and sank into this one and others big time.

..

263 Credence Clearwater Revival – “Fortunate Son”

One of Credence‟s more high-energy efforts here without any question (and perhaps corroborated thematically by the line in another song “But I never saw the good side of a city / ‘Til I hitched a ride on a river boat wing”, “Fortunate Son” plays as a great subversive anti-war album, what with the sentiment “I ain‟t no military son” and its birthing during Vietnam.

..

262 The Doors – “Alabama Song (Whisky Bar)”

Now this is a cut I have to admit I’ve never heard on the radio and it was also not released as a single from the album, but surely if we‟re claiming to be living “life in the fast lane” we can play some songs that aren’t singles can’t we? Oh sh**, here comes the boss… put on “Touch Me.”

..

261 Yes – “Starship Trooper”

I actually had a dream one time back in about 2010 when I’d moved back home and been facing a lot of disappointments in life that told me to get into Yes… so I just purchased The Yes Album (the underrated predecessor to the gentile and bombastic Fragile) and found it to be a classic album in general, this song not the best but still pulling its weight in its own broad, world-reaching sort of way.

..

260 Neil Young – “Southern Man”

This was one of the first Neil Young songs that REALLY really gripped me and to be honest that was before I even knew what it was about, though I had heard “Sweet Home Alabama” in which he utters “I hope Neil Young will remember / Southern man don‟t need him around anyhow”. Young also derides the south on the historic “Alabama,” appearing on Harvest, his next album after After the Gold Rush.

..

259 Led Zeppelin – “The Rain Song”

As Wikipedia faithfully reports, this song was originally born out of George Harrison’s criticism of Jimmy Page that “„The problem with you guys is that you never do ballads‟” (which of course was false given “Thank You”; “Tangerine”; “That‟s the Way” and “Going to California”… I must not be sophisticated enough to grasp the English definition of “ballad” or George was doing too many psychedelics at the time).

..

258 Pink Floyd – “Us and Them”

It‟s hard to pinpoint what‟s so brilliant about this song… it‟s just sort of the hypnotic centerpiece on The Dark Side of the Moon where the plaints take on a mournful, reflective form, more so than a sarcastic one. The best set of lines is probably “With / Without / And who‟ll deny it‟s what the fighting’s all about”.

..

257 The Police – “Message in a Bottle”

As a ’90s kid I sort of have an awkward disposition in terms of Sting (I’m like I saw “If I Ever Lose My Faith in You” on VH1… does that qualify me as an expert?) Anyway this is one of those songs like “Roxanne” and “Every Breath You Take” that’s so embedded in everybody’s psyche that there‟s pretty much no doubt it‟s a classic. Unless maybe we called in some Eagles-haters. They probably hate The Police for no reason too, I‟m guessing. Maybe if they ever make a Big Lebowski 2 he can like heroically hate The Police or something.

..

256 War – “Spill the Wine”

When I was putting together my War list for D20B20 recently I almost missed this cut entirely because they snuck it in on their first album, their collaboration with co-Californian Eric Burdon. To be honest I never gave the rest of this full album a try… my favorite by them at this point is probably The World is a Ghetto but I’ll have to get around to all of „em soon.

..

255 Van Halen – “Why Can‟t This Be Love”

I thought I detected some Van Hagar, mama. Should I get mah musket? One of the more “amorous” turns the group would take under his tenuous guidance, this song still trots along with a strong groove making it good working music, like when you HAVE to love your work because you have to be there for seven more hours, and all that fun stuff.

..

254 Eagles – “Hotel California”

You can probably clown me a**hole of the year for only ranking this song 254th (or maybe that award should go to The Dude, better yet)… well let‟s see I’ve got it second among Eagles tracks so there is some love in that. I have to admit I’ve never been to LA but I know a lot of people from my home town who have moved there and never left, so maybe there is some truth to all this madness.

..

253 Led Zeppelin – “Poor Tom”

Wikipedia doesn‟t list any singles from Led Zeppelin’s 1982 rarities compilation Coda (released after the death of drummer John Bonham, as it were), but really all these songs are catchy and pretty good, and this one in particular has one of my favorite drum beats ever. Also, I love the humanistic aspect of sympathizing with someone in poverty.

..

252 Huey Lewis & the News – “Heart and Soul”

So infectious that it almost just races right through you and you miss it, “Heart and Soul” marks just that of the ’80s to me, like a time when very few people knew how to “rock on” and you had no choice but to lean on tried and true, traditional things like Fogerty’s “old time rock and roll,” et. al.

..

251 Aerosmith – “Love in an Elevator”

This just in, Steven Tyler might have a cursory interest in attractive women: eh at least he doesn’t get too dramatic about it like way Warrant and always seems to have a sort of funny angle in which to frame his promiscuous escapades.

 

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