View Full Version : Rolling Stone Top 200 songs: Modern music crap?

18th Nov 2004, 23:26
Rolling Stone magazine this month names it's top 500 songs of all time. You will find the Top 200 here. (http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,11433925%255E1702,00.html)

Guess how many on the list are later than 1990? Count 'em: SIX! Including a mighty TWO in the Top 100..

Maybe it's not just me that lost interest after all. :ok:

Atlas Shrugged
18th Nov 2004, 23:33
I can't believe that "Plastic Jesus" isn't on there :{ :{ :{

19th Nov 2004, 01:16
Unsurprisingly, the 60's rule, closely followed by the 50's it appears ... difficult to include modern music, since so much of it is unoriginal:(

19th Nov 2004, 02:55
bloody 'ell!

Is there a reason two songs - one called "rolling stone" and one by the Rolling stones are top two?!

Police with Every Breath you Take comis in at EIGHTY FOUR?!

Why is Coldplay's Clocks not there?

R-E-S-P-E-C-T at No. 5?!

no Dire Straits....


Buster Hyman
19th Nov 2004, 05:45
Bino's. If Joe Dolce isn't there, I'm not lookin'!:hmm:

Erwin Schroedinger
19th Nov 2004, 05:57
"Modern music [email protected]?" was the question.

"Definitely, apart from 0.1%", is the answer from this listener.

OK, so it's all a matter of taste etc, but the standard is truly dire, without argument.

In which case, thank christ for the improved sexual content. :E

19th Nov 2004, 07:20
Buster, I was a bit gobsmacked by Joe's absence too, but clearly not everybody has our high standards. ;)

El Grifo
19th Nov 2004, 07:53
Problem is that most of you guys are too lazy to keep up with the great sounds, your ears have simply become de- tuned.

Music has to be listened to, it's not just something that tinkles away in the background. The late great John Peel knew that.

Try Cold Play, Snow Patrol, The Finn Brothers or Natalie Marchant, for example and then try repeating your claims

I bought my first single in 1962 and my most recent album last Wednesday. I make the effort and it is most rewarding.

:ok: :cool: :ok:

19th Nov 2004, 08:03
Hmmm, I'm hapt to agree with Bombayduck - the top two both have 'Rolling Stone' in either the song or the band name - I sense a fix. As for the winner, oh come on - can't anyone else see that Bob Dylan is a tone deaf hippy with a voice that grates like fingernails on sandpaper.

I'll concede that number two is a decent pop song even though Mick Jagger is a [email protected] but Lennon's Imagine at number three? What a dirge... As for the Sex Pistols appearing twice, oh come on...

So yes, modern music is crap but then so was a lot of older stuff too.

Buster Hyman
19th Nov 2004, 08:03
Kind of enjoy Doves at the moment El Grifo, but I draw the line at any song that has "borrowed" a tune from a better version of a song, or one that contains either Ho, Yo or MoFo in it!;)

19th Nov 2004, 10:50

can't anyone else see that Bob Dylan is a tone deaf hippy with a voice that grates like fingernails on sandpaper.

AMEN! :ok:

At one point I heard U2's One was voted best song - which wouldnt be such a bad thing. Here it is thirty-something :suspect: Two others make the grade with With Or Without you far, far down than I'd like to see :hmm:

Another song which I think is fabulous would be Audioslave's Like A Stone.... (not rolling)...

I just noticed something outrageous...


No Wall, no Time, no Comfortably Numb!

And with Ozzy on the panel, how the hell doesnt ANYTHING by a metal band make it to the list? No Metallica / Maiden / nothing! Nirvana's Smell's like teen spirit is thankfully there (and rather high too) but thats all is there...


19th Nov 2004, 11:14
Well, it seems fairly obvious to me that almost all the songs named have been monster hits somewhere when released as singles, and if not, then like Stairway to Heaven, they are iconic tracks known by everybody with an interest.

Our favourite album tracks are not going to rate a mention. Without going through the whole list again, I'd be surprised if Yes, Genesis, Moody Blues, Supertramp, (and yes, Dire Straits and Pink Floyd) got a passing mention. All among my favourite groups, but I wouldn't expect any of their songs to be named in a list like this.

Don't think there was a Stranglers song in there either, from memory. ;)

( I confess that Hey Jude raised my eyebrows a little though.)

19th Nov 2004, 13:23
Now, now, Bins...
Don't be naughty with your cheeky attempt to get a response from all of us Stranglers fans.
I'm sure neither VFE, MIB, phnuff, or myself would rise to such obvious baiting :E

19th Nov 2004, 13:38
I see Yesterday is there at number 13. The only reason McCartney wrote that is so elevators could have their own section in the music shop. :p

19th Nov 2004, 15:58
Nirvana's Smell's like teen spirit is thankfully there (and rather high too) but thats all is there

See, not that whole Nirvana thing is totally lost on me. I've heard all the bullsh*t hype about Kurt Cobain and Nirvana being a major influence for Gen-whatever-the-hell my generation are supposed to be. I conceed the music isn't that bad, but is it once again a bandwagon (excuse the pun) that many people simply jumped on because everbody else did? And when Cobain decided to comb his hair with the business end of a shotgun, the hype got even worse. I've heard talk of him being one of the greatest influences on teen music ever. His mate Dave Grohl (of Foo Fighters fame) IMHO is far more talented, yet doesn't truely get recognised for his contributions (a bit like Midge Ure for the whole Band Aid thing, but don't get me started on that!)

Buster Hyman
19th Nov 2004, 22:07
Jerricho...Brother!...I hear what you're saying. DG is so underated, it's just a joke. The Foo Fighters are just so much better than Nirvana, IMHO. Dave Grohl was the drummer in Nirvana, but is lead vocals & lead guitar (I think) with the FooFighters...Did Kurt Cocaine have as much talent???:confused:

Midge Ure...Ultravox...I'm getting all misty again. Rage in Eden, arguably their best album & one I could pull out any day of the week. What a voice that guys got, must be the Scot in him.:ok:

20th Nov 2004, 03:33
Not really a Cobain fan meself - Teen Spirit and Come as you Are are just about what i can stand.... crap such as 'you know you're right' is hard on me ears...

and i dont have much appreciation for 20 somethings that either kill themselves or choke on their own puke, however talented they may be....

Notso Fantastic
20th Nov 2004, 09:35
What Cobain did right was this- to be really successful in Music and poetry, you got to die. Very smart career move. Look at Buddy Holly- best career move he ever did.

20th Nov 2004, 15:31
Unfortunately Notso you make an excellent point. Recovering from a nasty case of hangover last week I happened to catch a show on VH1 (or something like that) about the top 20 influential deaths in music. This was something I had to watch. Basically, it was a group of wannabe music industry types giving their "Oh, it was really tragic when old mate died" stories. Now, some of them like Freddy Mercury and John Lennon I could kind of see where they were coming from. Then they got to the top couple, and sure enough, Mr Cobain was there with some woman bleating on about how he changed the face of music. What made my blood boil was the way she almost glorified his taking his life, and the message that it sent to his fans was that teenage angst and woes eventually come to and end. Sure is a great role model there. You think your life sucks, here, chew on a Remington sandwich.

Buster, mate! Looks like we finally agree on something ;)

20th Nov 2004, 17:44
Funny how they always seem to think these "icons" were amazing after the event. As a youngster I can confirm that Kurt Cobain was an unknown figure amongst kids at school at the time. 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' was a good song but it always annoyed me how Nirvana fans seemed to relish in their apparent misery which if the truth be known they wouldn't have experienced had they not been listening to Nirvana!

You can always spot a Nirvana fan by their self-harming scars. :yuk:


20th Nov 2004, 17:51
Just listening to some old 1950's rock and roll records and am amazed at how far music has deteriorated in 40+ years. Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran, Bobby Vee, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Buddy Holly, Del Shannon, Danny and the Juniors.... the list is endless.

Cannot really put it into words. Music for a good time seems to sum it up.

What a great period in musical history.


Onan the Clumsy
20th Nov 2004, 19:01
Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran, Bobby Vee, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Buddy Holly, Del Shannon, Danny and the Juniors I'd rather poke pins into my eyes.

respectfully yours etc :8

20th Nov 2004, 20:04
Don't let me stop you! :p

20th Nov 2004, 20:06
Self harm scars and the associated broken arm/leg from the spontanious moshing that always seems to happen when that damn song comes on. Double:yuk:

21st Nov 2004, 14:31
I'd rather poke pins into my eyes.

Onan, shame on you!
Music for a good time seems to sum it up.

VFE is so right. I'm not going to blather on about how much better times were then, because for every benefit I can think of there is a drawback. On balance, I wouldn't want the world to go back to the fifties or sixties, but it just seems to me the music that erupted from that first explosion was a celebration, a release of things that had been suppressed, and in hindsight it was all so innocent amd joyous. God, look at the videos of Buddy Holly; this clean cut tie-wearing teenager was supposed to be a devil-inspired threat to society?

It all started to go wrong when the image became more important than the substance. Dylan proved there was room for a message while losing none of the joyousness, but gradually everybody started to take themselves very seriously when it was really only music. We could still survive that; lots of late 60's-early 70's navel-gazing 20 minute tracks, some of which worked, most didn't, but it was all still part of the game. Look at the joy of Carole King's Tapestry. It sold a squillion because it was unpretentious and she spoke to average people.

Two years later Pink Floyd exploded from a druggies secret into the biggest selling artist in the world, and it still sounds great.

Fast forward... disco and its natural reaction, punk. Everyone wanted to be the New Thing On The Block rather than just play music. Then along came MTV, and THAT, my friends, was the day the music died.

Remember Not The Nine O'clock News? "Nice video, shame about the song".

Boy, didn't they get that right. All downhill since then. :{

This unrequested potted history of music according to Binos, Chapter 1 is available at no cost as a special introductory offer. Further instalments available every Monday at all good newsagents for an outrageous price.

21st Nov 2004, 16:15
. Then along came MTV, and THAT, my friends, was the day the music died.
Could not agree more Bino's. Introducing videos shifted the onus from aural pleasure to visual. The other thing that bugs me is the scantily clad girlies wiggling their backsides. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with scantily clad girlies wiggling their backsides but the frequency of these soft porn videos is having the effect of depreciating my value of eroticism. If Christmas day happened everyday I'd soon get bored of that too. So many things in life have become a cheap gimmick.


21st Nov 2004, 16:24
I've mentioned it before, but the thing that really boils my urine is the good old cover version. In an attempt to achieve what Binos describes as "the New Thing On The Block" a bunch of tallentless wannabes get together and royally rape what was once a perfectly good song. And sometimes once isn't enough. How many cover versions of "I say a little prayer" have been done?

And as Binos has put me in a gambling mood, I'm betting that the recent remake of "Do they know it's Christmas" will be the Christmas Number 1 in the UK. :yuk: And while the sentiment behind it is admirable, you can't tell me that releasing it at this time of year and all, somebody insn't making a sh*tload of money from it that isn't going to be directed towards aid to Africa.

21st Nov 2004, 17:55
Makes me laugh when these talentless numbskulls make cover versions. Not only does it show a slight lack of songwriting imagination but they don't get any songwriting credits whatsoever and that's where the money is! Just goes to highlight what silly little puppets some pop stars allow themselves to be these days.

I am suprised that the X-Factor wasn't timed better so the winner has time to release an Xmas effort ready for the stockings. Someone wasn't doing their scheduling job properly there then! What a howler! :}


21st Nov 2004, 18:06
but they don't get any songwriting credits whatsoever

True. But the advertising gurus out there sell the "product" to the lowest common denominator of impressionable youth. This is something you've got to buy.

Take the example of Jessica Simpson here in North America. Thick as pig-sh*t, mediocre voice, blonde with big titties (sorry if that's going beyond this PG timeslot). Over the past couple of months, the public have been unfortunately exposed to her doing cover versions of Robbie William's "Angels" and Berlin's "Take my breath away" (from the Top Gun soundtrack). One of her earlier songs sounded very much like John Mellancamp's "Jack and Diane". There's no originality to it, it's just a manufactured product that has been spun very well.

And the stupid thing is people buy it. So, who's the fool?

21st Nov 2004, 23:56
John Tesh sells platinum in the US and housewives across the USA go all wobbly at the knees.

Some things just cant be explained.

Buster Hyman
22nd Nov 2004, 01:12
but the thing that really boils my urine
I got a nasty visual image for a moment, but then I realised your were just taking the piss!

22nd Nov 2004, 02:17
Give a whole new meaning to pi$$ hole in a snowbank :p

22nd Nov 2004, 02:25
I can tell you , some of these so called manufactured bands aren't worth giving them the steam from my urine :)

(Ok, I'll stop it)

22nd Nov 2004, 04:22
Jerricho - couldnt agree with you more.... (no no not about the urine)

Seriously, cover versions are pathetic - some @#$% all band tried doing A-Ha's take on me and ended up subduing the damn keyboards..... that song died there...

As for Britney, she needs to be speared. "My Prerogative" (sp?) is horrible... cnat bear a second of it on the radio.

Buster Hyman
22nd Nov 2004, 04:35
Bombay Duck. Now, I agree that when some wannabees try to use a tried & true formula to get airplay, it just grates sometimes. However, some bands can do justice to covers. Using your a-ha example, they did a great cover of "Crying in the rain." Well worth a listen!:ok:

Send Clowns
22nd Nov 2004, 08:42
I Can't Get no Satisfaction ??? It isn't even close to being the best 'Stones track, it is a decent enough, cheerful piece of entertainment, nothing more.

Imagine is a dull call to the politically naive, and just ends up irritating.

Respect just grates.

Good Vibrations, Johnny Be Good, just ordinary, decent enough tunes.

What were the judges on to get so little inspiration into the top of the chart? I agree that most modern music is garbage, but there was more of interest in the 90s and this decade so far than the whole top 10 of this list combined. The 60s are venerated for no good reason, music did develop later, just the mass media ignored it for the most part.

Where are Coldplay, Radiohead, Green Day and The Red Hot Chili Peppers? Where are the Stone Roses, Inspiral Carpets, Carter USM, the Wonderstuff and Pop Will Eat Itself? Where are Pulp? Where are the Fatima Mansions? From earlier, where are the Chameleons, The Smiths, New Order, Billy Bragg? These are bands that really said something (not always something I agree with, but they made meaningful lyrics) with good music. They're not in because now John Peel is dead no-one in the industry looks beyond the obvious any more.

Even for the earlier music they put in Bob Dylan, who wrote good songs but can't sing or play and missed out Leonard Cohen who wrote equally good songs in similar style but can actually both play and sing. The Beatles were good, but are way over-represented.

This list is navel-gazing, dull, lazy and trite, saying nothing because they cannot be bothered to look beyond the obvious mass market and place their pretensions above the effort of original thought (hence the high position of Nirvana, an excellent choice that deserves the honour of a place around the 160 mark or so). Having been written by influential artists in the music industry, it shows why the industry has gone down hill!

Oops, that was a bit of a rant. OK, so I was being harsh and there are a lot of great songs on the list that are in about the right place, but there are also some really uninspired choices, and so much missing. Some of them seem so much like what people would put forward because they thought everyone else would expect them to, or it made them look good to like that music.

22nd Nov 2004, 13:33
Hmmm. Clowns, it hasn't escaped my attention that a favourite technique of yours when faced with awkward questions on more weighty matters is to launch an attack on the semantics of the debating style of your antagonist rather than focus on the argument contained therein. With that in mind, I have to comment that your post contains an awful lot of opinions masquerading as fact, n'est-ce pas?

Perhaps that's the beauty of opinions on subjective matters; we can all be experts in our own minds. ;)

(Pleading guilty in advance to the accusations that the pot and kettle are suspiciously similar). :uhoh:

22nd Nov 2004, 14:13
Total reversal here (how do you spell hipocryte? hypocrite? hippocryte? Awww, whatever).

Buster, speaking of the rare occasion a cover version doesn't make one want to empty the contents of one's stomach over one's Adidas, did you ever hear the Hoodoo Guru's version of "Little Drummer Boy" (you can find it on the B sides CD of "Electric Soup" Bloody brilliant. And Green Day have done an interesting version of "I fought the law". The difference between this and and Little Miss Spears and her cover of I love rock-n-roll" is that it appears these guys are doing it for a bit of fun, and aren't shoving it into the mainstream music bit to cash in.

SC, you raise an interesting point. Several of the artists you mention there don't even register a flicker of recognition with me, and I'm fairly sure I wouldn't be the only one. But I'm guessing they hail from old Blighty, and given my age and where I'm from, I'm not surprised I haven't heard of them.

I've had more than one discussion over a sody-pop or two about music I grew up with in Australia with guys I used to work with in England, and was astounded on the number of occasions I would mention an Australian artist I though were fantastic (Hoodoo Gurus for one), only to be me with "Oh, they're crap. What do Australians know about music?".

I, like you, do seriously wonder what was the formula used to compile the list. (And just who the hell were/are the Impressions and "People get ready"?)

22nd Nov 2004, 14:37
Jerricho, re The Impressions, try reading this (http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:51r67uu0h0jh~T1)

I am not for one minute going to pretend that I knew any of the information provided therein, because like you, only a generation earlier, I grew up in good old anglocentric Australia. With a few exceptions, the WHOLE R&B industry bypassed us in favour of songs from the motherland. We accepted plenty of American songs, but as a genre, soul and R&B were almost completely ignored. The finest example is Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On", the title track of which gets a guernsey fairly high up in this list. But it wasn't till the beginning of the CD era in the late 80's that I finally bought a copy of the album and was completely blown away by it. Still in my Top 5 albums of all time.

So while you, like I, haven't heard of some of the Pongolian groups SC mentions, don't dismiss a whole genre of music just because we weren't privileged to hear it played on radio here. I am constantly amazed at how much great music I've never heard, from all eras, is available out there.

I've finally come to recognise I'm never going to catch up with it all, but I'm going to have a bloody good time trying. :ok:

22nd Nov 2004, 14:52
Thanks for the link Binos.

Sorry if I gave the impression that I was prepared to dismiss the though of experiencing new music. My poor little i-pod is just about to explode with the amount of music on there, and believe me, there's a great deal on there that would raise an eyebrow or two (this is the point where I could admit to being a huge Def Leppard fan................but I won't ;).

My poor attempt at making a point is there are always going to be cases of "why weren't so-and-so on the list?" and the reply from someone else can quite honestly be "who the hell are they?" Hence my curiosity as to how the list was compiled.

Send Clowns
22nd Nov 2004, 15:38
That was a little of the point, Binos, that opinion is important, and that the judge had unimaginative, outdated opinion. However I was also trying to get across that it looked like the judges were setting great store by what other people thought of their choices. Compared to what is available, the lack of truly outstanding tunes in the top 10 is stark. They are good enough tunes mostly, but they are just no better than many comparable pieces. This is an extremely conservative list. There is little from the 1990s - other people suggested that it was because music had gone down hill, what I was trying to point out was that the music was there, but the people asked seem not to know of it.

I stand by my description of the list as "uninspired", I think I have argued a reasonable case for that, at the very least, being fact rather than simply my opinion.

Jerricho - well I can at least say that with my newly-acquired turntable I can again listen to my Hoodoo Gurus album. The less well-known of those I mentioned were fairly deep into the 1990s indie scene in the UK or US. I must admit putting in bands like Fatima Mansions and PWEI I was going over the top to make a point - this list is constituted from opinion of music that most of the people asked knew about. Many really great songs hadn't a hope, as only a small fraction even in the industry had regularly listened to them. That is because commercial music has a terrible tendency to shy away from innovative and new bands that don't fit established patterns. This sort of list can only encourage that tendency.

Since a large part of the commercial music is garbage or at best non-descript, they have skimmed off a mostly decent cream from the top. In effect the bands I mentioned are not considered because the people asked are, en masse, too conservative.

22nd Nov 2004, 15:50
Stone the crows, SC has got a Guru's album. Nice one.:ok:

Which one is it?

Send Clowns
22nd Nov 2004, 19:13
It's Magna Cum Louder, and not bad at all. Didn't know where they were from, but suppose I should have guessed Aussie.

Buster Hyman
22nd Nov 2004, 20:36
Jerricho The big difference for me is that most of the "established" bands will put a cover version on an album, but won't release it as a single! If you want to get my attention, you'll write something original & listenable, not copy someone else's work. An exception to this rule was Hothouse Flowers & I can see clearly now. Great version & released as a single by an established band...I'm sure there are others.

Def Leppard eh?.....Yeah alright, I don't mind them either...:O

22nd Nov 2004, 22:26
That's two for two there Buster.

People will start talking.

23rd Nov 2004, 02:10
Agree with Hothouse Flowers and their cover, and let's not forget a couple of other covers that were infinitely better than the original (err, IMO of course;) )both done by Joe Cocker: With a little help from my friends and The Letter. Mr Tambourine Man springs to mind immediately too, as does the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's version of Mr Bojangles.

I'm sure I could come up with a lot more with more thought, but basically I have no problem with covers as such; not everyone can be a songwriter.

oh... and don't forget Deep Purple's version of Kentucky Woman, and........

23rd Nov 2004, 02:22
And let's not forget Rolf's version of Staiway to Heaven. :E

23rd Nov 2004, 02:45
Geez, Binos, so much Dylan stuff, and you missed (IMHO) the best cover of all time: the Jimi Hendrix cover of All Along the Watchtower ...

In general I dislike covers. Most of them seem designed to capitalize on the familiarity of the original. But in some of the aforementioned cases, the cover artist seem to have heard things the original artist didn't, and has the talent to bring these things out.


23rd Nov 2004, 13:04
Yeah, well philistine though I may appear, I have to confess to being not a huge fan of Hendrix. So sue me!

I'm not sure that I should acknowledge this either, but as far as covers go, I have a sneaking regard for Kate Bush's version of Rocket Man, and CCR's version of I Put a Spell On You.

Ohh, and I think AC/DC did the best ever version of Baby Please Don't Go.

I'm sure I'll think of more. :8

23rd Nov 2004, 14:32
It does seem a "decent" cover version is almost an artist/group taking the piss out of themselves, taking the whole thing very lightheartedly.

As much as I hate to admit it, I'm a huge Korn fan, and they have recently done a version of "Word Up" (original by Cameo and I think Mel B/Scary Spice did a cover). For those not familiar with Korn, lets just say that their music is an aquired taste, and has been described as " a combination of brutally heavy riffs with down-tuned guitars, add tales of alienation and betrayal funneled through messed-up front man Jonathan Davis. Get angry and stir". For them to totally turn around and perform a pop song is sheer genius.

As I said before, music is a personal thing.

Buster Hyman
23rd Nov 2004, 19:57
I'm a huge Korn fan
Thank Gawd for that! I thought we were brothers! I guess that means you don't much like Frankie goes to Hollywood? Nothing better than a gay Scouser band...eh Danny?:uhoh: