I vowed to myself once that if I was ever coerced into writing a blog, at some point I would use it as a soapbox to announce the greatest rock 'n' roll song of all time. And that point is now, people. Because you never know what tomorrow holds, and the FCC may be scrutinizing Mad City even as we speak.
So, if you're like me, you're probably sick of these classic rock stations doing their periodic countdowns of the "500 greatest rock songs of all time." The 400's are crowded with groups like The Bangles and Madness, and then we get to Three Dog Night, and before too long there's a steady string of Stones and Beatles and The Who and Kinks songs with a little Van Halen thrown in. You know that "Purple Haze" will be in the Top 10. And Number One is almost always "Stairway to Heaven."
I'm sick of that shit! As far as I'm concerned, "Stairway to Heaven" isn't even the best song on Led Zeppelin IV. It's a great song, and it should definitely be in the top 500 - hell, it should be in the top 100! - but Number One it is not.
Here are my rules for choosing the Number One song:
1. It's not "Stairway to Heaven."
2. It should be guitar-dominated. Rock 'n' roll lives and dies with guitars.
3. It should be in English. Sorry, "La Bamba." You too, original version of "99 Luft Balloons" ...
4. It should protest something. At the heart of rock 'n' roll is protest.
5. It should be less than 5 minutes long, preferrably even less than 4 and a half minutes long.
6. It should be recognizable even when whistled by a bad whistler.
7. It should rock.
8. It should have the word "rock" in its title.
9. Ideally, it should be performed by a legend of rock.
So here it is: "Rockin' in the Free World" by Neil Young. You can argue with me, but in vain.
And here's a surprise at Number 6: "I Melt With You" by Modern English. What an upset! They were one-hit wonders! It didn't even make the top 40 when it was released! But damn it's catchy. And that humming part: if that doesn't bring a lump to your throat, then you're not human ...