Thursday, July 12, 2012

vs. The Greatest of All Time

Everyone has in their head a list of their favorite songs of all time. Previously I've posted Songs of the Day and my favorite bands of all time, so now its time for the songs.

For the past several years I've been telling people that "Gimme Shelter" by the Rolling Stones is the greatest song of all time. While this is obviously quite subjective, it's not a difficult one to defend as it has all the hallmarks:
  • sung by one of the bands widely recognized as an all-time great
  • lyrics that are open to interpretation, but vary between war and love
  • fantastic backing vocals
  • Keef Richards on guitar


But of course it's folly to try to say that any one song is The Best ever. The other day I started making a playlist of songs that I feel like I could make an argument for as the best of all time, allowing only one song per artist.

I was quite surprised when my list topped over 100 songs. So here they are without much explanation. Feel free to check 'em out for yourself if you care.

In alphabetical order by artist...



Artist
Name
AC/DC
Afghan Whigs
Alejandro Escovedo
Its a Long Way to the Top
Milez is Dead
Five Hearts Breaking
Arcade Fire
Wake Up
Archers Of Loaf
Harnessed In Slums
Arcwelder
Cranberry Sauce
Bad Brains
I Against I
The Band
The Weight
Battles
Atlas
Bauhaus
Bela Lugosi's Dead
The Beach Boys
Wouldn't It Be Nice
The Beastie Boys
Sabotage
The Beta Band
Dry The Rain
Big Star
September Gurls
Bob Dylan
Tangled Up In Blue
Bon Iver
For Emma
The Bottle Rockets
Welfare Music
Bruce Springsteen
The River
Buffalo Tom
Taillights Fade
Built To Spill
Good Ol' Boredom
The Byrds
Hickory Wind
Calexico
All Systems Red
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
The Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth
The Clash
Clampdown
Cows
Hitting The Wall
Dale Watson
Good Luck 'n' Good Truckin' Tonight
Damien Jurado
Go First
David Bowie
Suffragette City
De La Soul
Eye Know
Dead Kennedys
California Uber Alles
Dinosaur Jr
The Lung
The Doors
Break On Through
Drive-By Truckers
Outfit
Elvis Costello
Radio Radio
The Faces
Ooh La La
The Flaming Lips
Kim's Watermelon Gun
Fugazi
Repeater
Gone Out Gone
Pale Green Eyes
Gram Parsons
Return Of The Grievous Angel
Guided By Voices
Hot Freaks
Hammerhead
The Starline Locomotive
The Hold Steady
Slapped Actress
Hum
Pinch & Roll
Hüsker Dü
Celebrated Summer
Iffy
She's Got a Light
Ike Reilly
Hail! Hail!
Jack Logan
Optimist
The Jayhawks
Blue
The Jesus Lizard
Puss
Joe Ely
The Road Goes on Forever
Joe Henry
Good Fortune
Johnny Cash
Jackson
Joy Division
LCD Soundsystem
Ceremony
Daft Punk Is Playing At My House
Lifter Puller
Space Humping $19.99
Lou Reed
Perfect Day
Low
Starfire
Lucinda Williams
Car Wheels On A Gravel Road
The Magnolias
Pardon Me
Mark Mallman
The Red Bedroom
Mary Lou Lord
Lights Are Changing
Matt Wilson
Deep All the Way Down
Matthew Sweet
I've Been Waiting
Metallica
Master of Puppets
Miles Davis
Freddie Freeloader
Minutemen
History Lesson - Part II
Mission of Burma
Academy Fight Song
The Modern Lovers
Roadrunner
Modest Mouse
Convenient Parking
Morphine
Cure For Pain
Mudhoney
In 'n' Out Of Grace
My Bloody Valentine
Only Shallow
Neil Young
Revolution Blues
The New Pornographers
The Slow Descent Into Alcoholism
Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!
Nick Drake
Pink Moon
Nirvana
About A Girl
Nova Mob
Evergreen Memorial Drive
Old 97's
W-I-F-E
Pavement
Summer Babe (Winter Version)
Pearl Jam
Evenflow
Pink Floyd
Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts I-V)
The Pogues
Fairytale Of New York
The Ramones
Sheena Is A Punk Rocker
The Replacements
I Will Dare
Rilo Kiley
Portions For Foxes
Robbie Fulks
Let's Kill Saturday Night
The Rolling Stones
Gimme Shelter
Run Westy Run
Flappers
Sebadoh
Willing To Wait
The Shins
New Slang
The Silos
All Falls Away
Slim Dunlap
Hate This Town
The Smiths
Panic
Son Volt
Tear Stained Eye
Sonic Youth
Teen Age Riot
Soul Asylum
Closer To The Stars
Spoon
The Underdog
Steve Earle
The Revolution Starts Now
The Stooges
1970
Suburbs
Macho Drunk
Suicide Commandos
Complicated Fun
Superchunk
Slack Motherfucker
Supersuckers
Coattail Rider
Tad
Jinx
Talking Heads
Once In A Lifetime
Teenage Fanclub
Star Sign
They Might Be Giants
Why Does The Sun Shine?
Tom Waits
Ol' 55
Townes Van Zandt
To Live Is To Fly
Trampled By Turtles
Duluth
TV On The Radio
Wolf Like Me
Uncle Tupelo
Moonshiner
Urge Overkill
Sister Havana
Van Halen
Unchained
The Velvet Underground
Femme Fatale
The Verve
Bitter Sweet Symphony
Vic Chesnutt
Gravity Of The Situation
Weezer
The Good Life
Whiskeytown
Faithless Street
The Who
Won't Get Fooled Again
Wilco
Via Chicago
Yo La Tengo
Tom Courtnenay