Wednesday, December 1, 1993

Critic Picks: Paul Williams - Top 100 Rock Songs

Paul Williams:

Rock and Roll: The 100 Best Singles

Paul Williams, the founder of American rock music magazine Crawdaddy!, picks what he considers the 100 best singles of rock and roll. Instead of being ranked, the songs are presented in chronological order.

Click here to see other lists from publications and/or organizations.

  1. Robert Johnson “Terraplane Blues” (1936)
  2. Muddy Waters “Rollin’ Stone” (1950)
  3. Little Richard “Tutti Frutti” (1955)
  4. Elvis Presley “Heartbreak Hotel” (1956)
  5. Little Willie John “Fever” (1956)
  6. The Five Satins “In the Still of the Nite (I’ll Remember)” (1956)
  7. Bo Diddley “Mona” (1957)
  8. Jerry Lee Lewis “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” (1957)
  9. Buddy Holly & the Crickets “Peggy Sue” (1957)
  10. Danny & the Juniors “At the Hop” (1957)

  11. Chuck Berry “Johnny B. Goode” (1958)
  12. The Everly Brothers “All I Have to Do Is Dream” (1958)
  13. The Bell Notes “I’ve Had It” (1959)
  14. Johnny & the Hurricanes “Crossfire” (1959)
  15. Chuck Berry “Memphis, Tennessee” (1959)
  16. Del Shannon “Runaway” (1961)
  17. Ben E. King “Stand by Me” (1961)
  18. The Miracles “I’ll Try Something New” (1962)
  19. The Duprees “You Belong to Me” (1962)
  20. The Beatles “Please Please Me” (1963)

  21. The Jaynetts “Sally Go ‘Round the Roses” (1963)
  22. The Kingsmen “Louie Louie” (1963)
  23. The Beach Boys “Fun, Fun, Fun” (1964)
  24. The Beach Boys “I Get Around” / “Don’t Worry Baby” (1964)
  25. Martha & the Vandellas “Dancing in the Street” (1964)
  26. The Kinks “You Really Got Me” (1964)
  27. Them “Gloria” / “Baby Please Don’t Go” (1964)
  28. Sam Cooke “A Change Is Gonna Come” (1964)
  29. The Who “I Can’t Explain” (1965)
  30. The Rolling Stones “The Last Time” (1965)

  31. Bob Dylan “Subterranean Homesick Blues” (1965)
  32. The Beatles “Ticket to Ride” (1965)
  33. The Byrds “Mr. Tambourine Man” (1965)
  34. The Rolling Stones “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” (1965)
  35. Wilson Picket “In the Midnight Hour” (1965)
  36. Bob Dylan “Like a Rolling Stone” (1965)
  37. The Beatles “Day Tripper” (1965)
  38. The Miracles “Going to a Go-Go” (1965)
  39. Shades of Blue “Oh How Happy” (1966)
  40. Ike & Tina Turner “River Deep, Mountain High” (1966)

  41. The Four Tops “Reach Out (I’ll Be There)” (1966)
  42. Eddie Floyd “Knock on Wood” (1966)
  43. The Beach Boys “Good Vibrations” (1966)
  44. Spencer Davis Group “Gimme Some Lovin’” (1966)
  45. Buffalo Springfield “For What It’s Worth” (1967)
  46. Aretha Franklin “I Never Loved a Man the Way I Loved You” (1967)
  47. The Miracles “The Love I Saw in You Was Just a Mirage” (1967)
  48. The Kinks “Waterloo Sunset” (1967)
  49. The Doors “The Crystal Ship” (1967)
  50. The Beach Boys “Heroes and Villains” (1967)

  51. Van Morrison “Brown-Eyed Girl” (1967)
  52. Jackie Wilson “Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher and Higher” (1967)
  53. The Who “I Can See for Miles” (1967)
  54. Otis Redding “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay” (1968)
  55. The Who “Magic Bus” (1968)
  56. The Jimi Hendrix Experience “All Along the Watchtower” (1968)
  57. The Grateful Dead “Dark Star” (1968)
  58. The Beatles “Hey Jude” (1968)
  59. Marvin Gaye I Heard It Through the Grapevine” (1968)
  60. The Rolling Stones “Honky Tonk Women” / “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” (1969)

  61. Creedence Clearwater Revival “Green River” (1969)
  62. The Velvet Underground “Foggy Notion” (1969)
  63. Sly & the Family Stone “Thank You Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin” (1969)
  64. James Brown “Get Up, I Feel Like Being a Sex Machine” (1970)
  65. Joe Simon “Drowning in the Sea of Love” (1971)
  66. The Rolling Stones “All Down the Line” (1972)
  67. Bob Dylan “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” (1973)
  68. Bachman-Turner Overdrive “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet” (1974)
  69. Bob Marley & the Wailers “No Woman, No Cry” (1974)
  70. Bob Dylan “Hurricane” (1975)

  71. Patti Smith “Gloria (In Excelsis Deo)” (1976)
  72. Sex Pistols “Anarchy in the U.K.” (1976)
  73. Television “Marquee Moon” (1977)
  74. James Taylor “Handy Man” (1977)
  75. The Modern Lovers “Roadrunner” (1977)
  76. Sex Pistols “Holidays in the Sun” (1977)
  77. Queen “We Will Rock You” / “We Are the Champions” (1977)
  78. The Only Ones “Another Girl, Another Planet” (1978)
  79. Talking Heads “Take Me to the River” (1978)
  80. Dire Straits “Sultans of Swing” (1978)

  81. Anita Ward “Ring My Bell” (1979)
  82. Lipps Inc. “Funkytown” (1980)
  83. Joy Division “Love Will Tear Us Apart” (1980)
  84. Yoko Ono “Walking on Thin Ice” (1981)
  85. R.E.M. “Radio Free Europe” (1981)
  86. Prince “When You Were Mine” (1981)
  87. Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five “The Message” (1982)
  88. Modern English “I Melt with You” (1983)
  89. U2 “New Year’s Day” (1983)

  90. George Clinton “Atomic Dog” (1983)
  91. Pretenders “Middle of the Road’ (1983)
  92. Prince “When Doves Cry” (1984)
  93. U2 “Pride (In the Name of Love)” (1984)
  94. Tears for Fears “Shout” (1984)
  95. Tramaine “Fall Down” (1985)
  96. Peter Gabriel “Sledgehammer” (19866)
  97. R.E.M. “The One I Love” (1987)
  98. The Waterboys “Fisherman’s Blues” (1988)
  99. Neil Young “Rockin’ in the Free World” (1989)
  100. Nirvana “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (1991)

Resources/Related Links:

First posted 4/1/2021.

Saturday, November 6, 1993

Meat Loaf hit #1 with “I’d Do Anything for Love”

First posted 2/8/2021; updated 3/16/2021.

I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)

Meat Loaf

Writer(s): Jim Steinman (see lyrics here)

Released: September 15, 1993

First Charted: September 5, 1993

Peak: 15 US, 16 CB, 3 RR, 9 AC, 10 AR, 17 UK, 12 CN, 18 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.4 US, 0.79 UK, 2.83 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 1.0 radio, 157.0 video, -- streaming

Awards: (Click on award for more details).

About the Song:

The debut album from Meat Loaf (born Marvin Lee Aday), 1977’s Bat Out of Hell, has been estimated at 50 million in worldwide sales, making it one of the three best-selling albums of all time. Subsequent releases over the next decade didn’t even reach a million in sales in the U.S., and by the 1990s it looked like his career was over. However, he reteamed with Jim Steinman, who’d written the songs on Bat Out of Hell, and they created Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell in the same “bombastic, piano-driven style.” SF

The original album charted three top-40 hits, but his highest charting song had been “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad” at #11. With “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That),” the first single from Bat Out of Hell II, Meat Loaf didn’t just chart again, he went all the way to the top. In addition to spending five weeks at the pinnacle of the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S., the song reached #1 in 27 other countries. WK The song was the UK’s best seller in 1993 and earned a Grammy for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Solo.

Meat Loaf and Steinman had talked about reuniting as far back as 1984, but Meat Loaf’s record label at the time wasn’t interested. When he moved to MCA, Steinman was busy working with the group Pandora’s Box, who released an album in 1989. They did finally reunite and Steinman played “I’d Do Anything for Love” for Meat Loaf in 1990. The version that they recorded for the album was 12-minutes long, but was cut down to a five-minute version for the single.

As he did for all his songs, Meat Loaf assumed the role of a character. In this case, he said he imagined he “was a 14-year-old looking at this girl trying to figure out how to get up the nerve…to ask her out.” BR1 Listeners seemed puzzled over what it was that Meat Loaf wouldn’t do for love, but he said the answer’s right there in the song. “I’ll never forget the way you feel right now…I’ll never stop dreaming of you every night of my life.” BR1 At the end of the song, the female singer, Lorraine Crosby, declares “You’ll see that it’s time to move on” and “You’ll be screwing around” to which Meat Loaf responds, “I wont do that!”

Resources and Related Links:

50 years ago: The Mills Brothers’ “Paper Doll” hit #1 for 1st of 12 weeks

Paper Doll

The Mills Brothers

Writer(s): Johnny S. Black (see lyrics here)

First Charted: October 24, 1942

Peak: 112 US, 13 GA, 13 HP (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 6.0 US, -- UK, 11.0 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 3.8 video, -- streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

It has been said that this song “signaled the demise of the big band era.” TY However, it also marked a revival for the group who had been suffering from declining sales for years. WK

This vocal group, originally comprised of four brothers, first charted in 1931 with the #1 “Tiger Rag” and went on to chart 17 top ten hits over the next three years. In 1935, however, the fortunes of the group turned when oldest brother John died. The group soldiered on with Dad stepping in for his namesake son, PM but it looked like their days of chart glory were over. They didn’t chart again until 1937. Then, over the next five years they sent nine more songs up the charts, but only “Sixty Seconds Got Together” achieved top ten status. PM

In 1942, the Mills Brothers charted with “Paper Doll”, a song about preferring a paper doll to the far more fickle real-life versions, TY It hit the charts for a solitary week, coming in at #20. PM The song had taken awhile to come to fruition. It was written in 1915 and wasn’t published until 1930. WK The songwriter, Johnny S. Black, died six years before the song finally charted.

However, the 1942 peak was only the beginning. It recharted in July of 1943. This time, it went to #1 on its way to becoming one of the biggest songs of all time. With sales over six million, “Paper Doll” was the biggest non-holiday hit of the ‘40s PM and one of the ten best sellers of the first half of the century. PM The song also bears the distinction of being one of fewer than thirty songs to have sold more than 10 million copies worldwide. WK

Resources and Related Links:

  • DMDB encyclopedia entry for The Mills Brothers
  • JA David A. Jasen. (2002). A Century of American Popular Music: 2000 Best-Loved and Remembered Songs (1899-1999). Routledge: Taylor & Francis, Inc. Page 155.
  • TY Don Tyler (1985). Hit Parade 1920-1955. New York, NY: Quill.
  • PM Joel Whitburn (1986). Pop Memories 1890-1954. Menomonee Falls, WI; Record Research, Inc. Pages 316 and 631.
  • WK

First posted 11/20/2011; last updated 10/4/2021.

Tuesday, November 2, 1993

Bryan Adams released So Far So Good compilation

First posted 9/11/2020.

So Far So Good

Bryan Adams


3.840 out of 5.00
(average of 6 ratings)

Released: November 2, 1993

Recorded: 1983-1993

Peak: 6 US, 1 UK, 1 CN, 114 AU

Sales (in millions): 5.0 US, 0.9 UK, 15.9 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: classic rock

Tracks: (1) Summer of ’69 (2) Straight from the Heart (3) It’s Only Love (with Tina Turner) (4) Can’t Stop This Thing We Started (5) Do I Have to Say the Words? (6) This Time (7) Run to You (8) Heaven (9) Cuts Like a Knife (10) Everything I Do I Do It for You (11) Somebody (12) Kids Wanna Rock (13) Heat of the Night (14) Please Forgive Me

Total Running Time: 62:28


A Brief History:

Born November 5, 1959, in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, Bryan Adams started his career in the mid-‘70s. At only 15 years old, he became the lead singer of Sweeney Todd, a pub band. In 1978, he met Jim Vallance from the rock band Prism. The two formed a songwriting partnership which produced dozens of hits throughout Adams’ career.

Adams released his first solo album in 1980 and another followed in 1981. His third album, 1983’s Cuts Like a Knife, proved to be his breakthrough, giving him his first top-10 hit in the U.S. His 1984 Reckless album was a multi-platinum smash, as was his 1991 Waking Up the Neighbours, which gave Adams the biggest hit of his career with “Everything I Do (I Do It for You).”

So Far So Good captures tracks from Adams’ four studio albums released between 1983 and 1991. Links go to dedicated DMDB pages, but these albums are all spotlighted on this page.

Songs featured on So Far So Good are noted below in the album snapshots. Following the song titles the date of the song’s release or first chart appearance, and its chart peaks are noted in parentheses. Click for codes to singles charts.

Cuts Like a Knife (1983):

After two solo albums, Adams third effort, Cuts Like a Knife, proved to be his breathrough. The album gave him his first top-ten hit in the U.S. and brought him attention on the album rock chart with the title cut.

  • Cuts Like a Knife (2/12/83, 15 US, 6 AR, 12 CN, 55 AU)
  • Straight from the Heart (3/12/83, 10 US, 32 AR, 51 UK, 20 CN, 98 AU)
  • This Time (8/13/83, 24 US, 21 AR, 32 CN)

Reckless (1984):

Reckless proved to be a monster success, producing six top-20 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, including Heaven, his first #1 hit. Five of those songs are featured on So Far So Good. “One Night Love Affair” is omitted in favor of the less well-known, minor album rock hit Kids Wanna Rock.

  • Heaven (1/28/84, #1 US, 9 AR, 12 AC, 38 UK, 11 CN, 4 AU, airplay: 2 million)
  • Run to You (11/3/84, 6 US, 1 AR, 11 UK, 4 CN, 4 AU)
  • It’s Only Love (with Tina Turner) (11/24/84, 15 US, 7 AR, 29 UK, 14 CN, 57 AU)
  • Summer of ‘69 (12/8/84, 5 US, 40 AR, 42 UK, 11 CN, 3 AU, airplay: 1 million)
  • Kids Wanna Rock (12/15/84, 42 AR)
  • Somebody (1/19/85, 11 US, 1 AR, 35 UK, 13 CN, 76 AU)

Into the Fire (1987):

While Into the Fire didn’t meet with near the success of Reckless, it was still a platinum-selling, top-ten album. Only one song is represented on the So Far So Good collection although the album did produce the top 40 hits “Hearts on Fire” and “Victims of Love.” All three songs were top-10 album rock hits.

  • Heat of the Night (3/28/87, 6 US, 2 AR, 50 UK, 7 CN, 25 AU)

Waking Up the Neighbours (1991):

After the relative disappointment of Into the Fire compared to the success of Reckless, one wouldn’t be off base to assume Adams’ career was on the down slide. However, he roared back with the huge #1 hit Everything I Do (I Do It for You) and a follow-up album which produced seven songs which made appearances on various charts. It’s surprising only three of those make appearances here. “Thought I’d Died and Gone to Heaven” was a top-20 hit and “There Will Never Be Another Tonight” hit the top 40.

  • Everything I Do (I Do It for You) (6/29/91, 1 US, 1 UK, 10 AR, 1 AC, sales: 3 million, airplay: 3 million)
  • Can’t Stop This Thing We Started (9/14/91, 2 US, 12 UK, 2 AR, 40 AC, sales: ½ million)
  • Do I Have to Say the Words? (8/1/92, 10a US, 30 UK, 5 AC)

So Far So Good (1993):

This collection includes one song, the top-ten ballad Please Forgive Me. Originally, the album was supposed to have another new song entitled “So Far So Good,” but it was dropped. WK Overall, this hits package does a decent job of capturing the past decade of Adams’ career, but it could easily have included three or four more songs given that the running time is just over the hour mark.

  • Please Forgive Me (10/23/93, 7 US, 2 UK, 1 CN, 1 AU)

Resources and Related Links:

Monday, November 1, 1993

David Bowie Buddha of Suburbia released

Buddha of Suburbia

David Bowie

Released: November 1, 1993

Peak: -- US, 87 UK, -- CN, -- AU

Sales (in millions): --

Genre: glam rock/classic rock veteran


Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. The Buddha of Suburbia [4:29] (11/22/93, 35 UK)
  2. Sex and the Church [6:23]
  3. South Horizon [5:24]
  4. The Mysteries [7:11]
  5. Bleed Like a Craze, Dad [5:23]
  6. Strangers When We Meet [4:58]
  7. Dead Against It [5:47]
  8. Untitled No. 1 [5:02]
  9. Ian Fish, U.K. Heir [6:29]
  10. Buddha of Suburbia (Bowie, Lenny Kravitz, Erdal Kizilcay) [4:20]

Songs written by David Bowie and Erdal Kizilcay unless indicated otherwise.

Total Running Time: 55:26

The Players:

  • David Bowie (vocals, saxophone, guitar, keyboards)
  • Erdal Kızılçay (keyboards, trumpet, bass, guitar, drums, percussion)
  • Rob Clydesdale, Gary Talor, Isaac Daniel Prevost (drums, bass, guitar on “Bleed Like a Craze, Dad”)
  • Mike Garson (piano on “Bleed Like a Craze, Dad” and “South Horizon”)
  • Lenny Kravitz (guitar on “Buddha of Suburbia”)


2.602 out of 5.00 (average of 18 ratings)

About the Album:

David Bowie quickly followed his first solo album in six years with this overlooked project which he recorded in just six days. WK Ostensbily recorded as a soundtrack to the four-part British TV miniseries, the title cut was the only song actually featured on the program.

“Record-company affiliation difficulties…kept…Buddha of Suburbia…from being released in the U.S. until 1995, when it was slipped out in the wake of his new album, Outside. That's too bad, because The Buddha of Suburbia is an often engaging collection of songs and instrumental passages that recalls many previous Bowie albums, including such disparate efforts as The Man Who Sold the World, Aladdin Sane, and Low. It's not a major effort by any means, but in another context songs like Strangers When We Meet easily could become Bowie favorites.” AMG

Notes: There is an alternate album cover featuring Bowie sitting on a cot.

Resources and Related Links:

Other Related DMDB Pages:

First posted 2/20/2008; last updated 8/3/2021.

Monday, October 11, 1993

Crowded House released Together Alone

Together Alone

Crowded House

Released: October 11, 1993

Peak: 73 US, 4 UK, 18 CN, 2 AU

Sales (in millions): 0.3 UK

Genre: adult alternative rock


Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Kare Kare [3:35]
  2. In My Command [3:43]
  3. Nails in My Feet [3:39] (11/20/93, 22 UK, 34 AU)
  4. Black and White Boy [4:01]
  5. Fingers of Love [4:26] (6/11/94, 25 UK)
  6. Pineapple Head [3:28] (9/24/94, 27 UK)
  7. Locked Out [3:18] (12/25/93, 12 UK, 8 MR, 81 CN, 79 AU)
  8. Private Universe [5:38] (8/94, 46 AU)
  9. Walking on the Spot [2:55]
  10. Distant Sun [3:50] (10/2/93, 19 UK, 26 MR, 4 CN, 23 AU)
  11. Catherine Wheels [5:12]
  12. Skin Feeling (Hester) [3:57]
  13. Together Alone (N. Finn/Hart/Wehl) [3:57]

All songs written by Neil Finn unless noted otherwise.

Total Running Time: 51:32

The Players:

  • Neil Finn (vocals, guitar, keyboards)
  • Nick Seymour (bass, backing vocals)
  • Paul Hester (drums, percussion, vocals)
  • Mark Hart (keyboards, guitars, etc.)


3.896 out of 5.00 (average of 26 ratings)

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“More experimental and musically varied than any of their previous releases” AMG Together Alone is “arguably [Crowded House’s] best record.” AZ The band is “branching out into traditional Maori music and heavy guitars;: AMG “the musical arrangements here reflected and encompassed more of their native Kiwi homeland [of] New Zealand.” AZ

The band switch from longtime producer “Mitchell Froom to Killing Joke’s Youth,” AZ a move that “energizes their sound without losing sight” AMG of “the shining pop songcraft that is Neil Finn's trademark.” AMG “Each track…is played with passion and heart…The music is simply breathtaking and the lyrics poetic and intelligent.” AZ “Neil [writes] meaningful heartfelt material…in droves.” GS “Most of the songs have ‘The Touch’” GS on “this set of thirteen ear catching tracks.” AZ

“One really good new element here is new member Mick Hart's guitar playing. His style is mostly quite traditional; far from being an aficionado of "new" playing techniques, his main idols seem to rather belong to the Clapton/Harrison crowd…it helps make the opening pop rocker, Kare Kare, about ten times moodier than it could have been otherwise. The idea is to create a slightly dark, but utterly romantic mood without sounding cliched, and the subtle touches of Hart's slide guitar after each verse are the main ingredient in the concoction; the song's main hookline is not the actual chorus, but rather the way Finn's oo-oo-ooing seamlessly merges with Hart's playing.” GS

“For those who want to hear their favourite band rocking out, there's In My Command, not exactly a hard rocker per se, but a song that cleverly alternates power-pop choruses with hellraising guitar passages.” GS

Nails In My Feet’s “melody…is as gentle and crystal clear and fresh and guitar-based as always, and vocal hooks just keep splashing off the walls. The transition from the rough desperation of the verses to the gorgeous ‘and it briiiiings me relief’ culmination is so natural and easy-going you can't help but admire the artistry.” GS

“Other soft-sounding, caressingly arranged ballads like Pineapple Head and Catherine Wheels also qualify in this regard.” GS

“If you wanted something really heavy, there's always Black & White Boy, with easily the grungiest guitar part to ever come from these guys…[There are also] mysterious lyrics whose protagonist is definitely not easy to decipher…some people have suggested it's actually a dog - could certainly be, at least it's a nice explanation that relieves the band of any possible racist/sexist accusations.” GS

“The speedy, funky, Madchester-influenced Locked Out, with a particularly paranoid coda offer[s] something tasty for the headbangers.” GS

“For those who just want straightahead, unassuming…power-pop, there's…Distant Sun…For all their adult-contemporarishness, Fingers of Love and Private Universe…betray far more personality.” GS The latter features some “neat guitar textures…where it almost sounds like an Eno-enhanced pseudo-ambient synthesizer, successfully outpunching the real (boring, but maybe necessarily boring) synthesizers.” GS

“The title track, closing the album in anthemic style…[is] all about paying tribute to Neil Finn’s native homeland, including some Maori tribal chanting and drumming (although, for some reason, the chanting suspiciously reeks of generic gospel in places.” GS

In short, “Together Alone wasn’t actually planned as a goodbye album, [but] it works well as one.” GS

Resources and Related Links:

First posted 3/3/2008; last updated 5/15/2021.