Friday, September 21, 2012

Consequence of Sound - The Top 100 Songs Ever

image from Consequence of Sound

Consequence of Sound has released its list of the top 100 songs of all time. As is nearly always the case for these lists, the term “all time” (or in this case, “ever”) is completely inappropriate. Since Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode” (1958) is the oldest song on this list, one can only assume that the staff at Consequence of Sound have been misinformed that music wasn’t invented until the 1950s. Either that, or we are supposed to believe that a song like Neutral Milk Hotel’s “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea,” which has never shown up on any of the other hundreds of lists I’ve collected, is far superior than anything in the history of recorded music prior to 1958.

One could also rant at the complete neglect of certain genres. This list is more diverse than some, actually includes R&B, rap, rock, pop, punk, and more within one list. However, there are still some genres, such as country, folk, jazz, gospel, reggae, and other world music which are represented with a token song or completely overlooked.

I could also rant about some of the musical giants glaringly absent from this list (Bing Crosby, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra) and specific songs. Consider this – only one song is featured on the CoS list which is also in the top ten of the Dave’s Music Database book of The Top 100 Songs of the Rock Era (see the list here). The latter is determined by aggregating hundreds of best-of lists. So here’s just 9 songs whose incredible pedigrees have been ignored by CoS: The Beatles’ Hey Jude”, The Eagles’ “Hotel California,” Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You,” John Lennon’s “Imagine,” The Police’s “Every Breath You Take,” The Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” and Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water.”

In what is also a frequent annoyance with online best-of lists, it takes scrolling through many a page to take in the entire list. While there are nice pieces about the songs, it would still be nice to give readers easy access to the entire list at once and then let them link to songs.

In any event, Dave's Music Database presents the list here, warts and all. Here’s where you can see the original posts: (100-51) and (50-1).


The Top 100 Ever, According to Consequence of Sound
  1. The Beach Boys...God Only Knows (1966)
  2. Talking Heads...Once in a Lifetime (1981)
  3. Bob Dylan...Like a Rolling Stone (1965)
  4. Michael Jackson...Man in the Mirror (1987)
  5. The Beatles...A Day in the Life (1967)
  6. Velvet Underground...Sister Ray (1968)
  7. The Rolling Stones...Sympathy for the Devil (1968)
  8. Aretha Franklin...Respect (1967)
  9. The Notorious B.I.G....Juicy (1994)
  10. Radiohead...Idioteque (2000)

  11. Nirvana...Smells Like Teen Spirit (1991)
  12. Marvin Gaye...What’s Going On (1971)
  13. Led Zeppelin...Dazed and Confused (1968)
  14. The Knife...Heartbeats (2002)
  15. The Jackson 5...I Want You Back (1969)
  16. Bruce Springsteen...Jungleland (1975)
  17. Otis Redding...Try a Little Tenderness * (1966)
  18. Bob Dylan...Shelter from the Storm (1975)
  19. Prince...When Doves Cry (1984)
  20. Kate Bush...Running Up That Hill (1985)

  21. Public Enemy...Fight the Power (1989)
  22. Pulp...Common People (1995)
  23. The Beatles...Tomorrow Never Knows (1966)
  24. The Rolling Stones...Gimme Shelter (1969)
  25. John Coltrane...Acknowledgement (A Love Supreme, Part 1) (1965)
  26. Beastie Boys...Shadrach (1989)
  27. The Who...My Generation (1965)
  28. Neutral Milk Hotel...In the Aeroplane Over the Sea (1998)
  29. Joy Division...Love Will Tear Us Apart (1980)
  30. The Jimi Hendrix Experience...All Along the Watchtower (1968)

  31. Smith, Patti...Rock ‘n’ Roll Nigger (1978)
  32. Black Sabbath...War Pigs (1970)
  33. Neil Young...Hey Hey My My (Into the Black) (1979)
  34. Daft Punk...One More Time (2000)
  35. The Ronettes...Be My Baby (1963)
  36. The Replacements...I Will Dare (1984)
  37. Sam Cooke... A Change Is Gonna Come (1965)
  38. Talking Heads...This Must Be the Place (Naïve Melody) (1983)
  39. The Stooges...Search and Destroy (1973)
  40. Al Green...Let’s Stay Together (1971)

  41. Michael Jackson...Billie Jean (1982)
  42. The Clash...London Calling (1979)
  43. David Bowie...Space Oddity (1969)
  44. LCD Soundsystem...All My Friends (2007)
  45. N.W.A....Fuck tha Police (1989)
  46. Madonna...Like a Virgin (1984)
  47. The Beach Boys...Good Vibrations (1966)
  48. Can...Halleluwah (1971)
  49. Metallica...One (1988)
  50. Pavement...Summer Babe (Winter Version) (1992)

  51. The Who...Baba O’Riley (1971)
  52. Jay-Z...Ninety-Nine (99) Problems (2004)
  53. Arcade Fire...Wake Up (2004)
  54. Pink Floyd...Comfortably Numb (1979)
  55. Bob Dylan...The Times They Are A-Changin’ (1964)
  56. Stevie Wonder...Superstition (1972)
  57. Thin Lizzy...The Boys Are Back in Town (1976)
  58. Black Flag...Rise Above (1981)
  59. Television...Marquee Moon (1977)
  60. Nick Drake...Pink Moon (1972)

  61. The White Stripes...Seven Nation Army (2003)
  62. Johnny Cash...Hurt * (2003)
  63. U2...Where the Streets Have No Name (1987)
  64. OutKast...B.O.B. (Bombs Over Baghdad) (2000)
  65. Velvet Underground...I’m Waiting for the Man (1965)
  66. Portishead...Roads (1994)
  67. Chuck Berry...Johnny B. Goode (1958)
  68. Leonard Cohen...Suzanne (1967)
  69. The Cure...Just Like Heaven (1987)
  70. Ben E. King...Stand by Me (1961)

  71. Björk...Army of Me (1995)
  72. James Brown...I Got You (I Feel Good) (1965)
  73. Ramones...Blitzkrieg Bop (1976)
  74. The Smiths...The Boy with the Thorn in His Side (1985)
  75. Blondie...Heart of Glass (1978)
  76. Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott...Get UR Freak On (2001)
  77. Sly & The Family Stone ...Hot Fun in the Summertime (1969)
  78. Run-D.M.C....Rock Box (1984)
  79. Fleetwood Mac…The Chain (1977)
  80. Yo La Tengo...Autumn Sweater (1997)

  81. Wu Tang Clan ...Protect Ya Neck (1993)
  82. Depeche Mode...Enjoy the Silence (1990)
  83. Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five...The Message (1982)
  84. Sufjan Stevens...John Wayne Gacy, Jr. (2005)
  85. My Bloody Valentine...Only Shallow (1991)
  86. The Band...The Night They Drove Ol’ Dixie Down (1969)
  87. PJ Harvey...Down by the Water (1995)
  88. The Buzzcocks...Ever Fallen in Love (1978)
  89. Kanye West...Jesus Walks (2004)
  90. The Pixies...Hey (1989)

  91. Funkadelic...One Nation Under a Groove (Part 1) (1978)
  92. Aphex Twin...Windowlicker (1999)
  93. Devo...Uncontrollable Urge (1978)
  94. Underworld...Born Slippy (1995)
  95. Sleater-Kinney...Dig Me Out (1997)
  96. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds...From Her to Eternity (1984)
  97. A Tribe Called Quest...Scenario (1992)
  98. Kraftwerk...Autobahn (1974)
  99. Sonic Youth...Teenage Riot (1988)
  100. Phil Collins...In the Air Tonight (1981)

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