Tuesday, June 30, 2015

New Musical Express (NME) Top 100 Songs

New Musical Express:

Top 100 Songs

New Musical Express (NME) is a British music magazine first published in 1952. The magazine was responsible for the first UK singles chart that same year and has gone on to publish multiple best-of lists (links at bottom of page) throughout its history. This is an aggregate of 18 of those lists, resulting in an interesting meshing of classic rock alongside alternative rock with the occasional pop or R&B song thrown in for good measure.

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

  1. The Strokes “Last Nite” (2001)
  2. Bob Dylan “Like a Rolling Stone” (1965)
  3. Arctic Monkeys “I Bet You Look Good on the Dance Floor” (2005)
  4. Joy Division “Love Will Tear Us Apart” (1980)
  5. The Verve “Bitter Sweet Symphony” (1997)
  6. The Smiths “How Soon Is Now?” (1984)
  7. The Rolling Stones “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” (1968)
  8. The Kinks “You Really Got Me” (1964)
  9. The Beach Boys “Good Vibrations” (1966)
  10. The White Stripes “Seven Nation Army” (2003)

  11. The Libertines “Time for Heroes” (2003)
  12. Yeah Yeah Yeahs “Maps” (2003)
  13. The Who “My Generation” (1965)
  14. The Killers “Mr. Brightside” (2004)
  15. The Streets “Dry Your Eyes” (2004)
  16. Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott “Get Ur Freak On” (2001)
  17. The Beatles “Paperback Writer” (1966)
  18. Futureheads “Hounds of Love” (2005)
  19. Nirvana “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (1991)
  20. The Smiths “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out” (1986)

  21. Pulp “Common People” (1995)
  22. OutKast “Hey Ya!” (2003)
  23. The Beatles “Strawberry Fields Forever” (1967)
  24. The Rolling Stones “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” (1965)
  25. Franz Ferdinand “Take Me Out” (2004)
  26. BeyoncĂ© with Jay-Z “Crazy in Love” (2003)
  27. Marvin Gaye “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” (1968)
  28. Jay-Z “99 Problems” (2004)
  29. The Ronettes “Be My Baby” (1963)
  30. The Smiths “This Charming Man” (1983)

  31. Stone Roses “Fools Gold” (1989)
  32. Lou Reed “Walk on the Wild Side” (1973)
  33. Manic Street Preachers “A Design for Life” (1996)
  34. The Beach Boys “God Only Knows” (1966)
  35. Dizzee Rascal “Fix Up Look Sharp” (2003)
  36. The Rapture “House of Jealous Lovers” (2002)
  37. Johnny Cash “Hurt” (2003)
  38. The Rolling Stones “Paint It Black” (1966)
  39. Hot Chip “Over and Over” (2006)
  40. Stevie Wonder “Superstition” (1972)

  41. The Miracles “The Tracks of My Tears” (1965)
  42. Arcade Fire “Rebellion (Lies)” (2005)
  43. The Beatles “I Want to Hold Your Hand” (1963)
  44. David Bowie “Space Oddity” (1969)
  45. The Undertones “Teenage Kicks” (1978)
  46. The Beatles “She Loves You” (1963)
  47. Eminem “The Real Slim Shady” (2000)
  48. David Bowie “Heroes” (1977)
  49. Oasis “Live Forever” (1994)
  50. Oasis “Wonderwall” (1995)

  51. Radiohead “Paranoid Android” (1997)
  52. SinĂ©ad O’Connor “Nothing Compares 2 U” (1990)
  53. Ike & Tina Turner “River Deep, Mountain High” (1966)
  54. The Clash “London Calling” (1979)
  55. Sex Pistols “God Save the Queen” (1977)
  56. M.I.A. “Paper Planes” (2008)
  57. LCD Soundsystem “Losing My Edge” (2002)
  58. The Cure “Boys Don’t Cry” (1979)
  59. Arcade Fire “Wake Up” (2005)
  60. The Kinks “Waterloo Sunset” (1967)

  61. The Walkmen “The Rat” (2004)
  62. New Order “Blue Monday” (1983)
  63. Queens of the Stone Age “No One Knows” (2002)
  64. The La’s “There She Goes” (1988)
  65. Sex Pistols “Anarchy in the U.K.” (1976)
  66. MGMT “Time to Pretend” (2008)
  67. The Gossip “Standing in the Way of Control” (2007)
  68. The Libertines “Can’t Stand Me Now” (2004)
  69. Joy Division “Transmission” (1979)
  70. Kylie Minogue “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” (2001)

  71. Marvin Gaye “What’s Going On” (1971)
  72. The Beatles “Hey Jude” (1968)
  73. The Jimi Hendrix Experience “Hey Joe” (1966)
  74. The Jackson 5 “I Want You Back” (1969)
  75. Blur “Song 2” (1997)
  76. This Mortal Coil “Song to the Siren” (1982)
  77. The Pixies “Gigantic” (1988)
  78. Roxy Music “Virginia Plain” (1972)
  79. Otis Redding “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay” (1968)
  80. Aretha Franklin “Respect” (1967)

  81. The Jimi Hendrix Experience “Purple Haze” (1967)
  82. Klaxons “Golden Skans” (2007)
  83. The Doors “Light My Fire” (1967)
  84. The Jimi Hendrix Experience “All Along the Watchtower” (1968)
  85. Wolfman with Pete Doherty “For Lovers” (2004)
  86. Amy Winehouse “Rehab” (2006)
  87. Bob Marley & the Wailers “No Woman, No Cry” (1974)
  88. Robert Wyatt “Shipbuilding” (1982)
  89. Four Tops “Reach Out (I’ll Be There)“ (1966)
  90. The Byrds “Eight Miles High” (1966)

  91. Rihanna with Jay-Z “Umbrella” (2007)
  92. My Bloody Valentine “You Made Me Realise” (1988)
  93. Bloc Party “Banquet” (2005)
  94. The Specials “Ghost Town” (1981)
  95. The Beatles “Penny Lane” (1967)
  96. Michael Jackson “Billie Jean” (1982)
  97. The Byrds “Mr. Tambourine Man” (1965)
  98. The White Stripes “Fell in Love with a Girl” (2001)
  99. Donna Summer “I Feel Love” (1977)
  100. The Stone Roses “I Am the Resurrection” (1989)

Resources/Related Links:

NME Song Lists:

First posted 5/29/2012; last updated 9/28/2023.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

In Concert: The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones

Arrowhead Stadium; Kansas City, MO (6/27/2015)

image from The Pitch (6/28/2015)

Opening Act:

Ed Sheeran


  • Mick Jagger (vocals)
  • Keith Richards (guitar, vocals)
  • Ronnie Wood (guitar)
  • Charlie Watts (drums)


Seeing the Rolling Stones in concert was a mistake. I made the mistake of not bringing my son, thinking a 12-year-old couldn’t care less about a band only on his radar because of Maroon 5’s “Moves Like Jagger.” I made the mistake of joking that these septuagenarians (except for young pup Ronnie Wood – all of 68) would have difficulty commanding a stage, given the interference of their walkers, canes, and wheelchairs. I made the mistake of dismissing Mick Jagger’s a reputation as possibly rock music’s greatest frontman ever. Finally, I made the mistake of thinking it would be a good idea to go to any other concert again after this one.

I’ve seen my fair share of rock legends on stage – Allman Brothers, Pat Benatar, David Bowie, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Journey, John Mellencamp, The Police, Bruce Springsteen, Styx, Roger Waters, and Yes all spring to mind. However, none came close to matching the stage presence of Mick Jagger. The man didn’t just command a stage, but an arena with his exhaustive prancing and ability to get a crowd revved up. This was not a fat cat millionaire just phoning it in.

Aside from Jagger, there were a lifetime of memorable musical moments. How does one not melt when Keith Richards launches into the arguably most famous guitar riff off all time with “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”? Who wouldn’t be moved by the choir at the beginning of “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”? How about the chops of the female singer on “Gimme Shelter” or the bass solo during “Miss You”? Hell, the final curtain call with just Jagger, Richards, Woods, and Charlie Watts bowing to their audience was tear-worthy.

So I offer my apologies to my son for not making this his first show. I apologize to the Stones for ever dismissing them as past their prime. I apologize to every other performer I’ll ever see when I say, “Well, they were good, but they weren’t the Rolling Stones.”

Click here to see other concerts I’ve attended.

The Set List:

1. Start Me Up
2. It’s Only Rock and Roll But I Like It
3. Tumbling Dice
4. Doom and Gloom
5. Beast of Burden (with Ed Sheeran)
6. Kansas City
7. Bitch
8. Wild Horses
9. Street Fighting Man
10. Honky Tonk Women
11. Before They Make Me Run
12. Happy
13. Midnight Rambler
14. Miss You
15. Gimme Shelter
16. Jumpin’ Jack Flash
17. Sympathy for the Devil
18. Brown Sugar


19. You Can’t Always Get What You Want
20. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

Resources and Related Links:

First posted 6/27/2015; last updated 8/5/2023.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Today in Music (2015): The Byrds hit #1 with “Mr. Tambourine Man”

Mr. Tambourine Man

The Byrds

Writer(s): Bob Dylan (see lyrics here)

Released: April 12, 1965

First Charted: May 8, 1965

Peak: 11 US, 11 CB, 11 GR, 11 HR, 1 CL, 12 UK, 1 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 0.2 UK

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 28.92 video, 111.66 streaming

Awards (Byrds):

Click on award for more details.

Awards (Dylan):

About the Song:

“Mr. Tambourine Man” “elevated [Bob] Dylan from folk hero to bona fide star.” RS500 He pecked “out the lyrics on a typrewriter in the back of a station wagon” BR “during a drug-fueled cross-country trek in 1964,” RS500 which included “wild scenes they had witnessed at Mardi Gras” SS and incorporated the influence of the Federico Fellin film La Strada. SS Some people interpreted “Tambourine” as being about a drug pusher, but Dylan said the song was inspired by Bruce Langhorne, a guitarist who brought a tambourine to the recording session which he said was “as big as a wagon wheel.” SJ

Dylan recorded the “hallucinatory ramble” BR during sessions for Another Side of Bob Dylan, but left it off the album. He re-recorded it and released it on Bringing It All Back Home, the album which began his transition from acoustic to electric. SS In the meantime, however, a Columbia Records promotions man gave a recording to Jim Dickson, the Byrds’ manager. BR The band was “resistant to a song with such abstract imagery,” SS but eventually gave it a shot.

After an attempt with Gene Clark singing lead, they recorded a version with Roger McGuinn assuming vocal duties. SS He said he was trying to sound like a mix of Dylan and John Lennon. BR They recorded their own version five days after Dylan. RS500 The original “was a multi-versed acoustic meander through typically elliptical wordplay,” TB but the Byrds whittled it down to a one-verse, more conventional three minute single. HL “If nobody sings Dylan like Dylan, the Byrds at least came close.” DM Dylan said of their recording, “Wow, man. You can even dance to that!” RS500

Roger McGuinn said, “I just rearranged it into a Beatles song.” TC Not only did the recording tap into the Beatles harmonies, but a Beach Boys’ beat, and a bit of Bach in the guitar intro. RP Terry Melcher, who’d also worked with the Beach Boys, gets credit for the “influence on the harmonies, tempo, and overall sound.” PW He also decided that, other than McGuinn, the Byrds “were too rough and unpolished to play on their own single” BR and tapped session musicians instead.

The Byrds’ David Crosby and Gene Clark contributed backing harmonies but only McGuinn played on the hit. Inspired by George Harrison’s electric twelve-string on the Beatles’ “A Hard Day’s Night,” BR McGuinn’s played the “chiming twelve-string Rickenbacker guitar [which] became folk rock’s defining sound.” RS500

“The Tambourine Man was the Pied Piper for others to follow.” HL It “started the folk-rock movement” SJ “and the whole singer/songwriter tradition.” TC McGuinn said, however, that “We weren’t really thinking about the folk background. In fact, we were trying to subdue it and become legitimate rock & roll people. Fortunately, we weren’t able to shake it, and the residue is what made us sound interesting.” TC


Related Links:

First posted 4/18/2020; last updated 4/25/2024.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Michael Franti “Once a Day” released

Once a Day

Michael Franti & Spearhead with Sonna Rele

Writer(s): Michael Franti (see lyrics here)

Released: June 22, 2015

First Charted: August 1, 2015

Peak: 30 A40, 17 AA, 1 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): --

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 1.6 video, 3.53 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Michael Franti was born in 1966 in Oakland, California. After high school, he went to the University of San Franciso on a full basketball scholarship. While at school, he started writing poetry after a priest taught him to write stories. He also started making music inspired by the campus radio station, KUSF. His music was a blend of alternative rock, reggae, hip-hop, and punk.

In 1986, he launched his career with the Beatnigs, an industrial punk/spoken word band. After releasing an album in 1988, Franti went on to be part of the Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy from 1991-93 before forming his own band, Spearhead, in 1994. They released their debut album, Home, in 1996.

Franti didn’t reach the Billboard album chart until 2006, when Yell Fire! reached #125. His next four albums reached the top 40. The last of those was 2016’s SoulRocker, an album which AllMusic.com’s David Jeffries referred to as Franti’s “electronic effort, where bass-drops and EDM ideas mesh with guitars and flip-flop music.” AMG “It is electro, but SoulRocker is also inspired, warm and inviting.” AMG

The album featured the song “Once a Day,” which Franti explained was “a mantra within my own family, as a way to approach the unexpected moments in life.” WL He talked about his son being diagnosed with kidney disease and thinking it might pull the family apart. Instead, he said, “We all decided to celebrate and love life. A reminder to hugh, kiss and cherish each other every day.” WL

He said the song then “transformed from a hopeful personal message for our family into an actual daily practice of gratitude and celebration of life throughout our social community. I love when the message of a song takes on an even bigger message than was originally intended. That is the awesome power of music.” WL


Related Links:

First posted 2/22/2024.