Thursday, October 22, 2020

Dave's Music Database Hall of Fame: Song Inductees (October 2020)

Originally posted 10/22/2020.

In honor of the 10th anniversary of the DMDB blog on January 22, 2019, Dave’s Music Database launched its own Hall of Fame. This is the eighth set of song inductees. They come from the DMDB list of the top 100 classic rock songs of all time. The top 30 songs on that list were ranked based on overall DMDB points and the resulting top ten from that sort are being inducted. Excluded are previous inductees: The Beatles “Hey Jude” (1968), Eagles “Hotel California” (1976), John Lennon “Imagine” (1971), Queen “Bohemian Rhapsody” (1975), and The Rolling Stones “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” (1965).

Derek & the Dominos “Layla” (1970)

Inducted October 2020 as “Top Classic Rock Song.”

One of the great classic rock songs was inspired by Nizami, a twelfth-century Persian poet, who told the story of a love affair gone wrong in The Story of Layla and Majnun. HL In Eric Clapton’s version of the tale, the source of unrequited love was Patti Boyd, the wife of his best friend, George Harrison. Clapton never again sounded as tortured as he does here. Oh, and Nizami’s version missed a key ingredient of its musical counterpart — “the most recognizable guitar riff in history.” BBC Read more.

The Doors “Light My Fire” (1967)

Inducted October 2020 as “Top Classic Rock Song.”

The song that “positively dripped with sexual desire” CR was a fitting launch for the Doors and helped establish their frontman, Jim Morrison, as one of rock’s most legendary sex symbols. The song had more than just sex. Its blatant reference to drug use with the line “We couldn’t get much higher” got the band in trouble with the Ed Sullivan Show. The band had promised to replace the word “higher” when performing the song on a live television broadcast, but sang it anyway, getting them permanently banned from the show. AMG Read more.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience “Purple Haze” (1967)

Inducted October 2020 as “Top Classic Rock Song.”

Rolling Stone credited “Purple Haze” with launching two musical revolutions – “late-Sixties psychedelia and the unprecedented genius of Jimi Hendrix.” RS500 It is “a three-minute blaze of overdubbed guitar sorcery” RS500 which sports “one of the unforgettable opening riffs in rock.” RS500 Q magazine rated it the top guitar song of all time. WK Read more.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience “All Along the Watchtower” (1968)

Inducted October 2020 as “Top Classic Rock Song.”

Jimi Hendrix is largely credited with reinventing the electric guitar and his prowess is never more apparent than on his take on Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower.” “Raging and climactic where Dylan’s had been soft-paced and relaxed,” AMG Hendrix’s version pulls off the rare feat of giving the world a cover that outdoes its original source. After hearing Hendrix tackle it, “you can’t imagine it...any other way.” BBC Dylan admitted that in his subsequent performances of the song, he strove to emulate Hendrix’s version. RS500 Read more.

Led Zeppelin “Whole Lotta Love” (1969)

Inducted October 2020 as “Top Classic Rock Song.”

“Whole Lotta Love” can be traced back to Willie Dixon’s “You Need Love,” a song he wrote in 1962 for Muddy Waters. British rock band The Small Faces covered the song on their debut album. Future Led Zep members Jimmy Page and Robert Plant saw them perform it WK and eventually added it their own repertoire. In 2014, a BBC radio listeners’ poll rated “Whole Lotta Love” as having the greatest guitar riff of all time. WK The song was also rated in the top 5 on similar lists from Q magazine and VH1. WK Read more.

Led Zeppelin “Stairway to Heaven” (1971)

Inducted October 2020 as “Top Classic Rock Song.”

“Dazed and Confused” was the centerpiece of Led Zeppelin’s early live performances SJ but when they tired of it, the group set about creating another anthem. Little did they know that they would birth the song against which “all epic anthems must measure themselves.” RS500 The song consistently tops classic rock radio best-of lists, has received more airplay than any other song in the history of FM radio, KN and sold over a million copies of sheet music. WK For all its accomplishments, “Heaven” was never released as a single. Atlantic Records pushed for one, but the band refused to edit the song down from its eight-minute running time. WK Read more.

Lynyrd Skynyrd “Sweet Home Alabama” (1974)

Inducted October 2020 as “Top Classic Rock Song.”

This ode to the state of Alabama was written by three non-natives. Ronnie Van Zant and Gary Rossington both hailed from Jacksonville, Florida, while Ed King was born in Glendale, California. According to Rossington, they came up with the tune while waiting for the rest of the band to get to rehearsal. WK It was written as an ode to Southern pride in response to Neil Young’s “Southern Man” and “Alabama,” songs implying that American Southerners were “racist and stuck in the past.” SF Read more.

Pink Floyd “Another Brick in the Wall Part II” (1979)

Inducted October 2020 as “Top Classic Rock Song.”

In Pink Floyd’s early years, they released some successful singles in the UK, but gradually became much better known as an album act. With their 1979 album, The Wall, Pink Floyd undertook their most ambitious endeavor yet, crafting a double album built around the concept of alienation. To everyone’s surprise, the band opted to promote the album with their first single in eleven years. TB Singer/songwriter and bassist Roger Waters’ “vicious attack on teachers…inspired by the cruelty of his own schoolmasters” RS500 went on to shock everyone even more by going all the way to #1. Read more.

Bruce Springsteen “Born to Run” (1975)

Inducted October 2020 as “Top Classic Rock Song.”

Springsteen took six months to write TB and 3 ½ to record RS500 his bonafide classic. The song underwent fifty pages of fine-tuning in his notebook TB as he crafted his tale of the ficticious Wendy KN and the “young lovers on the highways of New Jersey.” RS500 It became The Boss’ signature song – an anthem to rebellion and an ode to the musical giants who shaped him. Read more.

Steppenwolf “Born to Be Wild” (1968)

Inducted October 2020 as “Top Classic Rock Song.”

Dennis Edmonton, who was a former member of Sparrow and the brother of Steppenwolf drummer Jerry Edmonton wrote the song under the pseudonym Mars Bonfire. AMG Inspired by a motorcycle poster with the slogan “Born to Ride,” he crafted this classic with the phrase “heavy metal” describing the roar of a motorcycle. TB The song achieved iconic status when Dennis Hopper used it for the film Easy Rider. RS500 It perfectly captured the movie’s “spirit of rebelliousness and freedom.” CR Read more.

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