I always love an excuse to post a pic of Poly Styrene ( that’s an actual centerfold pin-up from Record Mirror magazine in 1978).
And so Rolling Stone published a revised version of their infamous “500 Best Songs of All Time” list this week (which you can check out here). A lot of people hate these lists and get upset at how predictable, pandering or deliberately contrarian they can be.Then there’s the generational divide, meaning depending on where you came in “there’s too much old stuff” or “this new stuff isn’t worthy of being on the same list as this established stuff”. And of course some people just plain take issue with the idea of ranking art.
But you know what, I like a nice, reasonably thought out list made by a bunch of passionate nerds (like me and presumably you). Even if I don’t necessarily agree with the rankings or choices (understatement), these “All-Time Whatever” lists are just good, geeky, absurdist fun. And of course they say more about the people compiling them than they do the music. On the negative side I do believe that the more people that contribute to the creation of a list, the more watered down and predictable they tend to get (kind of like The Grammys). They are always better and weirder when there are only a small handful of people or a solo soul behind their creation.
As for the actual Rolling Stone list some of the picks aren’t the first ones I would reach for if I wanted to listen to say Aretha, Joni Mitchell or Janet Jackson but it IS exceedingly nice to see X-Ray Spex, The Slits, Pulp, freakin’ “More Than A Feeling” and “Umbrella” on there. It makes the exclusion of songs like say, Diana Ross’s version of “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” or John Martyn’s “Solid Air” somewhat forgivable (but not entirely). I’m not gonna be mean here except to say RHCP’s “Under The Bridge” and U2’s “One” are big f-ing no’s. To have those taking up valuable real estate that SZA’s “Aftermath” or 10cc’s “I’m Not In Love” could have been justifiably occupying is unacceptable. And where is freakin’ “Unfinished Sympathy” by Massive Attack ? What the holy hell is that about ??? Okay, see how easily I fell into the trap there? That’s why these ridiculously subjective, crazy ass lists are fun.
And now come meet some songs that will hopefully be on Top 500 lists of the future. Welcome to the latest WEEKLY NEW WONDERS PLAYLIST featuring the finest, foxiest songs we’ve heard over recent days. You can listen below on Soundcloud or Spotify.
Listen on Soundcloud
Listen on Spotify