Monday, June 2, 2008

Top 50 radio rock songs

Via, a website I've recently discovered which I am absolutely starting to love, check out the list of the top 50 radio rock songs of all time:

If you're too lazy to do that here's the top 10:

10. U2 - Sunday Bloody Sunday
9. Radiohead - Paranoid Android
8. Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit
7. The Clash - London Calling
6. Pixies - Where Is My Mind?
5. R.E.M. - Radio Free Europe
4. The Smiths - How Soon Is Now?
3. Violent Femmes - Blister In The Sun
2. Joy Division - Love Will Tear Us Apart
1. Radiohead - Creep

I'm not going to quibble too much with any list that features plenty of Radiohead, Nirvana, REM and Pixies but, let's face it, there ain't a whole lot of imagination shown on this one.
I find New Order's Blue Monday at 23 slightly surprising, given that it contains a long electronic intro and could easily not be classed as a rock song, but that's about it. And the absence of a personal favourite of mine, Motorhead's Ace of Spades is rather galling, but must surely have landed fairly close to the top 50.

Radiohead hold the number one position with Creep, and also feature at 9 with Paranoid Android and 32 with Karma Police. Now, I adore Radiohead as much, and a great deal more, than the next man, but these are odd choices really. Creep contains the refrain "You're so fucking special", ruling it out of daytime airplay unless in its watered-down "very special" format, which massively reduces its impact. Paranoid Android is about six and a half minutes long, which made radio stations notoriously reluctant to playlist it upon its release in 1997. I also wonder what the band themselves think about having two songs in the top ten, given that they have made strident efforts to get away from producing rock anthems in recent years. I love both of these songs, but Creep in particular is sounding a bit dated at this stage.

However, being dated doesn't seem to much of an issue for the compilers of this list given that, as far as I can work out, absolutely none of these songs were released within the last 10 years.

So here's a few more recent songs, strictly off the top of my head, that I think might be worthy inclusions in the list:

Franz Ferdinand - Take Me Out
Morrissey - Irish Blood, English Heart
Arcade Fire - Neighborhood #1 and Antichrist Television Blues
Band of Horses - Is There A Ghost
White Stripes - Fell in Love With a Girl
Wolf Parade - Dear Sons and Daughters of Hungry Ghosts
The Strokes - Reptilia
Bruce Springsteen - Radio Nowhere
Ash - Lose Control (I'm cheating now with this one cos its from 1995 but it still sounds fresh and I just love it, Ditto their entire 1977 album, all of which is worth cranking up the stereo for.)

As always, I'd love to know what other people think. Is the list a load of crap? Is it just too predictable? What do you make of my choices? Is there anything you think should be in there?

Update: Here's the link for the full listing of the top 500

I've just checked it out and am delighted to see that Take Me Out made it to number 83. Songs written in the past ten years seem to start at 68 with the massively over-played Seven Nation Army by the White Stripes. Its riff is now chanted ad nauseum on football terraces across Europe so I find it difficult to tolerate.

By the way, expect more talk about Radiohead this week, given the week that's in it.

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