Meme: 25 Rock ‘N’ Roll songs

rock-n-rollWhat 25 songs would you pick to describe your personal history with rock ‘n’ roll?

You can start whenever you like, end whenever you like, include whomever you like. This is more of a “favorites” list that shows your history with the music than anything academic, so just have fun with it, and then leave your list in comments, put the meme on your blog, pass it along.

My list:

  1. At the Hop – Danny and the Juniors
  2. La Bamba – Ritchie Valens
  3. I Saw Her Standing There – Beatles
  4. Satisfaction – Rolling Stones
  5. Come See About Me – Supremes
  6. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes – The Platters
  7. Surfin’ U.S.A – Beach Boys
  8. Heard it Through the Grapevine – Marvin Gaye
  9. Like A Rolling Stone – Bob Dylan
  10. Light My Fire – The Doors
  11. White Rabbit – The Jefferson Airplane
  12. Purple Haze – Jimmy Hendricks
  13. In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida – Iron Butterfly
  14. Sittin’ On The Dock of the Bay – Otis Redding
  15. Teach Your Children – Crosby Still & Nash
  16. Hotel California – Eagles
  17. It’s Only Rock ’N’ Roll (But I like It) – Rolling Stones
  18. Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? – Chicago
  19. Soul Man – Sam & Dave
  20. You Should Be Dancing – Bee Gees
  21. Love Train – The O’Jays
  22. Bad Girls – Donna Summer
  23. Bette Davis Eyes – Kim Carnes
  24. Hey Nineteen – Steely Dan
  25. Everybody Wants to Rule the World – Tears For Fears

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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29 Responses to Meme: 25 Rock ‘N’ Roll songs

  1. macavityabc says:

    My mistake was in trying to do a history of rock ‘n’ roll in 10 songs. Can’t be done. A favorites list is easier, but it would change from day to day.

  2. 1. “Teenager in Love”-Dion and the Belmonts (1959)
    2. “Return to Sender”–Elvis (1962)
    3. “She Loves You”–The Beatles (1963)
    4.. “Come See About Me”–The Supremes (1964)
    5.”Like a Rolling Stone”–Bob Dylan (1965)
    6. “White Rabbit”-Jefferson Airplane (1966)
    7. “God Only Knows”-The Beach Boys (1966)
    8. “(You’re My) Soul & Inspiration-Righteous Brothers (1966)
    9 “All Along the Watchtower”- Jimi Hendrix (1968)
    10. “Tumblin’ Dice”–The Rolling Stones (1972)
    11.. “I Shot the Sheriff”-Eric Clapton (1974)
    12. “Proud Mary”-Creedance Clearwater Revival (1969)
    13. “Born to Run”-Bruce Springsteen (1975)
    14.. “Wavelengh”-Van Morrison (1978)
    15.“Bad Girls”–Donna Summer (1979)
    16. “Hey Nineteen”–Steely Dan (1980)
    17. “Jessie’s Girl”-Rick Springfield (1981)
    18. “Photograph”-Def Leppard (1983)
    19. “Little Red Corvette”-Prince (1983)
    20. “Live to Tell”–Madonna (1986)
    21. “Genie In A Bottle”–Christina Aguilera (1999)
    22.. “Just Dance”–Lady Gaga (2008)
    23. “California Gurls”-Katy Perry (2010)
    24. “Someone I Used to Know”-Gotye (2011)
    25. “American Girl-Bonnie McKee (2013)

  3. macavityabc says:

    Sadly, I can’t do it. I started listing, and I didn’t even get out of the ’50s. I could as easily have listed 25 more, too.

    1. I Wonder Why – Dion & the Belmonts
    2. Mystery Train – Elvis Presley
    3. Blueberry Hill – Fats Domino
    4. Sh-Boom – Chords and Crew-Cuts versions
    5. Tutti Frutti – Little Richard
    6. Get a Job – Silhouettes
    7. Book of Love – Monotones
    8. Searchin’/Young Blood – Coasters
    9. Rave On – Buddy Holly
    10. Not Fade Away – Buddy Holly
    11. Whispering Bells – Del Vikings
    12. Rock & Roll Music – Chuck Berry
    13. Little Star – Elegants
    14. Rock and Roll Is Here to Stay – Danny and the Juniors
    15. It Will Stand – Showmen
    16. Susie Darlin’ – Robin Luke
    17. Jan & Arnie – Jennie Lee
    18. Buzz Buzz Buzz – Hollywood Flames
    19. Dream Lover – Bobby Darin
    20. Breathless – Jerry Lee Lewis
    21. Stagger Lee – Lloyd Price
    22. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes – Platters
    23. Reveille Rock – Johnny & the Hurricanes
    24. The Happy Organ – Dave “Baby” Cortez
    25. Dream Lover – Bobby Darin

  4. Richard says:

    Bill, you have another slot, you have the Bobby Darin song twice.

  5. Richard says:

    Nice list, George. Some good ones there!

  6. macavityabc says:

    Cool, because without Tom Dooley on there, it’s not a list at all.

  7. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Great lists! I’m glad you said favorites rather than “best” or “history” as favorites I can do.

    1. Runaway – Del Shannon
    2. Sleepwalk – Santo & Johnny
    3. Tutti Frutti – Little Richard
    4. Rave On – Buddy Holly
    5. Don’t Worry Baby – Beach Boys (or maybe Help Me Rhonda or…)
    6. Be My Baby – Ronettes
    7. I’m Walking – Fats Domino
    8. My Girl – Temptations
    9. Happy Together – Turtles (this was “our song” when we started dating)
    10. Get a Job – Silhouettes
    11. Come Go With Me – Del Vikings
    12. Only You (And You Alone) – Platters
    13. I Wonder Why – Dion & the Belmonts
    14. Deacon Blues – Steely Dan
    15. Johnny B. Goode – Chuck Berry
    16. Sea Cruise – Frankie Ford
    17. Good Lovin’ – Young Rascals (also Groovin’)
    18. I Can’t Help Myself (Sugarn Pie, Honey Bunch) – Four Tops
    19. It’s Over – Roy Orbison
    20. In My Life – Beatles
    21. Subterranean Homesick Blues – Bob Dylan (also Blowing in the Wind)
    22. The Tracks of My Tears – Miracles (also You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me)
    23. Up on the Roof – Drifters
    24. The Weight – The Band
    25. Running on Empty – Jackson Browne

    I’m sure half an hour from now I’d change it.

  8. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I asked Jackie to do a list too (which is eclectic, to say the least):

    1. Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me – Mel Carter
    2. What Becomes of the Brokenhearted – Jimmy Ruffin
    3. Runaround Sue – Dion
    4. See You in September – Tempos (NOT the remake)
    5. Don’t Worry Baby – Beach Boys
    6. One Fine Day – Chiffons
    7. A Wonderful Dream – The Majors
    8. The Longest Time – Billy Joel
    9. Spinning Wheel – Blood, Sweat & Tears
    10. Long Black Veil – The Band
    11. Tequila – The Champs
    12. Under the Moon of Love – Curtis Lee
    13. Another Saturday Night – Sam Cooke
    14. Only You – Platters
    15.American Pie – Don McLean
    16. California Dreaming – Mamas & Papas
    17. It’s Too Late – Carole King
    18. Come and Get These Memories – Martha & the Vandellas
    19. All I Have to Do is Dream – Everly Brothers
    20. Breaking Up is Hard to Do – Neil Sedaka
    21. Crocodile Rock – Elton John
    22. Johnny B. Goode – Chuck Berry
    23. Sea Cruise – Frankie Ford
    24. Trouble in Paradise – Crests
    25. True Love Ways – Buddy Holly

  9. Richard says:

    George, see how much easier it is with 25 instead of 10? 🙂

  10. Richard says:

    Jeff, that’s a cool list. I thought about some of the Beatles songs on Rubber Soul, but with them, and the Stones, Eagles and several others I felt I had to pick just one (except I did include a second Stones song…)

  11. A very interesting idea. I may try this on my own blog. Some of your songs would definitely be on my list

  12. Richard says:

    Charles, I love to see your list, I’m guessing it might include some heavy metal.

  13. macavityabc says:

    Great lists. I love all those songs. An actual list of my favorites would probably need at least 100, though.

  14. Wow, this is a tough one. I’ll have to think about it. . . .

  15. Richard says:

    Looking forward to your list, Chris. As a rocker, I’m guessing you’ll have some cool picks.

  16. J. Glee says:

    Wow. OK, let me see.

    Better Think Twice – Poco
    Help! – Beatles
    Broken Arrow – Buffalo Springfield
    Turn, Turn, Turn – The Byrds
    Wooden Ships – CS&N
    Cinnamon Girl – Neil Young
    All Along the Watchtower – Dylan
    Foxy Lady – Hendrix
    Candle in the Wind – Elton John
    Lyin’ Eyes – Eagles
    White Bird – It’s A Beautiful Day
    Brown Sugar – Stones
    Whip It – Ramones
    Knock On Wood – Eddie Floyd
    Heard It Through the Grapevine – Marvin Gaye
    Imagine – John Lennon
    Cool Change – Little River Band
    Maragritaville – Jimmy Buffet
    Only You Know and I Know – Dave Mason
    Can’t Find My Way Home – Traffic
    Layla – Eric Clapton (Derek & Dominoes)
    Melissa – Almond Brothers
    Free Fallin’ – Tom Petty
    Vogue – Madonna
    Get The Party Started – Pink

  17. Richard says:

    J. that’s a great list, many songs I hadn’t thought of, especially “Broken Arrow” which I love.

  18. Todd Mason says:

    Impossible to make a definitive list that I won’t disagree with in an hour or a week, at least around the edges…but some of the rock songs (including fusion and hybrids) that have been companions since I’ve heard them:

    I Got a Woman, Ray Charles
    Get Rhythm, Johnny Cash
    Love Potion No 9, the Clovers
    You Can’t Judge a Book by Looking at the Cover, Bo Diddley
    Under the Boardwark, the Drifters
    Shop Around, the Miracles
    No Particular Place to Go, Chuck Berry
    The Warmth of the Sun, the Beach Boys
    California Dreamin’, the Mamas and the Papas
    In My Life, the Beatles
    She Said Yeah, the Rolling Stones
    Randy Scouse Git, the Monkees
    Eight Miles High, the Byrds (runner-up: The World Turns All Around Her)
    Beechwood Park, the Zombies
    Don’t Worry, Ma, It’s Only Witchcraft, Fairport Convention
    The Gift, the Velvet Underground
    God is Alive, Magic is Afoot, Buffy St. Marie
    Kick Out the James, the MC5
    Crosstown Traffic, the Jimi Hendryx Experience
    Shangri-La, the Kinks
    Lady Day and John Coltrane, Gil Scott-Heron (runners up: Johannesburg, Winter in America)
    Down the Dream, the Roches (runner-up: Everyone is Good)
    Ghost Town, the Specials
    Secret Journey, the Police
    Bullet Park, Jawbox

    Another 25 could be put together immediately.

  19. Todd Mason says:

    In fact, I think i’d already plump for “Paint It Black” for the Stones, if I didn’t bump them for “Green River” by Creedence.

  20. Todd Mason says:

    And I’m waaay light on latter-day music in this 25, even as early as Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams”. And Big Star’s “For You”…and…

  21. Todd Mason says:

    And typos on the Diddley and particularly the MC5…bad James!

  22. Richard says:

    Thanks, Todd. These lists are making me want to put together a huge playlist.

  23. I actually wouldn’t know where to start but the Gaye, when I heard it aged 15, seemed incredible to me – and it still does … – great stuff Rich.

  24. Todd Mason says:

    I probably need to do another 25.

    Now, Rick, your 25 jazz compositions?

  25. Richard says:

    Todd, it would take me a while to answer that, as I usually listen to jazz by album, not song, and there are so many covered by lots of artists an I’d have to figure out which of those. But I might start by thinking about Ellington, things like “Satin Doll”. Bill Evans’ rendition of “Green Dolphin Street”, Coltrane’s version of “My Favorite Things”, maybe Brubeck’s “Take Five” though it’s such a warhorse. That’s off the top of my head, but “Freedom Rider” (Blakey) would be in there, I’d need to think more.

  26. Todd Mason says:

    Yeah, I think I’d plump for “Bluette” from the Desmond/Morello/Wright Brubeck Quartet. Arguing between the Last Concert version of “Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise” or “The Jasmine Tree” for the Modern Jazz Quartet. Etc.

  27. Richard says:

    “Caravan”, “Blue Monk”, I’ll work on it.

  28. Richard says:

    Patti Abbot has her list up at her blog Pattinaise.

  29. Pingback: A Quarter Century of Rock ‘N’ Roll Songs | Naked But for a Loincloth

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