Wednesday, July 2, 2008

40 Songs That Changed The World

From the 40th anniversary issue of Rolling Stone (May 2007). They have an explanation for each pick, but you'll have to buy the magazine for that, McDougal.

Can a song change the world? And if it can, did these forty do so? Some, maybe, but not all.

1. Elvis Presley
- "That's All Right"
2. Ray Charles
- "I Got A Woman"
3. Chuck Berry
- "Maybelline"
4. Bob Dylan
- "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall"
5. The Kingsmen
- "Louie Louie"
6. The Ronettes
- "Be My Baby"
7. The Beatles
- "I Wanna Hold Your Hand"
8. Martha and the Vandellas
- "Dancing In The Street"
9. The Rolling Stones
- "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction"
10. Bob Dylan
- "Like A Rolling Stone"
11. The Beatles
- "Strawberry Fields Forever"
12. The Velvet Underground
- "Heroin"
13. Aretha Franklin
- "Respect"
14. Jimi Hendrix
- "Purple Haze"
15. Led Zeppelin
- "Whole Lotta Love"
16. James Brown
- "Get Up (I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine"
17. Marvin Gaye
- "What's Going On"
18. John Lennon
- "Imagine"
19. David Bowie
- "Ziggy Stardust"
20. Bob Marley
- "I Shot The Sheriff"
21. Joni Mitchell
- "Help Me"
22. Bruce Springsteen
- "Born To Run"
23. Queen
- "Bohemian Rhapsody"
24. The Ramones
- "Blitzkrieg Bop"
25. The Sex Pistols
- "Anarchy in the UK"
26. Donna Summer
- "I Feel Love"
27. The Sugarhill Gang
- "Rappers Delight"
28. Black Flag
- "TV Party"
29. Michael Jackson
- "Billie Jean"
30. Prince
- "When Doves Cry"
31. U2
- "Pride (In The Name Of Love)"
32. Madonna
- "Like A Virgin"
33. Run DMC and Aerosmith
- "Walk This Way"
34. The Cure
- "Just Like Heaven"
35. Guns N Roses
- "Sweet Child O' Mine"
36. Public Enemy
- "Bring The Noise"
37. Dr. Dre
- "Nuthin' But A G Thang"
38. Nirvana
- "Smells Like Teen Spirit"
39. Britney Spears - "Baby One More Time"
40. The White Stripes - "Fell In Love With A Girl"

Say, does anyone have an extra copy of Dark Side of the Moon, The Doors or Who's Next that I could send to the poor fellas down at Rolling Stone? Looks like theirs got stolen, along with all their Buddy Holly, Johnny Cash, Otis Redding, Elvis Costello, Credence, Beck, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Clash and Grateful Dead records. Poor bastards; they must be really missing those.


  1. not a single song by CCR???

  2. Black Flag?

    They included Black Flag, but no Break On Through?

    And the White Stripes song is way too young to have "changed the world".

  3. BRITNEY SPEARS? This list is a joke, right? Please?

  4. No Dark Side of the Moon is just a crime.

    But I have to admit, I'm glad to see that The Bowie made the list. He usually doesn't. Even though he is the KING OF GLAM. Or Queen of Glam. Whatever.

    1. bowie wasnt gay he confirmed it later on...his stage person was flamboyant and he experimented before, of course


    I love the song and all, but how did it change the world? How did any of these, for that matter? They should just say what they really meant, which is "40 Songs That Changed Rock 'n' Roll" (and even then I'm not sure how "TV Party" qualifies, great as the song may be).

  6. what - no Simon & Garfunkel, no Sinatra, no....lots of stuff....

  7. Things that make you go hmmmm...

    NO, I'm not advocating that C + C Music Factory classic 'changed the world', just a response to another BS list. Sorry, that should be RS list.

    Isn't the 'changed the world' cliché one of the crappiest ever?

    Seriously, even if one accepts their premise, then their choices??

    'Sex Machine' from James Brown? Yeah, it's great, but it didn't define anything - the 1970s funk thing was from 'Cold Sweat', with the one chord change and the drum breaks.

    And he'd been influencing things before 1970 too with 'Papa's Got a Brand New Bag' etc.

    And seriously, no The Kinks with 'You Really Got Me'? The harbinger of hard rock and metal, for fuck's sake. Or 'Waterloo sunset'? That Kinks sound influenced basically ALL subsequent Brit rock and pop.

    And ska, then reggae, riddims into rock and pop pre-date 'I Shot The Sheriff'.

    Etc Etc

    BS, sorry RS, have their hands in their own or each others pants.

  8. Maybe it was a typo and they really meant "changed the WOOD" in this song gives me wood, this song does not give me wood...

  9. I gave up on Rolling Stone years ago when they announced The New Kids on the Block were the next Beatles.

  10. Holy crap, The Cure is on the list of bands that changed the world? I am a musician and I have never heard a single song by The Cure.

    Oh, I get it now, "changed the world" doesn't mean necessarily for the better.

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  12. " I'm glad to see that The Bowie made the list. He usually doesn't."

    Bowie is pretty much always present on "greatest of" lists so I'm not sure what you're talking about, but yea I'm happy for him too :D.



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