LISTENING PROJECT- THE HEART OF ROCK AND SOUL- DAVE MARSH’S 1001 GREATEST SINGLES EVER

 

Picking up where I left off on the countdown of the 1001 Greatest Singles Ever- from Dave Marsh’s 1989 book-

#975-“I Feel Fine”- The Beatles 1964.  Columbia- Billboard #1. A Beatles classic that I would have ranked a lot higher than #975. My problem would be limiting the number of Beatles songs in my 1001. Marsh in his 1001 Greatest Singles- has a dozen Beatles songs which is far too low in my opinion. “I Feel Fine” marks the beginning in my mind of The Beatles middle years period. The song is of course best known for the guitar feedback that opens it.

#974-“Jack and Jill” Raydio  1978- Arista – Billboard #8. Ray Parker Jr’s group before he went solo and to producing unexciting formula music. As Marsh point out this song sounds like it would fit right in with Sly and The Family Stone. The best song that Ray Parker Jr would make. I don’t think it would make my 1001 but I’ve always liked this song.

#973 “Lovers Who Wander”- Dion 1962 -Laurie Billboard #3. The first of 5ive Dion songs to make Dave Marsh’s list. I don’t think I had ever heard this one. I like it but it wouldn’t make my 1001.

#972 “A Thousand Stars” -Kathy Young and The Innocents- 1960- Indigo Billboard #3.  Maybe you had to be a teenager in 1950 to think this song is great. Easy listening at its worst is what I think. Awful. I had never heard this song before today. I could only listen to it once – breaking my rule of listening to each song two times!

#971 More Than A Feeling”- Boston  1976 Epic Billboard #5. If I had to pick one song that reminds me of my high school years I might pick this one. Not a fan of the group- and from Marsh’s writing it doesn’t seem like he was either but this was a pretty good rock song. It seemed like in the late 1970’s this may have been the most played song on the radio. I was among the millions who bought the album it was on. The songs on the album were played to death on album oriented radio. This was by far the best song Boston ever did. I bought the second album and that was the end of Boston for me. Would it make my 1001? It might.

#970- “Controversy” -Prince 1979 Warner Brothers Billboard  #11. I was a big fan of Prince’s from his start until around 1990. One of the top artists of the 80’s without question. I liked this song but I can think of a number of Prince songs I like more- so it probably wouldn’t make my 1001.

#969 “Wonderful World” Louis Armstrong. 1988 A&M Billboard #24. This was recorded in 1958 and nothing much was thought of it. In 1988 it found it’s way onto the Good Morning, Vietnam soundtrack and became a hit. I have always loved this song. I also agree with Dave Marsh who said that Armstrong was the greatest musical talent that America has ever produced. I don’t think anyone is really close.

#968 ” Keep On Truckin’ Part I”- Eddie Kendricks 1973-Tamla Billboard #1. Marsh cites “Keep On Truckin” as the first disco song to top the charts. Kendricks a former member of The Temptations had a pretty good solo career. I never cared for this song. It baffles me that it hit #1.

#967 “Rock The Boat ‘ The Hues Corporation 1974, RCA Billboard #1. In 1974 I was yet to become a music junkie but I remember hearing this a million times on the radio during that time. A mindless kind of song but for I kind of liked it.  Catchy. No way does it make my Top 1001 list though.

#966 “Hound Dog”- Elvis Presley 1956 RCA Billboard #1. This song was #1 for 11 weeks on the Billboard chart. I am surprised Marsh has it ranked so low since this is one of Elvis Presley’s signature songs.  Marsh has fourteen Elvis songs in his 1001. “Hound Dog” is one of those songs I’ve heard so often its like when I hear it now I have to force myself to listen. It would probably make my 1001 but it has never been one of my favorite Elvis songs.

#965 “I Put A Spell On You”- Screamin’ Jay Hawkins 1956 Okeh Billboard- Did Not Make Pop Chart. I wonder if Dr. Demento ever played this on his show? The most familiar version of this song is the cover Creedence Clearwater Revival but the original here is outrageously freaky and fantastic. It would be in my 1001 Greatest. The photo at the top of this post is of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins.

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