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

Image result for the beatles strawberry fields forever photo

 

  • #964- ‘Harlem Nocturne” – The Viscounts 1959- Madison  Billboard #59. This had been a jazz a decade earlier, made into a rock instrumental- I’d never heard it before today. I wouldn’t give it consideration for my 1001 list but it is worth hearing.
  • #963- “Happy” The Rolling Stones- 1972.  Rolling Stones Billboard #22. The biggest and best song The Rolling Stones have done with Keith Richards singing. My second favorite song on my favorite Rolling Stones album ‘Exile On Main Street”- my favorite being “Tumbling Dice.” Keith has a terrible voice. Some complain about Dylan’s voice {I don’t } compared to Keith, Dylan sounds like Sinatra.
  • #962-“The Slummer The Slum”- The Five Royales 1958- King. Did Not Make Pop Chart.  Of the songs on the list that I’ve played so far and hadn’t previously heard-this one is my favorite so far. Love the guitar distortion. Marsh makes the claim that The Five Royales may have been the first modern rock band. This song makes me want to explore their output. I’ve only heard it now a few times but likely put it on my 1001.
  • # 961-Family Affair’- Sly and The Family Stone 1971. Epic Billboard #1. Sly Stone sounds 100% fried singing this song and he also sounds that way on the album it came off of “There’s A Riot Goin’ On”- a great album by the way. Every word seems to be an effort for him. From here on it would be a quick downhill slide for Sly and The Family Stone. A great song, a number of Sly and The Family Stone songs would make my list- this would be one of them.
  • #960-“If You Could Read My Mind”- Bobby Bland 1966-Duke Did Not Make Pop Charts. Marsh calls Bland- the Sinatra of The Blues. I have a few Bland albums, wonderful singer, I had heard this song before and I like it but not in my 1001.
  • #959- “Come Back My Love”-The Wrens 1955 Rama- Did Not Make Pop Charts. A pop sounding doo-wop song. A good listen. I had never heard it before today. Not in my 1001.
  • #958- “Celebration”- Kool and The Gang”- 1980 De-Lite  Billboard #1. How many times have you heard this song? I can’t imagine anyone who hasn’t heard it. Played to death but actually a pretty good record.
  • #957 “Honey Bee” Gloria Gaynor 1974 MGM- Did Not Make Pop Chart. I had never heard this song before. Gaynor is best remembered today for her #1 hit a few years later “I Will Survive.” This was an early days disco song. I am surprised it wasn’t a hit- didn’t even crack the Hot 100. Catchy song. Not that I’d even consider it for my 1001 song but it was a good listen.
  • #956- “It Takes Two”- Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock  1988 Profile Billboard #36. I remember hearing this a lot…. 30 years ago. 30 years ago? I wasn’t following the charts at that time and I figured it was a bigger hit than #36 based on how often I’d heard it. I liked it then and now but not 1001 kind of like.
  • #955 “The Right To Love” -The Blue Jays 1962 Milestone Did Not Make Pop Chart. This is another song I had never heard that like “The Slummer The Slum” I loved at first listen. Leon Peels singing is haunting. The Blue Jay’s were a short lived Doo Wop group with one minor hit “Lover’s Island.” “The Right To Love” would be under consideration for my 1001 greatest singles. Ok I gave it a third listen its on my list.
  • #954 ” {For God’s Sake} Give More Power To The People “The Chi-Lites 1971. Brunswick Billboard #26.  The Chi-Lites first top 40 hit, their bigger hits “Have You Seen Her” and “Oh Girl” would come after this one. I bought their greatest hits years ago and this song seemed to stand out as being different from most of their other stuff. It always makes me think of John Lennon’s Power To The People. My favorite Chi-Lites song and one that would for sure make my 1001 list is one that failed to become a hit -it peaked at #47- “The Coldest Day’s Of My Life.’
  • #953″ Talk Talk” The Music Machine 1966 Original Sound Billboard #15. This was a hit in 1966. I was only five then so I wasn’t listening to the radio but I’ve listened to thousands and thousands of hours of radio since and I don’t think I’ve ever heard this one. An early heavy metal sounding song. I like it but I don’t love it.  The Music Machine only released two albums before calling it a day.
  • #952 “Schlock Rod Part I” Jan and Dean 1963 Liberty- Did Not Make Chart. It was the b-side to Jan and Dean’s “Drag City” this is a car song parody and it’s funny. I had heard it before. Not on 1001 but a fun listen.
  • #951 “Strawberry Fields Forever- The Beatles 1967 Capitol  Billboard #8. In my opinion the greatest single ever was the double A’ “Penny Lane”/ “Strawberry Fields Forever” single by The Beatles. I shake my head and wonder why didn’t they put this on Sgt. Pepper??? At the time Beatles singles were separate from the albums I understand that but still. Marsh doesn’t have Penny Lane in his 1001 Greatest Singles. I would have both these songs very high on my list-“Penny Lane’ in my Top 100 most likely and “Strawberry Fields Forever” is Top 10- my three favorite Beatles songs are, depending on the day- “In My Life”, “Here Comes The Sun” and “Strawberry Fields Forever.” For me at least I also disagree with Marsh who states that this song doesn’t move from personal to something universal. At least it did to me the first time I heard it at age fifteen and it still does. I said it earlier I think Marsh underrates The Beatles on his 1001 Greatest Singles.

 

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