LISTENING PROJECT: THE HEART OF ROCK AND SOUL: DAVE MARSH’S 1001 GREATEST SINGLES EVER #863-

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#863- ‘A Fool In Love”- Ike and Tina Turner  1960  Sue  Billboard #27. Marsh is critical of Ike Turner- for his haphazard way of producing Tina during their career together. He compared how when Phil Spector produced them in their most famous song “River Deep Mountain High” the production was overstewed and with Ike when he produced her the production was undercooked.  He ranks this song as one of the best Ike and Tina records because it is a truthful record. I had heard the song before, a good one but not in my 1001 greatest.

#862 “Better Be Good To Me”- Tina Turner- 1984- Capitol Billboard #5. This single was a part of Tina’s big comeback in the mid-1980’s with the “Private Dancer” album. This song won a Grammy Award for best female rock performance and the song did certainly rock due to Tina’s great and powerful singing. Like the song and all but I wouldn’t put in on my 1001 Greatest Singles list.

#861- “Love and Happiness”- Al Green  1977  Hi  Did Not Make Pop Chart.  How did this not crack the Hot 100?  This single came along after Rev. Al had all his solo pop hits. This song barely cracked the R&B charts. It is one of his best performances. There would have to be some Al Green on my list- don’t know if this would be one of the ones that make it or not but it’s a contender.

#860- “You Can’t Judge A Book By Its Cover”–Bo Diddley 1962- Checker Billboard #48. This is odd, just last night I saw a commercial, I am not sure what it was for, where they had younger people singing parts of this song. This is the only Bo Diddley hit that was written by someone else- it was written by the great blues songwriter Willie Dixon. I had heard this song a few times before it’s not one of the Bo Diddley songs you hear when they play Bo. It would probably be on my 1001 Greatest list. Bo Knows.

#859-“More Love”- Smokey Robinson and The Miracles  1967- Tamla Billboard #23. It surprises me when I look at Smokey Robinson and The Miracles singles- to see that they didn’t do better on the Hot 100 charts than they did. This great song only hit #23? Probably their most famous single “The Tracks Of My Tears” -which has been played on the radio a zillion times over the past fifty years didn’t even make the Top 10! A contender for my 1001 list- but with Smokey there are so many contenders I will have to decided which to include.

#858-“Why Do Lovers Break Each Others Hearts-” Bob B. Soxx and Blue Jeans- 1963 Philles Billboard 38. Another single I have heard so often I thought it was a bigger hit than what it actually was. A Phil Spector production. One of the best box sets I have ever bought was the Phil Spector Box Set “Back To Mono.” This would be the second and final hit by Bob B. Soxx and Blue Jeans- their previous hit was “Zip -A- Dee- Doo- Da” which hit #8. I prefer this one. With Phil it wasn’t about the singers they were interchangeable it was about the sound and production. This wouldn’t be on my 1001 Greatest Singles list.

#857-“A Good Year For The Roses”- George Jones- 1970- Muiscor Did Not Make Pop Chart. Ol’ George Jones in his 61 year career had over 150 hits. He is one of my favorite country artists- not my favorite but he may be the greatest country singer. Who would have thought Jones would live until the age of eighty-one the way he lived his life? Jones had a way of making you think he he wrote the songs he sings. Here is another example. Another artist where I’d have to sit down and decide which songs to include on my list- I made a list of favorite country songs he’d be one of the dominate artists for sure. Not only would I rank him as probably the greatest ‘voice’ in country music I think I’d put George on my Mount Rushmore of greatest singers period.

#856- “Dead Man’s Curve”- Jan and Dean 1964- Liberty Billboard #8. co-written by Beach Boy Brian Wilson. I always have thought of this song and the fate of Jan Berry who would later be permanently crippled in a car crash. I could take or leave this song. Never a song that stuck with me.

#855- “Israelites”-Desmond Dekker 1969- Uni Billboard #9.  The first ever American reggae hit. One of the great pop reggae hits. I have heard it dozens of times over the years and it has always been a song that gets my attention. Sometimes when say driving in the car with the radio on I wouldn’t even remember the song I last heard- but I’d remember this one. So I’d probably have this in my 1001 Greatest Singles since it always gets me listening.

#854- “I Want A Love I Can See”- The Temptations 1963- Gordy  Did Not Make Pop Chart. Written by Smokey Robinson. The Temptations wouldn’t have a hit until the next year 1964 so this is a more obscure Temptations song. It didn’t even make the Hot 100. I like the song as it is one by The Temptations or Motown even that hasn’t been beaten into the ground- but I wouldn’t put it on my 1001.

#853-“Jailhouse Rock”- Elvis Presley 1957- RCA Billboard #1. #1 for 7 weeks. One of the most overplayed Elvis songs. At this point I don’t care if I ever hear this song or “Hound Dog” – ever again. I have visited Graceland a couple times and the last time was in 2001. We were in a souvenir store across the street from Graceland and inside of course Elvis was playing. Elvis recorded hundreds of songs in his career but I would bet the songs they play over and over again in that store are probably the most well known songs. It would be hell to live there and hear some of those songs over and over and over day in and day out. I wouldn’t put this on my list. Most of the Elvis on my 1001 list would be from his days at Sun Records.

#852- “I Didn’t Know I Loved You[Til I Saw You Rock and Roll}= Planet Patrol  1983 Tommy Boy- Did Not Make Pop Chart. This song sounds like a video game. It is awful. Gary Glitter was one of the co-writers. How was this song even considered ? I wouldn’t consider it for my 10,001 Greatest Singles list. Terrible.

#851-“Here Comes The Night”- Them- 1965- Parrot Billboard #24. Van Morrison’s group before he went solo. Them recorded some great stuff-the song they are probably most remembered for is “Gloria” Van The Man would be one of my ten favorite artists. This single along with a couple other Them and a number of Van songs would be on my list- although Van has always been more of an album artist than a singles man.

#850 ‘Apache”- The Incredible Bongo Band- 1973- MGM- Did Not Make Pop Chart. An instrumental which to me sounds very unremarkable and five minutes after listening to it twice in a row I had forgotten it. Not on my list.

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7 responses to “LISTENING PROJECT: THE HEART OF ROCK AND SOUL: DAVE MARSH’S 1001 GREATEST SINGLES EVER #863-

  1. Man, I may visit more rock & roll shows than you do these days, but you sure as heck beat every other music blogger I know with the frequency of your posts!:-)

    While I’ve listened to music from most of these artists and like them, I’m only family with a few songs you highlight. I used to idolize Elvis when was like 12 years or so, which probably makes me biased. I still like “Jailhouse Rock.” I also dig Tina Turner, even her more pop-oriented songs. This lady was just a killer performer!

    • Elvis wouldn’t be in my Top 20 artists but I am a fan of his music. Its a shame that the thing he was great at- his music isn’t as celebrated as it should be- he seems more to be celebrated more of as someone that isn’t really taken too seriously- and as some kind of bozo comic strip character/ action hero that people giggle about. More pop culture than music. Don’t know if I found the right words there- but you know what I mean?

    • I really enjoyed and still like Elvis’ early phase. I thought he had a great voice and incredible moves – to me, it was almost Michael Jackson-like.

      It’s funny from today’s perspective that his moves were considered scandalous at the time, so they only showed his upper body on the Ed Sullivan Show!

      What I found generally awful were the movies that featured Elvis. I understand that was mostly Colonel Parker’s doing.

      While I no longer idolize Elvis the way I did when I was a young kid, I still would like to visit Graceland one of these days. Though I imagine it’s all big-time commercial!

      Do you happen to know whether there is anything left of the old Stax studios in Memphis? That’s another place I’d love to visit. So much great music that came out of that label.

    • I do know there is a museum now at Stax but I am not sure if there is anything left of the original studio? I’d like to see that too. My wife and I stopped in Memphis on our way back from a western trip in October but it was late on a Saturday afternoon- we stopped at Sun Studio but by the time we were done there it was getting late… Yes, Graceland is pretty commercial and tacky but worth taking the tour once….. Yes too bad Elvis didn’t tell Col. Parker to go fly a kite. Those movies – although some like them– part of his downfall… As John Lennon famously responded when told that Elvis was dead- “He died when he went into the army..”

    • I have stopped at Sun for a tour maybe a half dozen times when passing through Memphis or down that way. Always take the tour and hear the stories from the tour guides. The guide this time around was the best we’ve had.

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