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timschochet

The 100 greatest songs of 1971 #1 “When the Levee Breaks” Led Zeppelin

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12 hours ago, wikkidpissah said:

i'm sprinkleen on their May Queen

Gonna leave her where the guitars play

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4 minutes ago, BobbyLayne said:

Hope they didn’t have Edwin Starr

Fact check, Ed wasn't endorsing his title song.

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Just now, Bracie Smathers said:

Fact check, Ed wasn't endorsing his title song.

Say it again

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When Classic Rock radio came about in the '80s, it's true that "Stairway To Heaven" got burned into the ground. But, in my experience listening to CR in the '90s and early 00s (I quit when they added grunge), it was - if anything - underplayed. "Whole Lotta Love", "Black Dog", and "Kashmir" got tons more airplay than "STH". Same thing happened with "Freebird". 

I think the "overplayed" thing has turned into one of those myths that folks take for granted even if it hasn't been true for 30 years.

 

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I won't say Stairway is LZ's best song but it's probably their most iconic (or in the top 2-3).  It's funny, I get the overplayed sentiment and at times I find myself feeling that way - but here's the thing.  There's a reason a song is overplayed.  People like it - it's pretty simple, radio stations aren't in the business of playing songs people hate.  And this comes from someone who hates all radio and hasn't really listened to it in 5 years.  It's undoubtedly a great tune - just because LZ has lots of great ones doesn't diminish this in my mind.

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35 minutes ago, Uruk-Hai said:

When Classic Rock radio came about in the '80s, it's true that "Stairway To Heaven" got burned into the ground. But, in my experience listening to CR in the '90s and early 00s (I quit when they added grunge), it was - if anything - underplayed. "Whole Lotta Love", "Black Dog", and "Kashmir" got tons more airplay than "STH". Same thing happened with "Freebird". 

I think the "overplayed" thing has turned into one of those myths that folks take for granted even if it hasn't been true for 30 years.

 

cosign, especially with "Kashmir" ... i've been known to chuck a shekel or two down on wagers, and i'd bet my last bit of green effin' money that it's now easily the most played Zep tune 📻

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Posted (edited)

6. The Who “Won’t Get Fooled Again” (from Who’s Next

https://youtu.be/SHhrZgojY1Q

Let’s start with the lyrics: this is not a protest song but it is a song about politics and it’s probably the best political commentary put to music ever written. I don’t need to repeat the various famous lines here but will point out that they remain as timely and important as when they were written. Townshend does not take a position that is either to the right or left; he simply warns against the dangers of extreme change. 
Moving on to the music and presentation: incredible remains the best word I can come up with. In order to prepare for this writing I put on my headphones and listened to this song last night- it really can only properly be heard with headphones unless you have a great sound system which I don’t- and that synthesizer...there’s really no other song like this. Then of course there is Daltry’s scream- greatest ever in rock music? 
Yeah this is an awesome song. 

Edited by timschochet
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Posted (edited)

Solid tune, but this is one I think it vastly overrated. That pulsating keyboard is kinda annoying. But I know I’m in the minority on this one, so I’ll slink away and let the gushing commence. ;) 

Edited by Ghost Rider
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16 minutes ago, Ghost Rider said:

Solid tune, but this is one I think it vastly overrated. That pulsating keyboard is kinda annoying. But I know I’m in the minority on this one, so I’ll slink away and let the gushing commence. ;) 

i'm right there with ya, boss ... it's also one of the more "tinny" sounding albums of the era. 

 

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54 minutes ago, Ghost Rider said:

Solid tune, but this is one I think it vastly overrated. That pulsating keyboard is kinda annoying. But I know I’m in the minority on this one, so I’ll slink away and let the gushing commence. ;) 

:lol:

Everyone in every music thread thinks they are in the minority

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4 minutes ago, Uruk-Hai said:

:lol:

Everyone in every music thread thinks they are in the minority

That’s because bands like the Stones and The Who are labeled as the greatest bands ever and some of us like to choose music on our own and not follow the masses.   I’m not saying that the Stones and Who didn’t make great music but some us don’t consider them great.   I would be happy to never hear another Stones or Who song, especially the Stones.   I hate Jaggers annoying vocals. The quality of his voice is average and his delivery is extremely annoying.   

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1 minute ago, DocHolliday said:

That’s because bands like the Stones and The Who are labeled as the greatest bands ever and some of us like to choose music on our own and not follow the masses.   I’m not saying that the Stones and Who didn’t make great music but some us don’t consider them great.   I would be happy to never hear another Stones or Who song, especially the Stones.   I hate Jaggers annoying vocals. The quality of his voice is average and his delivery is extremely annoying.   

And there are probably billions that think just like you. I think "the masses" are much smaller than some may think.

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1 minute ago, Uruk-Hai said:

And there are probably billions that think just like you. I think "the masses" are much smaller than some may think.

I doubt that there are even dozens that think as I do!  

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17 hours ago, timschochet said:

7. Led Zeppelin “Stairway to Heaven” (from Led Zeppelin IV

https://youtu.be/QkF3oxziUI4

There’s no way to separate this song from its iconic, legendary status. There are very few songs that are as important to the classic rock genre- perhaps “Hey Jude”, “Bohemian Rhapsody”. Based on that alone “Stairway to Heaven”, which truly is a great song, has to be in this top 10, and few would argue with me if I put it in the top spot. Except that there are still 6 other tunes that are just a little better...

The great thing about STH is that we get to hear nearly 7 minutes before Plant goes into his screeching "my balls are stuck in a vice" mode. That alone makes it their best song.

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5. Bill Withers “Ain’t No Sunshine” (from Just As I Am

https://youtu.be/YuKfiH0Scao

Sometimes simplicity is all that’s necessary for a great song. Bill Withers wrote a basic love song, attached it to a standard acoustic blues melody, and the result was perfection. 

Of course it’s really not that simple. When you listen to Ain’t No Sunshine”, and you hear Withers’ voice and use of emotion (especially during the repetitive “I know”s) you realize that you’re hearing a brilliant artist doing something that would be extremely difficult to imitate- many have tried. 

Longevity is one good way of evaluating great music. It’s not the only way, but it’s a good one. So let me assert with much confidence that 100 years from now, “Ain’t No Sunshine” will still be listened to and appreciated. 

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1 hour ago, wikkidpissah said:

who, schmoo

Who are you, schmoo schmoo.

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19 minutes ago, timschochet said:

5. Bill Withers “Ain’t No Sunshine” (from Just As I Am

https://youtu.be/YuKfiH0Scao

Sometimes simplicity is all that’s necessary for a great song. Bill Withers wrote a basic love song, attached it to a standard acoustic blues melody, and the result was perfection. 

Of course it’s really not that simple. When you listen to Ain’t No Sunshine”, and you hear Withers’ voice and use of emotion (especially during the repetitive “I know”s) you realize that you’re hearing a brilliant artist doing something that would be extremely difficult to imitate- many have tried. 

Longevity is one good way of evaluating great music. It’s not the only way, but it’s a good one. So let me assert with much confidence that 100 years from now, “Ain’t No Sunshine” will still be listened to and appreciated. 

Agreed about the longevity. Maybe it hasn't been played out like some of the other notables in this list (esp. Stairway), but this song always stands up. Melancholy all up in your earholes.

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43 minutes ago, timschochet said:

5. Bill Withers “Ain’t No Sunshine” (from Just As I Am

https://youtu.be/YuKfiH0Scao

Sometimes simplicity is all that’s necessary for a great song. Bill Withers wrote a basic love song, attached it to a standard acoustic blues melody, and the result was perfection. 

Of course it’s really not that simple. When you listen to Ain’t No Sunshine”, and you hear Withers’ voice and use of emotion (especially during the repetitive “I know”s) you realize that you’re hearing a brilliant artist doing something that would be extremely difficult to imitate- many have tried. 

Longevity is one good way of evaluating great music. It’s not the only way, but it’s a good one. So let me assert with much confidence that 100 years from now, “Ain’t No Sunshine” will still be listened to and appreciated. 

Bill cut through the BS and simply wrote and sang a great song.

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47 minutes ago, timschochet said:

5. Bill Withers “Ain’t No Sunshine” (from Just As I Am

https://youtu.be/YuKfiH0Scao

Great song. What else to say?

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The whole side-note of overplayed songs.

The mainstream can overplay where its like the water table in the saturated in the spring where its water everywhere and more rain coming down is nothing but over-spill where nothing can be absorbed but you can turn the channel so when it really comes down to overplayed songs its a personal choice, its subjective.  

You have control you have to own up to personal responsibility and can step away from the chalupa.  

The list is from 1971 so the time these songs were overplayed by the mainstream was decades ago.  Maybe some people got burned a long time ago and still suffer PTSD which is sad and I'm sure hearing STH too often destroyed your life but get over it.  The top songs from 71 don't all hold up but if anyone says that STH or 'Don't Get Fooled Again' have no place in the top-ten of songs from 1971 then ... 

You can fill in the blanks.

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1 hour ago, timschochet said:

5. Bill Withers “Ain’t No Sunshine” (from Just As I Am

https://youtu.be/YuKfiH0Scao

Sometimes simplicity is all that’s necessary for a great song. Bill Withers wrote a basic love song, attached it to a standard acoustic blues melody, and the result was perfection. 

Of course it’s really not that simple. When you listen to Ain’t No Sunshine”, and you hear Withers’ voice and use of emotion (especially during the repetitive “I know”s) you realize that you’re hearing a brilliant artist doing something that would be extremely difficult to imitate- many have tried. 

Longevity is one good way of evaluating great music. It’s not the only way, but it’s a good one. So let me assert with much confidence that 100 years from now, “Ain’t No Sunshine” will still be listened to and appreciated. 

This is the song I have been waiting to see. I Googled it to make sure it qualified and didn't just rely on my memory. I remember it being on the car radio when I was very young. With Bill's recent passing, I have been hearing it again and was reminded of its simplicity and beauty.

I won't argue about its placement on this top 100, I'm just glad it showed up.

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16 hours ago, zamboni said:

I also prefer other LZ songs over Stairway, but it’s a great song. Agree with Tim that there’s a reason it’s so overplayed, not unlike the Free Birds and the Bohemian Rhapsodies of the world.

These days though when I want to hear Stairway, I’ll listen to this version.

I have been a fan of Heart since the beginning. Besides Stairway (which they have played since 1976), they have performed a ton of other LZ songs including Immigrant Song, Rock & Roll, Misty Mountain Hop, Battle Of Evermore, No Quarter, Black Dog, The Rain Song, What Is & What Should Never Be, Going To California, Kashmir, The Ocean, The Song Remains The Same, The Rover, Four Styx, and You Shook Me. They also have played Whole Lotta Love, Babe I'm Gonna Leave You, and Moby Dick before but they aren't posted online anywhere.

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1 hour ago, timschochet said:

5. Bill Withers “Ain’t No Sunshine” (from Just As I Am

https://youtu.be/YuKfiH0Scao

Sometimes simplicity is all that’s necessary for a great song. Bill Withers wrote a basic love song, attached it to a standard acoustic blues melody, and the result was perfection. 

Of course it’s really not that simple. When you listen to Ain’t No Sunshine”, and you hear Withers’ voice and use of emotion (especially during the repetitive “I know”s) you realize that you’re hearing a brilliant artist doing something that would be extremely difficult to imitate- many have tried. 

Longevity is one good way of evaluating great music. It’s not the only way, but it’s a good one. So let me assert with much confidence that 100 years from now, “Ain’t No Sunshine” will still be listened to and appreciated. 

Gotta love the strings in this one.

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21 minutes ago, Anarchy99 said:

I have been a fan of Heart since the beginning. Besides Stairway (which they have played since 1976), they have performed a ton of other LZ songs including Immigrant Song, Rock & Roll, Misty Mountain Hop, Battle Of Evermore, No Quarter, Black Dog, The Rain Song, What Is & What Should Never Be, Going To California, Kashmir, The Ocean, The Song Remains The Same, The Rover, Four Styx, and You Shook Me. They also have played Whole Lotta Love, Babe I'm Gonna Leave You, and Moby Dick before but they aren't posted online anywhere.

I used to have a heart greatest hits cd that finished up with a bunch of live covers, including LZ.

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43 minutes ago, Bracie Smathers said:

The whole side-note of overplayed songs.

The mainstream can overplay where its like the water table in the saturated in the spring where its water everywhere and more rain coming down is nothing but over-spill where nothing can be absorbed but you can turn the channel so when it really comes down to overplayed songs its a personal choice, its subjective.  

You have control you have to own up to personal responsibility and can step away from the chalupa.  

The list is from 1971 so the time these songs were overplayed by the mainstream was decades ago.  Maybe some people got burned a long time ago and still suffer PTSD which is sad and I'm sure hearing STH too often destroyed your life but get over it.  The top songs from 71 don't all hold up but if anyone says that STH or 'Don't Get Fooled Again' have no place in the top-ten of songs from 1971 then ... 

You can fill in the blanks.

IMO, I grew up at the WORST time as far LZ goes. I caught the tail-end of the band right before JB died. FM radio sort of took a turn for the worst in the 80's from what I can remember. In the 70's, I recall DJ's playing deeper tracks from artists, and daily radio shows were a little more free form and unscripted. When the 80's came, it seems like FM stations changed their programming format from AOR to be more AOR-pop in a much greater attempt to boost station ratings and get more advertising revenue.

I remember there was a big push to play classic rock requests and the newest songs from class rock groups. Lots of stations played classic rock blocks, and LZ got requested more than any other band and blocks of theirs got played every hour or so. Things got way out of control where I lived. Stairway was so into heavy rotation that it got played every hour or two on every classic rock station. I lived in Connecticut, so I got a blend of NY and CT rock stations (and there was no shortage of them at the time).

You literally had to try to avoid LZ if you didn't like them. There was ALWAYS a block of LZ on the radio. Or what was called Stairway to Seven (7 Zep songs played at 7 o'clock). Or double shots on Double Shot Tuesday and Thursday. There were even a couple of stations in the country that went to an EXCLUSIVE LZ format. That's all they played. I remember hanging out with some friends one night, and we scanned the radio dial every 5 minutes to see how many times we could come across Stairway. IIRC, it got played 10 times in two hours. This was in the late 80's.

So yeah, I have had my fill of Stairway. My life would go on just fine if I never heard it again. Robert Plant apparently feels the same way, as he's never played it as a solo artist. Even in the Page / Plant collaborations and tours of the 90's, the song was left off the setlist for every show. HERE is the only time Page & Plant performed Stairway together . . . on a Japanese TV show in 1994 (and only a partial version at that).

All that being said, it still is a great song, an iconic song, LZ's signature song, and certainly a Top 10 song from 1971 . . . even if I chose to change the station when it comes on the radio these days.

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4. The Rolling Stones “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” (from Sticky Fingers

https://youtu.be/Gz5mI6tqm_Q

This song is actually two songs: the first song is 3 minutes of hard rock by the one of the very best rock bands ever: the early 70s Mick Taylor version of The Rolling Stones. It features one of the greatest Keith Richards guitar riffs and great singing by Mick Jagger and great playing by the rest of the band; simply put, it is one of their very best songs, arguably their best.

The second song is a 4 minute instrumental jam session featuring Keith Richards and Mick Taylor on guitars, Bobby Keyes on saxophone, and Billy Preston on keyboards. This section of the song was by accident; the recording was supposed to be over, Mick Taylor kept playing, the others joined in and nobody turned off the tape. There are lots of people that don’t love this second half of the song; I do, but acknowledge it’s not as great as the first half. Without the instrumental would the song be even higher on this list? I doubt it, it would be hard to budge my top 3 from their positions on this list. But even with the second half added this is still one of the greatest songs ever by the Stones and well deserving of one of the top spots for 1971. 

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4 minutes ago, timschochet said:

4. The Rolling Stones “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” (from Sticky Fingers

https://youtu.be/Gz5mI6tqm_Q

This song is actually two songs: the first song is 3 minutes of hard rock by the one of the very best rock bands ever: the early 70s Mick Taylor version of The Rolling Stones. It features one of the greatest Keith Richards guitar riffs and great singing by Mick Jagger and great playing by the rest of the band; simply put, it is one of their very best songs, arguably their best.

The second song is a 4 minute instrumental jam session featuring Keith Richards and Mick Taylor on guitars, Bobby Keyes on saxophone, and Billy Preston on keyboards. This section of the song was by accident; the recording was supposed to be over, Mick Taylor kept playing, the others joined in and nobody turned off the tape. There are lots of people that don’t love this second half of the song; I do, but acknowledge it’s not as great as the first half. Without the instrumental would the song be even higher on this list? I doubt it, it would be hard to budge my top 3 from their positions on this list. But even with the second half added this is still one of the greatest songs ever by the Stones and well deserving of one of the top spots for 1971. 

Just when I thought you were the worst ranker in the world, you have to do something incredibly brilliant and totally redeem yourself. 

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4 hours ago, timschochet said:

Daltry’s scream- greatest ever in rock music? 

This could be its own thread. Morrison in “When the Music’s Over” would have to be up there too.

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9 minutes ago, timschochet said:

4. The Rolling Stones “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” (from Sticky Fingers

https://youtu.be/Gz5mI6tqm_Q

This song is actually two songs: the first song is 3 minutes of hard rock by the one of the very best rock bands ever: the early 70s Mick Taylor version of The Rolling Stones. It features one of the greatest Keith Richards guitar riffs and great singing by Mick Jagger and great playing by the rest of the band; simply put, it is one of their very best songs, arguably their best.

The second song is a 4 minute instrumental jam session featuring Keith Richards and Mick Taylor on guitars, Bobby Keyes on saxophone, and Billy Preston on keyboards. This section of the song was by accident; the recording was supposed to be over, Mick Taylor kept playing, the others joined in and nobody turned off the tape. There are lots of people that don’t love this second half of the song; I do, but acknowledge it’s not as great as the first half. Without the instrumental would the song be even higher on this list? I doubt it, it would be hard to budge my top 3 from their positions on this list. But even with the second half added this is still one of the greatest songs ever by the Stones and well deserving of one of the top spots for 1971. 

My favorite Stones song. :thumbup:

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39 minutes ago, Anarchy99 said:

FM radio sort of took a turn for the worst in the 80's from what I can remember. In the 70's, I recall DJ's playing deeper tracks from artists, and daily radio shows were a little more free form and unscripted. When the 80's came, it seems like FM stations changed their programming format from AOR to be more AOR-pop in a much greater attempt to boost station ratings and get more advertising revenue.

I used to be a 'jock' (DJ) at an AOR FM station up in the Colorado Rockies in the late 80s, very progressive station.  PDs/Program Directors and music directors along with owners steer the playlists not jocks/DJs.  DJs have limit range to pick songs within the confines of a playlist.  Some songs they have no say and have to play.  The formula varies by station but that is how it was for us.  

But that was 30+ years ago.  I couldn't even listen to radio for a decade because I was listening from the DJ POV and was being critical.  I got over it and I had to play music I didn't have a say in. 

Listeners have control.

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29 minutes ago, ProstheticRGK said:

Just when I thought you were the worst ranker in the world, you have to do something incredibly brilliant and totally redeem yourself. 

Totally brilliant and redeeming would be making When the Levee Breaks #1...

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3 minutes ago, ConstruxBoy said:

Totally brilliant and redeeming would be making When the Levee Breaks #1...

How about #2? That still leaves #1 open for "Have you seen her" from the Chi-Lites.

or tim's pick: "Gypsies, Tramps and thieves" by cher.

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3 hours ago, timschochet said:

5. Bill Withers “Ain’t No Sunshine” (from Just As I Am

https://youtu.be/YuKfiH0Scao

Sometimes simplicity is all that’s necessary for a great song. Bill Withers wrote a basic love song, attached it to a standard acoustic blues melody, and the result was perfection. 

Of course it’s really not that simple. When you listen to Ain’t No Sunshine”, and you hear Withers’ voice and use of emotion (especially during the repetitive “I know”s) you realize that you’re hearing a brilliant artist doing something that would be extremely difficult to imitate- many have tried. 

Longevity is one good way of evaluating great music. It’s not the only way, but it’s a good one. So let me assert with much confidence that 100 years from now, “Ain’t No Sunshine” will still be listened to and appreciated. 

Man.  Have always loved this song.

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55 minutes ago, timschochet said:

4. The Rolling Stones “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” (from Sticky Fingers

It features one of the greatest Keith Richards guitar riffs and great singing by Mick Jagger and great playing by the rest of the band; simply put, it is one of their very best songs, arguably their best.

Indeed it does. I can hear it in my head right now. Savage riff. Dr. Octopus turned me on to early '70s Stones, and I love it. 

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1 hour ago, Leroy Hoard said:

I used to have a heart greatest hits cd that finished up with a bunch of live covers, including LZ.

Their version of Unchained Melody is my fav. 

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47 minutes ago, rockaction said:

Indeed it does. I can hear it in my head right now. Savage riff. Dr. Octopus turned me on to early '70s Stones, and I love it. 

Hey. You know it's only rock n'roll, but you like it, like it, like it.

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1 hour ago, timschochet said:

4. The Rolling Stones “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” (from Sticky Fingers

https://youtu.be/Gz5mI6tqm_Q

This song is actually two songs: the first song is 3 minutes of hard rock by the one of the very best rock bands ever: the early 70s Mick Taylor version of The Rolling Stones. It features one of the greatest Keith Richards guitar riffs and great singing by Mick Jagger and great playing by the rest of the band; simply put, it is one of their very best songs, arguably their best.

The second song is a 4 minute instrumental jam session featuring Keith Richards and Mick Taylor on guitars, Bobby Keyes on saxophone, and Billy Preston on keyboards. This section of the song was by accident; the recording was supposed to be over, Mick Taylor kept playing, the others joined in and nobody turned off the tape. There are lots of people that don’t love this second half of the song; I do, but acknowledge it’s not as great as the first half. Without the instrumental would the song be even higher on this list? I doubt it, it would be hard to budge my top 3 from their positions on this list. But even with the second half added this is still one of the greatest songs ever by the Stones and well deserving of one of the top spots for 1971. 

This would be my #1 from 1971.

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8 minutes ago, northern exposure said:

Hey. You know it's only rock n'roll, but you like it, like it, like it.

Huh. That sent me down a rabbit hole to this book.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, otb_lifer said:

cosign, especially with "Kashmir" ... i've been known to chuck a shekel or two down on wagers, and i'd bet my last bit of green effin' money that it's now easily the most played Zep tune 📻

The LZ song I seem to hear the most is "Black Dog".

ETA: Found this online, so how many shekels will you be sending my way? lol

https://onlineradiobox.com/artist/994656-led-zeppelin

Edited by northern exposure

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3. Al Green “Let’s Stay Together” (released as a single) 

https://youtu.be/COiIC3A0ROM

The album, Let’s Stay Together, came out in 1972, but the actual song was released in November of 1971. This caused me some confusion; originally I didn’t have this on the list. When I realized my error I played it in order to figure out where it should be and I thought, “Damn this needs to be in my top half for sure.” Then I listened to it again and I thought “Damn you know what? This has got to be in the top 20!” Then I listened for a third time and I thought “DAMN this is the perfect pop song. It has to be top 5! It might have to be #1!” 
In the end I went with top 3. It really is exquisite. It’s as if Sam Cooke and Otis Redding got together and had a love child. This is as fine as popular music gets. 

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6 hours ago, timschochet said:

5. Bill Withers “Ain’t No Sunshine” (from Just As I Am

https://youtu.be/YuKfiH0Scao

Sometimes simplicity is all that’s necessary for a great song. Bill Withers wrote a basic love song, attached it to a standard acoustic blues melody, and the result was perfection. 

Of course it’s really not that simple. When you listen to Ain’t No Sunshine”, and you hear Withers’ voice and use of emotion (especially during the repetitive “I know”s) you realize that you’re hearing a brilliant artist doing something that would be extremely difficult to imitate- many have tried. 

Longevity is one good way of evaluating great music. It’s not the only way, but it’s a good one. So let me assert with much confidence that 100 years from now, “Ain’t No Sunshine” will still be listened to and appreciated. 

I know
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3 hours ago, Honus said:

This could be its own thread. Morrison in “When the Music’s Over” would have to be up there too.

I’d add Ian Gillan on “Child In Time” from the year before this thread.

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3 minutes ago, zamboni said:

I’d add Ian Gillan on “Child In Time” from the year before this thread.

Would you count Plant on "Immigrant Song"?

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2 minutes ago, northern exposure said:

Would you count Plant on "Immigrant Song"?

Not me personally - I think that one is kind of annoying actually.

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