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The Top 155 Songs by American Artists According to 5 Middle-Aged Idiots (1 Viewer)

heckmanm

Footballguy
5. "Billy Don't Be A Hero". When your name is used in a song title and you're 11-12 years old, you're wonderful classmates will sing that song to you every time you cross paths with them. I actually bought this 45 before it became a big hit. I destroyed it afterwards.

Try being a boy in elementary school with the same first name as the female mule in “Eerie Canal” - and having everyone singing it in music class. That was not so fun.
How about having the same name as the kid in the cereal commercials who hates everything?

(And yes, I missed this thread until recently and am hippling furiously)
 

Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
I have opined elsewhere at length at why Smells Like Teen Spirit is important to me. Basically it changed my life. Easily the top for me today and into the top 10 of my cumulative ranking.

Can’t You See is an incredible song and arrangement and gets second place.

Ride Captain Ride is fun. It’s the right mix of 70s cheese and snappy pop.

I’m totally tired of Take It Easy and Truckin’. They’re not bad songs but I have no interest in hearing them again.
 

heckmanm

Footballguy
Chap:

Everlasting Love – Carl Carlton


Carl Carlton recorded "Everlasting Love" in October 1973 at the Berry Hill (Tenn) studio Creative Workshop, which was owned by Buzz Cason; however, Cason was not involved in the recording of Carlton's version - the singer had himself chosen to record "Everlasting Love", which he knew via the version on David Ruffin's 1969 album My Whole World Ended.
:penalty: Isn't he Icelandic? Oh wait, that's Carl Carlson
 

scorchy

Footballguy
My friend Kyle bought Nevermind on the day it came out and brought it back to my dorm room so he could listen immediately. The Dragon and I both thought it sounded like the Pixies, which meant I liked I it and the Dragon hated it. Kyle found it too polished compared to Bleach. None of us would have guessed it would blow up to be the defining record of our generation.

For that reason alone, it's the winner for me.
 

Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
My friend Kyle bought Nevermind on the day it came out and brought it back to my dorm room so he could listen immediately. The Dragon and I both thought it sounded like the Pixies, which meant I liked I it and the Dragon hated it. Kyle found it too polished compared to Bleach. None of us would have guessed it would blow up to be the defining record of our generation.

For that reason alone, it's the winner for me.
Apparently it sounded even more like the Pixies before DGC brought in Andy Wallace to remix, which Kurt was not happy about.
 

shuke

Black Ice Skeptic
Maybe I should start a new thread to get more people who might miss it buried on page 10 here? I don't want to take attention away from this thread, though, so maybe will wait.

I think you're going to have a monster on your hands, regardless of whether it's a new thread or this one. If you start a new thread and solicit lists, I'd bet the majority of the board does it.

Oh come on. You mean, like, 30 people?
 

Dr. Octopus

Footballguy
8


Dr. Octopus:


Without You – Harry Nilsson

Harry Nilsson, at the time best known for his hit "Everybody's Talkin'" and for composing "One", recorded by Three Dog Night, heard Badfinger's recording of "Without You" at a party, and mistook it for a Beatles song. After realising it was not, he decided to cover the song for his 1971 album Nilsson Schmilsson.


Jeb


Sweet Baby James – James Taylor

The song was written by Taylor for the son of his older brother Alex, who was also named James (and indeed was named after him). Deliberately a cross between a cowboy song and a lullaby, it was first thought up by Taylor as he was driving through Carolina to meet his infant nephew for the first time.


Scooter:


La Grange – ZZ Top


"La Grange" is a song by the American rock group ZZ Top, from their 1973 album Tres Hombres. One of ZZ Top's most successful songs, it was released as a single in 1973 and received extensive radio play, rising to No. 41 on the Billboard Hot 100 in June 1974. The song refers to a brothel on the outskirts of La Grange, Texas (later called the "Chicken Ranch").


Doug:


The Entertainer – Billy Joel

Another verse in the song references the shortening of Joel's song "Piano Man" from 5 minutes and 40 seconds to 3 minutes and 5 seconds to fit a radio slot, referenced by the lyrics "It was a beautiful song, / but it ran too long / (If you're gonna have a hit, you gotta make it fit) / So they cut it down to 3:05."


Chap:


You’re So Vain – Carly Simon

Before the song became a hit single in 1972, Simon told an interviewer that the song was about "men", not a specific "man".

In 1983, she said the song was not about Mick Jagger, who contributed uncredited backing vocals to it. In a 1993 book, Angie Bowie claimed to be the "wife of a close friend" mentioned in "You're So Vain", and that Jagger, for a time, had been "obsessed" with her.
 

Dr. Octopus

Footballguy
I ventured into some Chap territory but that may be one of the most emotive vocal performances on a pop/rock record.

Also nice to see James and Carly show up together.
 
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simey

Footballguy
This round is tough. I like most of the songs equally. I gotta make a decision, so I'll go with my favorite in round 8 is:

8. You're So Vain - this song is fun to sing

Runner Up: La Grange, Without You, and Sweet Baby James all tie. I like all of these equally for various reasons.

I like The Entertainer, but not as much as the above songs.
 

Uruk-Hai

Footballguy
8


Dr. Octopus:


Without You – Harry Nilsson

Harry Nilsson, at the time best known for his hit "Everybody's Talkin'" and for composing "One", recorded by Three Dog Night, heard Badfinger's recording of "Without You" at a party, and mistook it for a Beatles song. After realising it was not, he decided to cover the song for his 1971 album Nilsson Schmilsson.


Jeb


Sweet Baby James – James Taylor

The song was written by Taylor for the son of his older brother Alex, who was also named James (and indeed was named after him). Deliberately a cross between a cowboy song and a lullaby, it was first thought up by Taylor as he was driving through Carolina to meet his infant nephew for the first time.


Scooter:


La Grange – ZZ Top


"La Grange" is a song by the American rock group ZZ Top, from their 1973 album Tres Hombres. One of ZZ Top's most successful songs, it was released as a single in 1973 and received extensive radio play, rising to No. 41 on the Billboard Hot 100 in June 1974. The song refers to a brothel on the outskirts of La Grange, Texas (later called the "Chicken Ranch").


Doug:


The Entertainer – Billy Joel

Another verse in the song references the shortening of Joel's song "Piano Man" from 5 minutes and 40 seconds to 3 minutes and 5 seconds to fit a radio slot, referenced by the lyrics "It was a beautiful song, / but it ran too long / (If you're gonna have a hit, you gotta make it fit) / So they cut it down to 3:05."


Chap:


You’re So Vain – Carly Simon

Before the song became a hit single in 1972, Simon told an interviewer that the song was about "men", not a specific "man".

In 1983, she said the song was not about Mick Jagger, who contributed uncredited backing vocals to it. In a 1993 book, Angie Bowie claimed to be the "wife of a close friend" mentioned in "You're So Vain", and that Jagger, for a time, had been "obsessed" with her.
Top 3 are a photo finish, there's a clear #4, and a Billy Joel record.

1. "Without You". I love Badfinger, but Harry blows them away. This one passes the "Would Otis Redding Have Sung This?" test with flying colors.

2. "You're So Vain". I forget which rock critic said "proof even rich people can make great rock and roll" (sounds like Bangs to me, but am not sure), but he/she was right. LOVE the intro and Carly lays waste to the *** she's singing it to.

3. "La Grange". Hey, you! Yeah you, every body part! Consider yourself rocked off.

4. "Sweet Baby James". I bust on James sometimes, but this is a good record.

5. "The Entertainer". I like the intro. The rest is typical Billy Joel for me.
 
La Grange is my pick here. All y'all would feel the same if you had been fortunate enough to witness @bigbottom's band Southern Slang perform it in front of a packed house in Houston, with special guest @fatguyinalittlecoat jumping on stage to deliver the spoken-word intro. Surely there must be video of that somewhere?
I’m not aware of any existing video evidence of my legendary rock performance.
 

rockaction

Footballguy
I Just put on "Without You." I always thought it was a woman baritone singing that song. I actually thought it might be, ironically, Carly Simon. I never got to the chorus in one sitting. I've always heard the verse and chorus distended from each other.

Take away my critical cred. I've never really listened to Harry Nilsson. I feel like Jay Cutler

DONNNNNN'T CARE

LOLOLOLOL

:lmao:
 

rockaction

Footballguy
I much prefer the Badfinger version. That whole Lennon/Nilsson coke scene in L.A.? Yeah, I can really leave that.

eta* plinko posted that like a second before me
 

bigbottom

I put on my robe and wizard hat
La Grange is my pick here. All y'all would feel the same if you had been fortunate enough to witness @bigbottom's band Southern Slang perform it in front of a packed house in Houston, with special guest @fatguyinalittlecoat jumping on stage to deliver the spoken-word intro. Surely there must be video of that somewhere?
I’m not aware of any existing video evidence of my legendary rock performance.

There is a photo though!!!
 

Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
referenced by the lyrics "It was a beautiful song, / but it ran too long / (If you're gonna have a hit, you gotta make it fit) / So they cut it down to 3:05."
It should have occurred to me well before today that this lyric was a reference to Piano Man. But it didn't, because I'm obtuse and/or because I don't pay a lot of attention to Billy Joel.
 

Dr. Octopus

Footballguy
@Dr. Octopus @krista4 I presume being born on a U.S. military base counts as U.S.-born? It was the case for one member of America, and is the case for someone in another band that is likely to make my own top 31 list.

I think Dr. O's initial rules mentioned being born an American citizen.
I think the literal rule we used is eligibility to run for President (minus age restrictions).
 

Dr. Octopus

Footballguy
7


Dr. Octopus:


All Along The Watchtower – Jimi Hendrix

Covered by numerous artists, "All Along the Watchtower" is strongly identified with the interpretation Jimi Hendrix recorded with the Jimi Hendrix Experience for their third studio album, Electric Ladyland (1968). The Hendrix version, released six months after Dylan's original recording, became a Top 20 single in 1968, received a Grammy Hall of Fame award in 2001, and was ranked 48th in Rolling Stone magazine's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time in 2004.


Jeb

Detroit Rock City - KISS

"Detroit Rock City" is a song by the American hard rock group Kiss, released on their 1976 album Destroyer. The song was written by Paul Stanley and producer Bob Ezrin.

The song is one of the band's most popular and is a classic rock staple. It is also seen as one of the more technical songs musically in the band's canon. The song has been noted for being a duet between guitarists Stanley and Ace Frehley.


Scooter:


School’s Out – Alice Cooper

Cooper has said he was inspired to write the song when answering the question, "What's the greatest three minutes of your life?". Cooper said: "There's two times during the year. One is Christmas morning, when you're just getting ready to open the presents. The greed factor is right there. The next one is the last three minutes of the last day of school when you're sitting there and it's like a slow fuse burning. I said, 'If we can catch that three minutes in a song, it's going to be so big.'"


Doug:


Up Around the Bend – Creedence Clearwater Revival

"Up Around the Bend" is a song recorded by the American band Creedence Clearwater Revival, and written by the band's lead singer, guitarist, and songwriter John Fogerty. The song was composed and recorded only a few days prior to the band's April 1970 European tour and was included on the album Cosmo's Factory.


Chap:

Burning Love – Elvis Presley

For the week of October 28, 1972, "Burning Love" rose to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, kept from #1 by Chuck Berry's novelty song "My Ding-a-Ling."
 

simey

Footballguy
My favorite from round 7:

7. All Along the Watchtower

Runner Up: Detroit Rock City - Not truly eligible, and so my runner up after them would be School's Out
 
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simey

Footballguy
Curious about the Jimi Hendrix Experience being eligible. Jimi was the star, but the band was a trio, and the other two band members were English. His live album was all Americans.
 

Leroy Hoard

Footballguy
"For the week of October 28, 1972, "Burning Love" rose to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, kept from #1 by Chuck Berry's novelty song "My Ding-a-Ling"

LOL, there's a joke in there somewhere.
 

Pip's Invitation

Footballguy
Curious about the Jimi Hendrix Experience being eligible. Jimi was the star, but the band was a trio, and the other two band members were English. His live album was all Americans.
This was brought up a while ago. The rationale was that the band was named after Hendrix and "no one was paying to see Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell," so it was treated as if Hendrix was a solo artist.
 

krista4

Footballguy
Curious about the Jimi Hendrix Experience being eligible. Jimi was the star, but the band was a trio, and the other two band members were English. His live album was all Americans.
This was brought up a while ago. The rationale was that the band was named after Hendrix and "no one was paying to see Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell," so it was treated as if Hendrix was a solo artist.
I wouldn’t have allowed it. Also, I’d have paid to see Mitch Mitchell.
 

simey

Footballguy
This was brought up a while ago. The rationale was that the band was named after Hendrix and "no one was paying to see Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell," so it was treated as if Hendrix was a solo artist.
I saw that back then, but it doesn't change the fact that they were a band, and not a solo act.
 
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Dr. Octopus

Footballguy
Curious about the Jimi Hendrix Experience being eligible. Jimi was the star, but the band was a trio, and the other two band members were English. His live album was all Americans.
I brought up earlier that for solo artists it was just the main artist and not the backing band. We kind of made the exception with the Experience to place them in the backing band category. But even with that the song I took is credited to Jimi Hendrix and not the Jimi Hendrix experience anyway.

As far as KISS that’s an oversight but I think KISS is universally considered an American Band. I guess we weren’t super draconian about it in the end.
 

Dr. Octopus

Footballguy
Curious about the Jimi Hendrix Experience being eligible. Jimi was the star, but the band was a trio, and the other two band members were English. His live album was all Americans.
This was brought up a while ago. The rationale was that the band was named after Hendrix and "no one was paying to see Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell," so it was treated as if Hendrix was a solo artist.
I wouldn’t have allowed it. Also, I’d have paid to see Mitch Mitchell.
Yeah I was joking about downplaying Redding and Mitchell my point was really Jimi would have been a star with any rythmn section and Jimi is American and deserves to be acknowledged as such.
 

Uruk-Hai

Footballguy
7


Dr. Octopus:


All Along The Watchtower – Jimi Hendrix

Covered by numerous artists, "All Along the Watchtower" is strongly identified with the interpretation Jimi Hendrix recorded with the Jimi Hendrix Experience for their third studio album, Electric Ladyland (1968). The Hendrix version, released six months after Dylan's original recording, became a Top 20 single in 1968, received a Grammy Hall of Fame award in 2001, and was ranked 48th in Rolling Stone magazine's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time in 2004.


Jeb

Detroit Rock City - KISS

"Detroit Rock City" is a song by the American hard rock group Kiss, released on their 1976 album Destroyer. The song was written by Paul Stanley and producer Bob Ezrin.

The song is one of the band's most popular and is a classic rock staple. It is also seen as one of the more technical songs musically in the band's canon. The song has been noted for being a duet between guitarists Stanley and Ace Frehley.


Scooter:


School’s Out – Alice Cooper

Cooper has said he was inspired to write the song when answering the question, "What's the greatest three minutes of your life?". Cooper said: "There's two times during the year. One is Christmas morning, when you're just getting ready to open the presents. The greed factor is right there. The next one is the last three minutes of the last day of school when you're sitting there and it's like a slow fuse burning. I said, 'If we can catch that three minutes in a song, it's going to be so big.'"


Doug:


Up Around the Bend – Creedence Clearwater Revival

"Up Around the Bend" is a song recorded by the American band Creedence Clearwater Revival, and written by the band's lead singer, guitarist, and songwriter John Fogerty. The song was composed and recorded only a few days prior to the band's April 1970 European tour and was included on the album Cosmo's Factory.


Chap:

Burning Love – Elvis Presley

For the week of October 28, 1972, "Burning Love" rose to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, kept from #1 by Chuck Berry's novelty song "My Ding-a-Ling."
This is brutal to rank, but I'm a trooper (or an idiot) and am gonna do it anyway. I'm not considering the KISS selection ineligible.

1. "Watchtower". It's just too iconic not to have it at #1 and it'll score highly overall when/if I do that ranking.

2. "Burning Love". Elvis' last great song and it's a terrific rocker. For all of the "Elvis was an embarrassment in the 70s" stuff you hear, he could still command a studio when we wanted to. He did here.

3. "School's Out". If you think it's stupid, you're right. You can also go straight to hell, because it melts faces.

4. "Detroit Rock City". See my comments in #3.

5. "Up Around The Bend". This woulda been #1 or #2 in a few racks. It's probably a better record than #s 3 & 4, but it's just a little too "samey" with other CCR songs. It's still a great record.
 

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