Comments on the Top 100

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New comment added December 29, 2012

Zak: I would say the list should include "Sitting On the Dock of the Bay" by Otis Redding and also "Blister in the Sun" by the Violent Femmes...two very different songs, but two very incredible songs. I enjoyed your list and the opportunity to say my piece.

Dick: I admire and respect Otis, but I'm not a big soul fan. Have heard of the VFs but am not familiar with their music. They're probably too new for an old fogy!

Jack: "Peggy Sue" number 1!

Dick: Hard to argue with that as a viable candidate.


Courtney: You have "Subterranean Homesick Blues" and no "Blowin' in the Wind"? Wow.

Dick: Life is a series of difficult choices.


Chuck: I would have to think long and hard before I included Melanie on any  greatest list. But then again, I'd have 2 or 3 Southside Johnny and  Springsteen tunes on mine. How about "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" by Tony Bennett?? I guess that's what makes music so enjoyable, it hits us all in a different way.

Dick: Melanie is a sentimental choice. Listening to that song is no longer the  same, and it would be neither possible nor desirable to recreate the  atmosphere from the late 60's/early 70's that led to its choice.  Which Springsteen song? Almost as hard a choice as the Stones. For me it would  probably be something from the very early albums, first or second.

Chuck: How about "Philadelphia"?? Can't leave off "Born to Run" though. I see  how easy it is for the top 100 to become the top 110, then the top 120 and  so on......


Les: Obviously, like the Rock & Roll Hall of fame, those who are taking part in your "survey" are not contemporary with the 1950's, when what you call "rock & roll" began. Allen Freed coined the phrase during his DJ days in Cleveland, OH (Thus, it is the site of the Hall of Fame). The music was really known as rhythm & blues, which has a different connotation in the black community (figure it out). However, just like the Rock & Roll Hall of F[Sh]ame; many of the original groups - both black and white - are not in the shrine???? - which is a joke to those of us who grew up during this era. Your "poll" also reflects that omission. To music lovers who grew up during that time (Someone labeled the group harmony song of the 1950s and early 1960s doo-wop, because of some of the "nonsense words " sung in the background) songs like "In The Still Of The Night" by the Five Satins (lead singer Fred Parris wrote the song) consistently are voted the # 1 song in OUR Top 100. It's often referred to as the National Anthem of '50s music. Hope this little bit of musical history helps put things in a better perspective. 

Dick: Just a word of clarification - the list is my personal opinion; the responses do indeed seem to come from folks younger than Les and I.

2008 Update: I notice I have "In the Still of the Night" listed with no artist. I was probably thinking of the Cole Porter song, which is one of the most complex but perfectly phrased songs ever written. I don't have a particular favorite version. However, I do love the Five Satins song of the same title, and might have to put it on the top 100+


Lucille: "Twelfth of Never" by Johnny Mathis and "Young Love" by Sonny James.

Dick: I agree about "Twelfth of Never" - maybe I need at top 125 songs! "Young Love" is also a long-time favorite of mine.


Wayne: You need more Beatles, Roy Orbison on your list. How about " The Elusive Butterfly " by Bob Lind? I can't believe " Piano Man " is not a top 100 song.

Dick: I agree on the Beatles, but then someone else would have to go. It's a very delicate balancing act! Bob Lind - not my era...I've heard of it, but don't know what it sounds like. Billy Joel? Nah.


WL: I would say your list "the top 100" should include "Sleepy Time Gal" by The Platters.

Dick: Thanks for your comments. I rank the Platters as the number one group of all time, but I prefer their earlier, slightly more R & B flavored hits, as opposed to their covers of standards.


David: You've missed a few: Queen: "Bohemian Rhapsody," Doors: "Riders on the Storm," Deep Purple: "Smoke on the Water" and "Child in Time," Black Sabbath: "Paranoid," Coldplay: "Clocks," Led Zeppelin: "Stairway to Heaven."

Dick: Several good choices there. Maybe I need a top 200? I would then include "Riders" and possibly "Rhapsody." Coldplay is too new for this 66-year old who now listens mostly to bluegrass.


Anthony: Although there are several songs on your list I disagree with, it is refreshing that, unlike so many other lists I see, yours is not a list of just one genre of music.

Roy Acuff’s “Wabash Canonball” deserves to be on any list, not that I long to hear it very often, but the significance of it is undeniable. Some of my other picks would be Bill Haley’s “Rock Around the Clock” (how could you leave that one out?) Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B Goode,” Aretha Franklin’s “Respect,” Creedence Clearwater Revival’s (CCR) “Fortunate Son,” Roy Orbison’s “Pretty Woman,” Merle Haggard’s “Sing Me Back Home,” Johnny Cash’s “I Walk the Line,” and Willie Nelson’s “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain.”

Dick: Just about all those deserve to be on the list. “I Walk the Line” and “Rock Around the Clock” are in fact on the list. I chose different songs by CCR and Berry, and I prefer Orbison’s earlier work. I don’t know how to choose Merle’s best song; he almost deserves a top 100 of his own. I may have to squeeze one of his in.


The Wexlers: Queen - "Bohemian Rhapsody."

Dick: Ah, another vote for a very long, very good song that just doesn't quite make the cut.


Wayne: Two words: John Lennon. 

(Some more words from Wayne): "He Stopped Loving Her Today" by George Jones; how about more Jackson Browne, maybe " For Everyman," "Late For the Sky," "Fountain of Sorrow" or " These Days."

Dick: I'm not that big a fan of Lennon outside the Beatles configuration. Probably most country fans would agree that "He Stopped..." is George's greatest song; I'm partial to "She Thinks I Still Care." Those are great songs by Jackson Browne. Very few artists got more than one (so that more artists could be represented). Browne is probably one who deserves more than one, and If I were to add one it would be either "Late for the Sky" or "For a Dancer."

I notice that the list was done in 2000, so it's probably time for a major revision, which I'll do just as soon as I get around to it, which could be another six years! Thanks for all your comments, and keep 'em coming.

Deborah: What should be: "All the Way" by Frank Sinatra.

Dick: Frank certainly deserves to be in the top 100. He remained popular with younger record buyers well into the rock & roll era. Unlike Perry Como or Nat King Cole, Frank never made any lame attempts to sing  R&R. He also hated it to the end of his days, but that's not why he's not on the list.

Edward: Islands in the stream-- Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton; Delta Dawn-- Tanya Tucker

Dick: I'm sure we agree that any top 100 list is highly subjective. The list is in dire need of an update, but Islands in the Stream wouldn't come close for me. Delta Dawn could be a contender. Thanks for playing!



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