Everyone knows I love rock & roll. However, I also love cover songs. I’ve acquired quite a collection over the years. All kinds – the great, the bad and the ugly. Both respectful and irreverent. At the moment, I have 1340 cover songs in my digital collection. The nature of the cover song makes for an unpredictable ride. That’s why I call cover songs the audio version of a costume party. In addition to the fun, they can also provide some musical education.
Choosing only 11 songs for this list was a challenge next to impossible. There is simply too much criteria to consider overall. Therefore, I applied a overly simple formula to help navigate the ocean of covers songs in my collection. The formula is this, all of my choices are songs that I consider to be great (not just the cover version) and the act performing the cover version must be great also (meaning that I like many of their songs, not just this song).
Therefore, under that criteria, I have compiled my top 11 cover songs. 11 essential versions of songs that no rock & roll collection should be without.
1. All Along The Watchtower – Jimi Hendrix (covering Bob Dylan)
2. Stray Cat Blues – Soundgarden (covering the Rolling Stones)
3. Where Have All The Good Times Gone? – David Bowie (covering the Kinks)
4. Got To Give It Up – The Dirtbombs (covering Marvin Gaye)
5. Emma – Urge Overkill (covering Hot Chocolate)
6. I Fought The Law – The Clash (covering the Bobby Fuller Four)
7. You Really Got Me – Van Halen (covering the The Kinks)
8. Live With Me – The Twilight Singers w/Mark Lanegan (covering Massive Attack)
9. Mandocello – Concrete Blonde (covering Cheap Trick)
10. Heart Full Of Soul – Chris Isaak (covering the Yardbirds)
11. Cold Turkey – The Godfathers (covering John Lennon)
Ice cream, my dessert of choice. I definitely inherited this gene from my father.
1. Peanut Butter & Chocolate
2. Mint Chocolate Chip
3. Cookies & Cream
4. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
5. Cherry Garcia
6. Peanut Butter Cup
7. Birthday Cake
8. Chocolate Chip
10. French Vanilla
11. Toffee Bar Crunch
Clutch is a great band. They carry the torch for that is good about rock & roll. Clutch is the triple threat, great music, great vocals and great lyrics. It’s rare that a bad will excel in all three areas but that’s what Clutch brings to the table in every song. Their songs could be about topics as diverse as politics or beer. Regardless, their music comes at you with intensity and integrity. Clutch carries the blues tradition through hard rock music as good as anyone ever has. Here are my Top 11 Clutch songs. Not at all an easy decision to make.
1. Pure Rock Fury
2. Cypress Grove
4. Mr. Freedom
5. Willie Nelson
6. Never Be Moved
7. Power Player
8. Profits Of Doom
9. Bottoms Up, Socrates
10. American Sleep
I just read an interview with Jimmy Page. Once again, I was reminded of the majestic glory of Led Zeppelin. In my opinion, Led Zeppelin is once and for all the greatest rock & roll band ever.
Choosing my 11 favorite Led Zeppelin songs is no easy task. In fact, over the years, I’ve changed my mind many times. Favorite Led Zeppelin songs is something I compulsively listed throughout my high school years. These things usually happened when I was supposed to be studying or doing homework.
High school was a long time ago. Therefore I thought a current Led Zeppelin list was a good idea that was long overdue.
1. What Is And What Should Never Be
2. Over The Hills And Far Away
3. The Rover
4. Houses Of The Holy
5. Celebration Day
6. Ten Years Gone
7. In The Light
8. For Your Life
9. I’m Gonna Crawl
10. Good Times Bad Times
11. Nobody’s Fault But Mine
I really tried to stretch out and reach deep down on this one. There is a lot to be bothered by these days. I really could rant for a while about the terrifying yet ridiculous side of contemporary culture.
So here you have it. In my unvarnished opinion, these are some of the more disturbing trends in contemporary American culture.
1. The shrinking middle class and the rise of the educated poor.
2. The sharp rise in organized white supremacist hate groups since 2001.
3. Increased merging of church and state.
4. Politically motivated catch phrases designed to suppress the critical thinking abilities of the public.
5. Corporations having more rights than individuals and families.
6. Competitive plastic surgery, beauty pageants for children and other means of overblown narcissism.
7. Champions of anti-intellectualism celebrated as role models.
8. Megachurches that teach intelligent design and methods of exclusion through inclusion.
9. Lack of appropriate conduct due to a growing reckless sense of entitlement.
10. Instant gratification without a sense of responsibility towards others.
11. Relentless marketing to the lowest common denominator.
In my opinion, Queens of the Stone Age are clearly one of the best hard rock bands going these days. I was a fan right from the beginning. In 1998, no one said anything to me when I wore my QOTSA T-shirt. In 2003, everyone would come up and say “great band, man.” Sometimes being against the grain ends up being ahead of the curve and I can’t say I mind when that happens.
2. The Lost Art Of Keeping A Secret
4. Misfit Love
5. How To Handle A Rope
6. 3’s & 7’s
7. Better Living Through Chemistry
8. If Only
9. Song For The Dead
10. In My Head
11. You Can’t Quit Me Baby
There are many famous cities in the UK, but none nearly the size of London. What’s next? I was curious myself. Here are the numbers. (7/04 census results, city population only)
1. London, England (7,172,036)
2. Birmingham, England (965,928)
3. Glasgow, Scotland (662,954)
4. Liverpool, England (481,786)
5. Manchester, England (432,474)
6. Sheffield, England (431,607)
7. Leeds, England (424,194)
8. Bristol, England (407,992)
9. Edinburgh, Scotland (401,910)
10. Leicester, England (318,518)
11. Hull, England (310,636)
Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of Sabbath. Not sure why. Maybe it’s because I have a a lot of work to do and I’ve been in the mood to get stuff done. Black Sabbath is good for that.
Along with the Beatles, Black Sabbath is probably the most often imitated band in the world. Their style has been incorporated in thousands of bands. Imitation as a form of flattery has brought accolades to the Beatles for decades, whether you like heavy metal or not, you have to recognize that Black Sabbath is up there with the great mold-breakers of our time. Also, it was a reminder of how authentic Ozzy was, and still is today in his own weird way. No knock on Ronnie James Dio, but the Ozzy era is the best and it’s where I’ve focused my list. This is my definitive Black Sabbath Top 11.
2. The Writ
3. Jack The Stripper/Fairies Wear Boots
4. Symptom Of The Universe
5. Wheels Of Confusion/The Straightener
6. Killing Yourself To Live
7. Sweet Leaf
8. N. I. B.
9. Tomorrow’s Dream
10. War Pigs
11. Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
These are the top 11 FM radio songs from my youth. The days of the Ford Country Squire station wagon. That’s a long way back, even before the Chevy Suburban made an appearance on our driveway. There were dozens of favorites but these 11 still stand out. These were also my favorite choices on the Pizza Hut jukebox. I still actually have the 45rpm single or the full-length album for a couple of these songs. Turns out a few of these songs were just about the holy trinity of decadence. Sex, drugs and rock n’ roll, but of course at the time I had no idea. Maximum station wagon rock!
1. Barracuda – Heart
2. Superstition – Stevie Wonder
3. 25 or 6 to 4 – Chicago
4. All Right Now – Free
5. Switchin’ To Glide/This Beat Goes On – The Kings
6. One – Three Dog Night
7. Burnin’ For You – Blue Oyster Cült
8. T.N.T. – AC/DC
9. Brown Sugar – The Rolling Stones
10. I Shot The Sheriff – Eric Clapton
11. Calling Dr. Love – Kiss
These places were the largest cities in the Northern States at the time of the Civil War.
1. New York, NY (813,669)
2. Philadelphia, PA (565,529)
3. Brooklyn, NY (266,661)
4. Baltimore, MD (212,418)
5. Boston, MA (177,840)
6. Cincinnati, OH (161,044)
7. St. Louis, MO (160,773)
8. Chicago, IL (112,172)
9. Buffalo, NY (81,129)
10. Newark, NJ (71,941)
11. Louisville, KY (68,033)
These places were the largest cities in the Confederacy at the time of the Civil War. New Orleans was the only major city in the South at that time.
1. New Orleans, LA (168,675)
2. Charleston, SC (40,522)
3. Richmond, VA (37,910)
4. Mobile, AL (29,258)
5. Memphis, TN (22,623)
6. Savannah, GA (22,292)
7. Petersburg, VA (18,266)
8. Nashville, TN (16,988)
9. Alexandria, VA (12,652)
10. Augusta, GA (12,493)
11. Columbus, GA (9,621)
My favorite Clash song, Train In Vain, is one that self-proclaimed true Clash fans dismiss as a tossed off pop hit. I say too bad, it made me (a 10 year old when it was released) interested in the Clash and it remains my favorite. It made me bounce around the room then, and it makes me bounce around the room now. I am not a punk rock prophet. Some of it, I can take or leave. However, the Clash were more than punk rock. They redefined punk. They made music that was progressive. The Clash showed people that punk was not about style (mohawks, safety pins), it was about substance (musical experimentation and meaningful lyrics).
1. Train In Vain (Stand By Me)
2. Brand New Cadillac
3. One More Time
4. Police & Thieves
5. I Fought The Law
6. Guns On The Roof
7. Pressure Drop
8. London Calling
9. The Guns Of Brixton
10. I’m So Bored With The U.S.A.
That’s right, here is the definitive list, as of 2012. All bands, no solo artists. This list was much tougher to compile than you might think. Bands come and go, but all 11 listed here have withstood the test of time for me, which is regular rotation in my CD player. Even an open-minded guy like myself is a little more set it his ways at this point in my life, therefore this list remains as stable as it has ever been.
Even still, all band rankings are subject to change, after all 20 years ago Def Leppard and Ratt were in my Top 11. I know, so mainstream, brother. Times and opinions change, this is what it is as of today. It’ll probably change next week.
1. Led Zeppelin
2. Love Battery
3. Screaming Trees
4. Queens Of The Stone Age
5. The Rolling Stones
9. Masters Of Reality
10. Super Furry Animals
Pie is not as good as ice cream, but it’s still damn good.
1. French Silk
3. Banana Cream
4. Key Lime
5. Coconut Cream
7. Lemon Meringue
8. Chocolate Cream
Paul Newman. Great actor and supremely generous philantropist. Maker of the best salad dressing on the mass market. Newman’s Own Light Balsamic Vinegarette. Tutto naturale baby!
1. The Sting
2. Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid
3. Road To Perdition
4. Cool Hand Luke
5. The Hustler
6. Nobody’s Fool
7. The Verdict
8. Slap Shot
9. Fort Apache The Bronx
10. Absence Of Malice
I own over 1000 CDs, and hundreds of CD mixes, cassettes and mixtapes. I’m even old enough to have a few dozen albums on vinyl, mostly bought as a kid when they were first released. It’s a collection that would make Jack Black (in School of Rock) and John Cusack (in High Fidelity) proud. Out of that collection I’ve put together my all-time favorite Top 11. All 11 of these discs still receive steady rotation on the six shooter (my CD player) and will continue for years and years to come. I’ll never get tired of these personal classics. As my friend Jima would say, they’re “wall to wall,” meaning every song is solid and the disc is great from beginning to end. As you can see, I think highly of the 1970’s. The 90’s were a golden age of sorts for music according to the timeline of my life. This list is subject to change of course, but then again maybe not.
1. Led Zeppelin – Physical Graffiti (1975)
2. Love Battery – Straight Freak Ticket (1995)
3. The Rolling Stones – Let It Bleed (1969)
4. Swervedriver – Mezcal Head (1993)
5. Queens Of The Stone Age – self titled (1998)
6. The Smashing Pumpkins – Gish (1991)
7. U2 – War (1983)
8. Morphine – Cure For Pain (1993)
9. Neil Young with Crazy Horse – Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere (1969)
10. Chris Whitley – Living With The Law (1991)
11. Mark Lanegan Band – Bubblegum (2004)
At one time these places were referred to as Megacities, now in the 21st century we call them Global Cities. Metropolitan area by definition includes suburban areas immediately surrounding a major city and sometimes multiple major cities which may be close enough together to function essentially as one area. Here are the 11 largest metropolitan areas by population in 2005.
1. Tokyo, Japan (35,197,000)
2. Mexico City, Mexico (19,411,000)
3. New York City, New York (18,718,000)
4. Sao Paulo, Brazil (18,333,000)
5. Mumbai, India (18,196,000)
6. Delhi, India (15,048,000)
7. Shanghai, China (14,503,000)
8. Kolkata, India (14,277,000)
9. Jakarta, Indonesia (13,215,000)
10. Buenos Aires, Argentina (12,550,000)
11. Dhaka, Bangladesh (12,430,000)
This is a list of the largest cities of the world estimated for the year 2005. The populations listed are for the city proper and not for the entire metropolitan area.
1. Mumbai, India (12,778,721)
2. Karachi, Pakistan (11,507,254)
3. Delhi, India (11,055,365)
4. Shanghai, China (10,840,516)
5. Moscow, Russia (10,375,688)
6. Sao Paulo, Brazil (10,136,978)
7. Seoul, South Korea (9,747,972)
8. Istanbul, Turkey (9,621,565)
9. Mexico City, Mexico (8,548,639)
10. Jakarta, Indonesia (8,407,479)
11. New York City, United States (8,158,957)