Saturday, May 14, 2011


During the top ten songs blogfest hosted by Alex Cavanaugh, I made reference to a book by John Sanford where one of the subplots has the main character, Davenport, engaged in agonizing effort to compile a list of the 100 greatest rock 'n' roll songs for the iPod his wife has bought him.

Figuring that a man needs to show discipline, even though the iPod will hold thousands of songs, Davenport wants to narrow the list to 100 songs, and the discussions during the course of the book by various characters are simply hilarious.

Somehow, this topic came up during a discourse I had with Stephen McCarthy, and I thought it worth posting the list. Hopefully I am not violating any copyright laws, but you can go to Sanford's site HERE and I encourage everyone to buy the book "Broken Prey"

Did I mention you should go to Sanford's site and buy his book?

I figure if I mention it enough, his publisher will call off the copyright lawyers.

So without further ado, here is Lucas Davenport's "Best Songs of the Rock Era" list, in no particular order, except that (according to Sanford), as any intelligent person knows, any decent road trip will start with ZZ Top.

1. Sharp-Dressed Man ZZ Top

2. Legs ZZ Top
3. Mustang Sally Wilson Pickett
4. Superman's Song Crash Test Dummies
5. Rock On David Essex
6. Radar Love Golden Earring
7. Heart of Glass Blondie
8. White Rabbit Jefferson Airplane
9. Somebody to Love Jefferson Airplane
10. Layla Derek and the Dominoes
11. Roadhouse Blues Doors
12. House of the Rising Sun Animals
13. Sweet Emotion Aerosmith
14. Dude (Looks Like a Lady) Aerosmith
15. Dancing in the Dark Bruce Springsteen
16. Born to Run Bruce Springsteen
17. Thunder Road Bruce Springsteen
18. Every Breath You Take Police
19. Heart of Saturday Night Tom Waits
20. Hot for Teacher Van Halen
21. Won't Get Fooled Again Who
22. Hotel California (covers the Eagles) Gipsy Kings
23. Give Me One Reason Tracy Chapman
24. Down on the Corner CCR
25. Lyin' Eyes Eagles
26. Life in the Fast Lane Eagles
27. Roller Girl Dire Straits
28. Mary Jane's Last Dance Tom Petty
29. Me 'n Bobby McGee Janis Joplin
30. Black Water Doobie Brothers
31. I Love Rock 'n Roll Joan Jett
32. Jack and Diane John Mellencamp
33. The Wall (Part 2) Pink Floyd
34. Money Pink Floyd
35. Piano Man Billy Joel
36. After Midnight Eric Clapton
37. Lay Down Sally Eric Clapton
38. You Shook Me (All Night Long) AC/DC
39. Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap AC/DC
40. Long Cool Woman Hollies
41. Like a Rolling Stone Bob Dylan
42. Knockin' on Heaven's Door Bob Dylan
43. Subterranean Homesick Blues Bob Dylan
44. Satisfaction Rolling Stones
45. Brown Sugar Rolling Stones
46. Sympathy for the Devil Rolling Stones
47. Anarchy in the UK Sex Pistols
48. Sugar Magnolia Grateful Dead
49. Slow Hand Pointer Sisters
50. Sweet Dreams Eurythmics
51. Jailhouse Rock Elvis Presley
52. Ziggy Stardust David Bowie
53. Night Moves Bob Seger
54. Bye-Bye-Love Everly Brothers
55. Purple Haze Jimi Hendrix
56. Lola Kinks
57. Tender is the Night Jackson Browne
58. Louie Louie Kingman
59. Bad to the Bone George Thoroughgood
60. Turn the Page (covers Bob Seger) Metallica
61. Sweet Home Alabama Lynryd Skynyrd
62. We Will Rock You Queen
63. Ramblin' Man Allman Brothers
64. Rock 'n Roll Led Zeppelin
65. What's Love Got to Do With It Tina Turner
66. Born to Be Wild Steppenwolf
67. With or Without You U2
68. Paranoid Black Sabbath
69. Blue Morning Blue Foreigner
70. White Wedding Billy Idol
71. Sweet Child o' Mine Guns 'n Roses
72. Paradise City Guns 'n Roses
73. Knockin' on Heaven's Door (covers Dylan) Guns 'n Roses
74. Walk on the Wild Side Lou Reed
75. Feel Like Makin' Love Bad Company
76. Rock of Ages Def Leppard
77. Brown Eyed Girl Van Morrison
78. Devil With a Blue Dress Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels
79. Respect Aretha Franklin
80. I'm in the Mood John Lee Hooker & Bonnie Raitt
81. I Got You (I Feel Good) James Brown
82. Unchained Melody Righteous Brothers
83. Little Red Corvette Prince
84. Roll Over Beethoven Chuck Berry
85. Mr. Tamborine Man (covers Dylan) Byrds
86. Ohio CSNY
87. Peggy Sue Buddy Holly
88. Great Balls of Fire Jerry Lee Lewis
89. Pretty Woman Roy Orbison
90. Runaway Del Shannon
91. Walk This Way Aerosmith / Run-DMC
92. (Sittin' on the) Dock of the Bay Otis Redding
93. Smells like Teen Spirit Nirvana
94. Still Crazy After All These Years Paul Simon
95. Who Do You Love? Bo Diddley
96. One Toke Over the Line Brewer and Shipley
97. I Wanna Be Sedated Ramones
98. Should I Stay or Should I Go Clash
99. Burning Down the House Talking Heads
100. Waltz 2 / Jazz Suite Dimitri Shostakovich

Now I personally object to including the cover of Bob Seger's "Turn The Page" over the original. And while I have nothing against the Pointer Sisters, I just gotta say----REALLY?

I wonder if the list was engineered to appeal to a broad selection of readers...

I personally have been working on my top 100 list and it is a work-in-progress that constantly gets changed.

What songs are on your list?


  1. Part 1 Of 2:

    In Googling this list, your blog post comes up sixth from the top on the first page.

    According to a guy going by the name Jimbo, who posted a comment on THIS blog, the list was meant to be of “the greatest 100 'driving' songs, not the greatest list of rock songs. This is meant as music for the car!”

    That would make sense of the statement: “…as any intelligent person knows, any decent road trip will start with ZZ Top.” Although I disagree with that statement.

    If it was supposed to be a list of the 100 greatest Rock songs, I would call it pretty horrible. Assuming it’s a list of the 100 greatest road trip songs, then it’s an improvement.

    Of course, we did the Top Ten Driving Songs list awhile back. My 10 are HERE.

    Obviously, something like this is 100% subjective but, using my list of ten as a guide, I’ll go through some of his selections and comment and perhaps replace songs with my choice for the band in question.

    First of all, he’s wrong right out of the chute. As any intelligent person knows, any decent road trip will start with “Born To Be Wild” by Steppenwolf or “Radar Love” by Golden Earring.

    1. ZZ Top, "Sharp-Dressed Man"
    Good choice

    2. ZZ Top, "Legs"
    I would have gone with “Tush” before “Legs”.

    5. David Essex, "Rock On"
    It’s got a good beat and you can drive to it. (I just posted this song on my ‘Stuffs’ blog last night!) But I would say it’s more ideal for night driving.

    6. Golden Earring, "Radar Love"
    Of course. A must-have!

    7. Blondie, "Heart of Glass"
    Hated Blondie; hated “Heart Of Glass”.

    10. Derek and the Dominoes, "Layla"
    For driving, I’d go with “After Midnight” or “Lay Down Sally” if we’re talkin’ Clapton.

    11. Doors, "Roadhouse Blues"
    Excellent choice. But this would be my #2, after “Peace Frog”, which made my Top 10 list.

    I think other good driving songs by the Doors are “L.A. Woman”, and (for night driving) “Texas Radio And The Big Beat” and “Riders On The Storm”.

    13. Aerosmith, "Sweet Emotion"
    Nah. “Train Kept A-Rollin’” made my Top 10 though.


  2. Part 2 Of 2:

    25. Eagles, "Lyin’ Eyes"
    26. Eagles, "Life in the Fast Lane"
    Can’t really argue with #26, but if I were choosing two Eagles songs, they would be “Take It Easy” and “James Dean”.

    28. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, "Mary Jane’s Last Dance"
    It’s gotta be “Runnin’ Down A Dream”, which made my Top 10 list.

    30. The Doobie Brothers, "Black Water"
    Right band, wrong song. “China Grove” made my Top 10. I can think of a couple other Doobie Bros. songs I would select before “Black Water”.

    31. Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, "I Love Rock ‘n Roll"
    32. John Mellencamp, "Jack and Diane"
    64. Led Zeppelin, "Rock ‘n Roll"
    75. Bad Company, "Feel Like Makin’ Love"
    78. Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, "Devil With a Blue Dress On"
    40. The Hollies, "Long Cool Woman (in a Black Dress)"
    90. Del Shannon, "Runaway"
    95. Bo Diddley, "Who Do You Love?"
    These were all very good choices. Zeppelin’s “Black Dog” could have made the list, too. And if I had 100 selections to make, I’d also certainly have Mountain’s “Mississippi Queen” on my list.

    35. Billy Joel, "Piano Man"
    What the hell is THIS doing on a Driving Music list?!

    36. Eric Clapton, "After Midnight"
    37. Eric Clapton, "Lay Down Sally"
    Oh, he DID go with my two Clapton choices. OK.

    38. AC/DC, "You Shook Me All Night Long"
    39. AC/DC, "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap"
    58. The Kingsmen, "Louie Louie"
    83. Prince, "Little Red Corvette"
    None of these would make my own Top 100 road music list, but they’re acceptable for driving purposes.

    44. The Rolling Stones, "Satisfaction"
    45. The Rolling Stones, "Brown Sugar"
    Yeah, these are pretty good choices, but I think my first Stones song would be “Gimme Shelter”.

    61. Lynryd Skynyrd, "Sweet Home Alabama"
    It’s alright, I suppose. But Skynyrd’s “T For Texas” made my Top 10.

    66. Steppenwolf, "Born to Be Wild"
    Of course. Gotta have it on any road trip music list!

    77. Van Morrison, "Brown Eyed Girl"
    Make it the 1973 live version of “I’ve Been Workin’”.

    98. The Clash, "Should I Stay or Should I Go"
    Not a bad choice, but I would have gone with “Rock The Casbah” first.

    The rest of his song choices I do not approve of. Overall, in my own opinion, it was a reasonably good list, however, ultimately it must receive a failing grade seeing as how he had 100 opportunities to include David Lindley’s “Mercury Blues”, Iggy Pop’s “Lust For Life”, and Booker T’s “Green Onions”, but he did not do so. Bad! Bad! Bad!

    What do you think of his list, LC?

    ~ D-FensDogg
    ‘Loyal American Underground’

  3. When I read the book (a couple years back) I do not recall the debate in the narrative referring to a list of driving songs.

    In fact, what stands out was the character's need to use discipline and just fill the iPod with the 100best songs.

    That said, maybe I just forget. The list at the back of the book does make mention of a road trip.

    Do you really need me to answer, Stephen?

    A list of 100 songs with no Todd Rundgren?

    Obviously shinola!

    I thought too many of the choices were the obvious popular choice and the whole list seemed more like it was engineered to appeal to the various demographics of Sanford's readers.

    In the current issue, Rolling Stone compiles a list of top 70 Dylan songs in honor of his birthday. I plan to post on it later in the week (looking at the top ten).


  4. Top 10 Dylan songs?!
    I'm on it! Please tell me in advance what day you will post yours and I'll do the same with mine.

    Man, that won't be easy to narrow down to a mere ten!

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  5. >> . . . Do you really need me to answer, Stephen? A list of 100 songs with no Todd Rundgren? Obviously shinola!

    Well, if the list is indeed meant to represent the Top 100 Driving Tunes, would you still feel that anything by Rundgren qualifies?

    Admittedly, I'm familiar with only a very small percentage of his music, but off the top of my head - from what I'm able to remember - I can't think of any Rundgren song that ever struck me as being particularly suited for a road trip soundtrack.

    How 'bout you?

    >> . . . I thought too many of the choices were the obvious popular choice

    Yeah, I pretty much agree. I mean, in some instances, he did seem to have some idea about what constitutes a good "driving" beat (e.g., 'Born To Be Wild'; 'Radar Love'; 'After Midnight', etc.), but then he'd come up with something "too popular" and not at all "road music", in my opinion (e.g., 'Brown-Eyed Girl'; 'Heart Of Glass'; 'Piano Man' - 'Piano Man'?! WTF?! I mean, really, is there ANY song that is LESS like road music?)

    His Springsteen songs were good (especially 'Born To Run'), but 'Cadillac Ranch' has more of a driving, open road beat than the ones he chose.

    Don Henley's 'Boys Of Summer' would make my Top 100 list. He didn't include that one either. And as I said before, no 'Mercury Blues', 'Lust For Life', or 'Green Onions'. ...I'm not convinced that his understanding of "road music" and mine are the same.

    >> . . . and the whole list seemed more like it was engineered to appeal to the various demographics of Sanford's readers.

    Yeah, I agree with that too. Because there were some odd choices on here. The Sex Pistols? A Classical piece?

    It's like he wanted to sample from a pretty broad spectrum in order to make sure lots of readers' tastes were included.

    I'm surprised he didn't include a Rap song - something by Run DMC, maybe - and something "Proggy", like ELP. And no Beatles?

    But then again, are there any Beatles songs with a real "driving" beat? Yeah, there's an instrumental bit on the 'Abbey Road' album - I forget what it's called. 'Drive My Car' has the beat, I suppose.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  6. >>His Springsteen songs were good

    Except for "Dancing In The Dark."

    >>Well, if the list is indeed meant to represent the Top 100 Driving Tunes, would you still feel that anything by Rundgren qualifies?

    Like I I really need to type the words?

    Obviously, since it's subjective, there'd be Todd on my list.

    And I think you'd agree that at least 25% of the songs on the Sanford list would be coming off...


  7. >> . . . Except for "Dancing In The Dark."

    Oh, I didn't recall that one being on his list. Yeah, that's gotta go! Pshaw!

    >> . . . And I think you'd agree that at least 25% of the songs on the Sanford list would be coming off...

    At least 50%.
    But . . . still, you gotta "keep it real". As much as I love the music of The Carpenters and The Beach Boys, I doubt any of their songs would make a Top 100 DRIVING TUNES list for me. (And consider that The Boys even had some songs specifically about driving, such as '409'; 'Little Deuce Coup'; 'Fun, Fun, Fun', etc.) Nevertheless, gotta "keep it real".

    So, yes, you DO "really need to type the words"!

    Name me a couple of Rundgren songs you feel are real "Driving" tunes, so I can go to YouTube, listen to 'em, and see if I agree or see if I think you're full of beans and just being a "homer".

    Songs. Name 'em. At least one, if not two.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  8. Sorry's MY blog, so I don't gotta do nuttin'

    And since it's my list, I can be full of beans.

    Besides, I already gave ya a driving list with a Todd song on it-didja forget already?

    That one was the most likely one, off of "The Ever Popular Tortured Artist Effect," called "Drive," Toddly enough.

    There are a fair number of his other rockers that could potentially make my list of 100, although I'd narrow it down to one, maybe two at the most.

    And since my 100 list (already in progress) is about great songs, not great driving songs, I have no silly restrictions.

    (all by Utopia)
    Love In Action
    Road To Utopia
    Play This Game
    Back On The Street
    The Last Of The New Wave Riders
    The Very Last Time
    Rock Love
    One World
    Hammer In My Heart
    Princess Of The Universe
    Fix Your Gaze

    (all Todd solo)
    Time Heals
    Dust My Broom

    Acutally, anything off of "Arena" or the "Todd Rundgren's Johnson" albums would qualify.

    So there ya haz it, and I doh'nt care if yes agreez or not!



    >> . . . Sorry's MY blog, so I don't gotta do nuttin'

    You getz testy ever' time youz challenged. The pattern is emerging.

    OK, Bro, I went back and listened to "Drive". It works. (For me, it's that steady drum beat.)

    I mean, I ain't sayin' it's at the top of the class, like "Born To Be Wild" or that weightlifting workout song by Golden Earring, but... it'll do.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  10. I wuz born testy!

    I'll even give ya that it's not top of the class...but it sure as heck beats out "Piano Man" and the Pointer Sisters!


  11. Yes Aerosmith needs to be represented, maybe even twice, but Dude??? I mean WTF!!! Not only one of their worst songs, one of the worst songs ever...they wrote that in 2 minutes for MTV!!!