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Dylan: Rock Legend, Maybe Folk Legend?

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GUEST 18 Nov 04 - 12:30 PM
Peace 18 Nov 04 - 12:37 PM
chris nightbird childs 18 Nov 04 - 12:37 PM
GUEST 18 Nov 04 - 12:45 PM
chris nightbird childs 18 Nov 04 - 12:46 PM
GUEST 18 Nov 04 - 01:01 PM
Chris Green 18 Nov 04 - 01:06 PM
alanabit 18 Nov 04 - 01:21 PM
GUEST 18 Nov 04 - 01:24 PM
Mooh 18 Nov 04 - 01:26 PM
chris nightbird childs 18 Nov 04 - 01:33 PM
Chris Green 18 Nov 04 - 01:39 PM
PoppaGator 18 Nov 04 - 01:42 PM
GUEST 18 Nov 04 - 01:43 PM
GUEST 18 Nov 04 - 01:52 PM
GUEST 18 Nov 04 - 01:53 PM
Little Hawk 18 Nov 04 - 01:55 PM
chris nightbird childs 18 Nov 04 - 01:55 PM
GUEST 18 Nov 04 - 01:58 PM
Clinton Hammond 18 Nov 04 - 02:06 PM
George Papavgeris 18 Nov 04 - 02:08 PM
GUEST 18 Nov 04 - 02:12 PM
GUEST 18 Nov 04 - 02:15 PM
Mooh 18 Nov 04 - 02:22 PM
GUEST 18 Nov 04 - 02:25 PM
Blissfully Ignorant 18 Nov 04 - 02:30 PM
Chris Green 18 Nov 04 - 02:36 PM
GUEST 18 Nov 04 - 02:38 PM
PoppaGator 18 Nov 04 - 02:42 PM
Chris Green 18 Nov 04 - 02:47 PM
Blissfully Ignorant 18 Nov 04 - 03:01 PM
GUEST 18 Nov 04 - 03:08 PM
PoppaGator 18 Nov 04 - 05:01 PM
GUEST 18 Nov 04 - 06:43 PM
Peace 18 Nov 04 - 06:55 PM
chris nightbird childs 19 Nov 04 - 01:14 AM
alanabit 19 Nov 04 - 02:53 AM
Big Tim 19 Nov 04 - 10:27 AM
chris nightbird childs 19 Nov 04 - 10:30 AM
GUEST 19 Nov 04 - 11:37 AM
chris nightbird childs 19 Nov 04 - 12:45 PM
GUEST 19 Nov 04 - 01:06 PM
PoppaGator 19 Nov 04 - 01:10 PM
GUEST 19 Nov 04 - 02:15 PM
PoppaGator 19 Nov 04 - 02:38 PM
GUEST 19 Nov 04 - 02:44 PM
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Subject: Dylan: Rock Legend, Maybe Folk Legend?
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 12:30 PM

Not so much.

In an effort to generate flagging magazine sales and desperately seeking pop culture relevance, Rolling Stone has come out with a "500 Greatest Songs of All Time" and put Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" at #1.

(I have yet to recover from Dylan's Dirty Ole Man of Victoria's Secrets fame phase, but that isn't why I went "waaahhhht the fuck??? to that song).

"Like a Rolling Stone"? #1 best song of all time? I can understand the profound desire to do the easy and sleazy by putting a Dylan song at #1. Rolling Stone is the propaganda wing of The Bob's PR and hype machine, and Jann Wenner probably deserves a lifetime achievement award for hyping Dylan more than any other 60s nostalgia addicted over the hill rock groupie.

After all, the list appears to be made up of Jann Wenner's people: Mick Jagger, John Lennon, Bob Dylan, John Kerry...

Here is a blurb from the New York Daily News' comments about the issue:

"Bob Dylan over John Lennon? The Stones over the Beatles? And Abba over, well, anybody?

Sure to spark heated debates around the jukebox - or maybe the iPod - Rolling Stone magazine has just published a collection of what its panel of experts deem the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

But younger folks may be left wondering whether these critics turned off their radios for good when disco hit. And older folks might wonder why there's very little before Elvis started wiggling his hips.

Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" sits atop the chart - (hmm, why do they like that one so much?) - followed by the Rolling Stones' "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" and Lennon's "Imagine."

Considering this magazine is now several decades beyone it's relevance sell-by date, I don't even understand how this magazine stays in business.

But I am not the least bit surprised to see the "magazine of the 60s generation" once again hyping it's own hype of Dylan being the "voice of the 60s generation" by playing this silly game of generating a buzz and hype list of "500 Greatest Songs of All Time" to go with it's other idiotic "greatest list" issues.

Perhaps a darkly ironic anti-list is in order...


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Subject: RE: Dylan: Rock Legend, Maybe Folk Legend?
From: Peace
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 12:37 PM

Mr Tamborine Man should be there, IMO.


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Subject: RE: Dylan: Rock Legend, Maybe Folk Legend?
From: chris nightbird childs
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 12:37 PM

It would've been fine if they stayed the magazine of the 60's generation, but they continually try to be hip... and fail.
As for their top songs, all of their choices are typical...


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Subject: RE: Dylan: Rock Legend, Maybe Folk Legend?
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 12:45 PM

The top 20 songs from Rolling Stone Magazine's "500 Greatest Songs of All Time":

"Like a Rolling Stone" Bob Dylan
"(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" The Rolling Stones
"Imagine" John Lennon
"What's Going On" Marvin Gaye
"Respect" Aretha Franklin
"Good Vibrations" The Beach Boys
"Johnny B. Goode" Chuck Berry
"Hey Jude" The Beatles
"Smells Like Teen Spirit" Nirvana
"What'd I Say" Ray Charles
"My Generation" The Who
"A Change is Gonna Come" Sam Cooke
"Yesterday" The Beatles
"Blowin' in the Wind" Bob Dylan
"London Calling" The Clash
"I Want to Hold Your Hand" The Beatles
"Purple Haze" The Jimi Hendrix Experience
"Maybellene" Chuck Berry
"Hound Dog" Elvis Presley
"Let It Be" The Beatles

The celebrity panel included Joni Mitchell, "David Letterman" bandleader Paul Shaffer and Daily News critic-at-large David Hinckley.


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Subject: RE: Dylan: Rock Legend, Maybe Folk Legend?
From: chris nightbird childs
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 12:46 PM

It's the same list they use everytime... the all-purpose list, I guess.


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Subject: RE: Dylan: Rock Legend, Maybe Folk Legend?
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 01:01 PM

Out of the list above, I'd say "Imagine" and "What's Goin' On" deserve top twenty five status, depending on how the list is contrived. And "London Calling" is a good choice.

But the whole series Wenner has done of the "500 Greatest" things seems just sooooo tragic 60s nostalgia, doesn't it? Again, from the Daily News:

"Indeed, of the 500 songs, a staggering 202 were written in the 1960s, and another 144 were penned a decade later. Meanwhile, only 55 songs from the 1980s were selected. Okay, maybe they got that right.

But just three songs from the current decade were chosen: Eminem's "Lose Yourself" (No. 166) and "Stan" (No. 290), and last year's ubiquitous hit, OutKast's "Hey Ya" (No. 180).

Not surprisingly, the Beatles placed the most songs on the list with an astounding 23. Their ancient rivals, the Stones, took second with 14, two ahead of Dylan and three in front of Elvis.

These totals, once again, show the list's generational bias: Of the acts that place at least seven songs on the countdown, only one - U2, with a new album out next week - can still be seen as being at the top of its game."

It is important to remember that Rolling Stone was the only unique cultural enterprise Wenner ever had, and I've a feeling it was probably his wife's idea anyway.

Lest we forget, Wenner also believed neither MTV or Netscape would ever be relevant.


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Subject: RE: Dylan: Rock Legend, Maybe Folk Legend?
From: Chris Green
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 01:06 PM

I genuinely don't get why "Imagine" is classed as a great song. It seems to me like a turgid, obvious, hippy-dippy dirge! I'm not flaming, honestly, - could anyone explain what (if anything!) I'm missing?


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Subject: RE: Dylan: Rock Legend, Maybe Folk Legend?
From: alanabit
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 01:21 PM

I don't know why anyone can get too excited about this sort of thing. It's all subjective and it's use is as a starting point for a discussion among friends. I would expect most people of any generation to list what they know best. Why should that surprise anyone? In the event, I like most of the songs listed and I think that talkiing over a drum track is not the same as composing a song. It's what you would expect. I come from that generation.
At least Bob Dylan put a name to his songs - good or bad. I wish the poster who began this thread had done likewise.


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Subject: RE: Dylan: Rock Legend, Maybe Folk Legend?
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 01:24 PM

The zeitgeist the song represents. It was an anti-Vietnam War anthem. I think "What's Goin' On" is a million times better song, and if there is any song that captured the 60s, in my mind, it is Marvin Gaye's song NOT a Dylan song.


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Subject: RE: Dylan: Rock Legend, Maybe Folk Legend?
From: Mooh
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 01:26 PM

ELP's take on Jerusalem, the ELO version of Roll Over Beethoven or better yet Mountain doing the same tune, the Stone's doing Like A Rolling Stone, Hendrix's All Along The Watchtower, Led Zeppelin's Since I've Been Loving You, and Gallows Pole, Mott The Hoople's own All The Way From Memphis, Jeff Beck doing I Ain't Superstitious, the Allman Bros spin on Statesborough Blues and even the Jethro Tull one, Neil Young's Rockin' In The Free World, the Stone's Street Fighting Man, Deep Purple's Lazy, Jethro Tull's Aqualung...And I haven't even left the era!

What, you weren't asking for my ideas? Rolling Stone just needs something to print...what do they know?

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Dylan: Rock Legend, Maybe Folk Legend?
From: chris nightbird childs
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 01:33 PM

Imagine is not one of Lennon's best. If he were here he'd say the same thing...

"Imagine was just Working Class Hero with sugar on for conservatives..."

- yes, an actual quote.


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Subject: RE: Dylan: Rock Legend, Maybe Folk Legend?
From: Chris Green
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 01:39 PM

So even Lennon didn't particularly rate "Imagine"? The plot thickens... :)


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Subject: RE: Dylan: Rock Legend, Maybe Folk Legend?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 01:42 PM

I, for one, pretty much agree with RS -- certainly in regard to the top 20 listed above. I'm part of that same dreaded dinosaur demographic, first wave of the postwar baby boom. Of course, I haven't read the magazine in years -- they seem to be trying to leave old farts like me behind, but this list seems to indicate they've reverted to their roots after all.

"Like A Rolling Stone" not only *is* a great song, it *was* an even greater event. If you weren't "there" (i.e., if you weren't alive at the time), you probably can't imagine its impact.

I will agree that "What's Going On" and "Imagine" are probably more timeless and in that sense perhaps objectively "greater." But I know and love almost everything on the list -- 18 out of 20, anyway. (I know but *don't* love the Nirvana number, and I don't know one Clash song from another, although I'm sure I'd enjoy the one they chose.)

If it's OK to be attached to 18th/19th century sea shanties, or to 1920s/30s Delta blues, it must certainly be OK to love the "tradition" of 1960s/70s folk-rock/psychedelia -- no?

My only quibbles -- where's the Memphis soul (Stax/Volt) and the Grateful Dead?


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Subject: RE: Dylan: Rock Legend, Maybe Folk Legend?
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 01:43 PM

Which begs the question, why wasn't "Working Class Hero" there instead of "Imagine"?

Answer: I think it was the zeitgeist thing. That song was the musical apex that represented middle class boomer angst over the war, hence it's subsequent popularity amongst middle class liberal baby boomers.

I'm not a huge fan of the song, but I do appreciate the impact the song had, which is what makes it reasonable in a "greatest songs of the 60s and 70s" list, which is really what this list should be titled.

Another pop song of same ilk as "Imagine" amongst middle class liberal boomers of the era was a much better song: "Scarborough Fair".

Surprising there is no Simon and Garfunkel on the top 20 list. Wenner must have a grudge match thing going on with Paul Simon.


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Subject: RE: Dylan: Rock Legend, Maybe Folk Legend?
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 01:52 PM

I can remember still how I felt when "Like a Rolling Stone" came on the radio, and it felt a bit like a "soundtrack to the 60s" sort of feeling, the same way "Satisfaction" was. But both songs were overhyped and overplayed then, and are still overhyped now as "greatest songs".

I do still look to the Top 40 lists to distinguish between the soundtrack of the era sorts of songs, and the zeitgeist sorts of "greatest" sorts of songs, like "Born in the USA" for example. "Imagine" is in the latter category, "Like a Rolling Stone" in the former category.

And excuse me but, why aren't the Everly Brothers on the top 20 list? Shouldn't either "Cathy's Clown" or "Wake Up Little Susie" be there?


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Subject: RE: Dylan: Rock Legend, Maybe Folk Legend?
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 01:53 PM

Or Roy Orbison's "Only the Lonely"?


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Subject: RE: Dylan: Rock Legend, Maybe Folk Legend?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 01:55 PM

(shrug)

Having a bad hair day, GUEST? Look, I don't particularly care what Rolling Stone thinks about "Like A Rolling Stone"...or what you think about it either. :-) Just 2 more opinions, that's all. They were there, though, and I wonder if you were? If not, you can't possibly imagine the impact some of those songs had at the time, particularly "Satisfaction" and "Like A Rolling Stone". "Yesterday", "I Wanna Hold Your Hand", "Blowin' in the Wind", and "Purple Haze" were similarly influential. And...the Beatles and Stones from '65 on owed a lot to Dylan, and aspired to write in similar fashion if they could manage it (not easily!). Did you know that?

All considered, it's not a very surprising lineup of songs for the top 20.

Just make up your own list of songs. Then you'll feel better, hopefully...and then other people can have the fun of attacking your list. More fun for everyone!


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Subject: RE: Dylan: Rock Legend, Maybe Folk Legend?
From: chris nightbird childs
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 01:55 PM

Orbison should be there At least 5 times!


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Subject: RE: Dylan: Rock Legend, Maybe Folk Legend?
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 01:58 PM

Amen to that! Also, why no Stevie Wonder, hmmmmm???


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Subject: RE: Dylan: Rock Legend, Maybe Folk Legend?
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 02:06 PM

There's only ONE persons Top 500 list that yer ever gonna agree with, and that's your own...

So why give it any more thought?


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Subject: RE: Dylan: Rock Legend, Maybe Folk Legend?
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 02:08 PM

No Bohemian Rhapsody? No We Will Rock You? None of the dozens of wonderful Queen songs?

No Sweet Home Alabama? No Mama Told Me Not To Come? Whiter Shade Of Pale?

No Mr Blobby or Tiger Feet? (OK, I'm joking here)

What is it that has the UK and US masses besotted with lists? They mean sod all, they are arbitrary and subjective, and they only serve promotion purposes. Why do we even talk about this?


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Subject: RE: Dylan: Rock Legend, Maybe Folk Legend?
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 02:12 PM

Because it amuses us, Clinton, why else? It isn't a be all, end all thing. But we humans love to make lists of our favorite things, and see what other peoples' list of their favorite things looks like compared to ours.

Not terribly complex, now is it?

I mean, here is the About.com Top 100 Pop Hits list which is a fan voting list. It puts "Satisfaction" at #1 and "Like a Rolling Stone" at #21 I think it is--and "What's Goin' On" behind that.

Of course the lists are arbitrary and capricious, that is the point. Which is why Rolling Stone keeps putting the "Greatest" list issues out.

Now, how is it that Motown isn't represented in the top 20? Surely there must be a Motown song that would qualify as a zeitgeist sort of song...


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Subject: RE: Dylan: Rock Legend, Maybe Folk Legend?
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 02:15 PM

"Whiter Shade of Pale"--excellent choice, as is "We Will Rock You" and "We are the Champions".

"Whiter Shade" is a true zeitgeist sort of song, as can be attested to by it continuing to show up even now in pop culture (I'm recalling "The Commitments" scene on the church organ).

I hated Queen, but those songs certainly qualify, I'd think.


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Subject: RE: Dylan: Rock Legend, Maybe Folk Legend?
From: Mooh
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 02:22 PM

I dunno, I always thought the first two Queen records were the best ones.

What about the Ruttles? Rock's ego still prevents laughing at itself.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Dylan: Rock Legend, Maybe Folk Legend?
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 02:25 PM

I'm trying to go back to the early 60s and before too, hence my mention of Roy Orbison and the Everly Brothers.

The 50s is poorly represented, and the "Greatest Songs of All Time" one would think might have at least one Sinatra song it, or something penned by Irving Berlin or the Gershwins.

I was also trying to think of a zeitgeist sort of song for WWII. "I'll Be Seeing You" perhpas?


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Subject: RE: Dylan: Rock Legend, Maybe Folk Legend?
From: Blissfully Ignorant
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 02:30 PM

You do realise they only did it so we could all discuss it? Why, you should be grateful! :0)


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Subject: RE: Dylan: Rock Legend, Maybe Folk Legend?
From: Chris Green
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 02:36 PM

If we're talking zeitgeist songs how about "Pack Up Your Troubles In Your Old Kit Bag?" Or going further back, how about the 17th century Civil War song "Babylon"? (in the DT here)

I would tentatively suggest that what we're referring to as 'zeitgeist' songs are now in fact 'nostalgia' songs, which is why the pre-50s are so poorly represented - ie, there are fewer people around who were actually there! :)


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Subject: RE: Dylan: Rock Legend, Maybe Folk Legend?
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 02:38 PM

Well, I didn't know they did it because I follow the magazine! I read about the list at Google News, while there getting my daily news fix. Here is my fave quote from all the articles about the list, so far:

From Brian Donnelly at The Herald:

"Welcome, then, to the sound of middle-aged conformity, where songsmiths who themselves have reached hallowed status define their influences for a brand new generation...

...No-one's disputing the era-defining power many of these songs still possess. Being commodified in such a way, however, cheapens them, and ignores anything off-kilter or non guitar-based. Dance culture? Not likely...

But where are those other slices of post-modern pop brilliance, like Beyonce's Crazy For Love and Kylie's Can't Get You Out Of My Head?
Maybe they're just too darned girly for Rolling Stone, or perhaps the panel are too stricken with advanced tinnitus to recognise such 21st century bubblegum genius."


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Subject: RE: Dylan: Rock Legend, Maybe Folk Legend?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 02:42 PM

GUEST (whichever guest, if there are indeed more than one of you): "What's Goin' On" is a Motown song, technically at least (i.e., on the Motown label, by a Motown artist), but I know what you mean. There's no typical "Motown-sound" number on the list. The problem is probably singling out just one of them -- just like there's no one Grateful Dead number you could easily select.

And, as I've already hinted: where's Otis -- and the rest of the Stax/Volt bunch?

I was not particularly alarmed at the omission of Simon and/or Garfunkel -- certainly no moreso than by the absense of Neil Young and/or Buffalo Springfield/CSN/CSNY. "For What It's Worth" would have been an appropriate choice, especially given the early-RSmagazine-era bias.

My own personal list of faves (if were to bother making one) would also omit just about anything after the mid-70s -- but would NOT omit the 50s and early 60s, like their list does. Orbison and the Everleys, indeed -- plus, definitely, my single all-time favorite slow-dance record, the Flamingos' eerie and beautiful "I Only Have Eyes for You."


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Subject: RE: Dylan: Rock Legend, Maybe Folk Legend?
From: Chris Green
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 02:47 PM

Beyonce?! Kylie Minogue?!! POST_MODERN POP BRILLIANCE???!!! For f**k sake!

Who's next then? Right Said Fred? The Banana Splits? Boney M?

Yours sincerely

Apoplectic of Coventry :)


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Subject: RE: Dylan: Rock Legend, Maybe Folk Legend?
From: Blissfully Ignorant
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 03:01 PM

Kylie Minogue makes me feel grateful that i have buttocks. I mean look at the poor lassie, there's nothing to her!


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Subject: RE: Dylan: Rock Legend, Maybe Folk Legend?
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 03:08 PM

No need for apoplexy, m'dear duelling, if one reads the last paragraph as an ironic, tongue-firmly-in-cheek commentary of the oft-insipid choices of the list makers, whom it is claimed are "172 writers and artists, including Joni Mitchell, Elvis Costello and k.d. lang."

And I believe Wenner has arrogantly decided that "All Time" began with the birth of his magazine in San Francisco.

"I Only Have Eyes"--another choice made in extraordinarily good taste!

I was also thinking of the 50s R & B doo wop & ballad genres--classics like Little Anthony and the Imperials "Goin' Out of My Head" and "Hurts So Bad". Or Ray Charles' "Georgia".

As to the Motown "choice" of a song that embodies the era and the sound, I'd have a hard time with that one too. "My Girl"? "Tracks of My Tears"?

Or howzabout rockabilly? How can this list not acknowledge the uniquely American influences on 60s rock fer chrissake, like Little Richard, Lefty Frizell, Carl Perkins, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, "Hey Bo Diddley"...Not just the Stax stuff but Memphis Sun, and a whole lotta other stuff.

Or even the rockabilly/country pop crossover sorts of stuff like Johnny Rivers' "Memphis" or "Mountain of Love" or "Poor Side of Town"?


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Subject: RE: Dylan: Rock Legend, Maybe Folk Legend?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 05:01 PM

Looks like we're compiling our own "Top 100" -- maybe even 150 or 200!

Mention of Little Richard reminds me of my very favorite rock 'n' roll subgenre, the stuff recorded here in New Orleans at J&L Studios, with that great band featuring Earl Palmer, Lee Allen, Red Tyler, Papoose Nelson, etc.

That would include most of Richard's hits, several of Ray Charles' pre-"What'd I Say" race records, all of Fats Domino, plenty of lesser-known stuff by the likes of Shine Robinson, Irma Thomas, and some major works by my single all-time favorite artist, Professor Longhair.

And then, just a few years later, there's another slew of great records produced by Allen Toussaint at his Sea-Saint Studios, with The Meters as studio band: Jesse "Oooh-Poo-pa-Doo" Hill, Lee Dorsey, Ernie K-Doe, Robert Palmer...

Of course, I don''t expect much national/international awareness of this unfortunately obscure "local" New Orleans stuff. But it sure is great!


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Subject: RE: Dylan: Rock Legend, Maybe Folk Legend?
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 06:43 PM

Well, my intention isn't to create my own list, I am just ruminating aloud as to how so many of the great songs and great artists are ignored by a magazine that claims to be about rock and pop music.

I mean really--not even ONE Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Carl Perkins, et al song in the top 20? What the hell kind of rock song list of all time can it possibly be?


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Subject: RE: Dylan: Rock Legend, Maybe Folk Legend?
From: Peace
Date: 18 Nov 04 - 06:55 PM

Any Dave Edmunds?


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Subject: RE: Dylan: Rock Legend, Maybe Folk Legend?
From: chris nightbird childs
Date: 19 Nov 04 - 01:14 AM

Oh no! They forgot "Whiter Shade..."? THat's one of my favourite songs of all time!

(No Bliss, Kylie doesn't have much of a bum does she?)


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Subject: RE: Dylan: Rock Legend, Maybe Folk Legend?
From: alanabit
Date: 19 Nov 04 - 02:53 AM

Yes she does! I think her act works better on posters than it does on pop records...


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Subject: RE: Dylan: Rock Legend, Maybe Folk Legend?
From: Big Tim
Date: 19 Nov 04 - 10:27 AM

Any of these could be top!

Blowin in the Wind,
Hard Rain,
Don't Think Twice,
Hollis Brown,
One Too Many Mornings,
North Country Blues,
Hattie Carroll,
Chimes of Freedom,
My Back Pages,
Like a Rolling Stone,
Ballad of a Thin Man,
Highway 61,
Desolation Row,
Visions of Johanna,
Stuck Inside of Mobile,
Sad Eyed Lady,
Tangled Up In Blue,
You're a Big Girl Now,
Idiot Wind,
Changing of the Guards,
Where Are You Tonight?

Lennon, Jagger: don't make me laugh. They couldn't lace Dylan's boots of Spanish leather.


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Subject: RE: Dylan: Rock Legend, Maybe Folk Legend?
From: chris nightbird childs
Date: 19 Nov 04 - 10:30 AM

Jagger wouldn't be anything without Richard, I think that's been proven by his solo albums. Lennon's the only one that ever came close to Dylan...


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Subject: RE: Dylan: Rock Legend, Maybe Folk Legend?
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Nov 04 - 11:37 AM

I disagree that Dylan was a better songwriter than Lennon/McCartney. While I agree that Dylan shook up the folk status quo by going electric with the performance of "Like a Rolling Stone" that act didn't change the face of popular music the way the Beatles did.

Besides this list being ridiculous in it's "of all time" claims (it is almost exclusively a list of songs from the 60s and 70s), so are it's claims of having chosen the greatest songs. If that is the criteria, then it should actually choose great songs. I also believe the bias in the list is apparent too--besides being skewed to the realm of middle class conformity and tastes, it also skews towards an American bias over the British.

"Like a Rolling Stone" is a great song, and one of the great songs of the era, and Dylan is a great songwriter.

But that doesn't change the fact I am of the generation he is supposed to be the voice for, and I can tell you flat out Dylan never spoke for me or to me with his music. I know many people of my generation who would say the same thing.

History will tell us for sure, but I'm guessing that the Beatles place in popular music history is well secured. Dylan's place in music history? Not really. It's much more tentative.


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Subject: RE: Dylan: Rock Legend, Maybe Folk Legend?
From: chris nightbird childs
Date: 19 Nov 04 - 12:45 PM

The "voice of a generation" label was pressed upon Dylan. He never said he was. I agree with Lennon/McCartney being better IF you're talking about Pop Music... their was/still not anyone to touch them, but if you're talking strictly songwriting, it's Bob all the way. Hell, I think Lennon was a better writer than McCartney in that aspect.


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Subject: RE: Dylan: Rock Legend, Maybe Folk Legend?
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Nov 04 - 01:06 PM

Well, to me pop songs are songs, and therefore qualify as songwriting. Just because many of us prefer the type of rock songs Bob Dylan wrote to the type of pop songs the Beatles wrote shouldn't mean that Dylan is better than Lennon/McCartney as songwriters.

I really do put Lennon/McCartney right up there with the Gershwins, Irving Berlin, Rodgers/Hammerstein, etc. I think Dylan is the rung below that as far as songwriting goes.

Let's face it, Dylan just don't do love songs as well as a songwriter needs to, in order to enter the ethers of the greats that stand the test of time.

I love a lot of Dylan's songs, but that is because they are "of my era" and nostalgia plays a huge role in that, as someone noted above. There is that rule of thumb that says we applaud our own memories of songs and how they acted as soundtracks of our lives, more than we applaud great songwriting.

For instance, as I thought of the two Queen examples I gave above, I decided that I wouldn't put "We Are the Champions" on the list. That is a soundtrack of the era sort of song. But "We Will Rock You" belongs in the "great song" category, IMO, because it is the one song I can think of that truly defines the "arena rock" genre of music.

I don't know how well I'm articulating the difference here. Also, it is difficult when there are Dylan devotees in the midst who insist (subjectively, not objectively in my view) that Dylan is the best of the best for all time, period, end of discussion.


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Subject: RE: Dylan: Rock Legend, Maybe Folk Legend?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 19 Nov 04 - 01:10 PM

Whether you like Dylan or not, and whether or not you felt included among the multitudes who hung on his every word, you cannot deny that he opened the enterprise of songwriting to a completely new level of seriousness and expanded the variety of topics and concerns that a songwriter might explore.

John and Paul may or may not have been "better" songwriters than Bob in some final evaluation, but it's undeniable that they not only acknowleged his influence, but that -- at a certain point in time, anyway -- they looked up to him and explicitly stated their desire to emulate him.

There's a quite obvious difference between the Beatle's work before and after Dylan's emergence from the US folk-music "ghetto" into the worldwide rock-pop scene and after the Beatles and Bob had had their historic meeting.


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Subject: RE: Dylan: Rock Legend, Maybe Folk Legend?
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Nov 04 - 02:15 PM

I can't agree Dylan opened up songwriting to a level of seriousness and subject matter--there was plenty of serious songwriting about political subjects for decades when Dylan came around--or doesn't political folk music count? Dylan, along with several other songwriters, got it played on the radio more than it had been before, because political songs became part of pop culture in the 60s. But he wasn't the only who did it by a long shot. I can't stand on solid ground and say he wasn't even the first songwriter to do it--maybe he was, but I don't think so. There were a lot of people recording and performing political songs at the time Dylan decided to take it up.

I just don't see Dylan as the pioneer that his devotees see him being regarding songwriting with serious subject matter. Now, if you want to say that "Like a Rolling Stone" matters because it was longer than 2 minutes and therefore changed the airplay format on radio, you might have a case. But that isn't the same thing as revolutionizing popular music the way the Beatles did. And whether you like the label or not, Bob Dylan plays popular music.

Here is my thing: in 1965 there was a lot of different sounding music in the pop charts, and Dylan was part of that, but not the Supreme Being of it. I mean come on, in the Top 409 hits for 1965, there were also these songs:

Baby the Rain Must Fall - Glenn Yarborough
California Girls - Beach Boys
A Change is Gonna Come - Sam Cooke
Do You Believe in Magic - Lovin' Spoonful
Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood - The Animals
Eve of Destruction - Barry McGuire
For Lovin' Me - Peter, Paul, and Mary
For Your Love - Yardbirds
Go Now! - Moody Blues
Going to A Go Go - Smokey Robinson & the Miracles
Satisfaction - Rolling Stones
I've Been Lovin' You too Long - Otis Redding
Hurts So Bad - Little Anthony and the Imperials
In the Midnight Hour - Wilson Picket
The In Crowd - Ramsey Lewis (an instrumental that hit #5)
Laugh, Laugh - Beau Brummels (a "Whiter Shade of Pale sort of song)

And I didn't include the multiple hits of many of the music acts that year that could be added to the above. I just give this list as a sample of what the music was that was being played on radio in 1965, when "Like a Rolling Stone" hit the Billboard charts.

Before 1965 we had the Beatles, Marvin Gaye, Roy Orbinson, Ray Charles, the Shirelles (hey, now that I think of it--how come none of theirs and the other girl group songs made the list, like "Heat Wave" or "One Fine Day" etc?), Etta James, James Brown, Beach Boys--hell, Peter Paul and Mary had hits with "Blowin' in the Wind" and "Don't Think Twice" in 1963, 2 years before Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" hit the charts. So if someone wanted to argue that Dylan's PP & M songs (rather than his performances and recordings of his songs) predates the Beatles, you would be correct about that in the US. But that is because the Beatles don't enter the US charts until January 1964. But hell, Elvis' "What'd I Say" was a 1964 hit too.

Lennon/McCartney weren't as profoundly influenced by another great songwriter of the era who WAS all over the charts pre-1964/1965 when the shit hit the fan musically, and that was Brian Wilson. "Don't Worry Baby" was just one of their hits in 1964--along with the Drifters "Under the Boardwalk" and "Baby I Need Your Lovin'" (the Temptations) and "Memphis" (Johnny Rivers) and "It's All Over Now" (Rolling Stones), and "Dancin' in the Streets" (Martha and the Vandellas), "Pretty Woman" (Roy Orbison), "You Really Got Me" (Kinks), and a bazillion Beatles songs that year, along with "She's Not There" and some other classics of the "British invasion".

So if you base your arguments on Dylan influencing the Beatles, I think that is pretty weak, considering they couldn't possibly have heard any Dylan songs prior to the PP & M songs that were on the charts in 1963. But they sure as hell heard Brian Wilson, and the Beatles harmonies in their songs certainly reflect that influence. Not Dylan. His influence on Lennon/McCartney wouldn't come until much later. By the time Dylan arrived on the charts, the seismic change in popular music had already occurred. Dylan was a beneficiary of those changes, rode the wave--he didn't set the changes in motion the way the Beatles & the British invasion did, or the way that the R & B genre moving into popular music did at the same time.


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Subject: RE: Dylan: Rock Legend, Maybe Folk Legend?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 19 Nov 04 - 02:38 PM

Good point about Brain Wilson, for sure. And about R&B's emergence into the mainstream. And I *love* just about every single item on your list of 1965 hits; the one that surprised me the most was "Hurts So Bad" -- I had forgotten that Little Anthony was still at it into the mid-60s.

I still feel that Dylan's importance remains unparalleled, but can't "prove" it, and certainly can't convince an unbeliever. Sorta like trying to argue the existence of God. ;^).

You and I agree about too much to keep arguing over one artist.


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Subject: RE: Dylan: Rock Legend, Maybe Folk Legend?
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Nov 04 - 02:44 PM

True, we do agree on just about everything...

...except that pesky detail as to whether or not Dylan is God. ;-)


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Subject: RE: Dylan: Rock Legend, Maybe Folk Legend?
From: alanabit
Date: 19 Nov 04 - 03:32 PM

I have to wade in here and say that Dylan was a revolutionary songwriter. He didn't have the melodic subtlety of Lennon and McCartney - let alone Richard Rogers or Irving Berlin et al. His early political songs were not his strongest claim to originality either (in my 'umble opinion). You are right to say that had been done before.
What really marked out his path to greatness was his mastery of the complex, psychologial profile and the stream of consciousness in song. He was the first to do that on such an ambitious scale. I just can not think of any song similar in ambition to "It's Alright Ma I'm Only Bleeding" or "Ballad of a Thin Man" before Dylan came along. Only Bob Dylan could have been the first to make such songs sound credible. I can't think of anyone else offhand who can pull it off quite so well.


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Subject: RE: Dylan: Rock Legend, Maybe Folk Legend?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 19 Nov 04 - 03:36 PM

I thought it was *Clapton* who was God...


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Subject: RE: Dylan: Rock Legend, Maybe Folk Legend?
From: alanabit
Date: 19 Nov 04 - 03:47 PM

He's not quite God, I guess, but he does play guitar annoyingly well!


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Subject: RE: Dylan: Rock Legend, Maybe Folk Legend?
From: Little Hawk
Date: 19 Nov 04 - 03:50 PM

Everyone is God. :-) So, why not Dylan?

But I digress. "Whiter Shade of Pale" is definitely one of the great seminal songs of all time.

I think Dylan considerably exceeded Lennon/McCartney or Jagger/Richards as a poetic songwriter...but...at the same time it is true that the Beatles and the Stones were both exceptional at what they did in their own unique fashion. Dylan was a great admirer of what the Beatles did with melody, chording, rythm, and vocal harmonies. As far as he was concerned, they led the way in those areas from '64 on, and it changed everything. He led the way in poetic imagery, serious lyrical content, and in bridging roots music with popular music...and the Beatles were aware of that. The Stones led the way in blues-based "angry young white boy" rock music. They were all masters of their particular craft, and they all borrowed happily from one another. It wasn't a competition, it was a mutual explosion of creativity.

Their fans can fight over it after the fact if they want to... :-)

"All Along the Watchtower" as recorded by Jimmy Hendrix (but written by Bob Dylan) was another very significant song.

As for WWII era zeitgeist, I would nominate Vera Lynn's "White Cliffs of Dover", "Lili Marleine", and Edith Piaf's marvelous signature song, "La Vie en Rose".


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