Best songs of the rock and roll era (Belgium ; 1)

Before the GPSOE’s recent expedition to Brussels, Stuart very kindly gave me, TimAndy, and himself £10 Amazon vouchers each to buy what we thought were the best songs of the rock and roll era. I shall infringe Stuart’s intellectual property and reproduce his explanation of the idea:

Here’s the plan. You need the following things.

  1. Some friends
  2. An apartment in Brussels
  3. Beer
  4. A £10 voucher for each friend and yourself to buy MP3s

Then each of you takes their £10 voucher and buys what they consider to be the best songs of the rock and roll era as mp3s, and also buys what they consider to be the worst song of the rock and roll era.

“The rock and roll era” is sort of vaguely defined to be everything since about 1956 or so. Note that the songs you choose do not have to be rock and roll!

The game then is, you show up to your Brussels holiday flat (or wherever you decide to play this, e.g., your own living room), each of you with your songs in tow, and then each of you plays through each of your songs and attempts to justify why they’re the best songs of the last fifty(ish) years.

You can read Stuart’s method of choosing his songs on his website. My method was to create a large, loose list of artists and obvious good songs. For each artist, I picked their best song, although one artist ended up with two songs. I have to say this is actually incredibly difficult. One of the hardest things is deciding whether to distinguish between the best songs according to some objective criteria or one’s favourite songs according to one’s subjective judgement. I went for a kind of fudge, leaning more to the latter.

Anyway, my songs, in alphabetical order by artist, are:

  • Abba: Gimme gimme gimme
  • Bowie, David: The man who sold the world
  • Guns and Roses: Paradise city
  • Guns and Roses: Sweet child of mine
  • Oasis: Supersonic
  • Portishead: Wandering star
  • Presley, Elvis: How the web was woven
  • Queen: Somebody to love
  • Radiohead: Bishop’s robes
  • Rolling Stones: Shine a light
  • Simon, Carly: Nobody does it better
  • Springfield, Dusty: Son of a preacher man
  • Who: Won’t get fooled again

The worst song was:

  • Queen: I’m in love with my car

Feel free to make inferior lists of your own. The other three lists were (links to be added if/when available): Stuart, Tim, Andy.

BTW, the bit in brackets in the title is an AACR2-formatted (strictly speaking, an ISBD-formatted) series entry as I intend to regale you in time with a series of further observations on Belgium based on a whole week’s rich experience.

1 thought on “Best songs of the rock and roll era (Belgium ; 1)

  1. So, I tried to remember what my songs were, and I’m pretty sure this was the list:

    Holes by Mercury Rev
    Blown A Wish by My Bloody Valentine
    The This Many Boyfriends Club by Beat Happening
    Come Get To This by Marvin Gaye
    Tryin’ To Get To You by Elvis Presley
    I Can’t Go To Sleep by Wu-Tang Clan
    Year In Song by Mary Margaret O’Hara
    Surf’s Up by Brian Wilson
    Big Black Car by Big Star
    Delicate Cutters by Throwing Muses

    And the worst song ever, may the Lord forgive me for mentioning its satanic name: Total Eclipse of the Heart

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