Thursday, June 07, 2007

100 Great Songs, by B. Clay Moore

#100: Memphis by Chuck Berry

Why is it great? Because it's one of the first great rock and roll songs to step outside the love/lust/dance/fuck arena and attempt to communicate a story. And it's a heartbreaking story, too, all about a father trying to reconnect with his little girl after splitting with her mother. Set to a rollicking, chugging Berry beat, of course.

#99: Good Vibrations by the Beach Boys

Why is it great? Because it may be the best single of a golden era for pop singles. It's fitting that Good Vibrations wasn't an album cut, because the song contains enough brilliance for an entire album side. I think Brian Wilson hit the peak of his songwriting and production skills with this song, using the group's always impressive harmonies to their greatest effect, and using the mellotron, an instrument often used just because it was there, to create an underlying rise and fall in tension that just underscores the dramatic starts and stops of the song. Fucking amazing.

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