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Songs that Changed the world!!!!

Walking to work I have been noticing posters for “34 songs That Changed the World”. Hmmm, 34? Well, I can think of one “Happy Birthday To You”. A completely perfect celebration of the aging process that any one can and every one does sing. It singlehandedly revolutionzed the birthday process and it such a brilliant pitched song that, really, really, really, any other can sing it.

So I googled a little further and noted our old pals over at Rolling Stones came up with this list:

That’s Alright Elvis Presley
I Got A Woman Ray Charles
Maybelline Chuck Berry
A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall Bob Dylan
Louie Louie The Kingsmen
Be My Baby The Ronettes
I Wanna Hold Your Hand The Beatles
Dancing In The Streets Martha & The Vandellas
(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction The Rolling Stones
Like a Rolling Stone Bob Dylan
Strawberry Fields Forever The Beatles
Heroin The Velvet Underground
Purple Haze Jimi Hendrix
Respect Aretha Franklin
Whole Lotta Love Led Zeppelin
Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Ma… James Brown
What’s Going On Marvin Gaye
Imagine John Lennon
Ziggy Stardust David Bowie
I Shot The Sheriff Bob Marley
Help Me Joni Mitchell
Born to Run Bruce Springsteen
Bohemian Rhapsody Queen
Blitzgrieg Bop The Ramones
I Feel Love Don
na Summer

Anarchy In The Uk The Sex Pistols
Rapper’s Delight Sugar Hill Gang
TV Party Black Flag
Billie Jean Michael Jackson
When Doves Cry Prince
Pride (In The Name Of Love) U2
Like A Virgin Madonna
Walk This Way Run DMC & Aerosmith
just like heaven the cure
Sweet Child O’ Mine Guns N’ Roses
Bring The Noise Public Enemy
Smells Like Teen Spirit Nirvana
Nothing But A G Thang Dr Dre
baby one more time Britney Spears
Fell in Love With a Girl White Stripes

Obviously the rock and Well, I would certainly give them the first three: Presley inventing sex, Charles inventing R&B and Berry inventing rock and roll but by the time you reach Dre, Spears and the White Stripes you might well be excused for thinking thet’ve lost their mind…

Fortunately, there is another website called and they took “Q” Magazine’s list and annotated it for us.

1. That’s All Right – Elvis Presley
Rock ‘n’ roll history begins here. “If I could find a white man who had the Negro sound and the
Negro feel, I could make a billion dollars.” History tells us this was a constant refrain from the
mouth of Sun Records boss Sam Phillips, and in 1954 his dream came true. Whether he made a
billion dollars is left up to the accountants to determine, but one thing is sure. The singer he found, one Elvis Aaron Presley, changed the face of music forever.

2. I Want To Hold Your Hand – The Beatles
The song that broke America. It is one of history’s more notable minor quirks that President
Kennedy was assassinated on 22 November 1963, one week before the UK release of The
Beatles’ fifth single. The two events might seem unconnected, yet the role of I Wanna Hold Your
Hand in the USA’s recovery from this bleak event is unquestionable.

3. God Save The Queen – The Sex Pistols
Punk call-to-arms that raised the spectre of civil war. God Save The Queen created a moment quite unlike anything that has happened before or since in the annals of rock.

4. Rapper’s Delight – Sugarhill Gang
The record that gave rap to the world – Released in 1979 this was the record that took the new form of music around the world.

5. Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana
The Daddy of grunge. Dave Grohl (of Nirvana, and now The Foo Fighters) said, “A lot of Teen
Spirit was derivitive of the Pixies or Sonic Youth. It was just another jam. I didn’t think much of it to be honest.”

6. Strange Fruit – Billie Holiday
The song that helped revolutionise America. One of the most moving and eloquent songs of all
time, this song was the start of the Civil Rights movement. Covered numerous times, Billie’s
version remains the definitive, world-changing version.

7. Like A Rolling Stone – Bob Dylan
The sonic start of the counter-revolution. “Like A Rolling Stone changed it all,” Dylan said in 1965.”I was something I myself could dig.”

8. Walk This Way – Run DMC
The original rap/rock crossover video. Paving the way for the likes of Limp Bizkit, at the time
Aerosmith didn’t think it was going to be such a big deal. Aerosmith’s Joe Perry said,
:To think that we’d be talking about it 15 years later as ground-breaking – we didn’t think of it like that at all.”

9. Blue Monday – New Order
The seven minutes that kick-started UK dance music. While Britain was living under a pale shadow of punk rock this “bold statement,” as The Charlatans Tim Burgess called it, came out of seemingly nowhere. “It was daring – it incorporated elements of disco, which no-one liked at the time,” Burgess concludes. However, the single went on the be the biggest selling 12″ single of all time.

10. Do They Know It’s Christmas? – Band Aid
Reinvented the charity single and fed the world. Not everyone’s favourite song, it led Morrissey to say, “One can have concern for the people of Ethiopia, but it’s another thing to inflict torture on the people of England.”

11. Good Vibrations – The Beach Boys
12. Rock Around The Clock – Bill Haley & His Comets
13. Helter Skelter – The Beatles
14. The Message – Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five
15. You Really Got Me – The Kinks
16. Autobahn – Kraftwerk
17. Stayin’ Alive – The Bee Gees
18. Telstar – The Tornados
19. Starman – David Bowie
20. Think – Aretha Franklin
21. Give Peace A Chance – Plastic Ono Band
22. Planet Rock – Afrika Bambaataa and the Soul Sonic Force
23. Wannabe – Spice Girls
24. Relax – Frankie Goes To Hollywood
25. Fuck Tha Police – NWA
26. Tomorrow Never Knows – The Beatles
27. Rock Island Line – Lonnie Donegan
28. My Generation – The Who
29. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction
30. Like A Virgin – Madonna
31. Imagine – John Lennon
32. Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen
33. He’s A Rebel – The Crystals
34. (Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay – Otis Redding
35. Money (That’s What I Want) – Barrett Strong
36. I Feel Love – Donna Summer
37. My Name Is – Eminem
38. Smoke On The Water – Deep Purple
39. What’s Going On – Marvin Gaye
40. Me So Horny – 2 Live Crew
41. Maybellene – Chuck Berry
42. No Woman No Cry – Bob Marley & The Wailers
43. That’ll Be The Day – The Crickets
44. Going Underground – The Jam
45. Kick Out The Jams – The MC5
46. I Can’t Be Satisfied – Muddy Waters
47. Stairway To Heaven – Led Zeppelin
48. Strings Of Life – Rhythim Is Rhythim
49. Pump Up The Volume – M/A/R/R/S
50. Candle In The Wind – Elton John
51. Mr Tambourine Man – The Byrds
52. Rebel Without A Pause – Public Enemy
53. Heart Of Glass – Blondie
54. Cloud Nine – The Temptations
55. White Rabbit – Jefferson Airplane
56. Loaded – Primal Scream
57. Lover – Les Paul
58. Purple Haze – The Jimi Hendrix Experience
59. Thriller – Michael Jackson
60. Cop Killer – Body Count
61. Sympathy For The Devil – The Rolling Stones
62. Heroin – The Velvet Underground
63. I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor
64. Rocket 88 – Jackie Brenston & His Delta Cats
65. Say It Loud: I’m Black And I’m Proud – James Brown
66. Sweet Child O’Mine – Guns N’ Roses
67. Back To Life (However Do You Want Me) – Soul II Soul
68. Sign ‘O’ The T
imes – Prince
69. Girl You Know It’s True – Milli Vanilli
70. Nelson Mandela – The Special AKA
71. Interstellar Overdrive – Pink Floyd
72. What’d I Say – Ray Charles & His Orchestra
73. This Land Is Your Land – Woody Guthrie
74. Are “Friends” Electric? – Tubeway Army
75. Je T’Aime… Moi On Plus – Serge Gainsbourg & Jane Birkin
76. This Charming Man – The Smiths
77. Comme D’Habitude – Claude Francois
78. Live Forever – Oasis
79. Merry Xmas Everybody – Slade
80. Do You Really Want To Hurt Me – Culture Club
81. Enter Sandman – Metallica
82. The End – The Doors
83. Apache – The Incredible Bongo Band
84. O Superman – Laurie Anderson
85. Music Sounds Better With You – Stardust
86. Waterloo – Abba
87. People Funny Boy – Lee “Scratch” Perry
88. Blind – Korn
89. Fools Gold – The Stone Roses
90. Last Train To Clarksville – The Monkees
91. Firestarter – The Prodigy
92. Rock Your Baby – George McCrae
93. The Blitzkrieg Bop – The Ramones
94. Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath
95. Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Ole Oak Tree – Dawn
96. There She Goes – The La’s
97. Rumble – Link Wray & His Ray Men
98. MacArthur Park – Richard Harris
99. Creep – Radiohead
100. Tutti Frutti – Little Richard

Men of good faith can disagree so all I know for sure is that the “Q” list short shrifts the initial innovators. Also, and this endemic, it ignores country music. Richard Harris: Yes. Hank Williams (who all but invented half of rock and roll): No.

Anyway, Entertainment Weekly decided to specialize and gave us Ten Beatles songs:

I WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND (1963) Weeks after JFK’s death, young America found healing by handing four Brits their first U.S. No. 1, extending palms across the Atlantic. Hearts, minds, and hysteria-stricken tear ducts would follow.

TIE: TWIST AND SHOUT (1963) and OH! DARLING (1969) The Lennon and McCartney vocals that influenced generations to shred their vocals too.

HELP! (1965) An unexpectedly mature cry of desperation from heretofore carefree moptop Lennon. Screaming fans discovered the angst beneath the bangs.

YESTERDAY (1965) Most covered song ever. McCartney’s groundbreaking use of string quartet prompted Mom and Dad to concede: Hey, this hippie crap isn’t so unlistenable!

NORWEGIAN WOOD (This Bird Has Flown) (1965) As much as anything Bob Dylan ever wrote, Lennon’s coolly observed brief encounter with a fleeting ”bird” helped usher in the singer-songwriter revolution. Plus, first use of sitar, which precipitated Harrison’s Indian explorations, leading directly to your great-aunt getting a mantra.

STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER (1967) As the single immediately preceding Sgt. Pepper, this was psychedelia’s primary shot across the mainstream bow.

A DAY IN THE LIFE (1967) They blew our minds out in a carpet-bombing five minutes, replete with traffic fatalities, inappropriate laughter, drugs, coffee, an incongruous middle-eight, and an orchestral crescendo as terrifying climax.

HEY JUDE (1968) The debut Apple release set the stage for untold vanity labels to come. More important, the whole world glued its ears to transistor radios to absorb all seven-plus slow-build minutes, a length still unmatched among No. 1’s.

REVOLUTION (1968) The real revolution: putting that much distortion on a record, deliberately. Arguably the greatest B side ever.

HELTER SKELTER (1968) Atoning for ”Ebony and Ivory” a decade and a half early, Paul invented metal.

I also found a pretty good list from blogger Simon Sweetman’s excellent here is the link

Me? I’ll stick with “Happy Birthday” and “You Are My Sunshine”….

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