Special Sub-Topic: Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs (401-425)
|In August of 1984, The Smiths released a song on the "Hatful of Hollow" album. The song tells the story of a young man living in a "humdrum" town and a "fat girl" that he'll probably propose to. What is the young man's name that is in the title of this song?|
William. The song "William, It Was Really Nothing" was released as a single, but it never charted on Billboard's singles chart. The song has been rumored to be loosely based on Billy Mackenzie from the band The Associates, with whom Morrissey may have been romantically involved in the early 1980s. This song is number 425 on our list.
|The Rolling Stones song "Tumbling Dice" was actually to have another title. Can you name the original title to this song?|
Good Time Women. The Rolling Stones recorded the album "Exile on Main Street" in the south of France during 1972. The band had left England in protest of the stiff income tax laws that were costing the band a mint. The band had started visiting some of the casinos in and around Monte Carlo and wanted to incorporate some of the gambling lingo they had heard in a song, thus the name change.
|The song that comes in at number 423 is Elvis Presley's version of "Blue Suede Shoes". Which artist wrote the song? |
Carl Perkins. Although all the artists listed recorded the song, it was Carl Perkins who wrote the song. The song was hugely popular and influential, it was, in fact, the first song to top Billboard's pop, country and R&B charts. Most people consider Elvis' version to be the most successful, yet his version only reached number 20 on the Billboard Pop charts.
|Legend has it that the song "Lola", by The Kinks, was actually based on a real life dating encounter by Ray Davies and a real life transvestite. Name this gender bending person who influenced this song? |
Candy Darling. The song originally appeared on the album "Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneyground, Part One", a very original name for an album. The song cracked the top ten, reaching number nine on the Billboard Pop charts in 1970.
|The song "Piano Man" by Billy Joel really defines Joel's ability as a story teller. The song tells the story of a piano bar singer who makes acquaintances with the bar patrons. Which person isn't in the bar on this particular night?|
Michael. "John" is a friend of the singer, "Paul" is a real estate novelist and "Davy" is "still in the Navy, and probably will be for life".
The song is loosely based on Joel's real life experiences playing in a piano bar for six months in Los Angeles. There have been theories that the three character names in the song had musical references. "John" and "Paul" from The Beatles and "Davy" from The Monkees.
|Which group was responsible for the song "It's Your Thing", the song at number 420 on our list?|
The Isley Brothers. The Isley Brothers were Ronald, O'Kelly and Rudolph. This song was the announcement to the world that the group had left Motown and were forging ahead with their own label, T-Neck Records. The backing band on this song was the touring band for Wilson Pickett. This song also features the first time that younger brother, Ernie, recorded on an album. His opportunity came when the scheduled bassist failed to show for the session.
|The song "Nuthin' But a G Thang" by Dr. Dre is in at number 419. The basis for the song is a sampled bass line from the 1975 song "I Want'a Do Something Freaky to You". Who recorded that song? |
Leon Haywood. Leon Haywood, born in Houston, TX in 1941, charted with the song "I Want'a Do Something Freaky to You" in 1975. The song reached number 15 on the Billboard Pop Singles chart. One of the main appeals to the public was the female vocal tracks that really captured the mood of someone having "something freaky" done to them.
|Stephen Stills wrote the song "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes" for his one-time girlfriend. He even played most of the instruments on the song in tribute to her. Which "Judy" did he write the song about?|
Judy Collins. Judy Collins was a child prodigy. Her piano playing and song writing was evident from a very early age. She released her first album at 22 years old. It was titled "A Maid of Constant Sorrow".
Stephen Stills' song features a very complex arrangement of vocal harmonies that is best experienced live. The song certainly had an impact on Grammy voters as the band won the award in 1969 for Best New Artist.
|Due to the graphic title of the song at number 417, let's concentrate on the band who recorded it, and not the song itself. The band was comprised of a group of rappers from Los Angeles. Members included Dr. Dre, Easy-E and Ice Cube. Name this band that was formed in 1986.|
N.W.A.. N.W.A. was founded by group member Easy-E with money he had made selling drugs. The group's first release was titled "N.W.A. and The Posse" and it was largely ignored. Upon the release of "Straight Outta Compton", the group was being heralded as the carriers of the torch in the rap genre. The album was one of the first to find commercial appeal amongst the general public. The album was responsible for the category of gangsta rap and may have started the whole east coast/west coast rivalry.
|The song "The Boys of Summer" was the breakthrough hit that Don Henley needed to propel himself from The Eagles into solo superstardom. Most people tend to think that Henley solely wrote the song, however, a member of another band was partially responsible for the music and lyrics for this song. Which group's guitarist received primary credit for the lyrics to this song?|
The Heartbreakers. Mike Campbell, lead guitarist of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, was instrumental in establishing Don Henley as a solo force with his collaboration on this song. The song was rather identifiable with the yuppie generation of the era with the line "I saw a Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac". The song peaked at number five on the Billboard Pop Singles Chart and won Henley a Grammy for Best Male Rock Vocalist.
|One of many songs written by the Eddie Holland/Lamont Dozier/Brian Holland team is in at number 415 on the list. The song "I Can't Help Myself" was released in June of 1965 on Motown and quickly rose to number one on both the Black and Pop charts. Which group sang this Holland/Dozier/Holland classic?|
The Four Tops. This song allowed Holland/Dozier/Holland to replace one of their number one songs with another. The song "Back in My Arms Again" was residing at the top of the charts, the fifth consecutive Supremes song to reach that pinnacle, when "I Can't Help Myself" replaced it in 1965. There will be many Holland/Dozier/Holland compositions to follow in this quiz series. By the way, the title of the song is not "Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch" as many people think.
|The Coasters released this risque song in May of 1957 on Atco Records. The song was on the flip-side of the single "Searchin'". The song was banned on a few radio stations because of the interpretation of radio executives that the song contained lyrics about an older man's fixation on an underage young lady. Which song is in on our list at number 414? |
Young Blood. The song didn't attract much ire from the censors, but it did create quite a stir upon its release. Some of the lyrics ("yellow ribbon in her hair", "I tried to walk, but I was lame", "I met her dad"...) were interpreted to indicate a young girl being courted by an older, more promiscuous, fellow. In the Bible Belt areas of the United States, these subjects were tabboo, therefore the controversy.
The Coasters were one of the first acts to incorporate blatant comedy into their music, a trend that would attract more attention into the 1960s.
|The song at number 413 is the title track of a 1956 movie starring Jayne Mansfield in the role of Jerri Jordan, an aspiring, yet less than talented, singer. Can you name this Little Richard song that shares its title with this movie?|
The Girl Can't Help It. This movie is about a gangster type character who coerces a press agent into finding stardom for his busty girlfriend, played by none other than Jayne Mansfield. The movie was basically a vehicle to promote many of the popular artists of the era. Many artists had roles in the movie including Fats Domino, Little Richard, The Platters, Eddie Cochran and Gene Vincent.
|The song "Ode to Billie Joe" was a tremendous cross-over hit for country singer Bobbie Gentry. The song is based on a family's dinnertime discussion of the suicide of Billie Joe. What is the last name of Billie Joe, the unfortunate young man who jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge?|
McAllister. The line "the day Billie Joe McCallister jumped off the Tallahatchee Bridge" pretty much sums up the plot of this song. One of the mysteries surrounding the song is exactly what did the preacher witness the girl and Billie Joe throw off the bridge? Many people feel it may have been their lovechild that they threw off the bridge, an act that drove Billie Joe to depression which resulted in his own suicide.
The real Tallahatchee Bridge is located in Greenwood, Mississippi. The bridge spans 20 feet over shallow water. On a side note, Max Baer Jr., famous as Jethro Bodine on "The Beverly Hillbillies", directed the film "Ode to Billie Joe" and he stated publicly that his interpretation was that Billie Joe was a homosexual and he was trying to protect his reputation. The world will never know as Bobbie Gentry never revealed her inspiration for the song.
|The singer of the disco song at number 411 on our chart was born LaDonna Andre Gaines in Boston, MA in 1948. What is the name that LaDonna changed her name to when she decided to become a singer?|
Donna Summer. The song was "I Feel Love" and it was released by Donna Summer in May of 1977. Donna was a member of the Viennese Folk Opera which landed her in Munich, Germany in 1968. That's where she met her husband Helmut Sommer. After marrying Helmut, she gave his last name an Americanized twist, shortened her given first name and became Donna Summer.
|In 1989, the Pixies released a song about a certain type animal that went to Heaven. What type animal was it?|
Monkey. The Pixies released "Monkey Gone to Heaven" on their "Doolittle" release in March of 1989 on the Elektra Record label. The band appeared on "Saturday Night Live" and performed this song. The Pixies were one of the first bands labeled as college rock that found popular appeal and radio airplay. One of their other popular songs is "Velouria" from the "Bossanova" CD.
|When many people think of the band Cream and their music, the song "Crossroads" immediately comes to mind. The song is one of the most popular blues-influenced songs of all time. Which blues artist gets the songwriting credit for this title? |
Robert Johnson. By now, most everyone has heard the legend of Robert Johnson selling his soul to the devil down at Dockery's Plantation in Mississippi in exchange for the gift of creating the best blues music in existence. Upon the agreement, the devil took Johnson's guitar, tuned it for him, and Johnson went on to create the most remarkable music ever known.
Countless artists have recorded versions of Johnson's music. The list of artists are as diverse and varied as music itself, including The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton and Cream, Led Zeppelin, Steve Miller, Taj Mahal, The Hindu Love Gods and Jimi Hendrix. The myth of Robert Johnson has been adapted to music, film and poetry over the years.
|The song at number 408 is the first song by Aerosmith to reach the Billboard Top 40 on the Pop Singles chart. Can you name it?|
Sweet Emotion. This was a bit of a trick question. Many people may think that "Dream On" would be the first Top 40 single since it appeared on the band's debut album, but it actually didn't reach the Top 40 until a year after "Sweet Emotion" reached number 36 on the chart. The reason is that the song "Dream On" was re-released after the success of the band's second and third albums. When "Dream On" was originally released as a single, it only reached number 59 on the Pop Singles chart. "Sweet Emotion" appeared on the band's third album titled "Toys in the Attic".
|Which Nirvana song contained a lyric about a man who "loves to shoot his guns"?|
In Bloom. The song "In Bloom" was basically an insult to all the people from Cobain's home town of Aberdeen, WA who were a bit redneckish, yet found favor in Nirvana's music. The line about the people who likes all of the band's songs, likes to sing along and likes to shoot guns, but not knowing what the songs mean is specifically targeted to the exact breed of people that Cobain was trying to escape from when he first got into punk and alternative music. It's ironic how true the lyrics are.
|R. Kelly is in at number 406 on our list with "I Believe I Can Fly". Which movie's soundtrack was this song a part of?|
Space Jam. "Space Jam" featured many popular basketball players as themselves including Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Patrick Ewing, Charles Barkely, Muggsy Bogues, Larry Johnson, Shawn Bradley, Vlade Divac, Cedric Ceballos, Danny Ainge, Alonzo Mourning, A.C. Green, Charles Oakley and Derek Harper, just to name a few. I would wager that this is the largest assortment of NBA superstars ever to grace one animated, real time, science fiction, fantasy movie ever.
|The Carpenter's song "We've Only Just Begun" started out as an advertising jingle. What type of company was the song going to advertise?|
Bank. Song writers Roger Nichols and Paul Williams were recruited to write an advertising jingle for Crocker Bank of California when they decided to expand the jingle into a full song. Richard Carpenter happened to catch the advertisement on television one day and was hooked on the theme of the song. He contacted the bank to find out who had written the song and was surprised to find out that he actually knew the composers personally, The Carpenter's had worked with the duo on the song "I Kept on Loving You". Richard insisted that he and his sister, Karen, be allowed to record the song, and they took it straight to number two on the Billboard Pop chart.
|Who did Bobby Dylan have "visions of"?|
Johanna. "Visions of Johanna" was released on Bob Dylan's "Blonde on Blonde" CD in May of 1966. The song paints a nice portrait of downtown Manhattan as Dylan tries to reach the ever allusive Johanna through the city. The song is a nice ballad and very easy to listen to for a Dylan number.
|Eddie Cochran is in on the list at number 403 with his Top 40 hit "C'mon Everybody". Eddie was known as a rockabilly artist, yet he was born in a very unlikely rockabilly state. Which state was he born in?|
Minnesota. He was born in Albert Lea, Minnesota on Octover 3, 1938. He died way too early near London as a result of a car accident in 1960. Due to his short life, Cochran never achieved the commercial acclaim as many of his contemporaries, but his body of recorded work was enough to get him in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
|The oddly spelled "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)" was a smash hit in the early 1970s for which funk pioneers?|
Sly and the Family Stone. This song started off when bass player Larry Graham was experimenting with his thumb popping style of playing the bass. The song reached number one on the Billboard Pop chart in 1970. Janet Jackson's "Rhythm Nation" was inspired by the song.
|Which song by The Shirelles was their first Top 40 song on the Billboard Pop Singles chart?|
Tonight's the Night. "Tonight's the Night" reached number 39 in 1960 for The Shirelles. Their first number one song was "Will You Love Me Tomorrow". It reached number one in 1961. The Shirelles were formed in Passaic, NJ in 1958.
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