Special Sub-Topic: Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs (76-100)
|Breaking into the top 100 songs of all time, as ranked by "Rolling Stone" magazine, is the classic "You Can't Always Get What You Want" by the band with the same name as the magazine ranking them. This song has a nice drum beat, but it was not provided by Charlie Watts. Who was it who tackled the difficult drumming heard on the studio album?|
Session producer Jimmy Miller. This rhythm simply proved too difficult for Charlie Watts, so producer Jimmy Miller stepped up and nailed the groove for the band.
This song is quite possibly at the top of many people's list of favorite Rolling Stones songs. It has appeared in movies, television programs and commercials. The song has also been covered by many artists, ranging from jazz to punk and nearly every genre in between. I really enjoyed the version from the jam band Rusted Root released in 1998. That version has a real nice flow, particularly when they perform it live.
|Creedence Clearwater Revival cracks the top 100 with their great song "Fortunate Son". Which album from CCR featured this song?|
Willy and the Poor Boys. This is absolutely one of the best Vietnam War protest songs ever written. The song is an intentional slap in the face to the privileged elite who would not have to serve in the armed forces based on their families wealth and power. The song was said to have been written when Julie Nixon (daughter of President Richard Nixon) and David Eisenhower (grandson of President Dwight Eisenhower) were to be married. This song crosses over to more recent generations where the children of the privileged have skirted their military obligations.
|Al Green's "Love and Happiness" makes the list at number 98. It's well known that Mr. Green became Reverend Green in 1976, but what event led him to change his lifestyle and join the clergy?|
His married girlfriend poured hot grits on him while he was showering.. The popular story is that Al Green was quite successful with the ladies, regardless of their marital status. One of his girlfriends was a married lady who wanted to divorce her husband and marry Green. When Green dismissed her, she waited until he was in the shower and then she doused him with a pot of boiling grits. After severely burning Green, she committed suicide with a gun owned by Green. After this devastating event, Green decided he should turn his ways around. So he became an ordained minister, attending to the flock at the Full Gospel Tabernacle Church in Memphis, Tennessee.
|According to Chuck Berry, Beethoven should roll over and tell someone the news. Who is the correct recipient of the information from the lips of Beethoven?|
Tchaikovsky. Chuck Berry's "Roll Over Beethoven" was one of The Beatles favorite songs. They recorded the song on their "With the Beatles" album and performed the song regularly in concert.
The song, as claimed by Berry, was written in protest to his sister monopolizing the family piano playing classical music which prevented him from using it. This song was Berry's call for R&B and rock music to overtake classical music in popularity. The song was released in 1956, making it one of the earliest recorded songs to reference rock and roll music.
|The song "Great Balls of Fire" is one of the most popular rock and roll songs recorded in the 1950s. In which US city was the song recorded?|
Memphis, TN. This is important because "Great Ball of Fire" is one of the greatest rock and roll songs of the era, so it's only fitting it would be recorded at the studio that many consider to the birthplace of rock and roll. The Sun Studio opened in Memphis, TN in January of 1950 and the song "Rocket 88" was recorded there in 1951. "Rocket 88" is certainly one of the earliest known rock and roll recordings ever made.
Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison and Johnny Cash were all regular musicians who used Sun Studios.
|The song "Blue Suede Shoes" was Carl Perkin's signature tune. Elvis Presley also had a hit with the song. The reason is because Perkins was unable to promote the song after its recording due to a car crash which prevented Perkins from playing the song live or on television. In fact, it was on the way to the first television taping when Perkins had his accident. Whose program was he driving to when the crash occurred?|
Perry Como. This song is of particular importance because it was the very first to appear on the pop, R&B and the country charts in the chart. On March 17, 1956 the song was present on all three charts.
When Perkins was recuperating from his accident, Elvis Presley was out promoting his cover of the song which resulted in many people thinking the song was a Presley original. Presley would eventually admit that his version could not hold a candle to the original and he praised Perkins for his work.
|The song ranked at number 94 on this list is the 1958 release from Little Richard which was covered on the Meat Puppets album "Out My Way" in 1986. Can you name it?|
Good Golly , Miss Molly. I suppose it was a good thing you knew that only "Good Golly, Miss Molly" was made famous by Little Richard. "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" was made famous by Jerry Lee Lewis; "That'll Be the Day" was a song by Buddy Holly; and "Blueberry Hill" was the classic tune best associated with Fats Domino.
"Good Golly, Miss Molly" was written by Robert "Bumps" Blackwell and John Marascalco, but a music writing credit should be given to Ike Turner. It was, after all, his piano riff from the song "Rocket 88" which Little Richard borrowed when this song was recorded.
|U2 released a music video to go promote their hit "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For". Which US city featured prominently in the song's video?|
Las Vegas. The video was shot in the old downtown district of Las Vegas on the popular Fremont Street. If you visit this street, make sure to check out the light show given nightly on the overhead screens that cover the street. If you like, you can pop into the Golden Nugget or Binion's Horseshoe Casino for a bit of poker or a pull on the slot machine.
This song was the second consecutive number one hit on Billboard's Hot 100 singles chart in the US for U2. It only managed a number six ranking in the UK. The song can be found on "The Joshua Tree", released in 1987.
|This simply may be the song that started an entire genre of music known as punk rock. Which song was the first song on the first side from the debut album by The Ramones?|
Blitzkrieg Bop. Many people can't stand The Ramones, but when you can count Lemmy Kilmister (Motorhead), Eddy Vedder (Pearl Jam), Chris Cornell (Soundgarden) and Tim Armstrong (Rancid) as your biggest fans, then there must be something to the group. In fact, if a poll was taken of the greatest punk rock groups of the last 25 years, you would invariably see The Ramones on nearly every list.
The Ramones last played a live show in Hollywood, CA on August, 6, 1996. A great video was made of that event which is available for purchase.
|The song "Suspicious Minds" by Elvis Presley has been considered his "comeback" song that helped mend his ailing career back in 1969. This song opened the door to a whole new generation of fans for Elvis. As most great songs, this one has been covered by dozens of artists. Who did a version which appeared on the soundtrack to the movie "Honeymoon in Vegas"? |
Dwight Yoakam. The movie "Honeymoon in Vegas" featured Yoakam's version of "Suspicious Minds", but no cover version could compare to Elvis' convincing performance. The song was featured in Elvis' live shows from the very first time he played it at the Las Vegas Hilton in 1969 until the end of his touring career. This would also be the last number one hit which Elvis would live to see.
|Which singing group released the song "In the Still of the Night" way back in September of 1956?|
The Five Satins. This is one of the best known examples of doo-wop singing which was popular in the 1950s and 1960s. The Five Satins were a New Haven, Connecticut singing group led by Fred Parris. Parris had formed a group named The Scarlets while still in high school, but he disbanded that group in favor of starting The Five Satins. When the song "In the Still of the Nite" was climbing the US pop and R&B charts, Parris was in Japan fulfilling his duty to the US Army.
|The song "California Dreamin'" was made famous by The Mamas and the Papas, but they did not first record the tune. Which singer, famous for his hit song "Eve of Destruction", first recorded this song?|
Barry McGuire. Barry McGuire was one of the vocalists in The New Christy Minstrels. His version of the song was released prior to The Mamas and the Papas rendition.
The song was written by John Phillips while he and his wife Michelle lived in New York City. The song was written during a cold winter and John watched Michelle battle some pretty severe homesickness for southern California. He wrote this song in remembrance of the good times, and good weather, that they had left behind.
This song has appeared in many movies including "Forrest Gump" and "The Big Tease".
|The song at number 88 on this list is the first song by The Temptations to feature David Ruffin on lead vocals. Can you name it?|
My Girl. Smokey Robinson wrote this song which he planned on recording with The Miracles, but once The Temptations heard it, they begged Smokey to let them record it. The results were spectacular. David Ruffin's voice is perfect for this song. The song remains one of the sweetest love songs ever recorded.
|Everyone knows the song "Ring of Fire" as made popular by Johnny Cash, but who wrote it?|
June Carter. June Carter wrote this when she realized she was falling in love with Johnny Cash at a time when Cash was suffering with drug and alcohol addiction. She knew that despite his troubles, she could not shake her feelings for him. Four years after the song was written, June and Johnny were married, an occurrence that most likely saved his life. This song has been covered by hundreds and hundreds of varied artists including: Social Distortion, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Elvis Costello, Olivia Newton-John, Blondie, Frank Zappa, The String Cheese Incident and Bob Dylan (just to name a few). The biopic "Walk the Line" included this song, as recorded by Joaquin Phoenix, who starred in the movie as Johnny Cash. His performance is quite remarkable, his imitations of Cash were dead on.
|In the lyrics to "Thunder Road", Bruce Springsteen makes a reference to another singer. Who is it?|
Roy Orbison. The lyrics to this song are some of the best penned by Mr. Springsteen in my opinion. It's as if you can "see" the lyrics as they are being sung. Bruce recorded this track to open up the album "Born to Run" which was released in 1975. It's only fitting that Springsteen would reference Orbison in one of his signature songs. Springsteen claims that the song "Only the Lonely" (which is also referenced in the lyrics to "Thunder Road") was a huge inspiration to Springsteen as a lyricist.
|Sometimes a song is so attached to a performer that it's hard to imagine that someone else may have written the song. This is often the case with the Patsy Cline hit "Crazy". Although she performed the song beautifully, she did not write it. Who did?|
Willie Nelson. Willie Nelson has written many songs for other artists over the years, but he considers this to be his favorite song that was recorded by another artist. Patsy Cline was a star in country music when the song "Crazy" was pitched to her, and she did not like it. After some encouragement from her husband and management team, she decided to record the song. The song was released in October 1961. Cline died in a plane crash in March 1963 at the age of 30.
|Which of these lyrics are not found in the hit single "Every Breath You Take" by The Police?|
Every kiss we make, I'll be watching you. "Every Breath You Take" was a huge hit for The Police when it was released on the "Synchronicity" album in 1983. The song is not one of endearment to another person, but one of obsession and possession. Sting was actually going through a divorce when he wrote this song, so he was not feeling very romantic when the words were written. This album would be the fifth and final album from the band when they parted ways after the album's release.
|"Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)" is a song by The Beatles that was released on their "Rubber Soul" album of 1965. The main theme of the song is one of cheating on one's mate. Which of the Fab Four wrote the lyrics about an affair he was having while married?|
John Lennon. John was married to Cynthia Lennon when he decided he wanted to write a somewhat truthful song about one of his trysts. This song would mark the first time the sitar was used in a rock song. George Harrison had little experience playing the sitar, so this was sort of an experiment. It must have worked out as Harrison used the sitar on several other songs.
Although John Lennon wrote the song, it was, as always, credited to the songwriting team of Lennon and McCartney.
|The Van Halen version of the song "You Really Got Me" charted higher than the original version by The Kinks on the US Pop Singles chart.|
f. The Kinks version placed in the top ten (number seven), while the Van Halen version could only muster a number 36 ranking. The Kinks did even better on the UK charts as the song reached the number one ranking. Many critics will claim that the guitar riff that opens this song may be the springboard from which heavy metal music was launched. It was indeed a pretty heavy sound for the era. Ray Davies accomplished the raw sound on the track by literally taking a razor blade to his amplifier speakers.
|The song "Blueberry Hill" is at number 81 on the list. Which popular US television program had a main character who would begin singing the song when he would spot a pretty girl?|
Happy Days. Richie Cunningham (played by Ron Howard) would sing the beginning line to this song when he would get excited about dating or meeting a new girl. It was a staple of the program that became a running part of his character. Fats Domino released the song in 1956 to commercial and critical success. However, Fats did not write the song. The song had been recorded in the early 1940s by artists such as Gene Autry, Gene Krupa and Glen Miller. This song is truly deserving of all the acclaim it has received as it is one of the pioneering tunes of early rock and roll.
|Marvin Gaye had a monster hit with the song "I Heard it Through the Grapevine" in 1968. As typically done at Motown, this song had previously been a hit for another group before Gaye recorded his version. Who had a hit with the song earlier in the same year?|
Gladys Knight and the Pips. This song was on the charts at the beginning of 1968 (Gladys Knight's version) and at the close of 1968 (Marvin Gaye's version). Gladys was very perturbed that her song would have been recorded by another artist after she had already had a hit with it, but it's a good thing for Motown that they did. The song became the most successful song to date when it was released. Marvin didn't want to do the song, but was talked into it by Norman Whitfield, session producer for the recording. The song was also recorded by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles prior to Gaye's rendition.
|"Mr. Tambourine Man" was the first hit single for The Byrds. Who wrote the original?|
Bob Dylan. Bob Dylan wrote the song and recorded it while recording his "Another Side of Bob Dylan" album. The Byrds were not part of The British Invasion, as many people think, but they did a fine job of integrating that British sound with American folk music. Their influence has been felt on acts
|James Brown's tune "I Got You (I Feel Good)" is next on the list. The song features a blistering sax solo performed by Maceo Parker. Parker is well known as a long time member of Brown's band, but he also played with several other artists and had a great solo career. What was the name of Maceo's backing band that he formed when he parted ways with James Brown?|
All the Kings Men. Maceo Parker & All the Kings Men were put together after Maceo and James Brown parted ways. Of course, Maceo would enter and exit Brown's band several times over the years. Maceo also would lend his chops to Parliament and Bootsy Collins' band.
|Elvis Presley's hit song "Mystery Train" is one of his classics, recorded at famed Sun Studios in December of 1955. However, this was not the original recording of the song at Sun Studios. Who recorded the original version of the song in 1953?|
Little Junior's Blue Flames. Elvis Presley released his version of "Mystery Train" as the flip-side to "I Forgot to Remember to Forget". Both songs fared better in the country markets than in the pop music markets. As with all great and timeless songs, this one has been covered by a plethora of artists ranging from pop (Ricky Nelson and Paul Simon), country (Dwight Yoakam and Emmylou Harris), rock (Alvin Lee and Neil Young) to the more difficult to classify (The Stray Cats and The Neville Brothers). These are just a few of the acts to cover this classic staple of pioneering rock and roll music.
|"Strawberry Fields Forever" was originally going to make the "Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band" album, but it was pulled at the last minute. Instead, the song was released as a single with another great Beatles song. Which Paul McCartney written song appeared as the Double-A side to "Strawberry Fields Forever" on both the US and UK release?|
Penny Lane. "Penny Lane" and "Strawberry Fields Forever" were released as a double single in February of 1967 to the US and UK markets (the US release was four days earlier than the UK release). The songs were both considered to be included on the "Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band" album, but George Martin decided no to include them. This is something that Martin regretted. However, the two songs were included on the "Magical Mystery Tour" album which came out later on in 1967.
If you happened to catch the movie "Quantum of Solace", Gemma Arterton played one of the "Bond Girls" named after the song, her name was Strawberry Fields.
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