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Friday random ten: Revisiting the Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Songs list, part 18

Here’s their list.

1. Califonia Girls – The Beach Boys (#72)
2. Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag – James Brown (#71)
3. Walk On By – Dionne Warwick (#70)
4. Sunshine Of Your Love – Brian Tarquin (orig. Cream, #65)
5. She Loves You – The Beatles (#64)
6. For What It’s Worth – Black 47 (orig. Buffalo Springfield, #63)
7. Let’s Stay Together – Al Green (#60)
8. The Times They Are A-Changin’ – Billy Joel (orig. Bob Dylan, #59)
9. Billie Jean – Big Daddy (orig. Michael Jackson, #58)
10. Whiter Shade of Pale – Annie Lennox (orig. Procol Harem, #57)

Song I should have but don’t, part 1: “Crying”, Roy Orbison (#69). Roy Orbison singing for the lonely, hey that’s me and I want you only…Wrong song, I know, but those lyrics always come to me when I think of Roy Orbison.
Song I don’t have but should, part 2: “Bo Diddley”, Bo Diddley (#62). I do have a song called “The Story of Bo Diddley”, by Bo Diddley from an album of the same name, for what that’s worth.

Billy Joel’s version of “The Times They Are A-Changin'” is from the live album he did in Leningrad. I don’t love a lot of the renditions of his songs on that album – I’ve seen him live several times and I’ve always thought he sounded better than that – but it did include two rare covers by him, this and “Back In The USSR”. He also did a cover of “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” twenty-some years ago when he toured with Elton John, but offhand I don’t know of an official recording of that. With the inclusion on this list of “Whiter Shade Of Pale”, here’s one of my favorite scenes from one of my favorite movies, “The Commitments”:

We could use more priests like that Father Molloy. And for those of you who also loved that movie but have not yet watched the awesome Orphan Black TV show yet, I give you three words: Maria Doyle Kennedy. You’re welcome.

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2 Comments

  1. Robert Nagle says:

    Chuck you have just blown my mind. I’m also a big fan of Commitments (although I haven’t watched it in decades). I have absolutely no memory of this great scene — and when I watched it I didn’t know the song “Whiter Shade of Pale.” That’s the kind of movie where a lot of jokes go over your head the first time. (Also, I didn’t know Annie Lennox did a cover of the song). My first encounter with the song was in “New York Stories” (3 short films). The Scorcese film, “Life Lessons” makes the song the center of the story; it’s a story perfectly merged with the themes of the song — splashy colors, psychedelic dreams and sadness; it’s about an older artist who falls for his assistant and plays the song at deafening levels.

    (Hey, one thing, if you are looking for another good Irish musical — look up “Hear My Song” on netflix streaming. Fellow Martian Kristen B. and I stumbled upon a preview of this movie and found it hilarious and thoroughly entertaining.

    By the way, have really enjoyed your election coverage and your audio interviews. Your interview with Sylvester Turner clinched the deal for me! (Funny thing. NY STORIES came out in 1989, Commitments was 1991 and Hear My Song came out in 1991 as well. All outstanding movies and amazing that they all came out around the same time).

  2. Robbie Westmoreland says:

    The Times Are a-Changin’ is one of the three Dylan songs that actually sound best sung by him, though. How can you not own a recording of him singing it?
    I’d suggest getting the soundtrack album from The Watchmen, but you probably already own most of the songs on there. Get it for the Phillip Glass and KC and the Sunshine Band tracks, maybe?

    I honestly can’t imagine Billy Joel doing the song justice. Maybe Springsteen could.