Apr 052012

I know, I did it to myself. What did I expect? I listened to Classic Rock radio this afternoon and it’s just so stale that I swear, it sucks the very will to live right out of you. So my mind was wandering while they were playing “Start Me Up,” which is a pretty good song by my favorite band in the whole world. But I was just thinking, “maybe I should just turn on my mp3 player or NPR.”

Then I started thinking that the Oldies station doesn’t play a steady diet of Buddy Holly and Chuck Berry. In fact, they seem to have made these kinds of great artists almost invisible. I was thinking that wasn’t such a bad thing. If I were a big fan, I could listen to them until I couldn’t bear it anymore anyway. I started thinking that when Classic Rock radio became a format, it was pretty much just Rock radio, and they played old stuff and new stuff (much like people actually do in their cars and homes). Then I thought, “Program Directors need a Death Panel!”

But like our Nation’s Death Panels, these Panels need to be made up of people who care. People with a vested interest. People for whom cutting these songs out of the rotation to make some room for something new are actually going to be affected by this action. I figured if I were on this Panel, I’d have to make those hard decisions about my favorite band, The Rolling Stones, but I wouldn’t be able to chime in about a band like Led Zeppelin, which I can’t stand. It just wouldn’t be fair because I don’t have a vested interest.

So I thought members of the Hall would be good candidates for this heavy burden. We’ve got to do something! These Program Directors are obviously in way over their heads, too attached to their heroes to make rational decisions to help get some decent new Rock on the radio.

Will you step up and make the hard decisions? I’ll start off by making my own cuts. I’ll miss these songs on the radio dearly, but I understand we just can’t support them anymore. It’s for the younger generation. It’s for the greater good. Can you help cut 5 songs from your favorites?

  1. Start Me Up. There may be no song with more private support, with all the plays it gets in stadiums and on TV.
  2. Miss You. It’s great for dancing and parties, but it’s a pretty long song, and a lot of new artists will benefit from the amount of air time freed up.
  3. Gimme Shelter. A stone cold classic, and I truly love the song, but Martin Scorcese has promised to use it in every movie he makes anyway.
  4. Brown Sugar. I’m pretty sure a riff like that will never die. It doesn’t need any more help on the Public airwaves.
  5. Angie – I love it. I really do, but face it, there are plenty of other ballads every bit as deserving.

  97 Responses to “Rock ‘n Roll Death Panel”

  1. cherguevara

    I never tire of Gimme Shelter, not sure it should be retired. Such an incredible song.

    I’m not sure I can come up with five, but I can think of three for John Lennon:

    1. Imagine – Nobody needs to hear this again, really, and nobody ever needed to cover it. Just because it’s easy to play on the piano doesn’t mean it should happen.

    2. Give Peace A Chance – An artifact of its time, a fantastic sentiment, but not really Lennon’s best song.

    3. Nobody Told Me – What happened to Lennon was horrific, but it doesn’t make this posthumously released song good, just sentimental and sad.

  2. This is a tremendous service to the rock world, 2K. I’ll try 5 songs that have gotten too much airplay at this point from my favorite band of all time, The Beatles:

    1. I Saw Her Standing There. Why is this such a go-to song to signify the beginning of a certain era in the band’s history? Is it just because of Lennon’s proto-Dee Dee Ramone count-off? Like Dee Dee and despite this song’s high-energy execution, the song is really stupid and beneath the historic record.

    2. While My Guitar Gently Weeps. Yes, it’s a shame that George died before his time. Yes, it’s a shame he had some really good songs buried during his final years with the Fab Four. Yes, this song is kind of great, but it’s not THAT great, especially for all the praise given to the long fade-out solo, if you actually want to call it a solo. Get out your hankies. Shed a final tear. Then remove this song from the airwaves.

    3. Day Tripper. Love the riff. Can’t help but love the song, despite not wanting to hear it whenever it comes on the radio. However, the Monkees did it a little better with “Pleasant Valley Sunday.” Get out of the way and give the Monkees their due!

    4. Blackbird. This is the song the folkie kid should have been playing on the stairs in Animal House when Bluto Blutarsky grabs and smashes his guitar.

    5. Come Together. I truly love this song, but my boys are right: they always remark that it’s played more than any song deserves to be played on Philadelphia’s Classic Rock station. This cut is for the children.

  3. I used to worship The Who. As a teenybopper, The Kids Are Alright soundtrack got me out of Top 40 and into the Power and the Glory of Rock. That said, I don’t want to listen to these songs unvoluntarily again.

    1. Won’t Get Fooled Again — the version on Kids Are Alright is sooo great, but enought is enough.

    2. Who Are You — I like this song, but I think it grates on many people. It’s time for this song, like Keith, to be taken away.

    3. Baba O’Reily — see Won’t Get Fooled Again.

    4. Squeeze Box — I was dimly aware of this song as a pre-teen and never understood what was going on until later. Let’s put this out to pasture.

    5. Behind Blue Eyes — I saw The Who in 1981 and this song was a highlight for me. Roger bathed in blue light — ahhh. But no one needs to know what it’s like to hear this song 1,000 times.

  4. tonyola

    Count me in as another who wants to preserve “Gimme Shelter”. Even after 42 years, I haven’t tired of that song. I also love Pink Floyd, but there are some songs that use culling…

    1. “Comfortably Numb” – This has one of the greatest guitar solos ever, but I’ve heard it far too many times.

    2. “Another Brick In the Wall, Part II” – Not the kiddie choir again! Auggh!

    3. “Welcome to the Machine” – Atmospheric but ultimately a little dull.

    4. “Money” – Has there ever been a more-overplayed classic rock song? I was tired of it by 1975. Just hearing the opening cash register jingles has me scrambling for mute.

    5. “Us and Them” – Fine song but same problem as “Money”. It would be easy to make the case to retire the entire Dark Side of the Moon album altogether because of over-familiarity. Now where’s that Saucerful of Secrets CD?

  5. tonyola

    The count-in on “I Saw Her Standing There” is Paul, not John.

  6. Whatever, man! Don’t think I’m going to the Penalty Box for this mistake:)

  7. 2000 Man

    Just think of how many hours of programming time we’ve freed up!

    I love Gimme Shelter, too. Maybe they play it more in Cleveland than they do in your neck of the woods, but I can live without it on radio. Maybe I listen to it enough at home and the radio just seems gratuitous? But like I said, this is the time to cull those songs that are really clogging the airwaves. Tonyola has nailed four heavy hitters with Pink Floyd, but I think Welcome to the Machine is an easy cut. They don’t play it that much around here, anyway. I think he needs to reevaluate and make a deeper cut!

    I can’t disagree with Funoka. Sure, there’s always the argument that Squeeze Box is an easy cut, but yeah, they play it an awful lot. Funoka has really freed up some room for the new.

    Does Blackbird really get that much play, Mr. Mod? Is there something you know really needs a cut but that you’re protecting behind Blackbird?

    Need some help, cher? Watching the Wheels or whatever that’s called, maybe? Instant Karma? Maybe Mind Games? I know, it’s hard, but we’re making the world better.

  8. 2K asked:

    Does Blackbird really get that much play, Mr. Mod? Is there something you know really needs a cut but that you’re protecting behind Blackbird?

    Good point. Maybe it’s not on the radio that much; maybe I’m thinking of all the sensitive guys who’ve picked up an acoustic guitar in my presence and picked out that song’s intro. How about we cut “All You Need Is Love” instead? That song is also used to signify a GREAT MOMENT in Beatles history. I like it, but it has the staying power and depth of a single M&M. In fact, I propose some catchy but quickly over-long songs be boiled down to some sort of 7-second mini-single. Maybe you market these things as “Ear Blinks,” like how you can close your eyes for a second and visualize entire events in a few seconds. That’s how “All You Need Is Love” is for me. Within a few seconds I hear the intro horns; the “love, love, love” backing vocals; the sweeping cellos; and the tone of John’s voice. If I “listen” hard enough I can even hear the “She loves you, yeah, yeah, yeah” on the fade. That’s ALL I need of that song.

  9. cherguevara

    Not Mind Games, is that song overplayed? Those three were pretty much no-brainers to me. If I have to think about it, then it seems to me that the song is not ready for retirement. Maybe “Power To The People?”

  10. If we could remove the 5 most played songs from any artist that has more than 10 hits, we could revive “Classic Rock” back to something with some interest.

    Artist that need to “lose 5”

    Billy Joel
    Led Zeppelin
    ZZ Top

    I’m not saying to turn into “deep tracks”, just “Drop 5”

  11. I think I’d have an easier time thinking of five songs out of the entire classic-rock canon that I wouldn’t junk.

  12. cherguevara


    1. Every breath you take
    2. Message In A Bottle
    3. Don’t Stand So Close To Me
    4. Synchronicity I or II – the Kick in the crotch one.
    5. King Of Pain

  13. cherguevara

    Oh wait – Roxanne instead of King of Pain, I guess.

  14. Unfortunately, that is a good point. What about one-song wonder classic rock? We should not just limit the culling of the classic rock to the old warhorses.

    We don’t need to hear the one cut they play from:

    Ram Jam
    Stealer’s Wheel
    Iron Butterfly
    Modern English
    Simple Minds

    Do we?

  15. alexmagic

    “Black Betty” gets to live forever. Well, the video for Black Betty, anyway. Well, the handclap guy in the video for Black Betty.

  16. alexmagic

    This thread brought up two related questions for me.

    First, what “classic rock” album (greatest hits do not count) has the highest percentage of its songs still in “heavy rotation” in the post-“deep cut” world of radio?

    Second, and I’ve been crowd-sourcing this elsewhere today, what’s the oldest rock/pop song that still gets “regular” play on terrestrial radio? “Oldies” radio as it was in the past seems to be fading out. “Oldies” today is what used to be “Classic Rock”, and “Classic Rock” is now the “Super Hits of the ’70s…” of ten years ago with a few late ’60s megahits grandfathered in, and a handful of late ’60s/early ’70s warhorses seem to have survived into “modern rock”. I’m kind of curious what the last song standing on FM radio is, holiday hits aside. What’s the oldest rock song you’re likely to hear if randomly turning on a big, corporate-owned radio station in 2012?

  17. I would submit The Who’s Who’s Next — is there a cut that doesn’t get played?

    For classic rock oldie — to be Kinks All Day and All of the Night — 1964?

  18. tonyola

    I’d say Dark Side of the Moon or Abbey Road get the most thorough airplay. As for the oldest “classic rock” song, it would be one of the Beatles’ early singles.

  19. OK, I’ll take the ax to Zeppelin
    “Communication Breakdown” Someone once said that all hardcore punk was 15 years olds messing this song up
    “Ramble On” Just go watch the Lord of the Rings films, already
    “Rock and Roll” Wasn’t this meant to be a 50’s pastiche? It didn’t really turn out that way.
    “Hey Hey What Can I Do” In the vinyl era there were hard-to-find rarities. Now in the internet era everything is out there so no need to play this one again.
    “In the Evening” I kind of like the measured “All of My Love” so throw this last album track out.

  20. 2000 Man

    Oh, that’s a serious cut. I can get behind it, but I’ll miss that one. At least Next to You gets to stay!

  21. 2000 Man

    Sorry, they never play that – I meant Can’t Stand Losing You.

  22. 2000 Man

    I was wondering if someone would step up to the Mighty Zep!

    What about Stairway to Heaven? That gets to stay? I have to say, Rock and Roll has always been laughingly horrid to me. What the hell is John Bonham doing on that? It sounds like he’s working out, not playing music.

  23. 2000 Man

    I don’t hear much older than Revolver on Classic Rock around here. The oldies station seems heavy on Rubber Soul era stuff, but it’s like that’s where Clear Channel recently drew the line in the sand. I think I’m with Tonyola on Dark Side of the Moon, they even play the song with Lt. Uhura wailing away on it.

  24. tonyola

    I can’t go with that train of thought. Those one-song wonders keep “classic rock” from being nothing but endless Beatles, Bruce, Zep, Floyd, Eagles, etc. Besides, I like the Argent and Stealer’s Wheel songs.

  25. tonyola

    Zeppelin songs to junk…

    1. “Stairway to Heaven” – Does anyone really need to ever hear that one again?

    2. “Whole Lotta Love” – See “Stairway”.

    3. “Heartbreaker/Living Loving Maid” – Gives ammo to those who say the second album was a rushed effort.

    4. “Your Time Is Gonna Come” – Dull.

    5. “Fool In the Rain” – The spottiest song from a spotty album.

  26. tonyola

    I don’t listen to broadcast radio anymore but the Classic Rock channel on MusicChoice plays the early Beatles songs.

  27. I like “Rock and Roll” – it’s a fine mashup of ’50s energy and ’70s metal power.

  28. ladymisskirroyale

    1. Led Zepplin iv
    2. Louie Louie (1963)

  29. As much as I never need to hear it again, classic rock without “Stairway” is indefensible.
    “Whole Lotta Love” is really the only song ever created that sound like that with the mashed blues, sexual moaning and heavy guitar freakout. It still stands out from the pack.
    “Fool In the Rain”. Good call, I was looking for the one from In Through the Out Door that wasn’t “All of My Love”.

  30. tonyola

    But you could also say with equal validity that classic rock without “Money” or “Won’t Get Fooled Again” is indefensible. We’re not trying to gut classic rock so much as trying to make it enjoyable and cliche-free again.

  31. misterioso

    Still love “Fool in the Rain” after all these years. Whether it’s good Zeppelin or not, it is great fun.

  32. misterioso

    No, you’re going for getting rid of “Day Tripper” and “Come Together.” Grab some pine.

  33. I am trying to come up with my list of five songs that classic rock is allowed to keep on its playlist, and it hasn’t been easy. Here’s what I have so far:

    All the Young Dudes, Mott the Hoople
    Maggie May, Rod Stewart
    Don’t Look Back, Boston (token faceless AOR piece of dogshit that reminds me of summers in the late-’80s/early-’90s)
    Go Your Own Way, Fleetwood Mac

    and… um…

  34. misterioso

    2kMan, there’s no freakin’ way you can be serious about “Gimme Shelter.” I don’t care if I have to hear it three times a day after meals, I cannot foresee it wearing out its welcome. I take your point on the others, though for reasons I cannot explain or justify I still get a kick out of “Miss You.” I would substitute, say, “Satisfaction” and “Time Is on My Side.” Not out of lack of love, just because they need a rest.

  35. tonyola

    Boston? Ewww….

  36. I can always listen to “Fool in the Rain” and “Hot Dog” off that album.

  37. tonyola

    “Time Is On My Side” doesn’t seem to get all that much airplay, so it’s still a bit of a surprise when I hear it. I’d cull “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” instead. Though I used to love that song. I’m really tired of it now.

  38. misterioso

    I still, against all reason, get a thrill from “Won’t Get Fooled Again.” I’ll swap in “Pinball Wizard.” And I still quite like “Who Are You,” so I will nominate “Love Reign O’er Me.”

  39. tonyola

    “Hot Dog” can survive because it’s such a silly stylistic goof on the band’s part. I prefer the less-played “South Bound Suarez” to “Fool in the Rain, though.

  40. misterioso

    Not a bad idea, tony. You are probably right about “Time.” I don’t listen to much radio and perhaps am responding to an earlier era when I felt that got overdone. I suppose that it is rare to hear much pre-Satisfaction Stones on the radio at all, so perhaps I should reconsider, baby.

  41. tonyola

    Eric Clapton in all his incarnations…

    1. “Layla” – Yeah, I know it’s a stone classic but it suffers from the “Oh no, not again” syndrome that afflicts “Money” and “Stairway to Heaven”.

    2. “Cocaine” – Booo-ring.

    3. “I Shot the Sheriff” – Never liked this song much. Too laid back.

    4. “White Room” – How many times have I heard this since 1968? OK song, not great.

    5. “Lay Down Sally” – Too rural.

    Actually, you could argue for eliminating every hit or demi-hit Eric has had since 1973 or so. While he’s remained a great solo guitar player to this day, his actual songs have been either dreck or a snooze.

  42. misterioso

    tony, in my opinion and in my experience the only way to rehabilitate some of these dead horses is to flat-out avoid the radio as much as possible. It took me years of avoiding the radio to be able to enjoy “Go Your Own Way,” anything from Dark Side of the Moon, “Hot Rocks” tracks from the Stones, etc., etc. In some cases, just hearing a song in its original context (as part of an lp, say)–often a context I never knew it in the first time around–helped give it a new life. That said, in some cases there is still substantial rehabilitory work to be done, and it is hard for me to imagine ever recovering any desire to hear “Born to Run,” for instance. Sorry, Boss.

  43. Happiness Stan

    As the token Brit, I have to say that the idea of being able to hear any of these songs on the radio as an alternative to the diet of nothing but current chart pop which drives all sane people in the UK away from music radio at the age of twenty-two is rather thrilling. Just the thought of being able to hear a song by Iron Butterfly, The Kinks, the Oo, Zep or Floyd on actual live radio is the sort of thing that we used to daydream about while forcing ourselves to listen to Wonderful Radio One during school holidays.

    As an old person, I usually listen to spoken word radio these days, I imagine that hearing “More Than A Feeling” for the sixth time in two days must have a similar effect to finding the same documentary about scandals in disability care being repeated for the third time in a week.

  44. I must keep “Baba O’Riley” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again.” The intro to the former will be my walk-up music should a miracle ever occur and a major league baseball team comes knocking for a 48-year-old junkball pitcher and warning-track power first baseman. The latter has the greatest steering wheel drumming part in the history of rock, not to mention the rebel yell of all rebel yells. I feel like driving my car off a cliff, like Thelma and Louise, whenever Roger screams that YEEEAAAHHHHHHH!!!!! Good thing New Jersey is so flat.

    A couple of months ago I would have agreed with misterioso that “Pinball Wizard” can go. I’d been sick of that song for 30 years, but recently it’s grown on me again. I’m cool with “Love Reign O’er Me” getting the boot, even though I still dig hearing that now and then. If “Long Live Rock” still gets played on Classic Rock stations that DEFINITELY has to go!

  45. How about we drop the entire catalogs of 5 of the artists you mention: Billy Joel, Eagles, Boston, ZZ Top, and…OK, the rest of those bands have at least 1 song worth preserving.

  46. tonyola

    I gave up broadcast radio almost entirely around since the late 1990s. I do listen to some streaming stations over the net, but they’re geared more for specialist tastes. Some songs and albums to me are almost beyond rehabilitation, like Sgt. Peppers and Dark Side of the Moon. It’s not because I dislike the records – it’s because I’ve heard them so many times. They remain part of my “reference” music collection, but I never actually put them on.

  47. “Ramble On” needs to stay! Listen closely to the band’s groove on the chorus. It’s up there with anything James Brown ever did.

    I fully agree with anyone who wants to cut “Rock ‘n Roll!” 2K is right about Bonham sounding like he’s working out. That song blows.

  48. misterioso

    The one post-73 EC hit I would keep, maybe because it hasn’t been beaten to death, is “Promises.” Quite nice.

    “Layla,” again, only recovered for me when, not so long ago and well into my adult life, I finally bought the album, which I like a lot, other than the 3 or 4 dull blooz workouts.

  49. 2000 Man

    Sorry, Boston is one of the five bands that didn’t even make the cut. We’re just wiping them off the face of Classic Rock altogether. Looks like you’ve got a lot more work to do!

  50. 2000 Man

    Hey, these are tough decisions, and I wanted it clear that I was willing to make the tough decisions. Gimme Shelter isn’t going to die of underexposure if it doesn’t get constant airplay on Classic Rock radio. Martin Scorcese promised!

  51. 2000 Man

    We could just cut the boring second half of Layla out. I’d be fine with that.

  52. 2000 Man

    Oh, believe me – you’d listen to the scandals in disability program a fourth time if you heard how often they play More Than a Feeling around here!

  53. misterioso

    People, people! Boston has at most like 6 songs you’ll ever hear. Don’t lump them in with major offenders like BJ and Eagles.

    Besides, “Don’t Look Back” kicks ass.

  54. I never really liked “I Shot the Sheriff” but I generally enjoy the rest of 461 Ocean Blvd — they can play anything else off it.

    Another minor Clapton hit I like is “Hello Old Friend” off the lesser known, No Reason to Cry album, which also has “All Our Past Times” with Rick Danko. They should put that in rotation instead of Lay Down Sally.

  55. hrrundivbakshi

    Interesting that everybody is focusing on the tough decisions — what to bury from otherwise canonical material? Can we just start on easy street by deep-sixing anything by Bad Company and Bob Seger (except for Mainstreet; I love that song)? We could follow by dumping “Blinded by the Light,” almost everything by Supertramp, Eddie Money, Survivor… the list goes on and on.

    Oh — one from the canonical column I never need to hear again: “Rock and Roll All Night.”

  56. No, no, no. None of this Soviet-style historical revisionism. Boston is even more evil than Billy Joel or Eagles because of “Buy my Rockman gear” Tom Scholz and his guitar sound deftly engineered to entrap unknowing teenage ‘lude-a-tics. Combine that with Delp’s castrato vocals and some mock-ELP/Deep Purple organ and the seduction is complete. Horrible stuff masquerading as “friendly” hard rock.

  57. We can deep-six “Old Time Rock and Roll” and “Against the Wind” from Seger without a second thought but otherwise he’s pretty much a keeper in my book. Supertramp has some interesting deeper cuts beyond “The Logical Song” and “Breakfast in America” that get some airplay.

  58. 2000 Man

    i don’t think you can just drop Seger in Cleveland. We’re too close to Detroit, and Bob’s deservedly big here since Rambin’ Gamblin’ Man. It’s all the stuff that happened after Live Bullet that’s questionable, if you ask me.

    I’m all for dropping Bad Co et. al., but what needs to happen is how Oldies radio kind of drops something for a year or so, then brings it back for a month or so, I won’t hear Jackie Blue for a year, then I’ll hear it twice a week for a month, then it’s gone again. That’s a good way to do it. But the top tier bands have to have the deepest cuts first. I want to turn my Classic Rock radio station back into my Rock radio station. Where they play all sorts of old and new stuff.

  59. cherguevara

    I think about this, sometimes, in terms of my kids. I don’t feel that I need to hear “brown eyed girl” ever again – but if I constantly turn it off whenever it comes on, my kids won’t ever hear it. As the sheer number of songs in the repertoire increases as the years accumulate, the dividing line between wheat and chaff changes but it doesn’t change the fact that some old saws are great songs, despite their overexposure.

    About a year ago I apologized to my family for playing Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons,” feeling that it was an obvious choice, a warhorse. My wife told me, at that point, that I was an elitist.

    If my kids don’t know “Gimme Shelter,” that seems messed up, as opposed to them not knowing “Magic Carpet Ride” or “Green Eyed Lady.”

  60. hrrundivbakshi

    ‘Train In Vain” and “Should I Stay Or Should I Go” — BOOM!

    “Legs” and “Gimme All Your Lovin” — BOOM!

    “Jukebox Hero” — BOOM!

    “Lola” — BOOM!

  61. misterioso

    And you would keep other songs by Foreigner?

  62. tonyola

    I’d ditch “Hot Blooded”, “Cold as Ice”, or “I Want to Know What Love Is” before “Jukebox Hero”. Foreigner was one of those bands where the minor songs were usually better than the hits. “Urgent” was a good hit, too.


    As for the Kinks, I’d can “Come Dancing” before “Lola”. Songs about cross-dressers never go out of style.

  63. I, for one, applaud you for making the tough choices. I’m glancing at some recent comments, and I believe I’ve seen names like Foreigner flying around. Screw those bands! There’s nothing that really needs to be saved. Take away 5 Foreigner songs from Classic Rock rotation and you’ve pretty much done the world a service. I’ll suggest my 5 Stones songs later today…

  64. It’s still our responsibility to play our kids great music, even the stuff that’s overplayed for us. I think 2K’s mission here is to help make Classic Rock radio better for us.

  65. You can’t do the Clash. They only get 4 songs on Classic Rock radio, don’t they – those 2, “Rock the Casbah,” and “London Calling.” In my opinion all but “Train in Vain” should survive the purge, but I don’t think 2K wants us to apply the purge to bands that don’t have more than 5 songs in rotation. I could be wrong.

  66. 2K asked for TOUGH DECISIONS. That is definitely the Cop Out siren I hear running through the streets of Northern Virginia!

  67. Here are my suggestions for the Rolling Stones, although I can live with 2K’s choices. I will not include “Angie” on my list, however, solely because it sucks so badly it’s not worth my consideration.

    1. Start Me Up: Pretty much the end of the road, as far as I’m concerned. I’ve got a piece in development in a few days that is centered around this song.

    2. It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll: Not as bad as “Long Live Rock” among meta-rock songs by the titans, but it’s a cop out of a song from a band that still had something in them.

    3. Sympathy for the Devil: Yes, this is a tremendous song on many levels, but the more I have to hear it the more I want to simply skip ahead to Keef’s guitar solo. (On the other hand, I’ll put in a SAVE request on Led Zep’s “Fool in the Rain” solely for the entrance of the guitar solo. I LOVE that kind of guitar tone!)

    4. She’s a Rainbow: I used to love this song when it rarely got played on the radio; now I seem to hear it more often, and most of the time (today) I think it’s too cute.

    5. Wild Horses: Too much ass kissing from Jagger, if you ask me. This isn’t as bad as “Angie,” but at least I want to love it whenever it comes on the radio. This song is for a man to look off into the distance and crush a Bud can after his last swig. That’s not how I roll.

  68. cherguevara

    Is it too reductionist to cut five Motown songs, lumping all those artists in together?

  69. tonyola

    I’m kind of surprised that no-one has tackled Bob Dylan yet. Even though by all rights I should disqualify myself since I’m not a fan, I’m going to give it a try anyway. After all, if Nixon can go to China…

    1. “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” – Perhaps the most annoying of his well-known “finger pointing” songs.

    2. “Rainy Day Women 12 & 35” – I’m sure Bob and the boys had fun while there were toking up in the studio but those blaring Salvation Army horns get tiresome really fast.

    3. “Lay Lady Lay” – Bob sounds like he has a severe head cold and the song is countryfied almost to the point of cliche. Very overplayed.

    4. “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” – Not much of a comeback song, is it? Repetitive to the point of catatonia.

    5. “Gotta Serve Somebody” – Hey Bob, if you’re serving me, gimme a cheeseburger and a large fries. Not only does the song go nowhere, but it has some of the stupidest lyrics Bob has ever written. Had he really been the voice of a generation for 15+ years by this point? This is scant evidence.

    You may call me Terry
    You may call me Timmy
    You may call me Bobby
    Or you may call me Zimmy
    You may call me RJ
    You may call me Ray
    You may call me anything
    No matter what you say
    You’re still gonna have to serve somebody…

  70. Good question about oldest song regularly heard on Classic Rock stations. Speaking for the same Philadelphia station, alexmagic, it may be something as relatively late into the ’60s as the Stones’ “Street Fighting Man” or the Beatles’ “Birthday.” It’s weird.

  71. I’d call that RACIST, not reductionist!

    I’m joking in my tone, by the way, but do any Motown songs get played on Classic Rock radio?

  72. Do more than 2 or 3 Dylan songs get played on Classic Rock radio? Probably “Like a Rolling Stone” (possibly the oldest song, to answer alexmagic’s earlier question). Possibly “Tangled Up in Blue.” Maybe the stinky “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door”?

  73. I don’t think you should cut a tune out simply due to overexposure. I left “Stairway” because it is integral to the whole concept. So, by that reasoning, “Money”, “Layla” and “Sympathy” have to stay.

    The other Clapton choices were good – he gets way too much leeway. Foreigner has a ton of songs in rotation and they all suck (except “Long Long Way From Home”)

    Who’s left? Billy Joel? Springsteen? Queen?

    Who needs more tunes on classic rock? Hendrix! I don’t understand why you only hear “Purple Haze” Crosstown Traffic” “Fire” on FM.

  74. Someday, when I summon the will to do it, I plan to post a lengthy piece on why the 1st Boston album is an unacknowledged Power Pop masterpiece.

  75. tonyola

    I suppose it depends on the station/streaming site. As I’ve said earlier, I don’t listen to FM or AM anymore. On cable or streaming classic rock sites, I’ve heard besides the songs we mentioned…

    Highway 61 Revisited
    Ballad of a Thin Man
    Positively 4th Street
    Maggie’s Farm
    I Want You
    Subterranean Homesick Blues
    Just Like a Woman
    Stuck Inside of Mobile
    All Along the Watchtower
    Watching the River Flow
    George Jackson

  76. tonyola

    Rare Earth gets played sometimes – “Get Ready”, “I Just Want to Celebrate”, etc.

  77. tonyola

    Will this be followed by your glowing paean to The Escape Club and “Wild, Wild West”? I can’t wait to read it.

  78. 2000 Man

    Please don’t. We’re really pretty nice people.

  79. 2000 Man

    Totally. Your kids will love being able to turn their friends on to an unknown song as good as Gimme Shelter. They’ll be Jr. High GODS!

  80. 2000 Man

    Yeah, but cut what you feel needs to be cut. The Clash isn’t Classic Rock. Neither are The Ramones, and it bothers me no end that NOW the Classic Rock stations claim these bands they openly made fun of as their own. I say take ALL Punk from Classic Rock, but if we include any Punk, then we’re getting more to the Rock station that I would much rather hear.

  81. 2000 Man

    I think It’s Only Rock N Roll is a great record. It’s an fantastic use of the studio by people that really know how to do it. They can’t play it live for shit.

  82. 2000 Man

    Isn’t Lay Lady Lay like a Dylan gateway drug? He sounds like he’s singing out of his mouth instead of his nose on that one.

  83. 2000 Man

    I’m pretty sick of turning off All Along the Watchtower. I don’t think I’ve listened to that all the way through in 20 years.

  84. 2000 Man

    I guess I should step up and take a swipe at another favorite, Bowie.

    I think Ziggy Stardust has had its time.

    Changes could use a break.

    Space Oddity for sure.

    Heroes is getting long in the tooth.

    And I guess Jean Genie could give some people some room.

    Man, those are tough choices for me.

  85. cherguevara

    OK… well, we don’t actually have a “classic rock” station near us. Instead we have an “oldies” station, which is very depressing to turn on and hear INXS. But the station plays all kinds of genres, including rock, rap and soul.

  86. Good call on Rare Earth, the white 11th man on Motown’s NBA bench.

  87. tonyola

    I’d ditch…

    “Let’s Dance”
    “Space Oddity”
    “China Girl”
    “Rebel Rebel”

    “Jean Genie” is uncharacteristically bloozy for Bowie thanks to Mick Ronson – that makes it a keeper. I don’t think “Heroes” ever gets old.

  88. misterioso

    First, “Hard Rain” is a fantastic, powerful song; but beyond that, is it really overplayed? On what planet?

  89. Once is overplaying. You know my stance on Bob’s dreary early protest songs.

  90. BigSteve

    Hard Rain is not a protest song.

  91. It’s whiny and it vaguely rails against the evils of the world.

  92. Happiness Stan

    The one EC song which gets played over here on the radio is Wonderful Tonight, which outstayed its welcome for me the first time I ever heard it, my word I hate that song with a passion.

  93. misterioso

    Whiny, no. Does, I suppose, “vaguely rain against the evils of the world.” (Heaven forbid!) I realize a whole lot of pretentious crap has been written about Dylan and I am reluctant to add to it, but “Hard Rain” is one of the few songs I know that achieves a level of poetic grandeur that Whitman achieved 100 years before. A stunning song, one I have never heard him perform badly, and with a number of inspiring versions readily available (such as the Bangladesh performance, which might be the best version there is; the “hard rock” Rolling Thunder version; and the strange and wonderful performance with an orchestra recorded in Japan in 1994 that is on some b-side somewhere). Unfortunately there is no known version containing references to spaceships and a 20-minute organ solo. But, still, be serious.

  94. “But, still, be serious.”

    I am. By the way, where are your death panel lists? I’ve made a few already. Or are you just going to carp about others’ lists?

  95. misterioso

    Just gonna carp. The whole exercise amounts to putting a fresh coat of paint on a dead donkey, if you know what I mean.

  96. “I Saw Her Standing There” still gets me going. Just a great rock ‘n’ roll song. I agree that “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” and “Come Together” could be cut from classic rock radio for a while. I’d add “Obla Di Obla Da,” “Back in the USSR,” and “Get Back.” All good songs, but I’d like a little more variety when I hear the Fab Four on the radio.

  97. Happiness Stan

    I’ve spent over thirty years trying to put my finger on why I’ve always hated that song (quite apart from the really dodgy lyric) and I think you’ve just nailed it. Nasal Dylan for me all the way.

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