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Monday, October 13, 2008

5 Ways To Make Star Trek More Like Star Wars

So we've been told that the writers of next year's Star Trek reboot want to "bring more Star Wars" to Gene Rodenberry's brightly-colored vision of America's interstellar tomorrow. But what does that actually mean? We've given it some thought and come up with five ways in which the crew of the Enterprise should model themselves after Luke Skywalker, C3-PO and company.

Make Your Heroes Less Perfect.
Rodenberry's future of humanity was a utopian one - We had all transcended racism, bigotry and hatred of almost every kind... we had evolved past the need for money, and worked towards the common betterment of society. We were, let's be honest, really kind of dull (Unless some outside force was making us insane/horny/whatever the plot required that week). Star Wars's heroes, on the other hand, were much more flawed... and much more interesting. Whether it was Han's gambling debts, Lando's willingness to sell out his best friend for the good of his well-lit city in the sky or just Luke's incessant whininess, we could see ourselves in the characters, and that made it easier for us to care about them. So let's see a Kirk that doesn't always save the day and get the girl, or a Bones that's the alcoholic that we always suspected him of being.

Less Talk, More Action.
Perhaps because of the show's budget, or perhaps because future humanity was so fucking diplomatic, Star Trek never really got into the whole exciting battle thing (Even later attempts like the Borg attacks in Star Trek: The Next Generation seemed half-hearted and slow). Sure, they managed to have a tussle every now and then that got our pulses racing -

- but imagine if that awesome Alexander Courage music was being used for something more exciting than prop-assisted wrestling. There is no way that a Star Trek with more space battles and less attempts to sit down and talk things through like grown-ups would be a bad thing.

Ignore The Laws Of Physics.
Okay, so Scotty kind of made a living doing that very thing on a regular basis despite his protests, but this isn't just managing to get that dilithium crystals back online a week earlier than expected that we're talking about here. As Robert Loren Fleming once pointed out, George Lucas ignored scientific fact that said that there was no sound in the vacuum of space and became a multi-millionaire. JJ Abrams has proven that he's willing to ignore reality in favor of fun storytelling in Fringe, so I'm looking forward to a Star Trek that takes full advantage of the possibilities of science fiction to give us the most dramatically satisfying story ever. And if that means that we see multiple time-traveling James T Kirks all existing in the same scene to punch a room full of Romulans, all the better.

Have At Least One Sequence That Will Make A Good Video Game.
You know what I'm talking about; there's one in every Star Wars movie, whether it be pod-racing, speeder-biking through the forests of Endor or cutting Anakin Skywalker's legs off while lava bubbles all around you. At its best, the Star Wars series doesn't just put you in the center of the action, it makes you want to literally be the one doing all the action. There's no better way to hit the nerd g-spot than appeal to our wish-fulfillment fantasies so blatantly, after all. And what does Star Trek have to compare? Nothing... yet. JJ, you know what you have to do.

Put Uhura In A Metal Bikini At Some Point.
And talking of nerd wish-fulfillment fantasies... As much as you may sigh and pretend that you're all appalled at such pandering, you know you want to see it. Especially if she's chained up next to one of those green Orion slave girls.

Top 10 Best Guitar Players of All Time6Oct08

Watch here videos of the 10 best guitar players of all time, according to Rolling Stone magazine. One of the most important instruments in modern music, the guitar is at the basis of popular rhythms such as rock and blues. Considered gods by many fans, guitar players have a role as crucial as that of many singers, when it comes to exciting the audience.

Fewer people downloading music illegally

By Nicole Martin, Digital and Media Correspondent

Young woman lying down, listening to MP3 player
Illegal downloading showed no signs of slowing down among teenagers Photo: GETTY

Around 39 per cent of music fans currently download tracks from illegal sites, compared to 43 per cent last year, the annual digital music survey of 1,500 people found.

However, of those, 72 per cent said they would stop if they were contacted by their internet service provider (ISP).

The research suggests that people are heeding warnings from the Government that it is serious about curbing rampant internet piracy.

Under proposals announced in July, ministers said that illegal downloaders face having their internet access restricted if a voluntary crackdown on piracy is not effective.

Under the voluntary agreement between Britain's six biggest ISPs and the British Phonographic Industry, the internet providers will write to customers identified as illegally downloading material and warn them that their activity is being monitored.

Currently, film and record companies must apply via the courts for the ISP to match the identity of an illegal downloader to the address.

One of the proposals being considered by the Government is to get ISPs to give out that information without a court order.

Russell Hart, the chief executive of Entertainment Media Research, which carried out the study, said:

"It is quite evident that an ISP-led strategy has bite because illegal downloaders are fairly convinced that ISPs are currently monitoring their activities and are more likely to act against them than the courts."

However, illegal downloading showed no signs of slowing down among teenagers.

Some 58 per cent of them said they were not paying to download music, compared to 57 per cent last year and 41 per cent in 2006.

Original here

Top 10 Movie Losers

Losers are everywhere. It’s a scientific fact and the silver screen has had its fair share over the years.

Last week How To Lose Friends and Alienate People was released in the cinemas, putting another loser on the big screen in the form of Simon Pegg’s Sidney Young. In a move that’s totally non-affiliated with that film, we here at hecklerspray have decided to compile together a list of a bunch of losers, that one way or another, have given us greats amount of joy over the years in the cinema.

Maybe it’s because we’re better than them, maybe it’s because it gives us hope or maybe they are just too cool in a world that doesn’t appreciate them, either way, here we go…

10. Ben Stone - Knocked Up

A relatively new loser, Ben Stone managed to be a perfect example of what we love about these guys: Funny, likeable, stupid and completely oblivious to it all. The smartest thing he managed to do was get an incredibly hot chick pregnant and therefore locking her down for life. Well played, old friend.

“If any of us get laid tonight, it’s because of Eric Bana in Munich.” - Ben Stone

9. Harry Dunne and Lloyd Christmas – Dumb and Dumber

Pumpkin haircut, chip on his front tooth, sellotaping a dead bird’s head onto its body and selling it to a blind kid. All of these are reasons why we love Lloyd Christmas, the stupidest idiot in cinema - or should that prestigious title go to Harry Dunne, who drives around in a giant dog car all day long? It’s a close call but these losers manage to screw up every chance they get but they make for one of the funniest modern comedy duos.

“I can’t believe we drove around all day, and there’s not a single job in this town. There is nothing, nada, zip!” - Harry

“Yeah! Unless you wanna work forty hours a week.” - Lloyd

8. Milton Waddams/Peter Gibbons – Office Space


This pair of losers both work in the colourful world of Initech, where each day is exactly the same as the last. Peter has no delusions about his position in life and just wants nothing more than to do nothing everyday for the rest of his life. Milton is worse for the fact he loves his job and tries hard but gets crapped on by everyone around him on a daily basis.

“Every single day of my life has been worse than the day before it. So that means that every single day that you see me, that’s on the worst day of my life.” – Peter Gibbons

“Excuse me, I believe you have my stapler…” – Milton Waddams

7. Shaun – Shaun of the Dead

We’ve all been there, sitting in the pub night after night drinking with our mate wondering why life is so boring. Shaun is like all of us, with nothing ever interesting happening to him day by day. That is until zombies take over the country and Shaun becomes his friends’ last chance for survival with a rifle in one hand and a pack of peanuts in the other. The ultimate English slouch becomes one of its best action heroes.

“You’re the one that’s gone from being a chartered accountant to Charlton Heston!” - Shaun

6. Willie - Bad Santa

Foul mouthed, down on his luck and a drunk. Willie is the perfect candidate for a in-store Santa Claus to entertain your children. When he starts forming an unlikely bond with a young child you would assume life lessons follow. Instead he carries on much the same - cursing, beating children up, punching a midget in the face - but we love him for it.

“Why don’t you wish in one hand, and shit in the other. See which one fills up first.” - Willie

5. Ash Williams – Evil Dead Trilogy


Another loser by day, zombie-killing machine by night; Ash just wanted to get away from it all with his girlfriend. Little did he know the terrors that awaited him in the woods. Everything tries to kill Ash and as he falls into trouble again and again he emerges the coolest geek this side of our dimension. He also looks kick-ass with a chainsaw for a hand.

“Groovy” - Ash

4. Max Fischer – Rushmore

Max is a loser who thinks he’s the ultimate winner. Nothing stands in his way, he gets what he wants and thinks everyone loves him. It turns out though that everyone thinks he’s a spotty wee skidmark at Rushmore Elementary. Charismatic he may be but with a pretentious elitist attitude and flunking every class he is one guy who punches above his weight.

“Oh my God, I wrote a hit play!” – Max Fischer

3. Spinal Tap – This Is Spinal Tap

The world would be a less sexier place if it wasn’t for these rock and roll stars. These guys just can’t seem to get anything right, whether it be replacing their manager, just getting out of a prop onstage or keeping a drummer that doesn’t die. Their Stonehenge re-enactment is the most stupidly brilliant live performance of all time and this trio of David St. Hubbins, Nigel Tufnel and Derek Smalls are cemented in rock history for ever.

“It’s such a fine line between stupid, and clever.” – David St. Hubbins

2. Jay and Silent Bob/ Dante and Randall – Clerks, Clerks 2, The View Askewniverse

These four are bundled together for their respective charms, they are a ying and yang foursome. Jay and Bob stand outside the Quick Stop store, selling weed and dancing like loons everyday all their lives. They’re content with how they live and aren’t going anywhere fast. Dante can’t stand being anywhere near the Quick Stop he’s working at and only has Randall to pass the time with. These guys have the ultimate ‘do nothing and hope something will come my way’ attitude. For their failures all four are totally likeable and relatable in different ways. Long live the Clerks!

“I’m not even supposed to be here today!” – Dante

“That guy’s being awfully forward with that donkey.” - Jay

1. The Dude – The Big Lebowski

Here he is, numeral uno, The Dude. Never before has someone who has exerted so little been forced into doing so much. He was a man who does few things bowling, driving around, the occasional acid flashback. When his life gets pissed on he gets tangled into a dark mystery he has to get to the bottom of, all for the sake of a rug! Rarely losing his cool, he is one guy who can be on our bowling team any day.

“That rug really tied the room together!” – The Dude

The Dude was the only one who could be at the top but what do you make of the list? Anyone you think deserves to be on there who isn’t? Strike back below and let us know.

[story by David Scarborough]

Original here

Ringo 'too busy' for autographs


Advertisement

Starr said he had 'too much to do' to continue signing objects

Former Beatle Ringo Starr will no longer sign memorabilia for fans and will throw away all fan mail he receives in the future, he has said.

"Please do not send fan mail to any address you have," he said in a video message on his website.

"Nothing will be signed after the 20th of October. If that is the date on the envelope, it's gonna be tossed.

"I'm warning you with peace and love I have too much to do," the 68-year-old drummer said.

Dressed in black clothes and dark glasses, Starr said it was "a serious message to everybody watching".

He added: "No more fan mail and no objects to be signed. Nothing."

Sculpture

Starr, who released his most recent album Liverpool 8 in January, recently completed a tour of the US and Canada.

The musician currently divides his time between Los Angeles, the South of France and his UK home in Surrey.

In April, a foliage sculpture of Starr outside a train station in Liverpool was beheaded by vandals.

The performer had reportedly angered some locals when he told the BBC's Jonathan Ross he missed nothing about the city.

Original here

7 Music Trends Whose Return Must Be Stopped

By CRACKED Staff, Lisa-Skye Ioannidis

Like fashion, music trends go in cycles. Artists get nostalgic for the stuff they listened to as kids and try to bring it back. That's why there are music fads from the 80s and 90s due to jump back on center stage at any moment. Ladies and gentlemen, there must be a way to stop them.

Here are trends that must remain in the past... at all costs.

#7.
Child Exploitation in Rap

At an age when you were having your first wet dreams about April O'Neil (or, in some cases, Krang), some kids were actually making something of their pubescence. Perhaps due to the tragic post-80s decline of the Jackson Five, in the 90s the world just needed children rapping. And, if possible, wearing their clothes backwards.

Examples:

Kriss Kross. Another Bad Creation (ABC). Lil Bow Wow (who ran out of 'Dog' puns after his third album).

Current Threats:

Seven year-old Bentley Green is out there plugging away, hoping the fad comes back before he's too old to take advantage (he started his MySpace when he was five freaking years old).

His big YouTube track has gotten three million hits and he's performed on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, where Ellen and the crowd treated him exactly like a puppy.


"Who's a big, cranky rapper? You are! Yes you are!"

There's real danger here, because he has the same "Aw, he's adorable!" factor with the housewives that made Kriss Kross mainstream, without the horrified moment when they realized the Kriss Kross kids were calling themselves "Mack Daddy" (which literally meant they were claiming to be 12 year-old pimps). In a couple of years this kid could have a merchandising empire that dwarfs Hanna Montanna.

Whatever happened to all of kiddie rapper acts, anyway? We're kind of shocked that none of them have their own reality TV show, following their sad lives as they prepare for a revival tour, using their old material. Cue uncomfortable scenes of re-learning lyrics about playgrounds, juxtaposed with one rapper getting high and trying to round up three hookers for a fourgy. Really cheap, filthy hookers.

#6.
Charity Supergroup Songs

There was a time when pop artists cared about the plight of the unfortunate. Every so often, they'd look up from their gold-plated plate of gold-plated coke, turn to their busty companion, and realize that dammit, all is not right in the world.

And they could do something to help: they could sing about it. Or even better, get a bunch of their famous friends together to sing about it.

Examples:

"We Are the World" (1985), "Do They Know It's Christmas?" (1984), "Feed the World" (1984), "Voices That Care" (1991).

Current Threats:

There was a whole mess of songs devoted to Hurricane Katrina but you'll notice all of the stars went it alone, rather than go the supergroup route. Apparently today's pop stars hate each other so much that not even Bob Geldof could shoehorn them all into a studio to record one track.


Poor, lonely Bob.

That, or none wanted to share the feel-good spotlight with 50 other stars. They all needed their moment, man.

No, the closest we got was Come Together Now, a "supergroup" formed by the likes of quickly forgotten American Idol Ruben Studdard and Celine Dion. Even though it was dedicated to both the 2004 Tsunami disaster and Hurricane Katrina, it never got higher than #13 on the charts.

Still, with events like Live Earth and no shortage of horrors in the world, it's just a matter of time until the track, "You Know, In Some Parts of the World Ten Year Olds Are Sold as Sex Slaves, For Old Western Men to Sodomize Them, And Babies Get Shot in The Eye Like it's No Big Thing. It's So Messed Up, Man" will hit the charts, featuring the vocal stylings of Will Smith, R Kelly, Lionel Richie and a cast of dozens of other celebrities eager to promote new films and albums.

#5.
Numbers 4 Group Names

It was a simpler time, friends. No1 askd if u wantd 2 4get ur trbls n b happy. Words were words, numbers were numbers, and they didn't mix. Except on license plates.

Then came Prince, who managed to call a song Nothing Compares 2 U, back in 1985--long before he had text messaging as an excuse.

Perhaps thanks to him, some record company execs thought the very definition of "hip", "urban" and "now" was to throw a number in the group's name. Thus we got All 4 One, Boys II Men, etc. Just look at the number hiding in there, parading around like a low-rent transsexual, drunk on a Wednesday night with a new weave to ensure s/he totally passes for a girl.

Yes, we think numbers are shemale whores and we'll have words with any man who disagrees.

Examples:

UB40, 112, 3T, All 4 One, Boys II Men, MN8

Current Threats:

Sure you've got acts like Maroon 5, Zero 7, Day 26, Matchbox 20 these days. But there the numbers serve as numbers, instead of hip replacements for real words.


But we still think these guys are a bunch of tools.

No, the real danger will be in a few years when the Texting generation grows up (that is, the kids who learned to text before they learned to read). This is when we'll see the 1337 pop groups. Perhaps a girl group called Cr4zii B4b3z? Or a Christian Rock act called J3sus' So1d|3rs? Or a DJ act named 411 Ur B34tz R B310ng 2 Us?

Here they come, guys. Trust us. Here they fucking come.

#4.
Hair Metal

The 80s were a good time to be a man who loved makeup, hair spray, peroxide, bright pink spandex and, somehow, women. These bands sang about being badass rockers and left lipstick on the microphone. They did it without an ounce of irony or parody.

Science is baffled to this day.

Examples:

Quiet Riot, Motley Crue, W.A.S.P., Dokken, Twisted Sister, Warrant, Cinderella, Poison.

Current Threats:

The Darkness tried. Really hard, in fact. And you can still find the odd act here and there paying homage to that more simpler time.

But we really do seem safe from a full-on comeback. This is a more jaded time. The cornerstone of that music, i.e. cheesy sexual innuendo, doesn't play now.

This is the era of internet porn. We're not going to scare Mom and Dad with suggestively-titled albums like Open Up and Say.. Ahh (Poison), Cherry Pie (Warrant) and Girls, Girls, Girls (Motley Crue). And that's what those acts were all about, a rebellion against the conservative Reagan 80s, thrusting their zebra-skin, spandexed crotches in the camera, knowing every cry of outrage would sell another ten thousand albums.

So what are they going to do to get that same reaction now? Show up in rouge, leopard print leggings and teased hair, posing for the cover of their CD, Defecate Over a Glass Coffee Table as I Relax Below and Open Up And Say 'Ooh Uncle Kevin, Penetrate Me in My Vagina-Hole Whilst Wearing a Blue Power Rangers Costume'?

Probably.

#3.
Dudes As Ugly Chicks

Don't confuse this with the one above (a glammed-up Brett Michaels actually made a pretty good looking chick, whether you admit it or not). We're talking about the transvestites. The gender-bending guy who comes around, blurring the line between sexes and thus winding up as the worst of both worlds.

Examples:

Boy George, Marilyn (the Poor Man's Boy George from the 80s) Marilyn Manson (the Scary Man's Boy George).


Boy George, and some other dude dressed as a chick.

Current Threats:

If you're still not clear on why we're so intent on stopping this from coming back, meet Aziz.

He's a Bulgarian pop star who is so huge in his native country that he represented them in Eurovision (sort of the European version of American Idol, with singers from several countries).

As you can see, this new generation of cross-dressers are extraordinarily lazy. He didn't bother to shave the goatee, or even tape down his junk. Quite frankly, if he doesn't care about his craft, why should we?

#2.
Warbling Diva + Menacing Dude Rapper = PROFIT

Seriously, the nineties were utterly retarded for this formula. The black Diva would sing the verses, usually about music, freedom, love in the night, passing love, or loving love, do a bit of chorus gear, and then, BOOM: the man would stomp in and do some tuff-as-guts rapping about yearning, or love, or being stern like a terminal illness.

Examples:

The Real McCoy. Snap. C & C Music Factory. Black Box. Culture Beat. And Michael Jackson when he got a rapper in for the bridge of "Black or White".

Current Threats:

You still see acts testing the waters with this technique, mainly because rappers today already spend most of their time wandering around studios where other albums are being recorded, and inserting themselves into the tracks.

So on Rihanna's hit "Umbrella" we have a Jay-Z rap glued onto the intro, for no reason at all.

If you're not sure what's so threatening about this genre, then perhaps you need to experience "Smell Yo Dick". NSFW.

#1.
Song-Specific Dances

As always, the trend that needs to die most, is the one that dies hardest.

Every few years or so a new song with its own dance pops up. They're always pure cheese, and they wind up way, way, way more popular than they deserve. We're a little more than 11 years past "The Macarena," its fourteen damned weeks at #1 still hanging as a huge black mark in our cultural history.

Examples:

"The Twist" (1960). "The Nutbush" (1973). "The Bus Stop". "The Cabbage Patch" (1987). "Achy Breaky Heart" (1992). "The Macarena" (1996). "The Locomotion" (three fucking times).

Current Threats:

The world is still recovering from the carnage left by the Soulja Boy disaster. His YouTube video demonstrating his patented dance got as much traffic as the actual video for the song. From there it spread to the radio, and spent seven weeks at number one.

Here's an idea: the next time some new artist comes along to cash in on a new annoying song/dance combination, let's band together to stop him. We'll get a supergroup to sing a charity single, and with the money we'll pay the dude to stay home. The cost will be great, but we cannot stand by and allow another "Crank That" to happen to our children.

Original here

The 200 Greatest Songs of the 1960s


Story by Pitchfork Staff

People always ask: "When is Pitchfork gonna run a list of the top albums of the 1960s?" The answer today? Probably never. Not that we didn't consider it. It's just that when we sat down to map it all out, we found it would be more rewarding to approach the decade through its songs instead. After all, it was by and large a single-oriented era-- the long-player didn't really take over as a creative medium until the 60s had nearly come to an end. And besides, Revolver's ego is out of hand as it is.

So today, we kick off the largest feature in Pitchfork history, a five-day trip through the first full decade of the pop/rock era. From today until Friday, we'll roll out the 200 songs that most resonate with a generation too young to have experienced the decade firsthand, but old enough to know it had more to offer than "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction".

Of course, we recognize that even at 200 tracks, our list leaves off hundreds of other fantastic and amazing songs-- not to mention a handful of cuts from the Baby Boomer canon that our staff doesn't much care for (hello, "Light My Fire"!). But if nothing else, we at least limited the maximum number of tracks per artist to five so that, say, the 14th most popular Beach Boys song (probably "Vega-Tables" or some such) wouldn't bump off more deserving tracks from less iconic artists. So let's waste no time counting off the first 50...

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200. The Kinks: "Sunny Afternoon"
(Ray Davies)
1966
Chart info: U.S. (#14), UK (#1)
Available on Face to Face

While already rightly revered as bratty garage rockers by the time of this track's release, the Kinks truly excelled when singer Ray Davies took a more observational, wry approach to songwriting-- and "Sunny Afternoon" is one of his wriest on record. As the song's ground-down, sadsack narrator, Davies sounds utterly exhausted by the task of telling his miserable tale, backed by a descending chromatic bassline that nearly flatlines by song's end. --Adam Moerder

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199. Nina Simone: "Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair"
(Traditional)
1964
Chart info: U.S. (N/A), UK (N/A)
Available on Anthology

The famous Celtic ballad begins with a lustful list of physical attributes-- a true love's hair, face, eyes, and hands-- but Nina Simone's voice is less than interested in the material world. She emits a spectral trill, as confident and crestfallen as a death-row inmate. Even the skeletal piano feels too heavy for Simone's vaporous devotion. --Alex Linhardt

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198. Dionne Warwick: "Walk On By"
(Burt Bacharach/Hal David)
1964
Chart info: U.S. (#6), UK (#9)
Available on The Very Best of Dionne Warwick

People talk about "perfect pop" and I generally have no idea what they're talking about. "Walk On By" is perfect pop, though, in the strictest sense: not a hair is out of place, no smudged eyeliner, nothing to taint its inherent loveliness. Any Bacharach/Warwick collaboration is a pick hit to click, but this is the most famous for a reason. Poised to the brink of formality, the song moves with the utterly unhurried grace of a woman in a ball gown. Perfect composure is one way to keep the tears inside, after all. -- Jess Harvell

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197. Charles Mingus: "Solo Dancer"
(Charles Mingus)
1963
Chart info: U.S. (N/A), UK (N/A)
Available on The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady

The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady is regularly cited as a masterpiece of jazz orchestration, but that hardly accounts for the sheer fury of Mingus' creativity. "Solo Dancer" is like a jazz diagram of the psyche or a chronology of the 20th century: a swarming assembly of neon alto, cracked trumpets, chromatic discord, and prolonged lyricism. --Alex Linhardt

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196. Irma Thomas: "Time Is on My Side"
(Norman Meade/Jerry Ragovoy)
1964
Chart info: U.S. (N/A), UK (N/A)
Available on Sweet Soul Queen of New Orleans: The Irma Thomas Collection

Though Thomas is widely acknowledged as the Soul Queen of Nola, I've always thought she never got a fair shake (e.g. neither "Ruler of My Heart" nor "Don't Mess With My Man" made this list). The Rolling Stones eventually made this song a smash, but all they did was jack Thomas' steez in full, changing nary a note, save one small thing: They could never belt like her. -- Sean Fennessey

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195. James Brown: "Night Train (Live at the Apollo)"
(Jimmy Forrest/Lewis Simpkins/Oscar Washington)
1963
Chart info: U.S. (#35), UK (N/A)
Available on Live at the Apollo

Sure, the official version (released in 1962) moves and grooves just fine, especially with Brown doing double duty on the mic and on the drums. But compared to what's on Live at the Apollo, it's doing the standing still. On the greatest stage in the world, Mr. Star Time goes up and down the eastern seaboard in record time, shouting out the stops the train ain't stopping at, while the band throws more and more coal into the engine. --David Raposa

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194. The Foundations: "Build Me Up Buttercup"
(Michael d'Abo/Tony Macaulay)
1968
Chart info: U.S. (#3), UK (#2)
Available on Baby Now That You've Found Me

This is the stuff mixtapes are made of: an infectiously catchy melody that sugarcoats a protagonist's romantic plight, and lyrics that instantaneously connect with red-blooded love birds. The Foundations' career may have burned short and hot, but their pop chops and puppy-dog pathos remain timeless. --Adam Moerder

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193. Johnny and June Carter Cash: "Jackson"
(Gaby Rogers)
1967
Chart info: U.S. (N/A), UK (N/A)
Available on The Essential Johnny Cash

About a haranguing wife that, in the fourth verse, transforms into a creature far more badass than her "big talkin'" husband, "Jackson" puts to song the time-honored tradition of doing crazy things to fix a crazy relationship. The story is almost as romantic as that of the two lovers who sing it. --Zach Baron

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192. Alton Ellis: "I'm Still in Love With You"
(Alton Ellis)
1967
Chart info: U.S. (N/A), UK (N/A)
Available on Studio One Story

With Alton Ellis crying eternal affection above a gentle, stuttering riddim, this is the perfect starry-eyed Jamaican wedding song, right? Not quite. "You don't know how to love me, not even how to kiss me-- I just don't know why…" he sneaks in, slyly mixing tragedy in with the love-drunk refrain. Unrequited love has rarely seemed so tantalizing. --Ryan Dombal

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191. The Cannonball Adderley Quintet: "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy"
(Joe Zawinul)
1966
Chart info: U.S. (#11), UK (N/A)
Available on Mercy, Mercy, Mercy: Live at "The Club"

It wasn't really recorded at "The Club"-- that was just a trick to get some publicity for a new venue on Chicago's South Side. Instead, Adderley got some friends together in the studio and plied them with drinks while the band cut this bit of surging, euphoric gospel. Every whoop, though, is true and from the heart. --Mark Richardson

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190. Leonard Cohen: "So Long, Marianne"
(Leonard Cohen)
1968
Chart info: U.S. (N/A), UK (N/A)
Available on The Songs of Leonard Cohen

"So Long, Marianne”'s acoustic strum and weepy concertina crank up once Cohen weighs his conflicting desires for shelter and freedom, establishing a recursive loop of lamentation and joy. Love is a filament of web binding him to a ledge-- stronger than its fragile appearance would imply; it's easier stretched than severed. --Brian Howe
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189. The Sonics: "Strychnine"
(Gerry Roslie)
1965
Chart info: U.S. (N/A), UK (N/A)
Available on Here Are the Sonics

A song about drinking rat poison and liking it more than either water or wine. Garage-rock proto-punks the Sonics-- without their raw fuzzed-buzz and Gerry Roslie's roll'n'roll howl-- played rock that couldn't help but shock and awe. --Zach Baron

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188. Tyrannosaurus Rex: "Debora"
(Marc Bolan)
1968
Chart info: U.S. (N/A), UK (#34)
Available on The Definitive Tyrannosaurus Rex

Pre-glam, pre-T. Rex Marc Bolan recorded this hand-drummed Lord of the Rings Brit folk spasmodica. Among other things, it's another great example of Bolan's unmistakable influence on Devendra Banhart and the Hairy Fairy crew. The jumpy verbal string of "Dug a re dug n dug a re dug re dug" and lines like "O Debora, always dress like a conjurer/ It's fine to see your young face hiding/ ‘Neath the stallion that I'm riding" confirm why Bolan named his book of poetry a very Danzig sounding, The Warlock of Love. But really, he's Donovan with chops. --Brandon Stosuy

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187. The Walker Brothers: "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore"
(Bob Crewe/Bob Gaudio)
1966
Chart info: U.S. (#13), UK (#1)
Available on After the Lights Go Out

Before Scott Walker was a shivery avant-gardist, he was a shivery crooner pinup, and this spaghetti Western anthem was his band's biggest hit. Like the Righteous Brothers by way of the Free Design and Ennio Morricone, this was light years away from his current coordinates, but no less cinematic. --Mark Pytlik

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186. The Hollies: "Bus Stop"
(Graham Gouldman)
1966
Chart info: U.S. (#5), UK (#5)
Available on 30th Anniversary Collection 1963-1993

Never mind that "Bus Stop" evokes a gentler counterculture in which the youth of the nation enacted mating rituals-- attraction, pairing, commitment-- underneath a pedestrian umbrella. From the first sprinkles of acoustic guitar to the stormcloud minor-chords, from the desperate harmonies of the chorus to the sweet idea of falling in love out of the rain, this Hollies hit is all hook. --Stephen M. Deusner

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185. The Temptations: "Get Ready"
(Smokey Robinson)
1966
Chart info: U.S. (#29), UK (#10)
Available on The Ultimate Collection

On the verses, "Get Ready" is a tense and unforgiving stomper, but the chorus turns the song into a sweeping drama, a transcendent whoop of joy-- and throughout it all, Eddie Kendricks' angelic falsetto floats overhead like a balloon caught in a gust of wind. --Tom Breihan

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184. James Brown: "Mother Popcorn (You Got to Have a Mother for Me)"
(James Brown/Pee Wee Ellis)
1969
Chart info: U.S. (#11), UK (N/A)
Available on Star Time

No words can describe this song's throbbing physicality better than the singer's own "Jump back baby, James Brown's gonna do his thing." That "thing" involves a hysterical performance that switches from a sexualized grunt to a bizarre, high-pitched whine without warning. And with a horn chart snaking around a squirmy guitar line, Brown's band does its thing, too. --Stephen M. Deusner

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183. Bobby Darin: "Beyond the Sea"
(Jack Lawrence/Charles Trenet)
1960
Chart info: U.S. (#6), UK (#8)
Available on The Ultimate Bobby Darin

The aural definition of "wistful," the lyrics to "Beyond the Sea" scan as if there should be doubt that the song's distant lovers will meet again. In his reading of the song, Darin doesn't sound so sure; even when his band gets raucous, he sits it out and comes back as melancholy as ever. --Joe Tangari

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182. Patsy Cline: "She's Got You"
(Hank Cochran)
1962
Chart info: U.S. (#14), UK (N/A)
Available on 12 Greatest Hits

Money can't buy love, but roving hands can steal it, and on this countrypolitan waltz, Cline sounds irrevocably bereaved, running through possessions she has, and the precious one that no longer belongs to her. I think there's a piano in my beer. --Marc Hogan

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181. France Gall: "Laisse Tomber les Filles"
(Serge Gainsbourg)
1964
Chart info: U.S. (N/A), UK (N/A)
Available on Poupée de Son

In 1964, Gall was a 17-year-old ingénue, but her mentor-- a promising 36-year-old lecher named Serge Gainsbourg-- turned garish jailbait euphemisms into an art form. Accompanied by swooning trumpets and speakeasy bass, Gall makes her way through a tawdry jukebox-slapping cabaret populated by alcoholics and nymphettes. If pop music is supposed to combine virginity and carnality, "Laisse Tomber les Filles" might well be the pinnacle of yé-yé ecstasy. --Alex Linhardt

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180. The Barbarians: "Moulty"
(Eliot Greenberg/Doug Morris/Barbara Baer/Robert Schwartz)
1965
Chart info: U.S. (N/A), UK (N/A)
Available on Nuggets

This song is best known for being the inspirational tale of the band's hook-handed drummer, but I'll put up the chorus of "Moulty" against any other from the decade-- "Louie Louie", "Mony Mony", anything-- as being the biggest, loudest, and most unintelligible, made all the more dynamically triumphant by the aw-shucks verses. --Rob Mitchum

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179. Bembeya Jazz National: "Armée Guinéenne"
(Bembeya Jazz National)
1969
Chart info: U.S. (N/A), UK (N/A)
Available on The Syliphone Years

Updating an old folk song honoring warriors and dedicating it to Guinea's then-fledgling armed forces, Bembeya Jazz created a hypnotic masterpiece. Balafon and percussion underpin Cuban-influenced horns and vocals, but Sekou Diabate's lead guitar steals the show as the fluid lifeblood of the song. --Joe Tangari

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178. Otis Redding: "I've Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now)"
(Jerry Butler/Otis Redding)
1965
Chart info: U.S. (#29), UK (N/A)
Available on Otis Blue: Otis Redding Sings Soul

Few performer/musician combos have enjoyed better, tighter dynamics than the ones forged between Redding and the Stax house band. The players follow his lead at every note, offsetting his soul-wrenching performance with austere horn ascensions and demonstrative punches. Redding makes the climax massive, but the band downplays it sweetly, internalizing his proclamation and making it an intimate exchange as much between the singer and band as between a man and a woman. --Stephen M. Deusner

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177. The Tammys: "Egyptian Shumba"
(Lou Christie/Twyla Herbert)
1963
Chart info: U.S. (N/A), UK (N/A)
Available on Egyptian Shumba: The Singles and Rare Recordings 1962-1964

It's not just that this girl group's gone wilder than any garage band on the list-- it's that they're possessed. The Tammys bop hard and bratty, but by the chorus they're literally growling, barking, and squealing like sexed-up hyenas; in the bridge you can hear them shudder and jerk their way into a frenzy. It's their party and they'll scream if they want to. --Nitsuh Abebe

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176. MC5: "Kick Out the Jams"
(Michael Davis/Wayne Kramer/Fred "Sonic" Smith/Dennis Thompson/Rob Tyner)
1969
Chart info: U.S. (N/A), UK (N/A)
Available on Kick Out the Jams

This one's a classic before it even starts, thanks to Rob Tyner's still-startling introduction (take the title, add "muthafuckahhhs!"). Though punk more in intent ("Let me be who I am!") than action (essentially, post-Who/Jimi Hendrix blooze-rock, but sloppier), this remains an eternal rallying cry for anarchy in the USA. --Stuart Berman

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175. Loretta Lynn: "Don't Come Home a Drinkin' (With Lovin' on Your Mind)"
(Loretta Lynn/Peggy Sue Wells)
1967
Chart info: U.S. (N/A), UK (N/A)
Available on The Definitive Collection

Loretta Lynn hates drunk sex (or something). Loves the Iraq War, though. She said as much at a pre-Jack White Taste of Chicago. But "Liquor and love, they just don't mix," teases Lynn on 1967's "Don't Come Home a Drinkin'", with honky-tonk pedal steel and juke-joint piano. See, lady is crazy! --Marc Hogan

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174. Darlene Love: "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)"
(Jeff Barry/Ellie Greenwich/Phil Spector)
1963
Chart info: U.S. (N/A), UK (N/A)
Available on A Christmas Gift for You From Phil Spector

Love's woe-steeped holiday ballad is the best Xmas present Phil Spector ever gave. The track features all of the producer's trademarks and his dense arrangement provides the perfect backdrop for Love's rich voice, making it easy to understand why this has become an integral part of the Christmas music canon. --Cory D. Byrom

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173. Phil Ochs: "I Ain't Marching Anymore"
(Phil Ochs)
1969
Chart info: U.S. (N/A), UK (N/A)
Available on I Ain't Marching Anymore

Of all the protest songs Ochs penned, "I Ain't Marching Anymore" is the strongest. Ochs' narrow tenor and staccato guitar propel this anthem about a soldier who up and stops killing. It's an urgent rebuke against the war in Vietnam, but Ochs also takes the high road: He doesn't rip into the old men who start the wars that get young men killed-- he just puts down his gun and walks away. --Chris Dahlen

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172. Archie Bell & the Drells: "Here I Go Again"
(Kenny Gamble/Leon Huff)
1969
Chart info: U.S. (N/A), UK (#11)
Available on There's Gonna Be a Showdown

Whether it be "Tighten Up", "I Can't Stop Dancing", "Dancing to Your Music", "Dance Your Troubles Away", or "Dancin' Man", these dudes sure liked to dance. But with this Gamble & Huff swift-string strut, Bell and co. took on a different kind of hustle. "I should have learned my lesson, you hurt me before/ But every time I see ya, I keep running back for more," blows Bell, breaking down romance's inexplicable two-step with a purposeful stride. --Ryan Dombal

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171. Neil Diamond: "Sweet Caroline"
(Neil Diamond)
1969
Chart info: U.S. (#4), UK (#8)
Available on His 12 Greatest Hits

When I was little, my best friend's mom-- who'd seen Neil Diamond in concert a dozen times-- told me he had "a nice tush." It was a strange moment-- almost traumatic. I was just a kid for chrissakes, and this was an authority figure. But Neil had that kind of power over women and this single is one reason why. It also explains why 12 Songs was a bad idea. --Mark Richardson

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170. Françoise Hardy: "Tous Les Garcons et Les Filles"
(Françoise Hardy/Roger Samyn)
1964
Chart info: U.S. (N/A), UK (#36)
Available on The Vogue Years

The beat sways, Hardy sings, you swoon. The space between the guitar, bass, drums, and vocals-- and that's all there is on this song-- is palpable, and Hardy's vocal is a nonchalantly solitary midnight waltz through swinging Paris. Makes me want to learn French. --Joe Tangari

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169. Stevie Wonder: "Uptight (Everything's Alright)"
(Henry Cosby/Sylvia Moy/Stevie Wonder)
1966
Chart info: U.S. (#3), UK (#14)
Available on Definitive Collection

After two years without a major hit-- an eternity in the Motown days-- and with his voice making the troublesome transition from "Little" to big, 15-year-old Stevie Wonder (with help from a cavalcade of horns) literally laughs through his woes on this No. 3 smash. It's all in this rich girl/poor boy tale: the freakish optimism, opulent funk, and sneaky sociology. Here, the full breadth of Wonder's talent starts to come into full view. --Ryan Dombal

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168. Albert Ayler: "Ghosts"
(Albert Ayler)
1964
Chart info: U.S. (N/A), UK (N/A)
Available on Love Cry

Ayler first recorded his signature piece "Ghosts" in 1964, and it eventually became his most frequently played composition. The shortened version that appears on his 1967 Impulse album Love Cry is perhaps the purest distillation of Ayler's ecstatic marching-band mode, as he and his brother Donald volley the theme's simple fanfare back and forth with a joyous, Pentecostal fervor. --Matthew Murphy

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167. Stone Poneys: "Different Drum"
(Michael Nesmith)
1967
Chart info: U.S. (#13), UK (N/A)
Available on The Very Best of Linda Ronstadt

It's not you, it's Linda Rondstadt. Only in her 1967 Stone Poneys version of Monkees guitarist Mike Nesmith's "Different Drum", the country-pop diva would never put it so blandly. "I ain't saying you ain't pretty/ All I'm sayin' is I'm not ready," she avers, standing proud with Nashville strings and "In My Life"-like harpsichord. So… can we stay friends? --Marc Hogan

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166. The Flirtations: "Nothing But a Heartache"
(Wayne Bickerton/Tony Waddington)
1969
Chart info: U.S. (#34), UK (N/A)
Available on The Northern Soul Scene

This is girl-group pop with all the swoony drama that the genre demanded, but it's also tense and brittle: The horn stabs and string whooshes anticipate the funk and disco that were in their embryonic stages in 1969, and the group sings about heartache like they're sharpening their teeth. Northern Soul kids picked up on this one for very good reasons. --Tom Breihan

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165. The Monks: "Monk Time"
(Gary Burger/Larry Clark/Dave Day/Roger Johnston/Eddie Shaw)
1966
Chart info: U.S. (N/A), UK (N/A)
Available on Black Monk Time

It's beat time, it's hop time, it's Monk time! It's American punk GIs in Germany destroying everything in sight with overdriven organ, guitar feedback, and electrified banjo. This was not your rank-and-file Army beat group, raging against Vietnam, the Bomb, and complacency. --Joe Tangari

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164. Frank Sinatra: "It Was a Very Good Year"
(Ervin Drake)
1965
Chart info: U.S. (#28), UK (N/A)
Available on September of My Years

Frank walks the same balancing act as Jay-Z, somehow pulling off the aging-Don Juan character and even making himself sympathetic. Strings weep and oboes hum while Sinatra looks back on all the girls he's fucked with a fond, eloquent melancholy, never dropping his swagger but still letting weariness seep in. Masterful. --Tom Breihan

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163. Cromagnon: "Caledonia"
(Connecticut Tribe/Brian Elliot/Austin Grasmere)
1969
Chart info: U.S. (N/A), UK (N/A)
Available on Orgasm

A stately funereal march for a whole army of whispering maniacs, "Caledonia"-- with its pre-industrial stomp and pre-modern bagpipery-- evokes nothing so much as the distant and terrifying future. Like pretty much everything else on the ESP-Disk label, Cromagnon made songs so far ahead of their time we've yet to catch up. --Zach Baron

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162. The Who: "I Can See For Miles"
(Pete Townshend)
1967
Chart info: U.S. (#9), UK (#10)
Available on The Who Sell Out

At the time of this song's release, the Who weren't pleased with its chart success-- it only reached #10 in the UK. But while it found them stretching out a bit, it's really classic Who, with loose, airy verses, tight, catchy choruses, and plenty of wailing from both Pete Townshend and Keith Moon. --Cory D. Byrom

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161. The Zombies: "She's Not There"
(Rod Argent)
1964
Chart info: U.S. (#2), UK (#12)
Available on Begin Here

It's counterintuitively groovy, with its minor-key darkness and halting drum part, but "She's Not There" is as arresting and mysterious as the girl it describes. Singer Colin Blunstone exudes cool on the verses, obeys the frenzy of the chorus, and lets Rod Argent unload on one of rock's best electric piano solos. --Joe Tangari

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160. Os Mutantes: "A Minha Menina"
(Jorge Ben)
1968
Chart info: U.S. (N/A), UK (N/A)
Available on Os Mutantes

In 1968 Brazil, it constituted a political statement for Os Mutantes to perform their brash and radical form of Tropicália. But you'd never guess it from the playful, sunny bounce of "A Minha Menina", which combines propulsive Latin rhythms, delirious doo-wop choruses, and trebly fuzz guitar to frame a near-perfect slice of carefree boy-meets-girl pop. --Matthew Murphy

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159. Pink Floyd: "Astronomy Domine"
(Syd Barrett/Nick Mason/Roger Waters/Rick Wright)
1967
Chart info: U.S. (N/A), UK (N/A)
Available on The Piper at the Gates of Dawn

In a pre-Dark Side of the Moon world, "Astronomy Domine" was Pink Floyd's calling card, single-handedly generating every space-rock cliché and exposing rock's true psychedelic potential. Forget Jerry Garcia and Jefferson Airplane: According to Syd Barrett's brilliantly warped songwriting, mind expansion and intergalactic research could only be conducted through NASA morse code, academic electronics, time-rippling guitar echoes, and tabernacle vocals about Saturnian staircases. --Alex Linhardt

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158. P.P. Arnold: "The First Cut Is the Deepest"
(Cat Stevens)
1967
Chart info: U.S. (N/A), UK (#18)
Available on The Immediate Singles Collection

Everyone from Rod Stewart to Sheryl Crow has covered this Cat Stevens-penned number, but no one has owned it like Arnold, whose delivery suggests a lively mix of brassy self-possession and courageous vulnerability. Her devastating interpretation outshines the fussily Spector-ian orchestration, making the song a massive monument to a profoundly broken heart. --Stephen M. Deusner

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157. Aretha Franklin: "Do Right Woman, Do Right Man"
(Chips Moman/Dan Penn)
1967
Chart info: U.S. (N/A), UK (N/A)
Available on I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You

Fuck Dr. Phil. Fuck Oprah. Fuck "Lovelines" and Dr. Drew. The blueprint to how to treat a woman is delivered by the woman with the voice we all want to educate us. Aretha opens plainly with "Take me to heart and I'll always love you." Is there any better way to explain this? --Sean Fennessey

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156. Loretta Lynn: "Fist City"
(Loretta Lynn)
1968
Chart info: U.S. (N/A), UK (N/A)
Available on The Definitive Collection

The greatest catfight song of all time would be just another sad attempt by a done-wrong woman to stick up for her no-good man if it wasn't for the vicious glee with which Lynn delivers her threats. It's almost as if she encourages him to cheat, just so she can get off on beating up the bitch afterward. --Amy Phillips

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155. Creedence Clearwater Revival: "Bad Moon Rising"
(John Fogerty)
1969
Chart info: U.S. (#2), UK (#1)
Available on Green River

"Bad Moon Rising" remains the apotheosis of midnight dread: sly rockabilly, cheery resignation, and stab-your-friends paranoia. For all of Fogerty's lyrical simplicity ("I hear the voice of rage and ruin"), he manages to unite Cambodian monsoons, tear-gassed riots, postdiluvian Apollo missions, and bayou homicide under one ominous eclipse. --Alex Linhardt

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154. The Kingsmen: "Louie Louie"
(Richard Berry)
1963
Chart info: U.S. (#2), UK (#26)
Available on The Kingsmen in Person

You can blear the words and miss your cues. You can play it in a marching band, with the tubas bobbing up and down, farting the hook. You can even, like radio station KFJC, spin 823 different versions by different bands for a straight 63 hours. Go ahead, try anything-- because you can't fuck up "Louie, Louie". --Chris Dahlen

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153. Lorraine Ellison: "Stay With Me"
(Jerry Ragovoy/George David Weiss)
1969
Chart info: U.S. (N/A), UK (N/A)
Available on Stay With Me: The Best of Lorraine Ellison

"Stay With Me" starts with a slow-rotating piano line and a whisper-coo vocal, before it wells up and explodes into one of the great scenery-chewing choruses of all time. An orchestra drops bombs, and Ellison's voice abandons all restraint, clawing and rasping and howling at the man who's about to leave her. --Tom Breihan

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152. The Association: "Never My Love"
(Don Addrisi/Dick Addrisi)
1967
Chart info: U.S. (#2), UK (N/A)
Available on The Association's Greatest Hits

While the Association's happy-together harmonies might make them seem like just another chirpy pop group aching to be hoisted upon Charles Manson's petard, there's a wispy melancholy to "Never My Love" that lifts it above the rabble. This reassuring affirmation of amour is a California dream that knows the alarm could go off at any time, which, in a world of silly love songs, makes all the difference. --David Raposa

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151. David Axelrod: "The Human Abstract"
(David Axelrod)
1969
Chart info: U.S. (N/A), UK (N/A)
Available on Songs of Experience

This is the kind of primary-source material that lets DJ Shadow records get described as "cinematic"-- a bottomless piano figure that ramps up through funk bass, guitar shards, and what we'd now call "breakbeats" to hit a string-drenched climax. This, you know, is the kind of stuff the cool kids listened to. --Nitsuh Abebe

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