The Music Must Change

I grew up on the immortal WBCN. When they changed formats (I forget the name of their new format, alternocrap or something), I switched to WZLX. Now I switch between “Dave FM” and 96.1, both of which play generous helpings of the music I like.

One tradition I love is the Memorial Day top 500 countdown. Being a rabid Who fan, I would wait to see how well the boys did. I have distinct memories of an awful weekend of long sweaty manual labor spent tarring our driveway, and then getting yelled at for doing it wrong and having to do most of it over. The only redeeming part to that weekend was the radio. The Who always got in the top 10 with Won’t Get Fooled Again, and there was a good shot that Baba O’Riley, Behind Blue Eyes, or Pinball Wizard would also be in that year’s top 10. Of course, everyone was playing for second place, it went without saying that the number one song would be Stairway to Heaven. The number one Song Remained the Same. (I hope y’all are getting the bad music puns I’m throwing in here.)

Then changes came. Growing up, the radio station was very upfront about ranking them as the “best 500”. Then over the years, it changed to the “top 500”, then to the “most requested 500”. Wussier and wussier.

Which brings us to the current day. 96.1, the local classic rock station “counts down you 496 most requested songs”. OK, ignore the typo, what’s an “r” between friends? Ignore the most requested songs, which makes the results as valid as your typical internet poll. No, what really gets me is the 496. Ya see, it’s like saying “For 96” or “For 96.1”, get it? Do ya get it? Huh huh, do ya get it?

Here is the top 10:
10 BACK IN BLACK – AC/DC
9 COLD AS ICE – FOREIGNER
8 WISH YOU WERE HERE – PINK FLOYD
7 CARRY ON WAYWARD SON – KANSAS
6 FOREPLAY/LONG TIME – BOSTON
5 ENTER SANDMAN – METALLICA
4 ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER – JIMI HENDRIX
3 LAYLA – DEREK & THE DOMINOS
2 STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN – LED ZEPPELIN
1 DREAM ON – AEROSMITH

What is up with Stairway being at #2? Now I’m a big Aerosmith fan (the New Years Eve show I saw from Row 3 is one of the highpoints of my life), but c’mon. C’mon! Dream On is just not in the same league as Stairway. It just ain’t. It’s just plain wrong to argue otherwise. Not only would Dream On not make my top 10, it might not even make my Aerosmith top 10. Hmm… maybe that should be my next post.

And — Foreigner!? Kansas!? Are you #@$@!!! serious!? They correctly put Boston’s best song up there instead of More Than a Feeling, but it’s pretty questionable to put it at number 6. If you’re going to mess with the classic top 10, you got to bring some serious heat. Enter Sandman is a great pick, but the rest is just heresy.

(BTW, The Who had 8 songs in the countdown, 3 in the top 100.)

4 thoughts on “The Music Must Change”

  1. I can’t say that I agree that Wish You Were Here is the best Floyd song either. WTF? I can think of several Floyd songs I like better. Dark Side of the Moon, Money, Time, Comfortably Numb, Shine On You Crazy Diamond, etc. All of these are better than Wish You Were Here IMO.

  2. As a big fan of good Metallica, I am horrified to see ENTER SANDMAN in the top 10. It may be that band’s top-selling song but it is certainly not their best song.

    Here’s to doing the fucking driveway wrong… along with mulching wrong, building wrong, mowing wrong, and cutting bagels wrong. People wonder why I always insist on doing it right the first time. Perhaps those disastrous days of Dad-mandated labor taught me a lesson after all.

  3. Hard to imagine a much worse list. Carry On Wayward Son? Where are the Beatles and Stones? I don’t know anyone who would call a radio station to request Cold as Ice — actually, there can’t be that many people requesting any of these songs — they are all played zillions of times anyway all over the dial. I can’t remember thinking “you know, I haven’t heard Stairway to Heaven in a while — I think I’ll call 96.1 to try and get that to the top of the playlist …”

  4. It’s now two years later. I had written a whole ‘nuther post about how much “Cold as Ice” is played on the classic rock station here, then I found this old post I had forgotten about. Holy cow, Cold as Ice isn’t even in the top 1,000 classic rock songs ever, much less the top 10. It’s unreal!

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