This blog is officially "retired," but my other blog,
"The Lair of the Silver Fox," is still open for business!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The BEST o'the BEST o'the BEST... SIR!!!

How to create controversy in one easy lesson: Present your own opinions as incontrovertible facts.

If I were to list each of the following items as "My Favorite [So-and-So]," this would be a nice, innocuous little collection of my musical favorites.

But no.

I'm presenting the following list as "The Best Of... " Not only am I courting controversy by doing that, but I'm also taking an additional chance of pissing people off by arbitrarily limiting the scope of my "nominations" and "winning candidates" to pop/rock artists & music from roughly 1960-1980. Why? Just to be an ornery jerk, cuz I can.

This method may cause division among the ranks of the RantzerooZ. "That's not the best [So-and-So]!" you may say (even if you don't leave a comment stating your position). Well... tough. It is now. I wrote it; that makes it real. This method may cause people to argue with me (or each other). This method may cause people to insult me (or each other). It could even start a Third World War... or not.

Well... Probably not, where that last one is concerned.

Anyway, here's my (pop & rock'n'roll) list of "bests" and "mosts" -- which I purposely did not number, since it's not that kind of list -- and let the buffalo chips fall where they may.
  • Best Singer: Janis Joplin and Roy Orbison (Let's call that a tie; I don't want to split this into a male/female thing.)
  • Best Lead Vocalist for a Rock Band: Freddy Mercury of Queen and Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin (tie)
  • Best Lead Vocalist for a Rock Band Who Can Actually Act in a Movie or a TV Program Without Embarrassing Himself: Roger Daltrey of The Who
  • Best Lead Vocalist for a Rock Band Who Can't Shut the F**k Up During the Guitar Lead to Save His Life: Paul Rodgers of Free and Bad Company, etc.
  • Best Guitarist: (Ohhh, no you don't! Even mine aren't that big!)
  • Group with the Best Catalog of Albums to Bring with You to a Deserted Island: The Beatles
  • Group with the Best Catalog of Albums to Bring with You to a Deserted Island (Substance Abuse Division) : The Doors (Honorable Mention: Pink Floyd)
  • Best Carnival Barker in Terms of Extending the Hype Forever: Ray Manzarek of The Doors
  • Artist I Most Wish Would Shut Up and Retire, Already: Elton John
  • Best "Done-You-Wrong Song in Captivity"* : "Can't You See" by The Marshall Tucker Band
  • Most Incredibly Talented & Promising Artist Whose Career Lasted Long Enough for Him to Totally F**k It Up: Michael Jackson
  • Best Album Cover (not the Best Album. The Best Album Cover): "Weekend Warriors" by Ted Nugent

  • Most Influential Debut Album of the Early 1960s (U.S. version) : "Meet the Beatles" by... Oh, you guessed that one?**
  • Most Influential Debut Album of the Late 1960s: "Led Zeppelin"*** by Led Zeppelin
  • Best British Invasion Group That Actually Sounded British: Herman's Hermits
  • Best British Invasion Group That Tried to Sound Like Americans: everybody else
  • Best Songwriter with an Overly Recognizable Style****: Jim Steinman
  • Best LP Almost Nobody But Me Seems to Know About: "Songs for Beginners" by Graham Nash
  • Best LP Almost Nobody But Me Seems to Know About That Also Inflenced My Own Personal Singing Style: "Wheatfield Soul" by The Guess Who
  • Best Damned Song I Ever Wrote: "The Life You Never Find" (Runner-Up: "Don't Let Me Love You on the Rebound")
  • Best Song to Have the Band***** or the DJ Play When You're Dancing with a Woman You Want to Boink That Evening (1960s): Cherish by The Association
  • Best Song to Have the Band***** or the DJ Play When You're Dancing with a Woman You Want to Boink That Evening (1970s): "Wildflower" by Skylark

  • Best Artist to Play When at Home with a Woman You Want to Boink That Evening (1960s): Frank Sinatra
  • Best Artist to Play When at Home with a Woman You Want to Boink That Evening (1970s): Cat Stevens (WARNING! This is no longer the case!)
  • Song That Hits You Harder Every Damned Time You Hear It, As You Get Older: "Same Auld Lang Syne" by Dan Fogelberg
  • Best Line Ever (not the Best Song, and not the Best Line from a Song. The! Best! Line! Ever! In anything! From anywhere!) : "Someone like you makes it hard to live without somebody else," from "Reason to Believe," written by Tim Hardin

See? Instant controversy! And up until this early morning revelation, I thought the only way I could do that was by talking about Sarah Palin.

Thanks for your time.

* And I wish I could properly credit the AM radio DJ who uttered that memorable phrase, over 30 years ago!
** Of course, their odds of "winning" this category were doubled, since in the USA, The Beatles actually had two debut albums, on different labels!
*** And no, it's not "Led Zeppelin I," or "Led Zeppelin One," or anything else but "Led Zeppelin!"
**** During 1983, three different songs entered the pop charts in relatively short succession: Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart," Air Supply's "Making Love out of Nothing at All," and Barry Manilow's "Read 'Em and Weep." Upon hearing each of these three songs for the first time, my response was along the lines of "Hey, I'll bet Jim Steinman wrote that!" I was right in all three cases. Best known as the songwriter behind Meat Loaf's "Bat Out of Hell" albums, Steinman's style was and is unmistakeable.*****And just for the record, I mean "the band," and not "The Band." S'awright? S'awright!

18 comments:

cake said...

I've never known one person to be so wrong so many times in a row. Wow.

I mean, you're right a lot, too...but oh so wrong, too.

I have to go and meditate on this now.

bacon ace said...

Cake, that was "The Best!!!" answer.

I Ain't No Oprah said...

I Ate The Sun.

not your mother's Yoko Ono said...

I agree with Cake.
Goes off to listen to Mr Cohan & the Band. Since they were meantioned so much.

That also means I have to listen to a lot of electric Dylan too... That Judas!!!!!!!!

Ishat's Fire said...

O.k. you may have sparked imitators.

I am off to copy your idea, spark controversy and make my own best of.

That way I wont call you a unknowing smeg head who is as clueless as an Ood that has been tamed in slavery to the tragically greedy human race!

For the record. I like the Ood. No I love the Ood. But wild and free singing songs in the wild as they should be.

I will now also change my name to DoctorDonna.

Maybe not.

If I make my own I wont be busting on yours.

Does those song actually work for rompty popty?

Really?!

Seriously!?!

I like Cake too, better than death. You go girl!

If any Brit tellie references got missed ask Lois or Cake or Red, they should know.

And all in good fun! Have a brownie, extra good stuff!

David'Z RantZ said...

You're all wrong.

My blog. My list. My rules.

I win.

[realizes he forgot to add an immature "So there!"]

So there.

However, having said that...

Can't wait to see what you all write on your own blogs. On your own blogs, you'll be right, and I'll be wrong.

I love being a catalyst.

Get to work.

David'Z RantZ said...

IANO: What if The Beatles wrote "Breakfast?"

I'll Swallow the Sun

John said...

So besides Sinatra and Cat Stevens, don't you have those categories for the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s?

David'Z RantZ said...

Nope. Not here, anyway. As I said, "I'm... arbitrarily limiting the scope of my 'nominations' and 'winning candidates' to pop/rock artists & music from roughly 1960-1980." Besides, as I hope to hell everybody realizes, this was never supposed to be a serious, scholarly, comprehensive article about"the best" in music. I mean, really, categories like "Best Lead Vocalist for a Rock Band Who Can't Shut the F**k Up During the Guitar Lead to Save His Life" and "Best Carnival Barker in Terms of Extending the Hype Forever?"

Nan J said...

"this was never supposed to be a serious, scholarly, comprehensive article about"the best" in music."

IT WASN'T???? OMG, there goes my term paper. :-/

Sparkle Plenty said...

NO, NO, NOOOOO!!!

(Casts head into hands despondently, which is a neat trick as it is still attached to my body.)

How could you be SO wrong? EVERYBODY knows that the best damned song you ever wrote is: "Aardvark Rumble" (Runner-Up: Tattered Dreams, Intact Nightmares)!!!

Other than that, you're right on the money--this kind of list can only be the best o' the best o' the best for the person who writes it.

Challenge Question: What is the best of the best of the best song to hear when you are driving in the car on the first day of spring when it's sunny and warm enough to put the window down? What song would you TURN UP WAY LOUD under these circumstances?

David'Z RantZ said...

Howdy, Sparkle!

Everybody obviously understood the intent of my so-called controversial post -- as you said, "this kind of list can only be the best o' the best o' the best for the person who writes it" -- giving me an appropriate amount of crap about my being "wrong" here and there. (Mission accomplished, self!)

So, in the "real" spirit of my post, I'll give you MY choice for the "best song to hear when you are driving in the car on the first day of spring when it's sunny and warm enough to put the window down." Two of them, actually. Depending on a whim, and assuming I'm in a good mood -- that type of weather usually brings out the best in most other people -- I'd pick either "The Boys of Summer" by Don Henley, OR if I wanted to ignore Henley's "don't look back, you can never look back" line, "L.A. Woman" by The Doors.

I tend to think of "L.A. Woman" as classic rock, and "The Boys... " as a "new" song, although it's 24 freakin' years old!!! And yes, I also know it's odd to use a song with "Summer" in the title for the first day of Spring. But, that's what it means to be me.

And if I'm feeling even more like getting into a whole oldies thing, almost anything by the Beach Boys or Jan & Dean would suffice... But you did say one song, and even at that, I had to give you two. (Always give a lady more than she asks for, say I.)

And that was a nice goof on "my songs."

Just for future reference, with the exception of the two songs I mentioned in my post and a handful of others, if any songs show up as entries on "The Lair of the Silver Fox," it means I'm phoning it in that week 'cause I got caught with my pants down -- figuratively or literally -- at deadline time.

Sparkle Plenty said...

Names of songs Sparkle wrote long, long ago so you can make up your own goof songs!

"Tell Me, Cosmo"
"Love Is Taking Me Over The Coals"
"Teddy Bear Uprising"

Love is Takin' Me Over
The Coals
Over the Coals
And Into the Fire
The Fire is Hot
With Burning Desire
But I'm Too Tired
To Care Anymore

Chorus:
I Dream Too Much, Too Hard
of Better Things
Braver Hearts
Draw Strangers Near
*BLAH BLAH BLAH YAP YAP YAP I WAS 19 WHAT CAN I SAY?

There's a lot more to that one, but we'll just draw a gentle veil.

Thanks for answering my challenge question! I think the list I'd probably work on is: "The 20 Songs I'll ALWAYS Turn the Radio Up For."

*Not an original line. Recent addition.

Ishat's Fire said...

First day of spring I once heard "Praises" by Bill Miller. I always associate it with the first day of spring now. I bought the CD just because of it.

Shrek and Fiona said...

Best Guitarist: Roy Clark

And it ain't even close....

Capris Forever said...

I think every single artist on this list would be improved with the addition of capris.

David'Z RantZ said...

Especially Michael Jackson.

Keair Snyder said...

I at least liked most of your "bests"...that's a plus.

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