Living the Dream Music Tournament Presents: The Top 430

As I wrote yesterday, we are about to launch an epic single elimination music tournament to determine the best rock song of all-time.

This was originally conceived as a nine-round, 512-song tournament, but in coming up with the final list, there were too many tough calls, and I opted for a 164 song play-in for the final 82 spots.

As promised, below are the 430 songs that are automatically qualifying for the tournament, in alphabetical order by artist.

A couple words on the songs chosen:

1.The songs below are chosen because of their awesome they are, their historical importance, and how easy they are to just kick back and listen to over and over again.  That’s a mixture of subjective and objective, of course, but there is ample consensus on a lot of these songs.

2. The biggest flaw in the Rolling Stone Top 500 list was its utter hostility to new songs.  I’ve made sure to include a large number of songs from the 1990s and the ‘Naughts, while still paying respect to some of the greats from the 50s.

3. A lot of Beatles, a lot of Stones, I know.  But this list actually has fewer of them than the Rolling Stone list, and actually offers more eclectic genres than these lists generally afford. One can quibble about which songs to pick from the all-time legends, but at some point you have to cut off even the Beatles.

4.  Some artists here, like Paul Simon and the Grateful Dead, have gotten more props than usual.  That’s because I’ve watched these lists and countdowns for years, and seen them constantly underrated.   Let’s see how they do in the tournament.

5. The list of 164 is considerably more diverse than the list below, so worth checking back tomorrow to see if it’s made that cut.  If there’s still a glaring omission, I can remedy it on Thursday.

6. On Thursday night the first match-ups will be announced.  Anyone is eligible to vote on any match-up within 48 hours of it being posted.

7. I am not the most social media savvy person, but there is a Facebook page I just started. Join it for updates.

Now…the Top 430…

What’s The Matter Here 10,000 Maniacs
You Shook Me All Night Long AC/DC
Dream On Aerosmith
You Make It Easy Air
I’m So Tired of Being Alone Al Green
You Oughta Know Alanis Morrisette
Ramblin Man Allman Brothers
You Know I’m No Good Amy Winehouse
Little Plastic Castles Ani Defranco
House of the Rising Sun Animals
Tunnels Arcade Fire
Intervention Arcade Fire
Rebellion Arcade Fire
No Cars Go Arcade Fire
Sprawl II (Mountains beyond mountains) Arcade Fire
Harnessed in Slums Archers of Loaf
Respect Aretha Franklin
Natural Woman Aretha Franklin
Love Shack B 52s
I’ll Be The One Backstreet Boys
The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down Band
The Weight Band
It Makes No Difference Band
Walk Like An Egyptian Bangles
Can’t Get Enough of Your Love Barry White
California Girls Beach Boys
Wouldn’t It Be Nice Beach Boys
Sloop John B Beach Boys
Good Vibrations Beach Boys
Cottonfields Beach Boys
I Can Hear Music Beach Boys
Sabotage Beastie Boys
Hey Jude Beatles
Here Comes the Sun Beatles
Let It Be Beatles
We Can Work It Out Beatles
A Day in the Life Beatles
Eleanor Rigbey Beatles
Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds Beatles
In My Life Beatles
Ballad of John and Yoko Beatles
Golden Slumbers Medley Beatles
Twist and Shout Beatles*
Where It’s At Beck
Staying Alive Bee Gees
How Deep Is Your Love Bee Gees
Stand by Me Ben E. King
Annie Waits Ben Folds
Great Leap Forwards Billy Bragg
White Wedding Billy Idol
Piano Man Billy Joel
Captain Jack Billy Joel
We Didn’t Start the Fire Billy Joel
It’s Oh So Quiet Bjork
I’ve Got a Feeling Black Eyes Peas
No Rain Blind Melon
Hook Blues Traveler
Run Around Blues Traveler
Like a Rollin’ Stone Bob Dylan
Mr. Tamburine Man Bob Dylan
Tangled Up in Blue Bob Dylan
Blowin in the Wind Bob Dylan
Chimes of Freedom Bob Dylan
Don’t Think Twice Bob Dylan
Times They Are A-Changin Bob Dylan
Man In Me Bob Dylan
Hurricane Bob Dylan
Redemption Song Bob Marley
No Woman No Cry Bob Marley
Natural Mystic Bob Marley
Is This Love Bob Marley
Night Moves Bob Seger
Beyond the Sea Bobby Darin
Livin on a Prayer Bon Jovi
Always Bon Jovi
More Than a Feeling Boston
Thunder Road Bruce Springsteen
Rosalita Bruce Springsteen
Born to Run Bruce Springsteen
Blinded By The Light Bruce Springsteen
The River Bruce Springsteen
Dancing in the Dark Bruce Springsteen
Born in the USA Bruce Springsteen
Every Day Buddy Holly
Not Fade Away Buddy Holly
Video Killed the Radio Star Buggles
Car Built to Spill
My Back Pages Byrds*
Just What I Needed Cars
Here Comes My Baby Cat Stevens
Wild World Cat Stevens
Peace Train Cat Stevens
Proud Mary CCR
Down on the Corner CCR
Someday Never Comes CCR
Fortunate Son CCR
The Twist Chubby Checker
Johnny B. Goode Chuck Berry
Rock n Roll Music Chuck Berry
Rock the Casbah Clash
Rudie Can’t Fail Clash
White Man in Hammersmith Palais Clash
I Fought the Law Clash
Magnificent Seven Clash
Poison Ivy Coasters
Down In Mexico Coasters
Yellow Coldplay
Do You Love Me Contours
Mr. Jones Counting Crows
Zombie Cranberries
White Room Cream
Sunshine of Your Love Cream
Southern Cross CSNY
Young Americans David Bowie
Modern Love David Bowie
Changes David Bowie
New Killer Star David Bowie
Heroes David Bowie
Space Oddity David Bowie
Three’s A Magic Number De La Soul
Smoke On The Water Deep Purple
Come On Eileen Dexy Midnight Runners
Sultans of Swing Dire Straits
Walk of Life Dire Straits
Jolene Dolly Parton
Boys of Summer Don Henley
American Pie Don Maclean
LA Woman Doors
Light My Fire Doors
Break On Through Doors
Such a Night Dr. John
Up on the Roof Drifters
Hungry Like the Wolf Duran Duran
Hotel California Eagles
Take It Easy Eagles
Electric Avenue Eddy Grant
Mack The Knife Ella Fitzgerald
Tiny Dancer Elton John
Candle In the Wind Elton John
Rocket Man Elton John
Suspicious Minds Elvis Presley
Jailhouse Rock Elvis Presley
Don’t Be Cruel Elvis Presley
Guilty Conscience Eminem
Stan Eminem
Without Me Eminem
Evangeline Emmylou Harris
Layla Eric Clapton
She Don’t Use Jelly Flaming Lips
Fight Test Flaming Lips
Go Your Own Way Fleetwood Mac
Landslide Fleetwood Mac
Everlong Foo Fighters
Reach Out and I’ll Be There Four Topps
New York, New York Frank Sinatra
Modern Leper Frightened Rabbit
Waiting Room Fugazi
Killing Me Softly Fugees
Miles Davis and the Cool Gaslight Anthem
All Things Must Pass George Harrison
Freedom George Michael
I Will Survive Gloria Gaynor
The Message Grandmaster Flash
Truckin Grateful Dead
Touch of Gray Grateful Dead
Uncle John’s Band Grateful Dead
Sugar Magnolia Grateful Dead
Cumberland Blues Grateful Dead
When I Come Around Green Day
Longview Green Day
Holiday Green Day
Sweet Child of Mine Guns and Roses
November Rain Guns and Roses
Patience Guns and Roses
Welcome to the Jungle Guns n Roses
Today Was a Good Day Ice Cube
Lust for Life Iggy Pop
Galileo Indigo Girls
I Want You Back Jackson 5
I’ll Be There Jackson 5
Running on Empty Jackson Browne
Laid James
Jane Says Jane’s Addiction
Summertime Rolls Jane’s Addiction
Me and Bobby McGee Janis Joplin
Pierce of My Heart Janis Joplin
Cry Baby Janis Joplin
Save Your Generation Jawbreaker
Encore Jay-Z
99 Problems Jay-Z
Hallelujah Jeff Buckley
Somebody To Love Jefferson Airplane
We Built This City Jefferson Starship
Purple Haze Jimi Hendrix
Angel Jimi Hendrix
All Along the Watchtower Jimi Hendrix*
The Harder They Come Jimmy Cliff
One Tin Soldier Joan Baez
With a Little Help From My Friends Joe Cocker
Johnny Appleseed Joe Strummer
Imagine John Lennon
Instant Karma John Lennon
Just Like Starting Over John Lennon
Paradise John Prine
Folsom Prison Blues Johnny Cash
Ring of Fire Johnny Cash
Man In Black Johnny Cash
Hurt Johnny Cash*
Angel of the Morning Joni Mitchell
Don’t Stop Believing Journey
The Gambler Kenny Rogers
Mr. Brightside Killers
Louie Louie Kingsmen
All Day and All of the Night Kinks
North American Scum LCD Soundsystam
Losing My Edge LCD Soundsystam
Decepticon Le Tigre
Stairway to Heaven Led Zeppelin
Fool in the Rain Led Zeppelin
Over the Hills and Far Away Led Zeppelin
When the Levee Breaks Led Zeppelin
Kashmir Led Zeppelin
Dazed and Confused Led Zeppelin
Immigrant Song Led Zeppelin
Dyer Maker Led Zeppelin
All Night Long Lionel Richie
Tears on My Pillow Little Anthony and the Imperials
Selling the Drama Live
Walk on the Wild Side Lou Reed
Wonderful World Louis Armstrong
Sweet Home Alabama Lynyrd Skynyrd
Free Bird Lynyrd Skynyrd
Paper Planes M.I.A
Like a Prayer Madonna
Material Girl Madonna
I Think I Need a New Heart Magnetic Fields
I Heard It Through the Grapevine Marvin Gaye
What’s Goin On Marvin Gaye
Bat Out of Hell Meatloaf
Safety Dance Men Without Hats
Hero For the Day Metallica
Billie Jean Michael Jackson
Thriller Michael Jackson
Beat It Michael Jackson
Smooth Criminal Michael Jackson
Rock With You Michael Jackson
Where Eagles Dare Misfits
One Last Caress Misfits
Float On Modest Mouse
Daydream Believer Monkees
Mannish Boy Muddy Waters
If I Ruled The World Nas
Sweet Caroline Neil Diamond
Keep on Rockin in the Free World Neil Young
99 Red Balloons Nena
Personality Crisis New York Dolls
Stranded in the Jungle New York Dolls
Sinnerman Nina Simone
Smells Like Teen Spirit Nirvana
Drain You Nirvana
All Apologies Nirvana
Heart Shaped Box Nirvana
In the Pines Nirvana*
Don’t Speak No Doubt
Juicy Notorious B.I.G
More Money More Problems Notorious B.I.G
Fuck The Police NWA
Wonderwall Oasis
Self Esteem Offspring
Wagon Wheel Old Crow Medicine Show
Sitting on the Dock of the Bay Otis Redding
Shout Otis Redding
Hey Ya Outkast
Crazy Train Ozzy Osbourne
Gloria Patti Smith
Band On The Run Paul McCartney
Live and Let Die Paul McCartney
Old Man River Paul Robeson
Graceland Paul Simon
You Can Call Me Al Paul Simon
Me and Julio Down By The Schoolyard Paul Simon
Boy in the Bubble Paul Simon
Date With Ikea Pavement
Jeremy Pearl Jam
Better Man Pearl Jam
Solsbury Hill Peter Gabriel
Farmhouse Phish
Wish You Were Here Pink Floyd
Time Pink Floyd
Another Brick in the Wall Pink Floyd
Comfortably Numb Pink Floyd
Where Is My Mind Pixies
Debaser Pixies
Gouge Away Pixies
Great Pretender Platters
Roxanne Police
Such Great Heights Postal Service
District Sleeps Alone Tonight Postal Service
Back on the Chain Gang Pretenders
When Doves Cry Prince
Little Red Corvette Prince
Common People Pulp
Bohemian Rhapsody Queen
Another One Bites The Dust Queen
Under Presure Queen w/ David Bowie
Ignition R Kelly
Idioteque Radiohead
Paranoid Android Radiohead
Jigsaw Falling Into Place Radiohead
Fake Plastic Trees Radiohead
Blitzkrief Bop Ramones
Rock n Roll Radio Ramones
Roots of Radicals Rancid
Ruby Soho Rancid
Hit the Road Jack Ray Charles
I’m Busted Ray Charles
What I’d Say Ray Charles
Under the Bridge Red Hot Chili Peppers
Sell Out Reel Big Fish
Losing My Religion REM
Man on the Moon REM
Super Freak Rick James
Maggie May Rod Stewart
Gimme Shelter Rolling Stones
You Can’t Always Get What You Want Rolling Stones
Sympathy For the Devil Rolling Stones
Brown Sugar Rolling Stones
Miss You Rolling Stones
Paint It Black Rolling Stones
Moonlight Mile Rolling Stones
Ruby Tuesday Rolling Stones
Let’s Spend the Night Together Rolling Stones
Pretty Woman Roy Orbison
Twisting the Night Away Sam Cooke
Wonderful World Sam Cooke
Anarchy In the UK Sex Pistols
New Slang Shins
Mrs. Robinson Simon and Garfunkel
America Simon and Garfunkel
Bridge Over Troubled Water Simon and Garfunkel
Sounds of Silence Simon and Garfunkel
The Boxer Simon and Garfunkel
Only Living Boy In New York Simon and Garfunkel
Girl in the Ground Sleeping in the Aviary
Everyday People Sly and the Family Stone
Tonight Tonight Smashing Pumpkins
Disarm Smashing Pumpkins
Cherub Rock Smashing Pumpkins
Bullet with Butterfly Wings Smashing Pumpkins
1979 Smashing Pumpkins
Hand In Glove Smiths
Shop Around Smokey Robinson
Gin and Juice Snoop Dogg
Gimme Some Lovin Spencer Davis Group
Deacon Blues Steely Dan
Magic Carpet Ride Steppenwolf
Make Me Smile Steve Harley
Superstition Stevie Wonder
For Once In My Life Stevie Wonder
Come Sail Away Styx
Caress Me Down Sublime
Wrong Way Sublime
Birthday Sugarcubes
Rapper’s Delight Sugarhill Gang
100,000 Fireflies* Superchunk
You Can’t Hurry Love Supremes
I Hear A Symphony Supremes
Burning Down the House Talking Heads
Wild Wild Life Talking Heads
Once In a Lifetime Talking Heads
And She Was Talking Heads
Psycho Killer Talking Heads
What A Day That Was Talking Heads
My Girl Temptations
Just My Imagination Temptations
Ain’t Too Proud To Beg Temptations
Something in the Air Thunderclap Newman
I Think We’re Alone Now Tiffany
American Girl Tom Petty
Free Fallin Tom Petty
Refugee Tom Petty
Walls Tom Petty
Crimson and Clover Tommy James and the Shondells
Pressure Drop Toots and the Maytals
Silent All These Years Tori Amos
Africa Toto
Fast Car Tracy Chapman
Feelin Alright Traffic
California Love Tupac
Hit Em Up Tupac
Bad U2
Pride In the Name of Love U2
One U2
New Year’s Day U2
Sunday Bloody Sunday U2
With or Without You U2
Running to Stand Still U2
Where The Streets Have No Name U2
Jump Van Halen
Right Now Van Halen
Brown Eyed Girl Van Morrison
Heroin Velvet Underground
Sweet Jane Velvet Underground
Rock n Roll Velvet Underground
2HB Venus In Furs
American Music Violent Femmes
Held Her In My Arms Violent Femmes
Go Tell It On The Mountain Wailers
One Headlight Wallflowers
Werewolves of London Warren Zevon
Lawyers, Guns and Money Warren Zevon
Buddy Holly Weezer
El Scorcho Weezer
Say It Ain’t So Weezer
My name is Jonas Weezer
Good Life Weezer
Hotel Yorba White Stripes
Seven Nation Army White Stripes
Same Boy You’ve Always Known White Stripes
Won’t Get Fooled Again Who
Quick One While He’s Away Who
Baba O’Reilly Who
Substitute Who
California Stars Wilco
Heavy Metal Drummer Wilco
In The Midnight Hour Wilson Pickett
Triumph Wutang Clan
Autumn Sweater Yo La Tengo
Good Lovin’ Young Rascals

About Janos Marton

Janos Marton is a lawyer, advocate and writer.
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3 Responses to Living the Dream Music Tournament Presents: The Top 430

  1. sweetems says:

    cool- some missing ones on the overplayed song list:

    Dead- Friend of the Devil
    Lennon- Watching the Wheels
    you have to put in the Jeff Buckley version of Hallelujuah b/c it did come into the finals in Biloxi and therefore qualified. the dark horse..

    Police – Next to you?
    Was there talking heads in there?
    No Cure?
    Maybe more magnetic fields

    • janosmarton says:

      Yeah, there would be a riot if Jeff Buckley wasn’t included, though I am not a huge fan myself. I love Friend of the Devil, but felt like the Dead was already pretty well represented. Ditto for Lennon, my Beatles choices learned heavily on him.
      Don’t worry, PLENTY of Talking Heads, love those dudes (and dudette). There’s one Cure song coming up tomorrow.
      The Police were tricky, other than Roxanne none of their songs seemed like good tournament material… Look forward to your votes- and while some of the songs are overplayed (or just played alot cuz they’re awesome), there are also a lot of dark horses mixed in there. Harnessed in Slums is one of my favorites in that category.

  2. Pingback: Living the Dream Music Tournament: Play-In Round Songs | Living the Dream

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