Battle for Best Rock Song In History: Day 7

Leiber, Presley, Stoller.

The results for Day 6 are below (including a tie! Which isn’t a big deal, they’ll both advance in that situation. We’ll get our 512 songs one way or another.) We had 10 voters so I think we’re getting back on track, thanks for contributing! Day 7 songs are below. The votes are due Monday, September 23rd at 11 PM EST/8 PM PST! 

Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller are two of the grandfathers of songwriting- in fact, before Phil Spector developed the Wall of Sound he served an apprenticeship under L&S. From their, we’ll go to U.S.  folk rock roots with a solid 60s set featuring The Byrds, The Mamas & The Papas, The Stone Poneys, and The Turtles. We’ll

Lookin’ good, Stone Poneys-era Linda Ronstadt

follow that with some lighter rock songs circa ’80/’81 from new traditionalists Springsteen, Simon, Hall & Oates, and Petty. Finally, we’ll finish it up with 4 college rock hits from the year 1988.

  • Leiber & Stoller Definitive Hits (Group 2)
  • Late 60s US Folk/Country Rock (Group 5)
  • New Rock Traditionalists 1980-1981 (Group 11)
  • The College Radio Station, 1988 (Group 13)

Click here to open up the voting window to rank the match-ups!

Day 6 Results

Motown 1962-1963

Do You Love Me by The Contours-71
You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me by Smokey Robinson & The Miracles-71
Pride and Joy by Marvin Gaye-58
Fingertips Pt. 2 by Stevie Wonder- 56

Exact tie. Marvin and Stevie fail to advance some of their deeper cuts featured here, but I’m confident they’ll stick around. In the meantime, can’t argue that those two are strong contenders- lotta nostalgia there. For some reason I think of Twin Peaks every time I hear YRGAHOM begin. We’ll advance both of them.

1968 UK Rock
Sympathy For The Devil by The Rolling Stones- 73
Astral Weeks by Van Morrison- 62
Spoonful by Cream-59
1983…(A Merman Should I Turn To Be) by Jimi Hendrix-55

This shook out exactly how I thought it would. Thanks for the patience with the Hendrix, everyone!

Mid-70’s Rock Battles
Rebel Rebel by David Bowie- 67
Walk This Way by Aerosmith- 66
Rhiannon by Fleetwood Mac- 61
Philadelphia Freedom by Elton John- 55

Aerosmith (and specifically “Walk This Way”) drop two close ones already in this tournament as Bowie ekes this one out.

Early 90’s Female Pioneers
Strong Enough by Sheryl Crow- 59
Never Said by Liz Phair- 49
Closer To Fine by The Indigo Girls- 47
Rebel Girl by Bikini Kill- 47

Ms. Crow had no problems here, albeit with a sub-6 average.

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About g-mo

The day I was born, Michael Jackson's Thriller album was at the top of the Billboard 200. I've been trying my best to live up to that expectation ever since.
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5 Responses to Battle for Best Rock Song In History: Day 7

  1. Adrock says:

    Gonna keep this rolling. Sound off with comments!

    Smokey Joe’s Cafe – The Robins/Coasters: 5 – While something about the tone on the song title in the chorus is just perfectly pitched, the rest of the song isn’t stellar. Still good, but not going anywhere here.

    Hound Dog – Elvis Presley: 7 Just plain great. He’s got better, but he was the King for a reason.

    Charlie Brown – The Coasters 8: Can’t help but again be brought back to listening to this on trips to summer camp – absolute happiness. Phenomenal song and the Coasters always are fun.

    There Goes My Baby – The Drifters: 9 So my family and I have a CD of Ben E. King and Drifters greatest hits that might be the single best CD ever – and this is in the top 3 on that CD. Never ceases to dazzle, despite its simplicity.

    Eight Miles High – The Byrds: 5 I don’t know why i don’t get into this more… but i don’t. It’s a 5.5 in the old system, that grades up to a 5 here.

    California Dreamin’ – The Mamas and the Papas: 9 Very near to perfection – can’t help but elicit visions of sunshine and happiness…. also probably drugs and the birth of VD, but that’s future listener’s problem….and screw that guy/girl.

    Different Drum – Stone Poneys: 6 Ashamed to admit i never knew who sang this. In some ways perfect – the song is good enough that its indelibly stamped in my brain, but just not enjoyable enough that i had to know who did it and check out the rest of their stuff. Sounds like a “6” to me.

    Happy Together – The Turtles: 8 I’ve heard this song so many times in my life, it’s quite absurd. I wish it weren’t with California Dreamin’…. can someone “own” songs and trade them amongst groups? This ought to be in the 512…. it just should be.

    Hungry Heart – Bruce Springsteen: Just background music for me. Sorry Springsteen fans, i just can’t get into the Boss… i don’t know why.

    Late in the Evening – Paul Simon: 6 It’s amazing how much Late in the Evening sounds like 20 other Paul Simon songs… and yet…i really like those 20 songs. I toon out the lyrics, dig the music, and thus is born another “6”. I feel like i keep making that a backhanded compliment for a song i rate “Really Good”…and yet can’t stop myself.

    Private Eyes – Hall & Oates: 3 2 years ago, this is a 6 or a 7… really catch, mixed pop and synth.. should be up my alley. Then USA used it for thepreview promo for “Psych” last year…. and like movies starring Mel Gibson, USA plays its season premiere promos a minimum of 75 times a day, and generally 4 times an hour… for 4 months straight. I watch a lot of stuff on USA (yeah i have issues, i know)… fter month two of this, i decided i wanted to assassinate hall and oates. I relaxed, but it left a bad mark on me. So i know it deserves better… but this is the best i can do.

    The Waiting – Tom Petty: 6 Solid rock… not much to say.

    Stand – REM: 6 See above. Wish it had been “The Stand” by Yngwie Malmsteen. Might have nabbed a 10 after the last group. Actually, i’m listening to that after this set…and i’m linking you. Because i can’t stop myself.

    Freak Scene – Dinosaur Jr.: 7 New to me… and for the first couple minutes, i was going to give it a 5 just because it wasn’t quite as good for me as REM… then the guitar really hits… and now its the reverse. Just has to have a separation from REM, thus a 7. Don’t know why i’m so tied to guitars, but such is my cross to bear…well mine and everyone else within ear-shot of my speakers.

    Where Is My Mind? – Pixies: 6 – Love the Pixies, but after the end of Freak Scene (and the mere thought of an Yngwie sweep arpeggio or 40) this just didn’t have enough energy to get over the “Really Good” threshold. Sorry Pixies.

    Teenage Riot – Sonic Youth: 5 Definitely a cut behind the rest of the group.

    Keep ’em coming G-Mo

  2. Daddy-O says:

    Can’t and won’t be as verbose as my child. He must be having a decent day to speak so much.
    But a couple of general comments. So far this contest, musically, has been a real pleasure. Generally good to great music, competition with in genres and easy voting. But therein lies the rub – more ties because of the lack of fractions, no ability to see how others are voting and matching commentaries. These were the fun factors in prior contests. But let’s not dwell – in the end, it’s all about the music.

    The L & S were great to hear. I listened to these in “real” time. Elvis is classic but “There Goes My Baby is about as good as it gets from that era. Anybode out there actually see Elvis (Love Me Tender) in a real theater? I didn’t. I saw it in the drive-in. Think it was m first time there. I was ?????? I’m not admitting to my real age

    Late ’60’s – my college years. All good material but the M’s and P’s WERE that era in music. Good taste Adrock.

    New Rock (’80-’81) – less my style and I didn’t do much music listening but do remember most of these but other cuts by the same artists would have been preferred. Glad to know someone agrees with me on Paul Simon. Heard one, you’ve heard them all.

    College Radio 1988 – Did they even have radio in 1988? I thought it was long dead and buried as most of this music should be.

    Have a nice weekend everyone!!

    • Daddy-O, I totally hear you on the comments- there are some limitations with the platform we use to host LTD that don’t really allow for cross-chatter between the SurveyMonkey data and what we have presented here (I had originally hoped for a comment section that would then populate back here.)

      I’m working on a side project to potentially make online music tournaments better, but still some months out. For those with the time, I get stoked to read what people think about these tunes so keep the comments coming and thanks again for voting!

  3. dzonipascal says:

    It wasn’t as generous group as the previous one, but there were couple of favorites of mine, so these are mine:

    L&B group: Smokey Joe’s Cafe got an 8 from me since I simply love that song (doo-wop I adore). Hound Dog and Charlie Brown are just behind it, great fun catchy tunes I can’t resist to sing along, and The Drifters got a 6 since this isn’t my favorite one from them.

    In folk rock there is an absolute favorite – California Dreamin’ got an easy 9 from me (I save 10s) and it’s the song I hope will win. The Turtles are second with 8 (another fun loving easygoing tune) while The Byrds and Stone Poneys share a 6 – nothing special in those songs for me, but nothing bad either.

    1980-1981 group: I really don’t have a favorite here. Tom Petty got a 7 mainly because I know the song longer, Springsteen and Simon are behind him (not bad, not good), and H&O ended up with 5 – their songs are all the same to me.

    College rock group had another one that I love – Pixies got an 8 (partially because of the Fight Club), Dinosaur Jr. got a 7 (fairly new to me, but i like it), while REM and Sonic Youth shared a 6 – I expect more of REM to come, while Sonic Youth simply ain’t doing it for me.

  4. Alright, did match-ups last night at the backyard fire. Votes are EmilyH and mine.

    Set 1:
    Smokey Joe’s Cafe: 7/6
    Hound Dog: 8/9
    Charlie Brown: 6/7
    There Goes My Baby: 8/10

    There goes my first 10 of the tournament. “There Goes My Baby” is something special, even if “Hound Dog” always gets my blood going. Strings, man.

    Set 2:
    Eight Miles High 5/5
    California Dreaming 9/8
    Different Drum 6/9
    Happy Together 7/8

    Overall probably California Dreaming. For last night, Stone Poneys for sure. All in the moment.

    Set 3:
    Hungry Heart 8/8
    Late In The Evening 10/6
    Private Eyes 8/5
    The Waiting 10/8

    Petty and Springsteen is a rough match-up. As much as I love the Boss, HH isn’t really a huge fave and “The Waiting” is one of my favorite Petty songs.

    Set 4;
    Stand 9/5
    Freak Scene 6/4
    Where Is My Mind 4/7
    Teen Age Riot 3/5

    I thought Pixies would score higher for me, but I dunno- maybe it was too late or something.

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