Battle for Best Rock Song In History: Day 9

Lenny Kaye’s Infamous “Nuggets” anthology includes two of our Garage Band songs

The results for Day 8 are below (16 voters- a new record! Thanks for participating and keep it coming!) Votes on the next set of matches are due Monday, September 30th at 11 PM EST/8 PM PST, take a listen this weekend!

We’re a little over 10% done with the round, so let’s keep trucking along. Next group starts in California as we explore the start of the “garage band” movement with some of its godfathers. We’ll go over to Philadelphia in 1972 where Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff are taking a page from Berry Gordy, Jr. to launch the Philadelphia Sound under their Philadelphia International label. Third group represents the injection of British-based early 80s pop groups benefitting from MTV’s need for pre-produced videos (when MTV launched, British bands had already been producing videos due to BBC broadcast restrictions/rules- it took U.S. groups a few years to get onboard.) We’ll close it out with some of the socially conscious rap emerging in the late 80s- as Chuck D from Public Enemy so famously said, hip hop was quickly becoming “the CNN for black people” and those themes of urban plight and race relations begin emerging in a big way here.

  • Garage Band Sounds, 1965 (Group 4)
  • The Philadelphia Sound, 1972 (Group 8)
  • Early MTV Beneficiaries, 1982 (Group 12)
  • Socially Conscious Hip Hop, 1987-1989  (Group 13)

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

Day 8 Results

Early British Rock Across The Atlantic, 1962
“She Loves You” by The Beatles-127
“Please Please Me” by The Beatles- 109
“Stranger On The Shore” by Acker Bilk- 94
“Telstar” by The Tornados- 93

Good showing by these quasi-dinosaurs, but The Beatles song that stuck takes this group. “She Loves You” is, according to the BBC, The Beatles all time #1 best selling single.

London Psychedelia, 1967
“See Emily Play” by Pink Floyd- 88
“Paper Sun” by Traffic- 87
“My White Bicycle” by Tomorrow- 84
“Arnold Layne” by Pink Floyd- 78

In a closely knit group, Pink Floyd mounts an 11th hour comeback to stay alive with an early hit. Some fun history from Wikipedia:  “according to A Saucerful of Secrets: The Pink Floyd Odyssey, by Nicholas Schaffner, Emily is the Honourable Emily Young,[8][9] daughter of Wayland Hilton Young, 2nd Baron Kennet,[10] and nicknamed “the psychedelic schoolgirl” at the UFO Club.”

Experimental Rock Styles, 1974-1975
“Kashmir” by Led Zeppelin- 134
“Can’t Get It Out Of My Head” by Electric Light Orchestra- 95
“Fly By Night” by Rush- 92
“The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway” by Genesis- 80

Zeppelin says no problem here. Interestingly, according to Jimmy Page at the time that “Kashmir” was composed none of the band members had actually been to Kashmir. The song nets an 8.38 average, third highest so far. In other news, maybe it was a good idea that Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel parted ways based on this early Genesis score.

Don’t cry, little Ben Gibbard- you won!

Turn Of The Century Electro Rock, 2000
“Such Great Heights” by The Postal Service- 106
“Do You Realize?” by The Flaming Lips- 96
“South Side” by Moby & Gwen Stefani- 91
“Idioteque” by Radiohead- 83

Perennial tournament darling “Such Great Heights” takes this one on a late surge. Radiohead stumbles out of the gates.

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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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4 Responses to Battle for Best Rock Song In History: Day 9

  1. janos marton says:

    Radiohead’s poor performance in these tournaments is a major problem. Going to see Atoms for Peace tonight with an arena full of folks who appreciate how awesome Thom Yorke is.

    • If you’re curious, here is the distribution on the match-ups. Radiohead wins the greatest range award, which is par for the course in these tourneys as you know:

      Radiohead scores: 1, 1, 3, 4, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 6, 6, 7, 7, 8, 10
      Moby scores: 4, 4, 4, 4, 5, 5, 5, 5, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 7, 9, 9
      Flaming Lips: 2, 4, 4, 5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 6, 6, 7, 7, 8, 8, 9, 10
      Such Great Heights scores: 2, 4, 4, 4, 5, 5, 5, 7, 7, 8, 8, 8, 9, 10, 10, 10

  2. Daddy-O says:

    Quite a mix tonight. The Good, the Mediocre and the Ugly. Another random thought – maybe it’s my imagination – but to my ear, as the music moves forward in time, it becomes less “musical” but more complex in its arrangements, instrumentation and improved recording. As it moves forward, the vocal quality takes a downward turn and harmony is frequently in the toilet but the lyrics become more potent and more meaningful. Enough!

    The “Garage Bands” – high school. Sloopy was always a little gem but it was pushed by Dirty Water which tied it up because of the references to Beantown. And we are still paying for the “dirty water.”

    Philly Sound – good quality but otherwise………….meh!! Nothing to grab on to. No bite.

    MTV – Early or late never did anything for me.

    Socially Conscious Hip Hop – This is not for me.

  3. dzonipascal says:

    In short: tough groups all around. This one started and ended great, had some time before deciding on votes,

    In Garage bands The Seeds are my favorite, there’s a personal reason for that. It is tightly followed by Dirty Water and Hang On Sloopy, with Kingsmen in the back (still got a 7).
    Philly Sound is led by O’Jays (love everyy one of their songs), and Blue Notes is a classic. Other two I could take or leave.
    MTV – I love the quirkiness of Blinded me with Science, which is why it got top billing. It is followed by Bow Wow Wow (nice enough cover), and again, other two mean nothing.
    Rap – Ice-T wins this one, but probably because of how great the song he samples is. NWA and Public Enemy are pretty close though, I simply love their stuff no matter what the song is, and these two are particularly good. BDP is last, but would probably do better with some other song.

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