the verdict is in! the rolling stone magazine’s 500 greatest songs of all time

back in january i made a pact to listen to rolling stone magazine’s “500 greatest songs of all time” list that they published in a 2004 issue.  you can see the whole list here —


i wanted to listen to the entire list straight through (not in one sitting, mind you!) from the 500th song to the 1st.  i had some rules that i followed, such as a) i cannot skip a song that i do not like, b) i cannot skip a song that i’ve heard 1000 times, and c) i must listen to each song in its entirety and in the order that it appears on the list.

to be honest, this has turned into much more of a project than i wanted it to be.  i really thought i would have finished the list in the matter of a week or two.  but now its nearing the end of march, and i’ve just finally finished it. 

i kept a rating system while listening to the songs so when i was done i could keep track of a few things: how many songs have i heard before?  of those, how many do i actually enjoy listening to?  how many songs have i never heard before?  of those, which do i like?

some stats:
// songs i’ve heard before — 278 songs, 56% of the list
// songs i’ve never heard before — 222 songs, 44% of the list
// songs i like, and have heard before — 148 songs (23 of which are by the Beatles!)
// songs i dislike, and have heard before — 130 songs
// songs i like, and are new to me — 22 songs
// songs i dislike, and are new to me — 200 songs

*the songs in the following lists are in no particular order. also, click on the links to listen and let me know what you think of these songs!

10 favorite songs that i’ve heard before:
Barrett Strong – Money (That’s What I Want)
Beatles – Can’t Buy Me Love
Buddy Holly and The Crickets – That’ll Be the Day
Fleetwood Mac – Go Your Own Way
Jackie Wilson – (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher And Higher
Jimmy Cliff – Many Rivers to Cross
Martha Reeves And The Vandellas – Dancing in the Streets
Neil Young – Heart of Gold
Roberta Flack – Killing Me Softly With His Song
The Rolling Stones – Wild Horses

5 least favorite songs that i’ve heard before:
Black Sabbath – Iron Man
Bob Marley – I Shot the Sheriff
The Clash – Should I Stay or Should I Go
The Dixie Cups – The Chapel of Love
anything by Prince

10 favorite songs that are new to me:
Big Star – Thirteen
David Bowie – Young Americans
Jackson Browne – Running on Empty
Little Richard – Keep a Knockin’
Otis Redding – I’ve Been Loving You Too Long
Pasty Cline – I Fall to Pieces
Paul Simon – Graceland
Rolling Stones – Sympathy for the Devil
Sam Cooke – Cupid
Van Morrison – Into the Mystic

10 songs i hated that are new to me:
Afrika Bambaataa & The Soul Sonic Force – Planet Rock
The B-52s – Rock Lobster
Bruce Springsteen – Thunder
Elvis Costello – Watching the Detectives
Grandmaster Flash And The Furious Five – The Message
New York Dolls – Personality Crisis
Randy Newman – Sail Away
Sex Pistols – Anarchy in the UK
The Smiths – How Soon Is Now
anything by Prince