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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.

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Friday, November 25, 2016

The great anniversary Time Machine



Exactly 2400 days ago, five months into my blogging career, the first "Step into my Time Machine" appeared.  It was a rundown of the chart that week in 1975, with Dawn's He Don't Love You at #1.  No features, no comments, and a whopping six page views.  And here we are some 6 1/2 years later.  Time Machine now averages 44 views and 6 and a smidge comments a week, and we have hit the100- post mark of volume IV- and when you count all the volumes, miscellaneous related stuff, and specials, we are at 400 total posts- approximately 20% of all my posts.  So I hadda come up with something special.  And that concept took me way back to a comic called Defenders #10.  You see, there was a Thor vs Hulk fight in that one...





...and I remember Steve Englehart leading up to it by saying:  "Would you agree that in the realm of comicdom, these two are the best there is... the only TRUE titans?"  And that is what I wanted here.  And in the era which bears my name (1962-79), there are only four true titans...


Elvis Presley, "The KING"
The Beatles, "the FAB FOUR"
The Rolling Stones, "The World's GREATEST rock and roll band"
The Beach Boys, "AMERICA'S BAND"

And we are going to do a feature on these four, with a bit of a different twist.  You see, I have figured out my ten favorites for each act- and we are going to play them off each other to see who wins!  And along the way, we'll see if YOU have any favorites you can add to the comments.  That said, let's start out at #10!

10- The work or the reward?

The songs at #10 on the respective list came down to a two-horse race.  Unfortunately for the Stones, my #10 for them, Wild Horses, is not one of them.  Elvis' Jailhouse Rock also takes a back seat.  The real battle here is between the Beatles' A Hard Day's Night, and the Beach Boys' Chuck Berry cover Rock And Roll Music.  But as you can't enjoy the work without the promise of the cold one afterwards...



The Boys win round one!


9-You Know You Need Someone...

I found it funny that in this round, two songs make a point of chasing everyone (or someone) off- the Stones and Get Off My Cloud, and Elvis with Hound Dog- and one seems content in a world of two- the BBs Don't Worry Baby- but one song sends out a distress call for assistance... and that winner is...


And the Beatles take round two.


8- Tell Me Who I'm Talking To....

All of these acts had a tendency to walk off the beaten trail, and this round really puts that in perspective.  The Stones capture the free spirit in Ruby Tuesday; The Beatles take one trippin' on Strawberry Fields Forever; the Beach Boys go existential on Surf's Up;  but for such a hard choice as I have this round, I have to take into account memories.  And the clear winner here is a song that is forever attached to a girl I had a crush on as a freshman, because she stood by me (one of many who did) when the a-holes of my class circled around.  The girl?  Sorry, that's mine.  The song...




7-  I Wonder Will It Be The Same Tonight...


For me, the songs that stick out the most are the ones that make me cry.  It doesn't have to be sad to get to me.  A turn of phrase, a certain chord (As the Decemberists said, "that misbegotten, long forgotten chord...")...  The Stones don't get that with The Last Time, and the Fab Four miss it with Ticket To Ride.  The Boys are a lot closer with In My Room, but for sheer drawing out of pain you cannot top...



...Elvis and Don't Cry Daddy.  The King gets his second and takes the lead.


6- ...You Made A Grown Man Cry...

...but sometimes it has to be fun, too.  This round runs the gamut from lp cuts- as in the Beach Boys' Don't Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulders) from Pet Sounds- to #1s- like the Beatles' All You Need Is Love.  But for a good time, you can't beat the songs at 1-2 this round.  And since Elvis already has 2 in a row, we'll let Burning Love take a back seat to...



...Mick and the Boys getting on the board with Start Me Up!


5- " ...That's not an album, that's our lives..."

That was a quote from a Doonesbury cartoon when a dying character was given the gift of a Pet Sounds cd on his deathbed.  For me, Pet Sounds is the finest example of lp art, and so, while it gets stiff competition this round from the Stones and Gimme Shelter, Elvis and Don't Be Cruel, and the Beatles and Nowhere Man, the winner is....



The Beach Boys and Sloop John B!  And they tie Elvis at 2 wins apiece!


4-   ...Four Of Fish, and Finger Pie In Summer...

The best songs give you vivid mental images of what they want to convey- especially if you know what they are trying to get at with them, like in Penny Lane's above line.  Surfer Girl puts you on the beach at sunset; In The Ghetto puts you on a dirty street looking at "an angry young man face down in the street with a gun in his hand."  But for me, I get the most vivid image of a cartoon joint singing "you've got to roll me" in...



The Stones' hit Tumbling Dice.  Sometimes my imagination is its own problem!


3- Don't It Make You Feel Good...

Which is a discussion I had with myself last week.  Music can make you sad (like the Stones on Doo Doo Heartbreaker), excited (for example the Beatles on Paperback Writer), romantic (such as Elvis on The Wonder Of You)- but shouldn't EVER make you depressed.  It's all about feeling good, and praising the God who gave us music to me.  And that means the round three winner goes to...




...which puts the Wilson brothers in front with three, and the Beatles would have to win out to tie.  Can it be done?

2- The Higher You Go, The Harder It Gets

True in mountain climbing, true in chartbusting.  This group held what might be the Stones biggest ever hit in Miss You;  another Pet Sounds clip with Wouldn't It Be Nice; and Elvis' Suspicious Minds.  But sometimes the best songs to you weren't what the act thought they should be.  The Beatles- particularly Paul- objected to the Phil Spector production of their last number one, but to me it MADE the song.  The Beatles back on the board with...




Which means now everyone gets to bring their best to see if they can tie the Beach Boys- or the california kids will take the flag!


1-  B-List Only, Please....

As much as I like my Stones' favorite, Almost Hear You Sigh from Steel Wheels, and Elvis's #1 for me, the weather appropriate Kentucky Rain, this final stop is a two dog hunt.  One was a chart favorite- the Beatles with A Day In The Life.  The other took two shots and still never made the top 40- the Beach Boys' Sail On Sailor.

Sometimes, when you wear out all the other ways to choose, you ask yourself this- If I had just come into a room, and the radio just came on, which first two seconds stop you hardest?  These are both "I can name this song in 2 notes" tunes for me.  But I know when I look at it THIS way, which one wins it.






And the BEACH BOYS win!  Who would have won for you?   Next time, we sail on with the next new era of Time Machine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  (NOTE:  Well, actually, next time will be tomorrow with the M10 countdown...)

4 comments:

  1. Chris:
    Now THIS is a century-mark worth noting!!!
    ---Add to that the era of TITANS, and I gotta agree that comicdom made a good call...as did YOU with the foursome you pegged.
    Those selected HAD to be the top acts/performers of the time, hands down.
    ---I like the way you approached the "battle", too.
    Well researched and with opinions that made me think way back when as to which song did what for me.
    Overall, I might have to run w/ the Beach Boys as well, but mainly because they represented (to me) the best of who we were at that time, and had little if anything to bring us down. NO "heavy" messaging in the songs...just times when we all felt a little better about a lot of things.
    But, hey, that's just THIS old curmudgeon's POV.
    Again, well done on the format here. Liked it a LOT.

    Keep those hits comin' up there, brother.
    And here's to the NEXT century mark.

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    1. "NO "heavy" messaging in the songs...just times when we all felt a little better about a lot of things." Exactly.

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