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Posted at 10:43 AM ET, 11/30/2006

A Musical List Smorgasbord

By Liz Kelly

Long-time Celebritology readers know there's nothing I like more than a list. What is more satisfying than second-guessing someone else's taste? Not much, it turns out. We've been critiquing lists here for the better part of a year now and, may I be the first to say, we have impeccable taste. I couldn't agree with us more.

Today, we have a trio of music-related lists to dissect:

Teen Spirit, the Bestest Smell
Fans of "I'm Too Sexy" might want to sit down: Nirvana grunge-breaking "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was named the best pop song of the last two decades by Britain's Q magazine. To make the list a song must have been released in the past 20 years and be "instantly memorable." Which explains why stinkers like Britney Spears's "...Baby One More Time" and Eminem's "Stan" made the list.

Twice As Nice
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, a band's decision to cover another artist's song is, like, musical crushing and surely Rod Stewart must be the nicest guy ever for selflessly releasing several albums worth of cover tracks. Ahem. But some remakes are surely better than others, no? Torontoist blog thinks so and has bravely compiled a BIG list of cover songs, ranging from the obscure (Crispin Glover covering Michael Jackson's "Ben") to the even more obscure (Nina Gordon covering "Straight Outta Compton").

Failing Their Way Into History
Don't you hate it when some undeserving no-talent is heaped with praise? Well, so does MSNBC and they've made their dissatisfaction public in a list of the top five acts who should not have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Aerosmith: "...second-rate Stones rip-offs."
Percy Sledge: "...essentially a one-hit wonder..."
Black Sabbath: "Sabbath was, to put it as bluntly as their music, terrible."
The Lovin' Spoonful: "...total lightweights."
Bobby Darin: "...stylistically omnivorous pop singer of the classic mold."

Unfortunately, MSNBC doesn't list the name(s) of the list compiler(s) so I can personally call him/her/them and apologize for his/her/their utter lack of musical taste.

So, there you have it. Lists aplenty. Let the picking apart begin. To get us rolling, maybe start by listing your picks for:

1. Best pop song of the last 20 years.
2. Best cover song.
3. Band least-deserving of a berth in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (a full list of inductees is here).

By Liz Kelly  | November 30, 2006; 10:43 AM ET
Categories:  Friday Lists  
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Comments

Least deserving is obviously - OBVIOUSLY - Bob Seger.

That he even got nominated means means Journey and REO Crapwagon can't be far behind.

Best pop song is Britney Spears "(Show My Labia) One More Time".

Best cover song is Paris Hilton's barf-up on stage last week, which was actually an homage to the last few seconds of the Dead Kennedys' "Too Drunk To F***".

But what does "Don't Bother" think?

Posted by: byoolin | November 30, 2006 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Best pop song: if it has to be a top-40 thing, that's a tough one. I keep thinking of Prince's late-80s stuff: Alphabet Street, Sign O' the Times, or She's Always In My Hair.

Best cover: "Rock and Roll/Sympathy for the Devil" by Jane's Addiction (covering the Velvet Underground and the Stones). Honorable Mention: "Also Sprach Zarathustra" by Deodato.

Least Deserving HOF acts: The Grateful Dead (see MSNBC's comments on Black Sabbath); The Mamas and the Papas (See the Grateful Dead); James Taylor (the man who nearly murdered rock n roll); Bob Seger (See James Taylor).

Posted by: Disco Stu | November 30, 2006 12:10 PM | Report abuse

jeff buckley's cover of hallelujah (leonard cohen) makes me cry every time.

if we're going the worst of the best pop song route, Mambo No. 5 by Lou Bega. I have that CD at home, and use it as a threat against my co-workers, as in "Hey. I have a Lou Bega CD and I'm not afraid to use it."

I agree that Bob Seger is prolly the least-deserving of the inductees.

Posted by: b | November 30, 2006 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Best cover is Johnny Cash's Hurt (Nine Inch Nails). The video only adds to it's greatness.

Posted by: LocalLurker | November 30, 2006 12:22 PM | Report abuse

I personally really like Bob Seger...but my pick for least deserving inductee has to be Dion.
Best cover....All Along The Watch Tower by Jimi Hendrix
Best Pop song....the anti pop song, Money for Nothing by Dire Straits, it practically made MTV

Posted by: McLean | November 30, 2006 12:24 PM | Report abuse

"Best Pop song....the anti pop song, Money for Nothing by Dire Straits, it practically made MTV"

right - 21 years ago - does not qualify!

Posted by: Annoying person | November 30, 2006 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Best cover - I'll go with All Along the Watchtower, but I am partial to Dave Mattthews version, but only live.

Posted by: betty | November 30, 2006 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Well, Money For Nothing is Still better than "Baby One More Time" or "Stan".

Posted by: McLean | November 30, 2006 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Best Pop Song - In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel

Best Cover - Superman by REM

Least Deserving - Percy Sledge - Great acceptance speech, but NOT deserving.

Posted by: David S. | November 30, 2006 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Should not be in the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame(my pet peeve)
1)Areosmith ( Stones cover band)
2) Bob Seger(A Springteen cover artist)
3) Ritchie Valens ( two hit wonder)
4)The Bee-Gees (one great one is not enough)
5) The Grateful Dead ( My cousin should in get because he smoked as much weed as they did)
6) Black Sabbath
7) Bobby Darin ( "Beyond the Sea" is still a great cover song)

Posted by: Lisa | November 30, 2006 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Best Cover: Buffalo Soldier (Marley), Istanbul (Not Constantinople) (They Might Be Giants), Rowboad (Johnny Cash).

Posted by: Rita | November 30, 2006 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Ahhh! Liz, you can't do this. It's not Friday. I just got soooooo confused...

Posted by: MandyB | November 30, 2006 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Best cover - my favorite is the Beach Boys' cover of "I Can Hear Music"

Runners up: Beatles "Twist and Shout"

I also liked Clem Snide's cover of "Beautiful."

Worst and least-deserving, I leave to Don't Bother, haha

Posted by: Margo | November 30, 2006 1:04 PM | Report abuse

And the angst-ridden 32 year olds strike again! Why do people trot out the same tired tripe every week on Celebritology, which is supposed to be about POP culture! Not your "Reality Bites" alternative underground.

REMEMBER: To make the list a song must have been released in the past 20 years and be "instantly memorable." Peter Gabriel? Prince? As "instantly memorable? People, we're talking like three notes and you've got to know the exact song.

Posted by: OD | November 30, 2006 1:10 PM | Report abuse

to quote the Sex Pistols, the rock n' roll hall of fame is a "piss stain" on the face of music. its a popularity contest run by a select comitee who choose inductees based on how many tickets they think they can sell at the ceremony.

im going to agree with mclean, the best cover is all along the watch tower by dylan, covered by hendrix. rock.

Posted by: Anonymous | November 30, 2006 1:10 PM | Report abuse

I was also confused as it isn't Friday yet. Best 80's Cover is without a doubt Cassandra Wilson's version of Cyndi Lauper's Time After Time. Just beautiful.

Posted by: Allie | November 30, 2006 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Best Cover: Blue Man Group, I Feel Love.

Posted by: J | November 30, 2006 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Hey Allie, HEAR HEAR re Cassandra Wilson. Her cover of Neil Young's "Harvest Moon" is pretty awesome.

Posted by: Margo | November 30, 2006 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Cover song(s): Jimi Hendrix's cover of Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower" which Dylan now dedicates to Jimi in concert.

Red Hot Chili Peppers' cover of Stevie Wonder's "Higher Ground"

I agree with Dion being least deserving in RNR HOF.

Another great cover is Duran Duran's cover of "Ball of Confusion"

And finally, best pop song of the last 20 years....

"Fat" by Weird Al Yankovic :)

Posted by: Ron in Reston | November 30, 2006 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Why all the hate for Dion? "The Wanderer" and "I Wonder Why" would have gotten him in the HOF alone.

Billy Joel, on the other hand... yegads. Mr. "Music To Get You Through Your Workday no Hard Stuff And No Sleepy Elevator Music" in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame??

Posted by: Brian | November 30, 2006 1:33 PM | Report abuse

One correction to the MSNBC list- Aerosmith is a FIFTH-rate Stones cover band.

Posted by: Kramer | November 30, 2006 1:43 PM | Report abuse

If you have never heard Travis' cover of "Hit Me Baby One More Time", you're missing out. Besides having a new appreciation for the original song, it's worth it for Fran Healy's lovely brogue introduction.

Posted by: Phanie | November 30, 2006 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Best pop song: Tubthumper- Chumbawamba
Best cover- Ramones I don't wanna grow up (Tom Waits)
No HOF- Jackson 5

Posted by: Jon | November 30, 2006 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Best pop song: I'm sick of it, but I've gotta go with "Smooth". The ladies her ein the office all listen to Mix-ish radio, and it still plays multiple times each day. Anybody walking past the guilty radio automatically swivels the old hips. It's with us forver, folks.

Best cover: Paul Westerberg's cover of Nowhere Man from the I am Sam soundtrack (and the worst - the WORST - William Shatner doing "Lucy...in the sky... with DIAMONDS!!!"

Get outta the Hall: Dion (a few virtually identical, nasal, ultimately forgettable songs)

Posted by: KiKi | November 30, 2006 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Best Cover- Act Naturally (The Beatles)
Best Pop Song- We didn't start the fire (Billy Joel)
Hall of Fame- GET THE BEE GEES OUT!! What did this group contribute to music except a dance, at least one movie (Sgt. Pepper), and countless songs we'd all like to forget.

Oh, and if we're looking for worst pop song, my husband (yes, he's strait) has BOTH Ace of Base albums...

Posted by: BB | November 30, 2006 1:54 PM | Report abuse

1. Best pop song of the last 20 years: U2's "One." Even if you don't like U2 (I don't), who doesn't know that song?

2. Best cover song: Manfred Mann's cover of Springsteen's "Blinded By the Light." The original was okay, but the cover took on a life of its own.

3. Least deserving: no clue.

Posted by: anonymous | November 30, 2006 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Least deserving in the R'n'R HoF, in no particular order:
Aerosmith
Fleetwood Mac
The Eagles
Billy Joel
Queen

All of them, completely unlistenable and none of them have an original lick or thought in their entire catalogues.

Posted by: Kramer | November 30, 2006 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Best Pop Song: Police, Every Breath You Take
Best Cover: tie between Johnny Cash covering NIN "Hurt" and the Gourds covering Snoop and Dre's "Gin and Juice"
Least Deserving of the Hall of Fame: I second that Lovin' Spoonful slam. Just lame.

Posted by: musicgeek | November 30, 2006 2:06 PM | Report abuse

I hate the [ ] Eagles, man!

Posted by: The Dude | November 30, 2006 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Queen wasn't original?

Who else could've done Bohemian Rhapsody.

Whatever else you may think, they most certainly were original.

"We Didn't Start the Fire" as best song? Gag.

Posted by: Huh? | November 30, 2006 2:07 PM | Report abuse

I hate the [ ] Eagles, man!

Posted by: The Dude | November 30, 2006 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Best pop song: "One" by U2

Best cover: The Beatles' "Across the Universe" by Rufus Wainwright

Least deserving in RRHoF: Bob Segar (it's all the same song -- and it's not a good one!), The Band (unfathomably unlistenable), Steely Dan (snore)

A category I'll add:
Band who should be in the RRHoF but isn't: Cheap Trick

Posted by: Simone | November 30, 2006 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Well, if you're gonna do "Artists Who Should Be In the RnR HoF and Aren't..."

Dick Dale. King of the Surf Guitar.

Posted by: Margo | November 30, 2006 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Should be in the Hall of Fame: Tom Waits

Posted by: musicgeek | November 30, 2006 2:19 PM | Report abuse

These guys are all idiots. Black Sabbath was a Hard Rock/Metal pioneer. They spawned a whole new genre during a time when most bands were singing nonsensical songs like "I wanna hold your hand". I agree about Aerosmith being a second rate Stones cover band.

Posted by: Ironman | November 30, 2006 2:26 PM | Report abuse

I noticed that the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame story has gotten an average one star rating from over 500 readers.

It was well deserved. Anyone who thinks that Sabbath doesn't belong in the hall of fame just doesn't know what he's talking about. Humorless they may have been, but their music was huge and merciless, a friggin' tsunami of sound that could wipe away whole villages of innocense, leaving in its wake only long-haired, leather clad adolescents with tatooed arms, a "screw you" attitude and a cigarette dangling from their lips. Phil Spector's wall of sound might as well have been made of rice-paper when Sabbath unleashed their eponymous debut album upon the world. In addition, it's worth noting that Tony Iommi is probably the most soulful heavy blues-rock player ever to have picked up a Gibson SG... or any other guitar for that matter. This is something that anyone who's ever listened (and I mean really listened) to one of his interminable, rambling, but also delightful, solos understandsq uite well.

Sabbath will never get any respect from the sort of pretentious music critics who felt that Till Tuesday was the Hegelian realization of the Spirit of popular music, and it's pretty obvious that the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame inducted the band very reluctantly... but that's part of the reason why the band will retain it's cred' long after the aforementioned critics have turned their toes to the daisies, and the Rock 'n Roll hall of fame is razed to make way for another Wal-Mart.

Posted by: Dave | November 30, 2006 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Best Pop Song: Well, what about "September" By Earth Wind and Fire?...Can you ever stop singing it all day? Always puts me in a good mood, also that great "The Backstabbers!"
Cover: Elvis Costello..."My Funny Valentine."
Most non deserving....oh, ick how much Beatles do we have to take? I know greatest, most influential, blah,blah, blah...I grew up listening to "Hey Jude" on the radio constantly and I hate them!!
That and U2...do any women like U2? My husband bought a U2 CD, a Talking Heads CD and not allowed to play while I'm around.

Posted by: Barb | November 30, 2006 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Best song in the last 20 years: Other Side of Life - Moody Blues

R&R HOF - Bee Gees, yes. Percy Sledge, no, although I do like his song.

Posted by: RF822 | November 30, 2006 2:44 PM | Report abuse

I've got to jump on the bandwagon and pick both U2 and Tubthumping(also doubles as most annoying, right up there with the Macaraina, I think that's the spelling).

Best cover: Cassandra Wilson "Time after time".

Don't know about the HoF.

Posted by: caroldc | November 30, 2006 2:52 PM | Report abuse

I think they nailed best cover song right on the head. Smells like Teen Spirit, for all its anti-establishment poseurism, is, at its core, a pop song (as is the rest of Nevermind). I've been saying for years that Kurt Kobain's brilliance was that he could write a great pop hook and make it just ugly enough to make people think it was interesting. Yet another layer to the tragedy that was his talent.

As for great cover songs, I'd have to list the following 3:
Primus -- Have a Cigar (Pink Floyd)
The Clash -- I Fought the Law (Bobby Fuller)
Lemonheads -- Mrs. Robinson (Simon & Garfunkel)

I also think there should be a category for Anti-cover Songs, that is, original versions whose covers became bigger hits. The prototype for this (of which hardly anyone is aware) is Otis Redding's version of Respect (which Aretha Franklin later covered). Otis, who actually wrote the song, presents a much more soulful version than Ms. Franklin's, and gives a glimpse into the REAL meaning behind the lyrics, which aren't very empowering or feminist, to say the least.

As for the RnR HOF -- the question of least-deserving is problematic, because the basic premise of a Hall of Fame for Rock-n-Roll is absurd. Either you were instrumental (pardon the pun) to the genre or you weren't, and some pronouncement by a nomination committee doesn't mean squat. Turn the RnR HOF into a true musuem, where people who care can learn the history of the genre, and leave the junior high school popularity contests to under-18 "battle of the bands" shows.


Posted by: VoR | November 30, 2006 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Best Pop Song of the past Twenty? Growing up in the Northwest, I would have to agree with Liz and Nirvana... though 'Hey Ya' by Outkast is right up there...

Best Cover: No contest, 'Twist & Shout' by Los Beatles.

Least Deserving of the RNRHOF? Bob Seger.

Posted by: TeddSorensen | November 30, 2006 2:55 PM | Report abuse

I hate to be a sheep, but I have to agree that "All Along the Watchtower" by Jimi Hendrix is the greatest cover of all time. A close second is The Who's cover of "Summertime Blues" from Live at Leeds. Oh wait, there is also "Young Man Blues" from the same album. It's a toss up.

I don't like Aerosmith, but I think they should be in the HOF, simply because they have been around for so damned long and have consistently put out hits.

I don't know if they are in the HOF or not, but the Sex Pistols should never be allowed in. One lame album and an abandoned US tour does not an HOFamer make. Johnny Rotten can go f himself.

Oh wait, I forgot about VanHalens cover of "You Really Got Me" by the Kinks...That's in the top 5 covers...

Posted by: Wish the Cuttlefish | November 30, 2006 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Though not a Sabbath fan per se, I agree that they should be in. They were revolutionary. They pushed the concept of rock and roll forward, just like Elvis did, just like the Beatles did, just like the Sex Pistols did, just like Nirvana did.

It would be interesting if the HoFers themselves got to nominate and vote on new members. I think that might take at least a bit of the elitism out of it. Of course, I feel the same way about the Baseball Hall of Fame, but that's another blog.

Posted by: neener | November 30, 2006 3:09 PM | Report abuse

best pop song of the last 20 years: definitely "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana (changed the face of music and still recognizable and hummable 15 years later)

best cover song: "All Along the Watchtower" by Jimi Hendrix (Bob Dylan original)
with honorable mention going to "Hurt" by Johnny Cash (Nine Inch Nails) and "Man Who Sold the World" by Nirvana (David Bowie)

least deserving HoF: a toughie, but I would have to go with Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers. Can anyone name more than one song that they did? They were a dispensable group from rock's most dispensable era (today the only possible exception).

I would agree that to even put Sabbath on an undeserving list is ludicrous. I can't think of another more important band to hard rock than Black Sabbath (except for possibly the Velvet Underground, who were admittedly more proto-alternative, or the Ramones, who were the first punk band) and no other more important band than the Beatles. I always considered the lack of inclusion of Sabbath to be the Hall's greatest travesty, and it is finally rectified.

Posted by: Steve | November 30, 2006 3:11 PM | Report abuse

ARGH!! And it's not even FRIDAY!?!?

One of my favorite covers of all time is by a band whose name I don't even know - it was this quiet, thoughtful, acoustic version of Van Halen's "Might As Well Jump"

For me, it did what a cover SHOULD do: remade the song completely and gave it a whole new life. Whether that makes it the *best* or not is another issue entirely. All I'm saying is that it did it surprised me and made me look at the song anew. or even at all...

Exceptionally good comments today. "Piss stain" had me laughing...

Posted by: Bogota | November 30, 2006 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Kramer- Are you out of your ever loving mind?!!? How could you say Queen wasn't original? That just shocks the hell out of me!

Posted by: Melissa | November 30, 2006 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Is it just me, or does everyone think that their favorite band wrote the most memorable pop song? Can we please be a little more objective? To be honest, Nirvana is one of my favorite bands, and I really don't think they deserved #1. I think several songs by Michael Jackson have gained much greater renown. Secondly, 20 years is too arbitrary of a cutoff.

Posted by: Chris | November 30, 2006 3:20 PM | Report abuse

best self-cover.... Eric Clapton's slow bluesly cover of "Layla"

Posted by: b | November 30, 2006 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Oh my goodness there are a lot. Here are a few of my de-nominees:

Martha and the Vandellas and Shirelles and the Four Tops in the category of pretty voices and hit songs but what else?

Percy Sledge in the yes, one-hit wonder category.

Frankie Lymon, Bobby Darin, and Ritchie Valens in the death as great career move category

The Lovin's Spoonful in the they've got to be kidding category.

Elvis Presley in the I'm just kidding category.


Posted by: Elderberry Wine | November 30, 2006 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Why Bonnie Raitt and Bob Seger are in the HOF (while the Stooges are excluded) is a mystery. The Bee Gees definitely belong--20 years of great pop songs.

Posted by: Dr. Giraud | November 30, 2006 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Hey Bogota- the Jump cover is by Aztec Camera, who also brought you "Oblivious" before oblivion.

Posted by: Elderberry Wine | November 30, 2006 3:34 PM | Report abuse

BEST COVER: PLEASE MR POSTMAN BY THE BEATLES
BEST IN 20 YRS: SWEET CHILD OF MINE BY G'N'R
WORST INDUCTEE: LLOYD PRICE [TRUE 1-HIT WONDER]
WHERE THE HELL IS ALICE COOPER ON THAT LIST OF INDUCTEES??

Posted by: Frank Wheeler | November 30, 2006 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Best "pop" song of the last 20 years - "Flagpole Sitta" by Harvey Danger.

Best cover - probably Carbon Leaf's acoustic version of "Crazy Train" (played live in-studio with Elliot on DC101).

Posted by: Doc | November 30, 2006 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Best cover = "Proud Mary" by Ike and Tina Turner

Posted by: Mike | November 30, 2006 3:44 PM | Report abuse

"Who else could have done Bohemian Rhapsody?" Who else would want to? Queen was just a bunch of Bowie wanna-be's. And they salivated at the chance to record with him 'cause they knew their place.

Posted by: Kramer | November 30, 2006 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Best cover song: Devo's version of "Satisfaction" (although "I Fought the Law" by the Clash is a close second).

Least deserving RnR HOF inductees: Rod Stewart, the Bee Gees, the Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, ZZ Top, Blondie . . . And for the record, anyone who says Queen wasn't original is just ignorant.

And although I haven't listened to "pop" music in the past 10 years, Nine Inch Nail's "Closer" should be the top pop song of the last two decades. Pop and rock n roll have always been about sex, but the chorus of "Closer" distilled the message of 50 years of music to its very essence.

Posted by: hmph | November 30, 2006 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Do any women like U2? You're kidding, right? Listen, Bono is old enough to be my father but like Amy Poehler I think I'd faint if I met him. Larry Mullen = Dorian Grey, or so it is said. And the Edge, bald or not ...

I would guess that more than half of U2s fan base = women.

Posted by: Annie | November 30, 2006 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and the most glaring omission from the Hall of Fame roster: Kraftwerk.

Posted by: hmph | November 30, 2006 4:05 PM | Report abuse

I would never say Queen wasn't "original." I would just say they sucked.

Posted by: Brian | November 30, 2006 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Is Rita referring to Buffalo Solider as a cover by Bob Marley? Because that's an orginal song.


Best pop song: "You outta know" by Alanis. It was the anthem for every pissed off woman I know. Hell it still is.

Best cover, that's a tough one. I'll go with the worse. Pearl Jam's cover of Otis Reddening, just thinking about it causes pain. "Sitting at the dock of the bay"

I've got to cast my vote for Bee Gees as being least deserving. Who did they pay to get that spot?

Posted by: tester | November 30, 2006 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Ritchie Valens was a two-hit wonder? Hello, he suffered a career-ending death. Kind of limited his chances for making the Billboard charts.

For best cover I think I'd vote for Jimi Hendrix/Watchtower with Johnny Cash/Hurt coming in second.

And count my sister and I as two more female U2 fans.

Posted by: okay I'll bite | November 30, 2006 4:20 PM | Report abuse

OK, I'm not going to take disparaging comments about U2 and/or the Talking Heads from someone who list an Earth, Wind and Fire song as the Best Pop Song (oh yeah, of the last 20 years?!?!)! You're talking about two of the most influential bands of the last few decades. True artists instead of half-a**ed imitators.

Posted by: Girls love U2! | November 30, 2006 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Oops, sorry .Obviously working too much today and not reading the directions.

Having lived most of the past 20 years overseas, I can say that Nirvana has certainly been one of my faves, and also interesting to see the influence in other countries.
Influential doesn't always mean good or likeable....take Picasso!

Posted by: Barb | November 30, 2006 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Best cover = Nilsson's version of Badfinger's "Without You"

Posted by: ebrobston | November 30, 2006 4:58 PM | Report abuse

No,got another best pop song:
"I gotta move it, move it" from Madagascar.
(MY son's CD)

Posted by: Barb | November 30, 2006 5:00 PM | Report abuse

i wouldn't say best, but i enjoy the cowboy junkies' cover of "sweet jane".

and nobody cares if you hate the beatles or u2.

Posted by: m | November 30, 2006 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Rod Stewart is in the R n R H o F? What, we're the Monkees unavailable?

And as for that, where the heck is Neal Diamond? Yeah, I know, but still....he deserves it more that a lot of those acts.

Posted by: otis | November 30, 2006 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Clyde McPhatter?

(He should not been nominated just because of his name)

Posted by: Anonymous | November 30, 2006 5:28 PM | Report abuse

How about a list of favorite songs that young men like to jerk off to?
Think you might have some takers, Liz.

Posted by: Barb | November 30, 2006 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Dear Hmph -

Okay - you're on the same page I am, I think. Devo and the Clash took those songs, beat the heck out of them, reshaped them and made them their own. That's what a cover should do, as I said.

And Elderberry Wine: you are just too cool for words. Too bad about the oblivion part, but maybe one good cover does not a reputation make. Or maybe: look at Devo. I mean, what was THAT about? And I think this kind of undermines the arguement that it's all about favorite groups - there are few people who could have the Clash AND Devo as their faves - one or the other, but I kind of doubt both...

Unless I'm wrong. Hmph? Any reaction?

Posted by: Bogota | November 30, 2006 5:48 PM | Report abuse

And speaking of Picasso - how about the Burning Sensations' cover of Jonathan Richman's "Pablo Picasso"?

Now THAT was a totally, completely, absolutely unrecognizable reinterpretation!!

Again - not the *best* but cool.

Posted by: Bogota | November 30, 2006 5:51 PM | Report abuse

In these rooms, women come and go
Speaking of Pablo Picassoooooooo

Posted by: Anonymous | November 30, 2006 5:52 PM | Report abuse

What connects Aerosmith to the Stones other than really big lips? They don't sound even slightly alike. Not that both bands don't have their share of good and bad.

Posted by: Matt | November 30, 2006 6:01 PM | Report abuse

I would agree that Percy Sledge is ultimately undeserving of the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, however he is a great representative of all the musicians who go out every night in places big and (mostly) small and deliver. But my ultimate pick for Least Deserving has to be Del Shannon. Why? He had perhaps two hits, one of which (Runaway) was most notable for an organ solo played by some session player. He did have some influence on British bands in the early 60s, but so did a lot of others.

I agree with poster who quoted the Sex Pistols saying the Rock Hall was a "piss stain" on the music. It is indeed run by a group of people who consider themselves hipper than any in the audience could ever hope to be. The selection process claims to be open, but really seems as tight as a Top 40 play list. But given that, there must be room in the Hall for Little Feat. They've been around for 35 years. Founder Lowell George gave Bonnie Raitt a lot of her slide guitar sound, and also wrote "Willin'" (which alone should have gotten him in a long time ago). And their live shows are legendary.

I also agree with Margo who suggested Dick Dale, without whom there would never have been the surf sound of the early 60s. And with several posters who suggested the Bee Gees, who should be in even without "Staying Alive" and their disco albums.

Posted by: Larry | November 30, 2006 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Dick Dale? OK, but, then, what about Jan and Dean? And why's everybody knocking Bobby Darin? Great pop singer, just not R&R. Dion and the Belmonts? Gimme a break---terrific group. Good question: why isn't Lowell George in the HoF? How about Manfred Mann and Procul Harum, or is this getting stupid? (You can still hear "Whiter Shade of Pale" in any bar in Berlin....)

Posted by: DavidG | November 30, 2006 7:42 PM | Report abuse

As a resident of the Cleveland, home of the Rock Hall, I've got to say that the whole thing is pretty pointless. In a way, I kind of feel sorry for all inductees, regardless of suckiness.

I don't get why they induct the same people over and over (Michael Jackson as part of Jackson 5 and as a solo artist). I guess they think it will attract more attention.

As for best pop song, I'm going to go with "Bittersweet Symphony," by the Verve. Back in 1998, you couldn't go anywhere without hearing that string melody. But I"m also partial to the Pixies, "Here Comes Your Man."

My favorite cover song is probably "Mrs. Robinson" by the Lemonheads. I can listen to it over and over again.

Posted by: amm | November 30, 2006 7:46 PM | Report abuse

It's not the best song, but it surely must be the most memorable, burrowing into our brains like mad cow disease: "The Macarena."

Unforgettable cover song: Dolly Parton's version of "Stairway to Heaven." No, really! It'll send chills up your spine, I promise.

Least-deserving of Hall of Fame: Bob Seger, king of mediocrity, the exact aural equivalent of Thomas Kinkade, "Painter of Light." Someday I hope to own a radio capable of automatically changing the station whenever a Bob Seger song comes on.

Posted by: Dorianne Gray | November 30, 2006 9:11 PM | Report abuse

The best pop songs were being made 24 years ago, the R-n-R Hall of Fame is too trivial for an opinion from me, but I like good cover songs. Some favs:
- Shawn Colvin had more than one on "Cover Girl,"
- the Smithereens version of "Time Won't Let Me"
- Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers doing "Comfortably Numb" is too cool
- in the spirit of the season, Big Bad VooDoo Daddies do a great "Heat Miser/Snow Miser"

and for the latest, greatest, there's-no-debatest example of genre-jumping, head-turning cover excellence, with the added twist of recording with the original singer, I have to go with David Lee Roth singing "Jump" this year with the Jon Jorgensen bluegrass band. I say it with integrity intact, I love that song! The synth solo rendered note-for-note on a banjo? Brilliance!

Posted by: sean | December 1, 2006 7:35 AM | Report abuse

What does it take to make a cover great? If make it your own, and make it last are the requisites, then you have to put Joe Cocker's "A Little Help From My Friends" has to be up near the top.

Posted by: WhiteSoul | December 1, 2006 9:05 AM | Report abuse

HEAR HEAR re Dick Dale!!!!!

Someone else who should DEFINITELY be in the hall of fame:

Michael Nesmith. He was a country-rock pioneer (his albums with the First National Band inspired a ton of artists who followed), and was a music video pioneer who actually "invented" MTV (he got the idea for an all-music video channel in the early 70s and sold the idea to Viacom, and the rest is history. I read an interview with him recently where he said "It's not quite the same network I envisioned...").

I'd be surprised if Nez was ever inducted. The Hall seems to overlook true living pioneers in favor of "crowdpleasers." I've got nothing against Bob Seger, but if he was a ballplayer, he'd be kind of like Gary Matthews or Lenny Dykstra: workmanlike, solid player, yes; one of the all-time greats? Hmmmm...

Posted by: Max | December 1, 2006 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Can we get a little love for Metallica's version of "Turn the Page" and Rufus Wainwright's "Hallelujah" as good covers? Also, I am semi-addicted to Save Ferris's "Come On, Eileen".

Also, as much as I hate it, I have to nominate Len's "Steal My Sunshine" for memorable pop songs. I hate that song sooo much, but almost everyone I know can instantly recognize it's obnoxious opening notes. It's not the top, but I'd put it somewhere in the top 20.

Posted by: loonatic | December 1, 2006 10:50 AM | Report abuse

For the few Billy Joel "haters" -- he's been around for 30 years and just about always sells out his concerts (even here in DC) so someone (other then myself) likes his music! The musical "Movin' Out" was great on Broadway, too.

Nirvana -- who could even understand what they were saying? Unless one was stoned, too then I suppose it would make sense.

Posted by: Long Islander | December 1, 2006 12:00 PM | Report abuse

"What connects Aerosmith to the Stones other than really big lips? They don't sound even slightly alike. Not that both bands don't have their share of good and bad."

Right on. I can understand disliking them, but comparing them to the Stones is nonsensical. I love the boys, but freely admit I haven't been able to stomach much after 'Pump' ;-)

Posted by: PB | December 1, 2006 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Doc - don't know that I agree those are the best choices, but love your taste in music! Carbon Leaf's version of Crazy is on 5 Alive, BTW...

Posted by: SMK | December 1, 2006 5:39 PM | Report abuse

I know I'm late jumping in here, but, although I agree with many of the songs listed (especially Carbon Leaf), no one has mentioned either The Flying Lizards' remake of "Money", or my personal all-time fave remake nominee "Tears of a Clown" by The English Beat. I just can't let such glaring omissions slide.

Given the crappy parameters, I'd probably go with either Tubthumping or Longview (Green Day) for best pop song of the last 20 years.

Posted by: Kate | December 7, 2006 12:14 AM | Report abuse

I'm late but...why all the hating on Seger? Has anyone listened to his lyrics? The lesser known songs (like The Fire Inside) are awesome!

Best cover is no question: Hendrix and Watchtower.

The band that doesn't belong is the Eagles. Every song sounds the same and they all last for half the morning, which means you're stuck with an earworm for the rest of the day.

Henley solo I can dig, but that group is like a root canal.

Posted by: Ms Kelly | December 7, 2006 4:11 PM | Report abuse

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