The Two-Minute Man, Episode 3: Collective Soul (?!) Edition
It wasn't the greatest week of entries for the Two-Minute Man. Why's that? Because out of the 10 songs I heard on 94.7/The Globe, two were by Collective Soul and another was by Live. Ouch. So you can have a pretty good idea of what the bottom of the list will look like. And while most folks would be delighted to hear a pair of Led Zeppelin songs, I was much happier with the Tom Petty and Depeche Mode offerings. Full list after the jump; chime in with your alternate rankings and critical thoughts.
1. Free Fallin' - Tom Petty
It took almost three full weeks of this column to catch a Petty tune, but the Globe finally came through. There may not be a better artist to hear on the radio than Petty, because he has such a deep catalog of singles and they all have their unique charms. Petty's songs are almost always very formulaic in structural terms - it's usually some variation on verse/chorus/verse/chorus/bridge/chorus - but there are always a few subtly great moments to be heard. In this one my favorites are the harmonies on the "Ventura Boulevard" lyric and the rolling drum beat during the third verse. How can you not love Tom Petty?
2. People Are People - Depeche Mode
The Mode has more than a dozen fantastic singles, but this one doesn't quite rank with the best. It's still a masterful snyth-pop anthem, just not on the level of "Enjoy the Silence" or the band's crown jewel, "Never Me Let Down Again."
3. Over the Hills and Far Away - Led Zeppelin
This is one of those songs that even non-Zeppelin fans - and that's me - would have a hard time knocking. It's rock-and-roll on a large scale, and when the drums and electric guitar kick in after Page's extended intro, it still sounds more vital than pretty much every current band working in the same spectrum.
4. Whip It - Devo
Perhaps the best example that an exceedingly silly song can also be pretty great and also groundbreaking. Although at this point my strongest association with the tune is Swiffer. Swiff it good!
5. Hard Sun (w/Corin Tucker) - Eddie Vedder
No recent rock star loves to associate himself with cool people with tons of credibility quite like the Pearl Jam frontman. It all goes back to the claims of "grunge fraud" that met the band upon its breakout. Since then he's buddied up with the likes of Who, Neil Young, Nusrat Fatel Ali Khan and now this duet with the former (insert sad face emoticon) Sleater-Kinney guitarist/warbler. The two distinctive voices do work very well together on this bucolic folk tune.
6. Hey Hey What Can I Do - Led Zeppelin
Am I the only one who thinks this one sounds a bit like the Band's "The Weight"? But not nearly as good, of course. This one pales to the previous Zep entry and I just don't want to listen to Robert Plant talk about pleasing his lady all day, sorry.
7. Satellite - Guster
If there was an award for most generic, somewhat pleasing, immediately forgettable song, this one would certainly be in the running.
8. December - Collective Soul
The reason this song always made me laugh is because during the chorus when Ed Roland (yes, of course I had to look up his name) sings, "Turn your head, now baby, just spit me out," he sings in a voice that sounds like a mediocre Adam Sandler impression. Listen to it, substitute "Sloppy joe, sloppy sloppy joe" and tell me I'm wrong.
9. The World I Know - Collective Soul
It's like the Goo Goo Dolls crossed with Matchbox 20 crossed with the dude from Nickelback's facial hair (and regular hair, actually - check the video). Seriously bad stuff. Any other week it would surely snag the bottom spot, but...
10. I Alone - Live
Here's the thing about Live. They are the worst band. In the history of music. Ever. Forever. Call it off. Because the competition is over. In terms of worst contributions to popular culture over the past couple of decades, it's a really close call between Live and Battlebots.
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