Miscellaneous List: The 5 Best and 5 Worst Songs with “Rock and/’n’/& Roll
The Best 1. “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School” by The Ramones No explanation needed. Almost drops a couple of spot since Alvin and Chipmunks were allowed to cover it, but Joey Ramone was dead when that happened, so I’ll assume it was a money grab by a greedy relative. But come one, if you don’t want to go to a high school based solely on rock and roll, you’re a loser.
2. “Rock & Roll” by Velvet Underground Go the 2:20 mark in this song and listen to that guitar. That, my friend, is what I’m talking about.
3. “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” by Joan Jett Not Joan Jett’s song originally, but it might as well be. All snarl and attitude. Plus, you just know that even at 56 she can still kick all of our asses.
4. “Rock & Roll” by Led Zeppelin. People love to rag on Led Zeppelin, but don’t lie – the first time you heard this song you wanted to light a cigarette and get find someone to fight. I mean that in the best way possible.
5. “Rock and Roll Music” by Chuck Berry It all starts with Chuck Berry so this should be #1, but it’s hard for me to listen to him without thinking of an article I read in Spy Magazine back in the 90’s. There are just some urine-based stories you can’t unread, unfortunately.
Bonus great song: “Old Time Rock and Roll” by Bob Seger Mock me all you want, but this is a great song, despite the unspoken law that it be played at every wedding.
1. “God Gave Rock and Roll to You” by Argent, Kiss, Petra, etc. How do put into words how terrible something is? By saying that if there was a hell this would be on repeat? By saying you’d rather never hear music again if it meant having to listen to this song once a day? By saying you’d choose to let those earworms from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan burrow into your brain instead of hearing this song again? Is that good enough? Because this song is terrible in every respect, and it sure as hell isn’t rock and roll. If this is the rock and roll god chose to give us, I say, no thanks, dude.
2. “Rock ‘n’ Roll Band” by Boston Maybe the most back-patting, self-congratulatory song I’ve ever heard. “Hey, let’s write a song about our band’s history and how beloved we are!” “Yeah, and let’s only put ufo’s on our album covers, too!” “No, ufo’s with guitar bodies!” [High fives all around]
3. “Rock and Roll Part 2” by Gary Glitter As if having written this ubiquitous, stadium-played crapfest isn’t bad enough, Glitter’s also a convicted slimeball and predator. Seriously, don’t go searching out why because you’ll end up wanting to get deloused. Take my word for it.
4. “Rock and Roll All Night” by Kiss A true rock star doesn’t tell us he wants to do it, he just does it. And does the fact that two of the songs on this list are performed by Kiss mean I don’t like Kiss? Yes. Yes, it does. But wait…Toad the Wet Sprocket, one of the least rock and roll bands ever, covered it? I can’t listen! I mustn’t listen! That would be torture. No, I must listen. [After listening]. If I am ever kidnapped and forced to make a compilation video of animals being tortured and airliners crashing, this would be the perfect soundtrack.
5. “Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo” by Rick Derringer In Derringer’s own words, the song is “a little corny.” Definitely an understatement.
Bonus terrible song: “I’m Just a Singer in a Rock & Roll Band” by the Moody Blues. Dear Moody Blues, you are not rock. Ever. Sincerely, Me.
Feel free to argue with me on this, in the comment section below. You’ll lose, but feel free.