The Top 88

Deeply sorry to all the hip-hop, death metal and especially psychobilly fans out there. Just not my thang. Here’s the extremely backward-thinking (nothing here post-1990) list of my favourite popular songs ever recorded at the moment. Some are so good, they might even warrant individual posts. 88 is just a lovely, round number.

The Weight – The Band
When You Awake – The Band
Sloop John B – The Beach Boys
I Want You (She’s So Heavy) – The Beatles
The Ballad of El Goodo – Big Star
Don’t Fear the Reaper – Blue Oyster Cult
Suffragette City – David Bowie
A New Career in a New Town – David Bowie
Expecting to Fly – Buffalo Springfield
Draft Morning – The Byrds
La Princesse Perdue – Camel
Oh, Lonesome Me – Ray Charles
Suzanne – Leonard Cohen
Janie Jones – The Clash
Many Rivers to Cross – Jimmy Cliff
Ramble Tamble – Creedence Clearwater Revival
Layla – Derek and the Dominoes
Northern Sky – Nick Drake
Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright – Bob Dylan
Visions of Johanna – Bob Dylan
Tangled Up in Blue – Bob Dylan
Born in Time – Bob Dylan
The Killing Moon – Echo and the Bunnymen
Stay With Me – Faces
I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You – Aretha Franklin
Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler) – Marvin Gaye
Uncle John’s Band – The Grateful Dead
Forget Me Not – Roy Harper
Little Wing – Jimi Hendrix
Not Fade Away – Buddy Holly
Disorder – Joy Division
The Village Green Preservation Society – The Kinks
Waterloo Sunset – The Kinks
Tea for One – Led Zeppelin
When the Levee Breaks – Led Zeppelin
Ten Years Gone – Led Zeppelin
Strawberry Flats – Little Feat
Mercenary Territory (Live) – Little Feat
Alone Again Or – Love
Carey – Joni Mitchell
And it Stoned Me – Van Morrison
Hiroshima Nagasaki Russian Roulette – Moving Hearts
Personality Crisis – New York Dolls
Living Without You – Randy Newman
Rosemary – Randy Newman
Local Girls – Graham Parker
Hearts On Fire – Gram Parsons
San Tropez – Pink Floyd
Time – Pink Floyd
Elvis Presley – Treat Me Nice
Darlin Nikki – Prince
Hello in There – John Prine
Far From Me – John Prine
Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay – Otis Redding
My House – Lou Reed
Radio Free Europe – R.E.M.
Replacements – Bastards of Young
Sympathy for the Devil – The Rolling Stones
You Can’t Always Get What You Want – The Rolling Stones
Loving Cup – The Rolling Stones
Graceland – Paul Simon
Family Affar – Sly and the Family Stone
The Headmaster Ritual – The Smiths
Cemetry Gates – The Smiths
Incident on 57th Street – Bruce Springsteen
Rosalita (Come out Tonight) – Bruce Springsteen
King of the World – Steely Dan
Aja – Steely Dan
As – Stevie Wonder
He’s Misstra Know-it-All – Stevie Wonder
Every Picture Tells A Story – Rod Stewart
The Rainbow – Talk Talk
See No Evil – Television
When I Get to the Border – Richard Thompson
Rock and Roll – The Velvet Underground
And You And I – Yes
Ambulance Blues – Neil Young
Lookout Joe – Neil Young
Powderfinger – Neil Young
Pocahontas – Neil Young
Lawyers, Guns and Money – Warren Zevon

Here’s Little Feat’s Mercenary Territory performed live. Wait ’till the 1:55 mark where things get truly eargasmic.


6 thoughts on “The Top 88

  1. Ah! A list to sink one’s teeth into. Hmm. No Rocket 88 by Ike Turner, arguably the first Rock ‘n Roll song ever?

    I can’t tell you my own Great 88 because I haven’t really thought about it. So, some comments on your list:

    Firstly, our tastes are, I think, largely complementary. While not 100% simpatico, we could certainly enjoy a virtual beer or two whilst listening to and discussing these tunes. Of the list, I’d say I know about half of them really well.

    And any list of mine would surely have: The Weight, Suffragette City, Layla, Stay With Me, Little Wing, Time, All three Stones songs, (Loving Cup! Good on ya!), the Springsteen stuff, Aja, As. I would certainly have Dylan, Zep, Beatles, Kinks, Clash, Prince, Paul Simon, probably just different songs. Ripple would be my obligatory Dead song. And I’m sure the rest of the list has some tunes I’d enjoy but haven’t yet heard.

    Oh and Hiroshima Nagasaki Russian Roulette? Never heard of it, great title.


  2. No problemo! My copyright lawyers will let this one slide… 😀

    I found choosing the list hard because I would take one of my absolute favourite albums and find that when I took singular songs away from them, the songs wouldn’t be as good without the context of the album. It’s like having to choose a track off Dark Side of the Moon. Virtually impossible. I had to choose Time, though as it contains the truest lyrics I’ve ever heard: ‘Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way’…

    As for Loving Cup, it’s the one track that gets me most worked up when I listen to Exile. What a beautiful buzz…


    1. Thanks. In previous posts, I had done my favorite songs. One post was Top Ten, second post was ones that didn’t make the first cut. I don’t think they total 88, maybe half that. But I’m sure I can easily come up with over 100. The challenge will be to whittle them down.

      As to Loving Cup and Exile in general, I love the album not only for its inherent greatness but also because I once got laid (shagged, as i think you blokes say) because of it. Farmer’s daughter in France. Tee-hee.


  3. Crikey, indeed. (Whatever that may mean). BTW, I was unfamiliar with the Little Feat song. I dug it. I recommended it to a LF fan who hadn’t heard it. Thanks.


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