Bob Dylan Tops Greatest-song List

The song "Like a Rolling Stone,” Bob Dylan’s scornful, ironic ode to a spoiled woman’s reversal of fortune, was named the greatest rock ’n’ roll song of all time Wednesday by Rolling Stone magazine. “No other pop song has so thoroughly challenged and transformed the commercial laws and artistic conventions of its time, for all time,” wrote Rolling Stone senior editor David Fricke in an article accompanying the magazine’s list of the top 500 rock songs of all time. The list, published in a special edition out Friday, was compiled by a panel of recording artists, producers, label executives, critics and songwriters. Among them were singer Art Garfunkel, Motown Records founder Berry Gordy, heavy metal icon Ozzy Osbourne, vocalist Joni Mitchell and even Dylan’s rock star son, Jakob. Ranked No. 2 on the magazine’s roster of greatest rock songs of all time was the Rolling Stones’ 1965 hit “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” followed by John Lennon’s utopian ballad ”Imagine,” Marvin Gaye’s languid soul classic “What’s Going On” and Aretha Franklin’s empowerment anthem “Respect.” Rounding out the top 10 were “Good Vibrations” from the Beach Boys; Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode”; the Beatles’ “Hey Jude” and Ray Charles’ seminal soul record “What’d I Say.” The highest-charting song on the list from the King of Rock ’n’ Roll, Elvis Presley, was his 1956 hit “Hound Dog” at No. 19. The Beatles, not surprisingly, notched the most songs on the list, with 22 entries. They were trailed by archrivals the Rolling Stones, who tallied 13 in all. A dozen of Dylan’s songs made the cut. In a similar list published in 1989, the magazine named the Stones’ “Satisfaction” as the best single of the past 25 years, with Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone” placed at No. 2 -- a reversal of the latest ranking. 1. "Like A Rolling Stone", Bob Dylan 2. "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction", Rolling Stones 3. "Imagine", John Lennon 4. "What's Going On", Marvin Gaye 5. "Respect", Aretha Franklin 6. "Good Vibrations", Beach Boys 7. "Johnny B Goode", Chuck Berry 8. "Hey Jude", Beatles 9. "Smells Like Teen Spirit", Nirvana 10. "What'd I Say", Ray Charles
Source: Rolling Stone / Updated: Nov 18, 2004 
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Reactions

RobIreland (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 20, 2004report abuse
Have these people ever heard of Little RIchard ?
RobIreland (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 20, 2004report abuse
LIKE A ROLLING The greatest rock n roll song ever ?hahahahahahahahaha thats funny !
Carl (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 19, 2004report abuse
LIKE A ROLLING STONE by Dylan is pretty lame as a record. It kinda sucks.
It was imporant because Bob Dylan had gone "electric". This was because Dylan felt that folk was crappy and wimpy and he had to keep up with The Beatles. It was really just Dylan doing the Beatles. Dylan wanted to go rock and roll because that is what The Beatles were doing. Dylan saw how The beatles were revolutionizing music and culture and he wanted to follow the Beatles and not be left behind. But of course the whole electric rock scene began with Elvis.
Dylan always was a bit ambiguous about rock and roll. On his first album for Columbia in 1962, Dylan wrote that Elvis and Carl Perkins were his two greatest rock influences on his music. So Dylan always considered rock and roll to be vital.
But it was the Beatles invasion in 1964 that got Dylan hooked on the electric guitar. So The Beatles really deserve the credit here for turning Dylan back onto rock and roll. But it was alawsy about image. Dylan recorded Elvis "That's All Right" in his first sessions for Columbia but they did not release it because they wanted to maintain his image as a folkie and cover-up his Elvis roots. Dylan covered another Elvis song on his 1973 album, "Can't help Falling in Love". Most people don't remember that album.
But it is all phony nonsense. Dylan was never up front about his rock and roll roots, he was ambiguous. But Dylan was I think more important for folk and the whole snobbish artsy movement that he was for rock and roll.
My opinion: LIKE A ROLLING STONE is very very dated and forgettable as a rock song. it sucks! It is like a parody or joke song. The people at RS are really clueless idiots!
They are the same morons that said that rock and roll would not last.
Jefffirmin (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 19, 2004report abuse
Jim Semple gets my point whereas King of Western Bop doesn't. Whilst Elvis' early music was of such influence it does not automatically follow that any of those songs would qualify as the greatest. Music evolved greatly over the years following that 1954 landmark. That was just the birth of today's music and so it is fair to expect some of the songs that followed Elvis' early recordings to surpass his in terms of quality of music or lyric. Elvis is my favorite artist followed by Sringsteen. However, I believe Springsteen recorded several songs that surpass anything that Elvis recorded. Check out any of his albums and listen to the strength of lyric and music. Now, that doesn' tmean that I agree with this poll, because several of Elvis' tracks, I consider, to rank higher than some of those contained in the top ten. But there you go, thats polls for you.
King Of Western Bop (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 19, 2004report abuse
Teacher. Yeah, but that's only because they couldn't have convinced anyone that it started with Bob Dylan or the Beatles. As others have said, this kind of nonsense matters not. Just self indulgent rubbish carried out by people wanting to rewrite musical history. Sorry to break the news to them; it's already been written.
Jim Semple (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 19, 2004report abuse
Bear in mind, this is a poll for Greatest Rock n Roll Song of all time and not the most influential, ground breaking song like Thats All Right Mama for example. But the greatest rock n roller of all time (Elvis) should have been in the Top 5 at worst. That all said, like all polls, there are not worth the paper they are written on.
Teacher (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 19, 2004report abuse
In all fairness to Rolling Stone Magazine they do recognize July 5, 1954 as the birth of rock and roll.
King Of Western Bop (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 19, 2004report abuse
Viva, you hit the nail on the head! It seems that any fan who protests at the results of such polls is looked on as being biased in Elvis' favour. Then the so-called level-headed honest fan crawls out of the woodwork and give what they think is an opinion that sets themselves apart from the I-think-Elvis-was-the-second-coming kind of fan. Really? Trouble is, you end up giving some pretty wild opinions of your own. Elvis made no iconic Rock & Roll tracks?? Ye gods who have you been listening to! If That's All Right, Mystery Train, Blue Suede Shoes, Heartbreak Hotel and the like aren't iconic then I don't know what is.
Of course, it's the politics of the magazine that determines the results. Elvis no doubt leaned to the right in his politics, and therefore isn't the darling of such publications as Rolling Stone. Look whose track they picked for the number one slot, and the Beatles appeared more times than Elvis. And we all know what their polical leanings were don't we? Take Elvis out of the picture of musical history and what do you have?Well you can cross out Bob Dylan, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones for a start!
It seems to me that there are some fans who are starting to believe in the negative publicity that Elvis gets - i.e. he was just a fat guy who wore glittery jumpsuits, couldn't sing and died of a drug overdose. This is the kind of garbage I have to listen to every day. When you get so-called fans agreeing with the results of such polls then they aren't too far from travelling down the same road.
He wasn't a perfect man, and his material wasn't always as good as it could have been, yet that could apply to anyone in his business. But he did one thing that not one of the others did. He gave you rock and Roll. Still, I suppose there are some morons who'll disagree with that too!
Adam S (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 19, 2004report abuse
Joliverma ! You are absolutely right. Thank you !
Jeoliverm (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 19, 2004report abuse
OK, this is the same old song: the Elvis image never looked anything but conservative, except along the fifties. If the Colonel could see now the very sad result of his work with the image of his boy...
We're right when we say Elvis never took cocaine nor LSD, neither smoke cannabis or something of that stuff. He never got enough time to rehabilitate of his drug habit, and, you know, that's the thing than those "wonderful" and "progresists" artists have done.He also never took any political attitude (at least in public), and that's one more reason to see him far away from human (progresist) being. Take a look: except for his Beatles period, Paul McCartney is not considered at all in terms of music, the same as Elvis. Both of them look in a polite way to all the public.
And polite in pop/rock music is not good: you have to have took drugs, you have to have broken with drugs, and you have to have had (and still have) a political engagement (and not any, you know the ONE RIGHT side). Hope didn't bother (and boring) you.
Jefffirmin (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 19, 2004report abuse
Could it be coincidence but, apparently, the Rolling Stone magazine founder's favourite song was 'Like a Rolling Stone' and favourite group was the Rolling Stones. This is apparently how the magazine's name was derived. As far as Elvis not placing higher, if you look back through the various other polls of the greatest rock songs that have been conducted over the years, you will find that Elvis rarely placed highly. I am not surprised. Elvis didn't really produce a really big standout iconic track but more a broad base of great tracks. Elvis is remembered as much for his image as his music, particularly after the Army spell, whereas, Dylan and Springsteen for example, are recognised for their music primarily.So while I don't particularly agree with the poll results I can't honestly say I would put any Elvis track in the top 20.
carolynlm (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 19, 2004report abuse
RS magazine has never really been a great help to Elvis' fans, I would take this 'list' with a grain of salt. It is of no consequence. It's obvious the so called 'experts' have not taken record sales into consideration, and Ozzie Osbourne, give me a break!! He has as much credibility as the 'hound dog' Elvis had to sing to. We know who changed the world of music, that's all that matters, no point getting too upset.
MV (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 19, 2004report abuse
Heartbreak Hotel or maybe Mystery Train shoulda been there.Top 10.Where was Jerry Lee with Whole Lotta Shakin? But i'm bias.I'd have songs from the like of Warren Smith,Sonny Burgess,Carl Perkins over people like Kurt Cobain and the Stones.No disrespect.Don't think Hey Jude is Beatles best.A Day in the Life better.Can't argue with Good Vibrations:to me the best (non Elvis) record ever.
CD King (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 19, 2004report abuse
They've got it all mixed up - HOUND DOG only at No.19? And what happened to JAILHOUSE ROCK, HEARTBURN MOTEL and ALL SHOOK UP?
Viva (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 18, 2004report abuse
Christ, they really did take too many drugs in the 60s. I bet 90% of the songs on this list are what the general public call "S**t" (Stop me if I get too technical). Come on, "No other pop song has so thoroughly challenged and transformed..."etc. What about "That's All Right" & "Heartbreak Hotel" but then those songs only changed the course of popular culture and everything connected with music forever, so I don't suppose they qualify for this list. It's a pity Elvis didn't get out of his face on LSD and sang songs about Walrus's or brightly coloured submarines while complaining to anyone who'll listen about how depressed he is and how crap the world is while pocketing all the cash and not washing for a month; if he had this list may have been a lot different. I suppose we'll just have to console ourselves in the fact that Elvis was only the most successful, important and influential entertainer in history. Shame.
Eddie White (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 18, 2004
Invisible because there was bad language used
Cruiser2145 (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 18, 2004report abuse
Like A Rolling Stone by Bob Dylan is a surprise; but for all the sour grapes comment by some of we Elvis fans, I find a little surprising also. Face it folks, yes without Elvis there wouldn't be some of the most popular groups and individual artists we know and love such as The Rolling Stones and Beatles to name just two; but Elvis' background relied heavily on black gosphel and blues from the south in the states and I don't hear anyone gripping about their position on the charts via Elvis. As time moves on the king passes out. There will always be an Elvis in the history of music for without him, there wouldn't be rock 'n roill for the masses and don't forget it; but please, put the sour grapes comments away folks. Elvis' best was in the 1950's.
joemin (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 18, 2004report abuse
What a load of rubbish. Like A Rolling Stone is a folk song, not rock or rock and roll. Those dimwits at RS have their heads up their areses. Dimwits who buy this rubbish are worse.
Joe Car (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 18, 2004report abuse
Rolling Stone has always been strictly a 60's biased magazine, to them the rock era didn't start until 1964. For the greatest and best selling artist to come in at no.19 shows how out touch the buffoons that run this magazine are.
MauriceColgan (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 18, 2004report abuse
The world's media attention will focus on the Elvis Presley 8th January 2005 Because of his astounding contribution to popular music. The importance of Music magazines has been totally lost on the general public:-) Especially so called "Rock" magazines which languish in the little world they created, all for themselves. Udopia.
In the real world Elvis Presley is the, "Stand Alone Icon of the Century".
Pachakuti! (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 18, 2004report abuse
Yeah, well I think that Elvis is not being given the approppriate respect he deserves!!! If it hadn't been for Elvis, Bob Dylan, The Stones and The Beatles would never have been performing and recording on our sweet and beloved God-given earth at all! I remember Bob Dylan stating that Elvis' rendition of 'Tomorrow is a long time' was the best one he had ever heard; I remember John Lennon saying that "before Elvis, there was nothing". The song The Stones recorded was based upon a song by Roy Orbison (notice the beginning of 'Pretty Woman' closely matching the guitar riffs in 'Satisfaction') - and just as our man from Texas was a kind of an inspiration to Elvis, Roy Orbison's musical career existed by the grace of the doors which had been previously opened up by our man from Tennessee.

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