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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Songs Of The 1960s
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:46 pm 
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Brett Alan wrote:
Bruce wrote:
Negative Creep wrote:
Lmao, I cant see the "transcendence" there...
I'm not saying it wasn't a huge song, but to have it above the likes of Good Vibrations and Like A Rolling Stone?


The transendence is things like that you'll even here college bands play the song sometimes in the halftime show. They certainly are not playing "Good Vibrations" or "Like A Rolling Stone."


Actually....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B72ZJbRQYJk

(University of Michigan marching band does "Good Vibrations" and "Fun Fun Fun".)


Perhaps, but hundreds of marching bands do "Louie Louie" and there's all kinds of other weird versions of the song.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Songs Of The 1960s
PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:09 pm 
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No offense intended to Louie Louie or The Kingsmen...but I'm convinced that the key to that songs immense popularity was the dirty lyric controversy. Everyone (including The United States government) was listening REAL close to listen for the alleged vulgar lyrics. That gave the tune the impitus to be played over and over on every top 40 radio station therein playing to its cultural relevence in the topsy turvy 60's. Play ANY song enough on the airwaves and it'll be a hit, and the whole Louie Louie thing went over the top. Otherwise...not bad song...but REALLY!


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Songs Of The 1960s
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 2:09 am 
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StuBass wrote:
No offense intended to Louie Louie or The Kingsmen...but I'm convinced that the key to that songs immense popularity was the dirty lyric controversy. Everyone (including The United States government) was listening REAL close to listen for the alleged vulgar lyrics. That gave the tune the impitus to be played over and over on every top 40 radio station therein playing to its cultural relevence in the topsy turvy 60's. Play ANY song enough on the airwaves and it'll be a hit, and the whole Louie Louie thing went over the top. Otherwise...not bad song...but REALLY!


The dirty lyric controversy was important towards it's initial popularity in 1963-64 but that controversy ended about 45 years ago and it's only gotten even more popular over time. It's the perfect example of how in rock and roll an otherwise mediocre artist can strike legendary gold with the right song in the right style at the right time. If the Kingsmen had not done the song the way they did in 1963 the song would have been relegated to obscurity as a 1950s song that never really made it despite some popularity in the Northwest US with some remakes by Rockin' Robin Roberts and the Raiders.

Perhaps #2 is too high, but it's cleary a top ten record for the decade, known by people from age 8 to 88. A classic that will continue to be played and sung by people forever. One of the greatest party records of all time.

My cousin TJ had the Kingsmen doing "Louie, Louie" on his latest PBS show a month or two ago, still sounding good after almost 50 years.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Songs Of The 1960s
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 2:53 am 
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And that's terrific info Bruce. I'm also glad that The Kingsmen are still around after all these years and yes, T.J. has done a whole lot to get some of these forgotten artists back for a taste of the spotlight, and in several cases allowed some of these artists to get gigs at casinos, nostalgia concerts, and such to allow them to enjoy a decent income...Kudos to T.J. and I mean that sincerely. That said...I believe it was the very controversey we're talking about here that propelled that song to become the cultural and iconic symbol of the 60's (I can't define pornography...but I know it when I see it, as a Supreme Court Justice of that era proclaimed), and with that lore...and AIRPLAY... has placed that song as a relevent remnant of the 60's. Musically???... Pretty good...but not creatively and artistically innovative or impactful. One entry of thousands.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Songs Of The 1960s
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 3:06 am 
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StuBass wrote:
That said...I believe it was the very controversey we're talking about here that propelled that song to become the cultural and iconic symbol of the 60's (I can't define pornography...but I know it when I see it, as a Supreme Court Justice of that era proclaimed), and with that lore...and AIRPLAY... has placed that song as a relevent remnant of the 60's. Musically???... Pretty good...but not creatively and artistically innovative or impactful.


I have no interest in lyrics at all and I think it's one of the great records of the decade. When I Played it in clubs I was DJing in, 500 people would go crazy, and it was not because of the lyrics. Many times the club would be filled with people who were born after the record came out and had no idea about the lyric controversy.

Rock and roll is not about innovation or creativity in my book. I'll take "Louie Louie" and "Wooly Bully" and "Tutti-Frutti" and "Hound Dog" and "Hanky Panky" and "96 Tears" anytime over supposedly more creative and innovative stuff.


StuBass wrote:
One entry of thousands


More like one IN a million.

The song is ranked #55 on the Rolling Stone magazine's list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time".


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Songs Of The 1960s
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 3:15 am 
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The Kingsmen recorded the song at Northwestern, Inc., Motion Pictures and Recording in Portland. The group paid a modest $36 for a one-hour Saturday morning session. Jack Ely (Kingsmen's lead singer) says he remembers paying $10.00, one-fifth of the $50.00 fee. The session was produced by Ken Chase. Chase was a local radio personality on the AM rock station 91 KISN and also owned the teen nightclub that hosted the Kingsmen as their house band. The engineer for the session was the studio owner, Robert Lindahl. The Kingsmen's lead singer Jack Ely based his version on the recording by Rockin' Robin Roberts with the Fabulous Wailers, unintentionally introducing a change in the rhythm as he did. "I showed the others how to play it with a 1-2-3, 1-2, 1-2-3 beat instead of the 1-2-3-4, 1-2, 1-2-3-4 beat that is on the (Wailers') record," recalled Ely. The night before their recording session, the band played a 90-minute version of the song during a gig at a local teen club.

The Kingsmen's studio version was recorded in one take. They also recorded the "B" side of the release, an original instrumental by the group called "Haunted Castle".

A significant error on the Kingsmen's version occurs just after the lead guitar break; as the group were going by the Wailers' version, which has a brief restatement of the riff, two times over, before the lead vocalist comes back in, it would be expected that Ely would do the same. Ely, however, overshot his mark, coming in too soon, before the restatement of the riff; he realizes his mistake and stops the verse short, but the band does not realize that he has done so. As a quick fix, drummer Lynn Easton covers the pause with a drum fill, but before the verse has ended, the rest of the band goes into the chorus at the point where they expect it to be; they recover quickly.

This error is now so embedded in the consciousness of some groups that they deliberately duplicate it when performing the song. There is also a persistent and oft-repeated story that the microphone for Ely was mounted too high for him to sing without tilting his head back excessively, resulting in his somewhat pinched and strangled sound through most of his vocal. This is exactly the way his head was pitched according to Ely. This seems unlikely, however, in view of the fact that it was recorded by professional personnel in a dedicated recording studio. According to Ely himself, "There were no professional personnel in the studio that day except maybe Lindahl. We set up all our own equipment in a circle facing each other underneath an overhead microphone up by the ceiling at which I sang/shouted the lyrics." It has also been reported that Ely had gotten braces on his teeth the day before, impeding vocalization.

The Kingsmen transformed Berry's easy-going ballad into a raucous romp, complete with a twangy guitar, occasional background chatter, and nearly unintelligible lyrics by Ely. A chaotic guitar break is triggered by the shout, "Okay, let's give it to 'em right now!", which first appeared in the Wailers' version, as did the entire guitar break (although, in the Wailers' version, a few notes differ, and the entire band played the break). Critic Dave Marsh suggests it is this moment that gives the recording greatness: "[Ely] went for it so avidly you'd have thought he'd spotted the jugular of a lifelong enemy, so crudely that, at that instant, Ely sounds like Donald Duck on helium. And it's that faintly ridiculous air that makes the Kingsmen's record the classic that it is, especially since it's followed by a guitar solo that's just as wacky".

First released in May 1963, the single was initially issued by the small Jerden label, before being picked up by the larger Wand Records and released by them in October 1963. It entered the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for December 7, and peaked at number two the following week; it would remain in the top 10 through December and January before dropping off in early February. In total, the Kingsmen's version spent 16 weeks on the Hot 100. (Singles by The Singing Nun, then Bobby Vinton, monopolized the top slot for eight weeks.) "Louie Louie" did reach number one on the Cashbox pop chart, as well as number one on the Cashbox R&B chart. The version quickly became a standard at teen parties in the U.S. during the 1960s, even reappearing on the charts in 1966.

Another factor in the success of the record may have been the rumor that the lyrics were intentionally slurred by the Kingsmen. Allegedly, this was to cover the fact that it was laced with profanity, graphically depicting sex between the sailor and his lady. Crumpled pieces of paper professing to be "the real lyrics" to "Louie Louie" circulated among teens. The song was banned on many radio stations and in many places in the United States, including Indiana, where it was personally prohibited by the Governor, Matthew Welsh.

These actions were taken despite the small matter that practically no one could distinguish the actual lyrics. Denials of chicanery by Kingsmen and Ely did not stop the controversy. The FBI started a 31-month investigation into the matter and concluded they were "unable to interpret any of the wording in the record."

After a protracted lawsuit that lasted five years and cost $1.3 million, The Kingsmen won the rights to their song "Louie Louie". The Supreme Court, in November 1998, declined to hear an appeal by the record company of an earlier legal ruling giving the rights to the band.

Sales of the Kingsmen record were so low (reportedly 600) that the group considered disbanding. Things changed when Boston's biggest DJ, Arnie Ginsburg, was given the record by a pitchman. Amused by its slapdash sound, he played it on his program as "The Worst Record of the Week". Despite the slam, listener response was swift and positive.

By the end of October, the Kingsmen's version was listed in Billboard as a regional breakout and a "bubbling under" entry for the national chart. Meanwhile, the Raiders' version, with far stronger promotion, was becoming a hit in California and was also listed as "bubbling under" one week after the Kingsmen's debut on the chart. For a few weeks, the two singles appeared destined to battle each other, but demand for the Kingsmen single acquired momentum and, by the end of 1963, Columbia Records had stopped promoting the Raiders' "Louie Louie", as ordered by Mitch Miller.

By the time that the Kingsmen's "Louie Louie" had achieved national popularity, the band had split. Two rival editions—one featuring lead singer Ely, the other with Lynn Easton, who held the rights to the band's name—were competing for live audiences across the country.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Songs Of The 1960s
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 3:18 am 
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Here's the version the Kingsmen were trying to copy:



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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Songs Of The 1960s
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 3:20 am 
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Interesting story and history Bruce. The song is indeed iconic. Nice that you have such a deeply personal appreciation for the tune. I've played it myself.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Songs Of The 1960s
PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 3:30 am 
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StuBass wrote:
Interesting story and history Bruce. The song is indeed iconic. Nice that you have such a deeply personal appreciation for the tune. I've played it myself.


The drums are the best part of the record IMO. You could never get that sound today. The drums sound much too clear on these digital recordings nowadays.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Songs Of The 1960s
PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 10:53 am 
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Louie Louie definitely deserves a Top10. I come from Chile, and that song is obviously very iconic and well known. Everybody has definitely heard it and knows it. And there was no 'dirty lyric controversy' around here. So if it is well known it is because its an awesome song and I believe that happens everywhere in the worldwith 'Louie Louie'. At least in South America, songs aren't famous for their lyrics (except a few exceptions) and they're never actually banned or censored in any way. So if any lyric is controversial it doesn't make any difference, since most people don't really care because english isnt the main language.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Songs Of The 1960s
PostPosted: Sat Feb 04, 2012 12:19 pm 
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Johnny wrote:
Louie Louie definitely deserves a Top10. I come from Chile, and that song is obviously very iconic and well known. Everybody has definitely heard it and knows it. And there was no 'dirty lyric controversy' around here. So if it is well known it is because its an awesome song and I believe that happens everywhere in the worldwith 'Louie Louie'. At least in South America, songs aren't famous for their lyrics (except a few exceptions) and they're never actually banned or censored in any way. So if any lyric is controversial it doesn't make any difference, since most people don't really care because english isnt the main language.


Good point, thanks Johnny.

Americans like to think that the rest of the world doesn't matter.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Songs Of The 1960s
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:12 am 
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Funny how "My Generation" is considered a contender for the top ten all-time rock songs, but barely cracks the top twenty on this list.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Songs Of The 1960s
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:58 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Songs Of The 1960s
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:51 pm 
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Since this list is always among the most viewed lists on the site, I am expanding it to 300 songs. I just sent the additions to Lew, here they are:

251 - Respect - Otis Redding
252 - Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) - Beatles
253 - Wonderful World - Sam Cooke
254 - At Last - Etta James
255 - Here Comes The Sun - Beatles
256 - Back In My Arms Again - Supremes
257 - Going To A Go-Go - Miracles
258 - Build Me Up Buttercup - Foundations
259 - Twisting The Night Away - Sam Cooke
260 - He's A Rebel - Crystals
261 - Darlin' - Beach Boys
262 - In My Room - Beach Boys
263 - Eight Days A Week - Beatles
264 - I Got The Feelin' - James Brown
265 - Hello I Love You - Doors
266 - From Me To You - Beatles
267 - Fingertips - Pt. 2 - Little Stevie Wonder
268 - Sunny Afternoon - Kinks
269 - Under My Thumb - Rolling Stones
270 - Hello Goodbye - Beatles
271 - Foxey Lady - Jimi Hendrix
272 - Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood - Animals
273 - I Do Love You - Billy Stewart
274 - I Am A Rock - Simon & Garfunkel
275 - Ask The Lonely - Four Tops
276 - Bits And Pieces - Dave Clark Five
277 - Leader Of The Pack - Shangri-Las
278 - Unchain My Heart - Ray Charles
279 - He Will Break Your Heart - Jerry Butler
280 - Cupid - Sam Cooke
281 - How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) - Marvin Gaye
282 - Land Of 1,000 Dances - Cannibal & the Headhunters
283 - Green River - Creedence Clearwater Revival
284 - I Can't Explain - The Who
285 - Just Like A Woman - Bob Dylan
286 - Dirty Water - Standells
287 - Ain't No Mountain High Enough - Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
288 - The Way You Do The Things You Do - Temptations
289 - Daddy's Home - Shep & the Limelites
290 - It's My Party - Lesley Gore
291 - Shapes Of Things - Yardbirds
292 - I Like It Like That - Chris Kenner
293 - The Lion Sleeps Tonight - Tokens
294 - Heroin - Velvet Underground
295 - Games People Play - Joe South
296 - I'm Waiting For The Man - Velvet Undergorund
297 - Friday On My Mind - Easybeats
298 - I'm Sorry - Brenda Lee
299 - Baby Workout - Jackie Wilson
300 - Crossroads - Cream


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Songs Of The 1960s
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 8:09 am 
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This is yet another kick-ass list from Bruce. Not much to complain about.

One thing though - She Loves You > I Wanna Hold Your Hand?


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