Here's the criteria on this list:
Songs listed are from Rock and Roll and related sub-genres. These songs are ranked based upon their intitial and lasting popularity, as well as their influence and impact on the evolution of Rock and Roll and its sub-genres.
"My Generation" does phenomenally well in every part of that criteria. Even in initial impact, since it went to #2 in the UK. It doesn't do particularly well in initial impact in the USA. That's its only
weak spot. But you mention "Purple Haze" not charting well as a single in the USA, while the album it's on did chart well, hitting #5 in the USA. "My Generation" is on Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy
, which hit #11 in the USA. A live version features prominently on Live at Leeds
, which hit #2 in the USA. I semi-live version is the lead-off track on The Kids Are Alright
, which hit #8 in the USA. Additionally, they performed the song on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
in 1967, which was probably its real "initial" (literally explosive) impact in the USA. They probably should have reissued the single in the aftermath of that. They also played "I Can See For Miles" on that show, which sent it into the top ten
in the USA. Imagine what "My Generation" could have done.
As for its lasting popularity, VH1 recently did a rock lists show hosted by Meatloaf. Five celebrities picked their top three rock songs of all time. Alice Cooper picked "My Generation". The audience voted from among those fifteen songs for the final three. "My Generation" finished at #3 behind "American Pie" and (I think) "Stairway to Heaven". Meatloaf declared "My Generation" the greatest rock 'n' roll song of all-time and the show closed with Train performing "My Generation". That was just a few years ago.
But, more importantly, "My Generation"'s influence and impact on the evolution of Rock and Roll and its subgenres is beyond
massive. When Time
did its turn of the millenium issue, they picked "My Generation" as the only
rock song to represent the entire decade of the sixties. You say most of my lists were from a sole critic or from overseas. One was from a sole critic. As for the overseas lists, they were all from the UK, first of all. I deliberately avoided adding lists from Spain, France and so on, where "My Generation" did even better than "Sunshine of Your Love" than it does on the USA and UK lists. Secondly, you haven't had a problem bringing up overseas markets yourself in other discussions. The remainder of the lists were Rolling Stone, MTV and VH1. When it comes to music, that's as mainstream American as it gets, and each of those lists was generated by polling mostly rock musicians. The largest poll was Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Song lists, where "My Generation" hit #11 all-time
, let alone just for the sixties.
It's your list and you can rank the songs on it the way you think they ought to be ranked according to your criteria, of course. It looks too low, to me. I doubt I'm alone.