Rolling Stone Top 100 Pt. 13

72. AC/DC  – Highway to Hell

There were a heck of a lot of songs to choose from because AC/DC is one of my favorite bands. Almost all of their tracks are loud, crazy, and lewd. Teenage me used to listen to their greatest hits on repeat as I sat and ate breakfast in the cafeteria. I thought about picking something from their underrated 2000 album which had a grittier feel but I had to go with a classic. Having undiagnosed anxiety, I often needed to get fired up for social situations. This was a song I often heard on the radio as I headed to rehearsals for theater or when I was heading somewhere I did not want to be (but only because of bad brain). The song helped me get fired up and took my mind off of the awful feeling in my stomach. The great guitar licks and that classic high-pitched ode to Satan were always a comfort in bad times.

73. Radiohead – Creep

I kind of missed the boat on Radiohead. I definitely remember being in summer camp when they were really hitting it big. I was in summer camp when people were raving about them but I guess they never caught on with me. Later, I started to hear this song and I liked it. It is the only  Radiohead song that I could name to this day. I wonder now why this song, in particular, did not get ingrained in my head. It was perfectly suited for the gothy/grungy teen that I was. I was always down on myself and the lyrics of the song would have resonated. Maybe it was too slow for teenage me. It is a fun song to sing along to when it pops up on the radio.

74. Hank Williams – Jambalaya (On the Bayou)

I actually first heard this song during my freshman year in college as it was one of many Hank Williams songs that I played during the preshow of Bus Stop. This is by far the one that I would love to sing along with sitting alone in my sound booth. I feel like Williams is at his most playful here both with its vocals and instrumentation. The lyrics are boisterous and really fit the energy of inviting people to a party and having a good time. The song was written based on Williams’ listening to Cajun speech patterns. It tells a little story and makes me imagine a great spread of food too.

75. The Eagles – Take It Easy

This is a chill yet upbeat song that I fell in love with during the summer that I worked with the circus. On rough days it would remind me to calm down and just soldier on. The song would pop up on the radio when I needed those chill vibes. The Eagles is a great band to sing along to on the radio and one that I always come back to. The song was originally supposed to be a track on Jackson Browne’s debut album but he was struggling to finish writing it. He turned to Eagles member Glenn Frey who helped him finish it. It became a track on the Eagles debut album instead. I really love the verses in particular which have a winding way of rhyming and some of those rhymes take a moment to catch up in my mind.

76. The Shirelles – Mama Said

Another song that you have probably heard over and over again in movies, television, and commercials. It was a big hit when the Shirelles originally performed it and it set off a cascade of covers and songs that were inspired by it. This is a great song from a great girl group and their harmony is so on point. The thing is, the lyrics are so true. My mother did warn me about bad days and was there to support me. Life can suck sometimes but hopefully the storm clouds part at some point and the troubles subside. 

77. Beastie Boys – No Sleep Till Brooklyn

The Beastie Boys were the perfect gateway into the world of rap for me. A trio of white and nerdy goofballs who scream rapped their songs was right up my alley. They kind of settled in a space between hard rock and rap which really resonated with me. I remember a period of time when there were a million AMVs set to Beastie Boys songs on programs like Kazaa and Napster. This song is about how tough it is to tour but the band’s determination to make it back to their home base of Brooklyn. The rhymes are as playful as ever but I always loved the defiant refrain which is really fun to sing along to. The epic guitar riffs actually come from Kerry King, guitarist for Slayer.

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