In Classic Rock 200 we counted down the 200 greatest songs of the magazine's lifetime, 1998-2014. Today, it's part four of a short series in which our writers tell stories about some of these these songs, and about the bands that made them. Today, TeamRock's Editorial Director Scott Rowley is at the helm.
Four songs from 200: Part Four
Meat Loaf, Fleet Foxes, The Union, Green Day
Meat Loaf — Elvis In Vegas
Ah c’mon. It’s not my fault you never made it to the end of Hang Cool Teddy Bear to hear this, Meat’s greatest song since Dead Ringer. Written by Jon Bon bloody Jovi and Desmond c**ting Child, it’s a masterclass in Loafism – sensitive, romantic, bombastic, absurd – that neither troubled airwaves nor made any critical end-of-year polls. Fuck ’em, Mr Loaf: in my head, Elvis In Vegas was no.1 all summer long.
Fleet Foxes — White Winter Hymnal
Fleet Foxes bore me, in all honesty, but aw man this is just lush – a distant cousin to the Beach Boys’ Morning Christmas, all twanging Lee Hazelwood guitars, timpani drums and three-part back-country harmonies, it’s the sound of the Wilsons’ Californian sunshine melting winter hearts.
The Union — Siren’s Song
It’s something every music writer dreads: sitting down to listen to a record with the band themselves. What if you hate it? What do you say? Where do you look when they start air-drumming and looking intently into your eyes at every clever idea, key change, guitar solo and stoppy-starty bit? Well, I shared a pickup truck with Pete and Luke from The Union as we travelled from Calgary in Canada, across the Rockies, through Montana and into Idaho, while they played me their Siren’s Song album. They said if I didn't write nice things about it they’d tie bacon to my ears and leave my sleeping body outside at night for the cougars and the bears.
We’re far from bear country now but I still can’t be too careful: that Luke Morley’s a resourceful fucker. (If we’d been sitting face-to-face while they played me Siren’s Song they would have been looking in my eyes every five seconds, it’s so chock-full of ideas. From ghostly finger-picking to crushing electric riffage, stoppy-starty dynamics to ear-worm woah-woahs. Its dark lyricism is probably overlooked too – the Thunder/Union men are so funny and likeable it’s easy to overlook the depth to their work.)
Green Day — Jesus Of Surburbia
Classic Rock slated American Idiot when it came out, the main criticism being that, with it’s epic concept album rock opera stylings – complete with nods to Ziggy, The Who etc – it wasn’t punk enough. Er, hello? Calling Classic Rock magazine? I joined a month later and had to twist my head around that. I’ve heard American Idiot too many times since then but this nine minute epic is still worth blasting from beginning to end.
You can view the entire 200 tracks in issue 200 of Classic Rock, which can be ordered online from MyFavouriteMagazines.
Alternatively, you can download the Classic Rock magazine app from iTunes.