We're a little behind today because Scott was working on his NCAA bracket but looking through the list of teams got him inspired. How many hit songs, he wondered, were constructed around the idea of a simple list? As it turns out, more than a few. The first example's below, and as always, click on the image if you want to see the video.
Bob Dylan - Subterranean Homesick Blues
Not only is this arguably the first modern list song, it's also maybe the only one that can be enjoyed by the hearing impaired. Bob and his tiny signs have been parodied and imitated over the years, but they're still the standard for list song throughout history.
Today's Music Monday is a look at the "loaf of bread, container of milk, stick of butter" of rock: the list song! After the jump, you'll see a few more. Check them off as we go? See you inside...
R.E.M. - End Of The World As We Know It
Here R.E.M. performed a great service to both college rock and people generally too shy to sing at karaoke. In this bouncy easy-to-recite anthem, R.E.M. mixed quirk, clever, and the feeling of your last month of high school. It's almost over but there's something better coming. And if you get all the references, why, you've got a solid liberal arts education!
John Cougar Mellencamp - R.O.C.K. In the U.S.A.
For a lot of us, in the age before music downloads, this list song was the first time we heard about the great bands that nobody played. Is it possible that some dubstep hero would ever do a tribute to new wave the way John Mellencamp hailed what might more properly be called R&B? Jackie Wilson, Martha Reeves, James Brown, now they're well-loved and well-sampled, but in '85, they didn't get a lot of top 40 airplay. If it wasn't for the catchy tune, this list song might have just faded quietly away.
Jim Carroll - People Who Died
This 1980 song is basically just a list of people that hard-livin' Jim Carroll left behind. A published poet in high school, Carroll hung out with Warhol and Patti Smith and lots and lots of drugs. Until the movie based on his autobiography came out in 1995, he was the very definition of an underground star, but soundtracks have a way of attracting attention to a guy. This dark tribute list is easily his most popular recording.
The Beatles - Come Together
This one might be controversial, because some people like to think the Beatles are very complex. But the simply paced rhythm- can't you hear it? -it's like you're walking down the street with your buddies and they're telling you about their day. Here's a guy I saw, and here's what he was carrying! Try to doodle each scene when John sings it and you'll find it's pretty easy to do. Sure, you'll have to ignore the chorus, but other than that it's absolutely an inventory list.
Here's an idea: why not hit the comments below and make a list of songs that Scott stupidly left out? Even he knows there are more than these. After that, consider joining us in the turntable.fm room for some good music to break up the start of your week. It'll fit nicely in the list of awesome things you've done. Incidentally, record covers are taken from their corresponding Wiki page and are here under fair use.