As a sidebar to my previous blog about stocking the definitive rock 'n' roll jukebox, I present this alternate version from my old notes, with some different records, and annotation for the individual records. Some of the annotation made it into the body of the final article, but most was excised mercilessly. Enjoy!
(And you can still read the original blog here: http://carlcafarelli.blogspot.com/2016/01/rock-coin-right-into-slot-definitive.html
7. BADFINGER: "Baby Blue"/"Flying" (Apple 1844)
When I was entering my teens in the early '70s, I kept my ear surgically attached to AM radio. And I remember listening to WOLF-AM in Syracuse, and hearing the DJ introduce this song by saying, "These guys sound like The Beatles!" That they did. That they did.
Arrogant strutting, backed by adolescent insecurity--both sides of the teenage experience captured at 45 RPM and wrapped in a picture sleeve.
12. SOLOMON BURKE: "Everybody Needs Somebody To Love"/"Looking For My Baby" (Atlantic 2241)
Welcome to the one true Church Of Love. The Reverend Solomon Burke will testify, and you will believe.
17. CHEAP TRICK: “Surrender”/“Auf Wiedersehen” (Epic 50570)
Generation gap? Yes. And here's to it.
19. THE DAVE CLARK FIVE: "Bits And Pieces"/"All Of The Time" (Epic 9671)
The Tottenham Sound of The Dave Clark Five is often criticized for being artless and gimmicky, which completely misses the point of the DC5's artful gimmickry. Among many fine examples of the group's irresistible Wall Of Noise, "Bits And Pieces" gets the nod here for its distinctive percussive opening, which is guaranteed to inspire faithful fans to pound their tables with manic glee. (And that's an extra bonus if you happen to own this here juke joint, because pounding on tables equals spilled beers, equals replacement beers and increased money in the till. Your jukebox, working for you.)
22. ARTHUR CONLEY: “Sweet Soul Music”/"Let’s Go Steady” (Atco 6463)
Do you like good music? That sweet soul music? Well, you've come to the right place, then.
26. BO DIDDLEY: "You Can't Judge A Book By It's Cover"/"I Can Tell" (Checker 1019)
The blues as pop music. In fact, the blues as perfect pop music.
The rock 'n' roll era began with this self-described "novelty fox trot." The hit 1970s TV Show Happy Days also began with this novelty fox trot. President Lincoln had a secretary named Kennedy. President Kennedy had a secretary named Lincoln. Coincidence?
Buddy Holly's plane crashed a little less than a year before I was born. My first exposure to his music was second-hand, via The Beatles' wonderful cover of "Words Of Love" on the Beatles VI LP; I don't know when I first heard "That'll Be The Day," but I know I didn't associate it with Buddy Holly until much later. Why would I? I didn't know who Buddy Holly was. I'd never heard of him until Don McLean sang about The Day The Music Died, and I then read a magazine article connecting "American Pie" to this singer who died in a plane crash in 1959. And none of it really mattered to me at all, until I discovered a copy of this Coral 45 in a binder of old singles at my house. I listened to both sides for the first time, and for a while thereafter I continued to play both sides of this single every day before school when I was in eight grade. Hooked. Still am. Buddy Holly lives.
42. THE ISLEY BROTHERS: "Twist And Shout"/"Spanish Twist" (Wand 124)
43. WANDA JACKSON: "Let's Have A Party"/"Cool Love" (Capitol 4397)
Part of me wants to go with James' "Hanky Panky" instead, mostly because I remember my pal Sharon singing it when we were kids. But really, "Mony Mony" is the one: confident, self-assured nonsense, with no greater concern than moving your ass and the asses of those around you.
46. JOAN JETT AND THE BLACKHEARTS: "I Love Rock 'n' Roll"/"You Don't Know What You've Got" (Boardwalk 135)
If there'd been no Elvis Presley, would Jerry Lee Lewis have filled that role? If Jerry Lee hadn't married his thirteen-year-old cousin, would he have become a bigger star? Would the public have accepted this wild man, this Killer, this Caucasian Little Richard as a consistent pop idol? One supposes not. Goodness Gracious, indeed.
56. THE LEFT BANKE: "Walk Away Renee"/"I Haven't Got The Nerve" (Smash 2041)
The 1980s garage-rock revival had no truer zealots than Boston's Lyres, partially because Jeff "Mono Mann" Connolly and his band o' Lyres didn't view themselves as revivalists nor any kind of minstrel-show approximation of Chocolate Watchband 45s. Mono Mann was (and remains) a traditionalist, and the great Lyres records don't seek to recreate a scene or vibe, they just live that vibe. Fantastic rock 'n' roll.
59. MARTHA & THE VANDELLAS: “Nowhere To Run”/“Motoring” (Gordy 7039)
I will concede that both "Dancing In The Streets" and "(Love Is Like A) Heat Wave" may seem like more fitting, natural choices to represent Martha & the Vandellas on our Definitive Jukebox. But damn, "Nowhere To Run" is such a great song...
60. THE MARVELETTES: "I'll Keep Holding On"/"No More Time For Tears" (Tamla 54116)
Although not one of The Marvelettes' biggest hits, this is just an awesome, rockin' soul-pop record that deserves wider recognition. The song itself became something of a '60s Mod-pop touchstone via a subsequent cover by The Action.
61. THE MELLO-KINGS: “Tonite, Tonite”/“Do Baby Do” (Herald 502)
Doo wop's defining moment, at least on a par with The Five Satins' "In The Still Of The Night," but not as well-known.
62. THE MIRACLES: "Going To A Go-Go"/"Choosey Beggar" (Tamla 54127)
63. THE MONKEES: "I'm A Believer"/"(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone" (Colgems 1002)
Long before the pearl necklaces, the sharp-dressed men, and the girls who had legs and knew how to use them, future ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons was in The Moving Sidewalks. This single mixes Wilson Pickett and lysergic acid to create the fuzz-tinged soundtrack to some mythic, '60s psychedelic Texas roadhouse. Betcha the women there also have legs, and know how to use 'em.
65. NIRVANA: "Smells Like Teen Spirit"/“Tonite, Tonite”/“Do Baby Do” (Herald 502)
Angry pop music. One of the reasons Nirvana's music has endured (in a way that transcends grunge) is because they were a pop band, influenced by KISS and The Raspberries and The Ramones, while also expressing alienation and discontent with a cantankerous growl.
66. ROY ORBISON: "Crying"/"Candy Man" (Monument 447)
This sounds so, so tremendous on the radio. I've never heard it playing on a jukebox, but I betcha it would sound tremendous that way, too. Hell, if anything, calling it "tremendous" sells this fantastic power pop record short.
70. ELVIS PRESLEY: "That's All Right"/"Blue Moon Of Kentucky" (Sun 209)
In the early '80s Tex-Mex disciple Joe "King" Carrasco proclaimed "96 Tears" as the perfect record, partially because the instrumental intro is long enough for a radio DJ to give the traffic and weather update before the vocal kicks in. That oughtta be good enough reason to worship the record right there, but it doesn't hurt that "96 Tears" is also urgently compelling, borderline disturbing, and insistently punk while crying its poor widdle eyes out.
73. THE RAMONES: "Do You Wanna Dance?"/"Babysitter" (Sire 1017)
In the liner notes of the collection Raspberries' Best, writer Randall S. Davis refers to The Raspberries' quartet of "horny singles": "Go All The Way," "I Wanna Be With You," "Tonight," and "Ecstacy." No other string of four singles presents a more concise and efficient embodiment of power pop as these. One could argue (with quite a bit of validity) that perhaps an ideal power pop song should incorporate some innocence, and maybe not be quite so obsessed with sex; but power pop, by definition, should feel urgent, and this sure does feel urgent.
75. LOU RAWLS: “Love Is A Hurtin’ Thing”/“Memory Lane” (Capitol 5709)
Love is a hurtin' thing? Truer words were never spoken, brother.
76. OTIS REDDING: "Try A Little Tenderness"/"I'm Sick Y'All" (Volt 141)
It's unfortunate that Charlie Rich's only real crossover success was with less-essential '70s fare like "Behind Closed Doors" and "The Most Beautiful Girl In The World." Nothing really wrong with those records, but they don't hold a candle to the hot rockabilly-influenced pop of Rich's "Philadelphia Baby," nor to this prototypical jukebox classic. Jukeboxes are the sworn enemies of Lonely Weekends!
79. THE RIGHTEOUS BROTHERS: "Little Latin Lupe Lu"/"I'm So Lonely" (Moonglow 215)
Overplayed, you say? No. No. NO. Great records like this are meant to be played over and over and over, and they remain great records. This power-pop explosion contains everything a power-pop explosion should contain, from handclaps to harmonies to a million cries of "HEY!," all atop guitar, bass, and drums that will accept no compromise. There's a LOT to like about this.
83. SAM AND DAVE: "Soul Man"/"May I, Baby?" (Stax 231)
Donna Summers' first hit, "Love To Love You Baby," was basically an extended orgasm set to a disco beat (which, I guess, would probably be a jukebox ideal). But this record's more interesting; still shimmering and sexy--Donna Summer at that time could have covered The Singing Nun, and still been shimmering and sexy--but its European syncopation makes it even sexier, if not quite as sweaty.
91. THE SWEET: "Ballroom Blitz"/"Restless" (Capitol 4055)
A huge influence on The Ramones' "Blitzkrieg Bop" (though not as much of an influence as "Saturday Night" by The Bay City Rollers), and a natural-born jukebox raver. No fighting; just dancing. Are you ready, Steve?
92. THE TEMPTATIONS: "My Girl"/""(Talking 'Bout) Nobody But My Baby" (Gordy 7038)
I doubt that anyone is surprised to learn that I never cared for disco, at all. As a freshman in college, I won free admission to a local disco, but I hated the atmosphere so friggin' much that I split before even trying to talk to any girls. I've never seen Saturday Night Fever, and probably never will. Yet I like this song anyway. Maybe it's not too late to ask that one girl to dance....
95. IKE AND TINA TURNER: "It's Gonna Work Out Fine"/"Won't You Forgive Me" (Sue 749)
97. RITCHIE VALENS: "Donna"/"La Bamba" (Del-Fi 4110)
A hypnotic, radio-ready love song, backed by one of the all-time classic dance floor smashes. If not for a fateful final flight, who can say what more Ritchie Valens could have done?
When discussing the records that make us wanna dance, prance, and make romance, we often talk about the beat. But more than the beat, "Low Rider" has a visceral, almost physical rhythm that dictates a mandatory moving of your body.
100. WILMER AND THE DUKES: "Give Me One More Chance"/"Get It" (Aphrodisiac 260)