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I'm the co-host of THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO with Dana & Carl (Sunday nights, 9 to Midnight Eastern, www.westcottradio.org).  As a freelance writer, I contributed to Goldmine magazine from 1986-2006, wrote liner notes for Rhino Records' compilation CD Poptopia!  Power Pop Classics Of The '90s, and for releases by The Flashcubes, The Finkers, Screen Test, 1.4.5., and Jack "Penetrator" Lipton.  I contributed to the books Bubblegum Music Is The Naked Truth, Shake Some Action, Lost In The Grooves, and MusicHound Rock, and to DISCoveries, Amazing Heroes, The Comics Buyer's Guide, Yeah Yeah Yeah, Comics Collector, The Buffalo News, and The Syracuse New Times.  I also wrote the liner notes for the four THIS IS ROCK 'N' ROLL RADIO compilation CDs, because, well, who could stop me?  My standing offer to write liner notes for a Bay City Rollers compilation has remained criminally ignored.  Still intend to write and sell a Batman story someday.

Friday, February 5, 2016

An Annotated, Alternate Definitive Rock 'n' Roll Jukebox

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

1. THE KINGSMEN:  "Louie, Louie"/"Haunted Castle" (Wand 143)
The sine qua non of jukedom.  The top, the Coliseum, the Louvre Museum.  White Castle, even.  This warhorse was first written and recorded by Richard Berry in 1956, and has subsequently been covered by everybody, but not one other version has ever equaled the cathartic rush of The Kingsmen's triumphantly inept hit reading.  A sonic mess, badly recorded and marginally played, it is nonetheless a strong candidate for the title of Greatest Record Of All Time.  And it appears here before the start of our otherwise-alphabetical listing simply to re-state its preeminence in rock 'n' roll:  a jukebox that doesn't include "Louie, Louie" by The Kingsmen forfeits any claim to being a rock 'n' roll jukebox.

2. THE 13th FLOOR ELEVATORS:  "You're Gonna Miss Me"/"Tried To Hide" (International Artists 107)

Roky Erickson's manic yelps and some frantic, weird-sounding noise from an electrified jug propel this, the quintessential '60s psychedelic punk single. 

3. AC/DC:  "You Shook Me All Night Long"/"Have A Drink On Me" (Atlantic 3761)

Primal horniness, expressed by a yelp from the gutter and with nary a trace of redeeming social value.  Cool!

4. ARTHUR ALEXANDER:  "You Better Move On"/"A Shot Of Rhythm And Blues" (Dot 16309)

Paul McCartney once said something to the effect that the early Beatles just wanted to sound like Arthur Alexander.  More importantly, Arthur Alexander made terrific records; if those records had never found their way to Liverpool, they would still be terrific records, worth enjoying for one righteous good time in the here and now.  And this one was Alexander's best double-shot, with a defiant beat ballad backed by a rousing prescription to dance 'n' sway away whatever's ailing you.

5. THE ANGELS:  "My Boyfriend's Back"/"(Love Me) Now" (Smash 1834)

There may not be one definitive early '60s girl group single, but this is surely one of the top contenders for that title:  self-confident, big-little-girl bravado, buoyed by appropriately Angelic harmonies and infectious handclaps, telling the world that Mr. Right has returned, and he's set to kick the livin' bejeezus out of the ratbastard that's been making his girl's life a living hell for such a long time now.

6. THE ANIMALS:  "It's My Life"/"I'm Going To Change The World" (MGM 13414) 

Simple, don't-freakin'-tread-on-me statement of intent.  

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.   

8. THE BEACH BOYS:  "I Get Around"/"Don't Worry Baby" (Capitol 5174)

Arrogant strutting, backed by adolescent insecurity--both sides of the teenage experience captured at 45 RPM and wrapped in a picture sleeve. 

9. THE BEATLES:  "Help!"/"I'm Down" (Capitol 5476)

Among lots of stellar choices, "Help!" ultimately edged its competition on the strength of its savage B-side.  While "Help!" is itself a frequently underrated number in The Beatles' canon, "I'm Down" may well be the group's strongest pure rock 'n' roll moment on vinyl. 

10. CHUCK BERRY:  "Johnny B. Goode"/"Around And Around" (Chess 1691)

The definitive Chuck Berry record, which is the same as saying it's one of the definitive rock 'n' roll records.  "Johnny B. Goode" plays its guitar just like ringin' a bell, forcing you to the dance floor and compelling every subsequent rock act to follow eagerly in its sashaying footsteps.

11. JAMES BROWN AND THE FAMOUS FLAMES:  "Please, Please, Please"/"Why Do You Do Me" (Federal 12258)

"Please, Please, Please" is a terrific, soulful plea for a lover to stay, and Brown's breathtaking version of this song in The TAMI Show is perhaps the single most compelling live performance ever captured on video; the mental image of Brown on his knees, pleading 'n' singing, being escorted off-stage and defiantly returning to sing 'n' plead some more, is inextricably linked to the song.

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. 

13. THE JOHNNY BURNETTE TRIO:  "The Train Kept A-Rollin'"/"Honey Hush" (Coral 61719)

Though not quite the original version of this rock 'n' roll chestnut, this is absolutely the definitive rockabilly reading that inspired The Yardbirds and countless others thereafter. 

14. JOHNNY CASH:  "I Walk The Line"/"Get Rhythm" (Sun 241)

The Man In Black was at his most matter-of-factly badass on "Folsom Prison Blues" (with its classic line, "I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die").  But "I Walk The Line" gets on the jukebox by virtue of its railroad rhythm and its own, equally matter-of-fact statement of intent, which comes off no less menacing than "Folsom Prison Blues."  B-side would be juke-worthy on its own merit.

15. THE CASTAWAYS:  "Liar, Liar"/"Sam" (Soma 1433)

Because loudly slurring, "Liar, liar, your pants are on fire, your nose is longer than a telephone wire" in a falsetto whine while swilling cheep beer is one of our fundamental rights as Americans.

16. RAY CHARLES:  "(Night Time Is) The Right Time"/"Tell All The World About You" (Atlantic 2010)

Gospel roots succumb to earthly temptation for a one night stand that may never have to end.  Brother Ray makes it all seem like sweet salvation.

17. CHEAP TRICK:  “Surrender”/“Auf Wiedersehen” (Epic 50570)

Generation gap?  Yes.  And here's to it.

18. THE CHI-LITES:  "Have You Seen Her"/"Yes I'm Ready (If I Don't Get To Go")" (Brunswick 55462)

"Oh Girl" is The Chi-Lites' enduring classic, but I've always preferred the soulful sense of loss crying from the grooves in "Have You Seen Her," and it's included here as one of our jukebox's prerequisite tears-in-your-beer laments.

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.)

20. THE COASTERS:  "Searchin'"/"Young Blood" (Atco 6087)

Essential juke fare, with each side comically detailing the mating rituals of the horny American male.  (And, "Youngblood" or no, that girl you're talkin' to over there just better be over 18, man, or she shouldn't even be in this joint in the first place.)

21. EDDIE COCHRAN:  "Somethin Else"/"Boll Weevil Song" (Liberty 55203)

Eddie Cochran was at his best expressing the highs and lows of rock 'n' roll teendom, especially on the perennial frustration fave "Summertime Blues" and the celebratory "C'mon Everybody."  But "Somethin Else" combines joy and frustration seamlessly and winningly, acknowledging that it's a bummer when you can't afford a cool car, but concluding (as someone once wrote) that the wheels don't really matter as long as you get the girl.

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.
23. THE CONTOURS:  "Do You Love Me"/"Move, Mr. Man" (Gordy 7005)

This hardiest of Motown rockers is pretty much guaranteed to fill a dance floor whenever and wherever it's played, and it's furthermore one of those records that absolutely must be on any rock 'n' roll jukebox claiming to be definitive.

24. SAM COOKE:  "Having A Party"/"Bring It On Home To Me" (RCA 8036)

The fact that both of these juke staples were originally issued on a single 7 " slab o' vinyl spares us the difficulty of having to pick one over the other here.  (Still, one mourns the loss of "Another Saturday Night.")

25. DICK DALE AND THE DEL-TONES:  "Miserlou"/"Eight Till Midnight" (Capitol 4939)

Pulp Fiction gave this seminal surf instrumental (which, amazingly, never even charted) a somewhat higher profile on the pop culture landscape.  Dale reportedly intended the record--a cover of an old Greek pop tune--to be a sonic recreation of the intense sensations a surfer feels while riding the waves, combining Dale's love of surfing with his incredible proficiency on guitar.

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. 

27. DION:  "Ruby Baby"/"He'll Only Hurt You" (Columbia 42662)

Swagger to spare!

28. FATS DOMINO:  "Blue Monday"/"What's The Reason I'm Not Pleasing You" (Imperial 5417)

"Blue Monday"'s tale of slogging through the work week just to get to the rip-roarin' good times and/or drunken orgy promised by the weekend is certainly prime (if not primal) juke fare.

29. THE DRIFTERS:  "On Broadway"/"Let The Music Play" (Atlantic 2182)

If you grew up in the '60s, you'll recall a TV commercial for Radio Free Europe, in which a European DJ set about his task of broadcasting the voice of freedom beyond the Iron Curtain.  The DJ rattled off some indecipherable Eastern European patter, and concluded with the thickly-accented announcement, "On Broadvay."  Then this record played, and your life was changed forever.  The Drifters as a clarion call for the free world?  You betcha.

30. THE EASYBEATS:  "Friday On My Mind"/"Made My Bed" (United Artists 50106)

Like Fats Domino's "Blue Monday" and Little Richard's "Rip It Up," "Friday On My Mind" is a true working class anthem, exactly the sort of last-call to arms for which a wage slave AWOL on a Friday night wants to surrender his quarters.

31. EDDIE AND THE HOT RODS:  "Do Anything You Wanna Do"/"Ignore Them (Always Crashing In The Same Bar)" (Island 093)

An incomparable power pop record, with a liberating message meant to be accompanied by raised fists and glasses in juke joints the world over.  (A cover by The Flashcubes on their 2002 album Brilliant is somehow even better--a miracle of power pop science!)

32. THE EVERLY BROTHERS:  "All I Have To Do Is Dream"/"Claudette" (Cadence 1348)

A love song so...well, dreamy that it even makes the phrase "Gee whiz!" seem hip.  And the Roy Orbison-penned B-side is a sturdy rocker, as well (and one of my very favorite Everlys tunes).

33. THE EXPLODING HEARTS:  "Making Teenage Faces"/"Your Shadow" (Vinyl Warning 05)

Stocking a definitive rock 'n' roll jukebox demands a historical perspective, which is why even the most recent singles represented here still date back to the 20th century.  The one relative newbie is this 2002 single by The Exploding Hearts, a dynamic young group whose career was tragically cut short by a fatal traffic accident in 2003.  "Making Teenage Faces" is an exuberant throwback to late '70s UK pop-punk, a la The Undertones, The Buzzcocks, The Boys and Generation X, and it needs to be here as a rockin' memorial to these guys, and as a potent reminder that great rock 'n' roll is still being made today.

34. ADAM FAITH WITH THE ROULETTES:  "It's Alright"/"I Just Don't Know" (Amy 913)

Lordy, this is one of the best Dave Clark Five records ever, and it's not even by The Dave Clark Five!  British pop idol Adam Faith, backed here by The Roulettes, turns in a rousin', ravin' performance.  Former Goldmine editor Jeff Tamarkin once suggested that "It's Alright" would be an ideal cover choice for Joan Jett, and anyone with a pulse should eagerly concur.  (Joanie?  You listening...?)

35. THE FOUR TOPS:  "Reach Out I'll Be There"/"Until You Love Someone" (Motown 1098)

Motown's absolute zenith, with one of the greatest vocal groups of all time delivering their all-time best performance on their best-ever song.  And, considering the dauntingly high standards set by the rest of The Four Tops' cavalcade of hits, the designation "Best-Ever Four Tops Song" is akin to a coronation.

36. ARETHA FRANKLIN:  "Respect"/"Dr. Feelgood" (Atlantic 2403)

The song's author, Otis Redding, used to introduce "Respect" in concert as "a song a girl took from me."  Although it would seem otherwise inconceivable that anyone could take an Otis Redding original and outdo the man himself, take it the girl did, and "Respect" is now and forevermore known as an Aretha Franklin record.  Gotta respect that.

37. THE BOBBY FULLER FOUR:  "Let Her Dance"/"Another Sad And Lonely Night" (Mustang 3006)

Okay, the classic "I Fought The Law" was Fuller's big hit, but "Let Her Dance"'s tale of the rejected lover trying desperately to ignore his ex-flame's dance floor strut is irresistible juke fare.  The B-side is just as good...maybe better.

38. MARVIN GAYE:  "Ain't That Peculiar"/"She's Got To Be Real" (Tamla 54122)

And there probably isn't another fan in the world who wouldn't have selected "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" or "What's Goin' On" or one of Gaye's duets with Tammi Terrell over "Ain't That Peculiar."  Ain't that...y'know?

39. THE GO-GO'S:  "We Got The Beat"/"Can't Stop The World" (IRS 9903)

"We Got The Beat" is the signature new wave bubblegum tune, a simple, yet convincing statement that life doesn't suck because, like, we got the beat.  Yeah!  We got the beat!

40.  BILL HALEY & HIS COMETS:  "(We're Gonna) Rock Around The Clock"/"Thirteen Women (And Only One Man In Town)" (Decca 29124)

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?

41. BUDDY HOLLY:  “Peggy Sue”/“Everyday” (Coral 61885)

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)

Yeah, yeah (yeah!), The Beatles' version has become the most widely-accepted.  And yes, The Isley Brothers' "Shout--Part 1"/"Shout--Part 2" has become an immovable part of the cultural landscape, an inevitability at wedding receptions that has still remained a cool record in spite of its ubiquity.  We're still going with The Isley Brothers' "Twist And Shout" here, just to be ornery.  (Or, if you will, to shake it up.  Baby.)

43. WANDA JACKSON:  "Let's Have A Party"/"Cool Love" (Capitol 4397)

A rare instance of an Elvis Presley cover that eclipses the original.  The Rockabilly Queen's rendition of "Let's Have A Party," a song previously done by Elvis in the film Loving You, dethrones The King and rouses the rabble in a hip-shakin' coup.
44. RICK JAMES:  "Bustin' Out"/"Sexy Lady" (Gordy 7167)

Seminal punk funk, and the lyrical descendant of both The Coasters' "Riot On Cell Block 9" and Thin Lizzy's "Jailbreak."           

45. TOMMY JAMES & THE SHONDELLS:  "Mony Mony"/"One Two Three And I Fell" (Roulette 7008)

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)

Self-explanatory.  Put another dime in the jukebox, baby!

47. THE JIVE FIVE:  "What Time Is It"/"Beggin' You Please" (Beltone 2024)

The Jive Five's "What Time Is It" (a song much later covered by Marshall Crenshaw) is one of the most heavenly-sounding records ever made.  And it sums up the sweet anticipation of the big date tonight with greater joy and eloquence than any other record I've ever heard.

48. GEORGE JONES:  "You're Still On My Mind"/"Cold, Cold Heart" (Mercury 72010)

This jukebox is playing at least one honky tonk song, and this little record is the kingpin of 'em all.

49. JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS:  "Stop, Look And Listen"/"YouĂ­ve Come A Long Way Baby" (Capitol 3045)

More soulful than Riverdale rivals The Archies, Josie and the Pussycats' records were created as a girl-group version of the bubblesoul sound of The Jackson Five.  Lead singer Patrice Holloway's earthy, engaging vocals are the main attraction on these songs (especially the magnificent B-side), though the group's historical footnote is that then-unknown Cherie Moor later changed her name to Cheryl Ladd and found fame on TV's Charlie's Angels.  This stuff is way more interesting.

50. THE GREG KIHN BAND:  "The Breakup Song (They Don't Write 'Em)"/"When The Music Starts" (Beserkley 47149)

Lessee here...a song about listening to the jukebox as what used to be Your Special Song plays a mere hour after you and Your Special Someone have finally, irrevocably said sayonara?  How could we not include it?

51. BEN E. KING:  "Stand By Me"/"On The Horizon" (Atco 6194)

"Stand By Me" borders on a religious experience, a timeless ode to the power and strength to be derived simply from faith and devotion.  Yet it's not a religious song at all; it's a tacit recognition that such a transcendent feeling of renewal and hope can come not just from the heavens, but also from the genuine loyalty of (and loyalty to) a lover or friend.

52. THE KINKS:  "You Really Got Me"/"It's All Right" (Reprise 0306)

The Kinks' wonderful "Waterloo Sunset" is The Greatest Record Ever Made.  So is The Kinks' "You Really Got Me."  (An infinite number of records can be The Greatest Record Ever Made, as long as they take turns.)  As juke fare, even the splendor of "Waterloo Sunset" has a tough time matching the implied (and actual) volume of "You Really Got Me." 

53. KISS:  "Shout It Out Loud"/"Sweet Pain" (Casablanca 854)

This record takes the formula of KISS's signature tune, "Rock And Roll All Nite," and somehow ups the ante to come up with an even better rock 'n' roll anthem that still says essentially the same thing as its predecessor.  And it doesn't matter.  Because if you think it's too much noise, you're too old to really understand.

54. GLADYS KNIGHT AND THE PIPS:  "Midnight Train To Georgia"/"Window Raising Granny" (Buddah 383)

Lyrically, the tale verges on heartbreak:  the girl is giving up everything else in her life, because the jerk she loves can't hack it in The Big Time, and she'd rather live in his world than live without him in hers.  Knight's commanding delivery makes it sound like a celebration.  Maybe it is.

55. JERRY LEE LEWIS:  “Great Balls Of Fire”/“You Win Again” (Sun 281)

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)

Man, oh man--this is one sad song!  It could be a love song or a suicide note, but its pain is framed in such perfect, perfect pop that we exult in its tale of heartbreak, and hope for better days yet to come.  Now I need a drink.

57. LITTLE RICHARD:  "Rip It Up"/"Ready Teddy" (Specialty 579)

Yow!!  Now here's a two-fisted, double-barrelled shot of sweaty rock 'n' soul perfection.  The A-side's lyrical boast ("Well it's Saturday night and I just got paid/Fool about my money, don't try to save") make it a workin' stiff juke natural.  And then the B-side stokes the fire even more, just by shouting out that we're ready, ready-ready-ready, we're ready...!  Ready we are, Reverend Penniman, ready we are.

58. THE LYRES:   “Help You Ann”/“I Really Want You Right Now” (Ace Of Hearts 105)

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)

Not so much a plea for harmony as an observation of said harmony already taking place on a crowded dance floor.  

63.  THE MONKEES:  "I'm A Believer"/"(I'm Not Your) Steppin' Stone" (Colgems 1002)

As great and undeniable a pure pop gem as Neil Diamond's "I'm A Believer" so obviously is, I've long felt that two other songs Diamond gave to The Monkees--"(Look Out) Here Comes Tomorrow" (which wasn't a single) and "Love To Love" (recorded circa 1967, but unreleased until resurgent Monkeemania in the '80s)--were even better.  But I gotta admit this was The Monkees' top pop achievement, and the B-side snarls with a ferocity even The Sex Pistols' much later cover version couldn't match.
64. THE MOVING SIDEWALKS:  “99th Floor”/“What Are You Going To Do” (Wand 1156)

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)

"Crying" is a flood of pure, unbridled heartbreak, leaving the listener with a choice between crying along with ol' Roy or just opening a vein and getting it over with.

67. WILSON PICKETT:  "In The Midnight Hour"/"I'm Not Tired" (Atlantic 2289)

Wilson Pickett recorded for Atlantic Records, but this was recorded at the legendary Stax Records studio in Memphis, and it just drips with sweat, swagger, and soul.

68. GENE PITNEY:  "Twenty Four Hours From Tulsa"/"Lonely Night Dreams" (Musicor 1034)

On paper, it's tough to sympathize with a ne'er-do-well who ups and ditches his long-time love because he runs into some hinge-heeled floozy when he's a mere day's travel away from home and hearth.  Good thing we don't enjoy records on paper.  This record is perfect in every respect, from Pitney's authoritative vocals through every small musical nuance of this incredible Bacharach-David number. 

69. THE PLIMSOULS:  “A Million Miles Away”/“Play The Breaks” (Geffen 29600)

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)

Can't go wrong with any of the King's Sun sides, and the B-side decided this one. "Blue Moon Of Kentucky" is a transcendent moment in rock 'n' roll.  One imagines that Elvis' rockabilly reading of Bill Monroe's bluegrass standard was simply scandalous to country purists, the early rock equivalent of, say, Sid Vicious laying waste to "My Way."  Except, of course, Elvis' "Blue Moon Of Kentucky" was a more radical move, much more dangerous, and a far more potent threat. 

71. PRINCE:  "Let's Go Crazy"/"Erotic City" (Warner Brothers 29216)

"Let's Go Crazy" is Prince's most convincing, across-the-board invitation to let loose, at least in terms of the dance floor.  The B-side may get you slapped, or it may get you...well, who knows?

72.  ? & THE MYSTERIANS:  "96 Tears"/"Midnight Hour" (Cameo 428)

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)

There is a palpable joy in some of The Ramones' early records, a giddy thrill in the notion of making an exhilarating rock 'n' roll noise steeped in rockin' pop's AM radio tradition.  And no Ramones record ever summed that up better than this masterful take on the Bobby Freeman classic, backed by an exquisite beat ballad that could have been recorded by The Searchers.

74.  THE RASPBERRIES:  "Go All The Way"/"With You In My Life" (Capitol 3348)

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)

For the duration of this song, Otis owns the world.  And, as a benevolent ruler, he tells all us hapless guys exactly what we need to do to treat the gals the way they should be treated.  The sheer emotion of his advice and decrees render all objections moot.

77.  PAUL REVERE & THE RAIDERS:  "Him Or Me--What's It Gonna Be?"/"Legend Of Paul Revere" (Columbia 44094)

If Paul Revere & the Raiders were a bubblegum group, then so were The Rolling Stones.  The Raiders' Northwest-bred brand of rock 'n' roll was far too authentic in its origins to ever be dismissed as juvenile pap, and even as they grew more and more pop they retained an essential internal grit that made them distinctive and...well, great.  Coulda gone with the group's punkier kiss-off "Steppin' Out," or their magic hybrid of The Kinks Play Wilson Pickett ("Just Like Me"), or their epic anti-drug cautionary tale "Kicks."  But "Him Or Me" is brilliant juke fare, backed by a B-side that tells the story of the Raiders with style and panache.
78.  CHARLIE RICH:  "Lonely Weekends"/"Everything I Do Is Wrong" (Phillips 3552)

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)

The Righteous Brothers' big ballads "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" and "Unchained Melody" are jukebox staples (and rightly so), but we need something a bit more uptempo in this spot.  "Little Latin Lupe Lu" was also ably covered by Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, but The Righteous Brothers' original has a subtle, swingin' groove that even ol' Mitch couldn't duplicate.

80. BILLY RILEY AND THE LITTLE GREEN MEN:  "Red Hot"/"Pearly Lee" (Sun 277)

The definitive version of this oft-covered rockabilly classic. I've never heard the original version (by its author, Billy "The Kid" Emerson, also on Sun), but Billy Riley's rendition is the one that launched a thousand hepcats, Daddy.

81. THE ROLLING STONES:  "The Last Time"/"Play With Fire" (London 9741)

"Honky Tonk Women"/"You Can't Always Get What You Want" seemed an obvious, appropriate choice, but this record offers the Stones' best one-two shot of surly chutzpah and implied(?) threat.

82. THE ROMANTICS:  "What I Like About You"/"First In Line" (Nemperor 7527)

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)

It's not bravado if you can back up your claim, and Sam and Dave prove to be the livin', sweatin' 'n' shoutin' embodiment of Southern soul on this signature Stax single.

84. DEL SHANNON:  "Keep Searchin' (We'll Follow The Sun)"/"Broken Promises" (Amy 915)

Del Shannon's best singles were explosions of regret, dread, even paranoia, yet they were catchy as hell.  The compressed hysteria of "Keep Searchin'" is ameliorated by a sense of determination, even--dare we say it?--hope.

85. THE SHIRELLES:  "Will You Love Me Tomorrow"/"Boys" (Scepter 1211)

An eloquent last plea for love and understanding before the willful surrender of one's virginity.  In a cynical world, the romantic within us believes this prayer was answered, and the love will last forever.

86. SOFT CELL:  "Tainted Love"/"Memorabilia" (Sire 49855)

Danceable new wave decadence re-animating Gloria Jones' forgotten '60s soul nugget.

87. SOUTHSIDE JOHNNY AND THE ASBURY JUKES:  "I Don't Want To Go Home"/"Snatchin' It Back" (Epic 50238)

Last call!  And no arguments from you Asbury Park boys, either!

88. RONNIE SPECTOR:  "Say Goodbye To Hollywood"/"Baby Please Don't Go" (Cleveland International 50374)

Billy Joel originally wrote and recorded "Say Goodbye To Hollywood" as a conscious evocation of The Ronettes, and of Phil Spector's fabled Wall Of Sound.  So it was only fitting for former Ronettes lead singer Ronnie Spector to freaking nail it in her cover version, ably backed by The E Street Band (and an uncredited Bruce Springsteen).  This sequence of events strikes me as the nearest real-world equivalent of The Beatles reuniting to cover The Knickerbockers' "Lies."

89. THE SPINNERS:  "I'll Be Around"/"How Could I Let You Get Away" (Atlantic 2904)

Heartbreak, capitulation and acceptance--and that's all apparently taken place before the song's even started.  The ultimate stiff-upper-lip ditty, as the ex-lover bows out gracefully, but leaves the girl his card...just in case things change.

90. DONNA SUMMER:  "I Feel Love"/"Can't We Just Sit Down (And Talk It Over)" (Casablanca 884)

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)

"My Girl" is immortal, and perhaps the definitive Motown single.  It's furthermore the sort of pervasive classic that is always lying somewhere near the surface of your subconscious, a tune you might not think anyone ever actually wrote, but which must instead have been passed down from generation to generation. 

93. BIG MAMA THORNTON:  "Hound Dog"/"Rock-A-Bye Baby" (Peacock 5-1612)

The forgotten original of the Elvis standard, and arguably even better than The King's version.  Badder, anyway.

94.  THE TRAMMPS:  "Disco Inferno"/"That's Where The Happy People Go" (Atlantic 3389)

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)

As always, Tina Turner soars here, subtly demonstrating the spirit that allowed her to ultimately survive her marriage to Ike, who was himself a rock 'n' roll pioneer with immense talent and vision...and with a darker nature that ultimately overshadowed  his contributions to rock history.

96. CONWAY TWITTY:  "It's Only Make-Believe"/"I'll Try" (MGM 12677)

This is probably the greatest attempt to beat Elvis at his own game in the '50s.  The sheer depth of Twitty's despair over his unrequited love for this blind, shallow chick that can't see him for dirt makes for the sort of wailing tale of woe that's ideal for a jukebox.

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? 

98. THE VOGUES:  "Five O'Clock World"/"Nothing To Offer You" (Co and Ce B-232)

Along with The Easybeats' "Friday On My Mind," The Vogues' "Five O'Clock World" remains an undisputed working class anthem for anyone who's ever held a dead-end job and yearned for those fleeting moments when the whistle blows.  And then your baby smiles at you, and you know that it's all worthwhile.  Yeah!

99.  WAR:  "Low Rider"/"So" (United Artists 706)

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)

One of the greatest soul singles of the '60s, its relative obscurity (Billboard peak # 80 in 1968) notwithstanding.  A great record deserving of much wider notoriety.

And now, cue up Frankie's "Quarter To Three."  It's closin' time.