Saturday, August 10, 2019

THE GREATEST RECORD EVER MADE! (VOLUME 1): Final, carved-in-stone, irrevocable updated Table of Contents (until the next update)

Thanks again to the mighty Rich Firestone for this graphic
My book The Greatest Record Ever Made! (Volume 1) is dedicated to the idea that an infinite number of songs can each be the greatest record ever made, as long as they take turns. It's an excuse for me to take 100+ great songs--not "The 100 Greatest Songs," but a selection of some of The Greatest with an implicit understanding that there's still lots more where they came from--and write about 'em.

The book is edging slowly toward a completed first draft. As that prize grows nearer, I've once again updated its Table of Contents, adding and deleting some tracks (even removing one completed chapter, because apparently I like creating more work for myself), and tweaking the sequence a bit. There will be more tweaking, but I think I'm ready to settle on which tracks will be discussed in the book.

DISCLAIMERS AND DECLARATIONS (A User's Guide To The Greatest Record Ever Made!)
OVERTURE: A Fistful Of 45s
1. BADFINGER: Baby Blue
2. CHUCK BERRY: Promised Land
3. DUSTY SPRINGFIELD: I Only Want To Be With You
4. THE SEX PISTOLS: God Save The Queen
5. ELVIS PRESLEY: Heartbreak Hotel
6. PATTI SMITH: Gloria
7. LITTLE RICHARD: The Girl Can't Help It
8. NEIL DIAMOND: Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show
9. CRAZY ELEPHANT: Gimme Gimme Good Lovin' 
10. WILSON PICKETT: In The Midnight Hour
11. THE HOLLIES: I Can't Let Go
12. THE SHIRELLES: Will You Love Me Tomorrow
13. BUDDY HOLLY: Peggy Sue/Everyday
14. JOHNNY NASH: I Can See Clearly Now
15. THE RUBINOOS: I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend
16. GLADYS KNIGHT & THE PIPS: Midnight Train To Georgia
17. THE RARE BREED: Beg, Borrow And Steal
18. THE 13th FLOOR ELEVATORS: You're Gonna Miss Me
19. THE ROLLING STONES: Get Off Of My Cloud
INTERLUDE: The Monkees Seize The Day
22. THE MONKEES: Porpoise Song (Theme From Head)
23. KISS: Shout It Out Loud
24. THE RASPBERRIES: I Wanna Be With You
25. THE FLASHCUBES: No Promise
26. THE NEW YORK DOLLS: Personality Crisis
27. THE CASTAWAYS: Liar, Liar
28. THE EASYBEATS: Friday On My Mind
31. BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN: Girls In Their Summer Clothes
32. TRANSLATOR: Everywhere That I'm Not
33. LESLEY GORE: You Don't Own Me
34. THE LEFT BANKE: Walk Away, Renee
35. P. P. ARNOLD: The First Cut Is The Deepest
36. TODD RUNDGREN: Couldn't I Just Tell You
37. SHOES: Tomorrow Night
38. RUFUS: Tell Me Something Good
39. BIG STAR: September Gurls
40. PRINCE: When You Were Mine
41. THE BAY CITY ROLLERS: Rock And Roll Love Letter
INTERLUDE: The Tottenham Sound Of...The Beatles?!
43. THE DAVE CLARK FIVE: Any Way You Want It
44. JAMES BROWN: Please, Please, Please
45. GRAND FUNK: We're An American Band
INTERLUDE: Old Time Rock & Roll
46. THE BOB SEGER SYSTEM: 2 + 2 = ?
47. SAMMY AMBROSE: This Diamond Ring
48. THE FIRST CLASS: Beach Baby
49. THE ISLEY BROTHERS: Summer Breeze
50. THE FLAMIN' GROOVIES: Shake Some Action
ENTR'ACTE: Yesterday
51. MARVIN GAYE: I Heard It Through The Grapevine
52. THE SEARCHERS: Hearts In Her Eyes
53. THE FLIRTATIONS: Nothing But A Heartache
54. THE SPINNERS: I'll Be Around
55. ALICE COOPER: School's Out
56. BARON DAEMON & THE VAMPIRES: The Transylvania Twist
57. SLY AND THE FAMILY STONE: Everybody Is A Star
58. THE RAMONES: Sheena Is A Punk Rocker
INTERLUDE: I Dream Of Johnny, Joey, Dee Dee, Tommy (and occasionally Marky, Richie, CJ, and/or new recruits)
59. LED ZEPPELIN: Communication Breakdown
60. BEN E. KING: Stand By Me
61. THE BYRDS: I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better
62. OTIS REDDING: (Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay
63. THE GO-GO'S: We Got The Beat
64. THE COCKTAIL SLIPPERS: St. Valentine's Day Massacre
65. GENE PITNEY: Twenty Four Hours From Tulsa
66. THE WHO: I Can't Explain
68. FREDDIE & THE DREAMERS: Do The Freddie
69. THE DRIFTERS: On Broadway
70. SAM & DAVE: Soul Man
71. THE SPONGETONES: (My Girl) Maryanne
72. THE TRAMMPS: Disco Inferno
74. THE JIVE FIVE: What Time Is It?
75. PAUL COLLINS: Walking Out On Love
76. T. REX: 20th Century Boy
77. GRANDMASTER & MELLE MEL: White Lines (Don't Don't Do It)
78. THE KINKS: You Really Got Me
79. THE KINKS: Waterloo Sunset
80. THE FOUR TOPS: Reach Out I'll Be There
81. THE SMITHEREENS: Behind The Wall Of Sleep
82. THE COWSILLS: She Said To Me
83. THE SUPREMES: You Keep Me Hangin' On 
84. MATERIAL ISSUE: Kim The Waitress
85. ELVIS COSTELLO & THE ATTRACTIONS: (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding?
86. FREDA PAYNE: Band Of Gold
87. THE EVERLY BROTHERS: Gone, Gone, Gone
88. THE BEACH BOYS: God Only Knows
89. LULU: To Sir, With Love
90. MANNIX: Highway Lines
91. THE SELECTER: On My Radio
92. SOLOMON BURKE: Everybody Needs Somebody To Love
93. THE ANIMALS: It's My Life
94. CHEAP TRICK Surrender
95. DAVID BOWIE: Life On Mars?
96. THE GRATEFUL DEAD: Uncle John's Band
97. THE O'JAYS: Put Your Hands Together
98. EDDIE & THE HOT RODS: Do Anything You Wanna Do
99. STEVIE WONDER: I Believe (When I Fall In Love It Will Be Forever)
100. EYTAN MIRSKY: This Year's Gonna Be Our Year
LAST CALL! THE JAYHAWKS: I'm Gonna Make You Love Me
An Infinite Number
Underrating The Beatles
CLOSING TIME! THE T-BONES: No Matter What Shape (Your Stomach's In)
CODA: Cruisin' Music

By cheating with honorable intent--Kobayashi Maru, man--I was able to use creative sleight-of-hand to make a Greatest Record Ever Made! Hot 100 consisting of 103 songs (104 if you count the two songs in the Buddy Holly chapter, 105 if you count the closing instrumental). Science or magic, your rules do not apply here. The bonus-track interludes are meant as additional commentary rather than more GREM! entries.

I think I'm satisfied with this. It omits a lot of my all-time fave raves, from The Plimsouls to The Vogues to The Jam (plus I really wanted to include a second Ramones song), but it covers enough, and I'm happy. For now.

Back to work!


Our path is finite. Its soundtrack is not.

As pop music fans, we may have one all-time favorite song that stands out for us as the greatest record ever made. But in another moment, we may shift our allegiance to a different song, and then to another. We’re not fickle. We’re enthusiastic, and we’re sincere. We love our music. We lose ourselves in the music we love.

An infinite number of songs can each be THE greatest record ever made, as long as they take turns. Acclaimed pop journalist Carl Cafarelli (GoldmineThis Is Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio) brings his own passion and enthusiasm to The Greatest Record Ever Made! (Volume 1), a collection of 100 essays about 100 great songs, celebrating both the immortality and the in-the-moment immediacy of the rockin' pop music we cherish. The subjects include Rock And Roll Hall Of Famers like The Beatles, Chuck Berry, The Sex Pistols, Aretha Franklin, The Grateful Dead, David Bowie, Prince, and many more.

But The Greatest Record Ever Made! (Volume 1) encompasses more than just those enshrined in a Hall of Fame. It includes hit acts like Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes,  Sammy Ambrose’s forgotten original of “This Diamond Ring,” cult acts like The 13th Floor Elevators and Big Star, teen idols like The Bay City Rollers, and relative unknowns like Baron Daemon and the Vampires: rock, soul, R & B, pop, punk, bubblegum, ska, power pop, girl groups, and disco. This is not a definitive list of the 100 best songs ever recorded. Rather, it's a 100-record block party of great tracks, each one the greatest in its own infinite turn. It's a celebration, exhaustively and enthusiastically crafted by a pop journalist who loves each of these records without reservation.

Why did The Monkees go from the top of the pops in 1967 to seeming has-been status in 1968? How did James Brown respond to the British Invasion? What minefields of racism, sexism, homophobia, ambition, frustration, depression, or loss were navigated by Little Richard, Dusty Springfield, The Go-Go's, Elvis, Sly and the Family Stone, The Kinks, The Beach Boys, The Supremes, and Material Issue's Jim Ellison? Were The Ramones as much a bubblegum band as they were a punk band? When does a group succeed or fail in its quixotic quest to be the next Beatles? 

Our favorite records don't live in isolation. Each one has a story. The Greatest Record Ever Made! (Volume 1) mixes history lessons, artist appreciation, and the ways in which the records we love can deeply affect our personal livesPart personal memoir and part rockin’ pop record hop, The Greatest Record Ever Made! (Volume 1) is the book for anyone who’s ever yelled “Turn It Up!”

Or, better yet: “Play that again!” Your infinite turn awaits. Welcome to the world of The Greatest Record Ever Made!


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