Friday, November 26, 2021

THE GREATEST RECORD EVER MADE! (VOLUME 1): updating the blueprint


As always: An infinite number of tracks can each be THE greatest record ever made, as long as they take turns.

That's the familiar mantra of my long-threatened book The Greatest Record Ever Made! (Volume 1). It's been a long road to get this far, and the book is no closer to a publishing plan than it's been in any previous part of its journey. But it is nearing completion, with only nine more entries remaining to be done. Having already finished initial work on my first book--another nonfiction music title with a tentative publication date in late 2022--I'm hoping to complete a draft of GREM! in the near future, maybe even in enough time for me to say I wrote two books in 2021. We'll see.

The book's Table of Contents has changed since its last update. It's a tiny bit shorter now, with the previous intent to spotlight 180 songs (175 entries plus five bonus tracks, labeled Overture, Entr'acte, Encore!, Encore!!, and Coda) slimmed to the current plan of 170 songs (165 plus the same five bonus tracks). Here's what the GREM! Table of Contents looks like today:

THE GREATEST RECORD EVER MADE! (VOLUME 1) 

Table of Contents

FOREWORD
DISCLAIMERS AND DECLARATIONS (A User's Guide To The Greatest Record Ever Made!)
A Fistful Of 45s
OVERTURE THE RAMONES: Do You Remember Rock 'n' Roll Radio?
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. WILLIE MAE "BIG MAMA" THORNTON: Hound Dog
7. PATTI SMITH: Gloria
8. LITTLE RICHARD: The Girl Can't Help It
9. NEIL DIAMOND: Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show
10. CRAZY ELEPHANT: Gimme Gimme Good Lovin' 
11. WILSON PICKETT: In The Midnight Hour
12. THE HOLLIES: I Can't Let Go
13. MELANIE WITH THE EDWIN HAWKINS SINGERS: Lay Down (Candles In The Rain)
14. THE ROMANTICS: What I Like About You
15. SAM COOKE: Chain Gang
16. PETULA CLARK: Downtown
17. ARTHUR ALEXANDER: Soldier Of Love
18. TRANSLATOR: Everywhere That I'm Not
19. LESLEY GORE: You Don't Own Me
20. THE SHANGRI-LAS: Leader Of The Pack
21. THE SHIRELLES: Will You Love Me Tomorrow
22. THE RAMONES: Sheena Is A Punk Rocker
23. AMY RIGBY: Dancing With Joey Ramone
24. PINK FLOYD: Wish You Were Here
25. GLADYS KNIGHT AND THE PIPS: Midnight Train To Georgia
26.THE BOBBY FULLER FOUR: I Fought The Law
27. MERLE HAGGARD: Mama Tried
28. THE TEMPTATIONS: Papa Was A Rollin' Stone
29. BUDDY HOLLY: Peggy Sue/Everyday
30. JOHNNY NASH: I Can See Clearly Now
31. SUZI QUATRO: I May Be Too Young
32. ALICE COOPER: School's Out
33. THE RARE BREED/THE OHIO EXPRESS: Beg, Borrow And Steal
34. OTIS REDDING: (Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay
35. ARETHA FRANKLIN: Respect
INTERLUDE The Monkees Play Their Own Instruments
36. THE MONKEES: Porpoise Song (Theme From Head)
37. PRINCE: When You Were Mine
38. THE 13th FLOOR ELEVATORS: You're Gonna Miss Me
39. THE ROLLING STONES: Get Off Of My Cloud
40. PAUL REVERE AND THE RAIDERS: Just Like Me
41. BOB DYLAN: Like A Rolling Stone
42. THE KINGSMEN: Louie, Louie
43. BARON DAEMON AND THE VAMPIRES: The Transylvania Twist
44. THE MARVELETTES: I'll Keep Holding On
45. THE WHO: I Can't Explain
46. TODD RUNDGREN: Couldn't I Just Tell You
47. SHOES: Tomorrow Night
48. THE FLASHCUBES: No Promise
49. TELEVISION: Elevation
50. DONNA SUMMER: I Feel Love
51. SMOKEY ROBINSON AND THE MIRACLES: The Tears Of A Clown
52. JUDAS PRIEST: Heading Out To The Highway
53. THE DIXIE CUPS: Iko Iko
54. FREDDIE AND THE DREAMERS: Do The Freddie
55. THE NEW YORK DOLLS: Personality Crisis
56. MILLIE SMALL: My Boy Lollipop
57. THE EASYBEATS: Friday On My Mind
58. IKE AND TINA TURNER: River Deep Mountain High
59. THE RONETTES: Be My Baby
60. BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN: Girls In Their Summer Clothes
61. KISS: Shout It Out Loud
62. THE LEFT BANKE: Walk Away, Renee
63. THE BAY CITY ROLLERS: Rock And Roll Love Letter
64. THE KNICKERBOCKERS: Lies
65. THE WONDERS: That Thing You Do!
66. THE GO-GO'S: We Got The Beat
INTERLUDE The Tottenham Sound Of...The Beatles?!
67. THE DAVE CLARK FIVE: Any Way You Want It
68. JAMES BROWN: Please, Please, Please
69. GRAND FUNK: We're An American Band
70. THE VELVELETTES: He Was Really Sayin' Somethin'
71. THE FIRST CLASS: Beach Baby
72. THE ISLEY BROTHERS: Summer Breeze
73. THE RUBINOOS: I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend
*74. THE PANDORAS: It's About Time
75. BIG STAR: September Gurls
76. PAUL COLLINS/THE BREAKAWAYS: Walking Out On Love
77. LINDA RONSTADT: You're No Good
*78. P. P. ARNOLD: The First Cut Is The Deepest
*79. THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS: All For Swinging You Around
80. THE DAVE BRUBECK QUARTET: Take Five
ENTR'ACTE THE BEATLES: Yesterday
81. THE BEATLES: Revolution
82. YOKO ONO: Kiss Kiss Kiss
83. THE MC5: Kick Out The Jams
*84. THE CHAMBERS BROTHERS: Time Has Come Today
85. MARVIN GAYE: I Heard It Through The Grapevine
86. THE MUFFS: Saying Goodbye
87. SAMMY AMBROSE: This Diamond Ring
88. THE MYNAH BIRDS: I Got You (In My Soul)
89. RICK JAMES: Super Freak
90. THE FLAMIN' GROOVIES: Shake Some Action
*91. BIG BROTHER AND THE HOLDING COMPANY: Piece Of My Heart
92. THE DANDY WARHOLS: We Used To Be Friends
93. THE CARPENTERS: Only Yesterday
94. MATERIAL ISSUE: Kim The Waitress
*95. THE 5TH DIMENSION: Aquarius/Let The Sun Shine In (The Flesh Failures)
96. THE JACKSON FIVE: I'll Be There
97. SLY AND THE FAMILY STONE: Everybody Is A Star
*98. THE BANGLES: Live
99. THE SEARCHERS: Hearts In Her Eyes
100. THE FLIRTATIONS: Nothing But A Heartache
101. THE SPINNERS: I'll Be Around
102. TOM PETTY AND THE HEARTBREAKERS: American Girl
103. THE PARTRIDGE FAMILY: I Woke Up In Love This Morning
104. LED ZEPPELIN: Communication Breakdown
105. THE BANDWAGON: Breakin' Down The Walls Of Heartache
*106. DON HENLEY: The Boys Of Summer
107. THE CLASH: Train In Vain (Stand By Me)
108. BEN E. KING: Stand By Me
109. GENE PITNEY: Twenty Four Hours From Tulsa
110. RUFUS: Tell Me Something Good  
111. THE SPONGETONES: (My Girl) Maryanne
112. THE TRAMMPS: Disco Inferno
113. HAROLD MELVIN AND THE BLUE NOTES: Don't Leave Me This Way
114. GRANDMASTER AND MELLE MEL: White Lines (Don't Don't Do It)
115. THE VELVET UNDERGROUND: I'll Be Your Mirror
116. DEL SHANNON: Runaway
117. THE EVERLY BROTHERS: Gone, Gone, Gone
118. THE COCKTAIL SLIPPERS: St. Valentine's Day Massacre
119. SAM AND DAVE: Soul Man
120. T. REX: 20th Century Boy
121. HEART: Kick It Out
122. THE RUNAWAYS: Cherry Bomb
123. AMERICA: Sister Golden Hair
124. THE KINKS: Waterloo Sunset
125. THE KINKS: You Really Got Me
126. HOLLY GOLIGHTLY: Time Will Tell
127. THE SMITHEREENS: Behind The Wall Of Sleep
*128. THE COWSILLS: She Said To Me
129. ELVIS COSTELLO AND THE ATTRACTIONS: (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding?
130. THE FOUR TOPS: Reach Out I'll Be There
INTERLUDE Old Time Rock 'n' Roll
131. THE BOB SEGER SYSTEM: 2 + 2 = ?
132. THE JIVE FIVE: What Time Is It?
133. LULU: To Sir, With Love [Museum Outings Montage]
134. FREDA PAYNE: Band Of Gold
135. THE CONTOURS: Do You Love Me
*136. EARTH, WIND AND FIRE WITH THE EMOTIONS: Boogie Wonderland 
137. WHAM!: Freedom
138. THE SUPREMES: You Keep Me Hangin' On 
139. THE BEACH BOYS: God Only Knows
140. JOAN ARMATRADING: Me Myself I
141. THE SELECTER: On My Radio
142. TRACEY ULLMAN: They Don't Know
143. MANNIX: Highway Lines
144. THE DRIFTERS: On Broadway
145. FIRST AID KIT: America
146. THE FIVE STAIRSTEPS: O-o-h Child
147. SOLOMON BURKE: Everybody Needs Somebody To Love
148. THE JAM: That's Entertainment
149. THE COASTERS: Yakety Yak
150. CHEAP TRICK: Surrender
151. TEGAN AND SARA: Walking With A Ghost
152. DAVID BOWIE: Life On Mars?
153. THE O'JAYS: Put Your Hands Together
154. THE GRATEFUL DEAD: Uncle John's Band
155. EDDIE AND THE HOT RODS: Do Anything You Wanna Do
156. JOAN JETT: Bad Reputation
157. STEVIE WONDER: I Believe (When I Fall In Love It Will Be Forever)
158. MARYKATE O'NEIL: I'm Ready For My Luck To Turn Around
159. EYTAN MIRSKY: This Year's Gonna Be Our Year
160. THE JAYHAWKS: I'm Gonna Make You Love Me
An Infinite Number
INTERLUDE Underrating The Beatles
ENCORE! THE BEATLES: Rain
ENCORE!! THE T-BONES: No Matter What Shape (Your Stomach's In)
Cruisin' Music
CODA THE RAMONES: Blitzkrieg Bop
AFTERWORD

IMPORTANT NOTE: These selections are not ranked in any way, and this is most definitely NOT intended as an inclusive list of the all-time best songs. There are an infinite number of worthy prospects; these are the one I choose to write about in The Greatest Record Ever Made! (Voume 1).

The asterisks designate chapters still in need of a completed draft. Although a number of previously-announced songs have been removed from the book (and some others added), this does retain most of the songs played in This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio's Greatest Record Ever Made! special this past August. And what I wrote for that show's playlist still applies to the book project itself:

"A few years back, I decided [this] would be a great premise for a series of essays. Yeah, The Greatest Record Ever Made! Some friends (including intrepid TIRnRR listener Dave Murray and invincible TIRnRR co-host Dana Bonn) urged me to start writing already, so the GREM! celebrations began on my blog with a spotlight on Badfinger's 'Baby Blue,' posted October 27th, 2016. Many more GREM! pieces would follow, part of an ongoing but finite glimpse at the infinite.

"Seemed like a good idea for a book, too. I've written for magazines for decades, I've written for other people's books, but I've never had a book with my name on the front cover. In late 2018, I started putting together The Greatest Record Ever Made! (Volume 1) as a book. In 2019, I secured an agent, wrote a formal book proposal, and things seemed to snapping into place for my GREM! book.

"Until, y'know, they weren't snappin' anymore.

"I went over some of the circumstances of the book's (perhaps permanent) pause here...But I have not given up on my baby. I haven't given up on The Greatest Record Ever Made!...

"...Each song is great. Each song is the greatest, in its own infinite turn. There oughtta be a book about that. Maybe there will be."

Nine chapters to go. Ten if I decide to add Headgirl's "Please Don't Touch." About 142,000 words written in the completed chapters, with a goal of keeping the final total under 155,000 words. This book's gonna get done. 

Will it get published? I think it will. I hope so, anyway. That, my friends, would be the greatest.

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This Is Rock 'n' Roll Radio with Dana & Carl airs Sunday nights from 9 to Midnight Eastern, on the air in Syracuse at SPARK! WSPJ 103.3 and 93.7 FM, and on the web at http://sparksyracuse.org/ You can read about our history here.

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Volume 2: CD or download
Volume 3: download
Volume 4: CD or download
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I'm on Twitter @CafarelliCarl.

2 comments:

  1. John Lennon "Imagine", Raspberries "Tonight", Vandalias "Get To Know You", Game Theory "What The Whole World Wants"

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    Replies
    1. Yep. I ain't kiddin' when I say The Greatest Record Ever Made encompasses an infinite number of tracks. I'm deliberately omitting several of my own top fave raves (by the Animals, Vogues, Yardbirds, Plimsouls, Beau Brummels, and more) as a reminder that the concept is larger than any single list of songs. There's ALWAYS some other great record to consider.

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