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And the greatest song ever is......

Stu

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"Like a Rolling Stone," Â according to this article. Generally I hate such pronouncements as they are too subjective to be definitive. Â But I think Like a Rolling Stone is as close as you can get when talking about The Greatest Rock and Roll Song Ever. It really set the tone for the second half of the '60s, blasted folk music into a new orbit, turned Dylan into a whole new level of star, led to a 6-minute song on AM radio, and so on. Just a monumental song and it never gets old. To me it still sounds fresh.
 

Tokyo Slim

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I'd make a case for Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody, or perhaps any number of things from Hendrix.

I mean... Bob Dylan seems like a really uh... lame choice considering the ENTIRE history of songwriting is being taken into account here.

I'm assuming that since we are dealing with an American English bias here, that operas and classical peices aren't being accounted for, nor other "world musics"

I'm more comfortable sticking with more recent American music anyways. But maybe I'm the only one to find Dylan's songs (and the man himself) more than a little annoying. Maybe I'm just not of the right generation or something...
 

Stu

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I'd make a case for Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody, or perhaps any number of things from Hendrix.

I mean... Bob Dylan seems like a really uh... lame choice considering the ENTIRE history of songwriting is being taken into account here.

I'm assuming that since we are dealing with an American English bias here, that operas and classical peices aren't being accounted for, nor other "world musics"

I'm more comfortable sticking with more recent American music anyways. But maybe I'm the only one to find Dylan's songs (and the man himself) more than a little annoying. Maybe I'm just not of the right generation or something...
Slim I think part of the song's appeal is its importance. The era in which it sprang forth, the musical advancements it made in the way the organ was used, the mysterious social commentary, the fact that it kind of bridged the gap between "She Loves You" and "Sgt. Peppers."

Bohemian Rhapsody certainly was revolutionary in many ways, but I don't think it can claim all the merit badges that "Like a Rolling Stone" has garnered.

Perhaps it is a generational thing. I remember many a cold night back in the '70s standing out in a shelter house somewhere around a fire blind drunk with my buddies shouting out "How does it feeeeeeel?" as that song played on the 8-track on someone's car stereo.
 

Bradford

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What no Cheeseburger in Paradise?

Bradford
 

T4phage

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For me the quintessential 'rock song' would be something that encapsulates the feelings of 'rockers'... something that sounds like teen hormones.. 'You keep on shoutin', you keep on shoutin': I want to rock and roll all nite and party every day"
 

Eric

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I recently ordered a copy of his Manchester Live 65' concert. Dylan is pretty awesome in my opinion.

Though I gotta say its pretty rediculous to name one song the best ever. Sure to the writer, but its such a subjective subject.

Though I hear all the time (I didn't grow up in the Dylan era) that "Like a Rolling Stone" pretty much started Rock and Roll. And it is a song that stands up to today. I think its a worthy song of the title its given.

My personal favorite song would have to be "Take it Easy" - Eagles. Not a revolutionary song, but a damn good one and my favorite.

Eric
 

shoreman1782

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Agreed, it's tough to name a "best" song without specifying criteria - impact, creativity, novelty, popularity... These are probably all components of "best"... And I'm sure there's pressure to make sure it's from the accepted canon of Western rock.

Also, Greil Marcus is a tool. There, I said it.
 

ATM

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This article is basically an ad for this guy's new book about Dylan. Surprisingly, the publisher is not owned by Time-Warner.
 

Dakota rube

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I've had an on-again-off-again relationship with Dylan for most of my life; I was a pre-teen when "Like a Rolling Stone" was released: I remember hearing it on the AM radio thinking it was something very significant in its difference from the rest of the playlist. As Stu pointed out, this song was really a bridge from 3:00 pop hits to what I'd call socially-significant anthems that came later.

I'd agree "Rolling Stone" is a great rock & roll song, but I am leery of pronouncing any the "greatest" of all time. I'm not even sure, as good as Rolling Stone is, that it is Dylan's best; I'm more partial to both "Tangled Up in Blue" and "Simple Twist of Fate".

That being said, Dylan remains in my mind a more significant pioneer of music than any other: more adventurous than the Beatles; more influencial than any of the British Invasion; and obviously more enduring than his 60s contemporaries. Who else is still writing, recording and performing after more than forty years?
 

Brian SD

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Talking Heads - Psycho Killer

or

The Stooges - I Wanna Be Your Dog
 

j

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I think the appeal of "...Rolling Stone" comes partly from one's identifying with it or being around when it hit. Granted, it was very important, however that does not make it a great song. To me the best song would have to really move a listener upon first hearing it and knowing nothing about it, and "Like a Rolling Stone" doesn't do that for me. Therefore with little time to ruminate and without the benefit of my mp3 collection, which is at home, I submit: The Rolling Stones - "Brown Sugar" - look up "rock (v.)" in the dictionary, this should be there. Runners-up, definitely not a complete list: Love - "Always See Your Face" - a perfect song IMO Derek and the Dominos - "Layla" - probably best breakdown of all time Dire Straits - "Sultans of Swing" - though not what I would really call "rock and roll" Misfits - "Last Caress" - yes really, I have been known to listen to this song on repeat for an hour before The Cars - "Magic" - perfect production, invincible sound The Clash - "I Fought The Law" The Velvet Underground - "Rock and Roll"
 

JBZ

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For me, it's "Solsbury Hill" by Peter Gabriel. Never fails to move me.
 

mistahlee

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May I suggest three criteria for "greatest rock and roll song?"  It must be simple.  It has to drive.  It should be about sex.

I pick Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love."
 

mnemonic

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springtime

the only pretty ringtime?

ringy dingy sweet lovers love

the spring?

...as performed by gene wilder in "charlie and the chocolate factory"
 
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i think of my era you could make a strong case for Smells Like Teen Spirit. Ended the hair metal era, kickstarted nuovo punk for better or worse, which ushered in all kinds of sub genres (emo core anyone?)
 

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