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Bracketology: Week 14

Direct from bracketology’s nerve center here on the Third Coast, it’s another set of 16 songs for your consideration.

Brackets due at midnight, Saturday, 15 September 2007 (thought I should use the international format for dates just once).

35. The Rolling Stones, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” (1968)
94. Buddy Holly, “Peggy Sue” (1957)
163. The Troggs, “Wild Thing” (1966)
222. Fleetwood Mac, “Go Your Own Way” (1977)

30. The Four Tops, “Reach Out (I’ll Be There)” (1966)
99. The Beatles, “She Loves You” (1963)
158. The Sugarhill Gang, “Rapper’s Delight” (1979)
227. The Drifters, “There Goes My Baby” (1959)

62. Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody” (1975)
67. New Order, “Blue Monday” (1983)
190. The Flamingos, “I Only Have Eyes for You” (1959)
195. R.E.M., “Radio Free Europe” (1981)

3. The Beach Boys, “Good Vibrations” (1966)
126. ABBA, “Dancing Queen” (1976)
131. Roy Orbison, “Only the Lonely” (1960)
254. Pretenders, “Brass in Pocket” (1979)

Over in the BNIT, voting on the Final Four is going on, so surf on over and check it out.

Here at the big tournament, with three weeks left in the first round, we’re entering the home stretch, so keep those votes a-comin’.

Re: Bracketology: Week 14

I was going to forget about this week. I looked at Bracket 53 and said "Worst bracket yet" but then looked at the rest and realized that the other three are almost as bad. I guess those are the breaks. I'm thinking there isn't a song out of all of these that would be even #2 in any other bracket so far. Al lot of these songs are by bands I really like, but they are ones I have never enjoyed. Anyway, that's all I'm going to say, because I don't think anyone wants to read me trashing song after song. If it counts it counts, but I really didn't want to keep typing "I like the band but this song doesn't do it for me" which applies to almost every single one. I'm not exaggerating either. There isn't a song on this list that I wouldn't skip past if it were on the radio.

1. Buddy Holly, “Peggy Sue” (1957)
2. The Troggs, “Wild Thing” (1966)
3. The Rolling Stones, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” (1968)
4. Fleetwood Mac, “Go Your Own Way” (1977)

1. The Beatles, “She Loves You” (1963)
2. The Sugarhill Gang, “Rapper’s Delight” (1979)
3. The Drifters, “There Goes My Baby” (1959)
4. The Four Tops, “Reach Out (I’ll Be There)” (1966)

1. New Order, “Blue Monday” (1983)
2. R.E.M., “Radio Free Europe” (1981)
3. Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody” (1975)
4. The Flamingos, “I Only Have Eyes for You” (1959)

1. The Beach Boys, “Good Vibrations” (1966)
2. ABBA, “Dancing Queen” (1976)
3. Roy Orbison, “Only the Lonely” (1960)
4. Pretenders, “Brass in Pocket” (1979)

Re: Bracketology: Week 14

I’ll be out of town for a few days and I wanted to get these in sooner than later. (Bracket 55 comments to follow upon my return.)

1. Fleetwood Mac, "Go Your Own Way" (1977): A three-minute-and forty-second “f**k you Stevie”, courtesy of one pissed off Lindsey Buckingham. Don’t let the sugary pop coating of this 70s hit fool you – this one’s concentrated bitterness (although the fact that these ex-lovers get along now sort of takes away from it.) Quick aside: does anyone else agree that Buckingham is a severely underrated guitarist?
2. The Rolling Stones, "Jumpin' Jack Flash" (1968): A Stones tune that I can get behind.
3. Buddy Holly, "Peggy Sue" (1957): Two points for inspiring the Beatles.
4. The Troggs, "Wild Thing" (1966): Along the same lines as “Born To Be Wild”, in terms of 60’s hits that weren’t even good to begin with, but have perplexingly somehow stuck around long enough to permeate into generation-X. Overused, clichéd, and boring.

1. The Beatles, "She Loves You" (1963): Just a tight, well-written pop song; the best from the Beatles pre-Ed Sullivan years (62-63). Spot-on harmonies (as usual) and a cute homage to Little Richard – “wooo!”)
2. The Drifters, "There Goes My Baby" (1959): A bit of due diligence revealed that this pre-dated “Stand By Me” by a couple of years. Baffling that Lieber and Stoller felt compelled to recycle this song.
3. The Four Tops, "Reach Out (I'll Be There)" (1966): Good vocals. Perhaps a tad sugary, but not to its detriment.
4. The Sugarhill Gang, "Rapper's Delight" (1979): Weak song in this bracket.

1. The Beach Boys, "Good Vibrations" (1966): Pretty much encapsulates everything Brian Wilson was about: harmonies, innovation and stunning pop-sensibility. Love the theramin in the chorus.
2. Roy Orbison, "Only the Lonely" (1960): I’m beginning to realize that I’m not a big Orbison fan; in fact, I find him and his music rather bland. Troubling that I have to award it three points.
3. ABBA, "Dancing Queen" (1976): Swedish pop at its innocuous worst. If I wanted something catchy and completely void of emotion, I’d listen to Roxette.
4. Pretenders, "Brass in Pocket" (1979): Without question, one of the worst songs I've ever heard.

Re: Bracketology: Week 14

1. The Rolling Stones, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” (1968) - I don't know how this ended up as one of the Stone's most acclaimed singles but I can't deny that it's got a great hook.
2. Fleetwood Mac, “Go Your Own Way” (1977) - Top single from an album of singles.
3. The Troggs, “Wild Thing” (1966) - Troggs is appropriate. This 3-chorder is damn near neanderthalic.
4. Buddy Holly, “Peggy Sue” (1957) - Nowadays unremarkable.

1. The Four Tops, “Reach Out (I’ll Be There)” (1966) - Something tells me this song is going to get smoked by the Beatles. Still, if there ever was a contest for best early Motown song this track would be a strong candidate. The flute intro is spectacular.
2. The Beatles, “She Loves You” (1963) - One of the few early Beatles singles that holds up over time. George Martin's suggestion to start with the chorus saved it.
3. The Sugarhill Gang, “Rapper’s Delight” (1979) - Uses the fantastic Good Times bassline. It's also about Superman. Two pluses!
4. The Drifters, “There Goes My Baby” (1959) - Charming pop tune.

1. Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody” (1975) - Tough call between this and New Order. My vocalist sensibilities tell me to respect Mercury's incredible achievement with this unbelievable arrangement.
2. New Order, “Blue Monday” (1983) - Factory Records kept such bad books and used such extravagant packaging that they actually lost money on this single because it cost more to manufacture than what they were charging for it. That it was a platinum seller helped put the label under. One of the few non-embarrassing 80's synth-dance hits.
3. R.E.M., “Radio Free Europe” (1981) - Subtle single from a group whose subtlety is overrated.
4. The Flamingos, “I Only Have Eyes for You” (1959) - Memorable backgrounds in the verse. Otherwise unremarkable.

1. The Beach Boys, “Good Vibrations” (1966) - A song so crazy its writer went insane. Ok, it's not that wacky, and the writer was on ridiculous amounts of non-prescribed prescription medicine, but that theremin intro alone makes it a cool song.
2. Pretenders, “Brass in Pocket” (1979) - They were one of those groups where people liked the band more than the music they made. Still, this is a passable single.
3. Roy Orbison, “Only the Lonely” (1960) - Hooky tune from Mr. Sublime.
4. ABBA, “Dancing Queen” (1976) - I'll never be able to tolerate ABBA for the entire duration of one of their (short) songs. I'll have to assume this doesn't get better at the end.

Re: Bracketology: Week 14

No, it’s not the strongest week we’ve had (my choices were unusually easy this time)…but there are seven or eight songs here I really like, and Bracket 56 is very good indeed.

Bracket 53
1. THE ROLLING STONES, “JUMPIN’ JACK FLASH”: Towers over the rest of this bracket. So powerful, demented and strange, even Whoopi Goldberg couldn’t ruin it.
2. BUDDY HOLLY, “PEGGY SUE”: Not as good as “That’ll Be the Day,” and we’ve already lost that one (plus all of Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash…). I’ve almost given up on the prospects in this tournament for songs that predate the Beatles/Dylan/Stones event horizon.
3. THE TROGGS, “WILD THING”: Bog-standard AOR. It will surprise nobody who’s read my other posts that I prefer the cover version by X (as seen in the movie Major League). It’s still mediocre, but it’s X, and at least in that one, there’s no flute over the bridge…yecch.
4. FLEETWOOD MAC, “GO YOUR OWN WAY”: I like to listen to this, but you remember the “Guilty Pleasures” thread? The comments I made there about Toto’s “Africa” apply equally well here. But, yes, Anthony, I agree with you about Buckingham (maybe the rock establishment in the 70s just couldn’t handle a guitarist named “Lindsey”).

Bracket 54
1. THE SUGARHILL GANG, “RAPPER’S DELIGHT”: Delight? Yep. I must have listened to this 100 times when I was a kid, and I can still almost quote the whole thing from memory. The Bill Haley of rap: what you hear is not a test…
2. THE BEATLES, “SHE LOVES YOU”: I’ve been surprised at the lack of love for early Beatles here. Anyway, this was the first recorded sign of how great they were: the Everlys, Little Richard and Buddy in one easy-to-swallow capsule.
3. THE FOUR TOPS, “REACH OUT (I’LL BE THERE)”: Brilliant instrumentation, and a good tune, but Levi Stubbs sounds terrible.
4. THE DRIFTERS, “THERE GOES MY BABY”: Drifters is right. Seems kind of aimless. Anthony, I hadn’t made the “Stand By Me” connection (great catch!), but that explains it—I don’t like that song either.

Bracket 55
1. R.E.M., “RADIO FREE EUROPE”: Overrated my eye (although, jonmarck, if you want to complain about “babbling,” it seems more apt here than for “Losing My Religion”). I admit I’ve heard the album version a little too often—at this point, I would take several other songs on Murmur (“Perfect Circle,” “Pilgrimage,” “Sitting Still”) ahead of it (also all of Chronic Town). But the Hib-Tone single version from 1981 will always kick ass.
2. NEW ORDER, “BLUE MONDAY”: Anybody who still thinks 80s synth music is wimpy and vapid…now hear this. (BTW, do you realize that of this week’s 16 songs, this one is the most recent…and it’s 24 years old?)
3. QUEEN, “BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY”: No other song in history is so ridiculously, over-the-top pretentious and uncool. BOY, is it fun! I don’t think it’s a classic, but viva Freddie.
4. THE FLAMINGOS, “I ONLY HAVE EYES FOR YOU”: I wouldn’t go out of my way to hear it, but there’s not another song in the tourney that’s this spooooky.

Bracket 56
1. THE BEACH BOYS, “GOOD VIBRATIONS”: Of the songs in the AM Top 10, about half of them deserve their ranking, and this is one of them. I have a feeling that there will be further opportunities to comment on this song, so for now I’ll just reminisce back to the halcyon days of May 2007, when I watched the third season finale of Lost…I remember the chills I got when Charlie tried to rescue everyone by playing this tune on the keypad in the underwater station. (Yes, I am a geek. Why do you ask?)
2. ROY ORBISON, “ONLY THE LONELY”: I was surprised and gratified that Roy O. managed to get a song into the next round; somehow I doubt he’ll repeat that feat with this, his prototypical ballad.
3. PRETENDERS, “BRASS IN POCKET”: Chrissie Hynde rules. Unlike Debbie Harry (whom I also love), Chrissie seemed to be an actual art-punk, not an ingenue who happened to have a backing band with thin ties (of course, I’ll take Exene Cervenka over either one…see “Wild Thing,” above). Their s/t album was amazing, but the best song on it was “Precious.”
4. ABBA, “DANCING QUEEN”: I have some nostalgic affection for this one as one of my earliest radio memories, but this bracket is just not a good matchup for ABBA, Inc.

Re: Bracketology: Week 14

schleuse: It's not a flute, it's an ocarina!

Has anyone here ever heard the hilarious cover of "Wild Thing" from 1967 by "Senator Bobby"? The backstory is that Sen. Everett Dirksen had had an improbable hit single with a song called "Gallant Men", and a group of comedians made an answer record with the premise that Bobby Kennedy, wanting his own hit record, did "Wild Thing". The impersonation is brilliant and spot-on (think Mayor Quimby from THE SIMPSONS). Lead-in to the break: "Uh, uh, OK, Teddy, on the ocarina!"

Re: Bracketology: Week 14

1. The Rolling Stones, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” (1968) - Fantastic Stones song, although they do have much better material which is less acclaimed. But hey, that goes for almost every artist. Easy #1 in this bracket.
2. Fleetwood Mac, “Go Your Own Way” (1977) - I just realised what a fantastic song this is. Marvelous.
3. The Troggs, “Wild Thing” (1966) - One of countless covers, but the most wellknown and definitely best one. A classic.
4. Buddy Holly, “Peggy Sue” (1957) - Peggy Sue is quite enervating, but not good enough to beat the rest.

1. The Sugarhill Gang, “Rapper’s Delight” (1979) - Great hiphop, they made it popular and I don't think they were ever surpassed. Kudos.
2. The Four Tops, “Reach Out (I’ll Be There)” (1966) - This is just a fabulous song. When you manage to get a #7 place in the two years with the most acclaimed and popular songs ever, you can pat yourself on the back.
3. The Drifters, “There Goes My Baby” (1959) - It sounds a little too dated to my taste.
4. The Beatles, “She Loves You” (1963) - One of those overrated Beatles songs, it's just boring.

1. Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody” (1975) - I was raised learning this was the best song ever. It's considered that by most people of 40 and older in the Netherlands, and so my parents as well. As I got older I started to like other music better, but purely for sentimental sake I'm gonna put this #1 here.
2. R.E.M., “Radio Free Europe” (1981) - Fantastic R.E.M. song, I had a tough time choosing between Queen and R.E.M. but sentiment triumphed.
3. New Order, “Blue Monday” (1983) - A great song in a genre I don't appreciate that much. I can appreciate Shaun's sigh as Ed throws away his original record in 'Shaun of the Dead'.
4. The Flamingos, “I Only Have Eyes for You” (1959) - For me this will always be the sjibabsjibab song from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, for better or worse.

1. The Beach Boys, “Good Vibrations” (1966) - Absolutely deserving of all its praise. 26 takes, months of work, and recorded over a period of more than 6 months; all of that has come together in what I can only describe as perfection.
2. Pretenders, “Brass in Pocket” (1979) - Although I very much doubt that whatever order I put the other 3 in matters at all, I'm gonna give my opinion anyway. To stay with the TV/movie links, gotta love Scarlett Johansson singing this in 'Lost In Translation', or perhaps destroying is the better word. Even that can't ruin this great song though. That she's incredibly beautiful might have something to do with it too. The beautiful women always get away with stuff like that.
3. Roy Orbison, “Only the Lonely” (1960) - Powerful ballad, but not powerful enough to come even remotely close to Wilson's piece of perfection or even the Pretenders.
4. ABBA, “Dancing Queen” (1976) - Great pop song, but clearly the loser in this bracket.

Re: Bracketology: Week 14

Oh, man. Harold, you couldn't have known this, but you got me where it hurts--of course I should have known that was an ocarina.

Some years ago, in my previous life as a high school English teacher, I had to confiscate an ocarina from a student who wouldn't stop playing it during a class discussion of Kafka (don't worry, even though I was The Man, I returned it to him after class).

Oh, the song he was playing on his ocarina? "Iron Man," by Black Sabbath...I'll leave you to envision that.

(I haven't heard the RFK version of "Wild Thing," but I'll ask my brother about it--he's a connoisseur of Mort Sahl, Capitol Steps, and other topical comedy of that era.)

Re: Bracketology: Week 14

Come to think of it, Pomtidom, I probably had that Buffy episode in the back of my mind when I commented on the Flamingos...but I mentioned Lost in my "Good Vibrations" comment, and one genre-TV reference per week is probably enough...

Re: Bracketology: Week 14

True, we don't wanna come off as total nerds.

Re: Bracketology: Week 14

"(although, jonmarck, if you want to complain about “babbling,” it seems more apt here than for “Losing My Religion”)"

At least with Radio Free Europe they have the good taste to bury the useless lyrics. Not like Losing My Religion where they're front, center and unavoidable. I walk by crackheads every day on my way to school. I know what gibberish sounds like (and how easy it is to replicate).

Re: Bracketology: Week 14

1. The Rolling Stones, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” (1968) - I like all four songs but love none of them. (Looking ahead I see that the other three brackets are great.)
2. The Troggs, “Wild Thing” (1966) - First song I ever played on guitar. So sentimental value. Plus, is that a recorder solo? Cool.
3. Buddy Holly, “Peggy Sue” (1957) - I like Buddy but this one's a little too simple.
4. Fleetwood Mac, “Go Your Own Way” (1977) - This is a pretty good song, but in '77 I want something punk.

1. The Beatles, “She Loves You” (1963) - This is still super fresh and energetic after 44 years. Awesome track!
2. The Four Tops, “Reach Out (I’ll Be There)” (1966) - Maybe the quintessential Motown track? Better than most.
3. The Sugarhill Gang, “Rapper’s Delight” (1979) - Hard to believe that gangster rap evloved out of this fun and happy tune.
4. The Drifters, “There Goes My Baby” (1959) - Doesn't do much for me.

1. R.E.M., “Radio Free Europe” (1981) - Big sentimental favorite of mine, back in the college days. Innovative for its time. REM's very first single might be the best thing they ever put out.
2. The Flamingos, “I Only Have Eyes for You” (1959) - This is a beautiful piece of music. Used to great effect in American Grafitti. Really nice and interesting production/recording for the 50's.
3. New Order, “Blue Monday” (1983) - Great beat. You can dance to it.
4. Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody” (1975) - A fun gimmick, but a gimmick nonetheless. Wayne's World breathed a lot of new life into this one.

1. The Beach Boys, “Good Vibrations” (1966) - This is turning out to be a great week. This pop song has it all. Catchy, fresh, innovative.
2. Pretenders, “Brass in Pocket” (1979) - Chrissy's vocal is awesome, but something keeps bringing me back to Scarlett Johannsen's karaoke version in Lost In Translation.... hmmm?
3. ABBA, “Dancing Queen” (1976) - I always thought of ABBA as a guilty pleasure, but I guess I don't have to be guilty now. Great pop.
4. Roy Orbison, “Only the Lonely” (1960). This is a great fourth place song. I much prefer "In Dreams" which is way down at No. 581. Oh well. Fun week.

Re: Bracketology: Week 14

So its an ocarina. Good to know. And somebody already mentioned Scarlett. Oh well. I'm not trying to copy. So as not to prejudice my votes (or to get overly depressed by people hating the songs I like) I make my picks and comments before reading the others.

Re: Bracketology: Week 14

Bracket 53
1)Fleetwood Mac - Go Your Own Way:Polished song - one of those rare times when a blockbuster of an album is a classic
2)Rolling Stones - Jumping Jack Flash:Not quite sure why it's up at #35 but great hook and iconic for sure
3)The Troggs - Wild Thing:Great party song - never ever thought it would be the sort of song to get that high
4)Buddy Holly:Unfortunately,Buddy gets #4 - a legend,but one of his weaker songs that I've heard...

Bracket 54
1)The Four Tops - Reach Out I'll Be There:For me,the easy #1 of this bracket - something new for Motown with it's ambitious production using everything from flutes to arab drums
2)Sugarhill Gang - Rapper's Delight:Well pretty cheesy lyrics - but what do you expect - gets points for being the first hip-hop song of note
3)The Drifters - There Goes My Baby:Just sort of disorganized,notice that guy missing the low note at the start?
4)The Beatles - She Loves You:Can't really get behind early Beatles - this is no exception...

Bracket 55
1)Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody:My first favourite band and first favourite song - a masterpiece of guitar,vocals and production - must have been a real shock on first release
2)New Order - Blue Monday:Happened by accident while messing around with a drum machine - glad it happened. Great beat,would win most brackets probably for me...
3)The Flamingos - I Only Have Eyes For You:Great doo-wop song - can't say anything negative about it
4)REM - Radio Free Europe:I actually love that album,Murmur - I can get behind most of the songs on it,but for some reason,I never liked this one

Bracket 56
1)The Beach Boys - Good Vibrations:It's all been said - innovative,great vocals,production - of course,the #1 here
2)Abba - Dancing Queen:I never thought I'd back this - I used to hate them,but it's hard to resist - this is a sublime disco pop song
3)Roy Orbison - Only The Lonely:His vocals always leave me astounded - this is such a great song
4)Pretenders - Brass In Pocket:Good single - it's just competing with some killers

Re: Bracketology: Week 14

1. Buddy Holly, “Peggy Sue” (1957)This might be a moment of weakness – I was just listening to Robert Wyatt’s cover of Raining in My Heart and was struck for about the millionth time by it’s impossibly lovely melody, which got me to thinking about how Buddy Holly really is one of the true greats. All of which has led me to give Peggy Sue, a song I really don’t love too much, the nod over the (probably superior) Stones song below.
2. The Rolling Stones, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” (1968) You could write this off as just being a groove song, but what a groove. They pummel it until it is indelibly ensconced into your melon.
3. Fleetwood Mac, “Go Your Own Way” (1977) Lindsey Buckingham is my second-favourite Brian Wilson disciple (next to Sean O’Hagan of the High Llamas). This is a prime example of how music can be artistic, perfectly crafted, elegant and completely commercial.
4. The Troggs, “Wild Thing” (1966) I love primal, stupid music, but I can’t work up too much excitement about this track anymore.

1. The Four Tops, “Reach Out (I’ll Be There)” (1966) I’m going to be slightly inconsistent here. I’ve always maintained that I hate, despise, loathe melodramatic vocalists, and there are few vocalists more melodramatic than Levi Stubbs, but I absolutely worship at the man’s altar. Reach Out is a magnificent song given a completely enthralling performance – I don’t think there are very many pop singles more exhilarating, more thrilling than this one. It is one of the prime examples of why the 60s were such a miraculous era for popular music.
2. The Beatles, “She Loves You” (1963) It’s tricky, clever and totally fun – to this day I can still lose myself in its exuberance. What’s not to love?
3. The Drifters, “There Goes My Baby” (1959) I’m one of the people guilty of being a broken record about how I’m not too keen on pre-Beatles rock, but I’m a total sucker for sentimental records like this – especially if they feature a nice string arrangement.
4. The Sugarhill Gang, “Rapper’s Delight” (1979) Stuff like this is just not my thing, but at least this is fun and infectious. I wouldn’t cross the street to listen to it, but it doesn’t bother me too much when it’s playing.

1. The Flamingos, “I Only Have Eyes for You” (1959) That comment I made above about sentimental songs goes doubly for this one – the melody is just fucking beautiful, pardon my language.
2. New Order, “Blue Monday” (1983) It’s pretty neat slice of robot-pop. Does anyone else here aside from myself prefer the Beach (Blue Monday’s B-side remix) to the actual song?
3. R.E.M., “Radio Free Europe” (1981) It’s nice enough, and it certainly sounded like a breath of fresh air in the overly-programmed early ‘80s, but I still think their melodies and songwriting were uninspired by-the-books byrds-y jangle pop. The only thing really distinctive about them was that you couldn’t understand anything the vocalist was saying.
4. Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody” (1975) This is where my hatred of bombastic vocalists really comes into play. Queen’s music grates on me the way few others can.

1. The Beach Boys, “Good Vibrations” (1966) I don’t quite wet myself over this song or god only knows the way some others do (I’m a Surf’s Up/Sunflower man myself) but I’d have to be a total curmudgeon not to admit that this is pop music of the very highest caliber.
2. Roy Orbison, “Only the Lonely” (1960) Too bad this great song had to go up against Good Vibrations – it would be nice if an Orbison song could make it to the next round.
3. Pretenders, “Brass in Pocket” (1979) This is one of those tracks that can get me reaching for the repeat button multiple times. After a million plays over the years, it still gives me goose bumps if I hear it in the right context.
4. ABBA, “Dancing Queen” (1976) A really great pop melody, but this bracket is filled with greater pop melodies performed by superior artists.

Re: Bracketology: Week 14

I just realized that Pretty Woman made it to the next round, so my comments about Only the Lonely don't make a lot of sense with that in mind. Crackers, I wish we could edit our comments!

Re: Bracketology: Week 14

1- Buddy Holly, “Peggy Sue”
2- The Rolling Stones, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”
3- Fleetwood Mac, “Go Your Own Way”
4- The Troggs, “Wild Thing”

1- The Sugarhill Gang, “Rapper’s Delight”
2- The Beatles, “She Loves You”
3- The Four Tops, “Reach Out (I’ll Be There)”
4- The Drifters, “There Goes My Baby”

1- Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody”
2- New Order, “Blue Monday”
3- R.E.M., “Radio Free Europe”
4- The Flamingos, “I Only Have Eyes for You”

1- The Beach Boys, “Good Vibrations”
2- Pretenders, “Brass in Pocket”
3- ABBA, “Dancing Queen”
4- Roy Orbison, “Only the Lonely”

Re: Bracketology: Week 14

1. Fleetwood Mac, “Go Your Own Way” (1977)
2. The Troggs, “Wild Thing” (1966)
3. The Rolling Stones, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” (196
4. Buddy Holly, “Peggy Sue” (1957)

"Go Your Own Way" is some cool, sunny, catchy, infectious, windows down, wind-in-yer-hair sorta shit. Nice.

"Wild Thing" is kinda fun, if unspectacular.

"Jumpin' Jack Flash" I find pretty bland, for the Stones - but I can still get on board.

"Peggy Sue" is OK, but nowhere near the heights Buddy Holly so often reached.

1. The Beatles, “She Loves You” (1963)
2. The Four Tops, “Reach Out (I’ll Be There)” (1966)
3. The Sugarhill Gang, “Rapper’s Delight” (1979)
4. The Drifters, “There Goes My Baby” (1959)

The Beatles are king, and "She Loves You" is one of their definitive early-day statements of melody and power, yeah, yeah, yeah.

"Reach Out (I'll Be There)" is some fun, catchy shit. Great vocals, sound groove.

"Rapper's Delight" is pretty good, and certainly deserves props for bringing rap to the world's attention.

"There Goes My Baby" doesn't really do it for me.

1. Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody” (1975)
2. The Flamingos, “I Only Have Eyes for You” (1959)
3. New Order, “Blue Monday” (1983)
4. R.E.M., “Radio Free Europe” (1981)

Queen are a funny old band. The bulk of their albums are at least 70% disposable, yet based on the quality of their hits - "We Will Rock You", "We Are The Champions", "Killer Queen" et al - they have a remarkable body of work and more than live up to their Zeppelin-meets-Bowie aspirations.

No more so than on "Bohemian Rhapsody" - which is just incredible; both in its ambition and in its accomplishment. Sure, everyone's sick of it making it to #1 in reader polls and the like, but I stand by it! Deserves its dues.

"I Only Have Eyes For You" is a sweet, cosy little love song. You could snuggle right up to it.

"Blue Monday" is pretty cool. Synths sound pretty awful in the wrong hands, but New Order's hands are just right.

And finally: I love R.E.M., but "Radio Free Europe" is no classic. An enjoyable and unusual bit of college-rock, better melodies, lyrics and song-structures would be comin' round the corner.

1. The Beach Boys, “Good Vibrations” (1966)
2. Roy Orbison, “Only the Lonely” (1960)
3. Pretenders, “Brass in Pocket” (1979)
4. ABBA, “Dancing Queen” (1976)

The progressive classically-minded pop of "Good Vibrations" is sheer freaking heaven. Quite possibly The Beach Boys best moment - and The Beach Boys had a fuck-load of great moments.

"Only The Lonely" is cool - great performance, good tune, nice bit a strings. 'Avinit.

"Brass In Pocket" is pretty cool, too. I like it.

Abba I think are one of the most under-rated acts of all time - their way with a mix and a melody was just about peerless. "Dancing Queen" though, doesn't impress me the way so many of their songs do. It's OK, I can get on board with it - but for me it's in no way indicative of their best work, nor does it hold up well to the competition here. "Knowing Me Knowing You" might have climbed as high as #2 in this bracket.

Re: Bracketology: Week 14

1. The Flamingos, “I Only Have Eyes for You” (1959): After recently gaining an appreciation of doo-wop (and after considering the competition in this bracket), the perceived limb that I was going out on has turned into a fair-sized branch. True, the genre generated a lot of one-hit wonders (and way too many “bird groups” for its own good), but several good songs came out of it – this being one. The triplet piano pulse keeps the flow, while the haunting melody and harmonic variations (with obligatory nonsense syllables) make the song something special. (And the song only has one real chorus, oddly enough.) A standout track from the doo-wop genre.
2. Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody” (1975): Listening to this song (or most Queen songs for that matter), it’s really difficult to tell whether the group was more about experimentation or well-executed gimmicks. Given Mercury’s flair for the flamboyant, it’s hard not to assume the latter, but May and Mercury possessed admirable musical skill, so I’m tempted to give them the benefit of the doubt. So, in other words, full marks for a remarkable arrangement; but a deduction for walking a fine line of pretension and gimmick (and sometimes crossing it.) “Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the fandango?”… wtf?
3. R.E.M., “Radio Free Europe” (1981): Sorry schleuse – I’d love to hop aboard this train like I did for “Losing My Religion”, but I can’t. Personally, R.E.M. became a much more palatable group after they signed to Warner; I have trouble digesting anything I.R.S. and prior (but it’s certainly not for a lack of effort). Agree wholeheartedly with twister’s comments.
4. New Order, “Blue Monday” (1983): A neat little synth tune, but one that I wouldn’t have on my iPod.

Re: Bracketology: Week 14

Anthony, you may have noticed that my praise of "Radio Free Europe" was a little equivocal...I just went back to the Favorite R.E.M. Songs thread to confirm that, yes, it's not one of my ten favorites.

Whereas I would have been appalled if "Religion" hadn't won its bracket, it won't bother me too much if "Europe" doesn't (though all four songs in that group are within striking distance). I enjoy both the IRS and Warners periods, but it's the earlier stuff that really captured me in the first place (I still think that, as a unified whole, Chronic Town, their first EP, is better than any of their albums except Automatic). However, it's quite possible that there's a certain "you had to be there in 1983" aspect to the appeal of their first five albums (or that may just be nostalgia for my misspent youth).

(On a tangential note, when asked why the group signed with Warner Bros., Michael Stipe said "Bugs Bunny.")

And I may have ranked the Flamingos too low.

Re: Bracketology: Week 14

Yes, I see that "Europe" wasn't on your list, but I do see that "Orange Crush" made it. Perhaps a little irrelevant, but my previous band did quite a good cover of it; I was always quite proud of being able to duplicate Buck's tone on my Telecaster, especially the repeated, half-muted chord at the beginning. (My note-for-note solo wasn't half bad either.)

Thanks for the Stipe quote; I didn't know that. Here's something I just discovered - "Nightswimming" was written on the same piano used on the recording of "Layla". And speaking of which, Harold - thanks for the Jim Gordon reference in Week 7. I looked it up - sad story indeed.

Re: Bracketology: Week 14

1. Buddy Holly, “Peggy Sue” (1957): the best Buddy song in my opinion (along with other terrific ones as “That’ll Be the Day” or “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore”). Love the trotting rhythm (I don’t know if it’s correct in English, I mean like riding a horse not slowly but not fast). Love also the sweet melody, the hiccups, the overall feeling (happy but nostalgic).
2. The Rolling Stones, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” (1968): not the Stones best, but a great up-tempo number sustained by a Keith Richards guitar riff (it couldn’t be any other way).
3. Fleetwood Mac, “Go Your Own Way” (1977): I thought that a song like this one could not have been performed with the former lover doing backing vocals. And, yes, great guitar solo.
4. The Troggs, “Wild Thing” (1966): caveman-rock, isn’t it? Good one, but number four here.

1. The Beatles, “She Loves You” (1963): still fresh after more than 40 years, it was the very first number that launched Beatlemania. In Spain it gave name to the whole youth movement during the sixties: “los yeyés”.
2. The Sugarhill Gang, “Rapper’s Delight” (1979): and another very first number that launched and gave name to a style, hip hop. Really funny (rappers should have maintained that fun even addressing social concerns). Oddly, the repugnant Spanish song “Aserejé” is a joke about this one (“Aserejé” is an absurd spanization of the first line “I said a hip” . Las Ketchup deserved stoning to death but instead that they got number one not only in Spain but in England too. There’s no justice in the world.
3. The Four Tops, “Reach Out (I’ll Be There)” (1966): innovative arrangements for Motown standards.
4. The Drifters, “There Goes My Baby” (1959): never heard this one before, not bad at all.

1. Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody” (1975): I’m putting this song at #1 for sentimental reasons. “When I was a child / I had a fevers” (like the Pink Floyd song), I had a pneumonia that made me stay in bed for a long summer with few more things to do that listening to music. It was my initiation to music obsession, and I discovered then “A Night on the Opera” that was one of the first rock albums I really liked. I was an impressive child then, now I find the song and the album irritatingly pompous. As I said, it goes now to #1 but if it goes to next round, I’ll surely put it on #4 of any bracket.
2. The Flamingos, “I Only Have Eyes for You” (1959): I found this song when I was looking for songs with “eyes” in the title (see here). I liked a lot this particular one for its dreamy atmosphere. “Maybe millions of people go by / but they all disappear from view / and I only have eyes for you”
3. New Order, “Blue Monday” (1983): nice 80s synth-pop, nice drum beat, nice melody. Well, maybe only nice, not great.
4. R.E.M., “Radio Free Europe” (1981): haven’t heard the 1981 version, only know the “Murmur” version and I prefer 15 or 20 R.E.M. songs over this one.

1. The Beach Boys, “Good Vibrations” (1966): absolute masterpiece, so imaginative and full of talent. But I’ll ask a question (to myself). Why I consider “Bohemian Rhapsody” pompous and not this one? The purpose is the same, making something larger than life, bigger than a simple pop song. So why Brian Wilson succeed and not Mercury? I think the answer is maybe… genious.
2. ABBA, “Dancing Queen” (1976): a song and a band that was considered initially by many (including me) a disposable and banal product that had grown considerably in appreciation. Now I consider ABBA as pop wizards, with notable craft for creating pop gems.
3. Roy Orbison, “Only the Lonely” (1960): a trademark melodramatic ballad from Orbison. Sadly (and I’m no the only one thinking like that) we don’t have his best song in the tournament: “In Dreams”.
4. Pretenders, “Brass in Pocket” (1979): I don’t remember the exact quote but I’ve read somewhere that even Chrissie Hynde hated her “brass in pocket”. So, who am I to disagree?

Re: Bracketology: Week 14

A mistake: I wanted to say impressionable child and not impressive child. Sadly I've never been impressive, even in childhood

Re: Bracketology: Week 14

1. The Rolling Stones, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” (1968)
2. Fleetwood Mac, “Go Your Own Way” (1977)
3. Buddy Holly, “Peggy Sue” (1957)
4. The Troggs, “Wild Thing” (1966)

1. The Four Tops, “Reach Out (I’ll Be There)” (1966)
2. The Beatles, “She Loves You” (1963)
3. The Drifters, “There Goes My Baby” (1959)
4. The Sugarhill Gang, “Rapper’s Delight” (1979)

1. New Order, “Blue Monday” (1983)
2. Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody” (1975)
3. R.E.M., “Radio Free Europe” (1981)
4. The Flamingos, “I Only Have Eyes for You” (1959)

1. The Beach Boys, “Good Vibrations” (1966)
2. Pretenders, “Brass in Pocket” (1979)
3. ABBA, “Dancing Queen” (1976)
4. Roy Orbison, “Only the Lonely” (1960)

Re: Bracketology: Week 14

1. The Rolling Stones, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” (1968) - It's the Stones, it rocks, it's allright.
2. Fleetwood Mac, “Go Your Own Way” (1977) - The end is really great with all the guitars.
3. Buddy Holly, “Peggy Sue” (1957) - Nice drums.
4. The Troggs, “Wild Thing” (1966) - Wild song hasn't dated good.

1. The Beatles, “She Loves You” (1963) - Uplifting song, and so much more to come from them..
2. The Four Tops, “Reach Out (I’ll Be There)” (1966) - This song is sweet.
3. The Drifters, “There Goes My Baby” (1959) - A bit old, but enjoyable.
4. The Sugarhill Gang, “Rapper’s Delight” (1979) - Let them boys rap, whatever. Please stop calling this acclaimed.

1. New Order, “Blue Monday” (1983) - One of the highlights of the eighties. Great use of the drum computer.
2. R.E.M., “Radio Free Europe” (1981) - This song promised great REM songs to come.
3. Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody” (1975) - Great rhapsody of great songs.
4. The Flamingos, “I Only Have Eyes for You” (1959) - I must say it's an original song.

1. The Beach Boys, “Good Vibrations” (1966) - Easy choice.
2. Roy Orbison, “Only the Lonely” (1960) - Sweet song, beautiful.
3. ABBA, “Dancing Queen” (1976) - I'm getting more and more tired of Abba.
4. Pretenders, “Brass in Pocket” (1979) - Nothing special.

Re: Bracketology: Week 14

Attention : I am talkative today


1. Fleetwood Mac, “Go Your Own Way” (1977) **** : It was tight with Buddy, but the guitar solo in the end made the difference. Great pop-rock sound, radio-friendly but with those terrific guitar parts.
2. Buddy Holly, “Peggy Sue” (1957) *** : A lot of people love Buddy, but he’s not one of my favorites, I don’t like his voice, but there’s a good guitar solo on that one, and it’s original as far as a 50s song could be..
3. The Rolling Stones, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” (1968) *** Good bass line, the bass does it all in this song, but the rest is rather dull
4. The Troggs, “Wild Thing” (1966) *** : Why the ocarina ? it’s absurd and comes as an hair on the soup, like we Frenchmen say. Of course, Hendrix version is superior...


1. The Sugarhill Gang, “Rapper’s Delight” (1979) ***** : I love old time country, old time blues,old time rnr, roots reggae and old school rap. When I was 10, a guy I don’t remember gave me a pile of 45rpm he had no use in anymotre. Among them : Honesty, We will rock you/we are the champions, Video Kills the radio stars and... Rapper’s delight. I kept listening to those records. But I’m refering to the 14’38’’ version; it’s a masterpiece : what I understand of the lyrics is funny, exuberant, and the rhythm and bass line are killers
2. The Four Tops, “Reach Out (I’ll Be There)” (1966) **** : could have been first in another bracket (let’s say, the previous) : what a production, and what a chorus ! (I like the bass break just before the chorus)
3. The Beatles, “She Loves You” (1963) *** : good, but doesn’t match the 2 others
4. The Drifters, “There Goes My Baby” (1959) *** : it’s supposed to be a breakthrough in doo-wop and soul history : the first time a doo-wop group used a string section. But the song is by no way original


1. Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody” (1975)**** : Queen celebrate their own pomposity , like they say at AMG. They start with a wonderful melody (yesterday I listened to Rufus Wainwright’s first album, a pure masterpiece, based on the same opera influences, very similar to these first minutes), and then add a little hard rock and operette, all in the same track. A weird collage makes a number one in a relatively week bracket.
2. The Flamingos, “I Only Have Eyes for You” (1959) **** : Those harmonies (and the production too) are a definitive influence on the Beach Boys. Very fine and subtle for a 50’s track.
3. R.E.M., “Radio Free Europe” (1981) **: I didn’t know REM had sounded like this in the past, so post-punk. Note that Peter Buck is picking (not strumming like a punkrocker) on what sounds like a Rickenbaker, which makes this weird sound and this strange mixture of Byrds/post punk. I’m not gonna say I love it and I don’t think I’ll listen to it again, but I have to admit it’s innovant, if not ear-friendly for me.
4. New Order, “Blue Monday” (1983) ** : precursors of the electro scene, they just created a sound that was used and overused in the 80’s, for the worst sometimes. Now, speaking subjectivly : I don’t like, given that the only thing I love is Peter Hooks bass, here absent; the rest just scares me, so damn cold, so unhuman (I was a teenager in those times, unlucky me)

Attention : this one is in reverse

4. Pretenders, “Brass in Pocket” (1979) **: In France we call that music “rock FM” because it is so reminiscent of radio dtations in the 80’s. Not bad but nothing special to me.
3. ABBA, “Dancing Queen” (1976) *** : I like it. Reminds me of a party thrown by a 65 year old Dutch friend of mine near Alkmaar. All of these bearded and long haired old men and women (unbearded) dancing on Abba and drinking liters of Heineken. A great party.
2. Roy Orbison, “Only the Lonely” (1960)***** : Not my favorite RO song, but close to it. I have 2 versions of this song which are 28 years apart : the original (1960), and a live version from the “A Black and White Night” album (198 . The second is a bit slower, but Roy has the same voice, even better, a little less innocent. That’s why I prefer this second version. Those songs are the quintessence of adolescent romantism, of the clean of heart (and sexually frustrated), the good-natured, the idealists, bound to lose against the adapted (hope my Frenh English is poetic but I’m not sure). That’s why I loved Roy when I was 20, and why I am moved by the older Roy singing the same song at 52 with this slight change in his voice, bearing all of his (painful) history (take an look at his biography if you don’t know it), but still there.
1. The Beach Boys, “Good Vibrations” (1966)***** : Once again, 2 of the 3 best songs of the week in the same bracket. This song has the most beautiful break ever, at 2’14.The end is pure pop perfection. And guess what ? This time the later version (the one on SMILE) is definitely inferior. Even if I love RO, and because I have to give a nb 1, I have to admit GV is really superior musically speaking. A pocket symphony.

Re: Bracketology: Week 14

Honorio, you're damn right about "In Dreams" !
I'm in too. This one is my favorite Roy Orbison song (along with "In the real world" (funny, no ?), on the 1989 album)

Re: Bracketology: Week 14

Because of David Lynch I will never hear that song the same. It is hands down the best Roy Orbison song though.

Re: Bracketology: Week 14

I heard numerous times about that moment in Blue Velvet, and the worst part of that is that I can't remember that moment in the film (although when I saw it, I already knew the song). I have to rent it asap !

Re: Bracketology: Week 14

1. The Rolling Stones, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” (1968) – One of my all-time favorite Stones tracks, a propulsive and combustibly exciting single driven, for once, by Bill Wyman’s bassline as much as Keith’s prototypically dirt-encrusted riffing. If this was Jimmy Miller’s test run to gauge his suitability as their new producer, I think he passed. Even after all these years and endless airplay, it’s a … well, you know.
2. Fleetwood Mac, “Go Your Own Way” (1977) – Lindsey Buckingham’s finest hour would have won most other brackets. His kiss-off to Stevie (well, the best of many, at least) is a brilliantly arranged and performed hard-rock track quite unlike anything else in Mac’s catalog, with fiery guitar fills and solos underpinned by Mick’s spectacularly weird drum pattern.
3. Buddy Holly, “Peggy Sue” (1957) – Early rock minimalism at its finest, with Jerry Allison’s drums sounding like a rhino stampede as heard from a thousand miles away and a startling all-chords guitar solo that chimes in out of nowhere.
4. The Troggs, “Wild Thing” (1966) – Unlike some commenters here, I love this record (I mean, talk about minimalism), and it’s a testament to how strong this bracket is that I’m still placing it last.

1. The Four Tops, “Reach Out (I’ll Be There)” (1966) – How the super-cool Motown style managed to accommodate an over-the-top melodramatist like Levi Stubbs is a mystery, but accommodate him it did and then some, particularly on this perfect record. H-D-H had an innate sense of how to write for all the label’s stars, and for my money the Tops’ string of hits from this period (all of which appear on REACH OUT) are their finest work.
2. The Beatles, “She Loves You” (1963) – Everything great about the early Beatles condensed into one concentrated 2+-minute blast. Fairly sophisticated subject matter, too – a love song sung by a neutral third party (the same guy, probably, who later wised up in “You’re Going to Lose That Girl”).
3. The Drifters, “There Goes My Baby” (1959) – A groundbreaking record at the time for the way it layered a string arrangement on an R&B ballad. Now it just sounds like another ballad with strings on it, but trust me, in 1959 no one knew what to make of this.
4. The Sugarhill Gang, “Rapper’s Delight” (1979) – Another groundbreaker. Still holds up fine, but it’s #4 here.

1. Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody” (1975) – I like to say that my preferred cell-phone ringtone would be “Bohemian Rhapsody” – the entire song. If what you have to say is so important, you’ll be willing to wait 5:55 to say it. All (lame) joking aside, I love every bombastic, cheesy second of this record, down to the final gong. It’s just filled to bursting with instantly memorable melodies and hooks, brilliantly flamboyant guitar work, and unparalleled weirdness for an actual hit single (twice over, thanks to Mike Myers). Scaramouche! Galileo! Magnifico!
2. R.E.M., “Radio Free Europe” (1981) – The date indicates that this is the original single version we’re talking about, but on most polls it’s probably interchangeable with the album re-recording most people know. The single’s more energetic, the album track’s better produced, Bill Berry drives both brilliantly, and in any version it’s a wonderful intro to a great band.
3. The Flamingos, “I Only Have Eyes for You” (1959) – My pick as the quintessential doo-wop (or, in this case, doo-vop-sha-bop) ballad, a smooth and beautiful reinvention of a standard. The moment where they sing, “But they all disappear … from VIEWWW …” never fails to send chills up my spine.
4. New Order, “Blue Monday” (1983) – How does it feel/To be last in a bracket/Despite how good you are/Just not as good as all the others? Well, they probably would have expected as much.

1. The Beach Boys, “Good Vibrations” (1966) – Well, really, at this point what more needs to be said? I’ll just add this: I realize that Brian had to re-make it on SMILE, for completeness’ sake, but since there was no possible way it could be as good as the original, maybe he should have just included it as is. It takes you out of the otherwise magical world constructed on that album, because you can’t help but hear the perfect original alongside it in your head.
2. ABBA, “Dancing Queen” (1976) – Bjorn and Benny’s icy Scandinavian popcraft at its zenith, a soaring track that approximates how the Wall of Sound might have developed if Spector a) had any appreciation for synthesizers and b) hadn’t gone bonkers.
3. Roy Orbison, “Only the Lonely” (1960) – The single that instantly transformed the Big O from potential rockabilly has-been to unlikely master of high pop drama. Sure, those crescendos are a bit much (OK, a lot much), but the point is that he puts them across. He believes every word, and you do, too.
4. Pretenders, “Brass in Pocket” (1979) – The debut is one of my favorite albums, but the hit single is one of my least favorite tracks on it. Who would rather hear this song than either of the two magnificent tracks which follow it and end the album (particularly “Lovers of Today”, which may be the most underrated song ever)?

Re: Bracketology: Week 14

It's not really a shock, it's just creepy.

Re: Bracketology: Week 14

For reasons given in another post, I haven't got time to think much about bracketology this week, but here are my rankings with some quick comments.

1. The Troggs, “Wild Thing” (1966) - The Troggs weren't a garage rock band, right?, but this is a great garage rock song.
2. Buddy Holly, “Peggy Sue” (1957) - Unique rhythm
3. Fleetwood Mac, “Go Your Own Way” (1977) - I don't get why this song gets all the love from "Rumours". Every other song is just as good.
4. The Rolling Stones, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” (1968) - Overrated

1. The Beatles, “She Loves You” (1963) - My favourite early Beatles song. Hits me immediately.
2. The Four Tops, “Reach Out (I’ll Be There)” (1966) - Fabulous Motown
3. The Drifters, “There Goes My Baby” (1959) - Way behind the top duo here.
4. The Sugarhill Gang, “Rapper’s Delight” (1979) - Has very little to offer beyond "being first".

1. The Flamingos, “I Only Have Eyes for You” (1959) - My favourite doo wop song
2. New Order, “Blue Monday” (1983) - Amazing synth rhythm. I used to have this song in a lot of different versions.
3. Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody” (1975) - One of those songs that "have everything". Could have won a different bracket.
4. R.E.M., “Radio Free Europe” (1981) - Great early REM and still not even near #1-3

1. The Beach Boys, “Good Vibrations” (1966) - Save my comments.
2. ABBA, “Dancing Queen” (1976) - Heja Sverige!
3. Roy Orbison, “Only the Lonely” (1960) - Great pop, but not as special as Beach Boys and ABBA.
4. Pretenders, “Brass in Pocket” (1979) - I don't get all the love of Pretenders.

Re: Bracketology: Week 14

Close bracket all around.
1. Fleetwood Mac, “Go Your Own Way” - The ultimate breakup song, and an exciting fusion of rock and pop.
2. Buddy Holly, “Peggy Sue” - A great blast of early rock 'n' roll, and Holly's signature tune.
3. The Rolling Stones, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” - Love the guitars and Jagger's indecipherable singing.
4. The Troggs, “Wild Thing” - If it was good enough for Hendrix to cover live, it's good enough for me. Just not good enough to be higher than No. 4 in this bracket.

Easy to rank bracket.
1. The Beatles, “She Loves You” - Perhaps my favorite pre-Rubber Soul Beatles song.
2. The Four Tops, “Reach Out (I’ll Be There)” - Beautifully executed Motown. Nice harmonies.
3. The Sugarhill Gang, “Rapper’s Delight” - It's fun, and may have started a genre, but some things come from humble beginnings.
4. The Drifters, “There Goes My Baby” - Doesn't strike me as all that great. Merely good.

One of the weakest brackets ever.
1. R.E.M., “Radio Free Europe” - Erm, how does this song win a bracket? Well, it's good, but really the competition is weak.
2. New Order, “Blue Monday” - Synthy, synthy synth. I don't have a problem with that, but listening to the Best of New Order, it's clear they have a lot of better songs.
4. The Flamingos, “I Only Have Eyes for You” - Pretty song, but it's a little over sentimental for me.
4. Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody” - This song is so over-the-top outragious I can't even take it seriously. Kind of like the movie that made it famous all over again, "Wayne's World." They're both fun, but let's not get carried away with how "good" they actually are.

Three great songs and ABBA.
1. The Beach Boys, “Good Vibrations” - Went back to listen to this song again to see if it's really all that good. Ended up listening to it four times in a row. Yes, it's that fucking good.
2. Pretenders, “Brass in Pocket” - I love the cool vibe and Chrissie's attitude. Not necessarily better than No. 3, but personally I like to listen to it better.
3. Roy Orbison, “Only the Lonely” - Best Orbison track, but I'm not a big fan.
4. ABBA, “Dancing Queen” - Despite my earlier comment, I'm not really a ABBA hater. This is a decent slice of glossy pop, but come on, it doesn't hold a candle to the rest in this bracket.