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Bracketology Round 2: Week 4

Wow, that went fast…here are the last four brackets of the second round.

Ballots due midnight, Saturday, November 3.

19. Marvin Gaye, “What’s Goin’ On”
51. Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, “The Tracks of My Tears”
83. Guns ‘n’ Roses, “Sweet Child ‘O’ Mine”
115. Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Fortunate Son”

3. The Beach Boys, “Good Vibrations”
35. The Rolling Stones, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”
62. Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody”
99. The Beatles, “She Loves You”

43. OutKast, “Hey Ya!”
118. The Who, “Won’t Get Fooled Again”
150. The Beatles, “Penny Lane”
182. The Smiths, “How Soon Is Now?”

6. Otis Redding, “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay”
27. Michael Jackson, “Billie Jean”
38. The Beatles, “Hey Jude”
187. Billie Holiday, “Strange Fruit”

These are, obviously, the winners from weeks 13-16 from round one.

Coming attractions: As is the custom, I’ll post the results on Sunday, November 4. After that, the schedule changes a bit: on Monday the 5th, balloting will open for the sweet 16 and will remain open for a little over a week.

Enough preliminaries…time to finish filling out the sweet 16.

Re: Bracketology Round 2: Week 4

1. Guns ‘n’ Roses, “Sweet Child ‘O’ Mine” - The greatest song from the greatest debut album of all time. Bloody brilliant.
2. Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Fortunate Son” - Great song from the greatest band that never reached the #1 place on Billboard's charts.
3. Marvin Gaye, “What’s Goin’ On” - It dropped a spot since the last update, and it's moving in the right direction. This song doesn't belong in the first 50. It's great, but not that great.
4. Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, “The Tracks of My Tears” - I must have mentioned Platoon in my previous comment, but that doesn't make it any better competition for the 3 other songs. Shame Live Forever didn't make it

1. The Beach Boys, “Good Vibrations” - I was listening to this just now, and my 2-year-old nephew comes walking in and starts 'dancing' or whatever that was. Heh, guess that proves it. A classic for young and old.
2. The Rolling Stones, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” - Jumpin' Jack the gardener. This song turns a smile on every face. And if it doesn't on yours, you can go to hell. Here we go schleuse: It's a gas, gas, gas!
3. Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody” - This is about as far as my sentiment is willing to take this song. No sweet 16 for Mercury and the gang.
4. The Beatles, “She Loves You” - Yawn, another boring Beatles song that made it to the next round.

1. The Who, “Won’t Get Fooled Again” - I'm very glad at least one song from The Who made it to the next round. Just a few spots away from my favorite 3 The Who songs (I won't name them Anthony!), this song deserves being in the final 16.
2. The Beatles, “Penny Lane” - Here's a Beatles song that deserves its acclaim. The horns, the flute, the brilliant lyrics, they all come together into a great song. "Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes/There beneath the blue suburban skies.."
3. The Smiths, “How Soon Is Now?” - A nice song, but not that special and definitely no match for the two (to bring a new word Moonbeam taught me into practice) behemoths in this bracket.
4. OutKast, “Hey Ya!” - Ya.. whatever.

1. Michael Jackson, “Billie Jean” - I honestly don't care about whatever Michael Jackson does right now, has done in the past or will do in the future. And I think most people do, when they hear this song. Pure brilliance. I would like him to make music again though, but I guess (judging by his performance, if you can call it that, at the World Music Awards) that's not very likely.
2. Otis Redding, “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay” - Obviously way too high, but still quite an accomplishment. Shame he died so young, great perfomer.
3. Billie Holiday, “Strange Fruit” - Deserving of winning the competition between the pre-1950s songs, but not that great.
4. The Beatles, “Hey Jude” - Better than this though. Too long, and only 'nice'. Which is not nearly enough to go on in this round.

And that's it for this round already, it went by fast indeed.

Re: Bracketology Round 2: Week 4

Touché, Neoptolemos.

My love for the Fab Four is revealed fully in this week’s brackets...

1. GUNS ‘N’ ROSES, “SWEET CHILD ‘O’ MINE”: A perfect blend of Slash's creamy Les Paul riffage with Axl's charming nostalgic lyrics resulted in the LA hair-metal groups' first and only #1 hit. Since it’s something of an FM radio staple, I can't see myself ever needing to hear it on my iPod, but it's still a great rock/pop tune nonetheless. And in a mixed bag of a bracket, it’s number one here.
2. CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL, “FORTUNATE SON”: Two minutes of raw and disaffected crunch that's practically punk rock. (yoink!)
3. MARVIN GAYE, “WHAT’S GOING ON”: A remarkable performance, but I’m not as enchanted by this song as I used to be. I attribute that to the constant barrage of clichéd “universal love” messages, preached through songs and recent benefit concerts. An admirable message, yes, but philanthropy isn’t my thing.
4. SMOKEY ROBINSON & THE MIRACLES, “THE TRACKS OF MY TEARS”: Not the best Motown I've ever heard, and likely only in this round because nobody bothered to show up for Week 13.

1. THE BEATLES, “SHE LOVES YOU”: The first track from the first piece of recorded music that I ever owned (Beatles - 20 Greatest Hits; Christmas 1988.) As H. Wexler noted, this song contains everything great about early Beatles.
2. THE BEACH BOYS, “GOOD VIBRATIONS”: At the risk of being the black sheep in what could possibly turn into another round of unanimity, I'm placing this one second. Wilson's studio mindf**kery is impressive, no question, but my problem with this song – confirmed by my most recent listen - is a lack of flow. It sounds as if different ideas from different days were thrown together; which isn't a bad thing when the pieces fit nicely with each other, but in this case the song's pieces are too distinct and the transitions too abrupt - especially at the bridge at 2’13”. So, by the time the chorus returns 40 seconds later, I’ve lost interest. ADD? Maybe. But the common denominator of my favorite songs is flow (think: U2’s “One”, REM’s “Religion”); songs that gradually build momentum without any meandering. Wilson’s studio genius comes at a cost of losing my interest before the song is over, which takes away from the overall experience. Hence, second place.
3. QUEEN, “BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY”: This one, however, keeps me entertained until the end - even with the detours. But it’s way too cheeseball to deserve a top 16 placement.

1. THE BEATLES, “PENNY LANE”: Initially I had “Hey Ya!” in this place, but after some consideration, this one shuffled its way to the top. Like damosuzuki noted in round #1, it’s nice to hear a McCartney-penned Beatles tune free of Lennon’s avant-garde influence. Wins the battle of the A-sides, for me anyway.
2. THE WHO, “WON’T GET FOOLED AGAIN”: Give props for creativity here: Townshend's collected heartbeat and brain-rhythm data from test subjects (from his abandoned Lifehouse project) which he then converted into numerical patterns, resulted in the song's stunning synth riff. One of the most remarkable songs in the Who catalogue, born of a musician equal parts nerdy, bizarre and genius.
3. OUTKAST, “HEY YA!”: On the surface it’s an ass-shaking jam session from a double-album reeking of self-indulgence. Look a bit deeper, and beyond the whirlwind everything-but-the-kitchen-sink production is great unreserved songwriting about sex, love and heartbreak. It dropped from #1 to #3 here because I feel that the dust hasn’t quite settled around this one yet. We'll have to wait and see if this song is regarded as highly in ten years.
4. THE SMITHS, “HOW SOON IS NOW?”: B-side makes good on this tremolo-injected, theatrical period-piece courtesy of Marr/Moz. The schtick gets annoying though.

BRACKET P: A brutally difficult decision between #1 and #2...
1. THE BEATLES, “HEY JUDE”: I'm not exactly sure where my head was when I sat down to comment on this song in Week 16, but I came off sounding like I hate this song, which couldn’t be further from the truth. This is actually one of my favorite Beatles songs, and yet another track from my first Beatles cassette. I'm giving it the top spot here because if (for some reason) I had to choose between taking either this or "Billie Jean" to a desert island, after much personal torment, I'd choose this.
2. MICHAEL JACKSON, “BILLIE JEAN”: A tense, hypnotic melt of razor-edged percussion with sexual lies and fear. Not to mention, the cornerstone of an album that jumped the wall between black and white pop.
3. BILLIE HOLIDAY, “STRANGE FRUIT”: The subject matter is unnerving as hell, the performance is stunning and I still can't imagine the reaction it provoked 70 years ago when Billie first sang it. I’d have no problem at all if this made it to the third round, though I suppose I’m not helping its cause much. But with the two gems above it, that task is damn near impossible.
4. OTIS REDDING, “SITTIN’ ON THE DOCK OF THE BAY”: I laced into this song pretty good in the first round, but I stand by every word. This is music to dust your bookshelves to.

What's Going On?

Hey are you guys taking the piss?
What's Going On is class boys

Re: Bracketology Round 2: Week 4

BRACKET M: Hmmm..I didn’t pick any of these songs in round one.
1. GUNS ‘N’ ROSES, “SWEET CHILD ‘O’ MINE”: I’m very surprised to be picking this first. I had it as a (strong) #4 in round one, I don’t normally care for metal, and GnR have five or six other tracks I like better (generally in their urban-apocalypse mode). But, despite the extremely trite lyrics, this is just the best song in the group and a powerful performance.
2. MARVIN GAYE, “WHAT’S GOIN’ ON”: Preferable to “Grapevine,” certainly. I’m a bigger fan of the music than the lyrics (enough with “right on,” already), but Marvin’s performance is, as always, undeniably rich.
3. CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL, “FORTUNATE SON”: It’s a good song, and yes, it’s painfully topical again…but for the current war, I think I’ll stick with Green Day’s “Holiday.”
4. SMOKEY ROBINSON & THE MIRACLES, “THE TRACKS OF MY TEARS”: Here’s another one which is a fantastic vocal over a relatively humdrum song.

1. THE BEACH BOYS, “GOOD VIBRATIONS”: There are only a handful of songs where the brilliance of the arrangement is more important than the song itself; this is one. Anthony, I take your point about the abrupt transitions, but as my engineer friends would say, "That's not a design flaw; it's a feature."
2. THE BEATLES, “SHE LOVES YOU”: Present at the creation. Musically superior to “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” this song wonderfully conveys the charge of early Beatlemania—something which is almost impossible to grasp 44 years later, in the world Beatlemania created.
3. THE ROLLING STONES, “JUMPIN’ JACK FLASH”: Although I don’t love it as much as I used to, this is still the song that first sold me on the Stones. In their catalog, it’s near the top, but doesn’t have quite enough oomph to get to the level of “Gimme Shelter” and “Sympathy for the Devil.”
4. QUEEN, “BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY”: A slab of good kitschy fun which, in its day, confused a lot of people who should have realized that it’s basically a novelty song. It must be one of the greatest ironies of rock history that in the 70s there were a lot of nervous homophobes who, on the one hand, hated the gay overtones of disco, while simultaneously treating this song (which is about a million times gayer than "Stayin' Alive") like it was the frickin' Holy Grail.

1. OUTKAST, “HEY YA!”: Not only musically adventurous, but more fun than a barrel of butterflies and a bucket of mud. Easy #1 in this bracket.
2. THE SMITHS, “HOW SOON IS NOW?”: I was too harsh on this one last round. Yeah, Moz is irritating, but he sure as hell can write songs when he wants to.
3. THE WHO, “WON’T GET FOOLED AGAIN”: Come to think of it, this might be more topical in 2007 than “Fortunate Son.” One of the classic moments of live rock occurred during a performance of this song, during which Keith Moon, having overestimated his tolerance for horse tranquilizers, passed out…he was eventually replaced on drums for the rest of the concert by an audience member. (While I’m on the subject, a trivia question: Moon was supposed to have appeared in a movie, but died before filming began. What was the movie?)
4. THE BEATLES, “PENNY LANE”: Technically very accomplished, but the whole carnivalesque thing is a turnoff for me. Paul did better. Often. (See below, for instance.)

1. BILLIE HOLIDAY, “STRANGE FRUIT”: In a stronger bracket, I might not have picked it, just because it’s such an anomaly in the tournament. But I can’t put any of the other three songs ahead of Lady Day’s searing performance with a straight face. By the way, this actually got to #16 on the charts, despite censorship by radio networks (MUCH more powerful in 1939) and record companies.
2. THE BEATLES, “HEY JUDE”: I had it at #3 until I heard Paul’s Little Richard shrieks during the outro. That’s worth an extra point right there.
3. MICHAEL JACKSON, “BILLIE JEAN”: I was the lone holdout on this one last time, and I’m not coming on board now. Nothing wrong with it—and, as Honorio said in round one, let’s praise Quincy Jones’ production—but I don’t think it’s THAT special.
4. OTIS REDDING, “DOCK OF THE BAY”: I can’t do better than to slightly rephrase what I said last time: I wouldn’t trade any of the tracks on Otis Blue for this song.

Personal bracketology picks: Ever Fallen in Love? (by a nose over Cannonball and Live Forever), Good Vibrations, Hey Ya!, Blitzkrieg Bop.

Re: Bracketology Round 2: Week 4

1. Marvin Gaye, “What’s Goin’ On” – Can’t vote against song with backing vocals sung by members of the Detroit Lions football team (Mel Farr and Lem Barney).
2. Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Fortunate Son” - strong
3. Guns ‘n’ Roses, “Sweet Child ‘O’ Mine” – Great riff, but sick of it.
4. Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, “The Tracks of My Tears” – Too maudlin

1. The Beach Boys, “Good Vibrations” – pop genius
2. The Beatles, “She Loves You” – Very vibrant, but a smidge dated
3. Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody” – I was too harsh in round 1, still not a favorite against this competition
4. The Rolling Stones, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” - gas

BRACKET O – I really like all four.
1. The Who, “Won’t Get Fooled Again” – A sentimental choice, perhaps. First concert was Who in ‘82
2. The Beatles, “Penny Lane” – Nobody else like the Beatles, even still, because of songs like this
3. The Smiths, “How Soon Is Now?” – Johnny Marr
4. OutKast, “Hey Ya!” – My all-time favorite fourth place song.

BRACKET P – a powerhouse bracket
1. The Beatles, “Hey Jude” – Better melody than Billie Jean
2. Michael Jackson, “Billie Jean” – melody beats rhythm
3. Billie Holiday, “Strange Fruit” – another powerhouse, but I think she has better musical output elsewhere.
4. Otis Redding, “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay” – Good soul song, distant 4th

Personal would be same four.

Re: Bracketology Round 2: Week 4

1. Guns ‘n’ Roses, “Sweet Child ‘O’ Mine” - One of the self-contained power ballads that became G'n'f'n'R's meal ticket. Good guitar work, lots of wailing.
2. Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Fortunate Son” - A smartly-written protest song but too blue collar to ever really impress.
3. Marvin Gaye, “What’s Goin’ On” - This song was always too scattered for me to enjoy. I like tight Motown, not drifty Motown.
4. Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, “The Tracks of My Tears” - We could've had Live Forever instead of this snoozer! Now Sweet Child 'O' Mine is going to be in the sweet 16.

1. Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody” - The holy grail for rock vocalists. Freddie Mercury proved why he was the best singer of the century in this multi-layered masterpiece.
2. The Beach Boys, “Good Vibrations” - Extra marks just for integrating a theremin. Another song with an incredible vocal arrangement.
3. The Rolling Stones, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” - The Stones doing what the Stones do best. Heavy riffs and snappy choruses. Now if only Jagger would stop shaking those hips.
4. The Beatles, “She Loves You” - Cool chorus but other than that typical early Beatles.

1. The Who, “Won’t Get Fooled Again” - YEAHHHHHHHHHH! The song that shows why rock 'n' roll will never die.
2. The Beatles, “Penny Lane” - Between the two nostalgia songs this one is my favourite. It's got sharper recording and a tighter arrangement than Strawberry Fields.
3. OutKast, “Hey Ya!” - It's good to see hip hop reaching for musical complexity. Now if only other rappers would pick up where Andre 3000 left off.
4. The Smiths, “How Soon Is Now?” - Morrissey's only bearable moment still can't hold a candle to the above.

1. Michael Jackson, “Billie Jean” - A slick Motown groove matched with Jackson's contemporary synth beats. The prechorus to end all prechoruses. I have to drop what I'm doing, stretch one arm and point in the air each time I hear it.
2. The Beatles, “Hey Jude” - Epic Beatles. They rarely tried power anthems. Considering how great this song is one wonders why.
3. Otis Redding, “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay” - The reason why this song is so acclaimed is because few expected it. They also didn't expect the plane crash that would turn this into his swan song.
4. Billie Holiday, “Strange Fruit” - I think the most I'll ever be able to do is appreciate this song from a distance. It doesn't mean too much to me.

Re: Bracketology Round 2: Week 4

BRACKET M- Tough bracket. Nothing that would make my top ten, but all really good songs.
1. Guns ‘n’ Roses, “Sweet Child ‘O’ Mine”- The one shining moment in hair metal. There were many faint glimmering moments, but this is the only one that can stand up there with the greats.
2. Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, “The Tracks of My Tears”- I love the intro, but what really makes this song great is the whole. It just flows together so perfectly.
3. Marvin Gaye, “What’s Goin’ On”- It's great commentary, but it doesn't sound that affected to me. If I wasn't listening to the lyrics I'd have no idea he was agonizing. But the lyrics are good.
4. Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Fortunate Son”- This is the only CCR hit I really cared much about in high school: Now it's the one I listen to the least.

BRACKET N- See bracket M
1. The Beatles, “She Loves You”- Not my favorite Beatles, but it beats the rest by
2. Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody”- This should be interesting to see how the epic Queen song does against the big three. If there were a Brit-pop song thrown in as a 5th, we might have had to set up an AM help line.
3. The Beach Boys, “Good Vibrations”- I think this song is really corny but I like it enough.
4. The Rolling Stones, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”- I don't really like this song all that much but it is one of their straight up rockers that I can stand behind. This and Tumbling Dice.

1. The Smiths, “How Soon Is Now?”- I'm so tired of the Smiths right now. Morrissey is one of those voices that you love one week and then loathe the next. At least for me. Anyway, I'm not going to let that take away anything from this great song. Because, I'm sure one of these weeks I'll love it again.
2. The Beatles, “Penny Lane”- It's the Beatles and they can make anything sound good, but it really sounds like a reminiscing song. At least the Kinks could reminisce in a modern way.
3. OutKast, “Hey Ya!”- I would love to hear what Andre thinks about the mass appeal of this song. Is it a great song? Sure. Is it the best hip-hop song of all time? No way.
4. The Who, “Won’t Get Fooled Again”- Arena era Who doesn't interest me at all.

1. Michael Jackson, “Billie Jean”- Everything about this song is perfect.
2. Otis Redding, “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay”- It's too bad it's going against Billie Jean because I could have easily moved this into the next round. Just like Waterloo Sunset (but not quite as good) with relaxing, couldn't give a care about anything lyrics. Except maybe loneliness...
3. The Beatles, “Hey Jude”- I know everyone loves those na-na-na's and it's fun to sing to at a party or whatever, but this song would be one of the best ever if they just wrote some kind of an ending for it rather than a big old coda.
4. Billie Holiday, “Strange Fruit”- All the insightful comments were a good lesson on this song and amazing and brave as she was, I just don't like the song or the vocal jazz genre that much.

Re: Bracketology Round 2: Week 4

Bracket M
Well this bracket looks like it's all over already...
Well my ipod plays for this bracket should do all the talking:
1)Marvin Gaye - What's Going On:29 plays
2)Smokey Robinson/Miracles - Tracks Of My Tears:14
3)Guns N'Roses - Sweet Child O'Mine:5
4)Creedence Clearwater Revival - Fortunate Son:1
The very order I would have it anyway - and the margins seem about right...

Bracket N
1)Beach Boys - Good Vibrations:Brian Wilson is a genius,6 months of recording paid off
2)Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody:Have to stay loyal to my first favourite song,still love it
3)Rolling Stones - Jumpin' Jack Flash:Still think of it as the definitive 60s Stones song
4)Beatles - She Loves You:Nothing outstanding

Bracket O
1)The Smiths - How Soon Is Now:My favourite band ever - easily #1 here...
2)The Who - Won't Get Fooled Again:I think definitely their best work - great arena rock
3)Outkast - Hey Ya:Great single I won't deny but not good enough to pass those two...
4)Beatles - Penny Lane:Not up to top 16(or even top 64 standard)

Bracket P
1)Michael Jackson - Billie Jean:Well I just don't think I can go past this multi-layered classic from the top selling album
2)Beatles - Hey Jude:Paul McCartney at his best - yes maybe 3 minutes too long but...
3)Billie Holiday - Strange Fruit:Well I guess it just doesn't belong here,too early - nice tune though
4)Otis Redding - Sittin' On The Dock Of The Bay:Great epitaph for Otis,but never clicked with me in any way...

Re: Bracketology Round 2: Week 4

1. Marvin Gaye, “What’s Goin’ On” - It must win this bracket.
2. Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Fortunate Son” - Good text.
3. Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, “The Tracks of My Tears” - Good sad song.
4. Guns ‘n’ Roses, “Sweet Child ‘O’ Mine” - It rocks, but no chance to win.

1. The Beach Boys, “Good Vibrations” - The Beach Boys sing so fine together.
2. Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody” - The best Queen song deserves respect.
3. The Beatles, “She Loves You” - Not the best Beatles, still good.
4. The Rolling Stones, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” - I like this Stones song less.

1. The Beatles, “Penny Lane” - classic.
2. The Smiths, “How Soon Is Now?” - depressing. But a very good song. There is a light would win this bracket easily.
3. OutKast, “Hey Ya!” - modern.
4. The Who, “Won’t Get Fooled Again” - epic. But the song is too l o n g.

1. Michael Jackson, “Billie Jean” - The best disco song wins.
2. Otis Redding, “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay” - Wow!
3. The Beatles, “Hey Jude” - Nice, but too long.
4. Billie Holiday, “Strange Fruit” - important song.

Re: Bracketology Round 2: Week 4


Three great songs and one great hair-metal song in this bracket. Being a great hair-metal song is a bit like having the highest mark in a remedial class, I figure – it’s an accomplishment, but not something you’d want to put on your resume.

Anyway, What’s Goin’ On gets my top vote. I generally hate ‘message’ music, but I’m going with What’s Goin’ On for it’s lovely easy listening production and melody. If all easy-listening music was this well made, it would never have developed such an iffy reputation.

19. Marvin Gaye, “What’s Goin’ On”
51. Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, “The Tracks of My Tears”
115. Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Fortunate Son”
83. Guns ‘n’ Roses, “Sweet Child ‘O’ Mine”


Bohemian Rhapsody might be one of the most outlandish hit songs of all time, but boy do I not like it. Scaramoosh, scaramoosh…Jesus…

Good Vibrations is a great technical track without a doubt, but I can’t work up too much passion for it. The tempo changes and the sound effects are all very flashy and impressive, but I’d rather listen to almost any other Beach Boys hit (and many other album tracks), which are just as well written and have melodies and arrangements that impress you without having to try so hard to impress you.

Jumpin’ Jack Flash is a great groove song, but it’s no Gimme Shelter or Tumbling Dice.

She Loves You is just a pleasure to hear…it’s tricky, catchy, almost a pure distillation of joy.

99. The Beatles, “She Loves You”
35. The Rolling Stones, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”
3. The Beach Boys, “Good Vibrations”
62. Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody”


I said pretty much everything I have to say about these songs the first time around, so I’ll let my rankings speak for themselves. I will add this, however: Why are people always going on about how depressing the Smiths are when Morrissey is such a campy, prancing dandy? He’s a humorist more than anything – undoubtedly, like a lot of comedy, the wit comes from a depressive state, but the impact seems like it’s intended to be comical more than anything. I find him more irritating than funny myself, but that’s just my taste.

150. The Beatles, “Penny Lane”
118. The Who, “Won’t Get Fooled Again”
43. OutKast, “Hey Ya!”
182. The Smiths, “How Soon Is Now?”


I said that I felt like a brute ranking Strange Fruit third back in the initial round, so I guess I’m a demented thug at this point. I can’t really say much to defend myself beyond stating that I’m a child of modern pop and I like the three other songs more, and the three other songs mean more to me.

As for the rest of my rankings: melody>melancholy>groove

38. The Beatles, “Hey Jude”
6. Otis Redding, “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay”
27. Michael Jackson, “Billie Jean”
187. Billie Holiday, “Strange Fruit”

Re: Bracketology Round 2: Week 4

Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Fortunate Son”
Guns ‘n’ Roses, “Sweet Child ‘O’ Mine”
Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, “The Tracks of My Tears”
Marvin Gaye, “What’s Goin’ On”

I obviously didn't vote these songs through. Creedence's best song wins this one. Guns are second, but it is far from my favourite from Axl & Slash. That Smokey song is ok, but he's not my kind of guy, and Marvin Gaye is simply too boring. I wouldn't eat him even if Jamie Oliver deep fried his liver and served it with a nice Chianti.

62. Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody”
3. The Beach Boys, “Good Vibrations”
99. The Beatles, “She Loves You”
35. The Rolling Stones, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”

Excellent Queen tune. I sometimes forget how good it is, but then I hear it again, and realized I've been an idiot. Good Vibrations is the best dildo song ever, and far better than Marky Mark's mishap with the same title. I like that Beatles song too, but it's not one of their best. As for Jumpin' Jack Flash, it's a Stones tune slightly out of tune in my head. That Jack Flash guy should take a break.

182. The Smiths, “How Soon Is Now?”
118. The Who, “Won’t Get Fooled Again”
43. OutKast, “Hey Ya!”
150. The Beatles, “Penny Lane”

Marvelous Smiths song, even if it has been kicked around by some tv program about witches. How did that happen? I saw The Who this summer, and it was excellent, of course. Those guys aren't old, they rock better than everyone else. I love the song, too, but that Smiths song just is too good. Hey Ya is an excellent tune, but can it stand the test of time? It's just a bit too new in this competition. Come back in 10 years. Penny Lane is plain and kind of boring. Not The Beatles at their grandest.

187. Billie Holiday, “Strange Fruit”
27. Michael Jackson, “Billie Jean”
38. The Beatles, “Hey Jude”
6. Otis Redding, “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay”

Double Billie on top! Holiday is still miles ahead of Jean, though. Strange Fruit is one of the most magnificent songs ever written. I can listen to it again and again, and it brings tears to my eyes every time. Not many other songs do that, Agadoo with Black Lace being one, but for a completely different reason. Billie Jean is great, and if my surroundings are quiet for some time, it's not unusual that I start thumping the drums from Billie Jean, and singing the song inside my head. Hey Jude is, again, not The Beatles at their best. What is it with you guys? How did all the boring Beatles songs get through? Last and least is Otis. I don't hate the song, but it's not good enough compared to the other three.

Re: Bracketology Round 2: Week 4

1. Marvin Gaye, “What’s Goin’ On”: Marvin going from the individual to the universal, from the hard experience of his brother Frankie fighting in Vietnam to all the “far too many” brothers dying (black, white and, yes, yellow too). And to all the people dying and suffering because of war. Then, now and (sadly) forever.
2. Guns ‘n’ Roses, “Sweet Child ‘O’ Mine”: the pinnacle of 80s metal, from the “instant classic” Slash guitar intro to the Rose final cry.
3. Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Fortunate Son”: it ain’t me, John, I ain’t no fortunate son too.
4. Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, “The Tracks of My Tears”: in numbers one and four we’ve got the sweetest voices enveloping the hoarsest voices of numbers two and three. #4 but for a little margin.

1. The Beach Boys, “Good Vibrations”: a titanic effort for Brian Wilson, seven months of recordings in four different recording studios, creating small musical fragments later placed in a meticulous sound collage, complex but accessible, addictive, luminous, magical.
2. The Beatles, “She Loves You”: the song that launched Beatlemania. And deservedly so. There was nothing like this at the time. Even now.
3. The Rolling Stones, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”: this Stones single supposed a successful return to its basic blues-rock sound from the previous psychedelic phase and launched an impressive four album stretch mentioned on a previous thread.
4. Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody”: I said in the first round that I’ll put it on #4 of any bracket of the second round for being irritatingly pompous. Well, that’s done.

1. The Beatles, “Penny Lane”: I didn’t put any McCartney song at #1 of any bracket on first round. And it would be nice a Macca song accompanying “A Day in the Life” on the second round. But I’m not voting for strategic reasons. This is a marvellous pop song, with a nostalgic ambiance and an arrangement filled with details that unveil with every new listen. Love the cymbals at the end…
2. OutKast, “Hey Ya!”: alright now, fellas. What’s cooler that being cool? Ice cold!!
3. The Smiths, “How Soon Is Now?”: “There’s a club if you’d like to go / could meet somebody who really loves you / so you go and you stand on your own / and you leave on your own and you go home / and you cry and you want to die”. Surely miserablism and self-pity. But for all the shy people in the world (like me) that had lived some similar experience, this songs means a lot.
4. The Who, “Won’t Get Fooled Again”: oh, no, this great song at #4 again no, please. So sorry, Pete-Roger-John-Keith. Damn competition.

BRACKET P (quoting Nicolas but in Spanish, el bracket de la muerte)
1. Otis Redding, “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay”: a long-time favourite of mine; despite the overexposure on TV commercials the Redding swan song retains its calmed power, its elegant looseness.
2. Michael Jackson, “Billie Jean”: stylish funky soul, I wish that mainstream music was always that good.
3. The Beatles, “Hey Jude”: Macca is the only whitey of the bracket (well, I’m not so sure about the colour of the skin of Jacko), but he transforms himself in a black soul singer in the second half of this song. And brilliantly.
4. Billie Holiday, “Strange Fruit”: the best song about racism ever, a haunting message with a chicken-skin vocal performance. The best #4 song in the tournament.

Re: Bracketology Round 2: Week 4

1) Marvin Gaye - What's Going On. Probably gets my vote for the number one soul track of all time, even leaving aside the context.
2) Guns N' Roses - Sweet Child O' Mine. Always hit and miss this band, and sure enough this is a hit.
3) Smokey Robinson And The Miracles - The Tracks Of My Tears. Very very nice song, but lacking the spark needed to crack the top two in this bracket.
4) Creedence Clearwater Revival - Fortunate Son. I must confess, CCR are, of all the top acclaimed bands around here, the one I am least familiar with. I'll have to do something about that soon. Sorry, #4 by default.

1) Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody. Can't quite believe I just typed that. This song actually formed part of my regular school music education when I was 11/12 years old. At the time I really liked it, but soon got into 'cooler' music, and went right off it. But hey, I guess when push comes to shove...
2) The Beach Boys - Good Vibrations. I would be surprised if this doesn't win the group. Surely the greatest produced track ever.
3) The Beatles - She Loves You. Pop masterpiece - there are so many of them from the early 60's, and so many are from this band. Irresistably catchy.
4) The Rolling Stones - Jumpin' Jack Flash. I don't know what it is, I like the Stones, but so far every time a song of theirs has come up, it's ended up being my #3 or 4 in its respective group. I'm not sure how to explain it. Although, to be honest, I have always found this particular one a little overrated.

1) The Smiths - How Soon Is Now? I completely fell in love with The Smiths about a year ago, and went on a major Morrissey binge. I'm just about over it, but they will forever hold a very special place in my heart. This is amongst my favourite Smiths tracks too.
2) The Who - Won't Get Fooled Again. Comfortably their strongest song for me, and very unlucky indeed to come up against an even stronger song in its bracket. Many's a time that I've had a go at that scream when no-one was around to hear (least I hope they weren't...).
3) The Beatles - Penny Lane. McCartney yang to Lennon's ying with Strawberry Fields. Mostly those key changes at the end of songs feel quite uncomfortable, but effortless here.
4) OutKast - Hey Ya! To the best of my memory, this is the strongest bracket yet. This would WIN some other ones, but unfortunately outclassed three different times here. Really bad luck guys. I'm not sure they care.

Re: Bracketology Round 2: Week 4

Er, sorry, not quite sure how I managed that. Here's tuther one:

1) Michael Jackson - Billie Jean. Flip, after saying how strong the last bracket was, this blows it out of the water altogether. Out of the 16 songs this week, 4 of my favourite 7 are in this bracket! No idea why I've picked this order, but hey. You ain't human if you can deny the instincts to move to this track.
2) Otis Redding - (Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay. And if 'What's Going On' was number one soul track, here's it's main challenger. Just ridiculous how only 1 song can progress out of these 4. Is there no way round it schleuse?!?
3) The Beatles - Hey Jude. The first 3 minutes are gold, maybe just slightly tarnished by the other 4, but I actually enjoy all that stuff too.
4) Billie Holliday - Strange Fruit. Aw, I'd've loved to be able to have this as a group winner. I'm willing to bet there is no group this strong in the nest round.

Re: Bracketology Round 2: Week 4

1. Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Fortunate Son”
2. Marvin Gaye, “What’s Goin’ On”
3. Guns ‘n’ Roses, “Sweet Child ‘O’ Mine”
4. Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, “The Tracks of My Tears”

1. The Beach Boys, “Good Vibrations”
2. Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody”
3. The Beatles, “She Loves You”
4. The Rolling Stones, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”

1. The Beatles, “Penny Lane”
2. The Who, “Won’t Get Fooled Again”
3. The Smiths, “How Soon Is Now?”
4. OutKast, “Hey Ya!”

1. Billie Holiday, “Strange Fruit”
2. The Beatles, “Hey Jude”
3. Otis Redding, “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay”
4. Michael Jackson, “Billie Jean”

What a fantastic bracket!!!

Re: Bracketology Round 2: Week 4


1. Guns n’ Roses, “Sweet Child ‘O’ Mine” ****** : the best (the only good ?) GnR songs hands down. So different from the rest of the album (tasteless and aged hard rock)
2. Marvin Gaye, “What’s Goin’ On”***** : An ode to joy and celebration, and the “father, father” that sends chills into your spine when you know what happened next
3. Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Fortunate Son”**** : my favourite artists in this bracket but this song is number 3.
4. Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, “The Tracks of My Tears”*** : doesn’t compete.

1. The Beach Boys, “Good Vibrations”***** : brilliant. Easy winner of a weak bracket
2. Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody”*** : 50 % of this song (the beginning) is a masterpiece. The rest is just fun. A weird collage.
3. The Rolling Stones, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”****: it rocks, it’s a Stones’ single
4. The Beatles, “She Loves You”*** : this one never got me enthousiastic

1. The Beatles, “Penny Lane”**** : not a great bracket. Well-crafted McCartney pop song.
2. The Who, “Won’t Get Fooled Again”**** : What made it miss the nb 1 ? It’s too big to be honest
3. OutKast, “Hey Ya!”*** : Strange idiom for my older ears not used to this kind of music. It’s fun and exuberant, but that’s all. Prefer their rap stuff.
4. The Smiths, “How Soon Is Now?”*** : great influence on Britpop, but I ain’t a Britpop fan

This bracket is maybe the hardest I have ever known. Chosing between the 3 first was really painful. But it’s the game.
1. Otis Redding, “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay”***** : never get tired of that song. It’s simple but great. I love every second of it, that’s what makes it nb 1 (apart from the sound effects)
2. Billie Holiday, “Strange Fruit” ****** : I’ve already said all I have to say about Strange Fruit.
3. Michael Jackson, “Billie Jean”***** : Really painful to put this one 3rd
4. The Beatles, “Hey Jude”**** : way behind. Good melody but too long.

Re: Bracketology Round 2: Week 4

1. Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, “The Tracks of My Tears” (There is a surprising amount of hate for this song. To my mind, it is a perfectly crafted pop song... the model of the love-lorn ballad.)
2. Marvin Gaye, “What’s Goin’ On” (Better vocals than Smokey, but the song is not quite as finely crafted.)
3. Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Fortunate Son” (Sledgehammer vocals and lyrics for better (mostly better) or worse.)
4. Guns ‘n’ Roses, “Sweet Child ‘O’ Mine” (Poor Axl needs a place to hide from all the meanies who have made him so angry and angst-ridden. You know what, Axl, stick to the straight-ahead anger. It suits you better.)

1. Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody” (A reminder that goofy fun is always welcome in rock. And when goofy fun is taken as seriously as it is here, it stands the test of time.)
2. The Beatles, “She Loves You” (The best of the three Beatles singles that held court on the U.S. singles charts in early 1964. This is the song with the signposts showing where they would be headed. The peculiar harmonies. The cold opening throwing you right into the song. The propulsive yet syncopated rhythm section. Heady stuff.)
3. The Beach Boys, “Good Vibrations” (Yes, I prefer the epic studio whiz-bang of "Bohemian Rhapsody" to "Good Vibrations." Why? Only partly because Wayne and Garth and I cannot head-bang to "Good Vibrations." The main reason is that Bohemian Rhapsody build and builds. Good Vibrations' dynamics are choppy; they jump all over the place. (It's the same problem as I have with "God Only Knows.") Wilson is a good songwriter, but he is not as good of a producer or arranger as he is given (too much) credit for. That said, the vocals -- as usual -- are undeniably fine.)
4. The Rolling Stones, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” (The Stones' most "Stones-esque" song. It's good, but it is missing some atmospheric element that their best songs have: the sexual grime of "Honky Tonk Woman," the tension of "Gimme Shelter," the casual cruelty of "Under My Thumb.")

1. OutKast, “Hey Ya!” (The other singles by OutKast are a lot better ("Rosa Parks," "I Like the Way You Move," and especially "Ms. Jackson" and "B.O.B."). But their biggest and silliest hit (and yes, I know it is wrong to talk about this song as involving anyone other than Andre, but let's keep up the pretense) crowns a weak bracket. (I didn't pick any of the eventual champions here.) What it does have is more fun than "Won't Get Fooled Again," more charisma than "How Soon Is Now," tons less sentimantality "Penny Lane," and more danceability than any of them. If it sounds like I'm trying to convince myself about this #1 pick, you're right.)
2. The Beatles, “Penny Lane” (The chorus just doesn't grab me any more. It used to. Like always, I love the George Martin orchestral flourishes in background. But unlike other Beatles songs that I have lived with all my life, I don't get reimpressed everytime I listen to this one.)
3. The Smiths, “How Soon Is Now?” (As I have said before, the Smiths are a band that I admire more than I love (or even like).)
4. The Who, “Won’t Get Fooled Again” (I am a big Who fan, but am so sick of the bombastic duo from Who's Next: "Who's Next" and "Won't Get Fooled Again." There was a nimbleness, a sense of fun and humor in their previous work (even a good portion of Tommy)that is missing from this album and this song.)

1. Otis Redding, “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay” (My challenge to all those who find this song boring is to sit and really listen to Otis' voice. Yes, his delivery is understated (and as a result, it does not deliver the chills or thrills that his better songs deliver), but it remains virtuosic.)
2. Billie Holiday, “Strange Fruit” (A brave and important song. But Billie never floated my boat as much as other female jazz singers. (I prefer Fitzgerald and Washington.) Perhaps too idiosyncratic.)
3. The Beatles, “Hey Jude” (It's all about the build. That saves what would otherwise be a repetitive song, and more than justifies its length.)
4. Michael Jackson, “Billie Jean” (The best adult Michael Jackson song. Perhaps the only good one post-"Off the Wall." And the production and groove almost lifts it above "Hey Jude." I'm envisioning Paul and
Michael, mano-a-mano, just like in "The Girl Is Mine." Then I get sad.)

And personal bracketology:

M: Cannonball, The Tracks of My Tears, Kiss, Fortunate Son
N: I Only Have Eyes for You, Only the Lonely, She Loves You, Peggy Sue
O: Will You Love Me Tomorrow, Little Red Corvette, Creep, Unfinished Sympathy
P: Loser, Dock of the Bay, My Girl, Billie Jean.

Re: Bracketology Round 2: Week 4

1. What’s Going On – What great delivery. It’s the sweetness that makes the lyrics so sharp and effective. There’s almost a calm resignation to a world going out of control that’s so haunting.

2. Fortunate Son – These two top ones are probably the best message songs out there. I have trouble hearing modern anti-war songs that are still lyrically cryptic. The second the lyrics begin you know what this angry song’s message is. CCR stopped being a playful swamp band after this.

3. Sweet Child of Mine – Another awesome song that is just a tad overplayed.

4. The Tracks of My Tears – Gorgeous but nothing the redefines the musical canon.

1. Good Vibrations – In the battle of the essential musical suites, this one wins out, providing the listener with something new to get excited about when the other perfect portions of this opus get boring.

2. Bohemian Rhapsody – Very tough call, but lyrically and sonically this masterpiece gets a little goofy. Chalk it up to my association of this with Wayne’s World for it’s #2 spot, I guess.

3. She Loves You – One of the more grating Beatles songs, which I refer to as the sheep song because of the obnoxious singing of the words “and you know she can’t be BAAAAAAHD”

4. Jumpin’ Jack Flash – Another indistinct Stones song that I can’t figure out the melody too.


1. Won’t Get Fooled Again – This needs to advance! Relentless energy and dynamics, with an early keyboard solo that holds you with baited breath before Keith Moon pounds back in.

2. How Soon Is Now? -- I need to get this on iTunes so I can really enjoy it. Like another favorite He’s a Rebel, this pop song seems to have a chorus that adds a double dose of extra notes and beauty when you think it’s all wrapped up.

3. Penny Lane – Pleasant listenable Beatles, that pales in comparison to Strawberry and other experimental sounds of this period of the band.

4. Hey Ya! - OK, I know we have to give credit to music from this decade but let’s let this song retire, please? I don’t think it’s that special.


1. Hey Jude – With the exception of maybe Dry the Rain by the Beta Band, this song makes all other songs that use crescendoing repeated notes and verses for their last third sound boring. Bonus points for opening little kids to the Beatles by letting them sing most of the song before they know many words.

2. Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay – Another iTunes priority, this is just wonderful, and the whistling is spot-on.

3. Billie Jean – Um, just fine, but I have yet to get beyond Off the Wall in my MJ collection.

4. Strange Fruit – Sorry, but my tastes don’t go this far back. I’ve heard this song’s lyrics referenced before so I should check it out.

Re: Bracketology Round 2: Week 4


Two strong songs in this bracket.

1. Marvin Gaye, “What’s Goin’ On” - No sweet sixteen without this sweet soul.
2. Guns ‘n’ Roses, “Sweet Child ‘O’ Mine” - Energetic, powerful guitar rock combined with Axl Roses' impressive voice. Expressive, strong song.
3. Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Fortunate Son” - Good protest song, rarely listen to it anymore.
4. Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, “The Tracks of My Tears” - Nice intro, nice voice, nice song, but no further sparks.


Bracket with a clear winner.

1. The Beach Boys, “Good Vibrations” - Their ultimate hit has a very strong composition. Groundbreaking for that time, but timeless and ever so beautiful.
2. The Rolling Stones, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” - Energetic and catchy song, not their strongest, but prefer to listen to this over the next two songs.
3. Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody” - A classic that I've heard too often. The fact, that one can hear this too often, says enough. I appreciate their guitar rock, but don't like the theatrical appearance from the band.
4. The Beatles, “She Loves You” - Catchy pop from the early 60's, but like their later work more. This is nice to hear on the radio once in a while, but has no body.


Different styles, but equally good songs. Very difficult to pick here.

1. The Beatles, “Penny Lane” - Close call with Smiths and Outkast, but this song has stand the test of time more than once. A typical Beatles song, not so depressing like The Smiths or happy as Outkast, it just makes you feel good.
2. The Smiths, “How Soon Is Now?” - The Morrissey mouth strikes again. Strong lyrics to a strong song.
3. OutKast, “Hey Ya!” - Happiest and silliest song from the century (so far)?
4. The Who, “Won’t Get Fooled Again” - Outlier in this bracket. Just don't like this song.


Another bracket with a clear winner.

1. Otis Redding, “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay” - Don't ask me why, but this is my ultimate #1 song. Maybe because it relaxes more than any yoga or other meditational exercise? A kind of 'Zen and the art of wasting time'.
2. Michael Jackson, “Billie Jean” - Classic hit from Jackson at his highest peak. Not as bombastic as other songs on Thriller, Michael's voice is coming to its right in this strong disco rhythm.
3. The Beatles, “Hey Jude” - I remember we had this single at home, one of my favorites in younger times. Somehow the single got lost and this song has lost some affinity compared to other timeless Beatles songs.
4. Billie Holiday, “Strange Fruit” - My personal taste must be underdeveloped, for I do not yet like this kind of jazz.

Re: Bracketology Round 2: Week 4

Translate by Honorio.
Gracias a Honorio por la traducción.

1. Marvin Gaye, “What’s Goin’ On”, 4 points to the elegance

2. Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, “The Tracks of My Tears”, a delight that used to move to tears to the audience of the Miracles concerts

3. Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Fortunate Son”, nice but don’t forget that we are choosing the 16 best songs in history

4. Guns ‘n’ Roses, “Sweet Child ‘O’ Mine”, one of the few heavy metal songs I can enjoy


1. The Beach Boys, “Good Vibrations”, 4 points to the innovation

2. The Rolling Stones, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”, the instrumental intro is one of the best things I’ve ever heard

3. The Beatles, “She Loves You”, I can’t explain why I like it more and more

4. Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody”, possibly the ugliest song of the 256


1. OutKast, “Hey Ya!”, 4 point to the XXI Century (and to this lovely green shirt)

2. The Who, “Won’t Get Fooled Again”. It has eliminated “Anarchy in the U.K.”, “Creep” and “I Say a Little Prayer”. It could be the great surprise of the final tournament

3. The Smiths, “How Soon Is Now?”, the less representative song of The Smiths

4. The Beatles, “Penny Lane”, the best was on the other side of the single


1. Otis Redding, “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay”, 4 selfish points

2. Michael Jackson, “Billie Jean”, it don’t seems so much but as the song advances is getting complete, perfect

3. Billie Holiday, “Strange Fruit”, for crying of emotion and rage

4. The Beatles, “Hey Jude”, the opening phrase is precious, later the song goes boring

Re: Bracketology Round 2: Week 4

115. Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Fortunate Son” Greatest protest song ever.
19. Marvin Gaye, “What’s Goin’ On” Was this a protest song? If so, 2nd greatest protest song ever.
51. Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, “The Tracks of My Tears” Great 60s soul.
83. Guns ‘n’ Roses, “Sweet Child ‘O’ Mine” Umm, this is #4? Wow, what a strong bracket because this song is frickin' awesome as well.

35. The Rolling Stones, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” Well, this bracket isn't nearly as strong. I love "Jumpin' Jack Flash," but it was missing the grandiloquence of some of their better songs.
62. Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody” Loony, excellence. I hadn't heard it in about two years and then the Flaming Lips covered it and I still knew all the words and then I became obsessed with this song again.
3. The Beach Boys, “Good Vibrations” I always thought this song was pretty overrated. It's catchy and sweet, but no better than 10 of the tracks on Pet Sounds. I think the Smile mythos elevated this song higher in many people's minds.
99. The Beatles, “She Loves You” Yeah, yeah, yeah, another typical early Beatles single. Fun, nothing special.

118. The Who, “Won’t Get Fooled Again” YYYYYYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! Epic done right.
182. The Smiths, “How Soon Is Now?” The Smiths song everybody knows. Gets a little long, but the guitar part is so cool that it's hard to hate.
43. OutKast, “Hey Ya!” Yeah, I'm reacting to how overplayed it has been
150. The Beatles, “Penny Lane” Yep, Beatles. This is actually a Beatles song I will admit to liking, but it's in another strong bracket and this is the one I listen to the least.

6. Otis Redding, “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay” Just perfect
27. Michael Jackson, “Billie Jean” Groovy baby
187. Billie Holiday, “Strange Fruit” Would probably be higher if I hadn't just discovered this because of Bracketology
38. The Beatles, “Hey Jude” Great, but a bit too long. Humm, I just put the Beatles at the bottom of three brackets. If only "In My Life" had made it on.

Re: Bracketology Round 2: Week 4

1. Guns ‘n’ Roses, “Sweet Child ‘O’ Mine” – These last four brackets are amazing – really, there isn’t a single one of these sixteen songs that I wouldn’t drop everything to hear right now. So, essentially, implied across the board here is that SH2B2, 3, -and- 4. (A preview, no doubt, of the rounds yet to come.) That said, GNR’s ultimate power ballad gets the nod in this bracket, mostly for Slash’s inimitable (not that that’s stopped every hard-rock guitarist since from trying) guitar work.
2. Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Fortunate Son” – The best and tersest political protest song in rock history.
3. Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, “The Tracks of My Tears” – Visceral excitement trumps perfection in this bracket, at least for me. If this was a songwriting competition alone, Smokey’s masterpiece might well win the whole thing.
4. Marvin Gaye, “What’s Goin’ On” – A song, and an album, that I admire more than love.

1. Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody” – 5:55 of pure bombastic bliss. Is it as “great” or even as “good” as any of the other three in this bracket? Certainly not. And I don’t care.
2. The Rolling Stones, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” – In lots of ways, the quintessential Stones song, with Jagger cementing his sinister-MC persona and Jimmy Miller’s immaculately dirty production taking its cues fm Richards’ fuzz-crusted guitars.
3. The Beach Boys, “Good Vibrations” – Have you ever really listened to the lyrics? They’re kind of dippy. No, wait, they’re -seriously- dippy. But who listens to this song for the words anyway? As a piece of sonic art, it remains breathtaking after 41 years.
4. The Beatles, “She Loves You” – It pains me to place such a slice of diamond-sharp pop in last place, but there you go. If you can track it down, you need to hear Peter Sellers’ fall-down hilarious spoken-word cover (produced, I believe, by George Martin himself), recited in his Dr. Strangelove voice to a gleeful Nazi cohort: “She says she LUFFS you!” “YAH?” “Yah. Yah.”

1. The Who, “Won’t Get Fooled Again” – It’s almost nine minutes, but it never feels overlong or self-indulgent, climactic ARP synth drone and all. All four members at their considerable best.
2. The Smiths, “How Soon Is Now?” – Another lengthy masterpiece, from a band not normally known for stretching out. Marr’s reverb-laden riffing perfectly complements Morrissey’s tales of nightclub woe.
3. OutKast, “Hey Ya!” – Hip-hop with unusually contemplative lyrics, keyed to a bouncily strummed acoustic guitar – until both those elements disappear amid an explosion of glorious instant-catchphrase nonsense (“Ice cold!” “Shake it like a Polaroid picture!”).
4. The Beatles, “Penny Lane” – I know, I know; who am I, Moonbeam all of a sudden, or what? One can almost picture John shaking his head in bafflement at the finished version of this fussy soufflé even while marveling at his partner’s unerring sense of craftsmanship.

1. Otis Redding, “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay” – No one will ever know if this would have been as huge without the unexpected poignancy of its posthumous release. But it hasn’t endured for four decades because it was a great artist’s ironic valedictory. It has endured because it’s great art, of a most unassuming kind.
2. The Beatles, “Hey Jude” – As opposed to great art -conceived- as potential great art – you don’t enlist a symphony orchestra and then have them all sing na-na-na-NA-na-na-na for four minutes out of modesty. But, again, it has endured and then some, because of McCartney’s incredible melodic gifts, and for his readiness and willingness to go nuts in the vocal booth when the occasion calls for it. “Yeahyeahyeahyeah, yeah, yeahyeahyeah – YEAHHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA…”
3. Billie Holiday, “Strange Fruit” – Not really jazz, not really pop, not really like any other recording ever. Otherworldly. Chilling. Infuriating. Unforgettable. Makes almost anything you listen to immediately afterward sound small and meaningless. Which means it will almost never be your first choice.
4. Michael Jackson, “Billie Jean” – A great record by a man who, yes, at the time really -was- that good. The fact that it’s in last place here is a reflection of how amazing this bracket is, not of the song’s own quality.

Re: Bracketology Round 2: Week 4

Needless to say, a lot of close races.

1. Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Fortunate Son” - I'm always in favor of an energetic rock song that sticks it to the man.
2. Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, “The Tracks of My Tears” - I probably like this song more because of the "Platoon" tie-in. But it has a terrific melody.
3. Marvin Gaye, “What’s Goin’ On” - Beautiful social commentary. If only we had some of that today.
4. Guns ‘n’ Roses, “Sweet Child ‘O’ Mine” - Sentimental Axl. It's a great song, but somehow rings false on an emotional level.

1. The Beach Boys, “Good Vibrations” - A pop masterpiece plain and simple.
2. The Rolling Stones, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” - Can't understand a word Mick is saying, but it rocks anyway.
3. The Beatles, “She Loves You” - One of their best early tracks, but I've always preferred their later stuff
4. Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody” - A convoluted mess that somehow still manages to be fun but can't be taken too seriously.

1. The Who, “Won’t Get Fooled Again” - I've said it before, and I'll say it again, "Meet the new boss / Same as the old boss" is one of the greatest lyrics in all of pop culture.
2. OutKast, “Hey Ya!” - Proof that not all great songs were written before 1980.
3. The Beatles, “Penny Lane” - A fun stroll about Liverpool. The titular road, by the way, is named after a slave trader, as are a lot of places in Liverpool.
4. The Smiths, “How Soon Is Now?” - A good song, a really good song, but outmatched here.

1. Otis Redding, “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay” - This one sticks with me every time. As immortal as the tide itself.
2. Billie Holiday, “Strange Fruit” - The song her voice was made to sing. And it's an important story to tell.
3. Michael Jackson, “Billie Jean” - Not a Jackson fan, but I can't deny this one's greatness. His best.
4. The Beatles, “Hey Jude” - The Beatles are my favorite band, but I'm being really hard on them this week.

Re: Bracketology Round 2: Week 4

1. Marvin Gaye, “What’s Goin’ On” - A marvellous song and performance
2. Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Fortunate Son” - Their best
3. Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, “The Tracks of My Tears” - Excellent ballad
4. Guns ‘n’ Roses, “Sweet Child ‘O’ Mine” - The second best 'O' (O'?) song from 1987 is #4 here.

1. The Beach Boys, “Good Vibrations” - Save my comments again
2. The Beatles, “She Loves You” - The quintessential early Beatles
3. Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody” - It sorta feels sad that I didn't get the chance to rate this higher
4. The Rolling Stones, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” - Jumps out of the tournament

1. The Smiths, “How Soon Is Now?” - Why all the hate of Morrissey? Though this is, of course, Johnny Marr's finest moment.
2. OutKast, “Hey Ya!” - One of the most uplifting songs ever
3. The Beatles, “Penny Lane” - Not special to me, just some line repeated again and again
4. The Who, “Won’t Get Fooled Again” - How come so many of you got fooled again?

1. Michael Jackson, “Billie Jean” - You play. I dance!
2. Billie Holiday, “Strange Fruit” - Hauntingly beautiful and soooooooooooo historically important.
3. The Beatles, “Hey Jude” - 1968 was Paul's year, but the competition here is tough...
4. Otis Redding, “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay” - I remember I was hard to this song in the first round, but this is not an opportunity to be nice.

Re: Bracketology Round 2: Week 4

BRACKET M- pretty solid

1. "Sweet Child o' Mine"- the hair metal child in me will not let this be dethroned.
2. "What's Goin' On"- brilliant social commentary and set up the path for the even more brilliant Songs in the Key of Life
3. "Fortunate Son"- That guitar lick is nice.
4. "The Tracks of My Tears"- would win the terrible Bracket N.

BRACKET N- yikes- I like none of these songs!

1. "Bohemian Rhapsody"- I suppose I could live with this over the others.
2. "Jumpin' Jack Flash"- merely better than what's below for me.
3. "Good Vibrations"- I know it's influential, but I can't stand the vocals at all.
4. "She Loves You"- one of my least favorite Beatles songs, and that is saying something.

BRACKET O- 2 great songs, 2 awful songs.

1. "How Soon Is Now?"- Deliriously wonderful- the signature hit of one of the greatest bands.
2. "Hey Ya!"- a heck of a lot of fun. But if this advances and Prince doesn't have anything in the Sweet 16, something is wrong.
3. "Won't Get Fooled Again"- I detest The Who.
4. "Penny Lane"- but not as much as I detest the Beatles.

BRACKET P- 3 fantastic songs!

1. "Billie Jean"- nobody can fuck with that bass. Try! I dare you.
2. "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay"- Would have won brackets M and N. Love it!
3. "Strange Fruit"- another really strong song falls in a tough bracket.
4. "Hey Jude"- na na na na! Goodbye!