My favorite author, Stephen King, has put out his list of Top 25 rock songs of all time. I couldn’t possibly pass up giving these a go and seeing what he thought. In the interest of space I’ve narrowed the list to his Top 10, but the rest are available on EW if you’d like. All included commentary comes from the King, not me. Be prepared for some “huh?” moments as you work your way down the list as a few of these surprised me.
#10 - ”A BIG HUNK O’ LOVE,” Elvis Presley
Almost eclipsed by Elvis’ screaming vocal is the rock era’s best barrelhouse piano.
#9 - ”BIP BOP BOOM,” Mickey Hawks
Under two minutes and still the greatest rockabilly record ever made.
#8 - ”LET’S HAVE A PARTY,” Wanda Jackson
That raspy, frantic vocal has never been equaled. Ms. Jackson makes Beyoncé look like Britney.
#7 - ”NEW ORLEANS,” Gary U.S. Bonds
Terrific recorded-in-a-bathroom reverb, insanely danceable backbeat. Earl Swanson’s sax is the Special Bonus Feature.
#6 - ”RAMROD,” Bruce Springsteen
His cleanest, coolest, purest track. To quote Mr. Berry, his guitar rings like a bell.
#5 - ”C’MON EVERYBODY,” Eddie Cochran
The apocalyptic call of the teenage male: Dude, let’s party. And screw the consequences.
#4 - ”STUPID CUPID,” Connie Francis
Don’t argue; the vocal is hotter than a pistol, and it’s the best clap track ever. Stupid cupid, stop pickin’ on me: Ay-men.
#3 - ”MYSTERY DANCE,” Elvis Costello
It’s 1:35, but how much angry, frustrated sex can you take?
#2 - ”BURNING LOVE,” Elvis Presley
He saved the best for last. Lawd-a-mighty, I feel my temperature rising.
#1 - ”ANARCHY IN THE U.K.,” The Sex Pistols
This song still sums up what I love about rock & roll: anger and joy and urgency, all compressed into three and a half minutes of drums and buzz-saw guitar. By God, even the name of the group sweats rock & roll.
Interesting list. I’ve heard of most of these, some of them I could have even named, but then others like “Stupid Cupid” don’t really ring a bell for me. Looks like a case of generation separation. I think I’ll stick to his books rather than his music compilations.