Standing the Test of Time: Your mentions of Musical hits from the '50s through the '80s of any genre

Which examples of music that made the charts do you think have Stood the Test of Time going back approximately 25 years (± 5-10), and beyond . . . Jazz, R&B / Soul, Folk, Punk, Funk, Progressive Rock, Country Rock, Hard Rock, Soft Rock, Rockabilly, Pop, Crossovers, etc. . . . ?

Please name the artist, if convenient, since there are so many covers.

I’ll start with a few:

“Pride and Joy” Stevie Ray Vaughan (1983)

“Werewolves of London” Warren Zevon (1978)

“Spooky” Atlanta Rhythm Section’s cover

“Respect” Aretha Franklin (1968)

“Chantilly Lace” The Big Bopper (1958)

. . . ?

Kind of a broad question, I’d say.

“Purple Haze” Jimi Hendrix (1967)

“Sympathy for the Devil” The Rolling Stones (1968)

“Born to Run” Bruce Springsteen (1975)

“Sounds of Silence” Simon and Garfunkel (1966)

“Wuthering Heights” Kate Bush (1978)

Reported for forum change to Cafe Society.

I don’t remember “Wuthering Heights” getting any airplay at all where I live. Or Kate Bush.

I did listen to some of the piece - for the first time - on YouTube. Interesting. I suppose the artist is an acquired taste.

Glad you’ve been exposed to it :slight_smile:

Can you define “stand the test of time?”

There’s a reason the Beatles are the Beatles, the Stones are the Stones, Dylan is Dylan, Elvis is Elvis. The vast majority of their songs stand the test of time. AC/DC made the same record for 40 years because if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

House of the Rising Sun - The Animals

Lola - The Kinks

I never heard of Kate until some family friends introduced me to her music around 1984. She had one hit in the States after that, Running Up That Hill. But I doubt many folks from the US remember that one either. The video was on MTV but I sure never ran across the song on the radio.

I have listened to and played a hell of a lot of music in my lifetime, and done more thinking about it than probably any other topic on earth. And right off the top of my head, one song that I think doesn’t get nearly enough credit as just being an incredibly badass song, is What I Am by Edie Brickell & The New Bohemians. Released in 1988, this would still be a radically unique and musically interesting song if it came out today, yesterday, two years ago, ten years ago, or ten years in the future.

Everything that Jaco Pastorius ever recorded, but particularly his work with Joni Mitchell, will continue to blow peoples’ minds forever. There isn’t a music festival on earth where the crowd’s jaws wouldn’t be on the floor if they witnessed a performance like this one.

And, as for the Grateful Dead, I am positive that people will be listening to them for as long as the medium of recorded music exists. There is no band that is more quintessentially American than the Grateful Dead.

I’m not by any means an expert in the field of music, as I think some who’ve already posted may be, so any definition I gave would be a crude one, from the “seat-of-the-pants” as it were.

(i) hit
(ii) song
(iii) released 25 (± 5 or 10) or more years ago that
(iv) used to blow you away almost every time you listened to it back then,
(v) still does today;
(vi) you never really stopped listening to it, or if you did forget to listen to it, when you got back to it, you asked yourself, "How could I have forgotten “. . . " by . . . ?!!” And
(vii) your family and friends know you love it and / or you wouldn’t be embarassed to tell them you love it.
(VIII) You would not cringe with embarassment-in-advance to play it for a much younger relative or friend; you would expect them to like it very much also. And
(ix) you would anticipate with pleasure the thought of playing the tune for one of your own age-cohort who hasn’t yet heard it (for example, the listener you have in mind hails from a different land, but is nevertheless in tune with popular contemporary Western music, of all genres, both old and new.

As a negative example, I think I’m as much a dyed-in-the-wool Beatles’ fan as most people my age, but, just speaking for myself, I couldn’t say that “Revolution 9” (1968; The White Album) or “You Know My Name (Look Up the Number)”(first released on an album in the U.S. on “Rarities”, 1980) would be on my short list of Beatles’ tunes that Have Withstood The Test of Time. (Plus, both of those fail, I think, on criterion #1 - “hit”.)

(Or . . . I guess not on my long list, either.) And, of course, YMMV.

  • That’s What I Like About You - The Romantics
  • Summertime Blues - Eddie Cochran, Blue Cheer, The Who
  • La Bamba - Richie Valens, Los Lobos
  • Spirit in the Sky - Norman Greenbaum

Right on! You and I are on the same wavelength, my WordMan!

The New Bohemians’ tune is added to my YouTube playlist. (See? This is my nefarious plan - to collect the contents of *other peoples’ *best of the best playlist items and enjoy them myself! Mwah!)

And Joni Mitchell, too. One of the few artists whom I would say unreservedly that everything she did was/is brilliant . . . and should Stand the Test of Time Forever. (Although I think her acoustic work may fare better 50 or 100 years from now, than her work with electric back-up. I could be wrong, though. Have been before. Will be again.)

I’ll have to check out Pastorius some more - not as familiar with his work. Did he have any hits I’d be familiar with (US)? AM or FM hits, I mean.

I know Grateful Dead has always been hugely popular and successful. Their fans are some of the most dedicated of any in the music world. Many of their hits would have to earn a place on any such list, I’m sure.

Thanks, Dung Beetle.

Both of these would have to be up there, I think. Although, I suspect “Lola” would top “House” 50 or 100 years from now. (Could be wrong on that, though.)

Pastorius was a bassist. He is generally regarded as being the best bassist of all time; I was going to say he was to the bass as Hendrix was to the guitar, but that’s really not a good analogy. Pastorius combined peerless technical skill with innovative creativity and musicianship. In addition to being extremely schooled in deep music theory and possessing exceptional chops - he could read through the most complex classical score or jazz chart with ease (and was a prolific composer in his own right) - he also did things with the bass that nobody had ever heard before…he threw in harmonics, chords, ringing sustained tones that could sound like a brass horn, and all kinds of other little touches that made his playing intrinsically interesting and mesmerizing. And on top of this, he had unreal rhythmic timing and could play right in the pocket with superlative precision. There has simply never been any other bassist like Jaco, and there never will be.

He recorded an unbelievable amount of music with innumerable combinations of jazz, funk, and rock musicians - most notably as a member of Weather Report - but you’re quite unlikely to hear him on the radio. I would guess that if there’s one song featuring Jaco that the average person is most likely to hear on the radio, it’s Joni Mitchell’s Coyote. That song represents about 1/1000th of what Jaco was capable of doing.

Just now I read about his life and death on Wikipedia. 1951 - 1987. A tragically short lifespan. How sad. And such talent. His propensity for brawling made me think of another artist: Michele Angelo Caravaggio (d. 1610), the great Italian master.

So many artists, whether musical or visual, lived lives shorter than they might have been, if only . . . and therefore oeuvre smaller than might have been, if only . . .

The world should take better care of our artists, don’t you think?

Too much danger that “standing the test of time” means “I still really like it, decades later”.

As regards 50s rock, I’d pick Chuck Berry’s performances as still holding up strongly - compared to, say, Elvis songs with those treacly Lawrence Welkoid choruses in the background, or Bill Haley & The Comets hits. The latter sound badly dated, Chuck still rocks.

He actually didn’t have a propensity for brawling; according to his biography, which I have read many times, he never instigated violence. Sometimes he’d get drunk and provoke others into violence as a form of masochism, but he never retaliated.

Jaco was severely bipolar, and one side of him got sucked into alcohol and cocaine, and that bad side became uncontrollable for him. He never aspired to live a debauched rock star lifestyle. He never glamorized or glorified drugs and drinking; he hated them, but was nevertheless dependent on them. All he wanted to do was be a family man and provide for his wife and kids while creating music. His mental illness dragged him down. It’s a terrible, terrible story, and one of the reasons that I do not touch alcohol.

A lot of songs by the great American Songbook composers fit: George Geshwin, Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, Harry Warren, etc. Their music is still being recorded today.

You bet, RealityChuck. Now, tell me, would Lerner & Lowe, and Rodgers & Hammerstein be among the ones you list? Or would they make up another category in your view?

I like all of them very much, indeed.

And going back even further, Ragtime, and Scott Joplin! Anything he wrote is The Tops even today.