Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Top Southern rock songs of all time

Last night, we were toolin' around the TV listings and saw on CMT -- yes, I watched CMT, for like the first time in my life, but that's another story -- a show about the 20 greatest Southern rock songs of all time.

I bit.

I like Southern rock. It's odd, for sure. I mean, how long can you sit and listen to Duane Allman and Dickie Betts do scale exercises on their guitars? And why do all Southern rock bands have like 10 guys in the band? How many drummers do you need? Led Zeppelin had just one, why break that model?

Oh, well. I like some of the music, particularly the old stuff. Early 70s Allman Brothers, first .38 Special album, any Skynyrd they don't play on the radio. (They always leave the best stuff out.) I like Leslie West and Mountain. If you can get past the unkept beards, ugly clothes, and their habit of hanging Confederate flags behind the drum risers, some Southern rock had intense musicianship. Some, I said. Others was, well, this is a family blog.

(True story: In 6th grade, my music teacher used Charlie Daniels' "Devil Went Down to Georgia" as a teaching tool. She'd play the record, and we'd have to pick out the different instruments and tell her what they were. I passed.)

Anyway, we watched the show last night. Not bad. Apparently it's been on before, but we're virgin CMTers, so it was new to us.

Everything went OK until they did the final spot, and of course it went to "Sweet Home Alabama." Now, this may be heresy in the South, but huh? It's a good song and all, but I don't think it's Skynyrd's best song, much less the best of all time. Problem is, it's iconic. It's played so much on radio that when people hear Southern rock, they think "Sweet Home Alabama." So it won, hands-down. I could blog on this for days, but won't waste your time.

Oh, and I'll say this: It was weird watching the bit of the show about Molly Hatchet and remembering when they played Noble Street last summer. Strange how NONE of the guys in the original band were the ones who showed up in Anniston. Well, maybe there was one, but I know the drummer who played on Noble Street wasn't born when "Flirtin with Disaster" was recorded.

I digress.

Here's the CMT top ten:

1. Lynyrd Skynyrd"Sweet Home Alabama"
2. The Allman Brothers Band"Ramblin' Man"
Lynyrd Skynyrd"Free Bird"
4. The Marshall Tucker Band"Can't You See"
5. The Charlie Daniels Band"The Devil Went Down to Georgia"
6. The Allman Brothers Band"Midnight Rider"
7. Hank Williams, Jr."All My Rowdy Friends Are Comin' Over Tonight"
8. Little Feat"Dixie Chicken"
9. .38 Special"Hold On Loosely"
10. Elvin Bishop"Fooled Around and Fell in Love"

If you want to see the whole list, click here.