When Rolling Stone Magazine drafted 172 music industry icons to compile the "500 Greatest Songs Of All Time" list published in December 2004, they created what they called the "ultimate jukebox" from the rock and roll era.
The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and Elvis Presley accounted for 128 of the 500 songs with Dylan's "Like A Rolling Stone" getting the top billing followed by "Satisfaction" by Mick and the boys and John Lennon's "Imagine." Marvin Gaye and Aretha Franklin rounded off the top five with "What's Going On" and "Respect." respectively.
The second five included The Beach Boys with "Good Vibrations" plus Chuck Berry duck walking to "Johnny B. Goode." The Beatles added #8 with "Hey Jude" followed by "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana and Ray Charles pounded out "What'd I Say" on the keyboards to round out the top 10.
It is hard to argue with the panel that included Beach Boy Brian Wilson, Elvis Costello, Art Garfunkel, Joni Mitchell, BS&T founder Al Kooper and Roger McGuinn of The Byrds, plus Motown's Barry Gordy. Covering 50 years is a huge task, and not everything could be included even in a list of 500 songs.
Having songs sitting at #1 on the charts for the most weeks was not an automatic invitation to the list for an artist. If so, Mariah Carey would be included with Janet Jackson and Whitney Houston, who all had more total weeks at #1 position than the Rolling Stones.
Carlos Santana and The Four Seasons, also with more weeks on top than the Stones, did not make the cut.
Santana did not score a hit #1 in the old days of "Evil Ways" and "Black Magic Woman." It took an additional 30 years and a collaboration with Rob Thomas before "Smooth" went to #1 for 12 weeks in 1999 with 30 weeks in the top 10. Carlos Santana deserves a place on the list.
The Four Seasons spent 18 weeks at #1 with at five different songs, three #1 hits within seven months in 1962-63. Their doo-wop style accentuated by Frankie Valli's high falsettos were a trademark.
The Association with top 10 hits like "Along Comes Mary" and "Windy" are the obvious choices. "Never My Love" charted in the top five all-time radio plays with more than seven million spins. That's about the same number as "Hey Jude" and "Dock Of The Bay."
Speaking of '60s vocal groups, The Fifth Dimension could easily have been included for its #1 hit "Aquarius/Let The Sun Shine In" or "Up, Up And Away" with more than six million radio plays over the years.
The two top rock/jazz groups of the era, Chicago along with Blood, Sweat and Tears did not chart. Chicago has landed on the charts 50 times in the past 38 years with 20 top 10 singles, five of which hit #1. They have recorded more than 25 albums, and 18 of them are certified gold.
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BS&T in either the Al Kooper or David Clayton-Thomas phases deserves a spot for a number of hits like "You Made Me So Very Happy" and "Spinning Wheel."
Several British Invasion acts were surprisingly ignored. The Dave Clark Five ran neck and neck with the Beatles during early British mania. "Glad All Over," "Bits And Pieces" and several others could have been included.
How could The Moody Blues have been slighted with 18 platinum records? At the very least "Knights In White Satin" should have been rewarded. They also were let off the top album list a year ago.
The Hollies did not get mentioned with standards like "Carrie Anne," "Carousel" and "Bus Stop." Although they received other kudos, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page were left off the list as The Yardbirds. The Searchers, Herman's Hermits and Donovan also did not make the cut with any of their releases.
In the category of male vocalists Paul Anka's first major hit "Diana" sold nine million copies, and he scored #1 singles in three decades. Rick Nelson charted eight times in a row from 1957-9 plus several later hits.
Neither Neil Diamond, Neil Sedaka, Pat Boone nor Johnny Rivers make the cut. John Denver, who had four #1 hits, the same number as Beach Boys, Blondie and Jackson 5 was also not listed.
With more than 30 single releases Leslie Gore could not crack the Top 500. Neither could Judy Collins or Linda Ronstadt with 19 gold, 14 platinum and seven multi-platinum releases.
Here are a few other artists that were not included in the Top 500: The Buckinghams, Three Dog Night. Talking Heads plus Peter, Paul and Mary and The Kingston Trio. You can also add The Doobie Brothers, The Spinners, The Monkees and Gene Pitney to the list of artists who did not receive invitations to the party as well as Tommy James, The Grass Roots, The Classics IV, Bread, Frank Sinatra, Nilsson, The Turtles, Jan And Dean and Bobby Vinton. Also, don't forget Bob Seger.
By the way, Debbie Boone did not make it for "You Light up My Life," and the only member of the Beatles not to land a spot on the list as a solo act was Ringo Starr.
Certainly not all noted here should have songs elevated to the lofty status of the Rolling Stone Top 500 List. After all, who do you kick off? But, it makes you realize that over a period of 50 years a list of 500 songs may not be enough. It's just a starting place.
Rick Chase, who would like to see your list of additions, can be reached at email@example.com