This Is Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio # 1092: The Greatest Record Ever Made! (Volume 1) [a finite look at the infinite]
An infinite number of songs can each be THE greatest record ever made, as long as they take turns.
A few years back, I decided that notion would be a great premise for a series of essays. Yeah, The Greatest Record Ever Made! Some friends (including intrepid TIRnRR listener Dave Murray and invincible TIRnRR co-host Dana Bonn) urged me to start writing already, so the GREM! celebrations began on my blog with a spotlight on Badfinger‘s “Baby Blue,” posted October 27th, 2016. Many more GREM! pieces would follow, part of an ongoing but finite glimpse at the infinite.
Seemed like a good idea for a book, too. I’ve written for magazines for decades, I’ve written for other people’s books, but I’ve never had a book with my name on the front cover. In late 2018, I started putting together The Greatest Record Ever Made! (Volume 1) as a book. In 2019, I secured an agent, wrote a formal book proposal, and things seemed to snapping into place for my GREM! book.
Until, y’know, they weren’t snappin’ anymore.
I went over some of the circumstances of the book’s (perhaps permanent) pause here. Right now, I’m working on another book, which has an agreement with a publisher and a tentative publication date in late 2022. But I have not given up on my baby. I haven’t given up on The Greatest Record Ever Made!
So here’s a playlist built from songs given individual chapters in a long-threatened book called The Greatest Record Ever Made! (Volume 1). Each set is designed as an excerpt from the book’s planned Table of Contents, replicating six-song sequences from throughout the book. The two exceptions are the show’s next-to-last set, which takes a break from the plan for a little bit of free play, offering songs from different parts of the book, and then also moving the Bay City Rollers‘ “Rock And Roll Love Letter” to the very end of the show, after the T-Bones‘ “No Matter What Shape (Your Stomach’s In)” and the Ramones‘ “Blitzkrieg Bop” conclude the book.
Of course, the book contains many more songs than a three-hour radio show can spin before its witching hour. In addition to the stellar roll call of artists in the playlist seen below, The Greatest Record Ever Made! (Volume 1) will also include the Isley Brothers, the Shangri-Las, the Rubinoos, James Brown, Merle Haggard, the Spinners, the Bobby Fuller Four, Amy Rigby, Pink Floyd, the Beach Boys, Ike and Tina Turner, Suzi Quatro, Melanie with the Edwin Hawkins Singers, the New York Dolls, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Translator, the Bob Seger System, Freda Payne, Judy Collins, the Kingsmen, Little Richard, Patti Smith, the Temptations, the Ronettes, Rufus, Big Star, P. P. Arnold, the Smithereens, the Partridge Family, the O’Jays, the Pandoras, Paul Revere and the Raiders, the Shirelles, Lesley Gore, the Rolling Stones, Rick James (solo and with the Mynah Birds), the Pretenders, Millie Small, the Clash, the Jam, the Grateful Dead, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, the Dave Brubeck Quartet, the Supremes, Ben E. King, Don Henley, Led Zeppelin, the Bandwagon, Holly Golightly, the Maytals, the Cowsills, War, Petula Clark, Cheap Trick, the Jive Five, the Dave Clark Five, the MC5, Heart, Big Brother and the Holding Company, Solomon Burke, Arthur Alexander, Alice Cooper, the Muffs, Eddie and the Hot Rods, T. Rex, Springsteen, Dylan, the Trammps, Linda Ronstadt, Grandmaster and Melle Mel, Judas Priest, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, the Bangles, the Four Tops, Grand Funk, Sammy Ambrose, Van Halen, the Chambers Brothers, Baron Daemon and the Vampires, and so much more.
Each song is great. Each song is the greatest, in its own infinite turn. There oughtta be a book about that. Maybe there will be. This is what rock ‘n’ roll radio sounded like with The Greatest Record Ever Made! (Volume 1) on a Sunday night in Syracuse this week.
This Is Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio with Dana & Carl airs Sunday nights from 9 to Midnight Eastern, on the air in Syracuse at SPARK! WSPJ 103.3 and 93.7 FM, and on the web at http://sparksyracuse.org/ You can read all about this show’s long and weird history here: Boppin’ The Whole Friggin’ Planet (The History Of THIS IS ROCK ‘N’ ROLL RADIO). TAX DEDUCTIBLE DONATIONS are always welcome.
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TIRnRR # 1092: 8/29/2021: The Greatest Record Ever Made! (Volume 1) [a finite look at the infinite]
THE RAMONES: Do You Remember Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio? (Rhino, End Of The Century)
BADFINGER: Baby Blue (Apple, Straight Up)
CHUCK BERRY: Promised Land (MCA, The Anthology)
DUSTY SPRINGFIELD: I Only Want To Be With You (Mercury, The Very Best Of Dusty Springfield)
THE SEX PISTOLS: God Save The Queen (Virgin, Kiss This)
ELVIS PRESLEY: Heartbreak Hotel (RCA, The Top Ten Hits)
WILLIE MAE “BIG MAMA” THORNTON: Hound Dog (Sony, VA: Nowhere Boy OST)
THE RARE BREED: Beg, Borrow & Steal (Rhino, VA: Nuggets)
OTIS REDDING: (Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay (Rhino, Otis!)
ARETHA FRANKLIN: Respect (Atlantic, The Atlantic Singles 1967-1970)
THE MONKEES: Porpoise Song (Theme From Head) (Rhino, 50)
PRINCE: When You Were Mine (Warner Brothers, The Hits/The B-Sides)
THE 13th FLOOR ELEVATORS: You’re Gonna Miss Me (Rhino, VA: Nuggets)
THE WHO: I Can’t Explain (MCA, My Generation)
TODD RUNDGREN: Couldn’t I Just Tell You (Rhino, Something/Anything?)
SHOES: Tomorrow Night (Big Beat, VA: Come On Let’s Go!)
THE FLASHCUBES: No Promise (Northside, Bright Lights)
TELEVISION: Elevation (Elektra, Marquee Moon)
DONNA SUMMER: I Feel Love (Mercury, Summer: The Original Hits)
THE FLAMIN’ GROOVIES: Shake Some Action (Ground Up Wrong, Between The Lines)
THE CARPENTERS: Only Yesterday (A & M, The Singles 1969-1981)
MATERIAL ISSUE: Kim The Waitress (Mercury, Freak City Soundtrack)
THE 5TH DIMENSION: Aquarius/Let The Sun Shine In (The Flesh Failures) (Arista, The Ultimate 5th Dimension)
THE JACKSON FIVE: I’ll Be There (Motown, VA: Hitsville USA)
SLY & THE FAMILY STONE: Everybody Is A Star (Epic, Greatest Hits)
THE VELVET UNDERGROUND: I’ll Be Your Mirror (Polydor, Peel Slowly And See)
DEL SHANNON: Runaway (Rhino, Greatest Hits)
THE EVERLY BROTHERS: Gone, Gone, Gone (Warner Nrothers, Walk Right Back)
THE COCKTAIL SLIPPERS: St. Valentine’s Day Massacre (Wicked Cool, Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre)
FREDDIE & THE DREAMERS: Do The Freddie (EMI, The Best Of Freddie & the Dreamers)
SAM & DAVE: Soul Man (MCA, VA: The Complete Stax-Volt Singles 1959-1968)
JOAN ARMATRADING: Me Myself I (A & M, Greatest Hits)
COTTON MATHER: The Book Of Too Late Changes (Star Apple Kingdom, Death Of The Cool)
THE SELECTER: On My Radio (EMI, Greatest Hits)
MANNIX: Highway Lines (Futureman, VA: This Is Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio, Volume 3)
TRACEY ULLMAN: They Don’t Know (Rhino, You Broke My Heart In 17 Places)
THE DRIFTERS: On Broadway (Atlantic, All-Time Greatest Hits & More: 1959-1965)
THE KINKS: You Really Got Me (Essential, Kinks)
SMOKEY ROBINSON & THE MIRACLES: The Tears Of A Clown (Motown, VA: Hitsville USA)
THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS: All For Swinging You Around (Matador, Electric Version)
THE SPONGETONES: (My Girl) Maryanne (Loaded Goat, Always Carry On)
KISS: Shout It Out Loud (Mercury, Destroyer)
THE COASTERS: Yakety Yak (Warner Platinum, Yakety Yak)
EDDIE COCHRAN: Somethin’ Else (Razor & Tie, Somethin’ Else)
LULU: To Sir, With Love [museum outings montage] (Retroactive, VA: To Sir, With Love OST)
NELSON RIDDLE [credited to NEAL HEFTI]: The Batman Theme (Watertower Music, VA: The Music Of DC Comics: Volume 2)
THE GO-GO’S: We Got The Beat (IRS, Beauty And The Beat)
THE RAMONES: Sheena Is A Punk Rocker (Rhino, Rocket To Russia)
JOAN JETT: Bad Reputation (Blackheart, Bad Reputation)
STEVIE WONDER: I Believe (When I Fall In Love It Will Be Forever) (Tamla, Talking Book)
MARYKATE O’NEIL: I’m Ready For My Luck To Turn Around (71, 1-800-Bankrupt)
EYTAN MIRSKY: This Year’s Gonna Be Our Year (M-Squared, Year Of The Mouse)
THE JAYHAWKS: I’m Gonna Make You Love Me (Columbia, Smile)
THE BEATLES: Rain (Apple, Past Masters)
THE T-BONES: No Matter What Shape (Your Stomach’s In) (BGO, No Matter What Shape [Your Stomach’s In]/Sippin’ ‘N Chippin’)
THE RAMONES: Blitzkrieg Bop (Rhino, Ramones)
THE BAY CITY ROLLERS: Rock And Roll Love Letter (Arista, The Definitive Collection)