1. The Ramones, "Blitzkrieg Bop." A sonic blast to introduce a new generation of rock and roll music, "Blitzkrieg Bop" can lay claim to kick-starting the punk rock movement. Which, of course, means that lots of people hated it from the start. It was clear to people with fresh ears that the Ramones were a pop band, but it took the mainstream a couple of decades to figure out that particular truth. Now, you can't attend a sporting event without hearing "Blitzkrieg Bop" … hey ho, let's go! The video link features P.J. Soles in her greatest performance, as Riff Randall, their #1 fan.
2. Johnnie Taylor, "Disco Lady." No matter how silly the lyrics to "Blitzkrieg Bop" are (and that was partly the point, after all), they can't hold a candle to this classic "they don't write 'em like that anymore" song. "Move it in, move it out, Shove it in, round about" … that puts the single in double entendre.
3. The Wild Tchoupitoulas, "Meet the Boys on the Battlefront." One of the great one-off albums ever, mostly forgotten, always listenable, guaranteed to enliven any party. Everyone loves this, even my hip-hop son. "The Wild Tchoupitoulas' gonna stomp some rump!"
4. Jonathan Richman & the Modern Lovers, "Important in Your Life." This Random Ten is giving a feel for the schizophrenic nature of mid-70s music. This one should have been closer on the playlist to the Ramones, but what the heck. Richman and the Ramones offered different versions of rock and roll minimalism … both versions were very influential on subsequent punk rock.
5. Electric Light Orchestra, "Telephone Line." Bands like ELO were the reason punk rock needed to be invented. Nonetheless, "Telephone Line" is one of most gorgeous songs you'll ever hear.
6. Blondie, "Attack of the Giant Ants." Shuffle play is really messing around this time. This should be next to Richman and the Ramones. Debbie's the first woman to show up on this Random Ten … now all that we'll get are women. The joys of shuffle.
7. Joan Armatrading, "Down to Zero." I can't remember a time when Joan Armatrading sounded "current." Far as I know from popping in to listen to her every once in awhile, she's been quietly making her music for three decades, never much changing, always satisfying her cult. I'm a take-her-or-leave-her kind of guy, myself, but I always liked this one. Her fans will enjoy the video version.
8. Dorothy Moore, "Misty Blue." Moore seems to have been forgotten. Can't go wrong with this one, though. Based on the video link, someone remembers, someone a lot different than me.
9. Vicki Sue Robinson, "Turn the Beat Around." Can't forget the disco. Love to hear percussion!
10. Patti Smith, "My Generation." I DON'T NEED THAT FUCKIN' SHIT! HOPE I DIE BECAUSE OF IT!
We created it, let's take it over.