BBC 6music have been running a series of programmes about Rock 'n' Roll. Jim Jones did an excellent show sitting in for Guy Garvey which covered a really broad spectrum of artists from Eddie Cochrane and Jerry Lee Lewis to Tom Waits and The Stooges.
However, this top 5 gained it's inspiration from Gideon Coe's show The Best Rock 'n' Roll Songs About Rock 'n' Roll. As Gid said at the time, this was always going to be tricky to nail (especially in a one hour show) so he asked the listeners what they thought and picked the best. Despite Gid's modesty I think he nailed it. The tracklist on the BBC website is wrong so I've provided the full list below - I might add this lot to a Spotify playlist if I get the time.
The Best Rock 'n' Roll Songs About Rock 'n' Roll - Tracklist
Chuck Berry "Rock & Roll Music"
Ramones "Rock & Roll Radio"
Jesus & Mary Chain "I Love Rock & Roll"
AC/DC "It's A Long Way To Top If You Wanna Rock & Roll"
Led Zeppelin "Rock & Roll"
David Bowie "Ziggy Stardust"
Warren Smith "Rock & Roll Ruby"
Andy Partridge "History of Rock"
Little Feat "Rock & Roll Doctor"
Little Richard "Tutti Frutti"
Creedence Clearwater Revival "Travellin' Band"
The Byrds "So You Wanna Be A Rock & Roll Star?"
Ian Dury & The Blockheads "Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll"
Matthew E White "Rock & Roll is Cold"
Mott the Hoople "The Golden Age of Rock & Roll"
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club "Whatever Happened To Our Rock & Roll?"
The Velvet Underground "Rock & Roll"
This obviously led me to consider my own favourites and that's this weeks' top five topic which proved Gid did miss a couple of my personnel favourites.
1. Joan Jett & The Blackhearts "I Love Rock & Roll" - I found out during my "research" for this top five that this was actually a cover, the original being by Arrows and first released in 1975. Jett first recorded the song, as a B-side to "You Don't Own Me", in 1979 with Steve Jones and Paul Cook of the Sex Pistols. It didn't become a huge hit until 1981 when Joan re-recorded it with the Blackhearts and it went on to be Billboard number one for seven weeks.
2. Ramones "Rock & Roll Radio" - This is Rock 'n' Roll Radio. From the Phil Spector produced End Of The Century album. Working with Spector had it's well documented ups and downs but this is a fabulous song that blends the absolute best elements of both band and producer.
3. AC/DC "It's A Long Way To Top If You Wanna Rock & Roll" - Can't have a list about rock 'n' roll without AC/DC in it. This is one of my favourite of their songs too.
4. Chuck Berry "Rock & Roll Music" - I had to include a genuine Rock 'n' Roll originator in here and Chuck has been a huge influence on many of my favourite bands. This is a corker of a tune.
5. Argent "God Gave Rock & Roll To You" - So, I do know this song best for the KISS cover but Argent's original is great and I felt they deserved the nod (the KISS version is pretty much a carbon copy). One of those songs I just can't help but sing along to.