CC’s All-Time Hot 100

Egged on my pal Fritz Van Leaven, here is my latest attempt to narrow down and cobble together a list of my all-time 100 favorite tracks. 

The exercise itself reminds me once again that I have way, waaaaay more than just 100 favorite tracks. The overall list of a mere 100 could vary on any given day, and in fact it omits a few tracks that were included in an all-time Top 40 I concocted just a few months ago. Consistency is overrated, though certain core tracks will always remain in my Hot 100. 

This is NOT the same as The Greatest Record Ever Made! With that duly noted, these are a few of my favorite tracks.

CC’s ALL-TIME Hot 100

Updated 6/7/2022

ALL DAY AND ALL OF THE NIGHT The Kinks

ALL FOR SWINGING YOU AROUND The New Pornographers

ALLISON ROAD The Gin Blossoms

ANOTHER SAD AND LONELY NIGHT The Bobby Fuller Four

ANY WAY YOU WANT IT The Dave Clark Five

BABY BLUE Badfinger

BABYSITTER The Ramones

BEG, BORROW AND STEAL The Rare Breed/The Ohio Express

BITTERSWEET The Hoodoo Gurus

BLITZKRIEG BOP The Ramones

CALIFORNIA NIGHTS Lesley Gore

CARBONA NOT GLUE The Ramones

CATCH US IF YOU CAN The Dave Clark Five

COULDN’T I JUST TELL YOU Todd Rundgren

CRYIN’ SHAME The Parties

DA-A-A-ANCE The Lambrettas

DO ANYTHING YOU WANNA DO Eddie and the Hot Rods

DO THE FREDDIE Freddie and the Dreamers

THE DOOR INTO SUMMER The Monkees

EMPTY HANGERS Anny Celsi

EVERYWHERE THAT I’M NOT Translator

THE FIRST CUT IS THE DEEPEST P.P. Arnold

FIRST PLANE HOME The Flamin’ Groovies

FIVE O’CLOCK WORLD The Vogues

GIRLS IN THEIR SUMMER CLOTHES Bruce Springsteen

GLAD ALL OVER The Dave Clark Five

GOD ONLY KNOWS The Beach Boys

GOD SAVE THE QUEEN The Sex Pistols

GOING DOWN TO LIVERPOOL The Bangles

A HARD DAY’S NIGHT The Beatles

HEART FULL OF SOUL The Yardbirds

HEARTS IN HER EYES The Searchers

HELP! The Beatles

HIGHWAY LINES Mannix

HIS LAST SUMMER The Barracudas

I CAN’T EXPLAIN The Who

I CAN’T LET GO The Hollies

I DON’T WANT TO GROW UP The Ramones

I DON’T WANT TO SPOIL THE PARTY The Beatles

I ONLY WANT TO BE WITH YOU Dusty Springfield

I TELL NO LIES The Shoutless

I’M GONNA MAKE YOU LOVE ME The Jayhawks

(I’M NOT YOUR) STEPPIN’ STONE The Monkees

IN THE CITY The Jam

IT’S COLD OUTSIDE Stiv Bators

IT’S MY LIFE The Animals

IT’S THE SAME OLD SONG The Four Tops

JOHNNY B. GOODE Chuck Berry

KICKS Paul Revere and the Raiders

KIM THE WAITRESS Material Issue

LAUGH, LAUGH The Beau Brummels

LIES The Knickerbockers

LOVE TO LOVE The Monkees

A MILLION MILES AWAY The Plimsouls

(MY GIRL) MARYANNE The Spongetones

THE NIGHT BEFORE The Beatles

NO PROMISE The Flashcubes

NO REPLY The Beatles

NOTHING REALLY MATTERS WHEN YOU’RE YOUNG Screen Test

ON BROADWAY The Drifters

PERSONALITY CRISIS The New York Dolls

PLEASANT VALLEY SUNDAY The Monkees

PLEASE PLEASE ME The Beatles

PORPOISE SONG (THEME FROM HEADThe Monkees

PROMISED LAND Chuck Berry

RAIN The Beatles

ROCK AND ROLL LOVE LETTER The Bay City Rollers

SAYING GOODBYE The Muffs

SEPTEMBER GURLS Big Star

SHAKE SOME ACTION The Flamin’ Groovies

SHE SAID SHE SAID The Beatles

SHEENA IS A PUNK ROCKER The Ramones

SHOUT IT OUT LOUD KISS

SOLITARY MAN Neil Diamond

SOUND OF THE RADIO Screen Test

ST. VALENTINE’S DAY MASSACRE The Cocktail Slippers

SYRACUSE SUMMER The Tearjerkers

THE TEARS OF A CLOWN Smokey Robinson and the Miracles

THANK YOU, GIRL [U.S. Capitol Records mix] The Beatles

THIS DIAMOND RING Sammy Ambrose

THIS YEAR’S GONNA BE OUR YEAR Eytan Mirsky

TIME HAS COME TODAY The Chambers Brothers

TIME WILL TELL Holly Golightly

TIRED OF WAITING FOR YOU The Kinks

TO SIR, WITH LOVE [MUSEUM OUTINGS MONTAGE] Lulu

TOMORROW NIGHT Shoes

THE TRANSYLVANIA TWIST Baron Daemon and the Vampires

TWENTY FOUR HOURS FROM TULSA Gene Pitney

UNCLE JOHN’S BAND The Grateful Dead

VACATION The Go-Go’s

WALK AWAY RENEE The Left Banke

WALK, DON’T RUN The Ventures

WATERLOO SUNSET The Kinks

WE GOT THE BEAT The Go-Go’s

WHAT AM I DOING HANGIN’ ‘ROUND? The Monkees

WHAT TIME IS IT The Jive Five

(WHAT’S SO FUNNY ‘BOUT) PEACE, LOVE & UNDERSTANDING Elvis Costello and the Attractions

WOULDN’T YOU LIKE IT The Bay City Rollers

YOU REALLY GOT ME The Kinks

YOU’RE GONNA MISS ME The 13th Floor Elevators

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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 about our history here.

I’m on Twitter @CafarelliCarl

5 GREAT MOVIE SONGS! (From films I either didn’t like or never saw)

Rock ‘n’ roll as we know it might not even exist if not for the movies. That may be an overstatement, but it’s certainly true that rock’s first crossover success came via Hollywood. When the film The Blackboard Jungle appeared in 1955, its opening credits sequence propelled a novelty fox trot called “Rock Around The Clock” to the top of the pops, making the seemingly unlikely figures of Bill Haley and his Comets the world’s first rock ‘n’ roll stars. The ongoing sheet-shakin’ between rock and film has been consummated again and again over the ensuing decades, from Jailhouse Rockthrough A Hard Day’s NightThe Monkees in HeadThe Ramones in Rock ‘n’ Roll High School, and the fictional Oneders in That Thing You Do!, plus whatever more recent iterations have occurred since I grew too old to keep up with what you crazy kids are up to. Just stay off of my lawn already.

The sheer abundance of great rock ‘n’ pop tracks that have appeared in movies makes the prospect of selecting my all-time Top 5 movie songs too daunting to consider. Honestly, I doubt I could even narrow down a list of my five favorite Beatles movie songs, and I’d still need room for at least two tracks from The Dave Clark Five‘s Having A Wild Weekend, The Monkees’ “Porpoise Song (Theme From ‘Head’),” Little Richard‘s title tune from The Girl Can’t Help It, the museum outings montage version of Lulu‘s “To Sir, With Love,” and Paul McCartney and Wings‘ license to thrill “Live And Let Die.” Among others. Among a lot of others! “Light Of Day” by Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, fercryinoutloud!

So, as an alternative, I figured I’d list five great movie songs from films I either didn’t really like or have never actually seen. That narrows things down to a more manageable field. By arbitrarily discarding any song used as a film’s title tune–buh-bye “Don’t Make Waves” by The Byrds and “They Ran For Their Lives” by The Knickerbockers–I came up with a quintet of popcorn-ready tracks that mean more to me than the films that delivered ’em. Dim the room. Kill your phones. And keep your trap shut until the closing credits roll. Lights! Camera! GUITARS!!

THE CRAWLING KINGSNAKES: “Philadelphia Baby” (from Porky’s Revenge).

The only Porky’s film I ever saw in its entirety was the first one, and I did not care for it. I mean, c’mon–it’s not like it was The Hollywood Knights or something. But one of its sequels, 1985’s Porky’s Revenge, had a killer soundtrack, consisting mostly of oldies covered by acts like Jeff BeckWillie NelsonClarence ClemonsThe Fabulous Thunderbirds, and Dave Edmunds, plus Carl Perkins performing a new version of his own “Blue Suede Shoes” with two out of three Stray Cats. The soundtrack also includes George Harrison‘s otherwise-unavailable take on Bob Dylan‘s “I Don’t Want To Do It,” and Edmunds (who was in charge of the soundtrack) turns in an incredible original called “High School Nights.” But the highlight is this cover of Charlie Rich‘s “Philadelphia Baby” by The Crawling Kingsnakes. Who da Kingsnakes? None other than Robert Plant, with Edmunds, Paul Martinez, and Phil Collins. That’s a pretty impressive line-up for a no-account flick like Porky’s Revenge.

THE FOUR TOPS: “Are You Man Enough” (from Shaft In Africa).

Another sequel. I don’t remember whether or not I’ve ever seen the original Shaft, but I certainly knew Isaac Hayes‘ title theme song. I did see some episodes of the TV series that eventually followed. And everybody knew that Richard Roundtree was badass in the role of the man that would risk his neck for his brother, man. 1973’s Shaft In Africa brought “Are You Man Enough” to AM radio, and it was my de facto introduction to The Four Tops. I retroactively discovered the group’s fantastic ’60s catalog, but it all started for me with this song from Shaft In Africa. Can you dig it?

HERMAN’S HERMITS: “A Must To Avoid” (from Hold On!)

When I think of rock ‘n’ roll movies, I don’t think of concert films or documentaries. I think of scripted flicks with some excuse for a plot (however slight), and pop idols singin’ their songs. I primarily think of star vehicles, like Sonny & Cher in Good Times or Bloodstone in Train Ride To Hollywood. As a kid growing up in the ’60s, I only saw two such films: the magnificent A Hard Day’s Night and the significantly less-great Hold On!, the latter starring Herman’s Hermits. I’m sure I liked Hold On! just fine when I was six or whatever; I tried to watch it as an adult, but could not get through it. On the other hand, the soundtrack LP has its moments, particularly this rousing pop put-down, a song spirited enough that my power pop Fave Raves The Flashcubes used to include it in their live sets circa ’78 or so.

DAVID JOHANSEN & ROBIN JOHNSON: “Flowers In The City” (from Times Square)

1980’s Robert Stigwood-produced Times Square was supposed to do for new wave music what Stigwood’s earlier success with Saturday Night Fever did for dat ole debbil disco: sell records, inspire pop culture, and generate a free flow of cold, hard cash. It did not do that. The few minutes of the film I’ve managed to catch in passing on TV support the prevailing opinion that Times Square was stuffy and overly serious in its tone. I think I’d still like to see it some day, and see what I think of it. The 2-LP soundtrack album is very good, comprised mostly of familiar gems by The Ramones,
Suzi QuatroTalking HeadsRoxy MusicThe PretendersJoe JacksonXTC, et al., all of which were available elsewhere, but which made an attractive purchase when bundled together in one pretty package. “Flowers In The City,” a duet between former New York Dolls frontman David Johansen and Times Square co-star Robin Johnson, is unique to the film’s soundtrack, and it’s terrific. It was released at the peak of my interest in Johansen, and it’s as great as nearly anything on his first two solo albums, and better than anything he did after that.

PAUL McCARTNEY: “Not Such A Bad Boy” (from Give My Regards To Broad Street)

Paul McCartney‘s Give My Regards To Broad Street may get a worse rap than it really deserves. It’s not bad, but it’s not in any way special, either. Well, let’s amend that a bit–even by itself, the presence of McCartney does make it sorta special. I should add this to the list of movies I oughtta watch again and re-assess. The soundtrack is mostly very nice, including a remake of “Ballroom Dancing” and the hit single “No More Lonely Nights.” The album approaches the transcendental with two of McCartney’s best tracks of the ’80s–“No Values” and “Not Such A Bad Boy”–which are not on any other album. Both tracks feature McCartney playing with an ace combo of Ringo StarrChris Spedding, and Porky’s Revenge wunderkind Dave Edmunds, and they’re just as solid as anything Sir Paul ever did after leaving the act you’ve known for all these years. In particular, “Not Such A Bad Boy” is such a confident rockin’ pop number, oozing with swagger and amiable panache. It’s aching for rediscovery as one of McCartney’s best.

Okay, the house lights are on. Clean up your concession-stand debris and head for the parking lot. And let’s pop in a rock ‘n’ roll movie soundtrack to accompany our drive home.

If you wanna read some half-baked notions of how I would have (in theory) slapped together a rock ‘n’ roll movie when I was younger, check out my proposed Bay City Rollers movie, or my quarter-baked fantasy of an ’80s update of The Girl Can’t Help It starring Bo Derek(the latter also featuring bonus discussion of a Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart TV series and a star vehicle for Ireland’s phenomenal pop combo The Undertones. I could rule the world if I had money. And ambition. And talent. 
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