Yeah, I decided to make a list. For no reason other than “because it entered my mind”. I’ve never really been a list guy but what the hell people love lists. So I thought it would be fun. I’m just a people pleaser.

First thing I have to say is that Rock ‘n Roll is dead. Well, maybe not dead but it hasn’t been the dominant form of pop music in quite a while. Rock ‘n Roll was replaced nearly completely sometime in the Eighties by something called “Rock”. They’re cousins and not mutually exclusive. Some bands move effortlessly between both types of music. The way I differentiate them is that Rock ‘n Roll makes you want to get up and dance and Rock makes you want to get up and punch something as you dance. If you are waving your fist in the air as a show of defiance then you are listening to Rock music. Rock ‘n Roll is pure fun. Rock music is a little more serious and even angry. The Beatles are Rock ‘n Roll and Led Zeppelin is Rock.

I don’t really have a lot of Rock ‘n Roll music in my collection. Maybe because, as I define it, there hasn’t been much of it around in decades. My tastes tend to be eclectic anyway so that doesn’t leave room for one genre to dominate. Plus, being born in the 60’s, I was raised on Rock more than Rock ‘n Roll. I don’t even have any Beatles in my collection and I used them as an example of a Rock ‘n Roll band just a moment ago. Shows you what I know. So here we go in no particular order (hey it’s hard enough just coming up with a list).

Spencer Davis Group – Gimme Some Lovin’ – With Lil’ Stevie Winwood on lead vocals this song roars from beginning to end. I have no idea who Spencer Davis is but I give him credit for putting together a song that make me want to jump up and dance. If you can remain seated during this one than you should seek therapy immediately.

The Rolling Stones – Honky Tonk Woman – “She blew my nose and then she blew my mind”. Sing it Mick. This is my favorite Stones song and the one that I think is the most fun. And this is a band known for fun so you gotta give it up to them. When I hear this one start I give a whoop!

Johnny B. Goode – Chuck Berry – I don’t think I have to explain this one. This is the song that defines Rock ‘n Roll. If you don’t have a copy of it go and get one now.

Elton John – Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting – I don’t know that much about Elton John but this has to be the least autobiographical song he sings. I don’t think that Elton ever used to go out and get pissed with his mates and then start fights. But he sure can sing one hell of a song about it. Oh, and fighting in Rock ‘n Roll songs is never serious. It’s just part of life.

The Beach Boys – Little Deuce Coop – I was tempted to put Sloop John B in here since it is my favorite Beach Boys’ song but it is a little too whiney. On the other hand Little Deuce Coop is about being at the top of your game. It was one of the songs I danced to as a child listening to my Aunt’s old 45s. It’s a song about cars, hanging out with your buddies, and scoring with chicks. What’s more fun than that? I want to listen to it right now.

The Ramones – I Wanna Be Sedated – How can you not sing along with this one? At least the words you can understand. Yep, they make wanting to be sedated fun and fashionable.

The Grateful Dead – Uncle John’s Band – I’m no Dead Head but this song rules. It’ll make you do the Grateful Dead bop rather than any frantic dancing but not all Rock ‘n Roll dancing has to be the same. You might be able to sit for this one but not sit still.

AC DC – You Shook Me All Night Long – What kind of crazy person doesn’t get psyched when they hear this one start up? The hands start clapping then the fingers start pointing and a good time is had by all. More rhymes per minute than a rap song.

Queen – Fat Bottomed Girls – Yes, it’s an ode to “Big Fat Fatty” and Freddy Mercury makes me believe he means it. Irony would ruin this song and Queen never lets it creep in as they just have fun. This song is all about just having fun. When the first note hits you know it’s time to raise your hands in the air and dance around like a madman.

Dion and the Belmonts – The Wanderer – The epitome of the guy song. The Wanderer goes around romancing women and then forgeting their names. Oh, and he can fight well too. Put that to a beat you can dance to and you have all the ingredients of a classic.

Ones that almost made the list. All of them were kept of because of a little bit of seriousness in the lyrics.

The Pogues – The Body of an American – Some Irish rock about a funeral. I just heard it used in HBO’s “The Wire” as the sound track to an Irish American cop’s funeral. I first heard this song when the Pogues performed in on SNL back in ’90 and I couldn’t understand a word Shane McGowan was saying except for the chorus of “Free born man of the USA”. It’ll get you dancing and singing along with the chorus.

Tom Petty – American Girl – An easy one to sing along with. This song cranks it up a notch beyond the Grateful Dead Bop. Rock out.

Warren Zevon – Werewolves of London – Any song that I get to howl along with as I dance is going to be a favorite. No doubt.

Elvis Presley – Suspicious Minds – Some might not consider this period of Elvis’s career to be very Rock ‘n Roll but he kills on this song. Find any of the various live versions and he really has some fun with it. You know this song is an excuse for him. As he’s singing about the girl in the song not trusting him when “an old friend I know drops by to say hello” you know Elvis is banging every girl in the room. Anyone one else would sing this song seriously. Not Elvis. Tongue in cheek baby!

The Clash – Clampdown – This song will get you moving. It will even get your fist in the air but you won’t be sure if it’s in defiance. That’s because no one can understand the lyrics without a lyric sheet. Once you read them you’ll want to be in defiance of some racist factory in England or some such.