The most pop-culturally significant song of all time ever in th...

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9 on the singles chart when it was released in 1981. Yet the song has had a lifespan that's long outlasted most No.
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1 - 20 of 25 Comments Last updated Jul 4, 2009
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john galt

York, PA

#1 Jun 29, 2009
Don't stop believing is a very good choice as it has popped up in Movies and TV since 1981.
But I have another nominee for the most pop-culturally significant song of all time ever in the history of universe?
This song is from the 60's ( 1967) I think.
It was by a One-Hit Wonder group never heard of again.
It is played in front of crowds nearly every day somewhere in the U.S.A and probably every day if you count the planet.
I heard it was even played at the Obama ceremony on jan 20, 2009 as president George Bush was leaving in his helicopter for Texas.
2 million people started singing "NA NA NA NA, NA NA NA NA, HEY HEY HEY GOODBYE"
the group was Steam
OCGirl

Irvine, CA

#2 Jun 30, 2009
who is john galt? but seriously, i wish i could think of a better song for this than "Don't Stop Believing." c'mon ppl, suggestions please....
Aaron R

Decatur, IL

#3 Jun 30, 2009
What's funny is that I used to love the song until it started getting used for all manner of things. Now I tend to grit my teeth when I hear the opening piano part.

My choices?

1. "You Light Up My Life"--Like it or hate it, it made sappy, stupid romantic songs worthy of play on the radio. Now they're everywhere. Curse you, Debbie Boone, curse you!

2. "Gangster's Paradise"--When rap still mattered, when rap was still good, when rap actually made people care about the lyrics.

3. "Rock Around the Clock"--The start of modern music. Anybody who calls themselves a fan of music who doesn't know this song has an incomplete education.

4. "Love Me Tender"--Men can sing about romance without sounding like sissies, too. Well, except for Michael Bolton.

5. "Bohemian Rhapsody"--Most long songs are crap ("In-a-Gadda-Da-Vida " is the poster child for this genre); this one ain't.

6. "Ramblin' Man"--Southerners can do more than twang banjos and sing about their truck fallin' apart after their girl done left them. I'd have listed "Sweet Home Alabama" here, but that should be obvious.

7. Finally, "We Are the World." How many other songs have likely been heard by nearly half the planet at one point? Not many. Plus, the point mattered then, and it still matters now.

"Don't Stop Believin'" is nice for a wedding reception, but for being culturally-significant? Feh.
OCGirl

Irvine, CA

#4 Jul 1, 2009
oh i asked for suggestions, and you delivered-- yay! thanks Aaron R.

i think you have some very good choices. i thought about it more and came up with some of my own. here goes:

1. "I Wanna Hold Your Hand"--the Beatles intro into the US, never to be the same.

2. "My Generation"--this has stuck around on a lot of levels.

3.(Can't Get No) "Satisfaction"--c'mo n this embodies the American mantra's of 'more more more' and 'bigger is always better!'

4. "Smells Like Teen Spirit"--changed the direction of music at a time it really needed changing (it was bad music times), and opened the door for alternative to become mainstream.

HM's:(Ain't Nothing but a) "Hound Dog," "California Dreaming," "Age of Aquarius," "Tom Sawyer," and either "Hell's Bells" or "You Shook Me All Night Long."

i was talking to a friend about it and he also mentioned "Rock Around the Clock." (like you did.)

oh and you (Aaron R) wrote: "'Love Me Tender'--Men can sing about romance without sounding like sissies, too. Well, except for Michael Bolton."

dang...lol, classic.
OCGirl

Irvine, CA

#5 Jul 1, 2009
oh, one more i should've mentioned, "Hey Jude."
Go Blue

West Palm Beach, FL

#6 Jul 1, 2009
"Summertime Blues" by Blue Cheer....
Aaron R

Decatur, IL

#7 Jul 1, 2009
I forgot about "Smells Like Teen Spirit," which should be included on any list like this. It really did change music, for better or worse. Without this, you don't get Green Day or System of a Down. True, you have to deal with bloated double albums by Smashing Pumpkins, but even KISS got full of themselves after awhile.

As for "Hey, Jude," I only agree with that for the first couple minutes of the song, followed by the first three repeated "Na-na-na-na-na-na-naaaaa s." After that, I want to kick my boot through the speakers.

I was trying to think of a country song that would fit in a list like this, but there were too many to choose from. Hank Williams and Patsy Cline had several hits that could have applied, but I'll leave somebody more familiar with that genre to participate.

As for heavy metal, I'd give it to "Back In Black." It brought metal into the modern era, got rid of the glam rock from the 70s, and made the genre dirty and mean, which is as it should be (so said my evil side, mwa-ha-ha-ha).
OCGirl

Irvine, CA

#8 Jul 2, 2009
okay, i'll concede to Back in Black as that was the album's title track. i considered that, but i thought perhaps the other 2 songs that i mentioned (also on the same album) had more pop-culture significance.

or instead of Hey Jude, i could've included one of Lennon's iconic songs, like "Give Peace a Chance" or "Revolution." corrxn--Revolution, hmmm...written by Lennon but maybe a Beatles song i think.

funny, i was also trying to think of a country song to include, but i couldn't (and i am not a country fan either). but i am very familiar with Patsy Cline, and i don't really think any of her songs qualifies, maybe "I Go Out Walkin," but not really. i guess the closest i got to country on my list was Elvis. you had "Ramblin' Man" (kind of "country-esque"). i did think of Donny & Marie Osmond singing "I'm a Little Bit Country/Rock n' Roll," but ugh. but, it does have pop-culture significance!:)

ooooh, i did just think of "Ring of Fire." that's a possibility.

finally, i was think where's the girl power? and i think the pop icon Madonna could have a song on the list. not my fave Madonna song, but i think i have to give it up to "Like a Virgin" (yes, pun intentional) as her most pop-culturally sig song.

whew! can you tell i like thinking/posting about music?
OCGirl

Irvine, CA

#9 Jul 2, 2009
*corrxn* i meant to say one of Lennon's iconic songs like "Imagine."

i also meant to say that i agree that Back in Black def was a game-changer.

and also thinking the song "Mrs. Robinson" might get a mention, especially considering the current "cougar" rage.(but i really don't like that word.)
Go Blue

West Palm Beach, FL

#10 Jul 2, 2009
"Bridge over Troubled Water" was huge during the height of the Vietnam war...
Aaron R

Decatur, IL

#11 Jul 2, 2009
Well, if you're going to throw out Simon & Garfunkel songs, I'd have to go with "The Sound of Silence," which wasn't so ear-shatteringly full of meaning (which S&G songs tended to be). Also, I'm into eerie-sounding songs in minor keys (or major keys with a lot of extra flats).

I thought about "Ring of Fire" for a country song, as well, but that had great crossover appeal during each of its releases, so I dropped that from my mental list. I asked my father, since he was more into country than I ever was, and he mentioned both "Sweet Dreams" by Patsy Cline and "Dueling Banjos," just because of how often it's been used in various venues. Also, he tends to whistle that song when he meets somebody who is the epitome of white trash.:P

"Imagine" doesn't have the staying power that a lot of people thought it would. In fact, I'd say John Lennon's music is being slowly forgotten, since few people under the age of 30 seem to have much appreciation for The Beatles or their members. I've known exactly three people born after 1980 who can name even five Beatles or John Lennon songs. Not good for a band/songwriter that used to be kings of all music.

Oh, and for your "girl power" selection, OCGirl, I had to include "You Oughta Know" by Alanis Morissette. Rage in musical form, gotta love it.
Go Blue

West Palm Beach, FL

#12 Jul 2, 2009
Also, Marty Robbin's "Streets of Laredo" would be an early transition piece into more modern country, also possibly Patsy Kline's big hits...
OCGirl

Irvine, CA

#13 Jul 2, 2009
Aaron R, i also probably prefer "The Sound of Silence" over "Mrs. Robinson," but i was trying to focus on the pop-culture significance aspect.

Thought more about Patsy, and i think maybe "Crazy" or "I Fall to Pieces" might be the most well-known of her songs. maybe with Crazy being the one most sampled into other works.

"Dueling Banjo's." Now there might be the ultimate pop-culturally significant country music. good one, Aaron's Dad!

now that you got me thinking of Dad's (and thinking of my Dad), "American Pie" comes to mind as being pretty significant in pop-culture.

but, but..."Imagine" is still played so often as background music, it still seems significant (that's the best argument for it that i could come up with at the moment). sigh.

that's pretty sad about ppl under 30. i guess there's not as many old Beatles albums (or any albums in general!) laying around for the kids to discover while growing up.(i had an old turntable in my room and used to play old albums a lot when i was a little kid.)

i don't have any objection to the inclusion of an Alanis song for added girl power. it gets me wondering if 30 years from now, will there be more women artists included in the list with having to make a point to include some?

this is my fave thread! i'm just glad that we've gotten so over "Don't Stop Believing." i feel much better now!
OCGirl

Irvine, CA

#14 Jul 2, 2009
Go Blue, i heard of the 1st two songs you suggested and can understand their pop-culture significance, but you lost me on "Streets of Laredo." i even went to hear it on youtube, and the song doesn't even sound familiar, so not sure how significant it is in pop-culture?(but still glad you've been chiming in here!):)
OCGirl

Irvine, CA

#15 Jul 2, 2009
oh one more for Dad, "Bad Bad Leroy Brown." heehee, that title just sounds funny. or maybe "Time in a Bottle," but not sure how pop-culturally significant (hereby abbreviated PCS), those songs were/are. god, i just can't stop here....
OCGirl

Irvine, CA

#16 Jul 2, 2009
"Cat's in the Cradle" (again, Dad)...okay i AM gonna stop now........
Go Blue

West Palm Beach, FL

#17 Jul 2, 2009
OCGirl, don't limit pop culture to just the music in your young lifetime, everyone's time is different. "Streets of Laredo" was from a time in country music before alot of the electronics....also acoustically speaking, we should include early James Taylor, don't you think?
johnd

AOL

#18 Jul 2, 2009
Isn't there this one love song that seems to be in every single Rom-Com? & whenever I see previews, that song gets stuck in my head for days.
Go Blue

West Palm Beach, FL

#19 Jul 3, 2009
"Maybe i'm amazed" by Paul McCartney, or either "You can close your eyes" or "You've got a friend" by James Taylor......
Go Blue

West Palm Beach, FL

#20 Jul 3, 2009
Aaron, "You Oughta Know" is a great choice....also, "Allright Now" by Free, a beat that kicks you in the nuts...lol...

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