Rolling Stone Greatest Songs

Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Songs: Intro

I get questions.

Not that Opposite of Cool is exactly inundated with them, you understand, but questions do get asked on occasion.  (Amusingly, they’re almost never about anything OoC has actually discussed.)

The most common question I get is, How much is your comic book collection worth?  (Answer:  I’ve no idea.  No clue whatsoever.  Probably not much?  If you’re looking for value, you should go into real estate, diamonds, gold, arms smuggling, or heroin.  Those things have real dollar value.  Comics are just a mess of cheap paper held together with staples.  There’s no money in comic books.)

The next most common question is something along the lines of, How much are these Batman / X-Men / Spider-Man comics I’ve got from the early 90’s worth?  (Answer:  Unless they’re signed or have golden tickets to Willie Wonka’s chocolate factory stashed in their pages, probably less than what you actually paid for them in 1991 or whenever.  Comics follow the same laws of supply and demand as everything else, and everyone in the English-speaking world who ever thought of turning a profit through comic books acquired the same Batman / X-Men / Spider-Man comics that you did.  Supply exceeds demand, which means they’re not worth squat.)

And after that, the question I get most often is:

When will Opposite of Cool tackle music?  

I’d always intended that the answer to that question would be never.  I had (and still have, even if set on I’m ignoring them) a couple good reasons for this:

  1. I have no real expertise concerning music beyond my own unreasonably strident and snooty opinions.  Said opinions are largely the result of a decade spent working at Tower Records alongside my unreasonably strident and snooty (and much beloved) co-workers, who I’m afraid bear some measure of both blame and credit for whatever sonic aesthetic I’ve managed to cultivate (or failed to cultivate).  I’ve no hidden reservoir of musical knowledge, gossip, or insight from which to draw, which I fear will render much of what follows little more than a superfluous exercise in style and creative profanity.
  2. There’s also the matter of age and temperament.  To wit:  I remain all but certain that popular music as an art form peaked in 1973 and has been heading steadily downhill ever since, like unto a fiery meteor.  More, I’ve entered a phase in life where I recognize maybe one in five musical guests on Saturday Night Live.  I’m saying, I don’t exactly have my finger on the pulse of this particular artery of pop culture.  (And while we’re on this subject, I want you and your hooligan friends to take your arrthymic hip hop and your White Claw drinks and get the fuck up off my lawn.)

Still…at the behest of friend, contributor, and gentleman Michael Strum, I’ve (unwisely) acquiesced to writing about the Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.  It’s likely there will be other contributors as well, particularly for songs or performers (or, hell, entire genres) where I might be especially out of my depth.  We’ll see.  I haven’t looked ahead more than seven songs or so, so I’ve no idea what to expect.

I hope you’ll join me and Michael (and other poor, doomed fools to be named later) on our long day’s journey into night.  See you there.