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Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time: Song-By-Song Thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by KJTC, Sep 19, 2021.

  1. RudolphS

    RudolphS Forum Resident

    Rio de Janeiro
    The Go-Gos - Our Lips Are Sealed

    I remember when Go-Gos debut 'The Beauty And The Beat' came out the album received mild criticism for lacking the rough edges of the group's live performances, consequently placing The Go-Gos firmly at the poppy end of the New Wave curve. Oh well, both album and single 'Our Lips Are Sealed' did the job by selling loads of copies, and taken on its own merits 'Our Lips Are Sealed' is a fine song. Plus, The Go-Gos get bonus points for being at least a proper band, who paid their dues by relentlessly touring the club circuit and who wrote the bulk of their material, they were not some manufactured girl group, designed on a record company's table.
    But when all is said done, 'We Got The Beat' should've been the pick for this list!

    3,5 / 4
  2. tim_neely

    tim_neely Forum Hall Of Fame

    Central VA
    "Our Lips Are Sealed"

    I first heard this long before it made the top 40. I was in college at Notre Dame at the time, and our AM radio station, WSND-AM, had evolved into a true "college radio" station, with new, under-the-radar artists by day and special programming by night. The station was a broadcaster in name only; it operated at 640 AM, and its signal was sent via "carrier current" to the dorms and other campus buildings. The only way to pick up the station was by plugging in; you couldn't listen on a portable device (transistor radio, battery-operated boom box). First made operational in the 1950s, by the early 1980s the system was a mess. I lived in a dorm where it worked, but two new dorms that had opened in 1980-81 were not part of the carrier current system, and over time, the AM station eventually abandoned the frequency. In the 1990s, it changed its call letters to WVFI. After a brief shutdown in late 1999, it became one of the first all-online college radio stations in 2000, and it still is, more than two decades later.

    WSND was one of the most popular student organizations on campus. The auditions every fall were intense, and I tried and failed three times to get an on-air position. Then fate intervened; in the spring of 1981, the then-program director of the station made my acquaintance through the student newspaper, for which I was writing album reviews and weekly trivia quizzes, and he asked me if I was interested in a radio show! So, by the fall of 1981, I was on the radio even though I had failed auditions in 1978, 1979, and 1980. I still have the logs of the music I played on my show in 1981 and 1982; finding those logs encouraged me to do the same when, after almost 33 1/3 years off the air, I started doing a weekly radio show as a community volunteer on a local college station in 2015. When I found those old logs six years ago, I thought I had put them somewhere that I could retrieve them easily, but alas, I didn't...

    Anyway, "Our Lips Are Sealed" was one of the first crossovers from college radio, shortly after MTV started but before it was on very many cable systems. To our surprise, it actually made the Hot 100, debuting at #90 the week ending August 29, 1981, the lowest of five new entries that week. It did slowly rise, but it looked as if it would barely made the top 40, as from October 10 through 31, 1981, it went 41-41-40-39. The song had lost its bullet, usually a sure sign that it was going to drop. Then, "Our Lips Are Sealed" started to rise again. The week ending December 12, it climbed from 21-20 in its 16th week on the chart. I hoped it would continue its slow rise, but it stayed at 20 the next week. Unusually for its era, the song then dropped very slowly, spending three straight weeks at 27 before descending further. "Our Lips Are Sealed" ended up spending 30 weeks in the Hot 100, a long time for its era. Its success set up its follow-up, "We Got the Beat," for a rapid rise up the chart to an eventual #2 peak, behind another artist who crossed over from college radio, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts ("I Love Rock 'n' Roll"). Suddenly, the "edgy" music WSND-AM had been playing had become mainstream.


    I love "Our Lips Are Sealed"! I was so happy to see it make the charts, rise up the charts, and eventually make the top 20. Yeah, it should have been bigger, but it had to overcome a lot of radio resistance to do what it did. It's a great record that sounds great on the radio, a jukebox, a turntable, wherever it's played. It is already on a volume of A Few of My Favorite Things; to be exact, it's on Volume 32 (track 15). I even think it's my favorite song on the RS 500 so far, just a smidge ahead of "You're So Vain." A truly worthy selection.
  3. Brian Kelly

    Brian Kelly 1964-73 rock's best decade

    Our Lips Are Sealed (Go Go's)
    It isn't my favorite Go Go's single (I prefer Head Over Heels and Vacation) but I'm glad to see the Go Go's get a mention. Five women who played and sang their own songs. Fun, but not frivolous.

    Rating the songs so far:
    1. You're So Vain - Carly Simon
    2. Buddy Holly-Weezer
    3. Cannonball-Breeders
    4. I Can't Help Myself-Four Tops
    5. Oy Como Va-Santana
    6. Baby Love - Supremes
    7. Without You - Nilsson
    8. Our Lips Are Sealed-Go Go's
    9. Cross Road Blues-Robert Johnson
    10. Pancho And Lefty-Townes Van Zandt
    11. Time After Time - Cyndi Lauper
    12. So What-Miles Davis
    13. Just A Friend-Biz Markie
    14. Bad Romance-Lady Gaga
    15. 212-Azelia Banks
    16. Cranes In The Sky -Solange
    17. Where Is My Mind?-Pixies
    18. Welcome To The Jungle-Guns N' Roses
    19. Old Town Road-Lil Naz
    20. Truth Hurts-Lizzo
    21. House Of Balloons-The Weeknd
    22. Stronger-Kayne West
    23. Back That Azz Up-Juvenile
    24. A Milli-Lil Wayne

    Once I get to a top 40 I'm not going to drop the bottom songs if a new song places higher.

    RS still hasn't included a top 500 songs from the 2000's in my opinion. Only #1-#3 are definite top 500 with 4-78contenders were I making my own list. #15-#24 would not even be considered for my top 50,000 songs!
  4. arem

    arem Forum Resident

    I just thought the Fun Boy Three version of "our Lips" should be here since I know most Americans probably haven't heard it. It's interesting how they bring out the sadness in the song.

  5. arem

    arem Forum Resident

  6. boyjohn

    boyjohn Forum Resident

    Our Lips Are Sealed is great, and would have been ever better if Wiedlin had been allowed to sing her song.
    Terrapin Station likes this.
  7. Wild Horse

    Wild Horse Forum Resident

    Our Lips Are Sealed

    Catchy and likeable. I always thought Jane Weidlen was the cutest Go-Go.


    So What - Miles Davis
    You're So Vain - Carly Simon
    Without You - Nilsson
    Oye Como Va - Santana
    I Can't Help Myself - Four Tops
    Baby Love - Supremes
    Cross Road Blues - Robert Johnson
    Time After Time - Cyndi Lauper
    Our Lips Are Sealed - Go-Gos
    Welcome To The Jungle - Guns N' Roses
    Terrapin Station likes this.
  8. John54

    John54 Senior Member

    Burlington, ON
    Our Lips are Sealed is yet another song that I'm lukewarm to. I've heard it before often enough, but I gave it another listen, and (contrary to popular opinion) I think Jane Wiedlin's vocals are a bit off-key here and there.

    Give me Vacation -- or almost any song off Belinda Carlisle's excellent Runaway Horses LP from 1989 -- any day.
    Terrapin Station likes this.
  9. doowop365

    doowop365 Power pop, doowop, and bubblegum music fan

    Central WI
    One of my favorite songs by the Go-Go’s. I especially love the verse at the end when Jane comes in and basically repeats Belinda’s lines. Melodic, catchy, groovin’, yet edgy for it’s time. Best song so far on a pretty poor list, in my opinion.

    For me, this song is a 9/10. So, yes, I’m thrilled to see this song on this list.
  10. fluxkit

    fluxkit Man-Machine

    I do love "Our Lips are Sealed" by Go-Go's. It just sounds so right. Maybe Jane and Terry should have stuck together more.
    Terrapin Station likes this.
  11. Chief

    Chief Over 11,000 Served

    I like “Our Lips Are Sealed” by the Go Go’s more now than I did when I was a kid hearing it on Solid Gold (presumably). At the time, I found it to be an annoying and silly song. But now I hear it as a melodic, well-crafted, tightly performed and produced track. Out of context, the track sounds somewhat like the Cars with a little R.E.M.

    I ranked it 7th overall
  12. Vinyl Fan 1973

    Vinyl Fan 1973 "They're like soup, they're like....nothing bad"

  13. Jim Marlor

    Jim Marlor Forum Resident

    A song (and band) that I'd heard on the radio plenty when I was in my teens, but never bothered to investigate at all, even though the band definitely deserved it.

    At least I now know the song is called "Our Lips are Sealed", and not "Olipsa Seal".
  14. KJTC

    KJTC Forum Resident Thread Starter

    #476. Kris Kristofferson, “Sunday Morning Coming Down” (1970)
    Written by Kris Kristofferson

    Wikipedia says:

    “Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down" is a song written by Kris Kristofferson that was recorded in 1969 by Ray Stevens before becoming a number one hit on the Billboard US Country chart for Johnny Cash.

    Stevens' version of the song reached #55 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart and #81 on the Hot 100 pop chart in 1969. It also appeared on the author's own album Kristofferson.

    In a 2013 interview, Kristofferson said the song "opened up a whole lot of doors for me. So many people that I admired, admired it. Actually, it was the song that allowed me to quit working for a living."

  15. mianfei

    mianfei Forum Resident

    In Australia, a music humour show I listed to a bit during the 1990s was called “Alex the Seal” after a very common mishearing of the lyrics of “Our Lips Are Sealed”.

    I have also heard of the lyric being misheard as “I Kissed a Seal”. I myself never misheard it, always hearing “Our Lips Are Sealed”, when I first heard it occasionally on TTFM’s 1980s party nights during the late 1990s.
    Terrapin Station likes this.
  16. Terrapin Station

    Terrapin Station Master Guns

    NYC Man/Joy-Z City
    RS #476

    Kris Kristofferson – “Sunday Morning Coming Down” [from Kristofferson]

    Kristofferson is a 3rd tier, top 251-500 artist for me. Except for a pretty small niche “in crowd,” he tends to be very underrated as a musical artist and songwriter, where his music career was greatly overshadowed by his acting career for a good 25-30 years. But there’s a reason that folks like Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson chose to work with him on the musical side.

    Kristofferson is also impressive on a number of other fronts, including that he was a Rhodes Scholar, he passed Army Ranger school, he’s a helicopter pilot, he was a talented boxer, and he could have easily become a novelist or literature professor.

    “Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down” is the last track on Kristofferson’s self-titled 1970 debut album. Of course, he’d already been successfully working as a songwriter for a handful of years, and he even recorded as “Kris Carson” 10+ years prior, though those recordings weren’t released.

    is excellent throughout. “Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down” is great, but every track on the album is at least as good. Songs like “Blame It on the Stones,” “Help Me Make It Through the Night,” and Kristofferson’s own recording of his “Me and Bobby McGee” are here. And Kristofferson is just one of many fantastic albums of his.

    So as good as “Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down” is, its selection seems almost arbitrary to me given the pool of Kristofferson songs available. Hopefully there are others higher on the list.

    My top 15 songs so far:
    1. "Time After Time" - Cyndi Lauper
    2. "Without You" – Nilsson
    3. "You're So Vain" - Carly Simon
    4. “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)” – Four Tops
    5. “Oye Como Va” - Santana
    6. "Baby Love" – Supremes
    7. “Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down” – Kris Kristofferson
    8. “Bad Romance” – Lady Gaga
    9. "So What" - Miles Davis
    10. "Welcome to the Jungle" - Guns N' Roses
    11. “Cannonball” – The Breeders
    12. “Just Friends” – Biz Markie
    13. “Buddy Holly” – Weezer
    14. “Our Lips Are Sealed” – The Go-Go’s
    15. “A Milli” – Lil Wayne
    Jarleboy, carlwm and prymel like this.
  17. Lance LaSalle

    Lance LaSalle Prince of Swollen Sinus

    This is a fantastic country song. More familiar iwth Johnny Cash's version: I'm not a huge fan of Johnny Cash, in fact I find him incredibly boring in general, but this song transcends that. So good.
    prymel, Terrapin Station and mianfei like this.
  18. carlwm

    carlwm Forum Resident

    480: Biz Markie - Just A Friend Positives: the piano riff is nice. Negatives: pretty much everything else. 1.5/5
    Terrapin Station likes this.
  19. carlwm

    carlwm Forum Resident

    479: Santana - Oye Como Va I will be forever grateful to Santana as the band that spawned Journey but I'm not much of
    a fan. The percussion & organ lift this one though to the dizzy heights of 3/5

    478: Juvenile - Back That Azz Up
    Didn't think I'd find anything on this list that I'd want to give a score that didn't even reach 1/5 but it's hard to see anything positive about this one. The underlying strings stop it form getting a zero. 0.5/5

    477: The Go-Gos - Our Lips Are Sealed
    Well, it's more enjoyable than the Fun Boy Three's version (the better version over here, I'd wager), I'll give it that, at least, but it's still essentially unremarkable jangle-pop. I like the Go-Gos in general but this one of their lesser efforts, for me. 2.5/5
    Terrapin Station likes this.
  20. KJTC

    KJTC Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Kris Kristofferson is one of the most respected and widely acclaimed songwriters in country music history. His acting career never overshadowed that. He’s been in the Country Music Hall of Fame since 2004 and was given the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014 and the CMA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019.

    There are plenty of underrated and under appreciated songwriters in country music and beyond. Kris Kristofferson isn’t one of them. He’s been celebrated for his work for fifty years.
    Jarleboy, Smith, carlwm and 1 other person like this.
  21. Jamsterdammer

    Jamsterdammer Forum Resident

    476. Kris Kristofferson, “Sunday Morning Coming Down”

    I think this is the first time ever I heard this song. Or perhaps I did, but it didn't register. I'm not going to rate it, not just because I'm unfamiliar with the song, but also because this type of music is really not my thing at all. It all sounds dull as dishwater to me. Disclaimer: I'm totally not into country, folk or singer-songwriter stuff in general, except for a few handfuls of songs that really stand out and where the music is not just an accompaniment to the lyrics.
  22. Terrapin Station

    Terrapin Station Master Guns

    NYC Man/Joy-Z City
    I've known/I've run into tons of people who are barely even aware of him as a songwriter/recording artist but who know him as an actor.

    And I'd bet that tons of regular posters on this board, even, wouldn't be able to offhand name even five of his albums, much less name tunes aside from the stereotypical early stuff. (Of course, now we've warned anyone that we'd be quizzing them on it, so we'd need to do this with general music fans where there's no warning to prepare.)
    ARK and carlwm like this.
  23. Jamsterdammer

    Jamsterdammer Forum Resident

    LOL. I wouldn't be able to name even one of his albums! I just happen to know that he wrote "Me and Bobby McGee", but that's about it. I also would be hard pressed to name a film in which he acted.
    ARK and Terrapin Station like this.
  24. BluesOvertookMe

    BluesOvertookMe Forum Resident

    Houston, TX, USA
    Kris Kristofferson - Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down
    This version is important because it launched his career. But I prefer Johnny Cash's version because Cash has the voice of truth.

    Great songwriting, though, especially the lyrics. It seems that the original version of a song has been the one making the list so far - well 3-1 (Pancho and Lefty, Cross Roads Blues and Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down on one side, and only Nilsson's Without You fighting that pattern so far.)

    Updated list
    1. Go-Gos - Our Lips Are Sealed
    2. Santana - Oye Cómo Va
    3. Carly Simon - You're So Vain
    4. Lady Gaga - Bad Romance
    5. Guns N' Roses - Welcome to the Jungle
    6. The Four Tops – I Can’t Help Myself
    7. Pixies - Where is My Mind?
    8. Robert Johnson - Cross Roads Blues
    9. Kris Kristofferson - Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down
    10. Weezer - Buddy Holly
    11. Miles Davis - So What
    12. Kanye West - Stronger
    13. Townes Van Zandt - Pancho and Lefty
    14. Juvenile - Back That Azz Up
    15. The Breeders - Cannonball
    16. Nilsson - Without You
    17. Azealia Banks -212
    18. Solange: Cranes In The Sky

    (big gap)

    19. Lil Nas X - Old Town Road
    20. Biz Markie - Just a Friend
    21. Lil Wayne - A Milli
    22. The Weeknd – House of Balloons
    23. Lizzo - Truth Hurts
    24. Supremes - Baby Love
    25. Cyndi Lauper - Time After Time
    carlwm and Terrapin Station like this.
  25. carlwm

    carlwm Forum Resident

    My current rankings:


    1. Townes Van Zandt - Pancho & Lefty
    2. Guns 'N' Roses - Welcome To The Jungle
    3. Cyndi Lauper - Time After Time


    4. Carly Simon - You're So Vain


    5. Robert Johnson - Crossroads Blues
    6. Santana - Oye Como Va
    7. Lil Nas X - Old Town Road


    8. The Go-Gos - Our Lips Are Sealed
    9. The Breeders - Cannonball


    10. Weezer - Buddy Holly
    11. The Weeknd - House Of Balloons
    12. Lady Gaga - Bad Romance
    13. Kanye West - Stronger
    14. Lizzo - Truth Hurts
    15. The Pixies - Where In My Mind


    16. Biz Markie - Just A Friend
    17. Azealia Banks - 212


    18. The Four Tops - I Can't Help Myself
    19. Lil Wayne - A Milli
    20. The Supremes - Baby Love
    21. Solange - Cranes In The Sky
    22. Nilsson - Without You


    23. Juvenile - Back My Azz Up


    Miles Davis - So What


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