Four songs from 200: Part Four

In Classic Rock 200 we counted down the 200 greatest songs of the magazine's lifetime, 1998-2014. Today, it's part four of a short series in which our writers tell stories about some of these these songs, and about the bands that made them. Today, TeamRock's Editorial Director Scott Rowley is at the helm.

Meat LoafElvis In Vegas

Ah c’mon. It’s not my fault you never made it to the end of Hang Cool Teddy Bear to hear this, Meat’s greatest song since Dead Ringer. Written by Jon Bon bloody Jovi and Desmond c**ting Child, it’s a masterclass in Loafism – sensitive, romantic, bombastic, absurd – that neither troubled airwaves nor made any critical end-of-year polls. Fuck ’em, Mr Loaf: in my head, Elvis In Vegas was no.1 all summer long.

Fleet FoxesWhite Winter Hymnal

Fleet Foxes bore me, in all honesty, but aw man this is just lush – a distant cousin to the Beach Boys’ Morning Christmas, all twanging Lee Hazelwood guitars, timpani drums and three-part back-country harmonies, it’s the sound of the Wilsons’ Californian sunshine melting winter hearts.

The UnionSiren’s Song

It’s something every music writer dreads: sitting down to listen to a record with the band themselves. What if you hate it? What do you say? Where do you look when they start air-drumming and looking intently into your eyes at every clever idea, key change, guitar solo and stoppy-starty bit? Well, I shared a pickup truck with Pete and Luke from The Union as we travelled from Calgary in Canada, across the Rockies, through Montana and into Idaho, while they played me their Siren’s Song album. They said if I didn’t write nice things about it they’d tie bacon to my ears and leave my sleeping body outside at night for the cougars and the bears.

We’re far from bear country now but I still can’t be too careful: that Luke Morley’s a resourceful fucker. (If we’d been sitting face-to-face while they played me Siren’s Song they would have been looking in my eyes every five seconds, it’s so chock-full of ideas. From ghostly finger-picking to crushing electric riffage, stoppy-starty dynamics to ear-worm woah-woahs. Its dark lyricism is probably overlooked too – the Thunder/Union men are so funny and likeable it’s easy to overlook the depth to their work.)

Green DayJesus Of Surburbia

Classic Rock slated American Idiot when it came out, the main criticism being that, with it’s epic concept album rock opera stylings – complete with nods to Ziggy, The Who etc – it wasn’t punk enough. Er, hello? Calling Classic Rock magazine? I joined a month later and had to twist my head around that. I’ve heard American Idiot too many times since then but this nine minute epic is still worth blasting from beginning to end.

Read Part One.

Read Part Two.

Read Part Three.

**You can view the entire 200 tracks in issue 200 of Classic Rock, which can be ordered online from MyFavouriteMagazines. **

**Alternatively, you can download the Classic Rock magazine app from iTunes. **

Scott Rowley
Content Director, Music

Scott is the Content Director of Music at Future plc, responsible for the editorial strategy of online and print brands like Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer, Prog, Guitarist, Guitar World, Guitar Player, Total Guitar etc. He was Editor in Chief of Classic Rock magazine for 10 years and Editor of Total Guitar for 4 years and has contributed to The Big Issue, Esquire and more. Scott wrote chapters for two of legendary sleeve designer Storm Thorgerson's books (For The Love Of Vinyl, 2009, and Gathering Storm, 2015). He regularly appears on Classic Rock’s podcast, The 20 Million Club, and was the writer/researcher on 2017’s Mick Ronson documentary Beside Bowie