Top Fifty - Helter Skelter

As I sit here listening to the current crop of American Idol wannabes violently ass rape the entire Beatles catalog, it has occurred to me to pay tribute to my very favorite Fab Four song, Helter Skelter.

According to the almighty Songfacts, Paul McCartney wanted to write the "loudest, nastiest, sweatiest rock number we could" after reading a Pete Townshend interview describing a Who track (possibly "I Can See For Miles") as "The most raucous rock 'n' roll, the dirtiest thing they'd ever done." This was the result.

The song is named after a slide at a British amusement park. The first line is a joke about this: "When I get to the bottom I go back to the top of the slide, where I stop and I turn and I go for a ride."

For the album version, recorded September 9, 1968, 21 takes of approximately 5 minutes each were recorded, and the last one is featured on the official LP. Poor Ringo's hands hurt so badly from all the drumming, he famously yelled out at the end of the last take, "I've got blisters on my fingers!"

I love all versions of Beatles - from happy, poppy Beatles to psychedelic sitar Beatles, but nothing gets me going more than the dirty lowdown Beatles that growled and riffed through Helter Skelter.

Top Fifty - I Wanna Be Sedated

I love me some Ramones. They can do no wrong in my book. They would come in, rock your face off in two minutes with three chords, and get right the fuck out before you knew what hit you. I totally wanted to be PJ Soles because she got to hang out with the guys in "Rock 'n' Roll High School".

The boys had so many great songs, including "Sheena Is a Punk Rocker" and "Blitzkrieg Bop". However, "I Wanna Be Sedated" has always been my favorite. The "ba ba ba" in the chorus gets me up and jumping around every time I hear it.