5 - "Andy Warhol," by David Bowie, from Hunky Dory.
Bowie is certainly a difficult artist to understand, if that's even completely possible. Listening to this track, a praise song for one of Bowie's several inspirations, Bowie "puts us all inside his show." From the beginning he creates an intimate setting for the song by including a conversation with his producer about Warhol, then suddenly cutting into song. It's calm and slighty hypnotic, especially the wailing background vocals for the chorus. A good example of post-modern art trenscending from painting to music.
4 - "'A' Bomb in Wardour Street," by The Jam, from All Mod Cons.
Fed up with all the political (a term used loosely in this context) movements tearing apart England, the Jam provide one of their most intense and bitter songs in response to all the punks in the streets creating more problems than resolutions.
3 - "London Calling," by The Clash, from London Calling.
Just when the institution of music is about to kill all creativity known to musicians, The Clash write this grimly serious song to awaken the masses of the greed and terrifyingly close death of rock. Ironically, it's the catchiest song in the Clash's repertoire, with the closest example of a steady beat that gets engrained in your brain. For a song with a message like this, it should.
2 - "Bitches Brew," by Miles Davis, from Bitches Brew.
Miles, ever the innovator for jazz music, adds yet another layer of music to his style with "voodoo music." Miles crosses the line between jazz and funk, leaving just enough of the jazz elements to label it such, but does much more to create something new. For starters, he goes 27 minutes with this song. On top of that, there's a lot more dissonance than listeners are accustomed to hearing, yet there are sound rhythms withing the madness of the music. The ensemble tricks listeners in thinking the song is over with constant breakdowns, only to crash down on their ears again. A monster of a jamming session, although it takes several listens to become a big fan.
1 - "Marquee Moon," by Television, from Marquee Moon.
Continuing the theme of groundbreaking and ultimate jam music, coming in at number one is quite possibly my favorite song. Maybe? Yes? I'll get back to that later. Television become an early mainstay of the post-punk movement with this song let alone this album. The dueling guitars in addition to the careful yet complex improvisation and interlocking melodies easily get me hooked each and every time I listen to this song. Few songs let each instrument shine, but everyone gets a shot at glory here. The middle jam session is so empowering, when the vocals come back in you forget there was a singer in the first place. Truly gifted song writing that deserves all the merits it receives.