Why is Neutral Milk Hotel not more popular

It was published on March 13, 2014, the no less than 700th edition of the Musikexpress. And it was tough: we had a prominent jury of tens of musicians such as Lana Del Rey, Mark Lanegan, Danger Mouse, Marteria, Thees Uhlmann, Judith Holofernes, WhoMadeWho as well as authors, journalists and experts from other magazines, daily newspapers and radio stations and record labels asked for their all-time favorite songs. The result of painstaking detailed work was nothing less than a list with the 700 best songs of all time including lyrics for each (!) Of these songs, and we have gradually presented this list to you online at Musikexpress.de/700.

Here is an overview of the individual parts of our "700 best songs of all time":

And here after our places 700 to 651, 650 to 601, 600 to 551, 550 to 501, 500 to 451, 450 to 401, 400 to 351, 350 to 301, 300 to 251, 250 to 201 and 200 to 151 ours Seats 150 to 101 in detail:

150th Radiohead - "Pyramid Song"

Radiohead and their piano ballads - a must have on every record of the band since KID A. “Pyramid Song”, not least thanks to Jonny Greenwood's orchestral arrangements and an impressive atmosphere of the very epic kind, is dedicated to the redeeming feeling of peace of mind.

149. The Beach Boys - "Don't Worry Baby"

Not a surf song, but a reveling ballad about a car race, hurt teenage honor and a love vow. Performed with falsetto singing, a polyphonic backing choir and a radiant Kukident smile. That the whole thing sounds cheesy, but not embarrassing, illustrates the genius of Brian Wilson

148. The Strokes - "Someday"

With “Someday” the Strokes finally got their recognizable sound to the point. Since then, every hope in indie rock heaven has been measured by how “strokey” it sounds. Rousing guitars. Casual singing. Pulsating drums. There's nothing wrong with that. What can be seen from the fact that all three singles from the Strokes debut album in 2014 made it into our list of the “700 best songs of all time”.

147. Bill Withers - "Ain't No Sunshine"

The longing for a loved one who is only on a short trip has never been so desperately set to music. No wonder: Bill Withers was inspired for the song by the film tragedy "Days Of Wine and Roses", in which a couple played by Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick get lost in alcoholism.

146. Pet Shop Boys - "West End Girls"

The most delicate turn to hip-hop that the two poppers of the Pet Shop Boys could imagine. The very British accent of the music journalist Neil Tennant already showed: significantly more sophisticated than roadworthy. The amazing thing: pure eighties - and yet timeless.

145th MC5 - "Kick Out The Jams"

A fiery address, then: “Kick out the jams, motherfuckers” (or “brothers and sisters”, depending on whether it is the “real” or the clean version of the MC5 debut) and then the band beats them up with them Announcement in rock go. Meaning of the slogan in terms of content: not entirely clear. Sensed meaning: start the revolt!

144. The Beatles - "Happiness Is A Warm Gun"

Here the Beatles came up against rhythmic limits. Nothing against Ringo Starr, but supposedly 70 attempts were necessary for the complex clock changes. Rumors lingered for a long time that Jim Morrison could be heard in the background. You can actually hear McCartney and two electric guitars, and they're impressive enough.

143. The Smashing Pumpkins - "Tonight, Tonight"

With the double album MELLON COLLIE… Billy Corgan registered claims to the throne in the Rock Olympics - and set himself the crown with the ballad-like orchestral staging of “Tonight, Tonight”. The Smashing Pumpkins never sounded more bombastic, megalomaniac, melodramatic and fairytale-like than here, at the zenith of their songwriting.

142. Fleetwood Mac - "Dreams"

How good does a song have to sound if it still stands out on a perfect album with its perfection? Stevie Nicks ’I-hope-you-suffer-just-like-I-you-bastard-ballad says everything there is to say in such moments with the simplest of words and chords. The essence of pop.

141. Neutral Milk Hotel - "In The Airplane Over The Sea"

Inspired by the “Diary of Anne Frank”, this song is about life and death and space and time. With an intensity that is second to none, Jeff Mangum sings at the limit of his voice, supported by a singing saw, “how strange it is to be anything at all”.

140. Nina Simone - "I Loves You, Porgy"

When the young Nina Simone recorded her first songs in the late fifties, “I Loves You, Porgy” was already more than 20 years old. With her wistfully vibrating alto voice, she touches the vocal notes - elegant and at the same time down to earth like a folk singer. Her calm, fragile ballad version of the duet piece from George Gershwin's opera from 1935 was her first major success in the USA and remained one of her signature songs until the end of her career.

139. David Bowie - "China Girl"

"China Girl" is actually a co-production by David Bowie & Iggy Pop, created during their Berlin years together and published on THE IDIOT. In 1983 Bowie tackled the song again, arranging it much more commercially - and celebrating unimagined success. Iggy Pop thanks you for the royalties.

138. Chic - "Le Freak"

The story has been told almost as many times as someone has yelled "Ahhhhh ... Freak Out!" Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards wanted to go to Studio 54 in New York, but Grace Jones had forgotten to put them on the guest list. They were turned away by the bouncer and walked away again - and in revenge they recorded a disco-radio knocker for eternity. Original title: “Fuck Off!

137. J. J. Cale - "Call Me The Breeze"

Despite “Cocaine” and “After Midnight” THE J. J. Cale song. After all, what can his music be compared with more than with a mild summer breeze? What better song to roll down the street on lazy July days with the cooling wind in your hair? There is not any. Alas in peace, J. J.!

136. The Clash - "(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais"

Roots. Skirt. Rebel. The trinity of the "R" is the fuel for a sweeping blow to the clash that wedge against musical sell-out, power pop and the social decline of the kingdom. Musically it is the most perfect fusion of the furor of punk with the rhythmic eartheness of reggae.

135. Astrud Gilberto, João Gilberto & Stan Getz - "The Girl From Ipanema"

Almost Brazil's unofficial national anthem: first versions appeared in 1962, "The Girl ..." - or, depending on the gender of the performer, "The Boy From Ipanema" - has been covered countless times since then. The spectrum ranges from easy listening to soul and pop to free jazz. A truly universal song.

134. Donna Summer - "I Feel Love"

Okay, not a song that calls for in-depth text analysis, but Moroder's distinctive Moog bassline and the rest of the fully synthetic backing is just divine. Brian Eno put it in a nutshell: “I've heard the music of the future.” Recorded in 1976 in the Munich Musicland studio.

133. The Shangri-Las - "Leader Of The Pack"

Betty loves Jimmy, the boss of a motorcycle gang. But because her parents are against it, she backs down. The frustrated boy had an accident with his bike a little later. A typical “teenage tragedy song” of the early 60s - so naive and charming that you can hardly avoid it.

132. Bruce Springsteen - "Born To Run"

The hymn to the hype: Cover stories in “Newsweek” and “Time”, plus Jon Landau's notorious saying that he has seen the future of rock & roll and that her name is Bruce Springsteen - with “Born To Run” the man from New Jersey broke all the promises others made in his name. Rock music hadn't sounded as thrilling as it did in those four and a half minutes in a long time.

131. The Gun Club - "Mother Of Earth"

No Gun Club album that doesn't include at least one heartbreaking song by the musician Jeffrey Lee Pierce, who died at the age of 37. Here he sings words like "I've gone down the river of sadness / I've gone down the river of pain / In the dark, under the wires / I hear them call my name" and the slide guitars cry The drums trots, and right at the front this moving voice is enthroned. Has there ever been such a beguiling amalgamation of alternative rock and blues?

130th Son House - "Death Letter Blues"

A man receives a letter: his sweetheart is dead. It breaks his heart. For Son House, this story is at the heart of his work. He worked on this motif from the 1930s, always adding new stitches with his sharp-cutting resonator guitar, putting all the suffering into his voice. In 1965, at the time of the blues revival, he finally recorded the song, and 20 years later it was released again as a single.

129. The Beatles - "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"

Happy songs were not Harrison's domain, this pensive classic also spreads gentle melancholy with its descending tone sequence, which is caught up again by the enthusiastic Middle Eight. Which all in all makes a wonderful rock ballad, emotional, but free of kitsch.

128. Elliott Smith - "Say Yes"

This eternally underrated songwriter never sounded more forgiving and optimistic than in this one flawless love song. This is all the more touching when you know how lonely the depressed and alcoholic Elliott Smith died six years later.

127. Lou Reed - "Satellite Of Love"

A holdover from the LOADED sessions on The Velvet Underground, later a centerpiece on TRANSFORMER, Lou Reed's hour of birth as a solo artist. The melody is heavenly, the theme is universal: a man watches TV and thus flees the reality of his girlfriend who is cheating on him with Harry, Mark and John.

126. The Beatles - "Eleanor Rigby"

A child of Paul McCartney, the string arrangement comes from producer George Martin: a song about loneliness and death, which made the “naive” phase of the Beatles a thing of the past. The piece inspired countless bands to experiment with classical instruments and is the hour of birth of the Baroque’n’Roll.

125. The Beatles - "Let It Be"

For this number, which appears “posthumously”, there is a Grammy and an Oscar. Quite to the annoyance of John Lennon, who teased years later: “It has nothing to do with the Beatles. It could also be from the Wings. I have no idea what Paul was thinking when he wrote, Let It Be ‘.“ Any questions?

124. Thelonious Monk - "Round Midnight"

Like many Monk pieces, a straight piano number whose unorthodox character unfolds subtly: shifted rhythms, asymmetrical structure and the occasional urge into the almost disharmonious, which results in a pleasant friction in the interplay with the minimalist bass and drums accompaniment .

123. Nina Simone - "My Baby Just Cares For Me"

A jazz standard that is known from tea dance scenes in ZDF television films, from advertising and, of course, from Amanda Lear. Nobody could make a song like that cool except Nina Simone with her millennial voice and her self-confident and yet so vulnerable pride. Large.

122. Nina Simone - "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood"

After a minute or two, in the middle of “Misunderstood”, Nina Simone goes down with her voice. Perhaps the most beautiful moment in a song that works on all levels. In terms of content, as a plea for acceptance of the imperfections inherent in all of us, as well as musically as a wonderful hybrid of the catchiness of pop, the depth of blues and the elegance of Broadway jazz.

121. Jackson C. Frank - "Blues Run The Game"

You could write a book about the life of Jackson C. Frank or make a movie, but both would be too sad because so many bad things happened in this life. What remained is a wonderful album, produced by Paul Simon, which contains this goosebumps classic of 60s folk.

120. Scott Walker - "Duchess"

With SCOTT 4, Scott Walker got more complicated. He quoted Albert Camus, printed a picture of Stalin, allowed himself to be influenced by Ingmar Bergman's films and, for the first time, sang excessively about plagues, torture and death. The meaning of “Duchess” remains unclear, the beauty of the wonderful refrain untouchable.

119. Elvis Presley - "Heartbreak Hotel"

"Since my baby left me ...", Elvis sings at the beginning of "Heartbreak Hotel". But what happens in the upper half of his body is harmless. It all comes down to the lower half of the body. All hell is going on there. The circling of his hips on Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey's television show marks the arrival of rock'n'roll in the midst of terrified society. From now on: Rock’n’Roll here to stay.

118. Patti Smith - "Land"

“Land” is divided into three merging parts. Patti Smith's band lays out a bone-dry bed and plays stoically like Can in hysteria, while the singer recites beat poetry rather than singing pop lyrics. Smith calls Johnny and her idol Rimbaud and ends with the words "simple rock'n'roll song" because that says what it is.

117. Neil Young & Crazy Horse - "Down By The River"

A great rock-not-rock mantra, the song as a vehicle for sonic excursions. In a kind of musical dialogue, the ultra-simple and minimalist staccato guitar riffs by Neil Young and Danny Whitten carry the listener far out and move them into other states of consciousness.

116. Dr. Dre - "Still D.R.E."

There are actually no comebacks in hip-hop: get away, get away. A rare giant exception is Dr. Dre, who turned back a whopping seven years after THE CHRONIC in 1999, only to explain that everything is still as it was before. Except for his account balance, of course.

115. John Coltrane - "My Favorite Things"

John Coltrane melted the pop standard from the musical "The Sound of Music" (also a popular Christmas carol) and put it back together again. In the form of a now at the same time modest, deconstructed and far-out free flowing quarter of an hour, he wrested a completely new, radical meaning from the song.

114. Marvin Gaye - "Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)"

So many tried their hand at this piece of soul music, but of course no one could sing it like Marvin Gaye, who united the pain, the anger, the hope of all the ghettos of this world in a single song. To put this at the end of the classic album WHAT'S GOING ON is a stroke of genius in sequencing.

113. M.I.A. - "Paper Planes"

A boisterous The Clash riff, children's choirs, pistol shots and the “ring!” Of a cash register - for “Paper Planes” M.I.A. and Diplo with a twinkle in his eye the stereotypes of the explosive immigration topic with musical cunning to a catchy tune of first class and the standout track of their second album KALA.

112. The Stooges - "I Wanna Be Your Dog"

The rock world was not prepared for this dirty energy monster and it sold miserably. No guitar riff can do without extreme distortion, producer John Cale hammers the same key into the piano over and over again, plus drone sounds and Iggy Pop sings about indulging in a woman unconditionally. The song was recorded a few months before the Woodstock Festival and sounds like a declaration of war on hippie culture.

111. Os Mutantes - "A Minha Menina"

Even 45 years after the first album by the Brazilian music troublemakers was released, it is difficult to put into words what one has heard. But you also know that among the exuberant collages there is a pop pearl that towers above everything: “A Minha Menina” is genius in a rare catchiness, compressed (in the single version) to three minutes.

110. Aaliyah - "We Need A Resolution"

At the beginning of the noughties, Timbalands Beats were the most innovative thing that could be heard at the interface between R’n’B and HipHop. With “We Need A Resolution” he gave his muse what is probably the most beautiful song: With a velvety voice, Aaliyah sings over bumpy stop-start drums, beatbox percussion, undulating synthesizers and a beguilingly exotic clarinet sample.

109. Stevie Wonder - "Superstition"

The song is not about superstition at all.It's about the moog, about that hard, oppressive synth-funk that resonates even in the dreamiest moments of the TALKING BOOK album. A perfect example of the musical universal genius Stevie Wonders. And a timeless dance floor bomb on top.

108. The Band - "The Weight"

While the original only made it to number 63 in the US charts, countless cover versions have proven that "The Weight" with its epic, biblical lyrics and sophisticated vocal arrangement has long since become an American classic, but a song that every genre survived.

107. Bob Marley - "Redemption Song"

There is this scene in “Marley”, the biopic from 2012: a snowy street in Rottach-Egern, the first chords of “Redemption Song”. Then Bob Marley's voice kicks in, and you can feel what everyone knows: that these songs have always been for everyone, in Trenchtown, in the foothills of the Alps and everywhere else in the world.

106th Dead Kennedys - "Holiday In Cambodia"

The Dead Kennedys' second single is and remains the most vicious and caustic frontal attack by US hardcore punk on the American way of life: While guitars and bass celebrate the soundtrack to doom, the stuff nightmares are made of, Jello Biafra settles the bill with the complacency of the elites: "Brace yourself, my dear!"

105. The Rolling Stones - "Paint It Black"

“Paint It Black” - the title itself was provocative. The record company in the US famously added a comma: "Paint It, Black". It was believed that without a comma the name of the song sounded too gloomy. Keith Richards recalls that the piece was just a not-too-serious gimmick at first, and that gloomy humor is definitely part of its enduring appeal. One can literally see Keith's smirk as he makes this first chord sound like a Mexican troubadour. Then Brian Jones tunes the sitar. Incidentally, the first use of this instrument on a number 1 pop song. And Mick? Fearless, glowing, the key actually too low for his voice, but it doesn't matter - this piece of music is not about the music at all, but rather about the energy, the anger, the confusion, the paranoia, the girls, Mick's in their summer dresses Just drive the tailspin into madness.

The piece is apparently about finding the truth, plus the everyday images in which normality meets insanity. Mick's text takes up scenes from James Joyce's great work “Ulysses” and mixes them with verses about a lover who laughs at him. It's relentless, the music is relentless, the beat is relentless, and the ending is just great. The song completely dispenses with a bridge between the verses in order to lighten the mood, the shortened intensity runs right through to the obligatory 60s fade-out. Everything about “Paint It Black” is epic - and fucked-up. I don't even have a copy of it. I don't need it at all. It's part of me, of us, of the present. - Fin Greenall (Fink)

104. The Carpenters - "(They Long To Be) Close To You"

Written for actor Richard Chamberlain, but also recorded by Herb Alpert and Dionne Warwick, “(They Long To Be) Close To You” only becomes a hit on the fourth attempt - but then a gigantic one. Simply because you can't do it more sensitively and harmoniously than the Carpenter siblings.

103. Fela Kuti - "Water No Get Enemy"

These horns are so sharp they could cut through steel. In addition, the clammy e-piano, the guitars, the wandering bass, the eloquent saxophone, clapping percussion. And, yes, it really is about water and its pollution in the interests of capital. Currently, then as now.

102. The Rolling Stones - "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction

What makes "Satisfaction" so timeless, so urgent even 50 years later, is not the most famous riff in history. The fact is that even today, no matter how often the song has been noodled on the radio and how much the Stones pushed it to the brink of self-parody, you can still feel what it must have felt like being the bad guys of rock let him loose on humanity for the first time. Like any brilliant rock song, it claims nothing more and nothing less than the world. And he wants her now!

101. The Beatles - "Something"

Frank Sinatra called it "the most beautiful love song of the last 50 years" ... and added that it was his favorite piece by Lennon and McCartney. Right next to it, Frank! After all, it was Harrison's first single A-side - paired with "Come Together" - in the Beatles catalog, placed just before the store closed. Today there are more than 150 cover versions of this classic ballad, which makes the song the most interpreted Beatles title after “Yesterday”. Harrison preferred the James Brown version.