Top Conservative Rock Songs
"Any claim that rock is fundamentally revolutionary is just kind of silly," the article's author, John J. Miller, tells the Times. He said his criteria was "the songs had to be good and express classically conservative ideas 'such as skepticism of government or support for traditional values.'" The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again" landed in the top spot; The Beatles' "Taxman" is in second place.
Rock critic (and liberal) Dave Marsh tells the Times that once the conservatives lost "the culture war" over what kind of music became "the dominant musical form" in the world, "then a different kind of battle begins: the battle over meaning."
The inclusion of liberal protest songs such as The Pretenders' "My City Was Gone" and Credence Clearwater Revival's "Who'll Stop the Rain" on the list seems to indicate that Marsh has a point.
Yet The Times musters only relatively mild criticism on this count: "A few seem a stretch, like Sammy Hagar's 'I Can't Drive 55' (No. 38), called 'a rocker's objection to the nanny state.'" The Times even dubs the choices "surprisingly persuasive" though it is noted with disdain that the conservative 50 is "overwhelmingly white and male."
The full list of fifty conservative rock songs, along with the reasoning is available at the New York Times' website (free registration may be required).
The Top 10 Conservative Rock Songs:
1. The Who - "Won't Get Fooled Again"
2. The Beatles - "Taxman"
3. The Rolling Stones - "Sympathy for the Devil"
4. Lynyrd Skynyrd - "Sweet Home Alabama"
5. The Beach Boys - "Wouldn't It Be Nice"
6. U2 - "Gloria"
7. The Beatles - "Revolution"
8. The Sex Pistols - "Bodies"
9. Metallica - "Don't Tread On Me"
10. The Kinks - "20th Century Man"
The Pretenders - My City Was Gone (from Learning To Crawl, #13)
Jesus Jones - Right Here, Right Now (from Doubt, #14)
Living Colour - Cult Of Personality (from Vivid, #18)
After The Fire - Der Kommissar (from Like, Omigod! The '80s Pop Culture Box (Totally), #24)
The Kinks - Two Sisters (from Something Else by the Kinks, #44)