Ah, now this was a lot of fun. A labor of love it was. Compiling a list of my all-time favorite jams! Certainly not to be confused with Misakman's 50 Most Annoying Songs Of All-Time, these awesome songs hit me right in the gut with the most impact. The composition of the 1001 ditties is dominated by Funk and R&B (my fave genre) but you'll still find plenty of rock, some blues, gospel, and country, and even some easy-listening soft-rock. There's even a smidgen of reggae and rap. I'm a drummer so it seems that selections featuring a strong beat tended to predominate.

   The selections on this mighty list are from the era of the '50s thru the '90s with even a tiny of bit of '40s thrown in. Anything I found that truly caught my ear from the year 2000 onward will be at Misakman's 180 Greatest Songs Of All-Time...21st Century. In my not-so-humble opinion I'd have to say they haven't been cranking out much great stuff since the turn of the century though once in a while something cool comes along. It was too agonizing being forced into bumping things off the 20th Century list to make room for new stuff so I started the 21st Century list.

Once I completed the list of my elite 1001 songs I couldn't help but wonder what the breakdown was for the different decades. I went back and researched very carefully the release dates of each song and this is what I came up with...roughly 40% from the '70s, 25% from the '60s, 20% from the '80s, 10% from the 90's, then 5% from the '50s (and a little '40s). So that should give you a good idea of what to expect. The '70s was the funkiest decade and the '60s was the most soulful so it makes sense considering my tastes. It's funny the '80s fared lower considering that's where most of my young adult years were and I was no longer a little kid but hey, the newer stuff just didn't blow me away like the older stuff. The '90s fared even worse but I did find some gems. Since rock 'n roll was just getting under way in the mid to late '50s and R&B was mostly smooth doo-wop, beautiful stuff but not necessarily my favorite for getting my groove on, the '50s decade didn't generate huge quantity for my list but Oh the quality!

    I had more rap tunes included in the list prior to posting here. Once I listened to them again, I remembered the main reason I got hooked on them in the first place. They were re-workings of (sampled heavily from) old funk classics that I had almost forgotten about. For instance, I originally was going to include Roxanne Shante's Go On Girl but realized I had neglected Lyn Collins' Think (About It). Same thing for Salt&Pepa's Let The Rhythm Run (The Meters Cissy Strut and the JB's Damn Right I Am Somebody) and Def Jef's Downtown (Billy Preston's Will It Go Round In Circles). Then when I checked out those originals again, I decided I did like them a little more than the newer rap versions and so since there's only so much room on the list, I made the switches.

    I realize that every individual's Top 1001 list would be much different from mine so please remember it's simply a personal (Misakman's) 1001. I could care less if my 1001 personal selections appear/don't appear on other official All-Time lists which generally focus on songs critics deem to be historically important and innovative. For instance, A Day in the Life by the Beatles and Rock Around The Clock by Bill Haley & the Comets are certainly great even groundbreaking tunes, but they just don't do too much for me anymore.

    Likewise, there are many songs that are true classics which may be considered the signature song of an artist and probably their biggest hit, but that doesn't mean it gets included here. For instance James Brown, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, and Deep Purple appear on my list but you won't see Papa's Got A Brand New Bag (or 1965's I Feel Good), Dream On, Stairway To Heaven, or Smoke On The Water. Heck, those tunes got overplayed (and continue to be overplayed) on the radio- especially nowadays with the oldies stations and their repetitive song rotations. That kinda killed 'em for me. Diluted their impact.

  It also seems that songs that wind up being used on commercials (which run ad nauseam) risk losing their punch with me. For instance, Signed Sealed Delivered by Steve Wonder got looped over and over during a car ad and that ruined it for me. I also lost my special feeling for Hush by Deep Purple when it showed up on a car ad as well. Thank you Corporate America. I nearly tore my hair out when I heard Kool & the Gang's Jungle Boogie on a credit card ad. I love that slammin' tune so much that the desecration didn't result in me dropping it from the 1001 like the others.

  The clips link to a variety of places. You will have to download Windows Media Player onto your computer to play everything. It doesn't cost anything so it's well worth it. If I couldn't find a clip or if the clips available were unsatisfactory to me (if I didn't feel they captured the coolness of the song), I dug into my personal music archives and supplied my own clip. Anyway, if you want to own them you'll have to buy the music at the sites the clips link to (Barnes & Noble, Amazon, FYE). Beyond that, you can always try Music Stack if the item is very rare. You may of course have your own favorite retailer such as CD Universe, Newbury Comics, Tower Records, or even someplace else. Some links may go to SoundCloud which is different from the others in that it's a nifty listening/sharing platform well worth joining but not a place for downloading or buying the songs.

OK MUSIC LOVERS! Click on all the audio clips and have a ball!

The Elite 1001!!! -- In Alphabetical Order (by Music Artist):


Letter A (28 songs)
Letter B (119 songs)
Letter C (107 songs)
Letter D (57 songs)
Letter E (32 songs)
Letter F (47 songs)
Letter G (39 songs)
Letter H (28 songs)
Letter I (15 songs)
Letter J (45 songs)
Letter K (54 songs)
Letter L (35 songs)
Letter M (51 songs)
Letter N (7 songs)
Letter O (10 songs)
Letter P (52 songs)
Letter Q (2 songs)
Letter R (55 songs)
Letter S (85 songs)
Letter T (46 songs)
Letter U (8 songs)
Letter V (14 songs)
Letter W (60 songs)
Letter Y (2 songs)
Letter Z (3 songs)