Staff Top 10
Top Ten Hits That Prove That Originality Is Overrated

By: Andrew Unterberger

Posted 05/26/2006 - 10:00:58 AM by jhitting:
 For only the second time in my illustrious relationship with Stylus have I failed to know a single song/artist/moment in the staff top ten. And here I was expecting Mandy Moore or something. Oh well. Good luck with your journalism career. Keep in mind that audience is the most important part of writing.
Posted 05/26/2006 - 10:07:20 AM by whiteboysushi:
 you don't even know "Oh Sheila"? that song is sticky like a peanut butter and honey sandwich
Posted 05/26/2006 - 10:08:14 AM by whiteboysushi:
 or "Obsession"? I'm sure you've heard that one and just don't remember it
Posted 05/26/2006 - 10:24:20 AM by andrewi31:
 Wow Unterberger, not only can you construct, completely bullshit assumptions from Modernist criticism, you can destroy them with a handful of pop songs.
Posted 05/26/2006 - 11:17:34 AM by cwperry:
 Dave Marsh's famous Book of Rock Lists has a list of about 30 soundalike songs--I think the only match with this list is the Hollies tune.
Posted 05/26/2006 - 11:19:27 AM by cwperry:
 I just have to comment to jhitting, who sarcastically lambastes Mr. Unterberger because jhitting has never heard any of the songs on this list: jhitting, get a clue. I don't care that you've never heard "Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress," but for chrissakes have the wherewithal to understand that you are not the arbiter for cultural literacy. Just because you've never heard some of these songs does not mean Mr. Unterberger is a failed journalist. I have been reading your comments on Stylus for months and I am sick of your self-centered whining.
Posted 05/26/2006 - 01:36:00 PM by smilani:
 Great calls on "Obsession" and "Oh Sheila". I haven't heard either of those songs in a decade+ but they instantly started playing in my head when I read them on the list. Couldn't agree more with cwperry's comments.
Posted 05/26/2006 - 04:35:35 PM by lepain:
 Funny, I never bothered checking. I always assumed oh,sheila was a bona fide prince song.
Posted 05/26/2006 - 10:20:28 PM by :
 cwperry...I really thought jhitting`s comment was acquiescently provocative in a non-thoughtful kind of way and pretty much hit the unterberger on the sandwich in a nutshell as a manner of sprechen. What could be more self-centred than whinge-waxing you shibboleth-monger? I`ve been watching you for months perry and I`ve run your sentence constructions through my profile shredder & it would come as no surprise to anyone else here that you`re clearly the virgin-in-a-colostomy sac type. Fink.
Posted 05/28/2006 - 08:26:43 AM by downloadsofist:
 Nice list.
Posted 05/28/2006 - 09:55:38 AM by busstop:
 Great list. I immediately thought of the Knickerbockers while scrolling down, and there they were at #5. Also, back in the day I used to think that the beginning of Joe Jackson's "Breaking Us In Two" was a blatant rip-off of Badfinger ("Day After Day"), but BUIT is a fine tune in its own right.
Posted 05/28/2006 - 06:39:34 PM by theresafield:
 haha college etc
Posted 05/28/2006 - 06:54:34 PM by theresafield:
 no but seriously (koff!) the pound stuff is, i think, a deliberate misreading. you should look again at eliot's "tradition and the individual talent," where tse talks about the artist (omg rockist lol) putting together the new work of art out of the materials of the past, not inventing something whole cloth. so the songs you list here could stake some claim to originality, taking established styles and doing something with them that the (")original(") bands didn't.
Posted 05/29/2006 - 10:36:09 AM by unsaunsa:
 This is junk. I'm sure if I go around the garages on my street I could find a bunch of insignificant bits of musical crap that are all rewrites of Metallica's "Fade To Black". While they're not hits (yet), with the exception of a few tracks on this list, these are barely hits either. There are so many songs where you can say definitively song A uses riff B note for note and both songs are big hits, but no we get "it sounds like Creedence". Shit if that's the best you got, much much better than that is "Walking On Sunshine's" totally neo-motown sound. Actually, scratch that, why not put in Hayden or even Mendelsohn writing like Mozart? Listening to the Hollies track at number ONE I can see they're trying for a rootsy rock sound a-la CCR, but I have never listened to that Hollies track and thought it sounds like song x by CCR. Of course that doesn't rule out unoriginality, but if the definition here is that broad, then this list would have literally millions of songs on it. In fact every bullshit indie rock band loved by sites like these would owe McCartney royalties. Blah.
Posted 05/30/2006 - 01:51:31 PM by jhitting:
 Hey CWPERRY: Not a single word in my original comment was meant to be sarcastic or whining. I really was expecting some songs that the general "indie rock liking" public would know. I'm 23, not 47. I also was serious about wishing Unterberger good luck with his career. My last line was simply meant to be a bit of friendly advice. If you didn't like my comment, that is probably more of a reflection on yourself than anything else. Stay tuned for more comments you will dislike in the future. *SPOILER ALERT* I have my own opinion.
Posted 05/30/2006 - 02:51:02 PM by jhitting:
 Dear cwperry: I am a bit concerned that your opinion of me is skewed by my comments in the Top Ten Incidental Punk Moments section. While those comments were made a while back, I can understand why they made you upset with my posts. I did, after all, tell you to go fuck yourself and then offered to fight. What I meant to say originally was that cuddle-core is used inappropriately. It should have been called twee. In the future, I will simply use straight-forward parlance to avoid any confusion that my supposed sarcasm induced prior to this particular comment. Yours, jhitting
Posted 06/01/2006 - 03:30:18 AM by bj_randolph:
 HAWHAW this is a funny list. But no mention of America, clearly the standard-bearers of this "genre"? The band had two hits, each of which was basically a karaoke version of a different contemporary: "Horse With No Name" (Neil Young) and "Sister Golden Hair" (George Harrison). I mean really, sounding exactly like a Harrison solo cut? Surely that counts as an accomplishment in itself. Plus, those are the only two songs I know of by the band; who knows what sort of aural Xeroxing languishes on side two of that sorry best-of?
Posted 06/01/2006 - 10:11:34 PM by proffokker:
 Whoa, everybody chill. Anyway, I was pretty sure that was CCR, in point.
Posted 09/29/2006 - 09:01:04 PM by BrianMackDFW:
 Roxette's "Listen to your heart" I thought was by Heart for a long time.
Posted 11/09/2006 - 01:15:34 PM by Compunction:
 is "fight test" just too obvious, or what? a ripped-off melody so obvious as to prompt a lawsuit by the original artist (yusuf islam, nee cat stevns) against the copycat (wayne coyne) would seem like a justifiable inclusion to this list. but wait, maybe "fight test" wasn't a hit....oh well. for more, see: (
Posted 11/19/2006 - 03:31:12 AM by eardrum:
 In case anyone's interested if uploaded all the songs in the list to my blog: enjoy!