THE GREATEST OF ALL TUNES: The ’59 Sound by Gaslight Anthem (2008)

THE GREATEST OF ALL TUNES (G.O.A.T.) is a salute to the greatest songs of all time, one song per artist.  Want more?  Go to the G.O.A.T. Page for all the GOATs so far!

It’s hard for me to find songs from the past 10 years that I can comfortably label one of the greatest songs of all time, because time itself—sustainability—is a factor for me.  But this song grabbed me by the back of the neck and threw me into the center of a barfight the first time I heard it.  My adrenaline raced, my eyes rolled back in my head, and went into a trance of hitting “repeat” on the iTunes.

The ’59 Sound was the title track and lead single of the band’s second album, and the hard-driving rocker got the attention of Pearl Jam and Bruce Springsteen, and got them featured on Letterman and Conan.  It represented a break from the band’s earlier album in the way it merged soul and classic rock, with a firm blue-collar ethic and fevered pace.  Anyone who thought rock was dead and then heard this song would have to rethink.

The song charted at #35, which is fairly high in these days of rap and R&B/pop hybrids.

Sadly, it appears the band has broken up and lead singer/songwriter Brian Fallon has gone on to several side/solo projects—all are good, but none have the magic he had with Gaslight Anthem.

Further listening: Great Expectations (from the same album), American Slang, and the tribute to Joe Strummer titled, “I’da Called You Woody, Joe.”
Covers: I couldn’t find one worth posting, so instead check out their cover of Pearl Jam’s “State of Love and Trust.”

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