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

THE GREATEST OF ALL TUNES (G.O.A.T.) is a series of posts, producing my 100 favorite songs of all time.  The master list is here, and I update it about every two weeks or when I have another 10 songs or so.
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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