Thompson’s pick as the top “classic rock” song (1968–1976) is Led Zeppelin’s ubiquitous “Stairway to Heaven.” And it gets worse. His next three picks, all warhorses, are “Won’t Get Fooled Again” (the Who), “Hotel California” (Eagles), and “Bohemian Rhapsody” (Queen). He detests the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper, though, so there’s grit under the treacle. Perhaps. He basically presents a scattershot critique of the music that lives forever on boomer-oriented oldies radio and at wedding receptions. He overdoes the sly humor only occasionally and has a good sense of the bizarre to compensate a shortage of appreciation of the backbeat. Most of his targets are exceedingly deserving of skewering, and all are by pretty well-heeled cats, most of them white, whatever that tells one. Thompson finds “moments of endorphin-pumping pleasure” in the likes of Jimmy Page’s guitar solo in “Stairway” and discourses merrily on the monumental nature of the 1960s–’70s album-oriented pop he esteems. He also finds great value in disco excursions by rockers, so obviously his humor knows no—or few—bounds. Good, clean fun. --Mike Tribby
About the Author
Dave Thompson is the author of over 100 books on rock music and pop culture, including best-selling titles on Nirvana, Cream, David Bowie, and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. His writing has also appeared in numerous magazines and publications, including Rolling Stone, Mojo, Melody Maker and Q.