Photo by Ashley Rose Stanol

Jim “The Critic” Voigt will tell you he has hundreds of favorite songs. We asked him to narrow it down to his top 100 now. “I’m not saying they’re THE greatest,” he qualifies.
“But they’re MY favorites.”

To make the exercise a challenge, we asked for the songs in order of preference. His list includes 20 songs from the 1950s and ’60s as well as 20 each from the four decades that followed.

Enjoy the Critic’s playlist here.

100. “Evil” – Interpol

99. “Alone again or” – Love

98. “Favorite shirt” – The Figgs

97. “Stay with me” – The Dictators

96. “The new world” – X

95. “Inside of love” – Nada Surf

94. “Simmer down” – The Wailers

93. “Haven’t got a clue” – Dramarama

92. “Radio radio” – Elvis Costello

91. “Everyday things” – The Plimsouls

90. “Baby goes to 11” – Superdrag

89. “Break on through” – The Doors

88. “American music” – Violent Femmes

87. “Dreaming” – Blondie

86. “Touch me I’m sick” – Mudhoney

85. “King of diamonds” – Motopony

84. “Jailhouse rock” – Elvis Presley

83. “It’s a shame about Ray” – The Lemonheads

82. “Down on the street” – The Stooges

81. “Absolutely sweet Marie” – Jason and the Scorchers

80. “Keg on my coffin” – The Push Stars

79. “I’ll feel a whole lot better” – The Byrds

78. “Jimmy’s fantasy” – Redd Kross

77. “Ridin’ in my car” – NRBQ

76. “In between days” – The Cure

75. “Hate to say I told you so” – The Hives

74. “I saw her again” – The Mamas & the Papas

73. “Time bomb” – The Old 97’s

72. “Marquee moon” – Television

71. “If I should fall from grace with God” – The Pogues

70. “Better off now that you’re gone” – Will Hoge

69. “Hot fun in the summertime” – Sly & the Family Stone

68. “Evangeline” – Matthew Sweet

67. “Dance the night away”  – Van Halen

66. “How much more” – The Go-Go’s

65. “She doesn’t like weed” – The Dugans

64. “Sunday morning” – The Velvet Underground

63. “Breed” – Nirvana

62. “Roadrunner” – The Modern Lovers

61. “Another nail in my heart” – Squeeze

60. “I need love” – Courtney Jaye

59. “It came out of the sky” – Creedence Clearwater Revival

58. “Backwater” – The Meat Puppets

57. “Don’t come close” – The Ramones

56. “Everyday is like Sunday” – Morrissey

55. “That’s me trying” – William Shatner and Ben Folds

54. “Folsom Prison blues” – Johnny Cash

53. “The wagon” – Dinosaur Jr.

52. “On your radio” – Joe Jackson

51. “I could never take the place of your man” – Prince

50. “Ball and biscuit” – The White Stripes

49. “Roll over Beethoven” – Chuck Berry

48. “There you are” – Goo Goo Dolls

47. “No matter what” – Badfinger

46. “Gardening at night” – R.E.M.

45. “I never knew you” – The Avett Brothers

44. “Sweet thing” – Van Morrison

43. “Blue canoe” – Blue Mountain

42. “Hanging on the telephone”
– The Nerves

41. “Makes no sense at all” – Husker Du

40. “You’re no rock n’ roll fun” – Sleater Kinney

39. “Subterranean homesick blues” – Bob Dylan

38. “Sooner or later” – The Feelies

37. “Safe European home” – The Clash

36. “Monkey gone to heaven” – Pixies

35. “Portland, Oregon” – Loretta Lynn and Jack White

34. “So sad about us” – The Who

33. “Radiation Vibe” – Fountains of Wayne

32. “Cruel to be kind” – Nick Lowe

31. “Sink hole” – Drive-By Truckers

30. “19th nervous breakdown” – The Rolling Stones

29. “The long cut” – Uncle Tupelo

28. “God save the Queen” – The Sex Pistols

27. “Fisherman’s blues” – The Waterboys

26. “Small doses” – Watershed

25. “Waterloo sunset” – The Kinks

24. “Baby what’s wrong” – The Cynics

23. “Girl of my dreams” – Bram Tchaikovsky

22. “Sometime to return” – Soul Asylum

21. “South” – Hippo Campus

20. “God only knows” – The Beach Boys

19. “Cut your hair” – Pavement

18. “Teenage kicks” – The Undertones

17. “Kid” – The Pretenders

16. “I wanna know girls” – Portastatic

15. “You just may be the one” – The Monkees

14. “Blue” – The Jayhawks

13. “Another girl, another planet” – The Only Ones

12. “Judas kiss” – The Del Lords

11. “Portions for foxes” – Rilo Kiley

10. “A hard day’s night” – The Beatles

9. “Born with a tail” – Supersuckers

8. “Ball and chain” – Social Distortion

7. “Take the skinheads bowling” – Camper Van Beethoven

6. “Chasing Heather crazy” – Guided By Voices

5. “Communication breakdown” – Led Zeppelin

4. “September Gurls” – Big Star

3. “Left in the dark” – The Vertebrats

2. “Starry eyes” – The Records

1. “Bastards of young” – The Replacements

What the Critic Missed

The beauty of lists of favorites is they are personal choices informed by a life of listening. A value of lists is that they may open new tunes and bands for you to experience, just as The Critic exposes listeners to every week through his Sunday “The Critic’s Choice” radio show (105.5 FM, The Bridge). For example, we’d forgotten how good some songs are (“God only knows,” “Gardening at night”) and we found some bands not on our radar (Blue Mountain, Will Hogue, The Hives). 

So we hope the list sparks some thought — and some discussion — about what songs or artists The Critic failed to include. For example, where are tunes from The English Beat, XTC, Foo Fighters, Cake, The B-52s, The Jam, the Allman Brothers, Romeo Void and The Police? But then again, what would you omit?

You can listen to the Critic’s 100 top picks online at charlestoncitypaper.com