The Jersey Sound creates a Hot 100 for NJ musicians

by JAY LUSTIG
jersey sound top 100

The Jersey Sound website has a top 100 list devoted to New Jersey musicians.

It’s the only “Hot 100” list I’ve ever seen that can range from Bruce Springsteen and Frank Sinatra to SZA and Halsey. The website TheJerseySound.com has started its own Hot 100 list, selected by the site’s editor, Mike Greenblatt (who I’ve known since the ’80s, when we both worked for East Coast Rocker, which is now known as The Aquarian).

This Hot 100 is open only to New Jersey artists, past and present, and you can see it at thejerseysound.com/hot100.

The idea may sound familiar to readers of NJArts.net who remember our 350 Jersey Songs project, for which I wrote posts, daily, from September 2014 to September 2014. An index to the 350 entries — plus nine bonus songs, added at various times after 2015 — can be seen HERE.

There are some differences in the lists. For instance:

Since being completed in 2015, the NJArts.net 350 has changed only for the addition of the bonus tracks. The Jersey Sound list will change monthly. (The initial list has a lot of recent releases, and that will surely continue as Greenblatt mixes in music he has recently written about or discovered.)

The Jersey Sound list is open only to artists from New Jersey and bands with at least one New Jerseyan in them, while the NJArts.net 350 list also is open to songs about New Jersey and songs recorded in New Jersey.

There is no limit to the number of times an artist can appear on the NJArts.net 350 list, while artists can only be included once on the Jersey Sound list (though in a few cases an artist appears as both a solo artist and a band member, or two bands are included because of the same musician: Frankie Valli/Four Seasons, Donald Fagen/Steely Dan, Glenn Danzig/Misfits, James Gang/Eagles).

The NJArts.net 350 list is in alphabetical order, while the Jersey Sound list is in order of preference.

Some of the artists on the Jersey Sound Hot 100 list.

Regarding this last point, Greenblatt says: “It’s almost impossible to rate them 1 to 100. But in the interests of fun and engendering debate and argument, that’s exactly what I did.

“It was all-inclusive and, really, just my musical overview. I consider myself like an everyman: I grew up with rock ‘n’ roll in the ’50s and then I did nothing except listen to music and tell people about it my entire career. I’ve always said there’s only two kinds of music: good and bad.”

Here is the current Jersey Sound list. For each song, I have noted whether it is on the NJArts.net 350 list — 29 of them are — and, if not, if there are any other songs on that list, by that artist.

1. “Born to Run,” Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band. NJArts.net 350: Yes

2. “Fly Me to the Moon,” Frank Sinatra. NJArts.net 350: Yes

3. “I Don’t Want to Go Home,” Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes. NJArts 350: Yes

4. “Soulfire,” Little Stevens & the Disciples of Soul. NJArts.net 350: No

Note: Was not released at time of NJArts.net 350. Van Zandt is represented on NJArts.net 350 by “Sun City” and various collaborations with Bruce Springsteen and Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes.

5. “Society’s Child,” Janis Ian. NJArts.net 350: Yes

6. “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” The Four Seasons. NJArts.net 350: No

Note: The Four Seasons are represented on NJArts.net 350 by “Dawn (Go Away)” and “Sherry,” plus lead singer Frankie Valli has two solo songs on it (“Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” “My Mother’s Eyes”).

7. “Walk on By,” Dionne Warwick. NJArts.net 350: No

Note: Warwick is represented on NJArt.net 350 by “Anyone Who Had a Heart,” “Hasbrook Heights” and “That’s What Friends Are For.”

8. “You Don’t Own Me,” Lesley Gore. NJArts.net 350: Yes

9. “Black Coffee,” Sarah Vaughan. NJArts.net 350: No

Note: Vaughan is represented on NJArts.net 350 by “September Song” (featuring Wynton Marsalis and The Boston Pops), “I Got Rhythm” and “I’ve Got the World on a String.”

10. “I Will Always Love You,” Whitney Houston. NJArts.net 350: Yes

11. “Rapper’s Delight,” The Sugar Hill Gang. NJArts.net 350: Yes

12. “How High the Moon,” Les Paul & Mary Ford. NJArts.net 350: Yes

13. “One O’Clock Jump,” Count Basie. NJArts.net 350: Yes

14. “Breezin’,” George Benson. NJArts.net 350: No

Note: Benson is represented on NJArts.net 350 by “On Broadway.”

15. “Atlantis,” Wayne Shorter. NJArts.net 350: No

Note: Shorter is represented on NJArts.net 350 by “Elegant People” (performed by Shorter with Weather Report).

16. “I Will Survive,” Gloria Gaynor. NJArts.net 350: Yes

17. “Interstate Love Song,” Stone Temple Pilots. NJArts.net 350: Yes

18. “Livin’ on a Prayer,” Bon Jovi. NJArts.net 350: Yes

19. “Youth Gone Wild,” Skid Row. NJArts.net 350: No

Note: Skid Row is represented on NJArts.net 350 by “Wild Thing,” performed at Giants Stadium with Bon Jovi, Billy Squier and Sam Kinison.

20. “Celebration,” Kool & The Gang. NJArts.net 350: Yes

21. “Mother,” Danzig. NJArts.net 350: No

Note: Glenn Danzig is represented on NJArts.net 350 by “Halloween,” recorded by him and Misfits.

22. “Salt Peanuts,” Dizzy Gillespie. NJArts.net 350: No

Note: Gillespie is represented on NJArts.net 350 by “Night in Tunisia.”

23. “Mustang Sally,” Wilson Pickett. NJArts.net 350: No

24. “Shout,” The Isley Brothers. NJArts.net 350: No

Note: The Isley Brothers are represented on NJArts.net 350 by “Testify” (featuring Jimi Hendrix) and “This Old Heart of Mine.”

25. “No Mystery,” Return to Forever. NJArts.net 350: No

26. “Heart of Glass,” Blondie. NJArts.net 350: No

Note: Blondie is represented on NJArts.net 350 by “Union City Blue” and “X Offender.”

27. “Because the Night,” The Patti Smith Group. NJArts.net 350: Yes

28. “Dream Weaver,” Gary Wright. NJArts.net 350: No

Note: Wright is represented on NJArts.net 350 by “Love Is Alive.”

29. “Nappy Heads,” Fugees. NJArts.net 350: No

Note: The Fugees are represented on NJArts.net 350 by “Killing Me Softly” and band members Lauryn Hill, Wyclef Jean and Pras Michel are represented by “Doo Wop (That Thing)” and “To Zion” (both Hill); “Gone Till November” (Jean); and “Ghetto Supastar (That Is What You Are)” (Michel).

30. “Who’s Sorry Now?,” Connie Francis. NJArts.net 350: Yes

31. “Good Lovin,’ ” The Young Rascals. NJArts.net 350: Yes

32. “Peppermint Twist,” Joey Dee & the Starliters. NJArts.net 350: Yes

33. “Funk #49,” The James Gang. NJArts.net 350: No

Note: The James Gang is represented on NJArts.net 350 by “Walk Away.”

34. “Poetry Man,” Phoebe Snow. NJArts.net 350: No

Note: Snow is represented on NJArts.net 350 by “I Believe in You.”

35. “Old Man River,” Paul Robeson. NJArts.net 350: Yes

36. “Famous Last Words,” My Chemical Romance. NJArts.net 350: No

Note: My Chemical Romance is represented on NJArts.net by “Welcome to the Black Parade” and “The Sharpest Lives.”

37. “I Love a Rainy Night,” Eddie Rabbitt. NJArts.net 350: No

Note: Rabbitt is represented on NJArts.net 350 by “Jersey Boy.”

38. “When You’re Good to Mama,” Queen Latifah. NJArts.net 350: Yes

39. “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” Frankie Valli. NJArts.net 350: Yes

40. “Blood and Roses,” The Smithereens. NJArts.net 350: Yes

41. “Blue Line Swinger,” Yo La Tengo. NJArts.net 350: No

Note: Yo La Tengo is represented on NJArts.net 350 by “Speeding Motorcycle” (featuring Daniel Johnston), “Did I Tell You” and “Roadrunner.”

42. “Away,” The Feelies. NJArts.net 350: Yes

43. “Hotel California,” Eagles. NJArts.net 350: No

44. “Numbers With Wings,” The Bongos. NJArts.net 350: No

Note: The Bongos are represented on NJArts.net 350 by “The Bulrushes.”

45. “My Boyfriend,” The Cucumbers. NJArts.net 350: No

Note: The Cucumbers are represented on NJArts.net 350 by “Rent Party.”

46. “Isn’t It a Pity,” Bettye LaVette. NJArts.net 350: No

Note: LaVette is represented on NJArts.net 350 by “A Change Is Gonna Come” (with Jon Bon Jovi) and “Joy.”

47. “Walkin’ Funny,” Christian McBride’s New Jawn. NJArts.net 350: No

Note: McBride Is represented on NJArts.net 350 by “Work” (recorded with The Chick Corea Trio).

48. “God Made You for Me,” Catholic Girls. NJArts.net 350: No

49. “My Days Have Been So Wondrous Free” (1759), Francis Hopkinson. NJArts.net 350: No

50. “Brooklyn Can Wait,” Jake Thistle. NJArts.net 350: No

Note: Was not released at time of NJArts.net 350.

51. “As He Climbed the Dark Mountain,” Thursday. NJArts.net 350: No

52. “The ’59 Sound,” The Gaslight Anthem. NJArts.net 350: Yes

53. “Keasbey Nights,” Streetlight Manifesto. NJArts.net 350: No

54. “It’s Time,” Unicorn 151. NJArts.net 350: No

Note: Was not released at time of NJArts.net 350.

55. “Trap Queen,” Fetty Wap. NJArts.net 350: No

56. “Hip Hop Hooray,” Naughty by Nature. NJArts.net 350: No

Note: Naughty by Nature is represented on NJArts.net 350 by “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright” and “O.P.P.”

57. “True Believers,” The Bouncing Souls. NJArts.net 350: No

Note: The Bouncing Souls are represented on NJArts.net 350 by “So Jersey” and “Ghosts on the Boardwalk.”

58. “Without Me,” Halsey. NJArts.net 350: No

Note: Was not released at time of NJArts.net 350.

59. “I Wanna Get Better,” Bleachers. NJArts.net 350: Yes

60. “Snooze,” SZA. NJArts.net 350: No

Note: Was not released at time of NJArts.net 350.

61. “Show Biz Kids,” Steely Dan. NJArts.net 350: No

Note: Steely Dan is represented on NJArts.net 350 by “Black Friday” and band member Donald Fagen is represented by “New Frontier.”

62. “Rotten to the Core,” Overkill. NJArts.net 350: No

63. “My Veneration,” Patriarchs in Black. NJArts.net 350: No

Note: Was not released at time of NJArts.net 350.

64. “Simon Says,” The 1910 Fruitgum Company. NJArts.net 350: Yes

65. “Sundaze,” Mark Mulch. NJArts.net 350: No

Note: Was not released at time of NJArts.net 350.

66. “Bleed,” Walter Trout. NJArts.net 350: No

Note: Was not released at time of NJArts.net 350.

67. “Colors,” Ice-T. NJArts.net 350: No

68. “Letter From the Front,” Mike Daly & the Planets. NJArts.net 350: No

Note: Was not released at time of NJArts.net 350.

69. “Girl With No Name,” Steve Conte. NJArts.net 350: No

Note: Was not released at time of NJArts.net 350.

70. “Brian Jones,” The Weeklings. NJArts.net 350: No

Note: Was not released at time of NJArts.net 350.

71. “The House Is Rockin’,” Katie Henry. NJArts.net 350: No

Note: Was not released at time of NJArts.net 350.

72. “The End,” Allen Ginsberg. NJArts.net 350: No

Note: Ginsberg is represented on NJArts.net 350 by “The Ballad of the Skeletons” (featuring Paul McCartney).

73. “Mercury Girl,” Lightheaded. NJArts.net 350: No

Note: Was not released at time of NJArts.net 350.

74. “Can’t Get Back to New Orleans,” The Gumbo Gumbas. NJArts.net 350: No

Note: Was not released at time of NJArts.net 350.

75. “Tiger Rag,” Stephane Wrembel. NJArts.net 350: No

Note: Was not released at time of NJArts.net 350.

76. “Handshakes,” Reg Mason. NJArts.net 350: No

Note: Was not released at time of NJArts.net 350.

77. “Armageddon,” Marc Ribler & Story Road. NJArts.net 350: No

Note: Was not released at time of NJArts.net 350.

78. “Short Shorts,” The Royal Teens. NJArts.net 350: No

79. “Honey,” Vakili Band. NJArts.net 350: No

Note: Was not released at time of NJArts.net 350.

80. “Down at the Twist and Shout,” Mary Chapin Carpenter. NJArts.net 350: No

Note: Carpenter is represented on NJArts.net 350 by “Stones in the Road.”

81. “I Like Jersey Best,” John Pizzarelli. NJArts.net 350: Yes

82. “Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree,” Tony Orlando & Dawn. NJArts.net 350: Yes

83. “You Enjoy Myself,” Phish. NJArts.net 350: No

Note: Phish is represented in the NJArts.net 350 by “Frankenstein.”

84. “It Ain’t Fair,” Jalisa Rey. NJArts.net 350: No

Note: Was not released at time of NJArts.net 350.

85. “Jersey Luv,” Groovy. NJArts.net 350: No

Note: Was not released at time of NJArts.net 350.

86. “New Frontier,” Donald Fagen. NJArts.net 350: Yes

87. “I Live Alone,” Kerry Charles. NJArts.net 350: No

Note: Was not released at time of NJArts.net 350.

88. “Shore Leave on Pharagonesia,” Royal Arctic Institute. NJArts.net 350: No

Note: Was not released at time of NJArts.net 350.

89. “Give It to Me Good,” Trixter. NJArts.net 350: No

90. “Shoot Pass Slam,” Shaquille O’Neal. NJArts.net 350: No

91. “Die Hard,” Art of Anarchy. NJArts.net 350: No

Note: Was not released at time of NJArts.net 350.

92. “Papa Was a Rolling Stone,” Dave Stryker. NJArts.net 350: No

Note: Was not released at time of NJArts.net 350.

93. “Rocky and I,” Sonic Blume. NJArts.net 350: No

Note: Was not released at time of NJArts.net 350.

94. “Silence Is Louder,” Studio D’Lux. NJArts.net 350: No

Note: Was not released at time of NJArts.net 350.

95. “I Don’t Like New Songs,” Scott Anthony. NJArts.net 350: No

Note: Was not released at time of NJArts.net 350.

96. “Real,” Rory D’Lasnow. NJArts.net 350: No

Note: Was not released at time of NJArts.net 350.

97. “I Wanna Rock’n’Roll,” Stormin’ Norman Seldin. NJArts.net 350: No

Note: Seldin is represented on NJArts.net 350 by “Jersey Boy.”

98. “C’mon Caroline,” Bobby Bandiera.NJArts.net 350: Yes

99. “Teenagers From Mars,” Misfits. NJArts.net 350: No

100. “Nuages,” Bucky Pizzarelli. NJArts.net 350: No

Note: Pizzarelli is represented on NJArts.net 350 by “Sweet Georgia Brown” (featuring John Pizzarelli) and “C Jam Blues” (featuring Les Paul and Tal Farlow).

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