<em>American Idol</em> Gets Ready To Shape The Songs That Shaped Rock And Roll Into Little Tiny Squares

noah | April 30, 2008 4:00 am

The long trips into the past will continue on next week’s American Idol, when, according to a tipster quoted at MJ’s Big Blog, the top four contestants will sing songs from the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame’s list of 500 Songs That Shaped Rock. On the one hand, ugh; on the other hand, given the Idol producers’ track record of knowing anything about current music, I guess that’s progress, since there are a few songs that were actually recorded in the past 20 years on the list. Anthony and I went through the list and tried to pick out which songs would be most appropriate for each remaining contestant. (Since we don’t have Paula’s psychic abilities, we selected songs for the five singers who are still in the competition as of this very moment.)

David Archuleta • Pearl Jam’s “Jeremy,” if he feels the need to make a cry for help; • John Cougar Mellencamp’s “Authority Song,” because seriously, he’s sick of this being-stage-parented-to-death shit; or • Sonic Youth’s “Teenage Riot,” because no really he needs to get out and hop the first departing freight train now.

Jason Castro • Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On,” in order to make a sorta-sly reference to this week’s debacle; • Big Star’s “September Gurls,” because awwww; or • Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me,” because he’s totally into the Sean Kingston song that it samples.

David Cook • Paul Young’s arrangement of Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” because so few people want to remember they’ve ever heard it that he’ll have no problem claiming it as his own; • The Doors’ “The End,” because he is edgy, dammit, Lythgoe or no Lythgoe; or • Mott The Hoople’s “All The Young Dudes,” because it’s almost mathematically impossible to ruin that song, no matter how much reheated post-grunge you ladle on top.

Syesha Mercado • Jane’s Addiction’s “Been Caught Stealing,” because it would pair well with her recently unearthed saucy side; • Blondie’s “Heart Of Glass,” so she can show off her falsetto; or • The Penguins’ “Earth Angel,” so she can reveal her ability to self-harmonize, thus clinching the Idol crown three weeks early.

Brooke White • Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” to continue the crazy-girl-at-karaoke theme she started last night; • R.E.M.’s “Losing My Religion,” in a suicide-mission move that will once and for all alienate her from all those right-wing voters who got offended by Carly last week; or • Duran Duran’s “Hungry Like The Wolf”–but in the style of Bruce Campbell:

500 Songs That Shaped Rock [infoplease.com]

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