Tag Archives: RIAA

Song: “Over the Rainbow”

Judy Garland will always be linked to this song -- and she was just fine with that. Uploaded by images2.fanpop.com.

Louis B. Mayer is one of the greatest executives in the history of motion pictures. But he almost made the mistake of his life when he deleted “Over the Rainbow” from The Wizard of Oz following a preview. He said it slowed down the movie, and “Our star sings it in a barnyard.”

Fortunately, he was talked back from the edge, and this song earned the honor as “Song of the Century” in a list compiled by the Recording Industry Association of America and the National Endowment for the Arts. The American Film Institute also named it the greatest movie song of all time.

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Judy Garland will always be linked to her signature song, which she always performed just as it was heard in the film. When asked why she never changed it, she expressed her love for the song and respect for the beauty of its arrangement. Harold Arlen created the melody, while E.Y. Harburg wrote the lyrics.

Even so, “Over the Rainbow” has been covered countless times by a wide variety of artists. Here are a few of my favorites, starting with the original…

Song: “Born to Run”

Baby this town rips the bones from your back, it's a death trap, it's a suicide rap, we've got to get out while we're young. Uploaded by columbia.co.uk.

In the liner notes to his Greatest Hits album, Bruce Springsteen (Great American Things, April 22, 2009) wrote this about “Born to Run”: “My shot at the title. A 24 yr. old kid aimin’ at ‘The greatest rock ‘n roll record ever.'” If he didn’t succeed, he came amazingly close.

This song, and the album of the same name, were evidence of Springsteen’s perfectionism at work. He recorded it over a period of months in 1974, experimented with several different arrangements, and laid down eleven guitar tracks. It’s indisputably a BIG song – loud, layered, important, and epic.

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And it came at the right time for Springsteen’s career. His first two albums (Greetings from Asbury Park, NJ and The Wild, The Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle) were well received, but not commercially successful. He knew that the next album had to make an impact, and this anthem delivered in a big way.

Rolling Stone named it the number 21 song on its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. And the Recording Industry Association of America placed “Born to Run” as number 135 in its Songs of the Century. Ironically, the New Jersey legislature chose it as New Jersey’s “Unofficial Youth Anthem” – which tickled Springsteen because he said, “It’s about leaving New Jersey.”