#4: Talkin' Bout a Revolution by Tracy Chapman
One of the most iconic images of the 1980s and its stunning number of impactful and monumental concerts was of a lone, small, black female vocalist staring out to a crowd of 72,000 people while 600 million more looked on from televisions around the world. Amid that setting, Tracy Chapman proved herself to many, singing five songs in two separate sets, serenading Nelson Mandela on his 70th birthday, June 11, 1988.
Standing in a very Dylan-esque posture with simply an acoustic guitar strung around her neck and a microphone pressed close to her lips, Chapman delivered a riveting performance at Wembley Stadium, singing to London and the globe about tables that were "finally starting to turn" and a revolution that "sounds like a whisper." Amid the political backdrop of the moment, her appearance was perhaps the most evocative that day of the struggles of Mandela against South Africa's apartheid regime.
The song, "Talkin' About a Revolution", which is about the power of voices no matter how loud, is one of the Top 10 Songs About Sound.
Amid a string of noteworthy songs by the most noteworthy band in rock 'n roll history, "Twist and Shout" stands out on its own.
For one thing, it was a song that nearly wasn't. "Twist and Shout" was the last song recorded on the Beatles' first album, "Please Please Me," and John Lennon was suffering from a cold and it was uncertain if he could sing lead vocals on the track. He did, of course, and "Twist and Shout" became one of the first singles released from the album.
It never reached No. 1, yet it is the second-most successful single in the United States behind "Hey Jude." That's because "Twist and Shout" was revived in 1986 when it was featured in the soundtrack of "Ferris Buehller's Day Off." The popularity of the film helped propel the song back into the Billboard Top 40 charts for seven weeks.
One of earliest anthems of the rock era, "Twist and Shout" remains significant for the good times it evokes.
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