Insomniac Edition: Neil Young – Rockin’ in the Free World (1989)

Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World” is one of those protest songs that can probably be utilized by people of many different political stripes and motivations. Taken at face value, and only paying attention to the title, it could be interpreted as pro-West, pro-democracy, or in other words, pro-American. Much the same as Bruce Springsteen’s “Born In The U.S.A” which was misappropriated by the conservative right (including former President Ronald Reagan), “Rockin’ in the Free World” has a more subversive meaning, possibly even rivaling that of Springsteen’s “Born.”

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Insomniac Edition: The Who – Pinball Wizard, Performed on This Is Tom Jones (1969)

This will be sacrilege to some, but from the trio of groups known collectively as the “Holy Trinity of British Rock,” The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, The Who — at least according to Rolling Stone magazine — as far as I’m concerned, I’ll take The Who if I had to choose just one. I appreciate The Beatles and Stones, but the public has put them on a much higher pedestal than I have. And The Who, while revered, always seem to trail behind The Beatles and Stones when people talk about the most influential rock bands. It seems The Who are not idolized to the same degree as the The Beatles or Stones. And don’t get me wrong, because The Who are indeed idolized. Maybe I’m wrong in this assessment, that’s just how I see it. But in my opinion, The Who were the most innovative of the trio of groups.

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