Here are my top 10 bouts of musical rage.
If you disagree with me, I’ll be furious!
(10) “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” Twisted Sister
Infectious anger at its most rollicking. I always felt this song was the musical equivalent of “I’m mad as hell” from Network.
(9) “Since U Been Gone,” Kelly Clarkson
“You had your chance, you blew it / Out of sight, out of mind.”
No, she wasn’t singing to Simon.
(8) “Hell Is for Children,” Pat Benatar
Big-lunged Pat got socially conscious with this impassioned plea for kids’ rights, climaxing with the unforgettable “Hell is for hell! Hell is for hell!”
(7) “Irreplaceable,” Beyoncé
The melody is actually kind of sweet, but once Beyoncé uses it to start spitting her verbal tacks (“To the left, to the left”), you feel like you’d better get out of the lady’s way and let her vent. I’m scared a her.
(6) “So What,” Pink
This one has a nyah-yah, bully-in-the-schoolyard quality that I perversely liked, especially when she sings, “I’m still a rock star / I got my rock moves / And I don’t need you.” You can’t argue with logic like that — just submit.
(5) “Piece of My Heart,” Big Brother and the Holding Company, with Janis Joplin
A pained wail of a musical lashing, this was actually originally done by Aretha Franklin’s sister Erma, but Janis made it legendary, letting you feel her anguish with every yelp. Actually, it might be more of a hurt song than an angry song, but let me leave it in here anyway or I’ll be pissed.
(4) (tie) “I Will Survive,” Gloria Gaynor; “Mr. Big Stuff,” Jean Knight
Two dance tunes about telling off some loathsome lothario. Cathartic doesn’t begin to describe them.
(3) “Hound Dog,” Big Mama Thornton
White boy Elvis covered it to big effect, but Mama was there first, growling out her disrespect for the hound dog who done her wrong. Her version is ferocious and scary in the best way possible.
(2) “You Oughta Know,” Alanis Morissette
Who needs anger management when you can get it all out by screaming stuff like “It’s not fair to deny me of the cross I bear that you gave to me”? As Alanis fumingly read the creep’s beads, we all sang along, picturing our own most hated ex-paramour.
(1) “God Save the Queen,” The Sex Pistols
Just in time for Queenie’s Silver Jubilee in 1977, this screed came out calling the monarchy “the fascist regime” and declaring “no future” for Britain’s working class. A brilliant classic that helped usher in punk and still has the power to make us dance furiously — and I do mean furiously.