Top 10 Songs for Jukebox Warfare
"It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself, you will be imperiled in every single battle." -Sun Tzu
It happens to everyone at some point. You're at a local watering hole with some friends, innocently shooting pool and knocking back a few cold ones, when suddenly, the putrid sound of Lady Gaga permeates the bar. Then "Born This Way" gives way to a Shania Twain ballad, and you decide that now is as good a time as any to duck out for a smoke. Alas, the bar has invested in outdoor speakers, so even the patio patrons are not spared from the torturous cacophony. You head back inside and, as Shania segues into King of Leon, you realize that you are under attack. Hostile forces have commandeered the jukebox. If you don't take action soon, your neighborhood bar will be transformed into a disaster area full of zombified victims, glassy-eyed and slack-jawed from the devastating effects of Hinder poisoning.
What can you do? Well, if you're at a bar with an internet jukebox, you have a formidable arsenal at your disposal. If you act quickly, you can surely vanquish these vile forces and their FM radio swill. (Note: if you're at a bar with an old-school, "regular" jukebox, this would be a good time to ask yourself why you're frequenting an establishment with Lady Gaga and KoL on said jukebox.)
Before we discuss the weaponry you'll be employing, let go over a few rules of engagement for jukebox warfare:
Act Swiftly and Decisively: Everyone has a shitty song or two that they like, but as soon as you hear two bad songs in a row, be ready to act. Procure the necessary change from the bar and start putting together a playlist in your head.
No Cost Too Great for Victory: You'll have to cough up more cash to play songs outside of the featured rotation, and internet jukeboxes typically give you the option of paying extra to hear a song next. You'll need to take advantage of both of these options to ensure victory. However, by picking longer songs, you can serve the dual purpose of keeping the enemy at bay longer and getting more bang for your buck.
Collateral Damage is Unfortunate but Inevitable: Some of the other patrons at the bar might not love the the songs you choose for your counterattack, but they'll thank you in the end. However...
Only Use Torture as a Last Resort: Just because Rush have a couple 20-minute songs in their oeuvre doesn't give you the right to stoop to your enemy's level. While it might be tempting to just find the worst song on the jukebox and play it 10 times in a row, remember that there are innocent bystanders involved. Aural torture should be used as a last resort against a steadfast enemy, and only after your tab has been paid and you're ready to beat a hasty retreat.
Now that you're up to speed on when to go to war, let's look at some of the weapons at your disposal. Here are 10 of my personal favorite jukebox warfare songs. Keep in mind that all internet jukeboxes are not created equal, so some of these tunes might not be available on every jukebox. I verified all 10 of these on the jukebox at Doc & Eddy's in Tempe, but I strongly encourage you to poke around on the internet jukebox at your favorite bar and compile a list of your own so you'll be ready when the time comes.
10. "Tetragrammaton" by the Mars Volta (16 minutes, 42 seconds)
The Mars Volta have so many great long songs, you could successfully wage jukebox warfare from their catalog alone. I chose "Tetragrammaton" from their 2006 release, Amputecture, simply because it's their longest studio cut. This song is so long, it had to be broken into two YouTube videos.
9. "Dazed and Confused" by Led Zeppelin (18:37)
This one is a little tricky. You'll need to look up Led Zepplin's two-disc BBC Sessions release and choose the second of two versions of this song. The tracks were listed in order on the jukebox I checked, so it should be the sixth one from the end of the list. Get it right and you've just treated yourself, your friends and the rest of the bar to nearly 20 minutes' worth of Zeppelin. It's so long I couldn't find streaming audio or even a two-part YouTube video for this bad boy.
8. "Starla" by the Smashing Pumpkins (11:01) Starla Dear by tigermeat
This 1992 B-side from the Smashing Pumpkins is not only their longest song, but also ranks among their best. Look for it on the Pisces Iscariot album and be prepared to be blown away by Billy Corgan's five-minute guitar solo.
7. "A Bit of Finger / Sleeping Village / Warning" by Black Sabbath (14:16)
For some reason, on North American versions of Black Sabbath's self-titled debut, the album's 10 songs are only divided into five separate tracks. While this can be problematic when compiling stoner rock mix CDs, it comes in handy when waging jukebox warfare. It's like getting three songs for the price of one.
6. "I Know You're Fucking Someone Else" by Type O Negative (15:02)
Originally titled "Unsuccessfully Coping with the Natural Beauty of Infidelity," this song was given a new, slightly less subtle name on Type O's faux live album, The Origin of the Feces. Type O is another band that has a ton of long songs to choose from, but this one tops the list. It's also a great one to keep in your back pocket in case your cheating whore of an ex happens to walk into the bar with her new beau (not that you'd ever be that vindictive).
5. "Voodoo Chile" by the Jimi Hendrix Experience (14:59)
A 15-minute blues jam from the greatest guitar player to ever walk the earth? Duh. Winning. This one is from the album Electric Ladyland, but don't confuse it with the much-shorter-but-still-awesome "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)."
4. "Three Days" by Jane's Addiction (10:49)
Janes Addiction - Three Days - Ritual De Lo Habitual by MusicKreep
This song was the highlight of Ritual de lo Habitual and one of the greatest songs Jane's Addiction ever released. If you can find it, the live version on Kettle Whistle is about a minute longer and even better than the studio version.
3. "Bring it On" by the Geto Boys (8:16)
Nothing says you mean business like an eight-minute, 13-emcee gangsta rap posse cut. This one is from the Geto Boys' 1993 album Til Death Do Us Part, and features damn near everyone who had a contract with Rap-A-Lot Records at the time. I think the janitor even has a verse. They all bring their "A" game, and the result is not only a great jukebox warfare tune, but one of the best rap songs of the '90s, period.
2. "The Great Southern Trendkill" by Pantera (3:47)
One of these songs is not like the others. At less than four minutes, you might think this song is a strange choice for jukebox domination, but think of "The Great Southern Trendkill" as your WMD. The opening track from Pantera's 1996 album of the same name is loud, vicious and leaves a crater of destruction in its wake. From the opening scream (aided by Anal Cunt frontman Seth Putnam) to the lyrics eviscerating pop culture-worshiping mouth-breathers, this song sounds like it was written specifically for jukebox warfare. This is a bona fide call to arms and should have the posers running for the exits.
In the cover insert from Ween's 1990 debut album, GodWeenSatan: The Oneness, the lyrics for "L.M.L.Y.P." are absent, replaced with the ominous phrase "(ween is in big trouble dudes)." Were they referring to their blatant - and uncredited - interpolation of a pair of Prince tunes in the first two-and-a-half minutes of the song? More likely, they're referring to the fact that they actually had the nads (or genius, or stupidity) to release one of the longest, sexiest, most graphic odes to cunnilingus ever set to music. "L.M.L.Y.P." has all the qualities of the best jukebox warfare songs: it's good, it's long, it's offensive and, by god, it's danceable. It's priceless to see the looks of horror on your enemies faces as the song they were just mindlessly grooving to suddenly takes them somewhere they weren't expecting to go.
"What the ancients called a clever fighter is one who not only wins, but excels in winning with ease." -Sun Tzu
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.