Love In Vain - Robert Johnson (1939)
There really isn't much to say here. Without this legendary figure, no one on this list (besides Scott Joplin and Kenny G) ever records a note of music. That may be "It's A Wonderful Life" drastic, but it also is 94.6% correct. Johnson's legacy covers more ground than any other musician of the 20th Century. Today's selection is the antithesis of Milkcows, Hellhounds and Judgements. It is the honesty that is the blues broken down into the analogy of a steam whistle and a broken man's painful cry. The scratchy recording seems to come from another world, but its honesty, influence and power will resonate long after the human race disappears and other sentient beings discover what we as a people accomplished. Robert Johnson might even be revered as an ancient race's god by the creatures who will indelibly feel the music's power as millions of us have. Satan himself would be proud.
After Dandelions, Satanic Majesties and Drag Shows, The Rolling Stones found their roots again and presented one of the best covers ever made.