Opinion
By Séamus Smyth

 5. I Want You – Kings of Leon

The bell is prominent from its inception until closing time in “I Want You.” KOL show the sensitive side of the bell by clanking its harsh metals in perfect harmony with the band’s signature offbeat drums.

4. Drive my Car – The Beatles

Potentially the most egocentric moment of the Beatles career was when they condescendingly threw the car keys at their lady friends to take the wheel while they dealt with even more birds in the backseat. It’s ballin’ before ballin’ was invented, and the cowbell was a primary witness to this rock-star behaviour.

3. Down on the Corner – CCR

It is not an ode to prostitution, however if it was, being a “John” would be considered the acts of a noble Samaritan. It’s one of CCR’s most revered melodies, and would never be the same without the constant beating of the mother of all bells, the cow bell.

2. Lowrider – War

Before Jay-Z and Biggie, “Lowrider” by War was what pimps bumped in their sound systems. The cowbell is a few shots deep as it loosens up in the passenger seat of this vertically-challenged wagon. “Lowrider” dances all over the road, but thankfully the cowbell is there to provide guidance.

1. Don’t fear the Reaper – Blue Oyster Cult

Before Christopher Walkin had a raging fever, the cowbell was a belittling instrument, reserved for musicians with only a modicum of talent. But ever since the infamous Saturday Night Live skit where Will Ferrell pounded on the cowbell like Tommy Lee in his Motley Crue prime, the cowbell is now as seductive as a BayWatch episode. “Don’t fear the Reaper” has a rip-roaring guitar solo, an ear-gasmic signature riff, but still allows the cowbell to soar to unprecedented heights. This track is the lifetime achievement award for the cowbell, the ultimate salutation to an instrument that adds specks of marble to any track in need of some flavour.

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