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"Talking Old Soldiers": A Chatty Playlist for Stanley McChrystal

06/27/2010 09:08 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

As the story of General Stanley McChrystal's interview with Rolling Stone started to rock our world, I was at the airport headed for London. When I arrived in the Mutha-land, I was stunned to see that the story's impact was just as massive over there. Indeed, the remarkable tale of McChrystal's journalist-assisted career suicide seemed to dominate the other big news in England, like the World Cup 2010 going on in South Africa or Wimbledon happening just down the road. Personally, I haven't witnessed this much global interest in a Rolling Stone story since my own historic on-the-road piece with New Kids On The Block back in the Nineties. And considering the New Kids' relative lack of impact on military history and connection to the Pat Tillman cover up, this amazing and revealing article by Michael Hastings arguably dwarfs even my own journalistic masterpiece.

So now that that I'm safely back on American soil, I wanted to offer my own loose-lipped playlist for Stan the Man, a dude with a big ego and a very mixed record who finally accomplished the impossible -- actually stealing some of the cultural spotlight away from Lady GaGa. And to General McChrystal, here's some free specific advice from a recovering rock critic: next time you decide to crash and burn in flames in Rolling Stone, at the very least, have your publicists demand the cover.

TALKING OLD SOLDIERS - Elton John
I NEVER TALK TO STRANGERS - Tom Waits with Bette Midler
EVERYBODY'S TALKIN' - Harry Nilsson
DON'T START ME TO TALKIN' - Sonny Boy Williamson
BIGMOUTH STRIKES AGAIN - The Smiths
DON'T TALK (PUT YOUR HEAD ON MY SHOULDER) - The Beach Boys
DON'T TALK TO STRANGERS - Rick Springfield
GENERALS AND MAJORS - XTC
SHUT YOUR MOUTH - B.B. King
SHUT UP - Black Eyed Peas
FIRED - Ben Folds
UNDO IT - Carrie Underwood
SO MUCH TO SAY - Dave Matthews Band
MY BIG MOUTH - Oasis
SHOULD HAVE SAID NO - Taylor Swift
TALK OF THE TOWN - The Pretenders
WHAT'D I SAY - Ray Charles
TRUST ME TO OPEN MY MOUTH - Squeeze
TALK TO ME BABY - Elmore James
SAY - John Mayer
TALK TALK - Talk Talk
LIFE DURING WARTIME - Talking Heads
WHY DO MEN FIGHT? - Carbon/Silicone
CRYSTAL - Stevie Nicks
COMMANDER - Girlyman
TALKIN' 2 MYSELF- Eminem featuring Kobe
INTERVIEWS - Alpha Band
YOU TALK WAY TOO MUCH - The Strokes
SOMETHING STUPID - Frank & Nancy Sinatra
SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT - Bonnie Raitt
HEARD 'EM SAY - Kanye West featuring Adam Levine
MOUTH ALMIGHTY - Elvis Costello & The Attractions
WHEN YOU SAY NOTHING AT ALL - Alison Krauss & Union Station
SPEAK YOUR MIND - Joe Firstman
COME TALK TO ME - Bon Iver
SAY IT TO ME NOW - Glen Hansard
SHUT UP AND DRIVE - Rihanna
TALK - Coldplay
OH YEAH, YOU'RE GONE - Brad Paisley
YOU TALK TOO MUCH - George Thorogood
TALKING 'BOUT A REVOLUTION - Tracy Chapman
TALK TO ME - Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes
I'M LOOKING AT YOU BUT I'M TALKING TO MYSELF - Utopia
IF YOU TALK IN YOUR SLEEP - Elvis Presley
LOOSE TALK - Carlene Carter featuring Carl Smith
AIN'T TALKIN' - Bob Dylan
ON THE COVER OF THE ROLLING STONE - Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show

Troops, you know your orders -- please add your own songs for Stanley here.

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