Monday, August 4, 2008

The 25 Greatest Songs of All-Time

As per the suggestion of the lovely and intelligent Lisa K. Broad, what follows is a compendium of many of my more musically literate and savvy friends' favorite songs of all-time, all of which thus far are confined to the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. (If I were to bend this criteria, which I myself used, to include songs and/or movements that preceded our current epoch in popular music, I certainly would had to have found space for J.S. Bach's "O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden"; then again, as my long-time friend Emily Condon says, we can't really consider such things to be "songs" anyway.)

Concerning the contents of the lists, let me flatter the respondents with my feeling that they all have showed their high level of knowledge, and have, without exception, bested my own list. Kudos to Lisa for her inclusion of the wonderful "Miles from Nowhere" from one of the most underrated bands in music history, THE ONLY ONES, as well as "Carry Home" from the equally-impressive and even lesser known GUN CLUB; to Emily for rightfully including LEONARD COHEN -- what kind of list would this be without him? -- as well as two of my favorite records by NEW ORDER and THE REPLACEMENTS, "Temptation" and "Unsatisfied" respectively; to Bob Klevay for his archeological survey of pop music and his keen citation of JONATHAN RICHMAN; to Patrick Mattingly for filling the holes that the rest of us left (i.e. U2, BECK, WEEZER, etc.); to Matt Singer for choosing such highpoints as "Half a Person" by THE SMITHS and "Jesus, Etc." by WILCO; and to Rob Sweeney, who anyone can see encouraged my taste for IRIS DEMENT, to say nothing of SHELBY LYNNE.

My own selections are often less adventurous (if not astute) though I do feel as if an aesthetic is discernable in my choices. Of my list, let me point to the final track, THE GO! TEAM's "Ladyflash," which to me encapsulates exactly where pop music is today. To see where it's been, peruse these lists.

-Michael J. Anderson

Michael J. Anderson
(updated: 4/10/06)

1. "I Know it's Over," THE SMITHS
from The Queen is Dead (1986)
2. "Trouble Loves Me," MORRISSEY
from Maladjusted (1997)
from Don't Tell a Soul (1989)
4. (tie) "Only You," YAZ
from Upstairs at Eric's (1982)
from Lost Boys (1984)
5. "Blue in Green," MILES DAVIS
from Kind of Blue (1959)
6. "Regret," NEW ORDER
from Republic (1993)
7. "Black Star," RADIOHEAD
from The Bends (1995)
8. "Elephant Stone," THE STONE ROSES
from The Stone Roses (1989)
9. "Cucurrucucu Palomo," CAETANO VELOSO
from Fina Estampa - Ao vivo (1994)
10. "Can't Let Go," LUCINDA WILLIAMS
from Car Wheels on a Gravel Road (1998)
11. "Love Will Tear Us Apart," JOY DIVISION
from The Complete BBC Recordings (1979)
12. "The Killing Moon," ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN
from Ocean Rain (1984)
13. "Can't Stand Me Now," THE LIBERTINES
from The Libertines (2004)
14. "Northern Sky," NICK DRAKE
from Bryter Layter (1970)
15. "NY State of Mind," NAS
from Illmatic (1994)
16. "Sweet is the Melody," IRIS DEMENT
from My Life (1993)
17. "Straight to You," NICK CAVE & THE BAD SEEDS
from Henry's Dreams (1992)
18. "Mr. Brightside," THE KILLERS
from Hot Fuss (2004)
19. "To the End," BLUR
from Parklife (1994)
20. "Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)," THE ARCADE FIRE
from Funeral (2004)
21. "Sharp Darts," THE STREETS
from Original Pirate Material (2002)
22. "Another Girl, Another Planet," THE ONLY ONES
from The Only Ones (1978)*
23. "Lonely Planet Boy," THE NEW YORK DOLLS
from New York Dolls (1973)
24. "Love is the Law," THE SUBURBS
from Love is the Law (1983)
25. "Ladyflash," THE GO! TEAM
from Thunder, Lightning, Strike (2005)

* Initially, my list featured DAVID BOWIE's "Changes" in the #22 slot. However, the more I think about it, particularly after listening to the song again only moments ago, the more I think I am probably "over" Bowie, just as I have come to concede that I am over ELVIS COSTELLO, another of my former all-time favorites. And if you haven't already noticed, self-revisionism is one of the key ethos of my list-making on Tativille.

Lisa K. Broad

1. "Two-Headed Boy," NEUTRAL MILK HOTEL
from In the Aeroplane Over the Sea (1998)
from Slow Riot for New Zero Kanada (1999)
3. "Holiday Song," PIXIES
from Come On Pilgrim (1987)
4. "Old Jerusalem," PALACE MUSIC
from Viva Lost Blues (1995)
5. "Intervention," THE ARCADE FIRE
forthcoming (2005)
6. "I Wanna Be Your Dog," IGGY POP
from Nude & Rude: The Best of Iggy Pop (1996)
7. "Modern World," THE MODERN LOVERS
from The Modern Lovers (1976)
8. "Love Will Tear Us Apart," JOY DIVISION
from The Complete BBC Recordings (1979)
9. "Miles from Nowhere," THE ONLY ONES
from Even Serpents Shine (1979)
10. "I Know it's Over," THE SMITHS
from The Queen is Dead (1986)
11. "Marquee Moon," TELEVISION
from Marquee Moon (1977)
12. "Sugar On My Tongue," TALKING HEADS
from Popular Favorites:1976-1992 ~ Sand in the Vasoline (1992)
13. "Loveless Love," THE FEELIES
from Crazy Rhythms (1980)
14. "Banquet," BLOC PARTY
from Silent Alarm (2005)
from Automatic (1989)
16. "C'mon Billy," PJ HARVEY
from To Bring You My Love (1995)
17. "Do You Love Me?," NICK CAVE & THE BAD SEEDS
from Let Love In (1994)
18. "Carry Home," GUN CLUB
from Miami (1982)
19. "Monolith," T REX
from Electric Warrior (1971)
20. "The Man Comes Around," JOHNNY CASH
from American IV: The Man Comes Around (2002)
21. "I Think I Need a New Heart," THE MAGNETIC FIELDS
from 69 Love Songs, Vol. 1 (1999)
22. "Nothing's Going to Happen," ELF POWER
from Nothing's Going to Happen (2002)
from Add It Up (1981-1993) (1993)
24. "Evil," INTERPOL
from Antics (2004)
from Fever to Tell (2003)

Emily Condon

The parameters: I stuck to "popular music." I avoided classical,opera, and some kinds of jazz, as it seemed in keeping with what you'll be getting. (And those genres aren't really about "songs" so much, anyway). I only chose one song per artist-I thought that would be a lot more interesting than listing 6 Bowie songs, 10 by Nina Simone, and 4 each by The Rolling Stones and Leonard Cohen. I have 25
listed in a rough, arbitrary order and couldn't help but adding a few honorable mentions that you are free to include or not.

Also, for clarity's sake: I've listed the artist of the song, who often are not the writer. I did it this way for a few reasons--especially in the case of songs like the first title I have listed, it's important, because dozens of artists have recorded that song but hers is the version I prefer. Also, they'll be more familiar
that way.

This was surprisingly difficult, fun, and easy to obsess over.

"I Got It Bad and That Ain't Good," NINA SIMONE
"A Change is Gonna Come," THE NEVILLE BROTHERS
"Famous Blue Raincoat," LEONARD COHEN
"Starman," DAVID BOWIE
"Innocent When You Dream," TOM WAITS
"The Beautiful One," PRINCE
"Beast of Burden," THE ROLLING STONES
"Lost In the Flood," BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN
"Across 110th Street," BOBBY WOMACK
"Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground," WILLIE NELSON
"Summertime," SAM COOKE
"Jesus Walks," KANYE WEST
"Calling America," ELO
"Trailer Trash," MODEST MOUSE
"Hurricane," BOB DYLAN
"Temptation," NEW ORDER
"The Book I Read," TALKING HEADS
"Wouldn't it Be Nice," THE BEACH BOYS
"Remember (Walking in the Sand)," THE SHANGRI-LAS
"What A Difference a Day Made," DINAH WASHINGTON
"Aquarius/ Let the Sunshine In," THE FIFTH DIMENSION
"Killer Parties," THE HOLD STEADY
"You Turn Me On," PATTI LaBELLE
"The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face," ROBERTA FLACK

Honorable mention: "Whiskey in the Jar" by THIN LIZZY, "Half a Person" by THE SMITHS, "Folsom Prison Blues" by JOHNNY CASH, and the live version of "Go Your Own Way" by FLEETWOOD MAC.

Trevor Johnson
(added: 4/11/06)

After many hours of deliberation over the rules of how I would pick my top 25 songs, the songs fell into place. Picking my top 25 songs is nearly impossible. I tried to follow some of the rules that others on this blog have used (only one song per artist), but I had to limit myself even more than that. Being the fan of live music that I am, I have limited myself to one song per artist which I have seen live. I may not have HEARD that particular song performed, but I at least saw the artist. (There are a couple of exceptions which I have noted.) Also, I'm a big Minneapolis music fan, but I have kept my list to national acts.

1. "Daughter," PEARL JAM
from Versus
2. "Baba O'Riley," THE WHO
from Who's Next
3. "Avoiding the Angel," DAVE NAVARRO
from Trust No One
4. "Bite the Hand that Feeds," NINE INCH NAILS
from With Teeth
5. "Ramble On," LED ZEPPLIN
from Led Zeppelin II (Robert Plant opened for The Who)
6. "Forty Six and 2," TOOL
from Aenima
7. "My Hero," FOO FIGHTERS
from The Colour and the Shape
8. "Rockin' in the Free World," NEIL YOUNG
from Freedom
9. "Bohemian Rhapsody," QUEEN
from A Night at the Opera (seen with Paul Rodgers)
10. "Takin' It Easy," BRAD
from Welcome to Discovery Park
11. "Rhythm of our World," ARTURO SANDOVAL
from Hot House
12. "Undone (The Sweater Song)," WEEZER
from Weezer
13. "If I Can't Change Your Mind," SUGAR
from Copper Blue (I saw Bob Mould solo)
14. "You and Me and the Bottle Makes 3 Tonight," BIG BAD VOODOO DADDY
from Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
15. "Kick Out the Jams," MC5
from Kick Out the Jams
16. "Oh My God," KAISER CHIEFS
from Employment
17. "Too Little Too Late," HOOBASTANK
from Hoobastank
18. "Killing Game," SKINNY PUPPY
from Last Rights
19. "Crash 17 (X-Rated Car)," GIRLS AGAINST BOYS
from House of GvsB
20. "Unhand Me," STONE GOSSARD
from Bayleaf (I didn't see him solo, but I've seen him seven other times with Pearl Jam and Brad)
21. "Birdland," MAYNARD FERGUSON
from Carnival
22. "In Remote Part/ Scottish Fiction," IDLEWILD
from Remote Part
23. "Supermodels Don't Drink Colt 45," DILLINGER FOUR
from Midwestern Songs of the Americas (okay, one Mpls. band that isn't huge, but they have a small national following)
24 and 25. Mike is going to have to pick the songs... THE JAYHAWKS and LUCINDA WILLIAMS*

*Editor's Note: How about "Blue" from Tomorrow the Green Grass and "Ventura" from World Without Tears? The latter I saw performed live with Trevor, before the album's release, at a show I still consider to be the best I've ever seen. He disagrees.

Robert Klevay

These are in no particular order. They’re just 25 songs I like.

1. "Movie Mag,” CARL PERKINS
from The Complete Sun Singles
2. "Headin’ for the Texas Border," FLAMIN' GROOVIES
from Flamingo
3. "Goodnight Irene," LEADBELLY
from Where Did You Sleep Last Night, Leadbelly Legacy Vol. 1
4. "Anything Goes," FRANK SINATRA
from Swinging Lovers
5. "Designs on You," OLD 97'S
from Satellite Rides
6. "It’s Too Bad," THE JAM
from All Mod Cons
7. "I Thank You," SAM AND DAVE
from The Best of Sam and Dave
8. "Jet Boy, Jet Girl," THE DAMNED
from The Best of the Damned
9. "Uncontrollable Urge," DEVO
from Devo: Pioneers Who Got Scapled: The Anthology
10. "Underwear," PULP
from Hits
11. "Expectations," BELLE AND SEBASTIAN
from Tigermilk
12. "Skin and Bone," THE KINKS
from Muswell Hillbillies
from The Very Best of Solomon Burke
14. "Mannish Boy," MUDDY WATERS
from His Best, 1947-1955
15. "Vampire Girl," JONATHAN RICHMAN
from The Best of Jonathan Richman
16. "Burn the Witch," QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE
from Lullabies to Paralyze
17. "Putty (In Your Hands)," THE DETROIT COBRAS
from Mink Rat or Rabbit
18. "Time Bomb High School," REIGNING SOUND
from Time Bomb High School
19. "House of Pain," OINGO BOINGO
from Oingo Boingo: The Anthology
20. "The Irony of It All," THE STREETS
from Original Pirate Material
21. "She's Looking Good," WILSON PICKETT
from Wilson Pickett’s Greatest Hits
22. "Catman," GENE VINCENT
from The Screaming End: The Best of Gene Vincent and His Blue Caps
23. "The Jeep Song," THE DRESDEN DOLLS
from Dresden Dolls
24. "(Nothing But) Flowers," TALKING HEADS
from Sand in the Vaseline
25. "One Hundred Years from Now," THE BYRDS
from Sweetheart of Rodeo

Patrick Mattingly

beautiful fun classic new etc
sure, most of these have become cliche BUT
I wish I could've made just one of these

"One," U2
"Loser," BECK
"Everybody Hurts," R.E.M.
"River Man," NICK DRAKE
"Lonely Teardrops," JACKIE WILSON
"Paranoid Android," RADIOHEAD
"Undone (The Sweater Song)," WEEZER
"God Only Knows," THE BEACH BOYS
"Bittersweet Symphony," THE VERVE
"Something," THE BEATLES (George Harrison)
"Needle in the Hay," ELLIOTT SMITH
"Lover, You Should've Come Over," JEFF BUCKLEY
"All Apologies," NIRVANA
"I Want You Back," THE JACKSON 5
"Try a Little Tenderness," OTIS REDDING
"Let's Stay Together," AL GREEN
"Let's Get It On," MARVIN GAYE
"Oh! Darling," THE BEATLES (Paul McCartney)
"Somewhere a Clock is Ticking," SNOW PATROL
"So You'll Aim Toward the Sky," GRANDADDY
"Imagine," JOHN LENNON
"Foolproof," RON SEXSMITH

Maggie Purifoy
(added: 4/10/06)

Okay, so through this I've discovered I only really like sad music. That being said, even the saddest I could listen to a hundred times, and on the right day, they can probably even draw a tear. There are a couple of non-sad ones, too. Enjoy:

1. "There is a Reason," ALISON KRAUSS & UNION STATION
2. "Devant le garage," LICARI, DANIELLE & JOSH BARTEL (from Parapluies de Cherbourg)
3. "Do What You Have to Do," SARAH McLACHLIN
4. "Ghost," INDIGO GIRLS
5. "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright," SUSAN TEDESCHI
6. "I Can't Make You Love Me," BONNIE RAITT
7. "Crawling Back to You," TOM PETTY
8. "Lover, You Should've Come Over," JEFF BUCKLEY
9. "My Life," IRIS DEMENT
10. "Long Black Veil," JOHNNY CASH
11. "Station to Station," DAVID BOWIE
12. "For the Good Times," ELVIS PRESLEY
13. "Still Fighting It," BEN FOLDS
14. "Strong Hand," EMMYLOU HARRIS
15. "Black Diamond Bay," BOB DYLAN
16. "Paper Bag," FIONA APPLE
17. "Jolene," DOLLY PARTON
18. "Unwed Fathers," JOHN PRINE
19. "Texan Love Song," ELTON JOHN
20. "Late in the Evening," PAUL SIMON
21. "Sir Duke," STEVIE WONDER
22. "Baby You've Got What it Takes," BROOK BENTON & DINAH WASHINGTON
23. "Still in Love with You," AL GREEN
24. "Father & Son," CAT STEVENS
25. "It's Not," AIMEE MANN

Matthew Singer

25. "Comeback (Light Therapy)," JOSH ROUSE
24. "Champagne Supernova," OASIS
23. "Babylon," DAVID GRAY
22. "My Favorite Things," JOHN COLTRANE
21. "Aquemini," OUTKAST
20. "Half a Person," THE SMITHS
19. "Jamming," BOB MARLEY
18. "Sabotage," BEASTIE BOYS
17. "Folsom Prison Blues," JOHNNY CASH
16. "This Is It," KENNY LOGGINS
15. "Jesus Etc.," WILCO
14. "Hotel California," THE EAGLES
13. "Do It Again," STEELY DAN
12. "Young Americans," DAVID BOWIE
11. "Alison," ELVIS COSTELLO
10. "Last Goodbye, JEFF BUCKLEY
9. "New York State of Mind," BILLY JOEL
7. "Everybody Wants To Rule The World," TEARS FOR FEARS
6. "Like a Rolling Stone," BOB DYLAN
5. "Billie Jean," MICHAEL JACKSON
God I wanted to be Michael Jackson when I was a kid,and this song, an unholy blend of r&b, pop, disco, andfilm noir, was reason numero uno. It's funky, it'scatchy, it's -- to borrow a later Jackson title -- just plain bad. Just because the dude'sbatshit insane now doesn't change any of that.
4. "Brown Sugar," THE ROLLING STONES
Most of the words are gibberish but there's noquestioning what Mick's talking about: he wants to getit on with a foxy black chick. And that, as a rockgod of the highest order at the very top of his game,is his absolute right. There might not be a bettersax break in all of pop music.
3. "What's Going On," MARVIN GAYE
Activism has never been this sexy before or since.And; I've always liked that it's not a call to action;just a call to paying attention.
2. "God Only Knows," THE BEACH BOYS
This is the sound of falling in love.
1. "Hey Jude," THE BEATLES
The distillation of a century of pop music. Writtenas a pick-me-up to John's depressed son Julian, "Jude"transforms tragedy into hope. Until you hear it, youcould never imagine how much emotion the word "na"could express.

R. Emmet Sweeney

"Don’t Take Your Guns to Town," JOHNNY CASH
from Columbia Records: 1958-1986 (1958)
from My Life (1993)
from The Definitive Duke Ellington (1930)
from Under Construction (2002)
"Shine, Shave, Shower (It's Saturday)," LEFTY FRIZZELL
from Look What Thoughts Will Do (1950)
"Conference of the Birds," DAVE HOLLAND
from Rarum X (1972)
from The Anthology (1963)
"He Stopped Loving Her Today," GEORGE JONES
from The Essential George Jones: The Spirit of Country (1980)
from Kerosene (2005)
"Where I'm From," SHELBY LYNNE
from I Am Shelby Lynne (2000)
"I Wanna Get Married," NELLIE MCKAY
from Get Away From Me (2004)
"Track A – Solo Dancer: Stop! Look! And Listen, Sinner Jim Whitney!," CHARLES MINGUS
from The Black Saint And The Sinner Lady (1963)
"Misterioso," THELONIUS MONK
from The Best of Thelonious Monk: The Blue Note Years (1948)
"Ringing My Phone (Straight Outta Istanbul)," JASON MORAN
from The Bandwagon (2003)
"Barrier Reef," OLD 97'S
from Too Far to Care (1997)
from Stankonia (2000)
"Salt Peanuts," CHARLIE PARKER
from The Definitive Charlie Parker
"Rock Me," LIZ PHAIR
from Liz Phair (2003)
"Average Guy," LOU REED
from The Blue Mask (1982)
"What Does Your Soul Look Like Pt. 1: Blue Sky Revisit," DJ SHADOW
from Entroducing... (1996)
from Loaded (1970)
"I'll Shoot the Moon," TOM WAITS
from The Black Rider (1993)
from Late Registration (2005)
"There's a Tear in My Beer," HANK WILLIAMS
from The Ultimate Collection (1951)
from Car Wheels on a Gravel Road (1998)

Frank Tarzi
(added: 4/12/06)

"Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood," THE ANIMALS
"Because," THE BEATLES
"Ashes to Ashes," DAVID BOWIE
"Famous Blue Raincoat," LEONARD COHEN
"I'd Rather Be Without You," BOOTSY COLLINS
"Solitary Man," NEIL DIAMOND
"Simply Beautiful," AL GREEN
"Delilah," TOM JONES
"Bron-Y-Aur-Stomp," LED ZEPPELIN
"Jealous Guy," JOHN LENNON
"Right On for the Darkness," CURTIS MAYFIELD
"Band On the Run," PAUL McCARTNEY
"Welcome to the Machine," PINK FLOYD
"The Bed's Too Big Without You," THE POLICE
"Bohemian Rhapsody," QUEEN
"Street Spirit (Fade Out)," RADIOHEAD
"I've Been Loving You For Too Long," OTIS REDDING
"Brilliant Disguise," BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN
"Drowning Man," U2
"Southern Man," NEIL YOUNG

Alberto Zambenedetti
(added: 4/08/06)

1. "Senza Parole," VASCO ROSSI
2. "Starless," KING CRIMSON
3. "Black Water," RAIN TREE CROW
4. "Hyper-Ballad," BJORK
5. "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant," BILLY JOEL
6. "Mon Manège à moi c’est toi," EDITH PIAF
7. "Jungleland," BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN
8. "Homesick," THE CURE
9. "Us and Them," PINK FLOYD
10. "Io dal Mare," CLAUDIO BAGLIONI
11. "Flowers in the Window," TRAVIS
12. "Why Should I Cry for You?," STING
13. "The Sound of Goodbye," TONY LEVIN
14. "Maschere," ODT
15. "The Bitter End," PLACEBO
16. "Stories," THERAPY?
17. "Sunday Morning," THE VELVET UNDERGROUND
18. "You Can’t Get What you Want (Till you know what you want)," JOE JACKSON
19. "Secret World," PETER GABRIEL
20. "Strangers When we Meet," DAVID BOWIE
21. "Last Goodbye," JEFF BUCKLEY
22. "One Step Closer," SIMPLE MINDS & PLANET FUNK
23. "No Surprises," RADIOHEAD
24. "Piano Trio in E flat D.929, Allegro Moderato," SCHUBERT
25. "Mellow My Mind," NEIL YOUNG

1 comment:

francisco luis parreira said...

Ok, I knew there was something wrong with your film lists. Now I know. You're deaf!