A couple of summers ago, my old roommate from school SJ and I decided to compile a list of our all-time top 20 songs. This took us each hours of wrenching and parsing to narrow down our lists and burn the CD's. In fact, I had so many that I ended up making not only a Top 20 CD, but 2 other CDs. So, here is my top 20 in no particular order:
1. "Just Like Heaven" - The Cure
When I first started college back in the day (1988 to be exact), I went to a college dance (sorta lame I know but the music was great). They played this song and I was hooked immediately. I truly believe Robert Smith is a modern poet. If I ever get married, this song totally has to be played at the reception for me and my wife sometime that night.
2. "Bizarre Love Triangle" - New Order
At that same dance, I heard this and again, I went crazy. I still love this song and its one of those songs that you may not know the name of it, but once you hear it you say "Oh yeah. That song is fucking great!"
3. "Fotografia" - Juanes w/ Nelly Furtado
Beautiful catchy song. It was actually a theme song for a telenovela embarrassingly enough, but a great song nonetheless. Very catch and harmonic.
4. "En El Muelle De San Blás" - Maná (From their "MTV Unplugged" album)
Amazing song about a woman who says goodbye to her lover at the pier of St. Blas. She waits there everyday until she turns old, always wearing the same dress so he'll recognize her. One day the village people decide she's crazy and try to remove her, but she's actually taken root or grown into the pier because she can't be separated from waiting and hoping for her love to return. Very sad song, but beautiful as well.
5. "#40" - Dave Matthews Band (From the album "Listener Supported")
I love this song because of my friend Edel from Ireland. There is a verse in the song about 2 friends who are old and doubled over and looking back and laughing at the hard times because they thought they wouldn't make it.
6. "Finnegan's Wake" - The Dubliners
This song takes me back to many a night at the The Dubliner pub back in Cincinnati during law school and singing along with the band. Also part of my fascination with Ireland.
7. "Come On Eileen" - Dexy's Midnight Runners
A catchy tune that I grew up in the 80's. Partially got me started on my fascination with Ireland.
8. "Romeo and Juliet" - Edwin McCain
Great acoustic version of the old Dire Straits version. Super catchy and melodic; very slow and almost romantic.
9. "Everything" - Material Issue
Super power ballad from a 90's band that I absolutely loved. Amazing premise behind the song of a man willing to do or give anything to be everything to the woman he loves.
10. "Ants Marching" - Dave Matthews Band
Aaaahhhh the old fraternity days. This song definitely reminds me of one of my fraternity brothers and I driving up to the mountains for a weekend ritual and camping party. Great times; damn good times.
11. "At Last" - Etta James
This song is hopefully how I'll feel when I meet the woman I marry (if she exists!!).
12. "Basket Case" - Green Day
Who doesn't love this song. We've all felt sorta like a basket case from time to time. Plus, I love Green Day and this song just epitomizes why I love their music.
13. "Phoebe Cates" - Fenix TX
Just watch "Fast Times At Ridgemont High" with the infamous swimming pool scene. Plus, this song is so damn catchy, you'll be tapping your toes and playing it again and again.
14. "Down Together" - The Refreshments
This song takes me back to my days at good ole' Arizona State .... my alma mater. The Refreshments are a Tempe, AZ band from the area and this song always somehow seemed to make it into a night when you're at a bar drinking and carrying on.
15. "Guava Jelly" - Bob Marley
Damn, this is a smooth love song. Just so smooth. Bob knows how to lay it down. Who would think that jelly could be so sensuous?
16. "Holiday In Spain" - Counting Crows
This one is due to my old roomie, SJ. We were at a Crows show (my first and like his 20th) when Adam Durwitz, the lead singer, started talking about this song. He commented that its a song when you've feel like you've worn your welcome out and you're ready to seek greener pastures. SJ turned to me and said it should be my song because of some of the crazy women I dated in law school, almost like I'd worn out my welcome with the crazy women of law school and Cincinnati. IT was totally the truth; I think I have a Crazy Magnent somewhere on my person.
17. "Photograph" - Def Leppard
Oy vey. This is the first album that I ever bought. I loved this song; the guitars always get me. Its the first real power rock that I heard. I still hear this and love the harmonies.
18. "Dance The Night Away" - Van Halen
Definitely the softer side of Van Halen. This one gives me that feeling of the early 80's when Fast Times was the greatest movie, Vans were the hot new shoes, skateboarding was just becoming a big thing, and Van Halen ruled the world.
19. "There She Goes" - The La's
If there was ever a song about how someone makes you feel, this is the song. I always imagine some uber-cute girl that just walking by and you feel that knot in your tummy as she walks by. Aaaahhh, unrequited love from afar ... or stalking; you decide!!
20. "What's My Age Again?" - Blink 182
Oh this is the song that describes my life. Yeah, I still laugh at dick and fart jokes; I still think "Jackass" is the funniest fucking thing in the world; and I don't take myself too seriously. Life is too long to be miserable and too short to not have as much fun everyday as is possible.
21. "Not Too Soon" - Throwing Muses
OK, OK, I know I said 20 songs, but this one has to be included. This is a perfect symetry of power pop, grrrl power, melodic voices over twangy reverb guitar licks .. in short it's perfect. Plus I always had a thing for Tanya Donnelly from the band (the little short cutie playing guitar who went on to form another great 90's band, Belly).
Now like any good top 20 list, there are several songs that just didn't quite make the cut. Here a few of them:
"Saint Behind the Glass" - Los Lobos
"Mannish Boy" - Muddy Waters
"Up Above My Head, I Hear Music In The Air" - Sister Rosetta Tharpe
"Cum On Feel The Noize" - Quiet Riot
"Boom Boom Boom" - John Lee Hooker and Big Head Todd & The Monsters
"A Praise Chorus" - Jimmy Eat World
"Killing In The Name Of" - Rage Against The Machine
"Wonderful World" - Sam Cooke
"60 Minute Man" - The Mills Brothers
"Expressway To Your Heart" - The Blues Brothers
"No Woman No Cry" - Bob Marley
"About Mr. Brown" - O.A.R.
"Puto" - Molotov
"Desnuda" - Ricardo Arjona
"Not Now" - Blink 182
"Ying Yang" - Jarabe De Palo
"Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)" - Marvin Gaye
"Sir Duke" - Stevie Wonder
.... and too many others to list. Post your songs when you get a chance! I'd love to compare lists.