I'm going to try to keep a running tally of my favourite songs ever. Given that I have little idea how many there are...
hey thanks! I really should update more. thisismyjam sorta took over for tumblr on this front.
Mermaid Parade, from Phosphorescent’s 2010 record, “Here’s to Taking it Easy”
I first came across this band when they put out a full album tribute to Willie Nelson with some fantastic versions of old Willie tunes. This record came out and I wondered about Matthew Houck’s songwriting chops - what did HIS songs sound like?
The record didn’t grab me as quickly, but after a couple listens, I came to reach for it fairly regularly. For starters, who doesn’t like “taking it easy”? Sheesh.
The track entitled Mermaid Parade caught my attention one day for its amazing encapsulation of a failed relationship, pretty much in a single verse. Every time I hear it, my heart breaks all over again for the singer and Amanda. Check it out.
“Up To Me” - an outtake from Bob Dylan’s 1975 record, Blood on the Tracks
I’m pretty sure that this is my favourite Dylan song. Goodness knows that can be a tough call, but Up to Me is pretty amazing. It was recorded during Blood On the Tracks, and showed up on one of the “bootleg” series releases, but it also wraps up the bootleg of the New York Sessions of Blood on the Tracks. Some of the lines murder me when I hear ‘em and make me wish I’d written them.
I’m a big fan of:
but my favourite has to be:
In fourteen months I’ve only smiled once and I didn’t do it consciously
That really is about as good as it gets, people. Seriously.
You Can’t Put Your Arms Around a Memory - from Ronnie Spector’s 1999 EP, She Talks to Rainbows
This is a Johnny Thunders’ song, covered by the voice of The Ronnettes, Ronnie Spector. It’s haunting, and beautiful, and she does an incredible job of finding the sadness in the song that Johnny wrote. There are some killer youtube videos of Johnny Thunder doing this song live, nice and spartan. Check a few out.
“It Ain’t Right (Lovin’ to be Lovin’)” from Ike & Tina Turner’s “Come Together”
Just came across this record today…while I certainly know who Ike & Tina are, and was a little famliar with their 60s output…I didn’t know about this record. I’m reading Keith Richards’ autobio right now…he mentions how Ike cornered him while they were on tour with the stones, and demanded Keith show him the 5 string open tunings that Keith had been using of late. Keith obliged, of course…I kinda doubt too many poeple say no to Ike.
The next record that Ike & Tina put out was rife with that same tuning, and a pretty clear Stones influence. It’s fucking incredible!
“Cruel to Be Kind” from Nick Lowe’s “Labour of Lust”
And…continuing on my power pop kick…I also wanted to post this one. It’s pretty perfect song with a perfectly terrible video to boot. I was raving to a friend of mine about how fantastic this song was, and he replied, “Sheesh, what, are you in LOVE?” to which I could only reply:
“Yes! In love with POWER POP!”
Hopefully I’ll get back to some maudlin alt.country soon…
“Girl of My Dreams” by Bram Tchaikovsky
I’ve been on a bit of a power pop kick the last few days, and this song has got to be one of the best examples of what I love about power pop. Soooooo hook-laden, a great song about a great girl (another of my weaknesses, musically) and great guitars - so…yeah I think it’s great. SO THERE.
“Color Me Impressed” by The Replacements
Today, my MP3 player just randomly started playing The Replacements’ 1983 record, Hootenanny for me. It does that sometimes - I suspect it’s a feature that I’ve never taken the time to figure out. Sometimes, the random record is a good time, other times, my MP3 player completely misreads my mood. At any rate…
Color Me Impressed is some pretty fantastic early Replacements. It’s sloppy, squealy, and everything that they would ever become in one fantastic song. Bob’s outta control, the Westerberg-ian lyrics are there, a catchy hook…Yup, this one’s gold.
“This Will Be Our Year” from The Zombies
I think I have a real soft spot for songs that express a sense that yeah, things sorta sucked, but hey, it’s getting better, or it’s GOING to get better. Big Star tend to be pretty good at this, and this song is another great example.
There’s so much boundless optimism in these 127 seconds of pop. It’s one of my favourites!
“Uptight (Everything’s Alright)” by Stevie Wonder
This song was a giant deal for young Stevie Wonder in 1966. It was his first real breakout as an adult….and man, WHAT A SONG.
What guy hasn’t wanted to be able to say, “I’m know I’m the envy of ev’ry single guy, since I’m the apple of MY GIRL’S EYE”. Sure it’s base, but man, so great.