April 15, 2005

Only five? I could go on for days

This post over at Zygote’s place got me to thinking. I decided to come up with my own list, with one rule: only one song from each artist.

1. London Calling – The Clash
One of the best intro’s in the history of rock: Paul Simonon’s rolling bass line leads into Joe Strummer and Mick Jones’ crashing guitars, and the best song ever about impending apocalypse is off and running. The song ends on a eerie note; Jones’ echoing “I never felt so much a like”.

2. I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man – Prince
I’ve gone into detail about Sign O’ The Times before, but all that needs to be known is this: Before it came out, I thought Huey Lewis was cool. This has always been my favorite song from that album, an upbeat but melancholy story about meeting the right person at the wrong time.

3. We Can Work It Out – The Beatles
Picking just one Beatles song is difficult for me, but I chose this one as much for the feeling behind it as the song itself. We Can Work it Out is one of the very few times Paul McCartney and John Lennon actually wrote a song together. It’s a perfect encapsulation of their relationship. Just before Paul’s desperate earnestness begins to overwhelm the song, John’s hard-edged chorus cuts to the point.

4. Gimme Shelter – The Rolling Stones
Forget Alice Cooper or Black Sabbath or any of the myriad of knockoffs that have come out the last 30 or so years. This is the scariest rock song ever. Mick Jagger gets more and more desperate, Keith Richards’ guitar blazes, and Merry Clayton cries “rape” and “murder” … it’s a beautiful, terrifying mess.

5. Mr. Jones – Counting Crows
A band often derided due to the bland soundalikes that followed it, the Counting Crows make quintessential American sensitive guy music. This song came out my freshman year in college, when walking down the street with my best friend looking at girls and wishing we were famous was one of the highlights of my existence.

Also receiving consideration: Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters – Elton John, Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana, Superstition – Stevie Wonder, Every Breath You Take – The Police, Supersonic – Oasis, Maggie May – Rod Stewart, Suspicious Minds – Elvis Presley, Northern Sky – Nick Drake, Stayin’ Alive- Bee Gees, Nightswimming - REM, What’s Goin’ On – Marvin Gaye, Wouldn’t it be Nice – The Beach Boys, Is She Really Going Out With Him? – Joe Jackson, Sweet Jane – The Cowboy Junkies, Silent All These Years – Tori Amos, Billie Jean – Michael Jackson, Hey Ya – OutKast, Lose Yourself – Eminem, No Woman, No Cry – Bob Marley and the Wailers, Won’t Get Fooled Again – The Who, Waterloo Sunset – The Kinks, Life During Wartime – Talking Heads, Blitzkrieg Bop – The Ramones

Posted by Frinklin at April 15, 2005 12:23 AM

Wow..you actually have a song on your list that would cause me to dive into the ocean and look for the nearest shark.

Of course, that might be partly the fault of my college roomate who played Mr. Jones so many times that I took the CD and threw it off the 11th floor and told him it must have gotten "lost."

Posted by: Zygote at April 17, 2005 02:26 PM
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