Friday, May 18, 2007

5 Songs

So I'm slow coming to this, but what the heck. School's out for the summer (though the next issue of launches July 10, yikes!) so I've got some small amount of time to think about this.

The five songs that "really knock my socks off" are:

1. The Connells, "Over There," Boylan Heights. There are many Connells songs that are really amazing---pretty much everything off the albums Fun & Games, One Simple Word, and Ring---but "Over There," with its synthetic French horns, is my introduction to this Southern alt rock band from North Carolina that was all the rage in my college days, and remains my favorite among favorites.

2. The Doors, "L.A. Woman," L.A. Woman. No song gets me as pumped up as "L.A. Woman," the song I'd blast before playing basketball (well, that and guzzle a Jolt soda). And what a great album, too, with "The WASP (Texas Radio and the Big Beat)" and "Riders on the Storm," among others.

3. Dire Straits, "Romeo and Juliet," Making Movies. It's really a toss-up between "Sultans of Swing" and "Romeo and Juliet," but the latter especially is so emotionally charged that it still gives me chills when I hear it. The guitarwork is phenomenal, the pace superb. Plus, though I'm not sure my wife knows this, it was influential for me in naming our second daughter.

4. U2, "Running to Stand Still," The Joshua Tree. For the longest time, "Running to Stand Still" was my favorite song on my favorite album. I still contend that The Joshua Tree is the best rock album of all time, so evocative of place and passion, every song really grand. But lately I've enjoyed the album's second half of songs more even, perhaps, than "Running to Stand Still," and "One Tree Hill" especially.

5. The Police, "Driven to Tears," Zenyatta Mondatta. There's nothing quite like a politically charged pseudo-punk rock song heavy in lyrical bass, slashing yet reggae-like guitar, and Steward Copeland's stunning drumwork. The Police has pretty much always been my favorite band, and this probably my favorite album that continues to bring meaning and stir emotions with each listening, especially on songs like "Bombs Away" that are as significant, and troubling, today as in 1980, when the album was released.

I realize that none of these songs are less than 20 years old. Egads, I'm showing my age. There are plenty of modern-day songs, however, plus some stuff by Bob Marley and the Wailers ("Waiting in Vain"), Pearl Jam ("Daughter" or "Corduroy") The Smiths ("How Soon is Now?" or "Big Mouth Strikes Again"), Dave Matthews Band ("Lie in Our Graves"), Sting (which to choose?), The Rolling Stones ("Sympathy for the Devil," among many others), and others very difficult not to include here, but these five stick with and in fact continue to define me, not to mention the music I like, over these many long years.

So what, pray tell, what are your 5 songs?

1 comment:

Suzanne said...

LA Women is an all time favorite of mine!