A few weeks ago, I rocked the internet to its foundations when I spent an entire week posting lists of my favorite things to this blog. But even by those low standards, I still managed to under-perform on the music section, a fact that haunts me to this day.
I’ve been digging through my iTunes library lately, both to prepare for my upcoming commute and in reaction to the announcement of the new tracks in “Guitar Hero Rocks the 80s” and
Guitar Hero IIGuitar Hero 3 (“Heat of the Moment” + “Paint it Black” = awesome).
And going through my music library just makes it clear how the music I like is so much better than the music that other people like. Really, it’s orders of magnitude better. When you realize that, you see it’s my duty to inform my readers and give them the rich, meaty lists they crave.
My 25 Favorite Songs
- “Beyond the Sea” by Bobby Darin
- “Tomorrow Never Knows” by The Beatles
- “Close (to the Edit)” by Art of Noise
- “The Rain Song” by Led Zeppelin
- “Rolling” by Soul Coughing
- “Levitate Me” by Pixies
- “Young Ned of the Hill” by The Pogues
- “Angelika Suspended” by Palm Fabric Orchestra
- “Full on Idle” by The Amps
- “Isobel” by Björk
- “Straight to Hell” by The Clash
- “Photograph” by Def Leppard
- “Song for My Father” by Horace Silver
- “Lady Pilot” by Neko Case
- “I Hear the Bells” by Mike Doughty
- “Red Right Hand” by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
- “Gimme Shelter” by The Rolling Stones
- “Dogs of Lust” by The The
- “Step Right Up” by Tom Waits
- “Sweet Thing” by Van Morrison
- “Let Forever Be” by Chemical Brothers
- “Unchained” by Van Halen
- “More Than a Feeling” by Boston
- “Stand Together” by The Beastie Boys
- “Soul Bossa Nova” by Quincy Jones
(Most of those links are to YouTube, so no guarantees they’ll last).
As if that weren’t enough, you get another list! A list of perfect albums. “Perfect” doesn’t necessarily mean my favorite albums, just that they either: 1) don’t have a single bad track on them, or 2) are so strong and build such a momentum that they sail right over the bad songs.
Twelve Perfect Albums
- Led Zeppelin IV
- Revolver by The Beatles
The best pop album ever made.
- Boston by Boston
It peters out towards the end, but you can’t start off stronger than this record.
- Come On Pilgrim by Pixies
Surfer Rosa is my favorite Pixies record, and it counts too. But Come On Pilgrim is just a burst of concentrated brilliance.
- Haughty Melodic by Mike Doughty
I was disappointed when I first heard this one, but I think in the two years since I’ve listened to it in its entirety at least once a week. There’s just not a bad song on it.
- El Oso by Soul Coughing
Maybe this list is Mike Doughty-heavy, but you can’t be prejudiced against a guy for making two perfect records.
- Hello Nasty by The Beastie Boys
Yeah, Paul’s Boutique, whatever. This is the only one I can listen to without skipping any tracks.
- Odelay by Beck
For using the entire Becktionary, from Bazootie to Whiskeyclone.
- Telecommunication Breakdown by Emergency Broadcast Network
I love the characters, I love the special effects.
- If I Should Fall From Grace With God by The Pogues
The first four tracks are four of the best Pogues songs ever. On most records, it seems like the musicians put a bad track on because they ran out of ideas or talent and had to throw in filler. On this one, it seems like they had to put in a weaker song just to keep your brain from overloading on uninterrupted excellence.
- Time Out by The Dave Brubeck Quartet
I thought this was one of the best albums ever recorded for at least a year after I bought it. And then I read the liner notes, which explained that it’s a concept album about time changes, and all of the tracks are experiments in non-standard tempo. Which is kind of like hanging out with Superman for a year and right as you’re starting to get bored of his powers, he reveals he’s also an award-winning pastry chef.
- Dig Your Own Hole by Chemical Brothers
This one’s cheating, because the thing dies in the middle with a 6-minute track called “It Doesn’t Matter,” but it doesn’t matter. The rest is unrestrained awesomeness.
Now that that’s done, I can go back to never talking about music.