update 15-nov-2006: way too many sites are referencing/linking to these tracks, so all the mp3’s have been removed.
Axe posted his top five songs a while ago, and I’ve been pondering my top five for quite some time. Like anything else that’s subjective, they’re bound to change over time. Here’s what’s on my brain as my all time faves currently.
The Drinking Song, Moxy Früvous – One night Axe and I were sitting around, and he told me that he associated this song with me. I had never heard it before, and when I listened to it, I wasn’t sure if being associated with it is good or bad. It’s confusing, multi-directional, fun, sad, fuzzy, cold, and warm… all at the same time. I think I understand why he felt it was not a bad choice as a theme song for me. Since listening to it then, it has become my favourite song. It’s in my e-mail sig, which got me a Turf Squid’s shirt from Jack because the lyrics were right on. Can’t argue with that.
I Won’t Back Down, Tom Petty – Tom Petty is one of my favourite artists of all time. His albums came awfully close to the top 5, but managed to hang on the fringe. I have put up with a lot of crap over the years, and still remain the eternal optimist. Some folks think I’m naiive or out-and-out stupid for expecting people to do the right thing, but I know everything’ll work out in the end. This song captures my mindset pretty nicely.
Revolution, The Beatles – Please note, the asshats’ commercial never, ever used the original version of this track to shlep shoes. The Beatles Double White probably should have been on my list, because it is an incredible collection of music (some folks hate it, I love it). Revolution was probably the first “rock” tune I listened to that I really, really liked, at about age 6. My parents had a collection including Herman’s Hermits, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Jefferson Starship, The Doors, and others. Double White was my favourite. I remember turning the stereo up when I wasn’t supposed to, playing “Back in the U.S.S.R.”, but really cranking it up for Revolution, which had angst, screaming, and raw power. Woof.
Halcyon+On+On+On (Hacker Remix), Orbital – At the start of Hackers, the opening credits roll as a camera flies over water in the pre-dawn hours. The studio track of this song plays, and there’s something mind-expanding about it, without any need for drugs. In 1987, Bon Jovi took Belinda Carlisle to task for having a hit whose chorus had a tempo that sounded a lot like one of his. The hacker remix is performed live, and does a phenomenal job at the end of showing that Jon just might have been right. It gives all the goodness of the studio version, with a cool bonus that’s even played backward (live!). It’s probably my favourite “electronica/tech” song of all time.
Where the Streets Have No Name (live), U2 – U2 is probably the best band of all time. When you listen to their discs, they maintain a core sound through the years, but re-invent themselves every album. I didn’t list the Joshua Tree in my top five, but it’s up there. I love the live versions of this track. The studio version is all right, but it lacks the punch of it being performed live. There’s something about the opening thirty seconds which prepares you for something special, it builds and builds, and when Bono hits “I want to run”, you just feel free. To me, this song is all about personal freedom and the power that comes from doing what you want. Awesome.
There’s a tonne of other songs I can listen to over and over and over. Some of them include:
- Killing in the Name Of, Rage Against the Machine
- Blasphemous Rumours, Depeche Mode
- Unchained, Van Halen
- Atom Bomb, Fluke
- Cult of Personality, Living Colour
- How Soon Is Now?, The Smiths
- Black Betty, Ram Jam
- Once in a Lifetime, The Talking Heads
- This Corrosion, Sisters of Mercy
- KRWLING (Reanimated Mix), Linkin Park
- Good Riddance (Time of Your Life), Green Day
- Sweet Emotion, Aerosmith
- Stuck in the Middle With You, Stealer’s Wheels
- Nautical Disaster, The Tragically Hip
- Wonderful World, Louis Armstrong
- In Bloom, Nirvana
- Wayne, Chantal Kreviazuk
- In Your Eyes, Peter Gabriel
- It’s the End of the World as We Know It, R.E.M.
- The Impression That I Get, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
- Glycerine, Bush
- Flood, Jars of Clay
- My Life Story, MXPX
- Sweet Caroline, Neil Diamond
- Symbolistic White Walls, Matthew Good Band
- Hey Man, Nice Shot, Filter
- Cubically Contained, The Headstones
- Da Rockwilder, Method Man/Redman
- We’re Going to be Friends, The White Stripes
… and a whole bunch more. But that’ll have to do for now.