- “Night and Day-Frank Sinatra
- “April in Paris”-Louis Armstrong
- “My Favorite Things”- John Coltrane
- “Brilliant Corners”-Thelonious Monk
- “Nowhere Man”-Beatles
- “Too Much Monkey Business”-Chuck Berry
- “Just As I Am”-Johnny Cash
- “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking”-Rolling Stones
- “Diplomat’s Son”-Vampire Weekend
- “Easy To Love”-Billie Holiday
- “Take Five”-Dave Brubeck
- “American Pie”-Don McLean
- “All I Have to Do is Dream”-Everly Brothers
- “Ain’t That a Shame”-Fats Domino
- “Look For the Silver Lining”-Chet Baker
- “I’ve Been Loving You For So Long”-Otis Redding
- “Perhaps Vampires Is a Bit Strong”-Arctic Monkeys
- “Third Stone From the Sun”-Jimi Hendrix
- “Ego’s Last Stand”-Flaming Lips
- “Bargain”-The Who
A couple of months ago I compiled my list for the top 10 albums of all time. Now I’m following up with my picks for best songs.
I stayed away from limiting my selections to singles. I didn’t even go with the best known album cuts from artists. “Bargain” isn’t as well known as “Won’t Get Fooled Again” or Baba O’Riley from the Who’s Who’s Next but I find it even more enjoyable, and it helps my pick hasn’t been played to death.
On the other hand, the Beatles “Nowhere Man” was a huge smash for the Beatles, but it is so beautifully sung and the lyrics so intriguing it’s an easy selection.
Frank Sinatra is a good pick for best singer, and he deserves all the recognition possible. I’m taking the opportunity to give him some props with my number one song pick. Here’s an artist where a good case could be made for multiple entries on the list. But my musical tastes are too diverse for such an approach.
An artist needn’t have put together a consistent song catalog to make the cut. I can only think of one song I like by Don McLean, and it’s on the list. There’s something to be said for a track where I keep going back to and thinking about new aspects of the lyrics.
Not all Flaming Lips albums have dazzled, but “Ego’s Last Stand” excites me like no other track with the guitar playing.
Jazz is well represented. I find myself feeling all the more comfortable in the camp, which finds jazz a superior music to rock. But I’ll take good rock over so-so jazz, and there’s plenty of exceptional music in both genres.
Classics from top be-bop artists like John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk are easy choices. And are good starting points for rock fans looking to venture into jazz.
Louis Armstrong has been influential in every strand of popular music. And it’s simply a matter of finding a track to give a high placement.
All of these cuts are worth repeated listens and are good components for any playlist.