So my friend challenged me to make a list of my favoritest songs of all time. After much debate, we settled on 25. He’s gonna gimme his list, and I’m gonna give him mine, in hopes that we can turn each other on to some new music. I decided I’d share.
1. If You Want Me to Stay
Sly and the Family Stone
I have no idea what got me to loving this song. I dunno if it’s the bass line or just Sly’s who funky demeaner, but I could listen to this song 800 times in a row and hear something new everytime.
2. I’m the Only One
Another song who’s origins in my life are ambiguous. I love the guitar, I love her voice, I love, LOVE the lyrics.
3. She Lives in my Lap
I have to admit I’m only marginally sure I know what this song is about. But I again, I love the music, that kinda funk/rap/rock blend, and unlike some haters, I even love Dre singing. Seriously, the man is a genius and I love every single off color thing he does.
4. At Last
I looooove me some Etta. But this song does It for me. Her voice is rich and perfect, and the song is so classic. The strings are just perfect and by the last swell of orchestration at the end you can’t help but feel happy for Ms. James finding her At Last… and a lil jealous that you haven’t.
5. A Song for You
I could listen to this man sing allllllllllll day. ALLLLLLLLLLL DAY. I read the lyrics before I ever heard the song back in middle school I believe. “I love you in a place/where there’s no space or time/I love you for my life/you’re a friend of mine/and when my life is over/remember when we were together/we were alone and I was singing this song to you.” So gorgeous.
One of very few songs that has the power to make me tear up… from anger. For someone who has been as mistreated, doubted and hated on in life as I, this song is a great reminder that even when I’m down, it’s only temporary.
7. Good Morning Heartache
Loooooooooooooooooooove me some Billie. This song is SO sad sometimes it hurts so good to listen to. There’s something about her voice I’ve always loved and on the original studio version of the track, she sounds so sad, so melancholy I could cry.
8. Purple Haze
Reminds me alot of my daddy. And seriously, where are the musicians like this nowadays? I remember back in my day…
Reminds me of my grandma. Always makes me cry. I’m usually good up until “are you looking down upon me/are you proud of who I am/there’s nothing I wouldn’t do/to have just one more chance/to look into your eyes/and see you looking back”. That’s all I have to say about that.
10. Boogie Wonderland
Earth Wind and Fire
My favoritest EWF song ever. Probably because I’m secretly a big disco/dance kid and the music has that big energetic kinda feeling. I remember when I was in middle school, my chorus teacher made me disect and learn the 5 part harmony in this song. I must have listened to it AT LEAST 8,459 times… a day.
10. Send in the Clows
Sarah is one of my favs too. This song was originally from a Sondheim musical, A Little Night Music (don’t quote me on that.) It sounds so sad, and her voice has so many levels to it, it’s another thing I listen to and always hear something new.
Another song where the strings make the song for me. The lead in just in the beginninng is enough to break your heart. You add that with one of the smoothest most beautiful voices of all time and this song is so good it’s ridiculous.
12. Everything you Want
This was a song I heard back in the day somewhere random and hunted it down. It was another song where the lyrics hit me first, and it just so happened that the music was great too. I still listen to this song like it just came out yesterday. Seriously. I had it on in the car today, lol.
My dance teacher in high school turned me onto this, a song used in a Cirque de Solei show. The entire song is sung in another language (which one I’m not so sure) but the music is so multi-faceted and powerful you barely even notice you don’t understand the minimal lyrics.
Lies lies lies
14. Everybody Got Their Something
I can thank my infatuation with Nikka on my high school dance teacher again. I know you’ve heard this song before as it has been used in exactly 372 commercials, but I fell in love with it probably 5 years ago listening to it in the dance studio at my high school. If you sit down and really disect it (as I do with music ) you realize the entire first minute and a half of the song, a new instrument is being brought in and layered over the others every 8 to 16 bars. It’s a Questlove track; so awesome.
15. Mother, Mother
Back when I was a melodramatic, angst ridden middle schooler (HA!) I fell in love with this rock song immediately. I mean with lyrics like “sure I’m sober/sure I’m sane/life is perfect/never better… I’m freezing/I’m starving/I’m bleeding to death/everything’s fine” how could you not? The Burdens of Being Upright was a surprisingly good album, although it’s a tad bit too angry for most. Think Alanis Morrisette’s 1st album with a touch of Amy Winehouse. Now sprinkle some crack on it and there you go!
16. So Have I for You
Another Nikka song off my favorite album of hers “Everybodygottheirsomething” although “Cantneverdidnothing” is a close 2nd. Again I fell in love with the words first; “just like the sea has spent eternity at the mercy of the moon/so have I for you”
17. Somebody Loves you Baby
Almost Fiance turned me on to this song one night we drove up to Baltimore to see his friends. I don’t think I realized until I came in contact with his love for Ms. Patti just how much I loved her. I still listen to this song. Love it.
18. It Takes Two
Rob Bass and DJ EZ Rock
Hands down my favoritest hip hop song of ALL TIME. No seriously. No. Stop suggesting other songs. This is it. Everytime someone plays this in the club or at a party, I damn near kill myself. This song is the sole reason I love going to 30 and up parties, lol.
So I had to cut alot of Stevie tracks from this list because I am a Stevie Wonder fiend. But this one I could not get rid of. “Until the ocean covers every mountain high/now ain’t that lovin’ you?” I’d say so. Great music, great voice, great lyrics. If I don’t get to see Stevie Wonder live before I die, I will be very unfulfilled.
20. Pale September
This song reminds me of Joy. Back in middle school we used to sing it all the time in her room. Everytime I hear it now, even though it’s been years, it takes me right back to going to her house after school, me curling up in her chair, her on her bed, talking, laughing, reading, sometimes not saying anything at all. I know the song is talking about a man, but for me it always symbolized my friendship with Joy and what she was able to manage to make me do; “and all my armor falling down/in a pile at my feet/and my winter giving way to warm/as I’m singing him to sleep.” So often I’d fall asleep on Joy back then, lol. But more often than not, it was the only time I truly felt safe enough to really rest.
21. Ne me Quitte Pas
I know many people have done this song, but none like Nina. Everytime I hear it, I cry. Everytime. Without fail. I’ve never heard someone sing as though they were crying. And even sung in french, you can understand every word.
As hard as it is for me to pick a favorite Outkast song (seriously, it’s like picking a favorite child) this song would be up top. Its witty, it’s well written, the music is damn near perfect, and everyone can get something different from it. I remember playing it for a class I was speaking to once, and I asked all the girls to share what message they got from it. Everybody got something different, still relevant. Loves it.
23. All in Love is Fair
I can’t even say enough about this song. It’s just… beautiful. Stevie at his best.
24. No Ordinary Love
I got to see her perform this live.
25. Someone to Watch Over Me
I always like ol’ Frankie and I thought this would be a nice song to have my first dance to at my wedding.
And since clearly that shit ain’t goin’ down I just love to listen to his voice.