Wow, this 30-day challenge starts with a whopper of a question – especially for a music lover, like me. How do you pick one song out of 38 years of music – or more, actually, since I’m not limited to songs made in my lifetime.
When a song is truly great, it gives me an actual visceral feeling in my gut. There’s usually some chord progression or some vocal turn that twangs at my heartstrings. But the worst part is that the feeling can be so fleeting. I can love a song for a few weeks, but usually, I overplay it. And as I get used to hearing it, that visceral feeling diminishes to a point where the song drops off my ‘favorite’ list. (Heh, like I keep a physical list.)
Over the years, I’ve loved countless songs this way, but it was back when I was a teenager that I actually came to this realization: that there were a few songs where that feeling really stuck with me for a protracted period of time. There were two songs in particular that helped me realize this: Easy Lover by Phil Collins and Philip Bailey, and Material Girl by Madonna. Strange choices, I know, but I’m trying to be honest here. Neither of those songs has stuck with me until present day, but back in my teens, they were to die for!
It doesn’t happen very often, though – having a protracted run at the top. Often enough that I can’t keep track of all the songs that have done it, but it’s certainly not the norm. So before I get to my favorite, I thought I’d list a few.
A few of old favorites that have since fallen off the list:
- Seven Wonders by Fleetwood Mac
- Hard Habit to Break by Chicago
- Glory of Love by Peter Cetera (I know, schmaltzy!)
- Who Knew by Pink
- America (from West Side Story)
- Calling America by Electric Light Orchestra
- Constant Craving by k.d.lang
- Freedom by Wham
- Filthy Gorgeous by Scissor Sisters
- Pavement Cracks by Annie Lennox
And here are a few that are still currently on the list:
- Killer Queen by Queen
- Gravity by Sara Bareilles
- Hometown Glory by Adele
- Danny’s Song by Anne Murray
- As by Stevie Wonder
- Both Sides Now by Joni Mitchell
- The Chauffeur by Duran Duran
- Canned Heat by Jamiroquai
- Hide & Seek by Imogen Heap
- All I want for Christmas is You by Mariah Carrey (Yes, I’m sorry)
- Mother, Mother by the McGarrigles
Okay – the list could go on and on – and really, who cares except for me. I just ask you not to judge me based on this – I like a lot more music than this mainstream stuff. I’m just trying to limit the choice here to pop/rock songs.
And the challenge is to pick just one. So, keeping in mind I think this is just silly, I guess I’ll have to go with Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb. I’ve loved it for a long time and it’s still fantastic. Gilmore’s vocals are so plaintive, and his guitar solo (the first one) is one of the most beautiful I’ve heard in any piece of music.