Jeff gave a whole bunch of people a year to come up with their top 10 songs of all time (with explanations for why each is on the list). It’s an interesting challenge and much tougher than it sounds. He has just released his top 10:
1. Don’t You Want Me, Baby – Human League
The most entertaining song I’ve ever heard. If my life comes out the way I hope, my wife and I are going to duet this song on our wedding day. Think about the concept of the refrain: “Don’t you want me?” It’s a tootsie pop with sadness inside.
2. In The Ghetto – Elvis (written by Scott Davis)
I’m not sure why I love this song. I just do. I didn’t grow up in the ghetto, though I hated kids for North Arlington and often fought them. For me, its probably the coolest sung song I’ve ever heard and the lyrics are really touching.
3. A Better Son/Daughter – Rilo Kiley
The best lyrics I’ve ever heard in a rock song. If you know me a little, you know why.
4. The Superbowl Shuffle – The 1985 World-Champion Chicago Bears
My very first memory is these buffoons singing this song is the cheesiest music video of all-time. I have loved the Chicago Bears ever since. They’ve been responsible for three near-suicides, one dead relationship and for two weeks in fall 2001 – joy, when I didn’t think I’d find it.
5. Barcelona (from Company) – Stephen Sondheim
The song that made me love musical theatre. Its brilliantly crafted and endlessly clever and most importantly real. If I can write one song as good as this in my career, I will be a success.
6. Freshmen – The Verve
Second best rock lyrics I’ve ever heard. Just a really really powerful song that I listened to on-loop for about two years (and then revisited with Lou during my frosh college year).
7. I Saw Red – Warrant
Well, a hair band had to get on the list. I’m sorry. The day I walk into a karaoke bar and this is on the list…every woman in the room will want to fuck me. I’m convinced of this.
8. Jeremy / Garden – Pearl Jam
I could have chosen any songs from this album. It is the greatest album of my lifetime.
9. Beyond the Sea – Bobby Darin
I sang this song in a karaoke bar in Dundee, Scotland called The Fort which prompted the captain of police to invite my uncle and I to his home for Sunday roast.
10. (tie) Summer Nights (from Grease) – Jim Jacbos / Warren Casey
10. (tie) Getting Married Today (from company) – Stephen Sondheim
The two songs that made me love Marie’s Crisis in the West Village. I sang one with Alexandra to begin the craziest romance of all time and sang the other to prove that I know more about musical theatre than any other straight guy in the universe. Oh shit, I just realized I’m straight.
Honorable Mentions: Jessie’s Girl (Rick Springfield), For What It’s Worth (Buffalo Springfield), What’s the Use of Wondrin’ from Carousel (Rodgers & Hammerstein), Pretty Women from Sweeney Todd (Sondheim), Closing Time (Semisonic), Mr. Jones (Counting Crows), If I Were a Rich Man from Fiddler on the Roof (Bock & Harnick)
I’m still working on mine (lists are due in December). Everyone is invited to join in (and if I know you and you add your list, you’ll get a copy of everyone elses CD). Add your list in the comments.