Right off the bat, I’m going to steal the idea for this post from Courtney over at Malfeasance, who in turn got the suggestion from good ol’ Julie. I had fun reading Courtney’s top fives, so here are some of my own. This could take a while, though, because I take my own opinions pretty seriously, as some of you know all too well.
Top Five Songs
5. "Livin’ on a Prayer," by Bon Jovi. Simplistic? Yes. Formulaic? You betcha. Embarrassingly bad hair, to this day? Yeah, no shit, but this song hits the sweet spot, nonetheless. Surprised?
4. "Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns," by Mother Love Bone. Loads of history and one of the many, many songs that remind me of my brother (who passed along to me his excellent musical taste), and also another hard-rockin’ song that’ll never get old.
3. "Alive," by Pearl Jam. On the morning bus ride to Simpson Middle School, I would queue up this song on my yellow Walkman Sport and hit play as we went past the under-construction-Publix at Sandy Plains so it would finish just as we were pulling in to the school parking lot, every single day.
2. "Where is my Mind?," by the Pixies. Number two proved really difficult, so I’ll just go with this one. The acoustic guitar on this could just go on forever and, in fact, it does on the menu screen of one of their DVDs.
1. "Just Like Heaven," by The Cure. This song just grabs me every time. I think if the opening bass line was on an eternal loop inside my head, I wouldn’t mind. It’s the perfect song.
Top Five Albums (the songs already took me 45 minutes, so here goes)
5. "Aenima," by Tool. Tool is unbelievable. I don’t know exactly what a time signature is, but Tool uses different ones than everybody else and it hits me right in the gut. This album appeals very much to my "fuck it all" side, as well.
4. "Dirt," by Alice in Chains. AIC created something completely new here. I don’t know musical terms, but I think it’s the constant shift back and forth from a minor to a major chord that does it. Only with time have I realized how strong this album is. Very dark and very awesome.
3. "The Joshua Tree," by U2. Not even a complete brainwashing could remove this from my top five. It will always be there. The first three songs alone would make it one of the best recordings ever. The whole thing marries straight-up blues-based rock-n-roll with an utterly unique and timeless sound. Actually, Edge’s guitars on this still sound like they’re from the future.
2. "Ten," by Pearl Jam. It’s amazing how many bands’ best work is their debut album. Not a weak song in the lot and it perhaps moved my adolescent mind more than any other aural experience.
1. "Born to Run," by Bruce Springsteen. I could have put three different songs from this album on the above list, but find it hard to think of any one of them away from the others. Many recording artists strive to create albums with a unifying theme and mood, but none of them have topped Born to Run. I don’t even listen to anything else by Springsteen. Just this.
This took me an hour, so I better save some more for another day. It’s going to be a long month.