RE: ‘Top 25!’

A few days ago, my good friend Dale Roberts wrote a blog entitled Top 25! in which he listed the 25 most played songs on his iPod. I read down the list with growing disappointment as there were only about three or four songs on the list which I could agree with. I commented expressing this sentiment and vowed to publish my top 25 songs to show Dale just what sorts of things he should be listening to.

Below is my list, in reverse order of the top twenty five most played songs on media player on my laptop. I have to say that there were some surprising results and not just a few anomalies. It seems that Windows, in all its wisdom, decided that only when you have listened to the full song, every single second of it, have you in fact listened to the song. It is only after such a listening that the song receives a play count. This is slightly problematic as I’m often in the mood for skipping to the next song as soon as the music stops (which would seem quite logical) but alas! The munchkins at Microsoft are idiots.

So here it is, slightly modified as to avoid random anomalies yet still inclusive of quite a few surprises for me, my twenty five most played songs. If you want to know what any of the songs sound like, just click on the title as I’ve linked each one to a YouTube video (am I not merciful?). Apologies for the bizarreness of the music video for Killing For Love, I didn’t direct it.

25. What If – Coldplay
An odd choice for a well played Coldplay song as it’s by no means my favourite song of theirs but it definitely makes sense to have at least one Coldplay song in this list. I quite like the lyrics to this song though – they always spur me on to take the plunge if I’m ever hesitant: “Every step that you take / could be your biggest mistake / it could bend or it could break / but that’s the risk that you take” brilliant.

24. Too Close For Comfort – Dianne Reeves
This song is from the soundtrack to the film Good Night, And Good Luck which, by the way, is a fantastic film. As it’s set in the 1950s the soundtrack to the film is all old swing and jazz songs, and all of them are sung by the amazing Dianne Reeves. Almost a modern day Ella Fitzgerald with a voice like velvet which delivers these songs with utter perfection, I love every song on this soundtrack but this one is quite possibly my favourite.

23. Funny Honey – Renée Zellweger
This one is from the soundtrack to Chicago, and while you may cringe at that, I think you’ll find it hard to cringe at the song itself. With such good lyrics and Renée Zellweger performing it, there’s not much more you can ask for. Although she isn’t the best singer in the film (Queen Latifah takes the biscuit on that one obviously :P) this song is quite suited to her and I really like it. I’m not quite sure how it made its way into the top 25 though… *walks away guiltily*

22. Braille – Regina Spektor
By far my favourite Regina song, this is from her little known album 11:11 which was her first album when she was just starting out in New York. I seriously can’t get enough of the amazing piano and her spectacular voice in this song. It is just too beautiful for words and it’s a song I like to put on, sit back and do nothing to. I highly recommend trying it.

21. Shoot The Moon – Norah Jones
One of Norah’s better songs I think, this one from her first album is really pretty and I love the simplicity of the accompaniment. It was inevitable that some Norah would make its way into the top 25 most played songs and I’m pretty happy with it being this song.

20. Falling Slowly – Glen Hansard & Markéta Irglová
When I first heard this song in the film Once I was totally blown away by how such a simple song could be so ground breakingly good. So good was this song that it won the Oscar for best original song in 2008 and quite deservedly too. Having heard them perform it live only adds to my enjoyment of this song and to my appreciation of just how good these two musicians are. They. Are. Phenomenal.

19. Beautiful World – Colin Hay
Maybe I would have preferred that Colin Hay’s song Overkill made it to this list but hey, Beautiful World is my second favourite song of his so I’m not really complaining. I love the playfulness of the lyrics while the song is still though provoking. It’s such a brilliant song, I keep trying to find an excuse to learn it and perform it…

18. Englishman In New York – Sting
Does this song need any explanation? It’s simply excellent and it really kicks ass. What more do you need to know? As soon as I hear the first long note on the sax, I go into total raptures of joy it’s just so good.

17. Death By Chocolate – Sia
I always find it hard to choose which Sia songs are the best, out of her three albums I’m torn between almost every track she’s just that consistently brilliant. However, Death By Chocolate is a good choice to be in this list. It’s really laid back and I love the lyrics “Death by chocolate is a myth / this I know because I lived”.

16. Dream Catch Me – Newton Faulkner
This is the acoustic version of the song, not the single he released. I adore this song, it lets me relax and let go – sheesh I sound all mushy here don’t I? Although the single version is also excellent, I prefer this version better because I find the simple guitar suits the song more.

15. YouTube (A Love Song) – David Choi
A quite surprising addition to this list perhaps but a welcome one nonetheless. David Choi is one of those YouTube musicians I keep going on about all the time. One of the fist, David has a load of covers and quite a few original songs available for free download here. The YouTube love song is a satirical ballad where he sings about how much he loves YouYube. It’s kinda funny but also a little disturbing how much it describes a typical day for me…

14. Begin The Beguine – Sheryl Crow (by Cole Porter)
This one is another odd addition to the list. I haven’t listened to the song in ages so I must have played it almost non-stop when I first bought it. (Yeah, I bought it… not)
Anyhow, this is from the soundtrack to the film De-Lovely which is a biopic of the 1930’s composer Cole Porter. The film is his life set to his songs which works pretty well I think. For the film, they changed the whole mood of this song though, setting it in a minor key instead of the major key it is usually sung in. It works extremely well however and Sheryl Crow gives a fantastic performance. I’m still puzzled as to why it’s this song out of the whole soundtrack which managed to make it this far up the list though.

13. On The Radio – Regina Spektor
Seeing as I have just about every Regina album out there I really like her music, it wasn’t crazy to guess that she’d probably pop up at least another time. This song was a real favourite of mine and Luke’s in the summer of ’08 (what a year!) and we played it every chance we could. I’d only just started to get to know Luke a few months previously and I’d just introduced him to Regina. Three words: Instant. Love. Affair.

12. Nightswimming – R.E.M.
Easily my favourite song by R.E.M. I just LOVE this song! I even bought the sheet music so I could play it on the piano. Now only if I had a cello and an oboe to accompany me…

11. Killing For Love – José González
Probably one of my favourite José songs, I really identify with its message “What’s the point / when you hate and kill for love?” No, really – what’s the point? It’s also a kick ass song (I mean, tell me a song of his that isn’t right?)

10. Harmony – Elton John
I’m so into Elton John that you knew that he had to feature pretty high up on my list. In fact, a load of his songs just missed out of this list as I’ve only recently bought a lot of his albums. This song is on the album Goodbye Yellow Brick Road which Ian bought me for my birthday and which I’ve listened to pretty much non-stop since. It’s such an amazing album I can’t get enough of it. May I’d have preferred my favourite Elton song Philadelphia Freedom to have featured here but I’m pretty happy with Harmony being up here in the top 10.

9. Good Times – Edie Brickell
This song reminds me of when I was really young and I really love it. Edie Brickell always puts a big smile on my face, especially when it’s sunny.

8. Beautiful Calm Driving – Sia
Another fantastic Sia song. This one is so chilled out, I almost pass out whenever I listen to it. It’s just amazing! If you ever need relaxing, listen to some Sia. She’s probably in my top five favourite artists.

7. Crazy – Patsy Cline
Maybe a little surprising to find this in the top ten but listen to the song and tell me that it’s not phenomenal. Apparently the recording I have is a really rare version which she did for the US Army or something. All I know is, it’s better than her original version.

6. Gone In The Morning – Newton Faulkner
I only have one of Newton’s albums but when I bought it, I listened to it non-stop for months. This song is probably up there with Dream Catch Me in terms of being my favourite but I find more opportunities to listen to this one as it’s a bit more up beat. I love its playfulness as well “I’m gonna master all kinds of Kung-Fu / I’m gonna live inside a tiny zoo / I’m gonna grow myself a giant afro (incredible) / when the alarm goes off I just won’t know” genius. There’s a really cool music video of the song but it’s been altered a bit and I’m not sure I like it quite as much. Check it out here though.

5. Centre Of The Universe – The Eagles
Not a well known Eagles song, this one is from their latest album Long Road Out Of Eden. Although not at their best, I still really love this song. Not quite sure how it’s number five though…

4. Superwoman – Alicia Keys
Finally, a song which makes sense to be in the top five! This was at the start of her album As I Am and it rocked. I really couldn’t get enough of this song when I first heard it and I still have cravings every now and then.

3. Wednesday Morning 3 A.M. – Simon and Garfunkel
The legendary Simon and Garfunkel had to pop up somewhere and they slide right into 3rd place which is pretty impressive. When Ian first lent me their greatest hits, this was the song I couldn’t stop listening to. It surprises me not one bit to find that I’ve played this song over and over again. It’s simply superb.

2. Songbird – Eva Cassidy
If you’re unfamiliar with this song, get it. Now! Eva Cassidy had one of the most beautiful voices know to man and it’s an eternal shame that she only became really famous after she died. Songbird is like a cool breeze on a hot summer’s day – beautiful and refreshing. Even Fleetwood Mac couldn’t top her version of the song, and they’re utter legends! I hold this song up proudly as the second most played song in my library. Oh yeah and check out this really cool duet of Eva Cassidy and Katie Melua singing What A Wonderful World I love how modern technology can put these two together to sing.

1. JOINT Cello Suite No1 in G major: prelude & Air on a G string – J.S. Bach
I think this tells you just how often I get stressed out. Whenever I’ve had a hard day, the first thing to do is go to Bach and press play. These two tracks are little slices of heaven and I will attest to Bach being the most relaxing composer ever. Listen to these two pieces of music and tell me you’re not less tense than you were five minutes previously. They are such amazing strings pieces that I can’t get enough of them and I love it when they appear in films. Air on a G string pops up in the film Se7en and the cello suite in Master And Commander. What is better than to have Morgan Freeman reading to such exquisite music? Or to have Russel Crowe and Paul Bettany (for want of a better word) jam in the captain’s quarters? Very few things. That’s what.

P.S.V.
Although I disagreed with lots of Dale’s choices, I did find one track I really liked. Here is Obidiah Parker’s cover of Hey-Ya a song that will forever live in my memory as my theme song when I was 14 (just substitute the words hey-ya for Tay-la and you have an entrance song for me).

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2 thoughts on “RE: ‘Top 25!’

  1. Ok, I think we may be even, there was maybe 3 or 4 good choices. Hey Ya is obvious!

    You probably didnt know but i am a occasional Youtube Surfer.. I like to browse talent and I came across “David Choi” singing the Jim Jamieson’s im always here. I’m Suscribed to him on Youtube, but am very happy you posted a link to his website so i can get some free Mp3’s!

    Needless to say, I typed Colin Hay on my iTunes and have just downloaded his “Beautiful World” chestnut.

    I have to say, my taste in music goes in the usual “good to sing” “good rhythm” “good beat” “feel good” categorys. Yours is probably alot more educated, “good to play on the piano” and “thats a lovely D note sweetly strung off the C flat” Type thing.

    Mines better ;)

  2. I must say that I’m intrigued at the fact that the vast majority of your top 25 come from female voices. I generally prefer male voices and my music library can certainly attest to that.

    (a) maybe it’s normal that I prefer male voice and you female ones.

    (b) this could reveal that we have some extensive music trading to do

    (c) i am also a fan of Regina Spektor which i find surprising per aforementioned paragraph.

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