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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

My 750 Favourite Songs EVER!

I am looking forward to bringing you the very best and the absolute worst of 2017 in my annual retrospective of the year gone by, and the fun starts tomorrow.  But before I do that, I want to explain why I took a bit of a breather from the blog this year.

Well, aside from the incident that happened in October, anyway.  I'm sure I briefly touched upon that a bit earlier in this space, but yeah, helping an injured family member recover from a fall definitely took up a lot of my time.

But another reason that ended up being a lot more fun was the project that I took on with seven of my friends as we compiled our lists of favourite songs.

Our Top 750 Songs of ALL TIME!

(Yeah, sorry about the watermark on the collage.  I didn't want to pay the fee to have it removed).  But the thirty photos on this logo represent thirty of the 750 songs on my list!

And now that it's all done and over with, I want to share my list with you all!

Now, perhaps you will agree with my list.  Perhaps not.  Perhaps this will encourage you to start your own list...though I'd probably start off small with a hundred songs at first.  Ordering 750 songs took a very long time - but it was well worth it, and I certainly added new songs to my collection as other people shared songs that I had forgotten about.

Now, how I'll do this is that I'll post my list in 50 songs increments from 750-11 at first, and then I'll go into further discussion with my Top 10.  How does that sound?

Okay, here we go...

And now for my Top 10.

No sense denying it, I LOVED this tune when it first came out. I think I must have played this one about a couple of hundred times when I first heard it. I recorded it from the stereo using that old thing known as a cassette, and played it until my stereo finally ate the tape for lunch!

There's a certain vulnerability in Mick Hucknall's voice that makes this song even more wonderful. And yes, the music video does show him with a ruby in one of his front teeth. He had one implanted in his tooth years ago and kept it in...well, until he swapped it out for a less noticeable diamond a few years after "Stars" came out!

Yoko Ono was for many years known as a sort of scarlet woman that many blamed for the break-up of the Beatles, and her singing voice is...well...unique. But one thing you can't argue is how much love and devotion her husband gave her. John Lennon legally changed his name to John Ono Lennon, for heaven's sake!

"Woman" is essentially a love letter to his wife, and it is easily my favourite solo Lennon song. It was not intended to be released as a single at first, but upon his death in December 1980, this single was released weeks later in January 1981 and became a massive hit.

I always liked to say that I would love to have a wedding dance to this song - but I'd have to find a wife who loves Lennon, of course.
The Spinners (or The Detroit Spinners as they were known in the UK as there was already a group by that name there) were one of the top selling R&B/soul groups of the 1970s. Part of the reason why was because of songs like the one I have at #8. "Could It Be I'm Falling In Love" is a brilliant production from the slow beat to the crescendo of brass instruments midway through. It's definitely my favourite Spinners song.

When Prince died in April 2016, it was a huge shock and a crushing blow to the music industry. How does one pay tribute to him? Well, in 2017, Bruno Mars performed a near flawless rendition of "Let's Go Crazy" - which was awesome because it is my favourite Prince tune - but the fact that he played the guitar solo with absolute perfection? Genius! This song always gets me in a great mood, and I find it hard not to tap my toes along to the beat!

And yes, the placing of this song at 7 was deliberate. The song "7" was a hit for him in the 90s, and almost made my list.

"Penny Lane" is my highest ranked Beatles tune on this chart, and it is easily my favourite of their vast works. It was also the band's thirteenth number one hit on the Billboard charts for a week before it was dethroned by the Turtles' "Happy Together". In the UK, it was a different story, as it was one of the few singles of theirs that did NOT top the charts. Though, given that its peak position was #2, I don't think it mattered THAT much. 

My number five song is Billy Joel's "Leave a Tender Moment Alone", and my highest ranked song by him. It seems an unusual choice given that it was the last single released from "An Innocent Man" and it was also one of the worst performing singles from the album. But I have loved this song since I was a little boy. The harmonica solo by guest musician Toots Thielemans just makes this slow tune pop even more. Sadly, Toots passed away last year, so I paused the video at this fitting screenshot in tribute.

Nobody could ever accuse Levi Stubbs of the Four Tops as being monotone or having a lack of passion when he sang. I mean, the way he belted out the lyrics to this song was nothing short of powerful. I mean, at some points in the song, I was worried that he would pop a vocal chord! But that was just the reason why the Four Tops made such an incredible impact in the world of music, and why this upbeat and positive song is my fourth favourite of all time.

Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell were two individual singers that made beautiful music together. And of all the songs they did together, my favourite has to be "Ain't No Mountain High Enough". How can one not be in a good mood after hearing this piece of pop goodness? I actually almost had this at #1 when I was first doing fact choosing my Top 3 was the hardest part of all!

Sadly, both singers met an untimely end. Tammi Terrell died of cancer not long after this song was released, and Marvin was shot by his own father during an argument in 1984. 

My second favourite song of all time is my highest ranked song from the 1980s, and it features Michael Jackson singing what could be considered one of his signature tunes. But who knew that it would lead to one of his signature dance moves? At the 25th anniversary celebration of Motown, he did the dance step called the "Moonwalk" during his performance of this song and the crowd went wild. Throughout the remainder of the 1980s, people tried to copy it. Of course, we all know who did it best. The dance craze even inspired the video game "Michael Jackson's Moonwalker" in the late 1980's

My favourite era of music is 1960s Motown, so that was one indicator that my #1 would be from that time. And the Temptations were a great group and one of the best from that era.

But the reason why this song is #1 is because it is the earliest song that I can remember hearing and liking. I don't remember where I was, but I do remember when I heard it, I fell in love with everything that had to do with music. And when the song was used in the 1991 film "My Girl", it cemented my love of the song even more.

Mind you, that movie had a really sad plot twist when Macaulay Culkin's character was stung to death by a swarm of angry bees. But the reason why he was stung was so he could retrieve a mood ring that Vada dropped. At the end of the movie, the mood ring was returned and it changed colour to a happy blue. I always liked that scene because it showed that even in the darkest times, you could still find happiness. And as this song played in the final scene, I remember thinking that whenever I heard that song through tough times (and believe me, I played the song a LOT), I knew that happiness could be found soon after.

And that's why "My Girl" is my top song of all time.

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