Sunday, February 06, 2005

Community Members weigh in with their picks for favorite song

Sally: Elton John's "Tiny Dancer."

Jimarcus: Black Eyed Peas - "Hey Mama." Great song, any version. Reeggae steps out with rap then goes home to pop.

Mario: Joan Baez's "Blessed Are" is a very simple but elequent song.

Skye: Xiu Xiu's "Support Our Troops Oh! Black Angels" because it's an important message about the damage we're doing to Iraq and Iraqis and because the song is pretty much alone in challenging this myth that we're so noble and wonderful.

William: Tori Amos has so many great songs and they're all favorites of mine but I'll pick "Pretty Good Year" as my favorite of favorites.

Steven: Pearl Jam's "Alive." Studio version or live, it's a powerful song.

Liang: Joan Baez's "Where Are You Now, My Son?"

[Liang's choice is addressed and commented on in a December post.]

Rod: Bob Dylan's "With God On Our Side" because it appears to now be the national anthem under the Bully Boy. This is a great song and even covers of it are usually excellent. I'd go with Judy Collins as being the best of all the people who recorded it after Dylan.

Emilio: "Seven Nation Army" by the White Stripes kicks ass.

Jack: Janis Joplin's "Get It While You Can" is a great song. I'm blown away when she sings "Don't you turn your back on love."

Jarrod: Stevie Wonder's "Love's in Need of Love Today." The perfect message and a song that's just a lot of fun to sing along with or just listen to.

Theresa: The Beatles' "Strawberry Fields Forever."

Oregon: Carole King's "So Far Away."

Brandon: Soundgarden's "Fell on Black Days" -- the theme of the next four years!

Carlton: "You Don't Know My Name" by Alicia Keys.

Trina: Maria McKee's "Breathe" live or studio version. (And thank Kat for her great review of Maria McKee's Live in Hamburg.)

Kelli: This is "all time" favorite so I'm choosing an older song but one I first heard last year. "Oh mother say a prayer for me/ Jesse's back in town/ It won't be easy." Right from the start, that song hooks me. I think that's such a powerful opening. And then you've got the don'ts - "Don't let him near me" and touch me and please me; then the promises come in "I will cut fresh flowers for you" and change the sheets and put on cologne and sitting by the phone.
I just love this song because there have been so many times I've ended a relationship and then started back up with the guy. And that line about "My friends will all she's gone again" really hits home. I love it when the kids come in singing the la-las. I just love the song and wish it was longer because it always ends too soon for me. It's by Carly Simon and it's called "Jesse" and I really would just say to anyone buy Reflections because there are so many great songs on this CD.

Lewis: Diana Ross has never sounded better than she did on "Touch Me In the Morning." It's a great song.

Denise: Bruce Springsteen's "The Rising."

In Dallas: Kina's "Girl From the Gutter."

Victoria: Fiona Apple's "Criminal."

Joel: Title track off John Forgerty's new album Deja Vu All Over Again. "Deja Vu (All Over Again)" reminds me a little of "Who'll Stop the Rain."

End Zone: The Mamas & the Papas's "Dedicated to the One I Love" because it's a brilliant reworking. The time signature constantly changes, the voices blend and there's some powerful drumming everytime the chorus kicks in.

Abhilasha: I just heard a song for the first time that probably everyone else in the world knows, Roberta Flack's "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face." I love this song.

Jamie: "Dancing Barefoot" is an amazing song whether it's done by Patti Smith or U2.

Tyrone: Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On?" is always excellent and more and more timely with each passing day.

Sabrina: "Caught a Lite Sneeze" by Tori Amos.

Folding Star of A Winding Road: You can put me down for Go by the Indigo Girls (on the CD Come on Now Social).

Troy: Sheryl Crow's "Soak Up the Sun" is the best song so far in this century. It's just a feel good anthem that you pump up on the car radio while you're driving around.

Les: U2's "Sunday, Bloody Sunday."

Jeff: Green Day's "Longview" still amazes me with the bass line.

Heath: "Tracks of My Tears." And I'm going with Linda Ronstadt's version because I love how she slows it down. It's a little to up-with-people for me until Ronstadt explored the song.

Carl: Pearl Jam's "Thumbing My Way." Excellent.

Gina: Erykah Badu's "Bump it"

Noam Chomsky is My Hero: R.E.M.'s "Everybody Hurts."

Tori: Diana Ross & the Supremes' "Reflections" which is a song I discovered through the TV show China Beach. I love that song so much and I love the singing and spoken parts equally well. "Through the mirror of my mind." I just love that.

Fisher: "Prison Song" by System of the Down.

Christian: 10,000 Maniac's "Circle Dream."

Hannah: "I Ain't Marching Anymore" by Phil Ochs. Love the guitar work, love the message, love Phil Ochs.

Cary: Jimi Henrix's "Castles Made of Sand."

Krista: Jill Scott's "Golden."

Simon: The Beatles' "And I Love Her" has always been my favorite song.

Campbell: Bruce Springsteen's "My Hometown." With rampant globalization, the song's more pertinent today than ever.

Lucas: Ryan Adams' "Wish You Were Here."

Ben: Green Day's "American Idiot."

Susan: Laura Nyro's "Save the Country." Lord, do we need a voice like Nyro now.

???: Aretha Franklin's "Young Gifted and Black." And that's a fact.

Vernon: "Praying for Time" haunted me in the first Gulf War and it's haunting me now. Very powerful song by George Michael.

Jimmy: Tough one. I'm going to go with Carly Simon's "Let the River Run" because it's such an inspiring song and a lot of fun to sing along with. "Let the river run, let all the dreamers wake the nation" is something I really believe in. It's our country, we've got to start taking it back.

Ryan: "Marat/Sade" by Judy Collins from her album In My Life because we've got three toddlers and they run around dancing whenever this song comes on. It's a great song but it probably comes to mind because the kids love it so much and are always asking for it.

Carol: Sly and the Family Stone's "If You Want Me To Stay."

Rob: Pink Floyd's The Wall is still amazing and I'll pick "Bring the Boys Back Home" because it's one I pay more attention to these days.

Megan: Barbra Streisand's "Down With Love"

Marci: Prince's "Cinnamon Girl"

[Marci picked "Cinnamon Girl" before, for our year-in-review which contains her comments on the song.]

Vincent: Ani DiFranco's "Both Hands." This song is so great it can't be screwed up. With just her and a guitar, it's moving and amazing and when she brings in a band like on Living In Clip it's still great. I could listen to this song over and over. And would if my girlfriend didn't always complain that I've played it six or seven times in a row. "I'm recording our history now on the bedroom wall and when we leave the landlord will paint over it all." The language and the images are just amazing and the melody's so beautiful.

Cedric: Eminem "Mosh."

[Cedric picked "Mosh" for our year-in-review and commented there on his choice.]

Cory: The Vines' "Sunchild" is f**king amazing. I love The Vines.

Ted: "Fire" is probably my favorite song. I love the Pointer Sisters version but Bruce [Springsteen] didn't do so bad when he sang his own song live.

Margo: Whenever I'm feeling low or down, I always put on "In My Life" by Judy Collins. People always talk about how powerful her version of "Amazing Grace" is but I think her masterpiece is her cover of "In My Life."

Lindsey: Van Hunt's "Dust in the Wind" establishes Hunt as one of our more important singers and songwriters and someone who can rise to the level of Stevie Wonder, John Lennon and Marvin Gaye.

Annie: I'm going with Billie Holiday's "Strange Fruit" because that song always gives me chills.

Dinah: Madonna's "Rain" has been my favorite song since the first time I heard it. I bought American Life to show my support and don't regret it but I hope she'll do a song like "Rain" again.

Gore Vidal is God: "Summer Wind" by Frank Sinatra. Sample the double disc The Very Best of Frank Sinatra.

Billie: Lenny Kravitz's "Let Love Rule."

Shawn: "Radio Baghdad" by Patti Smith.

[Shawn picked "Radio Baghdad for our year-in-review and comments on it can be found there.]

Janet: Sarah Vaughn's version of "Whatever Lola Wants."

Liz: Dashboard Confessional's "Screaming Infidelities" which is the ultimate snap shot of a break up and a damn good song.

Domingo: Kat's review of Wilco made me think of a group I used to listen to all the time -- the Cruzados. I'm going back in the day to the eighties and picking their "Bed of Lies." I used to blast that track on my Walkman every morning on the school bus.

Veronica: "Riders on the Storm" by the Doors.

Demetreka: Otis Blue is an amazing record and I was so happy when Rebecca noted it at her site [Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude]. I'd pick "I've Been Loving You Too Long" from this record as my all time favorite song.

Natalie: Green Day's "American Idiot."

Rick: Bob Dylan's "It Ain't Me Babe."

Alex: The Kinks' "Lola."

KeShawn: Lady Soul Aretha Franklin teaming up with Lauryn Hill for the incredible "A Rose Is Still a Rose."

Shirley: Sting's cover of [Jimi] Hendrix's "Little Wing" on Nothing Like the Sun is so beautiful that when I pick "They Dance Alone" over it that's really saying something. I'm trying to draw a comparison, not sneak by two favorites. "They Dance Alone" is just so hypnotic and powerful.

Marcia: I know just what you mean about needing time to slowly get into a new Ani DiFranco album. It's really hard for me because I have so many expectations so I have to mix it in with other CDs in my stereo so that it kind of sneaks up on me. It usually takes at least a month for me to get into a new album because I just have so many hopes for each one. It took me two and half months to get into Educated Guess and after I did, the title track became my favorite song.
I love that song from the first verse to the chorus to everything. The tempo really knocks me out. "looks like my crazy family is down one crazy daughter cuz i'm shipwrecked in a desert that once was underwater just looking for a swift turn of phrase some colors to fly as i float by in the parade." I'm going to quote the chorus too: "so school is in session get your chin off your desk now pick up your pencil and turn over your test use your education and take an educated guess about me."

Francisco: "Smooth" still amazes me. You've got Carlos Santana doing what only he can and Rob Thomas lays down an incredible vocal.

Amanda: The Counting Crows' "Round Here."

Syracuse: Long time community member. I'm picking "Share the End" by Carly Simon which was quoted in one of the first posts on The Common Ills. I hadn't listened to the Anticipation album for years until I saw the lyrics to that song on the site.

Kara: Green Day's "Boulevard of Broken Days." And thank Kat for highlighting that song in her review.

Brad: Dusty Springfield's "Breakfast in Bed."

Alabama: Dashboard Confessional's "Hands Down."

Bonita: Stevie Nicks has a ton of great songs and she's my favorite so I'll pick "Stand Back."
"No one looked, I walked by, just an invitation would have been just fine . . ."

Eli: Hard choice but I'll go with Odetta's "All the Pretty Little Horses."

Maria: I teach high school and hear and hear of some wonderful songs today that are new but never get on the radio. I'm tempted to choose one of them but I'm going to dig back and pick Jackson Browne's "Lives in the Balance" because I have always loved that song and because of the message. Most of all because in Reagan days, Browne was the only one I heard addressing how we were destroying Latin America. I'd say it's still timely today.

Elaine: I have a number of patients who have had breast cancer and Carly Simon's "Scar" is a song that provides hope and inspiration to many of them. I can't think of a more powerful reason to pick a favorite song so I'll go with "Scar."

Jerry: Blame it on Kat because I've never bought a Wilco album before but I'm going to pick "Handshake Drugs" which isn't easy because I could pick any track on the disc. Tell Kat thank you for bringing Wilco into my world.

Enrico: Los Lobos has a great album out and no one seems to have heard it. I play Ride for my friends and they're all knocked out so try to give it a chance. My favorite song is "Wicked Rain/Across 110th Street."

Tamara: "Another Night" by Aretha Franklin. I know she had bigger hits off Who's Zooming Who but I really felt this was her best and most powerful vocal. She really tore into this song and it stands with some of her finest work from the sixties and seventies.

Kate: "You're So Vain" by Carly Simon. Amazingly strong song. Films have probably rescued it and brought it to life for new generations. My favorite use of it in a film was Dick when it's playing as Tricky Dick Nixon is leaving the White House in disgrace and the gals [Kirsten Dunst and Michelle Williams] flip him off as his helicopter flies past. May we only be so lucky to see a movie called Bully Boy with a similar scene in a few years.

Miguel: Stevie Wonder's "Superstition" is a song no one's ever been able to top.

Natalie: Tracy Chapman's "Give Me One Reason."

Sunny: Jewel's "Hands" because it is such a powerful message and she delivers it so simply. It's just there for you to enjoy or ignore. I like her best when she's just being herself.

Micia: The Beatles' "All You Need Is Love." Easy to sing along with and powerful message. Great song.

Durham Gal: Can I gripe? Tina Turner's got a new best of out. I love Tina. But this one is a double disc of hits. She already has one hit collection since her comeback. I see it and pick it up because I'm hoping my favorite song's going to be on there. It's not. It never is. I'm seeing songs on this two disc hit collection that didn't chart as well as "One of the Living" which I know was top twenty. [According to Trouble Girls: The Rolling Stone Book of Women in Rock, edited by Barbara O'Dair, "One of the Living" reached number fifteen on the charts.] I loved that song and you can't find it on CD unless you buy Tina's four disc boxed set. I don't have that kind of money. So I just want to gripe, on the record, that we've got yet another best of from Tina and they still won't put "One of the Living" on the best of even though it's a double disc set covering 1984 to today and it was an actual, bonafide hit.

Charlie: Garbage is a great group and Shirley Manson has a powerful voice. "I'm Only Happy When It Rains" is my favorite song.

Patti: Total 80s queen here. I'm going to pick a song I doubt anyone will else think of and it's Corey Hart's "Never Surrender." I always loved that song.

Portland: Bright Eyes. I can't stop listening to Digital Ash in a Digital Urn and my favorite song is "Light Pollution."

Frank in Orlando: Chet Baker's "'S Wonderful."

Libby: Fiona Apple's "Fast as You Can."

Helen: Aretha Franklin's "Chain of Fools." Chain-chain-chain.

Xander: Rickie Lee Jones has a beautiful song called "Running From Mercy" that's my all time favorite song.

Deborah: Alanis Morissette's "Uninvited" is very powerful and it's like Led Zeppelin without the baggage.

Dallas: "We Can Be Together" by Jefferson Airplane is a stand out song. Killer line with " We are all outlaws in the eyes of America."

Lynda: Joni Mitchell's "River" is a song that no one can screw up because it's such a wonderful song. I've heard junior high kids sing it in an auditorium and it still sounds amazing. Of the recorded versions, I'd go with Heart's live version after Joni Mitchell's performance on Blue.

Dominick: U2 has finally surpassed "One" with an even better song: "Miracle Drug." It's off their new CD [How To Dismantle an Atomic Bomb] and it's already become an old favorite of mine.

Barry: Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams."

Lilly: Can I do a community member shout out? I want to thank Folding Star because I'd never heard of Joan Baez's version of Ryan Adams' "Christmas in Washington." I'm reading about it on A Winding Road and I scribble a note on the back of a bill to remind myself to pick up the Dark Chords [On a Big Guitar] CD to hear the song. (I think Ryan Adams is an amazing songwriter.) This is an amazing song no matter who sings it, but Baez really nailed it. So let me give props to Folding Star for bringing it to my attention.

Juan: Nirvana's "All Apologies."

Jessica: Ani DiFranco's "Oragami." "I am an all powerful amazon warrior not just some sniveling girl so no matter what I think I need you know I can't possibly have a need in this world." There are so many great songs being done today that never make it onto the radio and if anyone's looking for a great song from the last few years, I'd say start with this one.

Roberta: Minnie Ripperton's "Loving You." Hearing it on commercials is annoying to me because the song's so moving and I hate that it's being used to sell products. I also think that by using the 'hook' from the song, they're stripping it of its power. A wonderful song.

Julian: "Fly Away" by Lenny Kravitz. He's amazing.

Emily: Liz Phair still hasn't made an album better than Exile In Guyville but who has? Every song is a winner but picking one means going with "Divorce Song." "And it's true that I stole your lighter/ And it's also true that I lost the map/ But when you said that I wasn't worth talking to/ I had to take your word on that."

Doyle: Alanis Morissette's "So Unsexy."

Steph: I'm listening to the new albums from Bright Eyes too. And I'd pick "First Day of My Life" as my favorite song. It's on the acoustic album I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning. I love the vocal, the chord changes, the melody, the lyrics. "I don't know where I am I don't know where I've been but I know where I want to go." This song always makes me stop whatever I'm doing and just sit down and listen.

Professional Journalist: The Rolling Stones' "Wild Horses."

Erika: Talking Heads' "Burning Down the House."

Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude: The Temptations' "Ball of Confusion (That's What the World Is Today)."

Anthony: "True Love Travels on a Gravel Road" by the Afghan Whigs.

Wisconsin: The song by the Pretenders, "Sense of Purpose." "Everybody chokes when they see someone cut down in their prime."

[Note: Links are provided to Kat's Korner reviews when the person mentioned them in their comments. Links are also provided for the same reason to A Winding Star and Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude. Links are also provided for songs that community members named this go round but had discussed prior. That is not in place of new discussions. Had any new comments been made, they would have been included. In addition, I provided a link to a post Syracuse mentioned because, as Syracuse noted, it quoted from Carly Simon's "Share the End."
Steph starts off her comments mentioning that she's listening to Bright Eyes "too." That refers to a post last week where I replied to Susan's question about what I was listening to lately and mentioned the two albums that Bright Eyes had put out recently. I can't find the post and am willing to move on after spending X number of hours on this post. All comments and picks were quoted with permission.]
[Note this post has been corrected to put some album titles into italics -- thanks as always, Shirley -- and to bold the "D" in "Dominick."]