I have too much to say for my post Open post and need more time. Thank you.
By the time 24 hours has passed from the moment you read this I want you to write down your 5 most absolute favorite songs of all time, at this time in history, in your opinion only. There are no requirements other than the requirements/standards I list below, which are quite ambiguous. The list should be only 5 songs long unless you want it to be longer then it can, and it can be your favorite songs or what you think are the best songs, but they kind of go together so to hell with descriptives.
I have always loved these kinds of lists. I used to religiously peruse the Rolling Stone “Top Unlistable Thing of All Time” while sitting in the waiting chairs at my local barber shop. I always wondered who had the final say in those lists, like who decided that “While My Guitar Gently Weaps” by The Beatles is the absolute greatest song of all time? The standards for these lists are always ridiculously under reported, as in they didn’t exist. I still remember how angry I was when I was in 5th grade and the Guitar World “Top 100 Hard Rock Songs of All Time” didn’t have a single Metallica song in the top 5. How the f**k does that happen? THE LACK OF OR EXISTENCE OF VERY ARBITRARY/RELAXED STANDARDS, THAT’S HOW!
For the sake of our lists there will be a few very ambiguous and not helpful at all standards.
Top 5 (or more) Best/Favorite Songs Ever Standards
1) LISTENING DESIRE AND DEDICATION: If this song was on the radio you would not change the station or otherwise stop listening. This does have limits though, like Tom Brady announces his retirement, or his breakfast choice for that morning. But during the course of a normal day, if one of the songs on your list comes on the radio you wouldn’t think of not hearing it play through and would loudly ridicule anyone who interrupted your enjoyment of this song.
2) NO POPULARITY STANDARD: It doesn’t matter if this song has never been heard before by anyone other than you…aka you wrote it for your “still budding though there is yet to have Miracle-Gro added to the pot” music career. The 5 or so songs on the list can have no relation, so Britney Spears and the Rolling Stones are fine for #1 and #2 performers (you can deal with the shame of who is above whom). Old, new, pop, reggae, rap, disco, whatever. These are YOUR favorite/best songs.
3) Limit to 5 or 10, whatever has to happen : Like how I chose my wedding party, you can’t cut someone off just because you are only supposed to have a certain amount. Nope, not me. I’ll just have 12 Groomsmen and 3 Best Men, because I have THAT many best friends. Or I am bad at saying no or hurting feelings. But The Stooges won’t know you left them out, or added them at the last moment before you showed literally no one and didn’t even save the list. There’s nobody judging this list just like there is no person glaring and shaking their judgmental head from afar at a concert of a band your wore the shirt of.
Sidenote. The rule that you can’t wear a shirt of the band you are going to see in concert is literally, without question, the dumbest unspoken rule ever. I got ridiculed by my brother’s friend for wearing my fresh new 311 shirt to my first every concert that happened to be with my Mom. I was going with my Mom because I was in 7th grade and my parents were very concerned about the stoner music I was listening to and worried about what all the kids were doing these days. I will forever remember the one time when I went to go to the bathroom she told me I better not have bloodshot eyes when I get back. Little did she know that she at that moment taught a 7th grader one of the ways she tries to detect someone having smoked weed and being high. Had no clue before then that it made your eyes bloodshot. I bought so much Visine for my friends in the years since…
I don’t even remember what that standard was so let’s just move on to MY LIST!!! (I really wrote this post just because I wanted to make this list for so long and have a reason to try and seem cool about all the music I like).
Landos Best/Favorite Songs Ever List
– No particular order so all are considered equal standing.
1) “Santa Monica” – Everclear
– This song elicits so many emotions in me every time it comes on, and these emotions have changed over the years. Used to be happiness and freedom and would often be put on while driving to the Cape to move there for the summer. Nostalgia usually mixed in since it came out when I was in 7th grade. Nowadays its more anxiety and borderline mental break because of the aforementioned emotions and memories mixed with now being 32 years old. By the end of the song these days I’m usually crying and asking Sarah why we have to die if God is real?!
2) “Soul to Squeeze” – Red Hot Chili Peppers
– The journey for this song to end up in my daily playables is decades long. It originally was only on the Coneheads movie soundtrack so I could only hear it when it was played on MTV since the video was popular but the song itself wasn’t played much. I loved it so hard but had no way of hearing it on command since back then your options to listen to it yourself was either own the tape or CD, or happen to catch it when played on the radio when recording with your blank Maxells. Loved making mix tapes back in the day…always had the same Metallica songs on it in the end just different order each time.
So this song was like my unicorn for most of my life until the magical day when a T1 modem line, Kazaa, and learning how to burn a CD from a computer came together my freshman year in high school and suddenly that magical guitar intro and literal gibberish in the last verse were mine, all mine.
3) “The Ocean” – Neil Young
– Im sure many people making this list have similar memory/nostalgia associations driving much of their choices. This is another Cape Cod summer memory conjuring jam that has since evolved into my ‘Peter Pan/I Won’t Grow Up’ mental breakdown song that if driving leads to breakneck speeds and tears clouding my vision and a bottle of whiskey and tears on the couch. Safety hazard, box checked yes.
4) “Houdini” – Foster the People
– This is new to the list since I didn’t know it existed until Sarah and I were sitting at a harbor side bar called Fish ‘N Lime Inn that if it wasn’t located on the water in Soper’s Hole, Tortola, it would have been burned to the ground from protestors rioting over how miserably awful of a bar it was. It’s one shining moment came from the bartender while I sat drinking my $18 tourist trap cocktail and munching my
cheeseburger fish flavored beef patty and he tossed some tunes on. The guy, who was about my age, living the “running from nothing but my rich, loving family in upper class suburbia” stereotype, and was very, very high and very, very not good at his job, put on the FTP album this song rests on and the rest is history. As in I demanded he play it on repeat. He did.
He still got no tip and we never returned in the next 10 days.
5) “Would” – Alice in Chains
Spent a solid 6 months thinking they were named Alice in China because the first time I saw the video I couldn’t read the name clearly as I had terrible eye sight all the way back then. My grandmother stood slack jawed watching the video/me simultaneously trying to take in her 8 year old grandson watching MTV Rock Show. I still remember her bickering with my Dad that night about how he shouldn’t let me watch it. My Dad then let my Mom have it, and my Mom promptly did nothing about it other than encourage me to watch again the next day.
6) “Down on the Corner”, “Bad Moon Rising”, “Heard it Through the Grapevine”, “Lookin’ Out My Back Door”, “Fortunate Son”, and most of the Creedence Clearwater Revival Chronicles albums.
I have issues with aging so much of my favorite anythings are nostalgia driven. If anyone knows where the tree/spring from Tuck Everlasting is please tell me. I’ll marry you and we can be ok.
7) “Shots” – Lil’Jon… I think.
If this comes on the radio I will never, ever change it. I will always request it at any of your weddings, every bar I go to, and force my friends to dance/tear the place to pieces. We got a DJ to play it 9 times at a bar on Bourbon Street during my bachelor party. Everyone hated us including ourselves later that night when we were alone in our beds.
8) “Born to Run” – Bruce Springstein
This has always felt like a celebration song to me. When our team qualified for the Games in 2011 I played it on repeat while sitting in the most awful gridlock traffic up 95 on Memorial Day Weekend and barely noticed it took 2 hours to go from Canton to Boston. I was living the crowning achievement of my young and slightly pathetic athletic life right then and was able to live what I always considered my celebration song.
Sidenote I don’t think I can name another Bruce song.
9) “The Ballad of Johnny Butt”, “Seed”, “Badfish”, “Santeria”, “Jailhouse”, “Same in the End” – Sublime
Yeah I don’t do well with short lists or short anything having to do with words. The Sublime album changed my life many times spanning decades. The first copy of it I owned I stole from a Sam Goody in Washington DC on my 8th grade field trip because I was trying to impress a chic. It worked. Then her friend told the chaperone. Supposedly I was in trouble but he seemed to forget when we went home.
10) “1979” – Smashing Pumpkins
When I ran my first marathon I did so on a complete whim. I worked at a gym at Harvard in the first year I coached baseball there and the idea came to me when sitting trying to pass time managing a gym nobody knew existed. Decided marathon was a good idea, decided I should start running outside, decided to do so when I got home that day. Hours later, walk outside in Charlestown, start running, hit my iPod to start, “1979” comes on. There couldn’t have been a better song at the given moment in time that this song. I think if I imagine that song playing during that first run I’ll start sweating and get short of breath just sitting on my couch, it connected with me that much.
The Smashing Pumpkins were my first obsessively favorite band that was my own. Before that I just did whatever my brother did music wise. I was that kid who told his 4th grade teacher his favorite bands were Megadeth and Metallica, getting me a note home to Mom which got me a lecturing about how Mrs. Howard should mind her own business. I still don’t really understand what that lecture was about or why I was on the receiving end.
Then 7th grade I decided to become obsessed with 311 and the Smashing Pumpkins until the latter’s touring drummer died from a heroin overdose crushing my child like view of the world and right/wrong. Heroin still isn’t cool but back then it might as well have been a terrorist releasing anthrax directly into my Mom’s morning coffee. It scarred me, cut me real deep.
11) “Aenima” – Tool
I was scared of Tool for most of my life. I thought people who liked Tool or Nine Inch Nails hated their parents and pretended to cut their wrists at night by wearing bandaids to school on random days. I did love and listen to Marilyn Manson, however, which really scared my Mom for a while. She was one of those parents calling my friends’ Moms and telling them about this Marilyn Manson guy. Then I realized that Tool musically is unbelievable, and Maynard James Keenan is a successful winemaker now too, which is random and cool.
Anyways, this song was on the radio every second of every minute when I was a Freshman in high school. I hated it at the time yet would listen to all 6+ minutes of it every time it was on. This lead me to realize I loved the song and the band, but didn’t let anyone know for years…until now really.
What does your list look like? I’ll take emails, posts on FB, printed and taped up in the hallway, whatever!! Try to keep it to 10 or less like I did.