Category Archives: Best Song Ever

Music to Be Bipolar By

It’s been quite the weekend for me. My brain chemistry had a bit of an explosion, first slamming me into the worst depression/anxiety mix I’ve had in years, then overcompensating by tossing me into heavy manic mode. As mental discombobulations go, this was one rough ride. I got through it in part, as I often do, with the help of some favorite songs. Consider this a virtual mix tape of some of the tunes, both high and low, that rambled through my brain in the past few days. Happy songs, sad songs, and, for the advanced manic-depressive, happy songs that sound sad and sad songs that sound happy. As lame excuses to just post a bunch of videos go, this one’s not too shabby. Enjoy. Continue reading

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Best Song Ever: “7th of November”

Casey Scott’s Creep City is hands down the best album nobody heard in the 90s. The singer/songwriter/poet/artist and her backing band, the Creeps, cranked out a masterpiece blend of rock, spoken word, and itchy, twitchy angst. It’s tempting to call the album raw – it has a rough vibe, as if recorded on the fly in quick, angry bursts – but the band is airtight, working out some challenging rhythms and inventive sounds, their expert craftsmanship betraying the garage atmosphere.

Creep City Continue reading

Best Song Ever: “When I’m with You” and “More Than Words Can Say”

My entire high school career, from fall 1987 to spring 1991, aligned perfectly with the Golden Age of the Power Ballad. It was a strange point in pop music – the decade’s burst of new wave was fading just as my middle school years did, while the rise of grunge wouldn’t occur until I landed in college. There, squarely in the middle, were four full years of hair metal and its glorious, down-tempo offshoot.

Sheriff Continue reading

Best Song Ever: Superman

With their fourth studio LP, Lifes Rich Pageant, R.E.M. established themselves as a major artistic force capable of delivering somber, intelligent pieces like “Fall on Me” and “Swan Swan H” and full-on high energy alt-rock with “Just a Touch” and “I Believe.” The album is playful yet heady, a celebration of a wide array of Southern sounds that ranks among their finest career work.

Lifes Rich Pageant Continue reading

Best Song Ever: Crying

I was thirteen years old when I first heard Roy Orbison’s “Crying.” It was the highlight of the soundtrack album for the Jon Cryer comedy Hiding Out, with Orbison dueting with then-newcomer k.d. lang, and it floored me.

Hiding Out Continue reading

Best Song Ever: Goodnight, My Someone

It doesn’t matter if “Goodnight, My Someone” doesn’t fit anywhere in Meredith Willson’s The Music Man. When you’ve got a knockout of a love song like this, you make it fit. Continue reading

Best Song Ever: What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?

I read once, long ago, that songwriter Frank Loesser didn’t intend for “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve” to be a holiday song – instead, its narrator was asking the jackpot question way in advance, in the summer, perhaps, or maybe even the spring. Continue reading

Best Song Ever: Suddenly, Seymour

With Halloween around the corner, attention turns once again toward Little Shop of Horrors. Not the Roger Corman original, which has admirers whom I don’t understand, but the Broadway update and, more importantly, the 1986 film adaptation. Continue reading

Best Song Ever: Dance Hall Days

I spent all week telling myself I wasn’t going to write about “Dance Hall Days,” since I had just covered a different haunted-melody 1984 hit and didn’t want to repeat myself. But the song stuck with me, those opening chords and that shuffling beat kept popping up in my head as if to say C’mon, Dave. You can’t deny it any longer. This is the Best Song Ever.

Points on the Curve Continue reading

Best Song Ever: I Can Dream About You

OK, follow this train: Dan Hartman wrote “I Can Dream About You” for Hall & Oates, who turned it down, leaving Hartman to record the song himself, turning it into the title track from his 1984 album. Meanwhile, Walter Hill picked the tune to include in his self-described “rock and roll fable” Streets of Fire, where we saw actor Stoney Jackson lip-syncing to a dub not by Hartman, but by Winston Ford. The movie was a bomb but the soundtrack was a smash; curiously, Ford’s version of the song was replaced on the disc by Hartman’s recording, which then became a top ten hit. Meanwhile, the video featured clips from the film, but with Hartman’s performance, not Ford’s, being heard. Oh, and Hall & Oates finally got around to recording a cover of it, twenty years later. Simple enough, right?

Streets of Fire Continue reading