Greetings Manic Fans. Les here today to talk a little bit about New York, New York-the city so nice, they named it twice. While Iâ€™ve never lived in the â€œBig Apple,â€ Iâ€™ve visited it several times, and itâ€™s an incredible city, my friends. Thereâ€™s a lot to see and do and youâ€™d be hard pressed to experience all it has to offer you in a week, let alone a whole year. Being the utterly fascinating place it is, itâ€™s no wonder that many songs have been written about it. Today, I want to list my top 12 favorite New York, New York songs.
Why 12? Because I like to go one step beyond one step beyond.
Warning: You might end up spending a bit of money downloading these songs…
#12 â€œAn Englishman in New Yorkâ€-Sting
Why is this song at #12? Mostly because the song is barely about New York, itself. Itâ€™s mentioned in the first verse and in every chorus, but primarily, itâ€™s about an outsider speaking his mind about being a man. Why is it on the list, then? Simple: I LOVE THIS SONG! Also, it was used in the Doctor Who episode: â€œThe Angels Take Manhattan.â€ For me, THAT COUNTS!
#11 â€œRhinestone Cowboyâ€-Glen Campbell
You might not think of this song right away when thinking of New York songs, but Glen captured in song an intriguing guy whoâ€™s a cowboy in a star spangled rodeo stage show on Broadway. The song describes his feelings of displacement and depression along with excitement at being a star getting cards and letters from strangers and offers coming over the phone.
#10 â€œOn Broadwayâ€-George Benson
While the Drifters did this song first, George made the song his own when he covered it. Using smart guitar riffs and his phenomenal scat, he sings a song about a newcomer with dreams of Broadway stardom and his determination to succeed.
#9 â€œNew York Minuteâ€-Don Henley
http://youtube.com/watch?v=YWNsXwbtizQÂ (shaky amateur video, but the sound is good)
A great song about how everything can change in a moments notice centers in the city that never sleeps
#8 â€œEmpire State of Mind Part IIâ€-Alicia Keys
Even though most of the music coming out right now is uninspiring and forgettable, I gotta give props to this song as one of the great exceptions that proves the rule. The imagery is great and the chorus is one of the tastiest earworms Iâ€™ve heard in a long time.
#7 â€œEmpire State of Mind(Feat Alicia Keys)â€-Jay-Z
And, while I usually despise rap stars who blatantly steal music cutsÂ from other artists(Itâ€™s just really lazy songwriting/recording….), in this case, Jay-Z took a great song and actually did something new with it. With a fatter drumbeat and some very tasty piano chords to liven up the verses, the song feels more urban-like with a sound that captures the richness and rhythm of the thriving city.
#6 â€œNew York State of Mindâ€-Billy Joel
Billy Joel cemented his position as a prominent favorite son of New York with this song. Bluesy and Jazzy, with Joelâ€™s soulful delivery, the song tells about a man whoâ€™s been all around the world, but his heart lies in his hometown.
#5 â€œBrooklyn Roadsâ€-Neil Diamond
Like Billy Joelâ€™s New York State of Mind, Neil Diamond sings a song about a native New Yorker dreaming about his hometown. In this case, however, heâ€™s remembering what it was like growing up as a child in the city and daydreaming as he looked out his window on those Brooklyn Roads.
#4 â€œNYCâ€-Annie-Victor Garber/Audra McDonald /Alicia Morton /Andrea McArdle
I love this number for the great way it describes the town from a lifetime resident to one whoâ€™s never seen it and the hopes of anyone who ever dreamed of making it big on Broadway. Itâ€™s excitingly fast paced and happy in its mood.
#3 â€œWhy Should I Worry?â€-Oliver & Company-Billy Joel
â€œOne minute Iâ€™m in Central Park….Then Iâ€™m down on Delancy Street….â€ This song kicks all kinds of ass, my friends. It tells about a streetwise New York character whoâ€™s dead broke but doesnâ€™t care because heâ€™s got â€œstreet savoir faire.â€ In his mind, heâ€™s the king of the town, and the funk verses are just so cool youâ€™ll tap your toe when itâ€™s going and then stomp your feet when the chorus goes into double time.
#2 â€œNew York, New York(Itâ€™s a helluva town)â€-On The Town-Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra and Jules Munshein
Hereâ€™s a great piece about 3 Naval men with only 24 hours to spend on a New York Shore Leave. It captures the wonder of discovering the sights and the experience of a lifetime for the swabbies. Itâ€™s also a great snapshot of an era in American history.
And my #1 favorite New York, New York song is….
#1 Theme from New York, New York-New York, New York-Frank Sinatra/Liza Minelli
http://youtube.com/watch?v=OCah9Sblmu8Â Frank Sinatra
http://youtube.com/watch?v=KLeC9RvrKrUÂ Liza Minelli
Câ€™mon! Thereâ€™s no other possible #1 for this list. It will always be in the top 5 most requested songs in any piano bar in the world, and for a simple reason: Itâ€™s one of the best songs ever written. Itâ€™s full of meaning. Itâ€™s easy to learn, and itâ€™s easy to sing along too. You can never hear the final chorus without envisioning a grand show in Radio City Music Hall with a huge line of Rockettes doing high kicks in time.
And so, thatâ€™s my top 12 favorite songs about New York, New York. Did I miss any of your favorites? Iâ€™d love to hear what New York songs you loved, my friends. Peace.