Greetings Manic Fans. Les here to take some inspiration from James’ latest blogs where he listed his top 25 favorite songs. I applaud his efforts, as I could never narrow my favorite songs to 25…or 100 for that matter LOL! I love too many different songs to select so few favorites. What I’m going to do, instead, is offer my top 200 songs I feel achieved something amazing through song content, performance or musical arrangement/recording. These are the songs that mesmerize and make you go WHOA!….they then make you want to listen to them over and over. And so, here’s my top 200 great songs for content, performance or musical arrangement/recording. And, this will not be ranked as my favorite song changes on a minute to minute basis LOL! The numbers are simply to keep track on the count to 200.

 

1. Bridge over Troubled Water(Simon and Garfunkel)

While I agree with James that “Mrs. Robinson” is an outstanding song, “Bridge over Troubled Water” is a far superior song from an arrangement and recording standpoint. It’s content is interpretable many different ways as to what it’s actually about. For some, it’s about that one friend who will help you through your darkest moments in life as a bridge over troubled waters. In actuality…it’s about a drug dealer making a sale to a customer giving him the “silver girl”(60‘s Street slang for Heroin, just so you know…). However, like all great songs, it can mean what you hear it to mean, and that elevates the tune for being significant on so many different levels.

2. Thriller(Michael Jackson)

While the video gets a lot of credit for being a landmark of creativity in music videos, the song, itself, is outstanding on its own merits. First of all, the instrumentation and that amazing drumbeat…wow…it wakes you up and makes you want to dance. It’s got a pulse that thrums and drives. Having legendary horror actor Vincent Price do a rap at the end of the song was another brilliant move.

 

3. Old Time Rock and Roll(Bob Seger)

“JUST TAKE THOSE OLD RECORDS OFF THE SHELF……” Bob Seger put his soul into this song and probably gave away 10 years of his singing career to hit those notes at that intensity..but achieved immortality for his efforts. This song kicks absolute ass with guitar and saxophone solos that set new standards for jamming.

 

4. Where the streets have no name(U2)

An outstanding intro punctuated by that marvelous guitar lick with the digital delay effect by The Edge and the driving drumbeat by Larry Mullen jr. elevates this song to the next level of awesome.

 

5. Hallelujah(Leonard Cohen)

With respect to James, Rufus Wainright’s version is a great one, but Leonard has more soul in his voice when HE sings this song(but that’s just me, right?). I also really love when the girls’ voices join his on the choruses. It gives them a gospel quality that accents the “hallelujah” qualities of this exceptional song. I mean, honestly….could you see Nite Owl and Silk Spectre “doing it” to Rufus’ version?…I rest my case 😉

 

6.  Don’t Cry(Seal)

 

I’ll be honest…it’s hard to pick a song by Seal..they’re all incredible. I almost went with “Kiss from a Rose” first, but went with this song, instead for the wonderful break near the end where the voices start the last chorus alone as the band drops out and then explodes back in.

 

7. Time(Pink Floyd)

I could pick any song from the albums “The Wall,” “Wish you were here” or “Dark Side of the Moon.” I went with this one as the best first example of the awesome that is Pink Floyd. Words are insufficient to describe just how phenomenal this song is…just listen to it, my friends.

 

8. Non, Je ne Regrette Rien(Edith Piaf)

Some of you will recognize this song as the “Kick” used to bring people out of dreams in “Inception.” Well…there’s an amazing song beyond just the horns intro, and it’s spectacular. Edith Piaf delivers amazing power and depth of feeling in all her songs, but this one really showcases her talent well.

 

9. Suite No. 1 for flute and Jazz piano(Claude Bolling)

2 parts classical, 2 parts jazz and catchy as hell, this song is an impressive display of creative talent and virtuosity of piano playing and flute skills.

 

10. Fast Car(Tracy Chapman)

God, I wish I’d written this song! Tracy paints a picture of determination and dream seeking amidst despair and hopelessness to a simple guitar lick that is lightly accompanied by drums and bass that kick in harder for the choruses. You find yourself rooting for the girl in the song who’s life dealt her a lousy hand and her efforts to make a better life.

 

And that’s the first 10 of my top 200 great songs for content, performance and arrangement/recording. Stay tuned for the next 10 on the way to 200, my friends. Peace.

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