Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Top Ten Trans-Genre Coolest Songer EVER!
Ok, this is something that can be debated forever, and goodness knows I'm no music expert, but I wanted to put together a list of the top 10 songs that are so cool they transcend their genre. I was actually kind of suprised by the great artists I personally love that didn't make this list, but remember- a song doesn't just have to be great to make this list, it has to be great no matter what your tastes may lean towards. In reverse countdown order, here we go!
10-Jailhouse Rock-Elvis Presley. I'm not really an Elvis fan, but this one is so timeless it has to be here. Elvis in his prime, full of his sneering Memphis bravado that shocked a generation of parents and delighted their kids! The opening bars grab a hold of you and don't let go until you've danced with that wooden chair. Elvis rocks!
9-Mack the Knife-Bobby Darrin. Only the man who oozed more cocktail lounge charm than Sinatra could turn a song about a killer into into the swinginest anthem to murder ever crooned baby! A simple turn that builds to a magnificent crescendo-so good Bobby had to do it twice. Look out ol' Mackie's back!
8-These Boots Were Made for Walkin'-Nancy Sinatra. OK I know a lot of people will disagree with this one, especially due to the fact hat I didn't include any of her more talented dad's songs on this list! But look at it this way-here's a perfect boppin' little sixties sexual revolution anthem, dressed up in miniskirt and white latex boots, telling the guy who was "lyin' when he shoulda bin truthin" that he wasn't going to get away with it, and that's just fine by Nancy! Include a classic burn (what he knows you aint' had time to learn!!) and that's all she wrote. Ok boots...start walkin'
7- Like a Rollin' Stone-Bob Dylan. From one sixties revolution to another, but this time it's the terrible hangover after the party. Dylan wasn't much of a singer by most criteria, yet he created an anthem of disillusionment and regret that rocks, rather than whines and brings you down. How does it feel? Pretty good, Bob!
6- Crying-Roy Orbison. This is one of those songs that I thought was ridiculously corny when I was a kid, and can't get enough of now. Roy's voice is simply unmatched, and the rawness and honesty of his heartbreak just about knocks you off your feet. Nothing beats that climax at the end when his voice hits the stratosphere! (personal note, I thought the duet he did of Crying with k.d. lang could have been both his and her best work ever!)
5-A Hard Day's Night-The Beatles. From Lennon's first mysterious chord to Ringo's off the cuff slang of having a "Hard Day's Night", this one just drives-drives-drives then drives some more. If youthful exhuberance and sassiness can be distilled into a song, this would be the result. There's no way you can stand still with this one playing-put on your romeo boots and go!
4-Ring of Fire-Johnny Cash. Only the man in black and his incredible pipes makes what is esentially a love song into a trip to a Faustian underworld! The concept of "love is pain/pain is love" in an old one and usually handled with agonizing earnestness by lesser artists. Johnny not only pulls it off, but produces a toe-tapping great song that makes you believe this guy had been there and back again-and he had!
3-Midnight Hour-Wilson Pickett. Can one man define Soul in a single song? Maybe Wilson Pickett did with this power anthem to love and passion. Pickett's raspy promises of love that comes "tumblin' down" are backed by that incredible horn solo after the second verse. I defy anyone to not bop when that brass starts to testify!
2-Moondance-Van Morrison. Cool. Dreamy. Incredibly "sexy" in a way that overused word truly deserves. Moondance quite simply creates a mood and feel that is as much colour as it is sound. They say that some people have such heightened senses that they can literally "taste colour" or "smell sound". Moondace does that. Fantabulous!
And my number 1 trans-genre song:
Fever-Peggy Lee. What can you say about a song that is deceptively simple (just Peggy's smokey voice, a bass, a drum and lots of snapping fingers) and yet perfectly evokes the universal "fever" of desire that we have all felt. And this isn't just some tawdry plea to grunt and sweat in a broom closet somewhere (Brittany???), it's a sultry journey through a noble lineage of desire through the ages, culimating with the amazing Peggy Lee. Where Moondance is cool restful azure, Fever is boiling crimson and enjoys it. Peggy Lee. Fever. Just none better.