Love and Happiness--Al Green
I've been a fan of the good Reverend for decades. Old school, baby. I love it when he sings in this song, "Love is... wait a minute." I love the drums, I love the back up singers, I love the horns. Listen to the horns in the middle of the song after those back ups sing, "Love and Happiness." That's a moment right there.
A story he told me....He used to record in a bad part of town so they got winos to watch the door. Free wine goes a long way. They were having a hard time counting down this song until a wino casually suggested they use a wooden Coca Cola crate. When he said that, everything stopped, and the phrase 'Don't nobody move' comes to mind. The sound you hear on the recording before the organ kicks in? A heel on a wooden crate tapping one, two, three, four, five, that a wino suggested.
Go Your Own Way--Fleetwood Mac
I love me some Fleetwood Mac and this is one of my all time favorites. Written and sung by Lindsay Buckingham, it was the first single off of Rumours. The intro gets me every time. It would be a great intro by itself but an acoustic guitar part takes it to an even higher level. "Loving you isn't the right thing to do," are the first words you hear and that's not a bad way to start a song. The drums, the bass and his guitar solo. Great. I've driven way too fast to this song.
More than a Feeling--Boston
I've always said like what you like. I've always liked this. The intro fades in, already in flight, and it's sooo good. The vocals are ace and I always wait for the guitar sound. You know the one. During it lead guitarist Tom Scholz uses his pick to run down the strings to get to the refrain. I don't know quite how to explain it but listen, you'll hear. The ending is sublime. It's hard to imagine, but this was considered hard rock when it first came out. Also, I'm not alone in liking this song. The album it came from has sold over 17 million copies.
It could have sold one copy as far as I'm concerned, I'd still like it.
Next to Me (Kendrick Lamar remix)-- Emili Sande
I owe it all to my friend Mohsen who turned me on to her. She's from England, looks great, and sounds even better. From the beginning this song got in my head and I found myself singing it all day. Check out her live performance at the British version of The Grammys (The Brits 2013) on youtube. Run. It's that good. She does a medley of her song "Clown" with "Next to Me" and yes, that is Taylor Swift dancing to it in the audience. And the remix? Kendrick Lamar is a top notch performer himself (did you see him on SNL?) and his rap intro is just perfect. It leads right into her song. What could be better.
Trouble Boys--Dave Edmunds
This is rock-a-billy to the core. Dave was in Rockpile and way back when he did a song you may have heard of, "I Hear You Knocking" ("You went away and left me long time ago"). He recorded "From Small Things Mama (Big Things One Day Come)", written by none other than Bruce Springsteen. But enough history. There's so much I like about this song. I like how the piano comes in in the beginning. I like the lyrics. I like how the story in the song ends, and I just love the overall feel.
The Way You Look Tonight--Frank Sinatra
Full disclosure--Like most kids I grew up liking different sounds than those my parents liked. If they liked something, I made sure I went in the other direction. Frank Sinatra was theirs and for a long time I wouldn't go there. Then I got older and heard this and it was a gateway to a whole new world. I learned what it meant when they said a song swings. This song swings. His singing is wonderful and unique at the same time. When a lot of singers who come after you sound like you? You're The Guy. Listen how he sings the word 'Look' the first time. Listen how when he runs through the lyrics he sings them differently every time. While you're at it listen how the horns cut like knives. I'm surely not the first to say this, but Frank? A cool breeze. Emphasis on cool.
Doing It To Death--James Brown
We're gonna have a funky good time.
Latch-Disclosure (Featuring Sam Smith)
The first time I heard this it went like this. The electronic bed was great. The song was great. Sam Smith was glorious. I was coming home from the airport after picking up my daughter, Maya, and she said listen to this. Maya has great taste. I was blown away. I had never heard of him. Sam is so huge and recognizable now, but this was when no one knew him. This song got under my skin, got in my bones. Still does. If all you know is "Stay With Me" check this out.
I leave you with a question...What are some of your favorites?
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