For many years I have been trying to decide on my 10 favorite songs of all time and to be honest, after countless random hours zoning out, I only have 3 or 4 that I can definitively include on my little list. To spur my mental progress, I am going to feature one of my favorite songs every month until all ten (or maybe 12) are listed for the nerdy world to see.
Think of this as my "arm is stuck under a boulder" compilation mix tape/CD/playlist. To know this list is to know me.
Colin's 10 favorite Songs of All-Time: January
If I Can Dream – Elvis Presley
When musing over my favorite songs of all time, I was surprised to notice that there was very little correlation between my favorite artists and my favorite songs. Common sense would seem to indicate the my list would be over run by familiar characters such as Cheap Trick, Bruce Springsteen, The Replacements, The Kinks, ECT.
While surely these are four of my all-time favorite groups/musicians, nothing in their catalog immediately jumped out at me for inclusion in this very exclusive club. (And don't call me surely BTW)
This begs the question: What are the criteria for my best loved songs? I would like to think that a great melody combined with great lyrics would be the highest priority, but really, there are hundreds, if not thousands of songs that meet this requirement. At the end of the day, a magical performance really seemed to be the definitive quality that could get a song on the list.
And when I say "performance", I am referring not just to the performance of the artist, but production, sounds, and overall vibe. Did the moment get captured perfectly? Is it the best that song could ever be recorded? If I didn't speak the language, would it still be pleasing to my ear? Did it capture a moment that cannot be captured again? Could I listen to it over and over if my arm were trapped under a boulder and my iPod was stuck on repeat?
"What has any of this got do to with Elvis?" you ask.
Just that while I really do love Elvis and appreciate his role in American history (not just pop music mind you), and I highly recommend the book Last Train To Memphis by Peter Guralnick to anybody who wants to know why they should love Elvis too, at first blush, I should hate this song. I mean seriously add it up: kinda hokey lyrics, fairly hokey backing track and performed for the first time on a made for T.V. special on N.B.C for Chris sakes. Sounds like a new Keisha single doesn't it?
But still, it moves me every time I hear it.
and if egghead likes his booky-wook, here's one from Amazon.