A friend alerted me to the upcoming 25th Anniversary Issue of American Songwriter, in which they'll have a section on the best 25 songs of the last 25 years. They've apparently been conducting reader polls, contests, etc., to get everyone's feedback on what those 25 songs should be.
By now you all of you know I'm a sucker for this kind of stuff. Hell, I spent an entire summer counting down my top 100 albums of all time, and every music meme that comes my way gets an inordinate amount of attention (while I systematically ignore all the tumultuous personal stuff that's going on in our lives...but more on that another time). So as you can imagine this got me thinking...
It's a tough list. It can only include songs that came out after 1984. All the heavy hitters (Beatles, Dylan, Zeppelin, Stones, etc.) are effectively disqualified. Most of the best punk and new wave albums wouldn't count either. A huge number of the go-to songs you'd immediately think of as among the greatest don't cut it.
Let me put things in perspective for you. Michael Jackson's Thriller came out at the end of 1982. So did Duran Duran's Rio. Pyromania was in 1983, the same year the The Police broke up. None are eligible. Feel old now?
So I'm starting a meme. I'm going to publish my top 25 songs of the last 25 years, and I want you guys to do the same on your blogs (and link back to here so I know you've done it!) Let's see what a bunch of old farts like us come back with.
So to kick things off, I'm offering up #25-16 on my list, in no particular order. Next will be #15-6, and I'll end with my top 5 next week. I'm imposing a rule on myself which limits one song per artist (otherwise Appetite for Destruction would take up half the list). It's a personal list (i.e. my favorites) but factors such as success, influence, state of the world at the time, and overall song quality are all part of it. I personally can't wait to see all of yours.
Here we go...the first ten...
Robyn Hitchcock - Balloon Man
Hoodoo Gurus - Bittersweet
Young MC - Bust a Move
Garth Brooks - Friends in Low Places
MARRS - Pump Up the Volume
U2 - I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
Gorillaz - Feel Good Inc.
INXS - Need You Tonight
Blind Melon - No Rain
Deee-Lite - Groove is in the Heart
What do you think so far? Are any of these on your lists? And don't get all up in my grill about omitted songs until I get through the next 15...stay tuned...