10. Neil Young – Harvest Moon
A beautiful song, with specific recollections of a romance that burned brightly, then ended.
9. Crying- Roy Orbison And k.d lang.
As good as Roy’s original is, this one is better. It’s the harmonica. And when lang gets to sing, by herself, the chorus, it is stunning.
Feeling: there’s something in my eye.
8. Biko – Peter Gabriel.
The story of the slain South African is penetrating, but the vocals, the rhythm, and that ending!
Feeling: ticked off.
7. John Hiatt – Have a Little Faith in Me
How does this rate so high? It’s just a guy on the piano. Well, it’s the quality of both. Hiatt remade this song with more orchestration for a greatest hits album; it was not improved, and in fact was somehow diminished. Not so incidentally, a key song on a mixed tape I made for my now-wife.
6. When Love Comes To Town – U2/B.B. King.
From the opening drumming to King’s guitar lines, to King’s and Bono’s vocals, I almost always platy this song twice.
Feeling: struggling with the power.
chops off 1st notes and then too soon.
5. Billy Joel-Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel)
As beautiful as it is, the piano on the bridge just lifts it higher. I heard an a cappella version of this, which was lovely.
4. Roberta Flack – Gone Away.
I was watching the Grammys in the last couple years and discovered someone has sampled this. This song, part of the group of songs I used to play when love went south, really builds after the 1:30 mark, with instruments (a painful guitar line, and is that a tuba?) plus mournful vocals that feature the late Donny Hathaway.
3. I Only Have Eyes For You – the Flamingoes.
I hear those first three or four chords and I am always surprised how it leads to such a lush tune. My first favorite song, probably for 30 years.
2. Let’s Go Crazy – Prince.
Unfortunate that the video overlays the preach part with the musical beginning, for it’s both elements that I love. The danceability, plus my favorite guitar solo possibly ever. I have a 7-minute version that’s even more fun.
Feeling: let’s get nuts!
Anyone want to venture a guess as to #1?
(Confidential to T&C, who started before I did, but somehow will finish after: it’s from my top 10 with which one or more of your Top 40 will converge, I’m guessing.)