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article by: Michael Canter

23 April 2014

Their Best Song Ever (From 200+ Artists)

Cool e-mail I got from an indie music community I thought I would share. As an exercise, we are supposed to list one song from the following bands that we feel is the band (or performer's) best song, whether you like the band or not. This is an exercise that is quite exhaustive. But you will rediscover a lot of music you haven't listened to in awhile should you partake. That alone makes it worth it. Be forewarned, this took me ten hours to complete. As I said, it is quite exhaustive.

The exercise is designed specifically to help one learn to appreciate good music while neglecting any stereotypes or pre-conceived notions. The list of artists spans seven decades and multi-genres. It is also important to note that you shouldn't pick your personal favorites, but rather, what you feel is the best song lyrically and/or musically by each specific performer.

Many artists cross a number of decades, so you are not limited to the decade in which the artist is placed. For instance, The Who is listed in the 1960s but you are free to select songs from any of their releases in any decade. You may choose "Baba O'Reilly" or "Eminence Front." BUT - you have to list one song (and only one song) for each artist represented on this list.

I thought I would share my answers with my friends. If you would like to play along, copy and paste as your status and change to note your favorite songs, not mine. And tag me so that I don't miss your picks.



1950s
+ Elvis Presley - Mystery Train
+ Chuck Berry - No Particular Place To Go
+ Dion (& The Belmonts) - Abraham, Martin & John
+ Jerry Lee Lewis - Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On
+ Buddy Holly - Crying, Waiting, Hoping
+ Carl Perkins - Matchbox

1960s
+ The Beatles - Abbey Road Medley: You Never Give Me Your Money/Sun King/Mean Mr. Mustard/Polythene Pam/She Came In Through The Bathroom Window/Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End
+ The Beach Boys - God Only Knows
+ Bob Dylan - Tangled Up In Blue
+ Dusty Springfield - Son Of A Preacher Man
+ Janis Joplin - Try (Just A Little Bit Harder)
+ The Who - Won't Get Fooled Again
+ The Rolling Stones - Gimme Shelter
+ Cream - White Room
+ The Temptations - Ball Of Confusion
+ The Four Tops - I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honeybunch)
+ The Mamas & The Papas - Words Of Love
+ Tom Jones - It's Not Unusual
+ The Monkees - Pleasant Valley Sunday
+ The Hollies - I Can't Let Go
+ Roy Orbison - In Dreams
+ Johnny Cash - Folsom Prison Blues
+ The Grateful Dead - Terrapin Station
+ The Byrds - I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better
+ Sam Cooke - Bring It On Home To Me
+ Smokey Robinson - Whole Lot Of Shakin' In My Heart
+ Diana Ross & The Supremes - The Happening
+ Delaney & Bonnie - We Can Love
+ The Doors - Love Her Madly
+ Jimi Hendrix - May This Be Love
+ The Moody Blues - The Night: Nights In White Satin
+ Otis Redding - My Lover's Prayer
+ Simon & Garfunkel - Mrs. Robinson

1970s
+ Santana - Samba Pa Ti
+ Led Zeppelin - When The Levee Breaks
+ Jethro Tull - Locomotive Breath
+ Paul McCartney - Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey
+ John Lennon - #9 Dream
+ George Harrison - What is Life
+ Bruce Springsteen - Jungleland
+ Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody
+ Elton John - Someone Saved My Life Tonight
+ Crosby Stills & Nash - Suite: Judy Blue Eyes
+ Joni Mitchell - Help Me
+ Lou Reed - Dirty Blvd.
+ Big Star - Thirteen
+ James Brown - Night Train
+ Carole King - Sweet Seasons
+ Waylon Jennings - Waymore's Blues
+ Willie Nelson - Angel Flying Too Close To The Ground
+ Chicago - Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?
+ The Band - The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down
+ The Guess Who - Undun
+ The Doobie Brothers - Long Train Runnin'
+ The Sex Pistols - Pretty Vacant
+ David Bowie - Young Americans
+ Allman Brothers - Dreams
+ Gram Parsons - She
+ Nick Drake - Pink Moon
+ Three Dog Night - Mama Told Me (Not To Come)
+ War - The World Is A Ghetto
+ Bob Marley & The Wailers - Roots, Rock, Reggae
+ The Bee Gees - You Should Be Dancing
+ Aerosmith - Sweet Emotion
+ Kiss - Detroit Rock City
+ Derek & The Dominoes - Bell Bottom Blues
+ Eric Clapton - The Core
+ Elvis Costello - Man Out Of Time
+ Blondie - Heart Of Glass
+ Grand Funk - We're An American Band
+ Heart - Crazy On You
+ Pink Floyd - Brain Damage/Eclipse
+ Yes - And You And I
+ Fleetwood Mac - Go Your Own Way
+ Lynyrd Skynyrd - Free Bird (Live version)
+ Stevie Wonder - Livin' For The City
+ Marvin Gaye - Trouble Man
+ Genesis (fronted by Peter Gabriel) - The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway
+ Little River Band - Lady
+ The Eagles - One Of These Nights
+ Van Morrison - T.B. Sheets
+ Rod Stewart - Mandolin Wind
+ Hall & Oates - She's Gone
+ Tom Petty - Breakdown
+ Joe Walsh - Walk Away
+ UFO - Doctor Doctor
+ Peter Frampton - Show Me The Way
+ Rick James - Little Runaway
+ Jackson 5 - The Love You
Save
+ Steely Dan - Dirty Work + Talking Heads - Once In A Lifetime
+ James Taylor - Fire & Rain
+ Nick Lowe - So It Goes
+ Tom Waits - Looking For The Heart Of Saturday Night
+ Neil Young - Old Man

1980s
+ Madonna - Like A Prayer
+ The Clash - Spanish Bombs
+ The Ramones - Blitzkrieg Bop
+ The Cars - Moving In Stereo/All Mixed Up
+ Men At Work - Overkill
+ The Smiths - I Started Something I Couldn't Finish
+ Morrissey - Suedehead
+ Erasure - Blue Savannah
+ Michael Jackson - Billie Jean
+ The Pretenders - Brass In Pocket
+ Journey - Too Late
+ Air Supply - Lost In Love
+ Billy Joel - Scenes From An Italian Restaurant
+ Bryan Adams - This Time
+ U2 - Where The Streets Have No Name
+ Stevie Ray Vaughan - Texas Flood
+ Huey Lewis & The News - Do You Believe In Love?
+ The Go Gos - Head Over Heels
+ The Police - Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic
+ Kool & The Gang - Misled
+ Van Halen (led by David Lee Roth) - Eruption/You Really Got Me
+ Eddie Money - Gimme Some Water
+ Billy Idol - Eyes Without A Face
+ Dire Straits - Tunnel Of Love
+ John Mellencamp - Paper In Fire
+ Prince - When Doves Cry
+ Motley Crue - Kickstart My Heart
+ The Replacements - Unsatisfied
+ Whitesnake - Love Hunter
+ Duran Duran - Ordinary World
+ Culture Club - Church Of The Poison Mind
+ Def Leppard - 'Foolin
+ Run-D.M.C. - Down With The King
+ Janet Jackson - When I Think Of You
+ Lionel Richie - Running With The Night
+ Cyndi Lauper - She Bop
+ Wham! - Everything She Wants
+ New Kids On The Block - Please Don't Go Girl
+ Genesis (fronted by Phil Collins) - Burning Rope
+ Phil Collins - In The Air Tonight
+ Peter Gabriel - Solsbury Hill
+ Bruce Hornsby & The Range - The Way It Is
+ Roxy Music - Love Is The Drug
+ XTC - Mayor Of Simpleton
+ Poison - Fallen Angel
+ New Order - Blue Monday
+ Depeche Mode - Precious
+ The Cure - Close To Me
+ The Pogues - Body Of An American
+ Bon Jovi - Lay Your Hands On Me
+ R.E.M. - Find The River
+ Sonic Youth - Schizophrenia
+ Motorhead - Ace Of Spades
+ Guns 'N' Roses - Paradise City

1990s
+ Pearl Jam - Corduroy
+ The Pixies - Debaser
+ Pavement - Cut Your Hair
+ Modest Mouse - Dramamine
+ Deftones - My Own Summer (Shove It)
+ Wilco - Jesus, etc.
+ Son Volt - Windfall
+ Cracker - I Need Better Friends
+ Public Enemy - FighT The Power
+ Nirvana - About A Girl
+ Tupac Shakur - Only God Can Judge Me
+ Van Halen (led by Sammy Hagar) - Cabo Wabo
+ Lenny Kravitz - Are You Gonna Go My Way
+ Jamiroquai - Soul Education
+ Stone Temple Pilots - Big Empty
+ Flaming Lips - She Don't Use Jelly
+ Usher - Yeah!
+ 'N Sync - Girlfriend
+ Backstreet Boys - Everybody [Backstreet's Back]
+ Barenaked Ladies - Break Your Heart
+ Notorious B.I.G. - Hypnotize
+ Michael Bolton - (Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay
+ George Michael - Father Figure
+ Mariah Carey - Vision Of Love
+ Red Hot Chili Peppers - Taste The Pain
+ Mary J. Blige - Real Love
+ Collective Soul - December
+ Melissa Etheridge - No Souvenirs
+ Soundgarden - Rusty Cage
+ Sheryl Crow - Coffee Shop
+ Snoop Dogg - Nothin' But A "G" Thang
+ Dr. Dre - The Next Episode
+ Beck - Loser
+ 10,000 Maniacs - Hey Jack Kerouac
+ Alanis Morissette - Uninvited
+ Smashing Pumpkins - Mayonaise
+ Whiskeytown - 16 Days
+ Jane's Addiction - Mountain Song
+ Dave Matthews Band - Don't Drink The Water
+ Radiohead - Fake Plastic Trees
+ Blues Traveler - Crystal Flame
+ Oasis - Don't Look Back In Anger
+ Counting Crows - A Murder Of One
+ The Wallflowers - Sleepwalker
+ Metallica - Master Of Puppets
+ My Morning Jacket - Heartbreakin' Man

2000s
+ White Stripes - Ball & Biscuit
+ Matchbox Twenty - Back 2 Good
+ Norah Jones - I've Got To See You Again
+ Heartless Bastards - Only For You
+ Widespread Panic - Christmas Katie
+ Jack Johnson - Flake
+ Weezer - The World Has Turned And Left Me Here
+ Green Day - Basket Case
+ The Shins - New Slang
+ Nelly - E.I.
+ Eminem - Stan
+ Phish - Stash
+ Nickelback - Too Bad
+ Jack White - Will There Be Enough Water?
+ Lucero - Smoke
+ John Mayer - Lenny/Man On The Side
+ No Doubt - Trapped In A Box
+ Justin Timberlake - My Love (Featuring T.I.)
+ The Killers - Somebody Told Me
+ Alicia Keys - Fallin'
+ Kanye West - Stronger
+ Death Cab For Cutie - I Will Possess Your Heart
+ Gorillaz - Dare
+ The Black Keys - You're The One
+ Coldplay - Clocks
+ Adele - Chasing Pavement
+ Katy Perry - I Kissed A Girl (Unplugged, live version)
+ Linkin Park - In The End
+ Lady Gaga - Bad Romance
+ Bruno Mars - Locked Out Of Heaven
+ Arcade Fire - Neighborhood #1 [Tunnels]