Here it goes:
1. Atlantic City- Bruce Springsteen
Nebraska is a heartbreaking record. I re-visited it in the fall of last year for the first time in a long time and was going through some serious shit at that point. Yet, this song doesn't have meaning at all from that exact moment of last year. I think this song was introduced to me by one of my best friend's, C., who had something in common with me. We both had dead dads from a young age and the line, "Everything dies, baby, that's a fact. But, maybe everything that dies some day comes back," had such resonance with me. It literally brought my dead pops back to me at the age of 19.
2. Straight to Hell- The Clash
I don't really know how to explain this one. The first time I heard this song it simply electrified me. I've been living in NYC for 11 years now and the parts about The Lower East Side affect me in such a way because I still can remember when it was fucked up, when you really didn't want to go to Avenue D due to fear of getting fucked up and mugged. Yet, you would to score some stuff and be glad to get out of there. Then, after living in Japan for a year, the Asian aspect of it even meant more to me, though I am sure the song was talking about an entirely different region and aspect of Asia. But, man those raw drums, the synth and the opening of the song.......
3. Ziggy Stardust - David Bowie
This song is just one that sounds so different from others. It used to be my ringtone on my old phone and will be as soon as I can figure out how to do that on my new G1. Just love it. Moreso, it is a fable of failure and self-consumption, which I feel like all of us fall into at times. People see that. It is about being good at something, but loving that you are good at something too much and knowing it. You can never be that "good" at anything.
4. Cortez the Killer- Neil Young & Crazy Horse
I saw Neil Young last December at MSG and nearly shit myself. The last time I saw him was in high school. He played an acoustic set. So, in a way I still haven't really seen Neil Young yet because I haven't seen him with Crazy Horse. Yet, he played this song and it was one that I forgot how much I loved. Sitting next to me was a couple, a gorgeous one at that. The boy was 18 or 19, studying music at Juliard and his lady friend was so into his explanations of Neil Young songs. I drifted all the way back to high school, remembered the Honda Prelude, the make out sessions in that car. I remembered straight up youth. That is why I loved this song. It carries so many good memories. Moreso, it is such a kickass long song. The guitar work in it is nuts as well as the consistent/sloppy (but meant to be) drumming by Ralph Molina still put me into a dreamy trance.
5. Summer Babe- Pavement
1992 was a summer I will never fully forget. It was a summer I actually spent most of in Pittsburgh, PA. For years before that fateful summer, I spent my summers in Worton, MD at Echo Hill, my childhood haunt and summer camp. I felt like my personality developed the most there. It made me. So, in 1992, I was not asked back as a counselor. That was the summer before my senior year. Then I discovered Pavement. Holy Shit! Slanted and Enchanted opened with this song and it was perfect. It is a sarcastic song about what exactly I don't know, but it mentions lyrics from a Vanilla Ice song, it is about drinking, it is about loving someone who doesn't love you back. It is bitter. It was summer of 92'.
6. Wish You Were Here - Pink Floyd
This is another one of those ones I don't really know how to explain how or why it means so much to me. When I was young, it took me a long time to get into this band with the exception of The Wall. Then it hit you, or maybe the drugs hit me. Nonetheless, this album is a pretty good one for late Floyd. These days, I really like their early stuff with Barrett, but man, this one song is definitely in its place. FL has it on her list as well and she had said that she wouldn't mind this song playing at her funeral. I couldn't agree with her more.
7. Purple Rain- Prince
I will never forget hearing Prince's Let's Pretend We're Married from the 1999 album. My sister and I were latchkey kids and we had that double album on vinyl. Prince's brown eyes were where the spindle went through. The previously mentioned song was the first song I had ever heard the word "fuck" in. We used to huddle around the huge stereo in our dining room and listen to it over and over again, giggling every time he dropped an f-bomb. I sincerely want to fuck the taste right out of your mouth, do you relate? I mean come on! I was 8 years old and loved it. that was 1982. Them in 84, the motherfucker comes out with Purple Rain, makes a semi-autobiographical film and does it with Apolonia. What is a 10 year old to do? This song was one of the only one's my pop's liked off of the soundtrack/album and he took me to see the movie to boot, all the while hating everything the man stood for and the dirtiness he represented.
8. Sympathy for the Devil- The Rolling Stones
Just one of the best sounding songs ever recorded. I had this dream: 140 bodies moving at once under a strobe light. Dancing, moving under a strobe light. Others are making out in corners of a screened structure. The bodies gyrate madly, almost in unison, dripping sweat on a hot, sticky August evening. They are all in love with each other in some way. Some are young. some are older. None are truly old. The djs are wild. There is some screaming. People bump into one another in a crazy frenzy of wildness. Lightning is in the distance. Beers are beckoning. Maybe some bourbon, too. Wait, that wasn't a dream at all.
9. Tom Sawyer- Rush
This song makes me feel so young. This was my sister's favorite song back in the day. We were working class Pittsburgh and for some reason this song sums up the Burgh in so many ways for me. It is an old tale made modern. Geddy Lee is just nuts and I recall my big sis lovin' this song and a boy named Bobby Koch to tears. It was 1981 and I hadn't really heard anything like it. Still haven't. My sister used to rock to this, really and we had this on Vinyl. Later in life, when my sis was really mean to me, I went into her room and broke a few of her records. It was a brutal sibling fight and this was one I broke, along with a Pat Benatar record. I still shudder when I think of those actions.
10. Pale Blue Eyes- The Velvet Underground
Oh man. This song has lots of weight. Perhaps it is that the first two girls I truly fell in love with had blue eyes, yet not pale. I first heard this song in Brooklyn back in high school on a visit to see a girlfriend from a distant place. Some drugs were taken and it was so obvious that we were from different places, different worlds and we broke up. I cried most of that night while I was all fucked up. This song is gorgeous but it is also a bitch slap to most things you feel like you are sure of. Even the tambourine is haunting. One of the most beautiful songs every recorded, ever.
So that is KumoD's top 10. Here are D's and FL's.
These Arms of Mine- Otis Redding (1962)
Blackbird- The Beatles (1968)
Hickory Wind- Graham Parsons (1969)
Life on Mars- David Bowie (1971)
Mother of Pearl- Roxy Music (1973)
Sylvia Said- John Cale (1974)
Just Like Honey- The Jesus and Mary Chain (1984)
From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea- The Cure (1992)
Teeth Like God's Shoe Shine- Modest Mouse (1997)
Two-Headed Boy Part 2- Neutral Milk Hotel (1998)
Respect- Aretha Franklin
Please, Please, Please- James Brown
Happiness is a Warm Gun- The Beatles
One More Cup of Coffee- Bob Dylan
Wish You Were Here- Pink Floyd
Sympathy for the Devil- The Rolling Stones
There is a Light- The Smiths
Burning Down the House- The Talking Heads
My Wondering Days Are Over- Belle & Sebastian
Crossbones Style- Cat Power