The Top 50 are songs that represent some particular time in my life and could, if put in chronological order of when I started listening to it, sort of tell the "Story of Garth." To completely tell that story, I'd have to include damn near every song I've ever heard (my original list was almost 300 songs, and that was before I had put a lot of thought into it, so obviously I had to whittle it down a bit). These 10 'Honorable Mentions' are songs that still stand out and are still an integral part of 'Me,' but just not as much as the Top 50.
A Few Honorable Mentions (Listed alphabetically):
1. BLACKstreet's "No Diggity" (Featuring Dr. Dre) - Don't judge me! I like this song; always have, always will.
2. Depeche Mode's "Personal Jesus" - Liked it before, have come to love it the older I get.
3. Dire Straights' "Money for Nothing" - Every time I hear that guitar lick kick in, it's like hearing it for the first time.
4. Eminem's "'Till I Collapse" - My favorite song my Mr. Mathers, where he proved he could make a rhyme out of anything, even phlegm-hocking noises.
5. Foo Fighters' "Tired of You" - I love everything they do, but this one strikes an emotional chord with me.
6. Gonzo's "I'm Going to Go Back there Someday" from The Muppet Movie - Always brings a tear to my eye.
7. Don Henley's "Dirty Laundry" - Another song that I've come to appreciate more and more as the years go by.
8. Gerard McMann's "Cry Little Sister" - A powerful goth-rock anthem, it's become much more to me than just the theme to an 80's vampire movie.
9. Procal Harum's "Whiter Shade of Pale" - Heard this when I was young and thought it was beautiful, and it's stuck with me ever since.
10. Paul Simon's "You Can Call Me Al" - Never fails to bring a smile to my face, and it's so infectious that I can't help but sing along.
At the end of the day, this list wasn't about songs that I think are great songs, or songs that will go down in history as the best these artists have done, or songs that represent the music of the latter half of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st. These are just 50 songs that I like, that have in some way shaped who I am and what I like to listen to. Some of them speak to me on personal levels, some I owe a debt of gratitude to for making me the person I am today, but most are just songs that I think are fun. I get tired of reading lists that include the "essentials" by bands that are obviously revered and artists that have obviously made an impact.
I find it hard to believe that everyone out there that really listens to music, when it comes down to their Top 50 trapped-on-a-desert-island must-haves, all choose the same songs by the same artists from the same list that Rolling Stone Magazine picks as the best songs of all time. There are plenty of songs that I know aren't very important in the scheme of things, but I personally can't live without. That's all this list is. I decided very early on to choose songs that I regularly listen to, and have regularly listened to for a little while, despite the popularity of the artist or the impact their careers have had. Judging solely on how much I personally like a song, and that's it.
A friend of mine helped inspire this list with a list of his own (that I think another list of mine had helped inspire... inspiration is a beautiful thing), and I've noticed that, true to his nature, he's choosing songs that he likes despite (or in spite, sometimes) of what others may think of that choice. And I liked that honesty, that 'sticking to your guns and not caring what anyone will think" nature of his list of songs. If editors working for Spin Magazine or Rolling Stone had that sort of constitution when creating their "official" lists, then those lists might mean more to more people.
Hope you enjoyed this, and I hope at one point during this list I sparked a conversation or two.
- gARTh -