Top 100 Most Exquisite Songs Of All Time
*or less bombastically, my favorite songs from the period of my life 2002-2007
If you know me and this journal, chances are you've seen/heard many of the songs in this countdown. This is for the obvious reason being this journal's existence is to share my favorite music. But lists are fun and I hope you enjoy it anyway. I made no concessions to balance out the styles that dominate or are neglected and some artists are repeated, one of them six times I believe.
100)Faun Fables - Girl That Said Goodbye
United States: 2001
Faun Fables is mostly the work of one Californian Dawn McCarthy. This song features acoustic guitar, recorder and the vocals of Dawn. There are plenty of plucked/strummed acoustic guitar and recorder combo songs I don't love, and what makes this one special is well, the melody and vocal execution. Well aren't I off to a smashingly elucidating start.
99)Antonio Carlos Jobim & Luiz Bonfa - Manha de Carnaval
This one might deserve to be higher in the list, but the order until the top 20 is entirely mercurial. This song is from the film Orfeu Negro
. Its composer needs no introduction. The humming over the guitar is enrapturing enough, but somehow is even heightened once she (the singer, name unknown to me) breaks into the words, the roll of the Portuguese on her tongue gives it even more shape and impact.
98)Doris Monteiro - Vamos Partir Pro Mundo
We're staying in Brazil for the next one, in fact Doris actually recorded the first compositions of Jobim. One might call this song "sappy" sounding, but my first impression was that the song sounded like Love. Ok that
is sappy. Vamos Partir Pro Mundo
bears many of the hallmarks of the next composer's music too, hallmarks I can't get enough of. Pulsing horns, vocals like waves and some beautiful impressionistic chords.
97)Ennio Morricone - Matto, Caldo, Soldi, Morto... Girotondo
Morricone is the master, and I'll go ahead and say upfront that it is he
who appears the most on this countdown. This song is from Vergogna Schifosi
and as most of the best his best soundtracks do, it features Edda Dell'Orso. It starts off with some hypnotic chanting, and then becomes this wonderful magical swirl sound. I think what I love best and is most successful about Morricone for me is his soft and gorgeous textures he milks from the timbre of his often unusual instrumentation.
96)Don't Be A Stranger - Yellow Moon
Swedish "indie" if you will and I won't thank you. To me the song very successfully conveys a longing that tugs and tugs. A more direct if less graceful "Manha de Carnaval".
95)Al B Sure! - Noche Y Dia
United States: 1988
In the 80s, Giorgio Moroder upped the ante for the electro-ballad with "Take My Breath Away" (performed by Berlin). A year later the romantic quarterback of New Jack Swing Al B Sure! would come out with Nite and Day. I'm not sure why I prefer the spanish version of this song, It's just the one I always find myself playing.
94)Alexander Von Borsig - Hiroshima
The buzz "Hiroshima" starts out in is either the smoldering wreckage or the tension in the air just before, until slowly the lilting refrain creeps in. Soon a dichotomy emerges between the cold repetitive chants and the breathless grasping and screams of a second voice. The result is a sort of leaden whimsy.
93)Gigliola Cinquetti - Quando M'Innamoro
The chorus. oh the chorus. The chorus achieves what Gigliola's contemporary Mina (whom will be quite at home on this list) often does at her best, it inhabits
my motor cortex. I feel like I have one of those Donnie Darko bubble snakes coming out of my chest that ducks and weaves and contracts with the rhythm, dynamics, and descending melodic motion. The rest of the song is cake too, with a nice little horn line, and some flute like bluebirds in the garden of love. Yes I have corny tastes. Well those of you who think so might be glad for the next song.
92)Swans - Fool
United States: 1986
The piano sounds like it's about to collapse on the floor and the guitar sounds like its just the kind of jerk to help push it down. And the vocals, the vocals sound like they need a shave. With menace and just a glint of steel, "Fool" muscles its way onto the top 100.
91)Patty Pravo - La Bambola
This song was my introduction to the world of the 60s Italian songstresses and it was a bit spoiling, like french-kissing instead of shaking hands. A tug of war between the guitar, Patty's voice and the orchestral strings in a high energy tour de force. Yeah I just said Tour De Force
like some sort of high falutin' dandy reviewer.Next: 90-81