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Top 100 Most Exquisite Songs Of All Time (80-71)

Posted on 2008.10.22 at 16:01
Top 100 Most Exquisite Songs Of All Time (80-71) *

*My favorite songs from my life 2002-2007

80)Anibal Troilo - A Mis Viejos
Argentina: 1963
The opening to this song is wonderful simple pleasure for me. The piano flows with such movement, like the rolling of a red carpet down a stairway. While the piano line originally captured my interest, it is soon hidden, a beast stalking underneath a beautiful jungle of strings. The apocryphal story of tango [read: horrible legend] is that it was born in Buenos Aires brothels, a pantomimed knife fight between two males cheered on by the prostitutes. It doesn't matter if its true. What matters is that present in the music is that near predatory lust which can go from cagey to explosive at the drop of a hat.

79)Xiu Xiu - Suha
United States: 2002
"Suha" feels like a slide into resignation. Xiu Xiu always appealed to me with their unusual sonic burbles that at once sounded familiar, as if they were representations of something internal. You can hear the burbles here as he starts the second line, I suppose they come from a heavily processed guitar that seems to get hit occasionally throughout the verses and is actually strummed during the chorus. As much as the light organ (or is it accordian?) sound sets a despondent mood, those little gurgles are why I love Xiu Xiu. From the singers voice to the mild horn climax, the whole song sounds like a perfect slab of raw emotion.

78)The Pentagons - To Be Loved (Forever)
United States: 1961
Another visceral song, The Pentagons "To Be Loved (Forever)" sets quite a different tone. From the saxophone sliding up into the signature doo wop "aaahhh aaaaaah aaaaahhh aaaah" into the opening line "To be in love/and not to be alone" wrapped in "oooooh oooooh's" sounds almost to me like someone pouring the embrace of a loved one into my ears. The rest of the song is merely excellent until he hits the falsetto and then for the last part of the song it returns to its velvety ecstasy.

77)Severed Heads - Harold And Cindy Hospital
Australia: 1986
"Harold and Cindy Hospital" starts off with a sort of industrial grunting followed by a pitch bent horn sample that kicks into a wicked sounding synth. Though for this section of the countdown so far there have been many excellent song openings, this one I think is my favorite. However it suffers like The Pentagons song with a slight drag in the middle as no new elements are added, but is likewise propelled into further glory in its third act which introduces a heavenly synth noise, and the song ascends into a warm place.

76)Pippilotti Rist - Wicked Game ("I'm a Victim of this Song")
Switzerland: 1998
Chris Isaak channeled Roy Orbison's mellifluous tones in the original version, in a song of wonderfully smoldering longing, but in this cover Pippilotti Rist's screams pierce through, exposing that the molten magma underneath. Rist's accented singing might jar the smoothness, but the payoff is grand. Though I take a more solemn view, this incidentally is the song most likely to elicit giggles from passengers when it comes on shuffle in my car.

75)The Flirts - Helpless
United States: 1984
This Bobby O produced track has about as much finesse and subtlety of well, the 80s. It is however, a warhorse of a dance track, steady and inevitable yet with a bit of a jittery touch.

74)Q Lazzarus - Goodbye Horses
United States: 1988
Goodbye horses/I'm flying over you. Of course most of us were introduced to this song under... disturbing circumstances. But even divorced from its associations with Buffalo Bill, Precious and a starving girl, (or preferably divorced, I'm not a huge serial killer fan, or poodle fan come to that) the song is potent and mysterious. The instrumentation is slightly otherworldly. The vocals are assured, smooth and dark. The lyrics are enigmatic and conjure slips of dread.

73)Sexual Harrassment - If I Gave You A Party (Syrup version)
United States: 1984 (remix by Syrup 2001)
From the guy who wrote "I Need a Freak" comes this slightly spastic party jam. The vocals are completely redone to sound more abrasive and also more lively, the instrumentation is opened up a bit, the short clipped rhythm of the original is maintained but now there is a guitar and bass which dance along giving the song more of a flow. See also Mu's "Tell You Something" for a very similar style of song, which I could interchange with this track on the list.

72)Anna Identici - La Lunga Stagione Dell' Amore
Italy: 1970
The opening is brilliant. Forceful, delicate and gorgeous. The verses let Anna paint waves with the soft watercolor brushstrokes of her voice. The backing chorus of "Aaahhs" (of which I am always a sucker) sound peculiarly distant and timeless. By the time we reach 2 minutes in, the diversion of "La La La's" with the opening chords played again is absolutely sublime. This song would be much closer to the top 10 if I hadn't discovered it so recently thereby in actuality making it ineligible for this entire list.

71)Goldfrapp - Pilots
England: 2001
(Not to be confused with "Pilots (on a star)" which has added embellishments polluting its pristine skies) It is quite aptly orchestrated as the song masterfully gives a sensation of gliding through the clouds. Not in a loud bulky airplane, but in a peter pan dream-like way. From the underrated Felt Mountain. Heavenly.


frankie teardrop
frankieteardrop at 2008-10-22 21:45 (UTC) (Link)
a solid round of choices. goodbye horses is an all time favorite. felt mountain rules. and severed heads? abibal? <3.

never could get into xiu xiu, even after your suggestions.
Various Artists
goethe_re_scape at 2008-10-22 21:50 (UTC) (Link)
Xiu Xiu is understandably not for everyone. I'm glad you're a Felt Mountain fan too! I didn't know that.
frankie teardrop
frankieteardrop at 2008-10-22 21:51 (UTC) (Link)
i like all goldfrapp except the latest from this year. that record is poo poo.
Various Artists
goethe_re_scape at 2008-10-22 21:54 (UTC) (Link)
Seventh Tree? I thought it got a bad rap. it was a little limp at points, but had some magic yet.
frankie teardrop
frankieteardrop at 2008-10-30 19:48 (UTC) (Link)
i'll have you know i'm trying xiu xiu again. fabulous muscles and the newest record. so far, sticking a little better.
murdermystery at 2008-10-22 22:38 (UTC) (Link)


xiu xiu! les reines des prochaines! i like this ten lots, and i haven't even listened to th new songs yet!

also yay this is back
Various Artists
goethe_re_scape at 2008-10-22 22:47 (UTC) (Link)

Re: yayyy

haha I'm still not caving in to that crazy french band name, I think its a Pippilotti Rist song!
murdermystery at 2008-10-22 23:12 (UTC) (Link)


i had totally forgotten how much i love this flirts song!

i would really like to do something like this, but i have a tendency to forget what songs I really like... with all the blog downloading/album listening i do i can NEVER remember what an individual track is :(
Various Artists
goethe_re_scape at 2008-10-22 23:42 (UTC) (Link)

the flirts are good clean fun

oh well i have a tendency to listen to songs i like over and over again, making compiling this list something of a breeze for me.
ext_124985 at 2008-10-24 10:29 (UTC) (Link)
Oh finally the chart! :D This time I know only the Goldfrapp song, I have to listen all this tracks absolutely!
Various Artists
goethe_re_scape at 2008-10-24 23:51 (UTC) (Link)
I hope you enjoyed some of the others too!
spisok_korablei at 2008-10-24 13:39 (UTC) (Link)
I was listening to "Pilots" a while ago for the first time and thought of it as of a perfect example of radio night music transmitting sweet tremor and heading listeners for realms of godlike rest. In short, it's quite out of this world.
Various Artists
goethe_re_scape at 2008-10-24 23:49 (UTC) (Link)
mmm i like the phrase "sweet tremor", very well put.
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