04 June 2011

Top 100 Hits of All Time

And my last guest post for the foreseeable future is from my friend Neal. He used to be cool and have a blog, but he hasn't updated that thing in years now, so not quite so cool anymore. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of the two of us together, but I'll remedy that quickly because he's visiting us in the Windy City next weekend. Neal's always great for a good book or movie or music recommendation, and naturally his post rocks.

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My Top 100 Hits of All Time

I can’t read bar music. I can’t identify a C-sharp if I heard one. I am sluggish about weaving scattered
lyrics into coherent songs. And I’m pretty sure my neighbors will batter my door down the next time
they have to hear the droning riffs to “Iron Man” or a distortion-heavy “Smoke on the Water.” But for
someone with such a shallow education in music, I know what I like, and I listen to it… a lot. Music is a
huge part of my identity, so I am constantly trying to bolster myself through it, with old and with new.

The musical tastes of my father and I have relatively little overlap, but he certainly developed my ability
to listen and the passion is shared. Several years ago – my best guess is 10ish by now – he turned me on
to this running project of his he got from… wherever. But it’s called your Top 100 Hits of All Time and
it lists out those songs that are just the best damn things you’ve ever heard in your life. The best thing is:
it’s never finished. I’ve been editing my list for years, deleting and adding and judging and pondering.
You really get to wonder, “Is this just a really good song right now or does it stand the test of time and
retain its effect on me?” And you’ll find over the years that a song just moved you at the time, but it’s not
All-Time worthy.

And it’s your list, so use whatever criteria or rules you wish. Dad’s got some rule about only having
one song per artist/group. I guess that makes it more challenging, but I am way too moved by too many
good songs to keep that parameter. Pick things by instrumentation, by sentimental context, by lyrics, by
whatever you want. But pick songs that stir something deep in you whenever you hear them, songs you
can never skip over when they come up. I have even gone to the point of highlighting certain tracks that I
know will never be taken off. Maybe add an honorable mentions section?

I dare you to take up this project. And as a sampler, here are ten (unranked) songs from my personal Top
100. Enjoy and keep rockin’.

Zombie” – The Cranberries 

The Unforgiven II” – Metallica 

I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” – The Proclaimers 

River of Dreams” – Billy Joel 

Wonderwall” – Oasis 

Sledgehammer” – Peter Gabriel 

Like a California King” – Everclear 

Crazy Train” – Ozzy Osbourne 

Paint it Black” – The Rolling Stones 

Sober” – Tool 

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