Everyone’s got ‘em – that one ditty that makes you stop what you’re doing and sing along. Or perhaps crank up their car radio to mind-numbing decibels. Whatever the case, I could listen to each of these songs on an infinite loop and never get sick of them. Here now – my Top 10 tunes in order of adoration:
#10 – “Let’s Hear It For The Boy” – Denise Williams (1984)
Full disclosure … this was actually The Bevinator’s favorite pop song … so it makes my Top 10 by proxy. This was the first song my mom heard emanating from my bedroom where she made a point to enquire who sang it. She asked for me to play it again … and again. Before you knew it, Mom was humming along. Mom wasn’t a hum-along type of gal. Hell, she even found the video to be endearingly wholesome. Let’s hear it for my mom.
#9 – “Photograph” – Def Leppard (1983)
I had a brief dalliance with hair metal. It lasted approximately eight minutes. But this song is forever engrained in my essence. Slickly produced, this ‘80’s coliseum anthem is the ultimate AOR track. Listening to it made me simultaneously want to be the singer, guitarist and drummer.
#8 – “Bette Davis Eyes” – Kim Carnes (1981)
This song came out just around the time I turned double digits. It was one of the first videos I ever spied on MTV. I used to obsess over it – even begging my parents to buy me the album. They never did … and I’m still bitter about it. To this day, I enjoy smacking people across the face in rhythmic succession because the video’s visuals were so striking. (Pun intended.)
#7 – “Don’t Walk Away” – Toni Childs (1988)
I know … I know. Finally – an obscure college radio song you’ll probably never heard of. It was popular for a white-hot nanosecond the year I went to – you guessed it –college. I bought the cassette and never listened to one other song on it – save for this one. Repeatedly. I could actually feel this chick’s anger seething from my car speakers. She whooped like a scorned soul sister. I feel sorry for all the people who were trapped in my Chevy Cavalier that year and had to endure me scream-singing along to this song.
#6 – “No More Words “– Berlin (1983)
I don’t know if it was the danceable synthesizers or the rage-against-the-machine vocals of singer Teri Nunn, but I could never get enough of this pop nugget. Sure, the Bonnie and Clyde video was stupid – but, then again, weren’t most videos in the early ‘80’s? If I was ever to do karaoke … or drag, for that matter … this would be my song of choice. I’d kill it.
#5 … “A Distant Episode” – Till Brönner –– 2006
A friend of mine admitted he hated being subjected to my constant barrage of nsk-nsk-nsk-nsk techno music. He proudly gave me a CD of jazz tunes a few years ago. One night I was throwing a casual dinner party and this song came on and the conversation around the table stopped. This German jazz artist apparently has the power over time and space. He may be able to create world peace solely with his trumpet solo.
#4 – “Hello” – Adele (2015)
Yep. This song has been out less than a week and it’s catapulted into my Top 5. I’ve listened to it probably 100 times … same song, same goose bumps, same angst. Adele is the goddess on the mountaintop — burning like a silver flame.
#3 (tie) “Legal Tender” & “Juliet of The Spirits” – The B-52s (1983 & 2008)
The B-52s remain my all-time favorite group. Period. I want them played at my funeral. Hell, I want them to play LIVE at my funeral. The gorgeous, quirky, ’60’s-esque harmonies of Cindy Wilson and Kate Pierson could breathe life back in to me. If nothing else, it will put people in a better mood once I’m gone. They are – after all – the world’s favorite party band. Either song gives me a glee-filled, visceral reaction. It’s like being gobsmacked by a wave of joy.
I heard this song once on Casey Kasem’s American Top 40. Once. I distinctly remember making my poor dad take me to the mall so I could buy this album. Romeo Void (and The B’s) made adolescence tolerable. Their new-wave moodiness spoke to me in my tumultuous teen years. And even before puberty hit, I knew I wanted to someday be friends with lead singer Deborah Iyall. It took 25 years – but goal achieved. She once dedicated this song to me while she was performing in San Fran. I may have peed a little.
#1 “Girl From Ipanema Goes To Greenland” – The B-52s (1986)
The B’s make another appearance in my Top 10 – and, of course, land squarely at number one. Out of the 118 billion songs I’ve listened to … this one has gotten the most airplay. I’ve given countless people this MP3 – so that if I don’t have it handy at all times – they will. It’s my “in-case-of-emergency” song. I physically can’t be in a bad mood once I hear this song. The arrangement … perfect. The lyrics … playful. Cindy Wilson’s soaring vocals … powerful. Someday I will make it to both Ipanema and Greenland to pay homage to my favorite song of all time. As Cindy sings – “Remember – wherever you go, there you are.” Folks – it doesn’t get much more poignant than that.
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