If a person doesn’t like music then they are without a soul. I believe this absolutely. Both because I don’t believe in souls, therefore everyone, which includes people who don’t like music, is soulless, and also, more importantly, everyone I’ve ever met who didn’t like music has been a complete emotionless dullard – if you don’t like music I’m not insulting you, I’m just calling you an emotionless dullard, and if you are one then chances are you don’t realize I’m insulting you even while saying I’m not insulting you. Granted there are emotionless dullards who like music for emotionless dullards, but I commend and respect them for connecting with that emotionless dullard music on a deeper emotionless dullard level. (This was a bad start to something that could end up being somewhat good) I agree.
For some reason, a reason I’m not sure anyone has figured out, music affects us emotionally almost deeper than anything else. There are songs that make us happy (Hall and Oats’s You Make My Dreams Come Ture). There are songs that make us sad (Martina McBride’s Concrete Angel). There are songs that make us want to dance (Village People’s YMCA -if you click on any link in this blog please for my sake and yours make it this one). There are even songs that make us want to kill ourselves (David Hosselhoff’s Jump In My Car). I contend that music has the highest emotion to minute ratio on this planet. Sure a person may be able to feel more emotional after watching a movie, but that’s an hour an a half of your time at the least. A song can emotionally impact you after just minutes. I don’t have to prove to you how important music is. But I will make you prove to yourself how important it is. Right now go ask some people what the one thing they couldn’t live without is. I’ll sit here and wait patiently.
I wonder how their survey is going (you know they aren’t really doing that, right?) What do you mean? (They just continued reading on) well that’s no fun (they’re even reading this, being annoyed about you having a conversation with yourself about how they just continued to read on) that’s especially no fun (they know, trust me, they all know).
So now that you’re back what were you’re results? – and I know you didn’t really leave but for my sake please just amuse me. Exactly what I thought, your top three responses were music, sex and celebrity nudity. People love music. Nothing evidences the fact more than that Michael Jackson has done very bad thing to children – and is now in hell molesting children, which by the way I’m fine with because the kids obviously deserve it since they’re in hell – yet a large portion of the world still thinks very fondly of Michael Jackson because of his music. Sure he molested some kids, but come on listen to that beat on Billie Jean. That alone buys him a baker’s dozen worth of kids to molest with society turning their heads on. This isn’t an indictment of Michael Jackson (although for all intents and purposes it is) I’m just saying that music has a big impact on people. But that you knew. Let’s get to what you didn’t know.
I find it’s rare that a person can name their favorite song. Usually they have a favorite band, but when it comes to just one song it’s too hard to choose, and so many great songs that resonate with the person. A person can think of one song that they’ll absolutely think is their favorite, but then think of five more that they are absolutely sure are also their favorite. This is the same with me. I don’t have a favorite song at the moment. When people ask me my favorite song I usually give them a list of a few, but still leave off a couple that really could be my favorite song (I like how the previous paragraph segued into this one with ‘Let’s get to what you didn’t know,’ and this paragraph gave the reader practically nothing that they didn’t know).
I decided a few days ago that I wanted to know what my favorite song was. Not only that, but I also decided that I wanted to know my top 100 songs. I’ve done this before in the past, but it was when I had way less songs competing for the coveted spots. I have four and a half thousands songs on my computer, which isn’t a great amount, but keep in mind I don’t just put music there to be there. I’ve listened to most of those songs many multiples of times. There all multiple albums of which I’ve listened to more than 100 times. I didn’t always have the internet and easy access to music, so in the past when I bought a new CD I would open it, listen to it, then listen to it again, then listen to it over and over again. Did it get old? For some reason it didn’t. Probably because I only bought CDs of my favorite bands so I liked the music a lot, enough to have listened to Brand New’s The Devil And God Are Raging Inside Me more than fifty times in the first week I purchased it – I remember that because I remember being shocked when seeing the play count on my Windows Media Player, and that the track Jesus had more than 70 plays.
So, to quicken things up, I went looked the four thousand plus songs on my computer, surprisingly narrowed it down to about 240, struggled mightily to whittle that down to 123, and then listened to all those songs [which took about 8 hours] and rated them on various categories The categories were Beginning [the beginning of a song is very important to me because it pulls me in and keeps me listening to a song. There are some songs that have such a great beginning that despite not liking the rest of the song so much I’m already so far in that I can’t turn back], Ending [very, very important to me because it’s the lasting impression of a song. Would people still love Bruce Springsteen’s Born In The USA if at the end he abruptly farted and screamed, ‘fuck you, America’? I argue yes, even more than before] Instruments [more than anything this determines my starting opinion of a song. There have been multiple times I’ve not liked a song at first because instrumental wise it just didn’t sound good to me, and then later I went back and discovered the lyrics and found out I actually liked it, which brings me to…] Lyrics [I determined this to be the most important quality for a song, which is surprising since I tend to like a lot of songs with shitty pseudo-meaningful lyrics, but whatev, right] and finally what I called Emotional Relevance [this is basically how the song affects my emotions and its significance to me on a deeper level then just how it sounds, and has gotten to the point where its influenced my life in some way]. Each category was worth a certain overall percentage of the songs total score, but the total score shockingly doesn’t determine the songs overall position on my list. And here’s why.
Let’s not forget this is my list, and not anybody else’s list. Even though I rated each song I’m still not convinced just because I gave one song an 8.4 and another an 8.6 that the 8.6 song should be higher on the list. I can’t be completely sure this whole rating thing wasn’t fix. The mafia may have gotten a hold of me and got me to purposely tank the score of one song just so they could win their parley with Vegas. So to be safe the final decision of each song’s placing is based solely on me sitting and thinking for who knows how long to make sure that each song is placed exactly where it should be. Having said that the spots of 101 down to 75 (it should be mentioned that this list will start at 101 for some odd reason no one understands) should be taken with a grain of salt – for the longest time I thought the saying was ‘taken with a great assault’, there are few ways that I could have been more wrong. If I was to be completely honest with myself there are many songs between that 101 to 75 range that wouldn’t make the cut. The reason they’re there is because I wanted to have more band diversity on my list. So here’s what I’m going to say, if you don’t like the fact that I did that and tainted that part of the list look at it this way, it’s essentially the same thing as affirmative action, so if you don’t like that I added songs from bands that would have otherwise not made the list and left out better songs from other bands just because they already have enough songs on the list then you don’t like affirmative action, and you’re a racist. The rest of the list should be taken seriously, especially once in the top 25. Also be warned that this isn’t going to be a popular list. There are no songs by Lady Gaga (Sorry, Lizzy) there are no songs by Eminem (sorry every guy who wishes they were black – by the way from the age of about five to sixteen I seriously wished I was black, they could dance, play sports, had big penises and looked good bald, all things I wanted but could never have) there are no songs by any country artist (sorry middle America – who I’ve discovered throughout the years that I have nothing in common with) and there are no songs by The Beatles (Sorry Kriss, even though I have no idea if you like the Beatles). Most of these bands aren’t super popular and don’t get played on the radio nearly enough, if at all.
Over the next several months I will be counting down my list of 101 greatest songs of not all time, but rather a considerable portion of it. At the end I will finally be able to declare my favorite song, a thing I haven’t been able to do in a few years since it was Taking Back Sunday’s One-Eighty By Summer (on the list) and before that The Tony Rich Project’s Grass Is Green (on the list) and before that The Foo Fighter’s Everlong (on the list) all the way back to my first favorite song Red Hot Chili Peppers’s Under The Bridge (not on the list – a song I fucking hate now and never want to hear again. Along with counting down I will be writing a small piece on each song, but basically it will probably just be me writing about whatever the hell goes through my mind at the time of writing. So it will start with me talking about the song and turn into a 4,000 word diatribe of how people are fucking out masturbation jokes and need to stop.
So anyway without further ado, because I really need to go masturbate right now, I present to you song number 101.
101: Say Anything – The Writhing South