I'm your DJ, and this is The Random Song Blog.
In the early days of radio entertainment, before FM radio existed, there were only stations that played a vast assortment of musical genres. There were no strictly Heavy Metal stations, or stations dedicated solely to Gansta Rap. So, that being said, I have made it my goal to help recreate this old format and give you all a nice, balanced dose of various musical tastes and eras. So that's the way we're gonna do it: one song a day, limitless possibilities, and a good mix of old and new. Sit back and enjoy The Random Song Blog!
Top 25 Songs of All Time: #19
Perhaps the most “out in left field” song of this enters at number nineteen. I’m not a big fan of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and never have been. Like, at all. But, that being said, this song has managed to remain one of my favorites for nearly 8 years.
I love the way the song is constructed. It starts off slow, calm, and soothing through the great use of a few guitar chords. From then on, it just builds, and builds, and builds. The crescendo eventually culminates in an explosion of flawless mixing, great instrumentals, and Karen O’s otherworldly piercing howl. It’s an explosion that leaves you speechless, satisfied, and, most of all, empowered.
To give an example of how great the song’s finish is, I’ll refer to a time I went out for a run during the 10th grade. This song came up on the shuffle, and my hand was too cold to change it, so I let it play.
I don’t think I have ever, EVER, run faster during a jog in my entire life.
Okay, enough about me, here’s number nineteen.
Gold Lion by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
Top 25 Songs of All Time: #20
Number twenty on the list is a heavy metal anthem by one of the granddaddies of the thrash genre, Metallica.
The funny thing is, that I was never really too big on Metallica. I had a heard a few of their songs from the 2000s, and was never really too impressed. However, as I grew up and listened to their songs more, I gained a bigger appreciation for the way they are able to produce a brutal, intense sound without being overly sloppy. Make no mistake about it: Metallica is one of the best rock bands ever.
So naturally, I had to pick one of the band’s most influential songs to be on this list. The song opens with one of most legendary riffs of all-time, which prompted many of us to try and learn how to play guitar. Also in the song are what I consider some of the best lyrics in the thrash genre, on par with Slayer’s “Raining Blood”. (Come crawling faster/obey your master).
Now, what really makes this song special to me is the down-tempo bridge that occurs right in the middle of the song. For a thrash band to slow down and switch to quality melodies over pure distortion shows balls, the kind of balls that makes Metallica so great. It was used in the documentary “Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey” in the final credit, and for good reason. It’s one section of a great song that can really capture our sentimental ties to the genre, and there’s no way a true metal fan can hear it without at least getting a little emotional.
Metallica’s masterpiece reflects the headbanger in all of us at number twenty.
Master of Puppets by Metallica
Top 25 Songs of All Time: #21
This song is by the great folk hero, Bob Dylan. It falls in line with a long list of songs by Dylan that center around social injustice. However, there are several qualities to it that make it stand out above the rest. At least, in my opinion.
The way that the song is crafted makes it sound more like a movie script than a song. From the opening line to the end, it’s relentlessly visual. You can almost feel that you’re present at every event. Couple this imagery with the masterful violin and perfectly timed harmonica bridges, and you’ve got an absolute unforgettable emotional ride. I got goosebumps within the first fifteen seconds of the song. It also doesn’t hurt that this song was based on a real person who was wrongly incriminated, as well.
It’s this kind of ballsy song that made Bob Dylan the hero that he is today, and it lands him at number twenty-one on this list.
Hurricane by Bob Dylan
Top 25 Songs of All Time: #22
This song is by one of my favorite bands ever, AC/DC. Before anyone asks: I prefer Bon Scott. He brought a rowdiness and sex appeal that really captures what the band is all about: being rowdy and having sex. What’s interesting about this song, though, is that it is one of the most polished songs of the Bon Scott era. It’s crisp musically, has a high production value, and features some of the better backing vocals that you’ll ever hear in an AC/DC song. The subject matter, as with many AC/DC songs, is hilarious— an ode to women who (surprisingly) have a stronger sex-drive than males, to the point where the guy can’t handle it anymore.
"Too much for my body/ too much for my brain/ this damn woman’s gonna drive me insane"
We’ve all been there.
An, oh, what a freakin’ guitar solo. Coming in at number twenty-two is a gem from the “Highway To Hell” album.
Touch Too Much by AC/DC
Top 25 Songs of All Time: #23
Boy, have I always wanted to write about this one. This song is from the anime “Fooly Cooly” (often abbreviated as FLCL), a show that packs as much hilarity, subtext, and all-round chaos as possible into only six episodes.
I first saw the show when I was in sixth grade, that’s about nine years ago for those who were wondering, and I was completely blown away. It was the first anime that I was really into besides the obvious Dragonball Z, and it’s themes of maturity actually helped me through a lot that was going on in that point of my life.
FLCL has without a doubt one of the best soundtracks to any anime ever (along with actually being one of the best anime ever, number 2 on my list to be exact), and this is the song that is most synonymous with the show, since it plays at the end of every episode.
Very close to my heart, just short enough to be repeat-worthy, and representative of a great show, this comes in at number twenty-three.
Ride on Shooting Star by The Pillows
Top 25 Songs of All Time: #24
I would have liked to wait a while before the controversy started, but oh well. I know this entry might be a bit puzzling to some people, but let me see if I can change your opinion.
Apart from being incredibly catchy and remaining popular for over ten years, what really drives this song home for me is the chorus. It didn’t mean much to me younger, but as I got older, it has made more sense.
People can sometimes meet others while having incredibly high expectations of the others’ personality upon meeting them. But what about when that person isn’t the epitome of awesome like you imagined them to be? Do you still want to be associated with them even when they’re not the super hero that you expected? Of course, you’d love for someone to think of you in a high light when they meet you, but there’s always that anxiety that you won’t meet their expectations. Then what?
That, friends is the exact question that 3 Doors Down were asking in this song. A song that encourages you to see the best in people who, after all, are only human.
Here it is, number twenty-four
Kryptonite by 3 Doors Down
Top 25 Songs of All Time: #25
We’ll start things off with a song that was released on my second birthday by arguably the greatest female music group ever.
What makes TLC so great is not only their great singing, but also their socially-aware lyrics. They were one of those groups that used their powerful influence through music to convey society’s bigger issues to the masses.
"Waterfalls" is basically a song that warns young people from over-stepping their bounds and living a reckless life. The "waterfalls" metaphor refers to many temptations that young adults faced during the times, such as gang violence and sex. The smooth vocals and masterfully timed rap by Lisa Left Eye create an enjoyable, didactic experience without being overly preachy. Now, if only more modern artists could figure out how to do that, then I’d probably listen to the radio more.
Here it is, number twenty-five
Waterfalls by TLC
Okay, so like I said yesterday, I’ve finally completed this list after months of saying that I would.
After compiling a list of about 80 potential songs, I rated each song in three categories on a 1-5 scale: Quality of the song, Test of Time, and Personal Ties. The quality portion, as the name suggests, is simply how “good” I think the song is, with a score of 1 being absolute shit, and a 5 being a masterpiece. The “Test of Time” category measured how consistent my liking of the song has been over time. This category was put in to remove any songs that I’ve heard too recently and haven’t given a proper trial to. The “Personal Ties” is my own score of how much the song means to me, and how attached to it I am. Since this is, after all a list of solely my opinion, I found it necessary to rate every song’s idiosyncratic value to me. The total score of these three categories is how I was able to eliminate about 75% of the candidates from the list, and basically let my heart do the rest of the rankings.
So, with that explanation out of the way, this is how it’s going to work out: for the next month, I will be posting a song every day, starting with #25, with a brief introduction from me.
Here we go, starting in five…four…three…two…
After many, many months, I actually completed my Top 25 Songs of All Time! Expect it to start this week!