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 Best Songs O All Times

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Dr. Adventure
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PostSubject: Best Songs O All Times   Tue Apr 26, 2016 12:29 am

I've had some fun over the past while revisiting old lists I had made and various albums I liked back in the day. I find it interesting to look back on old opinions I had, and I have realized I have no collection of my opinions from the past like 3 years (outside of My Anime List, which hardly counts).

So, I've decided to compile a list of my current favorite songs of all time. I don't really expect y'all to necessarily like these songs, as I've kind of gone super into kraut and funk and jazz and soul these past years, but these are songs that over the past few years I've always considered in very very high regards. Anyway, here we go in a very loose chronological order.

"Ballade No. 1" by Frederick Chopin

Shamefully, I first heard this song in a very sappy Slice of Life anime from last year, where I cried like a baby throughout the whole song. So there's that. However, this song really stands up to repeat listens. PLUS it's a classical song I like, which is fairly rare. Takes a lot for me to get into classic music.
File under: Classical, Modernist, Piano Only, Single Tears

"I Never Asked To Be Your Mountain" by Tim Buckley

I first found Tim Buckley when someone on /mu/ said I sounded like him on one of Into This Cup. Tim Buckley is now among my favorite artists (at least in the top 10, probs), and this is my favorite song of his. Just great.
File under: Folk, Psychedelic, Surreal, 12 string acoustic

"Light Flight" by Pentangle

The first of 3 songs from 1969 (best year), it took me a while to get into Pentangle. Love the interlocking, almost funky acoustic riffs going on.
File under: Folk, Psychedelic, Acoustics (plural), Female vocalist

"Thirty Days Hath September" by Stark Reality

I found Stark Reality on a list of "weirdest albums", and truthfully they're fairly weird. They have a lead singer guy who plays vibes, plus a bassist doing paul mccartney-esque fretboard magic, plus a guitarist playing fuzzy stuff, and a straight up funk drummer. All of which are playing jazz. Unfortunately, they don't really know how to end songs, which is why this song stands out as it isn't shit. Plus the first half groove is simply astounding.
File under: Jazz, Psychedelic, Funk, Vibraphones, Non-sensical, Children's Songs

"Black Gold" by Phil Upchurch

Phil Upchurch played session guitar all over various albums on Cadet Records, which essentially just housed the jazz that they didn't think would sell. He did this solo album, which starts out with Black Gold. The whole album is reverb on reverb with strings, and it blows my mind every time. The song itself was made more famous by Rotary Connection, which was a very serious contender for this list.
File under: Jazz, Funk, Layers on Layers, Guitar, Strings, 420

"Ain't No Mountain High Enough" by Diana Ross

This version of Ain't No Mountain High Enough (made famous by marvin gaye, ofc) is pretty blasphemous to the original. Taking the short melody based song and turning it into this 6+ minute sprawling story song is an odd move, but it has the chance to take a glorious jazz and soul approach to the song. Plus strings. Plus that amazing build to the Outro. I can't say enough about this song, play it at my funeral pls
File under: Soul, Female Vocals, Cheesy Spoken Vocals, Gospel?

"Save The Children" by Marvin Gaye

Really, the whole first side of What's Going On is masterpiece material (second side....not so much). But this song is basically the middle and the power hitter of side A. This is one of the more ambitious songs on the album, given the chords are all over the place. The hilarious SAVE THE BABIES part near the end is a great addition too.
File under: Soul, Gospel, Jazzy, Infant Safety

"The Letter [Live]" by Joe Cocker

I have the magical tie in to this song in that I first heard it on my honeymoon, but this song has everything. Riffs, Choirs, Horns, Solos, Percussion + Vocal breakdowns, and a cover with wild variation.
File under: ROCK, honky tonk piano, blues, Sax Solos, like 30 people in the band or some shit

"Part Time Love" by Isaac Hayes

The ultimate jam. Most of the song is just 2 chords over and over (Isaac Hayes' best feature is endless repetition), but there are so many layers on this thing. From wah guitar to massive string suites, the song covers all my bases for a jam.
File under: Soul, Funk, Wah Wah, Essential "playing along with" song

"Wars of Armageddon" by Funkadelic

The final song on Maggot Brain, I think this is the best song for drumming I can think of. The drumming is the only constant in this song as instruments are coming in and out, strange sound samples are thrown in (probably just for laughs), all while miraculously being fairly cohesive. George Clinton is a genious, and this song proves it.
File under: Drum grooves, Psychedelic, Funk, How, What, Why

"The Great Curve" by Talking Heads

Ah, nothing like jumping ahead 8 years to the 80s (well, 1980 exactly). If I had to describe this song in one word, it would be "groove". It's got the funk, it's got layers, and despite the repetition, there's always something new to discover with it. The vocal layers are a great addition too.
File under: Funk, Tribal, Layers, Eno, The World As A Pregnant Woman, Cool

"~" by Boredoms

I don't really know how to describe this song. It's from the Japanese psych/noise/kraut band Boredoms, released in the great year of 1999. It's got glitchy electronics, so many drum rhythms, wicked acoustic work, all instrumental. I describe this song has both Heaven & Hell in a song. Like, it's peaceful, but all the electronics and drums are over the top crazy. Shame the rest of the album is fairly tame in comparison.
File under: Kraut, Electronics, Major and Minor, Psychedelic to the core, kawaii

Honorable Mentions:
"Gypsy Woman" by Tim Buckley
"The Creator Has a Master Plan" by Pharoah Sanders
"Spanish Key" by Miles Davis
"Time" & "Stay" by David Bowie
"Old Friends/Bookends Theme" by Simon & Garfunkel
"Burning of the Midnight Lamp" by J. Hendrix & The Experience
"Amboss" by Ash Ra Tempel
"Battle of the Locusts/Do It" by Aphrodite's Child
"Il Banchetto" by Premiata Forneria Marconi

I went at this very stream of conciousness-like, and it ended with 12 songs only one of which is classical and only two are explicitly jazz (no comment on the 10 Honorable Mentions, there are a lot of good songs in the world!!). I'm pretty happy about this list. I think if I had shown this list to myself 10 years ago, just before GHG, I wouldn't have believed it.
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PostSubject: Re: Best Songs O All Times   Tue Apr 26, 2016 2:23 am

Unfortunately, they don't really know how to end songs, which is why this song stands out as it isn't shit.


Like, this is legit something I wish I'd written myself.

also every single description you gave sounds like something i'd absolutely hate and everything i actually tried to listen to confirms this
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PostSubject: Re: Best Songs O All Times   Fri Apr 29, 2016 1:20 pm

Some cool stuff here I've never heard before, thanks for the recs Mr. Lemon
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PostSubject: Re: Best Songs O All Times   Mon Sep 18, 2017 2:11 am

Approx a year and a half later, time for a quick 5 song addendum to the list per the last year's listening preferences.

You might notice these songs are generally much more pop/soul oriented than the entries previously. You might also notice how most of these artists have other songs in the honorable mentions. I don't know if that just means my taste is changing or it's a side effect of returning to this after a year of listening.
Again, rough and un-fact checked chronological order

"Eli's Coming" by Laura Nyro

Poor Laura. She is perhaps best known for writing songs that made other people rich and famous (Three Dog Night, Blood Sweat & Tears, 5th Dimension, etc.). The whole album this song comes from (Eli & The 13th Confession) is a grower album that has slowly but surely become one of my top 10 albums and is praised up and down by other artists who are much more famous than Laura (Elton John, Elvis Costello, Todd Rundgren). There are certain parts of this song that make it the standout fave, but it basically boils down to the up beat "better walk walk" around 1:05.
File under: Pop, Organ, Trumpets, Tempo Changes, Psychedelia?


"California Soul" by Marlena Shaw

Marlena Shaw is my fave female soul singer, and California Soul is probably her most famous song...and for good reason!! She recorded this album (Spice of Life) under the same recording company as Phil Upchurch's Black Gold above, so it's got a lot of the same elements: super dense strings and reverb galore. But Marlena is the cherry on top. I guess it's been sampled and remixed lots of times, but nothing beats the original in my eyes.
File under: Psychedelic Soul, Female Lead, Backing Orchestra, t h e o c e a n


"Thank You Master (For My Soul)" by Donny Hathaway

Immediately following my fave female soul singer is (was? RIP) my fave male soul singer. Donny has pumped out some amazing 10/10 tunes as well as the best Live album to grace this earth. He got his start with gospel music, as seems to be the trend in soul singers. This song is truly a gospel song, sending some heavenly vibes straight up to that sweet old master. On this song, Danny is singing, playing the grand piano in the right channel, and playing the electric piano in the left channel. The chord progression, the keys, the jazz and gospel influence, man. This is probably my favorite song on this list.
File under: Soul, Gospel, Piano, Electric Piano


"Promise of a Fisherman" (Intro: Flor de Canela) by Santana

Admittedly, I've jumped off the deep end a bit with Santana's jazz fusion period (Caravanserai, Welcome, & Borboletta, as well as his work with John McLaughlin and Alice Coltrane), which is marked by less rock and guitar and more woodwind and percussion, as well as side long suites and a religious bent. For that reason, the video above is a two parter, starting with Flor de Canela before transitioning. It's important to maintain for just how much major tonality and joy comes through at the switch (happens at 2:20). It also features some of Santana's most technically good guitar playing, including a nice tremolo/electronically manipulated riff that gives me chills every time (7:10 and onwards).
File under: Jazz Fusion, Latin, Guitar, Organ, Religious Ecstasy


"Daddy, He Got A Tesla" by Vulfpeck

Vulfpeck are a very modern band, probably the only band I like that are both 1.) still alive and 2.) still in their prime (this song is from 2016). At this point, they're probably still a "Literally Who" band, but they've seen some crazy popularity surges recently.
They're an annoyingly catchy band at worst, and then there are songs like Tesla that rank among the grooviest tunes the world has ever seen. Tesla features crazy bass playing, funky drumming, sax solos with dat tone, vocal meandering in the best way, and the only video here with an actual music video
File under: Funk, Low Volume, Sax, Drum Break, the future

Honorable Mentions:
"Danse macabre" by Camille Saint-Saėns (Classical)
"The Nutcracker Suite" by Pyotr Tchaikovsky (Classical)
"Be-In" and "I Got Life" from the Hair soundtrack (Musical Soundtrack)
"Nobody Knows" & "Do Not Pass Me By" by Pastor T. L. Barrett (Gospel)
"You Got A Friend (live)" & "Little Ghetto Boy (live)" by Donny Hathaway (Soul)
"Ball of Confusion" by The Temptations (Psychedelic Soul)
"Soul Stoned Picnic" and "Woman's Blues" by Laura Nyro (Pop)
"Angel of Sunlight" by Devadip Carlos Santana & Turiya Alice Coltrane (Jazz Fusion)
"Nebėhr Gudahtt" (live 1974) by Magma (Prog Rock, the only one I'm linking because the highs are incredible @ 3:45)
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PostSubject: Re: Best Songs O All Times   Mon Sep 18, 2017 3:46 am

that vulfpeck song has convinced me to never listen to any further funk tracks
because i don't think it's possible to be any funkier
i couldn't handle it if it were



so, not to hijack your thread but i think it could use some nice contrast
also, my most-listened tracks of the last year-and-a-half would probably surprise you (coming from me at least; most of the songs you know already)

Spoiler:
 
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PostSubject: Re: Best Songs O All Times   Mon Sep 18, 2017 4:13 am

Every time I listen to Vulfpeck I can't ever seem to get past their Fugue State EP, because it's so damn good and concise and I feel there's no way they can get better than that. ?

also, i miss this place's emotes. shame the forumotion / xat / skype days are long past their prime.
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PostSubject: Re: Best Songs O All Times   Mon Sep 18, 2017 11:59 am

Ah, I see you're a big fan of the 80s Wink

I once worked at a factory that played mostly 80s music, and it gave me such headaches that I really can't stand the 80s vibe anymore. It has caused me to be totally out of touch with aesthetic


@Peewee - I follow a vulfpeck fan page on facebook and the general consensus among fans is that their most recent album (Beautiful Game) is their best. It's the one that contains Tesla.
I prefer their other album Thrill of the Arts and their earlier stuff like Vollmilch and Mitt Peck EPs.
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