Thursday, December 27, 2007

Five Great Songs

I’ve decided to take some money that came my way this Christmas and buy five songs. I really do not have that many songs in mind, but five seemed like a fairly reasonable amount to play with.

I thought I would solicit some help from five or six of you who read this blog. So I ask you: If you could only listen to five songs the rest of your life, what would they be? Please leave your selections in the comment section. I am not saying I will chose from your suggestions (for instance, Brandon, no Ricky Martin numbers will be making my play list), but I am interested in what you have to say.

I did a little research to find some really popular albums and songs. Looking up top albums in different places yields very different answers. Amazon’s Listmania had many top album lists full of albums I’m sure only the list maker knew about. Wikipedia was helpful, but gave different answers for world-wide and American sales. We may have produced Michael Jackson, but at least we didn’t make him #1. The Eagles came up near the top in many lists, which didn’t surprise me, but AC/DC’s Back in Black really surprised me as almost always in the top five. I really think record books do not go back far enough, because no Elvis Presley album makes any top 10 sales charts I could find. He does show up in some of the top singles charts.

But the singles are a wholly different animal. “Hound Dog/Don’t Be Cruel” sold over 4 million copies, but so did Tiffany’s “I Think We’re Alone Now.” “I Want To Hold Your Hand” is there along with “The Chipmunk Song.” In fact if you wanted to compose a song list featuring five of the top 25 singles ever sold, it could go like this:

  1. "Islands in the Stream", Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton;
  2. "I Think We're Alone Now", Tiffany;
  3. "Ballad of the Green Berets", Sgt Barry Sadler;
  4. "Whoomp! (There It Is)", Tag Team;
  5. "Macarena", Los Del Rio

I hope everyone can agree that best-selling does not equal best. After all, I could not find Audio Adrenaline’s “Bloom” or Steve Taylor’s “Squint” on any of these lists.


On a recent visit to Jill’s parents home in Iowa, I saw something amusing enough to share. The television was on for background noise (do all families do this, or just the one’s I’ve been around?), and an infomercial came on. It was one I have never seen before. They were selling a bar stool as exercise equipment. Granted it was a low bar stool with handles, but still. They said it was used by firefighters. It did not mention mail carriers, psychiatrists or other overweight guys in Cheers. Apparently, a shirtless Norm wouldn't sell the things as well as the bikini clad model they continually showed during voice overs: “Do you want tight abs and smooth lines like this?” I would have been more impressed if she would have had really flabby arms and legs but perfect abs. Somehow I think she might use something besides Red.

Other highlights of the show included people falling off those “difficult to use” exercise balls. Also, while the models were using the machine, their abs would flash as though their muscles were filled with neon lights. They continually referred to the device as “Red.” As in, “Using Red for just 30 minutes a day will cut your waistline 7 inches.” Maybe red is the name of some kind of hormone that speeds up metabolism, so their statements are technically true. The name is the biggest marketing blunder. In the internet age your name should be uniquely searchable (my theory of why Microsoft named their media player Zune, try finding something else called that on Google). I vote for the Norminizor. I also think you should have a little voice recorder to say your name into, so that every time you start to exercise it would greet you like a bar full of people where everybody knows your name. Unfortunately, I cannot find any place on their website to leave suggestions.


Chris said...

Alice's Restaurant
Cat's in the Cradle
Coward of the County
Piano Man
American Pie

brandon said...

I can't handle the pressure. I have been thinking about it for days, and every song I think of that I wouldn't want to live without would never be a song that you would feel the same about. And, Yeah, one of the songs on my list would be from Ricky Martin. LOL :)

Jim said...

What??? You're blogging again?

Where was I?

Okay - five songs (this was surprisingly tough)...

1. Where the Streets Have No Name
2. Hey Jude
3. Fix You
4. Come to Me (Waterdeep Live at New Earth)
5. Yesterday