I’ve been falling down a wormhole pretty consistently lately. Various online music magazines will rank all the songs for a given artist and I’ll sit here and question both the rankings as well as why I’m sitting here reading about b-sides and covers by the Foo Fighters. When you don’t recognize a song as a cover in the first place and have never heard the aforementioned band’s version, it may be time to move along. This got me thinking. What’s my favorite song of all time. Is that even a possible thing?
Music has played such a role in my life and with with age and different highs and lows, how could I narrow it down to one. Seems impossible. As your purveyor of anything is possible. I owe it to you to at least try.
But where to start. Is it a favorite song by your favorite band or could it possibly be a one off. I wonder who my favorite band is. Favorite band changes as much as favorite song. U2, REM, Let’s Active were my front runners for the 80s. Likely, The Connells, Toad the Wet Sprocker, Driving N Cryin Better than Ezra, for the 90s. Butch Walker, Jason Isbell, the Hold Steady for the last decade or so...I’m beginning to conclude that it can be a one off.
Next, my brain goes to “song I wish I’d written.” This isn’t a favorite per se, but one that when I hear it, as a musician I’m almost pissed because it’s so perfect. This is an easy one to identify. Cover Me Up, by Jason Isbell is perfection and I honestly think I wished I’d written it every time I hear it.
But what’s the song that when you hear it, you’re like “This is me in song”. Or does it need to simply move you? I put Muse Hysteria and Jane’s Addiction Mountain Song on every single playlist I make. Are these my favorites? Lose Yourself by Eminem also rears it’s head on many and Smashing Pumpkins, Tristessa would have to be third most played. All of these have to be considered.
I think back to college. Was there a song or band that influenced how I play guitar and wrote music. As simple as it sounds, there was a time when I knew every single guitar part to almost every Drivin N Cryin song. Could Honeysuckle Blue be it?
Really though this is a lot more simple than I am making it. There’s one song that has stood a 30 year test of time for me (damn I’m old). When I first heard it at 17 I was blown away. I continue to listen to it probably weekly, 30 years later. In December 2017, I had control of the sound system inside LSU’s Tiger Stadium. It was 5:45-6 a.m. and my friend Luke and I were the only two people in there. It was incredibly cool. I pressed play and one song echoed through the stadium. A song I had the pleasure of witnessing live across the street on Thanksgiving Night In 1987.
U2-Where the Streets Have No Name