A song you consider perfect.

I could name any number of them (could easily name about 5 by Queens of the Stone Age, alone—and probably won’t be able to resist including them as a footnote*)—but the song I’m stuck on this morning is by a band called Wellwater Conspiracy. It’s called “Right of Left Field” and I’m listening to it on repeat.

If you don’t know who the Wellwater Conspiracy are, there’s some great info about them here. I’m pretty sure on this song it’s Matt Cameron, drummer of Soundgarden and Pearl Jam, on vocals. It’s posted to the radio.blog.

What songs do you consider perfect?

* If Only, Mexicola, How to Handle a Rope, The Lost Art of Keeping a Secret, Better Living Through Chemistry, In The Fade.

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104 thoughts on “A song you consider perfect.

  1. “Boy In The Bubble” – Paul Simon

    Pretty much anything off OK Computer.

    “Since U Been Gone”, performed by Kelly Clarkson, is about the perfect pop song.

    “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” – Beach Boys

    “Gold Digger” by Kanye West is a perfect modern hip-hop song, while “Don’t Believe The Hype” is THE perfect hip-hop song.

    “Cleaning Windows” by Van Morrison

    “Southern Girls” by Cheap Trick

  2. Mostly the classics, I think. No surprise, because a lot of the classics are perfectly constructed songs:

    Derek and the Dominoes, Layla.

    U2, With or without you.

    S&G, The sound of silence

    OMD, If you leave

    Eagles, Tequila Sunrise

    Police, Every breath you take

    In the possibly-slightly-less-predictable-and-boring category, how about:

    Evanescence, Bring me to life

    Psychedelic Furs, Heartbreak beat

    Mana, En el muelle de San Blas

    Eric Johnson, Cliffs of Dover

  3. Evanescence sucks. There, I said it. Of the others you mention, they all strike me as too polished, except Layla, which has some grit to it. There has to be something not-quite-polished in order for a song to really work.

  4. Not necessarily in the same vein, but here are some perfect pop songs (broadly defined):

    God Only Knows – The Beach Boys

    I’ll Be Your Mirror – The Velvet Underground

    All I Really Want To Do – The Byrds

    California Love – Tupac Shakur

    Levon – Elton John

    Nicotine & GravyBeck – Beck

    I Saw Red – Long Beach Dub Allstars (Or Barrington Levy)

    Fly Away – Lenny Kravitz

    Crazy Little Thing Called Love – Dwight Yoakam

    She Bangs The Drums – The Stone Roses

    There She Goes – The La’s

    Waterloo Sunset – The Kinks

    Be My Baby – The Ronettes

    Leader Of The Pack – The Shangri-Las

    The Girl From Ipanema – Astrud Gilberto

    Hallelujah – Jeff Buckley

    Out Of Time – The Rolling Stones

    Suspicious Minds – Elvis Presley

    (She’s) Sexy and 17 – Stray Cats

    Magic Carpet Ride Steppenwolf

    My Generation – The Who

  5. Fugees remaked of “Killing my Softly”

    Arcade Fire, “Rebelion (Lies)”

    John Hyatt, “Seven Little Indians”

    Stevie Wonder, “I Believe (When I Fall in Love)”

    Tom Waits, “Time” (Or maybe “Anywhere I Lay My Head”)

    Daft Punk, “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger”

    And two alternatives to Supergenius’s hip-hop picks:

    Kanye’s “All Falls Down” (Best line evar in hiphop: “She couldn’t afford a car so she named her daughter Alexis”)

    Pubic Enemy, “Bring The Noise” (for me beats out “Don’t Believe the Hype” precisely when Chuck D goes into triplets over the Funky Drummer sample in the second verse)

  6. Great list Dave, except for the Lenny Kravits. Music’s great, but the Dr. Seussian rhyme scheme makes me want to throw a brick at someone.

  7. Jeremy, I was thinking Bring the Noise as well, but for some reason it just doesn’t hit as hard for me. That whole album is wonderful, though. Chuck D. is the best.

    Good call re: Daft Punk, but if we’re talking electronic, I’d put Chemical Brothers’ “Let Forever Be” at the top.

    Oh, and “Teardrop” by Massive Attack.

  8. Evanescence isn’t great, no doubt. But, they have their moments. Their strength is the weird disjunct between Amy Lee’s vocals, and the loud angry nu-metal guitars. The mix doesn’t always work well (see, e.g., Call me when you’re sober). But Bring me to life perfectly highlights their particular strength.

    Layla is on the list because of that searing guitar. Damn. There’s a reason why Eric Clapton is considered one of the best guitarists of all time. And add in an allman brother just for fun . . . damn.

    As for the relative merits of polish, hmm. Sure, if you don’t like polished, you won’t like a lot of those. On the other hand, I think there’ something to be said for a perfectly placed synth violin bridge, or for the Edge hitting high harmonics for essentially an entire song.

    (Oh, and for Muelle, I should have specified, I meant the live version, which rocks.)

  9. Kaimi, if you’re talking about U2, I think there are songs of theirs that are more perfect, precisely because of the grit factor: One, or Stay.

  10. I haven’t heard the new Kanye album yet, but someone told me the first single samples the Daft Punk.

    (Incidentally, same guy who introduced me to Daft Punk also introduced me to Let Forever Be almost in the same sentence. Good call.)

  11. STAIRWAY!!!

    Also,
    “Paranoid Android” by Radiohead

    “The Last Time I Saw Richard” by Joni Mitchell

    “Luz do Sol” by Caetano Veloso

    “Wandering Star” by Portishead

    “At Least That’s What You Said” by Wilco

    “Muzzle of Bees” by Wilco

    “No Compassion” by Talking Heads

    “Rubies” by Destroyer

  12. Dave, is that the Bob Dylan song?

    Dylan wrote the song, but it was The Byrds’ Mr. Tambourine Man album that gave it to suburbia.

    All I Really Want To Do by The Byrds on Rhapsody

    This is my Ear Worm play list, songs that get stuck in your head until you use the drill technique at the end of Pi. Rhapsody users can sing along at home:

    [Warning, several embarrassing songs to follow]

    Rodeo Clowns – G. Love and Special Sauce

    Blonde On Blonde – Nada Surf

    Son-Of-A Preacher Man – Dusty Springfield

    (She’s) Sexy and 17 – Stray Cats

    Billie Jean – Michael Jackson

    Magic Carpet Ride – Steppenwolf

    Annie Waits – Ben Folds

    Me And Julio Down By The School Yard – Paul Simon

    For Your Love – The Yardbirds

    Gimme Some Lovin’ – The Spencer Davis Group

    Stacy’s Mom – Fountains of Wayne

    Elevate My Mind – Stereo MC’s

    Take Your Mama – Scissor Sisters

    Thugz Mansion-Nas Acoustic – Tupac Shakur

    Toxic – Britney Spears

    No Diggity – (featuring Dr. Dre) – Blackstreet

    Tennessee – Arrested Development

    Boyz-N-The Hood – Dynamite Hack

    Mona Lisas And Mad Hatters – Elton John

    Hey Ya! – Outkast

  13. I’m chuckling at the wide range of music I listen too.
    Some of these, I truly think are perfect, some of them are perfect because I loved them so much when I was younger.

    Enjoy the Silence – Depeche Mode

    Zombie – The Cranberries

    You’re Never Gonna Get It – En Vogue

    Man! I Feel Like A Woman! – Shania Twain

    Side with the Seeds – Wilco

    When You Say Nothing At All – Alison Krauss

    Hey Jude, I Am The Walrus, A Day in the Life – The Beatles

    Mysteries, Tom the Model – Beth Gibbons

    Piano Man, The Downeaster “Alexa”, The River of Dreams
    – Billy Joel

    It’s Oh So Quiet – Bjork

    Father and Son – Cat Stevens

    Gangsta’s Paradise – Coolio

    The Way You Look Tonight –

    I can see for Miles – The Who

    Purple Haze – Jimmy Hendrix

    The Man of Metropolis Steals Our Hearts – Sufjan Stevens

  14. Great choices, Summer.

    I need to make a perfect song mix cd now. I’m gonna use songs from all of the selections here.

    I only know “All I Really Want to Do” from World Party’s cover of it.

  15. Ugh, Evanescence. That “Sober” song is nails on a chalkboard.

    I’ve always liked “Bittersweet” by Big Head Todd and the Monsters.

    I would say “Bad” is U2’s most perfect song. In concert is one of the best songs ever.

    “Lightning Crashes” by Live

  16. Perfect for “everyone” or perfect for me?

    Here are my ‘perfect for me’ songs:
    Oblivious, Walk out to Winter, We Could Send Letters – Aztec Camera
    Old Apartment – Barenaked Ladies
    Under You, Porcelain – Better Than Ezra
    Home – Depeche Mode
    Half of Everything, Unhappy Song – Lloyd Cole
    Ain’t No Sunshine – Bill Withers
    Love Songs on the Radio – Mojave 3
    Under the Milky Way – The Church
    Kare Kare, Distant Sun – Crowded House
    Sunflower – Paul Weller
    King Tide – Neil Finn
    Hello Operator – White Stripes
    When You Come Back – World Party
    Say It, You Don’t Have to Go – Alison Moyet
    Shake the Disease – Hooverphonic version
    All I Want is You, Bad – U2
    Obscurity Knocks – Trash Can Sinatras

  17. Off He Goes, Immortality, Yellow Ledbetter, and Indifference by Pearl Jam. I also thnk Black is perfect when performed live, not so much recorded.

    Come Back Down — Toad the Wet Sprocket

  18. … lost my comment. (D’oh, used a less-than sign)

    Oh well, I *heart* Evanescence, particularly Amy Lee’s vocals (hey, coming to the McKay Center in November!) Best song to me: Good Enough.

    I can’t say these are “perfect”, but these songs don’t get old for me, no matter how many times I listen to them:

    Four Tops – Reach Out
    Dirty on Purpose – All New Friends
    Madder Rose – Almost Lost My Mind
    Team America OST – America… (Bed Bath and Beyond!)
    Basement Jaxx – Where’s Your Head At
    Busdriver – Avantcore
    Dresden Dolls – Coin Operated Boy
    R.E.M. – Endgame; Near Wild Heaven
    Prodigy – Firestarter
    Grits – Here We Go
    Van Halen – Hot For Teacher
    Jay-Z – Big Pimpin’ (sorry, it’s infectious)
    Macondo – Live Life to the Min
    Mika – Grace Kelly
    King’s X – Moanjam (best driving song ever!)
    Peaches and Herb – Shake Your Groove Thing
    Jem – Save Me; They
    Duran Duran – Shadows on your Side
    Pink Floyd – Shine On You Crazy Diamond (long live version)
    Strawberry Switchblade – Since Yesterday
    Styx – AD 1928 + Rockin’ the Paradise
    The Ventures – Hawaii 5-0 theme

  19. susan, i will definitely second qotsa for “in the fade” and “if only.” both on heavy rotation for me for quite some time.

    other songs that i think can’t be at all improved upon (mulling through my itunes library):

    “last caress” metallica (misfits cover)
    “kundalini express” love and rockets
    “3rd planet” modest mouse
    “mayonnaise” smashing pumpkins
    “dystopian dream girl” built to spill
    “such great heights” postal service
    “teenage riot” sonic youth
    “gigantic” pixies
    “aurora borealis” pelican
    “crazy train” ozzy
    “powderfinger” neil young
    “air” sparta
    “run to the hills” iron maiden
    “crazy” gnarls barkley
    “start choppin'” dinosaur jr.
    “didn’t i (blow your mind this time)” the delfonics
    “mother” danzig
    “ziggy stardust” bauhaus
    “victory strikes again/long live the party” andrew w.k.
    “back in black” ac/dc
    “talking shit about a pretty sunset” modest mouse

  20. Probably any song on Pet Sounds. Sloop John B, etc.

    Yellow Brick Road and/or Rocket Man – Elton John

    Any song on Love Songs for Distingue Lovers by Billie Holliday: especially Stars Fell Over Alabama

    Hero- foo fighters

    Roots, seed 2.0

    pharcyde: Passing Me By

  21. Love Will Tear Us Apart, Joy Division.

    Just Like Heaven, The Cure.

    Drifting, Falling, The Ocean Blue.

    Veloria, The Pixies.

    Tempted, Squeeze.

    And because I was a Mormon living in the California suburbs in the late ’80s:

    Forever Young, Alphaville.

  22. “And because I was a Mormon living in the California suburbs in the late ’80s:

    Forever Young, Alphaville”

    Man that cracked me up. And brought back way too many memories of dances.

    I saw the Ocean Blue live in college. Love them, loved the show.

  23. For some reason, this topic is really hard for me. I guess I have too high of standards for “perfect” or I don’t know what makes a “perfect” song. Maybe I’m just being hypercritical.

    Here are a couple that are near perfect:

    “Airscape” – Robyn Hitchcock
    “South Central Rain” – R.E.M.

    I’ll probably think of some more.

    P.S. Evanescence is just Linkin Park with a female vocalist. That’s all.

  24. Oh and “New Slang” by The Shins. (For the record, I knew this long before Natalie Portman said so.)

    Maybe “Debaser” by The Pixies. And “Here, There, and Everywhere” and “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away” by the Beatles

  25. Who’ll Stop the Rain – CCR
    Summertime Blues – Eddie Cochran
    Song of a Baker – Small Faces
    Surrender – Cheap Trick (though I’m OK with “Southern Girls” as well)
    Dark End of the Street – James Carr
    Suspicious Minds – Elvis Presley
    Needles in the Camel’s Eye – Eno
    All Along the Watchtower – JHE
    Duel – Swervedriver
    S.O.S. – ABBA
    “Heroes” – David Bowie
    Space Truckin’ – Deep Purple
    Crazy – Gnarls Barkley
    Tractor Rape Chain – Guided by Voices
    Sara Smile – Hall & Oates
    Steppin’ Out – Joe Jackson
    Across 110th Street – Bobby Womack
    Fire of Love – Jody Reynolds
    I Feel Alright – Steve Earle
    Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door – Bob Dylan
    Wichita Lineman – Glen Campbell
    God Only Knows – Beach Boys

    I could go on and on (and on), but I’ll stop there.

  26. I agree with Supergenius on “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” (Beach Boys) and with Brian V. on “Sara Smile” (Hall & Oates).

    I particularly love the line in “Sara Smile” where Daryl Hall sings “if you feel like leavin’/you know you can go/but why don’t you stay until tomorrow.” The whole song is great. Daryl Hall actually wrote that song for a girlfriend he was living with at the time. I remember reading some of her thoughts on the subject – after they had separated. I think she said she’d still sometimes hear the song in a store and have to leave because it was such an emotional thing.

    I’d love to be able to write a song like that. I feel the same way about Billy Joel’s “Just the Way You Are.” What a great and perfect way to express yourself to someone you care about.

  27. Susan:

    Nope, not a mix. Just naming songs off the top of my head.

    While folks are chiming in with artists they hate from other peoples’ lists, I’ll add Billy Joel to mine. I can’t think of a single tolerable song by him.

  28. Only You – Yaz
    Groove is in the Heart – Deee-lite
    Sabotage – Beastie Boys
    Institutionalized – Suicidial Tendencies
    Summer Highland Falls – Billy Joel
    Good Souls – Starsailor
    Nightswimming – r.e.m.
    We’re Going to be Friends – The White Stripes
    Debaser – Pixies
    You Can’t Always Get What You Want – Rolling Stones
    Ain’t There Anyone Here for Love – from Gentlemen Prefere Blondes

  29. ok, that’s weird.

    I had Only the Good Die Young there until I remembered SHF.

    “I’d rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints”

  30. Brian, if you’re going to list an Abba song among your favorites, then it’s going to be hard to argue that you’re too cool for Billy Joel.

    I won’t deny that there are a lot of Billy Joel songs that have been overplayed to death – but I’ll stick by him for many of the others.

  31. Idaho- Josh Ritter

    Hallelujah- Jeff Buckley

    Spoonful- Howlin’ Wolf

    Southern Cross- Crosby, Stills & Nash

  32. Here are a few:

    Recovering the Satellites – Counting Crows
    Need you tonight – INXS (the new INXS is YUCK)
    32 Flavors – Ani DiFranco
    Midnight train to Georgia – Gladys Knight and the Pips
    Paper Thin Walls – Modest Mouse
    I’m Waking up to Us – Belle and Sebastian
    You Were Right – Built to Spill
    I wanna be sedated – Ramones
    The New Year – Death Cab for Cutie
    My sister and spin the bottle – Juliana Hatfield
    The Glow – The Microphones
    Imagine – John Lennon
    Intervention – Arcade Fire
    Pour some sugar on me – Def Leppard (well – at least in the 6th grade it was perfect!)

  33. I’m such a sap–‘Time in a Bottle’ by Jim Croce FTW!

    Tenderness-General Public
    Mirror in the Bathroom–English Beat
    Drive–The Cars
    Fortress Around Your Heart–Sting
    Forbidden Fruit–Blow Monkeys

    I also think Rasputina’s cover of Pink Floyd’s ‘Wish You Were Here’ is pretty near perfection.

  34. In no particular order:

    In the Midnight Hour – Wilson Pickett
    House of the Rising Sun – the Animals
    Rock Lobster – the B-52s
    Dear God – XTC
    While My Guitar Gently Weeps – the Beatles
    La Grange – ZZ Top
    Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap – AC/DC
    My Generation, Baba O’Riley, Won’t Get Fooled Again, Behind Blue Eyes, I Can See for Miles, Can’t Explain, and Love Reign O’er Me – the Who
    Gloria and Brown-Eyed Girl – Van Morrison
    Red, Red Wine – UB40
    Institutionalized – Suicidal Tendencies
    The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys – Traffic
    Creep – Radiohead
    I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone and Call the Doctor – Sleater-Kinney

    I could probably list a hundred or two more, but I guess that’s plenty.

  35. Brian, if you’re going to list an Abba song among your favorites, then it’s going to be hard to argue that you’re too cool for Billy Joel.
    Well, I didn’t say I was too cool for Billy Joel, I said I think his music is awful. A small distinction, maybe, but one worth making. My own coolness isn’t really a factor, though I suppose my taste could be called into question (I did include a Joe Jackson song, after all). I think Abba write well-crafted, well-produced pop songs and Billy Joel crams every hackneyed cliche (both lyrical and musical) he can bring to mind into his songs. One’s a master craftsman and one’s a hack (IMO, of course).

  36. My Generation, Baba O’Riley, Won’t Get Fooled Again, Behind Blue Eyes, I Can See for Miles, Can’t Explain, and Love Reign O’er Me – the Who

    Good Ones. The last is my favorite.

  37. William, you trash-talker. It’s more like this: people who rely on critical skillz rarely are able to simply appreciate that which is aesthetically pleasing.

  38. Nonsense. You’re talking about critical hacks — those who see all aesthetic products through one narrow lens.

    The true critic is open to multitudes of experiences and then seeks ways to articulate them.

    As for your use of the word “simple.” No aesthetic experience is simple. The experience can be simplistic or rich or genuine or mediated or whatever.

    Of course, I’m much more of a list maker myself.
    ;-P

  39. Ah, so you poo-poo the critical experience, but still want to derive benefit from it. I suppose you also only buy albums that rate a 9.0 or higher on Pitchfork or only add 4.5+ star films to your Netflix queue.

    A man after my own black, superficial, faux-snob heart.

  40. I wanna play too!

    San Andreas Fault- Natalie Merchant
    Whiter Shade of Pale- Procol Harum
    Master of Puppets- Metalica
    Box of Rain- The Grateful Dead
    Summertime- Janice Joplin
    All Along the Watchtower- Jimi Hendrix
    Come as You Are- Nirvana
    Bull God- Kidd Rock
    Paradise City- Guns N Roses
    Heart of Gold- Neil Young
    Black Magic Woman- Santana
    Sweet Baby James- James Taylor
    Son of a Preacher Man- Dusty Springfield
    She Talks to Angels- The Black Crowes

  41. Only Living Boy in New York – Simon and Garfunkle
    Heartbreak Beat – Psychedelic Furs
    In Your Eyes – Peter Gabriel
    Blitzkreig Bop – Ramones
    Back in Black – AC/DC
    Say it ain’t so – Weezer
    Buddy Holly – Weezer

  42. Brian, I’ve mulled over what you said about Billy Joel vs. Abba. Maybe I deserved your response because part of the reason I put him up was I thought I would draw some sneers from the crowd that regularly reads here … but I also wanted to put forward my strong feelings that Billy Joel’s “Just the Way You Are” deserves recognition as a perfectly crafted song. I really do think it’s a perfect song.

    Having said that, I was pretty surprised with some of your criticisms of Joel. Without sarcasm, I’m not sure whether his being a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame actually matters or not (rewards might be given out for ridiculous reasons) – but I have thought that Joel put quite a bit more work and thought into his music and lyrics than most artists we see in popular music. I feel his earlier material was better than his later albums. Still, he seems to know who his influences are and is true to them while also showing an ability to branch out and try a wide variety of styles and influences.

    I think your scorn for Billy Joel shows that you haven’t really studied who he is or what he has written. He’s a very interesting personality with a very impressive body of work.

    Having said that – I went and read a bit on Abba and saw that they’ve also sold hundreds of millions of records. So maybe I need to tone it down a bit as well. Do I like their music? Honestly no. So maybe this whole argument just shows how seriously and personally take criticisms of their faves – and also just how subjective music tastes really are.

  43. I think your scorn for Billy Joel shows that you haven’t really studied who he is or what he has written. He’s a very interesting personality with a very impressive body of work.

    I dunno, man. I grew up on Billy Joel. My mom used to play his stuff all the time in the car. She had this greatest hits comp that, along with Phil Collins’s No Jacket Required, scarred my pre-teen musical self in big, bad ways. Dunno if having had to endure “Piano Man” (a song I truly detest) 300+ times counts as having studied his work, but believe me when I say I’ve been exposed to it.

    I’m sure it’s just a matter of personal taste, because if I were to compile a list of what I consider the worst songs of all time, there would be a disproportionate number of Joel songs (including “Just the Way You Are,” the song from his catalog that I dislike most of all, which probably explains my overreaction to your initial post). And there’s a special place in hell reserved for him just for that video where he dressed up like a hobo to talk someone out of jumping off a bridge.

    Seriously, though, comparing Billy Joel and Abba side-by-side is not really fair since, to my mind, they’re not even operating in the same arena. It’s like comparing Bryan Adams to Carole King or something.

    Again, this is all just my opinion. I hope none of this upsets you because I don’t mean it to. Like you say, the reasons we like and dislike things are pretty personal and not always governed by rationality.

  44. I went and read a bit on Abba and saw that they’ve also sold hundreds of millions of records.

    Yes, they’re ridiculously popular. In 2000, they were offered $1,000,000,000 (that’s one billion dollars, folks) to do a reunion tour and they turned it down because they didn’t want to let their fans down, so I’m guessing they’re pretty financially set.

    BTW, have you actually heard SOS? It’s worth a listen, even if you don’t like their bigger hits.

  45. The most perfect song by the Furs is not “Heartbreak Beat” it’s “The Ghost In You”

    The most perfect song by Peter Gabriel is not “In Your Eyes” it’s “Solsbury Hill”

    Some serious perfection by Third Eye Blind:

    Slow Motion

    The Background

    My Hit and Run

    Crystal Baller

    Palm Reader

  46. MCQ: Good call on “The Ghost on You.”

    I’d be inclined to agree with you on “Solsbury Hill” — but again. Mormon. Teenager. California suburbs. Read too many F. Scott Fitzgerald short stories. Hung out with the post-punk crowd. etc.

  47. How We Get By – Spoon

    Institutionalized is a perfect expression of overwrought angst. With a sense of humor about it.

    I like Billy Joel but “Just the Way You Are”? Pass the no-doze, I can’t keep my eyes open.

    I had no problem with “One” until Mary J Blidge’s lil’ rabid posse o’ drama fans tried to say it was her song! It’s tainted now.

    Tainted Love !!! – Soft Cell.

    Dear God – xtc is a great song, but I think Season’s Cycle is perfect.

  48. Aztec Camera – Love
    The Beloved – Sweet Harmony
    Billy Bragg – Waiting for the Great Leap Forward
    Bright Eyes – First Day of My Life
    Crowded House – And She Goes On
    The Damned – Alone Again Or
    Nick Drake – River Man
    The Lilac Time – Darkness of Your Eyes
    Eels – Things the Grandchildren Should Know
    Flogging Molly – If I Ever Leave This World Alive
    Freur – Doot Doot
    Jerry Harrison – Man With a Gun
    Heaven 17 – Let Me Go
    James – Sit Down
    Jellyfish – Baby’s Coming Back
    Jesus & Mary Chain – April Skies
    Elton John – Mona Lisa and Mad Hatters
    Cyndi Lauper – Time After Time
    The Smiths – How Soon is Now? or That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore or Unloveable
    Peter Murphy – A Strange Kind of Love
    Nada Surf – Blonde on Blonde
    New Order – Ceremony
    Pet Shop Boys – Rent
    Scissor Sisters – Take Your Mama
    Sonic Youth – Theresa’s Sound World
    Talk Talk – It’s My Life
    Talking Heads – This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)
    The The – Jealous of Youth or Out of the Blue (Into the Fire)
    X – Los Angeles

  49. Jennifer: I agree on the Joel song. There are much better ones, mostly on his old “Toys in the Attic” album

    “One” can never be tainted. “A thing of beauty is a joy forever; its loveliness increases; it will never pass into nothingness” –John Keats

    So screw Mary J. Blige.

  50. Matt: That is quite a list. Thank you for including Nada Surf, I love them. That Freuer song is awesome, but I think it’s just called “Doot.” I also love Talk Talk, but my favorite song is “Life’s What You Make It”

    Crowded House: what about “Better Be Home Soon”?

    My vote for Talking Heads song goes to “Life During Wartime.”

    No one has mentioned Dave Matthews Band, so out of many possibilities, I’ll nominate “Satelite”

  51. Crowded House has very, very few missteps and the whole darn collection could be argued as most perfect…

    I want She Goes On played at my funeral. Although, Better Be Home soon would be nice as well!

  52. For DMB, I’d have to say #41, but the live version.

    Talk Talk are soooo good.

    Cyndi Lauper – Time After Time is an interesting choice, because that songs has been covered so much, and it always holds up so well. That’s a sign of a well-crafted song.

    “That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore” is my favorite Smiths song.

  53. Yeah, I could have included multiple Talk Talk and Crowded House songs. Both band’s entire discographies are worth owning. I would also include the following two Finn-ish gems:

    Finn Brothers – Only Talking Sense
    Split Enz – Message to My Girl

    Agree about the cover versions of Lauper’s Time After Time. Love EBTG’s version of it, and almost everything by EBTG. Tough to pick out the “perfect” EBTG song, because they are all so perfect. I also perfer their version of “The Only Living Boy in New York” to the S&G version.

  54. Smiths: “Girlfriend in a Coma”

    EBTG: The whole album “Worldwide” and “The Road” from “Language of Life” Always reminds me of Seattle.

    I have to also give a shout out to Toad the Wet Sprocket: “Windmills

    Counting Crows should also have a spot. How about “A Murder of One”?

    If I was going to pick an REM song it would be “Fall On Me” “I Believe” or “Get Up” or maybe “You Are The Everything” or “Half a World Away”

  55. “Yeah, I could have included multiple Talk Talk and Crowded House songs. Both band’s entire discographies are worth owning. I would also include the following two Finn-ish gems:

    Finn Brothers – Only Talking Sense
    Split Enz – Message to My Girl”

    I don’t have enough comment space to list all things Finn that are perfect, but I would agree with the two you mentioned here. As for Neil Finn solo: King Tide or Wherever You Are

  56. I’m a Toad fan as well. “Windmills” is definitely one of their best.

    And “Fall on Me” is my favorite REM song, though “Find the River” from Automatic for the People and “A Perfect Circle” from Murmur come close. So does “So Central Rain (I’m Sorry).”

  57. you people are nuts.

    Nightswimming is the perfect r.e.m. song.

    McQ – It’s Songs in the Attic, though – Toys in the Attic is an Aerosmith album.

    Smiths – I started something I couldn’t finish
    (typical me, typical me) or Asleep.

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