Best Singles of Each Artist: Vol. 4

Here are your options:

1. Johnny Cash
2. The Who
3. They Might Be Giants
4. Dire Straits
5. Christina Aguilera
6. Coldplay
7. Eric Clapton (in or out of a band)
8. Eminem
9. The Police (not Sting)
10. George Michael (in or out of a band)

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45 thoughts on “Best Singles of Each Artist: Vol. 4

  1. 1. Johnny Cash: Ring of Fire

    2. The Who: Behind Blue Eyes

    3. They Might Be Giants: It’s Not My Birthday

    4. Dire Straits: Romeo and Juliet

    5. Christina Aguilera: Beautiful

    6. Coldplay: Yellow

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CAME8GDRTfI

    7. Eric Clapton (in or out of a band): Layla (acoustic)

    8. Eminem: Without Me

    9. The Police (not Sting): Every Little Thing She does is Magic

    10. George Michael (in or out of a band): Careless Whisper

  2. Hmm. Best or favorite? I’ll do both.

    Johnny Cash: Number 13 (favorite), Jackson (best)

    The Who: Squeeze Box (favorite), Won’t Get Fooled Again (best)

    They Might Be Giants: Particle Man (favorite & best)

    Dire Straits: Brothers in Arms (favorite), Sultans of Swing (best)

    Christina Aguilera: ummm. Genie in the Bottle?

    Coldplay: Chasing Cars (favorite) God Put a Smile on Your Face (best)

    Eric Clapton: If I Had Possession Over Judgment Day (favorite), Wonderful Tonight (best)

    Eminem: Forgot about Dre (favorite), Stan (best)

    Police: Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic (favorite), Wrapped Around Your Finger (best)

    George Michael: Freedom (favorite), Careless Whisper (best)

  3. 1. Johnny Cash – Folsom Prison Blues
    2. The Who – Love, Reign O’er Me
    3. They Might Be Giants – John Lee Supertaster (was that a single?)
    4. Dire Straits – The one with Sting doing backup
    5. Christina Aguilera – Beautiful (only song I can name by her)
    6. Coldplay – God Put A Smile Upon Your Face (is that a single?)
    7. Eric Clapton (in or out of a band) – Can’t Find My Way Home (Blind Faith)
    8. Eminem – uh…?
    9. The Police (not Sting) – King of Pain
    10. George Michael (in or out of a band) – Praying For Time

  4. 1. Johnny Cash

    2. The Who

    3. They Might Be Giants

    Not my thang.

    4. Dire Straits

    5. Christina Aguilera

    6. Coldplay

    7. Eric Clapton (in or out of a band)

    8. Eminem

    9. The Police (not Sting)

    10. George Michael (in or out of a band)

  5. 1. Johnny Cash – Folsom Prison Blues
    2. The Who – Baba O’Riley (aka Teenage Wasteland)
    3. They Might Be Giants – (very hard to choose) Purple Toupee
    4. Dire Straits – Sultans of Swing
    5. Christina Aguilera – Soar (it’s a goosebumps song)
    6. Coldplay – Clocks
    7. Eric Clapton (in or out of a band) – Layla
    8. Eminem – Without Me
    9. The Police (not Sting) – Synchronicity I
    10. George Michael (in or out of a band) – Kissing a Fool

  6. 1. Johnny Cash – Jackson

    2. The Who – My Generation

    3. They Might Be Giants – Birdhouse In Your Soul

    4. Dire Straits – Sultans of Swing -or- Your Latest Trick

    5. Christina Aguilera – The Voice Within

    6. Coldplay – The Scientist

    7. Eric Clapton (in or out of a band) – Further On Up The Road

    8. Eminem – Guilty Conscience (featuring Dr. Dre)

    9. The Police (not Sting) – Driven to Tears

    10. George Michael (in or out of a band) – One More Try

  7. The Police are one of those bands that rarely did anything wrong. I’d also put “Regatta de Blanc” up as a potential best, though it isn’t really a typical ‘song’ at all.

  8. 1. Johnny Cash — Folsom Prison

    2. The Who — Baba O’Riley (Though others could be chosen here)

    3. They Might Be Giants — Ana Ng -or- Don’t Let’s Start (Tie)

    4. Dire Straits — So Far Away

    5. Christina Aguilera

    6. Coldplay — Clocks or Speed of Sound (tie)

    7. Eric Clapton (in or out of a band) — For Your Love

    8. Eminem

    9. The Police (not Sting) — Bring on the Night (Too many good choices)

    10. George Michael (in or out of a band) — Faith

  9. 1. Johnny Cash – Ring of Fire
    2. The Who – Magic Bus
    3. They Might Be Giants – Don’t Let’s Start
    4. Dire Straits – Sultans of Swing
    5. Christina Aguilera – Come on Over, Baby
    6. Coldplay – ugh. Pass.
    7. Eric Clapton (in or out of a band) – Let it Rain (Derek and the Dominos, I believe)
    8. Eminem – Lose Yourself
    9. The Police (not Sting) – Synchronicity II
    10. George Michael (in or out of a band) – Faith

  10. 1. Johnny Cash – I Walk the Line
    2. The Who – You Better You Bet
    3. They Might Be Giants – Birdhouse in Your Soul
    4. Dire Straits – Water of Love
    5. Christina Aguilera – pass
    6. Coldplay – Clocks (but only the version with the Buena Vista Social Club)
    7. Eric Clapton (in or out of a band) – The Core
    8. Eminem – pass
    9. The Police (not Sting) – Synchronicity II
    10. George Michael (in or out of a band) – pass

  11. 1. Johnny Cash: Folsum Prison Blues
    2. The Who: Baba O’Reilly
    3. They Might Be Giants: Subliminal

    4. Dire Straits: Romeo and Juliet
    5. Christina Aguilera: pass
    6. Coldplay: The Scientist
    7. Eric Clapton (in or out of a band): Motherless Child

    8. Eminem: Stan
    9. The Police (not Sting): So Lonely

    10. George Michael (in or out of a band): Freedom

  12. Motherless Child is a fantastic song by Clapton. It also was the music used in WKRP back in the 70s as I recall.

    This was honestly one of the hardest lists to do since Clapton, Dire Straits, The Police and Johnny Cash have so many songs I absolutely love.

  13. 1. Johnny Cash – Jackson
    2. The Who – Baba O’Reilly
    3. They Might Be Giants – (For kids) Seven Days a Week (For adults) Don’t Lets Start
    4. Dire Straits – Sultans of swing
    5. Christina Aguilera – I think the only song of hers I know is Genie in a Bottle. It’s not a bad pop song
    6. Coldplay – cover of Lips Like Sugar
    7. Eric Clapton (in or out of a band) – Layla
    8. Eminem – Mosh
    9. The Police (not Sting) – Every Little Thing She Does is Magic
    10. George Michael (in or out of a band) – Freedom

  14. 1. Johnny Cash – Cocaine Blues

    2. The Who – I Can See For Miles

    3. They Might Be Giants – not a fan
    4. Dire Straits – Sultans of Swing

    5. Christina Aguilera – not a fan
    6. Coldplay – not a fan
    7. Eric Clapton (in or out of a band) – Badge (by Cream)

    8. Eminem – not a fan
    9. The Police (not Sting) – Message in a Bottle

    10. George Michael (in or out of a band) – Freedom

  15. “Either way it’s Radiohead Lite”

    I’d say the major difference between Radiohead and Coldplay is that the Radiohead guys wouldn’t know a decent melody/hook it bit them in the collective arses.

    (Which is largely why I can’t stand Radiohead. Plus they seem like the ultimate “Emperor has no clothes” band to me. Their music is consistently hard on the ears yet critics fawn all over them. So bizarre.)

  16. Come on Geoff. I’ll be the first to admit Radiohead isn’t about pop like riffs or melodies. And either you hate that or you don’t mind it. But I can name a slew of their songs with good melodies and hooks. Creep. High and Dry. Karma Police. And so forth.

    It’s just that Radiohead plays around stuff much like Jazz greats like Miles Davis. Yeah, they do it in their own way with typically pretty complex layers. But even with all the layers and experimentation in a song like National Anthem along with the playing around the melody it’s got some great hooks.

    I think Radiohead brings out this “Emperor has no clothes” much like the class hard core jazz did years ago. It’s not approachable by the masses. But it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t deserve the praise it gets. Does everything have to be mass market?

    BTW – since like an idiot I conflated Snow Patrol and Coldplay let me pick an other favorite. (Weird as I hardly have any Snow Patrol in my library) “In My Place”

  17. Karma Police is a fine example of a horrendously bad melody/hook Clark. (Though if you sing the song in Elmer Fudd voice it is at least amusing.)

    I don’t dispute that Radiohead has stumbled across a few solid melodies over the years. Even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while.

    Also, I love Miles Davis’ cool jazz period in the late 50’s and early 60’s but there is a reason why jazz basically died after he and others got all experimental heading into the 70s. That reason is that melody largely disappeared from jazz and people started realizing they hated listening to that crap. That’s how I feel about most Radiohead music.

  18. Usually when I mention that I don’t like Radiohead very much, people tend to be shocked. Just never done it for me.

    There are exceptions like Street Spirit (Fade Out) which I love, but those are few.

  19. Really Russ? Most people I know hate Radiohead. Further the fact so many big names love Radiohead makes them think it’s all just a pretentious put on. i.e. they think people only say they like Radiohead to seem intellectual or the like.

    One of my best friends used to go off against Radiohead. In fact one of the reasons I got into Radiohead was to see what the fuss was all about. (I’d only heard Karma Police which I was mixed on at best) As I listened I discovered I really, really liked it.

  20. Most people I know who are into music love Radiohead. I think I’d like them a lot more if I’d ever been able to see them live. I just can’t take the whiny vocals for very long on CD.

  21. Like Susan, most people who I get talking to who love music the conversation will go like this:

    “Oh, and band x, yeah the y album great stuff. And you like band z too? yeah? Oh, and of course Radiohead.”

    “Yeah, I’ve never been a big fan of Radiohead.”

    (crickets)

    “Really? I would have thought for sure that you would like them.”

    “Yeah, no, not so much.”

  22. 1. Johnny Cash – Folsom Prison Blues
    2. The Who – oh heck, take your pick. Won’t Get Fooled Again
    3. They Might Be Giants – Birdhouse in Your Soul
    4. Dire Straits – Romeo & Juliet
    5. Christina Aguilera – the only song I can name is Genie in a Bottle
    6. Coldplay – Can’t name any of their songs. None.
    7. Eric Clapton – White Room
    8. Eminem – My Name Is (not sure if that is the title)
    9. The Police – Synchronicity II
    10. George Michael – I’m Your Man

    A few notes:

    Roxanne is the most obnoxious song that The Police ever released. They are a lesser band because of that song.

    Eric Clapton’s best stuff was with Cream and it has all been downhill from there. But it has been a gentle slope and some of you can be forgiven for picking songs from the “MTV acoustic” era.

    Radiohead is one of the few recent acts that I can stand to listen to and I can listen to it all day.

    Finally, at church this week my two year old ducked into a room, shut the door, held it shut and began singing at the top of his lungs: “Been a long time since I rock and rolled!!!! OOOOOOOOHHHHOOOOOHHHH! Lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely…” So you can guess what sort of stuff we listen to in the car.

  23. Any links to a non-obnoxious rendition? I’d search myself, but I don’t want to be annoyed by all the obnoxious ones I’d have to listen to in order to find it.

  24. Random John, some of Clapton’s best stuff are his blues albums from the post-unplugged era.

    It’s interesting that Clapton rips on a lot of the Cream stuff as being rubbish because he felt he was so high while playing that his technique is quite bad. Interestingly he goes out of his way to rip on the seminal live version of Crossroads from that time. (Although I still love it)

    I dispute it’s all downhill from Cream in general though. A lot of his mid 70’s stuff is great. Let it Rain, After Midnight, and Blues Power from his self-titled 1970 album are fantastic. While Clapton didn’t like Blind Faith (feeling it was a repeat of all that was wrong with Cream) I still love his song Presence of the Lord and then Winwood’s Can’t Find My Way Home. And who can forget Derek and the Domino’s Layla? Then there’s his other solo stuff like I Shot the Sheriff (which I like better than Marley’s), Wonderful Tonight (which I think is his best), Cocaine and a lot else.

    Clapton’s just been solid in every decade and I love how his last decade and a half has been some fantastic blues stuff.

    The only obnoxious version of Roxanne is the Wycliff Jean version (with Sting doing backup).

  25. A few days late, but I love these so here are my choices – some of which I will regret because I post then read :) always happens.

    1. Johnny Cash – Hurt
    2. The Who – Baba O’Reilly
    3. They Might Be Giants – Ana Ng
    4. Dire Straits – Walk of Life
    5. Christina Aguilera – Don’t really know any of her songs
    6. Coldplay – None
    7. Eric Clapton – Layla, the original, not the Unplugged version
    8. Eminem – can’t stand him
    9. The Police – Synchronicity II
    10. George Michael – I’m going with Freedom when he was in Wham!

  26. Freedom was off his first solo album. Careless Whisper was the Wham song along with Wake Me Up Before You Go Go. (Man, I’m glad I’m not the only person to make those sorts of errors — although at least you got the song from the right band!)

  27. George Michael wrote Careless Whisper when he was 17. My favorite Wham! song is “Bad Boys.”

    George Michael’s first solo album, Listen Without Prejudice, is hugely underrated in my opinion. An excellent album.

    Here’s a slow version of Roxanne:

  28. He never really did much after the first solo album did he? (I guess he had a few hits in the UK, but nothing in the US)

  29. Clark, I was going with this song:

    http://tinyurl.com/23dwa9m

    “”Freedom” is a song by British pop duo Wham! in 1984, becoming the group’s second UK #1 hit. It was written by George Michael, one half of the duo.”

    I think everyone else referenced his solo song Freedom (aka Freedom ’90), which is a great song itself.

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