All time favorite pop-song.
I just had to type this post as a response to Melissa Blake’s wonderful post on her excellent blog. While I vehemently disagree with the title of her post, ‘Forget Those “Best of 2019” Lists: Why 1999 Was Really the Best Year In Pop Culture’, almost just as much as I disagree with her choice of Christina Aguilera’s Genie In A Bottle as the best pop-song ever. I do so sympathize with her paragraph on what she experienced when she first heard this song, which I do find to be a bloody cool pop-song. And I can very much relate to the sentiment of this song scoring with (late) millennials.
While I do believe the whole notion of generation gap (especially when it comes to music) has been vastly overrated, there is an element of truth in it. I was born in the spring of 1959 and thus qualify as one of the last baby-boomers. According to cultural sociologists, who deem themselves worth their salt, the differences between boomers and millennials couldn’t be starker. They are right I guess, as long as they leave music out of the equation.
My all time favorite pop-song
As of now, 2019 I mean, my all time favorite pop song is from a relatively obscure band called The Stereophonics that dates back to only 2003. It’s called Maybe tomorrow.
Written and produced by frontman Kelly Jones, it was used as the opening theme of the movie Wicker Park (2004) and was played during the credits at the end of the Academy Award-winning movie Crash (2004). Which is when I heard it first, in the Dolby Stereo equipped cinema after seeing that wonderful movie Crash.
I can be brutally brief about its impact, it was one of those rare songs that sent shivers down my spine. Much of the same experience Melissa had (and probably still has) for Genie in a bottle.
And then you just do what every other sane person does…
I went down the next morning to my favorite record shop and bought the CD… actually two of them. One for the car and the other for the home stereo. And I just hit the repeat button and played it at least twenty-five times.
Robert M. Pirsig, you know, the guy who wrote the classic Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance way back in the 70s, called this phenomena dynamic quality. But then, even while it might still be your all time favorite pop-song, bar none, you substitute it for another flavor of the month and shelve the CD. But you always remember where and why, this is after all your favorite song, ever. For the time being. The sense of dynamic quality has shifted towards one of static quality.
That dreaded thing called ‘Generation Gap’
If there is something like brutally trying to kick in the proverbial open door, it must be saying that music evolves. But the point I’m trying to make here is that your taste in music can evolve too. It can become richer, more balanced, more in tune with the times. In my top 10 of all time favorite pop-songs definitely still is Jethro Tull’s Locomotive Breath, which dates back to 1971 when I was 12 or so.
For the puritans under you, this was the original single version, which I thought to be, during most of my teenage years to the best pop-song ever. If you’re thinking now this was just me as a 12-year-old rebelling against his classical music upbringing, you’re probably dead right. To a point. It still sits high on my list of all-time favorite pop-songs.
Last example of evolving all time favorite pop-songs
The song that has been on the top spot, in my book, longest is this one from 1972 which has much more of the jazzy soul-like qualities that I remember from my early teens in the Caribbean where I spent the happiest part of my childhood.
Although it stems from 1972, it only registered with me a decade later when I was completely smitten with Sade’s Smooth Operator.
Just goes to show that if you keep an open mind to wherever music goes (no matter how hard that is) you will stumble on new jewels the size off a rock. So please don’t get stuck only with the favorite pop-songs of when you were young.
As, the late, Herman Brood (of the Wild Romance) once famously said before he jumped off the roof of the Amsterdam Hilton: ‘Get your head out of your ass and look around. You just might discover a whole new world.’
My all time favorite guitar song and solo
It was late last night when I wrote this, and I completely forgot to mention Funkadelic’s Maggot Brain. Street-lengths ahead of any other famous song with an even more famous guitar solo (Led Zepp’s Stairway to Heaven, or Deep Purple’s Child in Time, or even the Eagles’ Hotel California). Just not possible I can hear some nay-Sayers think, but first listen, then shiver and then finally you pass judgement.
Let me briefly explain how this song came about. George Clinton, the headman of Funkadelic, tripping on LSD, briefed the late Eddie Hazel to write him a guitar solo as if he’d heard his mother just died. And then he had to turn this solo into hearing the news if his mother wasn’t dead after all. Anyway, the original track was so vastly different from anything Funkadelic stood for that the record company didn’t dare to pt this on their latest album and added it in a nondescript sleeve to it. Or so the story goes…
For more about me and my blog, go here