Song of the Day #4,575: ‘Side of the Road (Live, ACL, 1989)’ – Lucinda Williams

Continuing the chronological presentation of my 25 favorite songs…

Take On Me‘ – A-Ha (1985)

1985 is the second year to place two songs on my list of favorites, the first being Simple Minds’ ‘Don’t You (Forget About Me)’ and the second being one of today’s featured tracks, A-Ha’s ‘Take On Me.’

Some songs on this list are here because of the excellence of a specific version. ‘Don’t You (Forget About Me)’ is a good example. Both the original demo and cover versions by others pale in comparison to the magic created by Simple Minds on the definitive recording.

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Song of the Day #4,574: ‘(Don’t Go Back To) Rockville (Live)’ – R.E.M.

Continuing the chronological presentation of my 25 favorite songsā€¦

(Don’t Go Back To) Rockville‘ – R.E.M. (1984)

If I weren’t limiting my Favorite Songs playlist to one song per artist, R.E.M. is the band that may well have landed more than one track in the lineup. ‘Driver 8,’ ‘Maps and Legends,’ ‘Half a World Away’ and ‘So. Central Rain’ all were finalists for this list.

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Song of the Day #4,573: ‘Bring on the Wonder’ – Sarah McLachlan

This song, the closing track of Sarah McLachlan’s 2010 album Laws of Illusion, is the only one on that album not written by McLachlan. It was originally penned and recorded by English singer-songwriter Susan Enan.

McLachlan sings backing vocals on Enan’s version, a piano/guitar ballad I prefer to the glossy remake on Laws of Illusion.

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Song of the Day #4,572: ‘God’s Golden Eyes’ – John Hiatt

This is the third Random Weekend selection from John Hiatt’s 2000 album Crossing Muddy Waters. It pops up about once every two years.

And each time I have the same reaction, which is to be really impressed by the songwriting and sound and pledge to do a deeper dive into Hiatt’s catalog.

Well, here I am in early 2021 having the same reaction. This time, I’m going to write down “John Hiatt deep dive” in my blog planning notes and hope to actually follow through.

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Song of the Day #4,571: ‘This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody) (Live)’ – Talking Heads

Continuing the chronological presentation of my 25 favorite songs…

‘Magic’ – Olivia Newton-John (1980)

We move into the 80s now, but starting with a song that has one foot firmly planted in the 70s. The 1980 film Xanadu, with its cheesy effects and kitschy “Greek muse on roller skates” vibe, was widely panned, brought down by the anti-disco movement (and the fact that it’s an awful movie).

But despite the movie’s failure, the Xanadu soundtrack was a critical and commercial hit, going multi-Platinum and earning praise for both Olivia Newton-John and Electric Light Orchestra.

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