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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Song of the Day #4,570: ‘Vienna (Live)’ – Billy Joel

Continuing the chronological presentation of my 25 favorite songs…

‘Vienna’ – Billy Joel (1977)

Billy Joel’s The Stranger came out the same year as Rumours, a fact that doesn’t quite compute in my head. I think of Joel’s album as coming much later for some reason. That’s two all-time great albums in a single year. I look forward to seeing what else 1977 had to offer when I get there in my Decade series.

Four years contributed two songs to my list of 25 favorites, one each in the 70s, 80s, 90s and 00s.

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Song of the Day #4,569: ‘Dreams’ – Fleetwood Mac

Continuing the chronological presentation of my 25 favorite songs…

Tangled Up in Blue (Demo)‘ – Bob Dylan (1974)

This song is one of two selections on my list of 25 that refers to a specific version different from the official release. To be fair, Bob Dylan’s ‘Tangled Up in Blue’ would certainly make this list in its initial full-band Blood on the Tracks incarnation as well.

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Song of the Day #4,568: ‘Life on Mars? (Live)’ – David Bowie

Continuing the chronological presentation of my 25 favorite songs…

Life on Mars?‘ – David Bowie (1971)

This is the first of six songs from the 70s to make my list (tying that decade with the 80s for most represented). I guess that makes sense, given that those two decades made up my first 18 years, and isn’t that when music makes its biggest impact?

That’s one theory, but a deeper dive reveals that half of those 12 songs — including both of today’s featured tracks — didn’t find me until much later. So maybe they were just good musical decades.

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Song of the Day #4,567: ‘April Come She Will (Demo)’ – Paul Simon

In recent months, I’ve found myself declaring a couple of times that one song or another was officially among my all-time favorites.

That got me interested, during these pandemic times, in creating a definitive playlist of my favorite songs. This is an exercise fraught with peril and subject to repeated second-guessing, but that’s also what makes it fun.

Narrowing such a list to ten songs proved impossible, so I kept at it until I had close to 30, then pared back to 25, which feels like a good number.

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