Several (dozen) songs that I will never get tired of. They’re not really in any kind of order, and you can click on the titles to hear the songs.
1. Crimson and Clover (Tommy James & the Shondelles)
I get made fun of for loving this song, but everyone who makes fun of me is lame. It’s gorgeous and so sweet. The extra-long version is the best.
2. Runaway (Del Shannon)
One of the best songs of the 60s. I love it for two reasons: the amazing opening guitar and the fact that it reminds me of hanging out with my friends in high school. We used to sing it together.
3. Fat Bottomed Girls (Queen)
My favorite Queen song, hands-down. Freddie’s voice has this one by the horns.
4. Passenger (Iggy Pop)
Ughhhh so good! Not only my favorite song by Iggy Pop, but possibly my favorite song, period. I especially love the line, “All of this was made for you and me…let’s take a ride and see what’s mine.” I listened to this song on the worst day of my life, and it made me feel better. That means something.
5. My Doorbell (The White Stripes)
Ah, the super-sing-along “Doorbell”. Such a great song. I’m so crazy about anything with lots of cymbals, and I really love these lyrics and how Jack White sings it.
6. My Belle Amie (The Tee Set)
My husband Jordan teases me because I listen to this song constantly. I can’t help it. I think the lyrics are so sweet and the melody is gorgeous.
7. Gymnopedie No. 3 (Satie / Debussy)
I decided a long time ago that this is simply the most beautiful song in the world.
8. Golden Slumbers (The Beatles)
It’s always hard to choose a favorite Beatles song, but this one comes to mind because of Paul’s completely outstanding vocal performance. No one sings like this anymore, and it’s a pretty unusual style for old Paul.
9. 40 Day Dream (Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeroes)
My favorite song by this lovely little band. I love the swingy tune of this song and the vocals, plus the gorgeous lyrics.
10. Barabajagal (Donovan)
LOVE IS HOT! This song is so cool.
11. Goin’ Down (The Monkees)
How can I choose my favorite Monkees song? There are so many. This is an old favorite because it’s fun to sing along with and the horns are great. It also has a great music video.
12. Down in Mexico (The Coasters)
This song is kickin, with a fantastic melody and horns. I used to sing this song with my dad when I was little.
13. Red Right Hand (Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds)
Quite the legacy this song has: Dumb and Dumber, Scream, The X-Files. What a classic…it’s always stood out.
14. Wanna Be Your Dog
One of the coolest, sexiest songs ever. Ever, ever, ever. The whites of my eyes.
15. Down Boy (The Yeah Yeah Yeahs)
How do people write a song like this? Where does the incredible melody come from? I don’t understand.
16. Vienna (Billy Joel)
Oh…I am embarrassed to have a Billy Joel song. But it’s “Vienna”. It’s so pretty! This song always makes me happy.
17. Golden Brown (The Stranglers)
I love this song even though it’s about heroin. It’s the song Jordan and I chose to play at our wedding right after the “you may kiss the bride” part of the ceremony. It’s so British and beautiful.
18. Driver’s Seat (Sniff & the Tears)
The greatest atmosphere in a song, ever.
19. Shelter from the Storm (Bob Dylan)
Very hard to just include one song from the Big Dyl (I just made that up), but this one has always been my favorite, ever since I first heard it in Jerry Maguire. It’s the song that got me into old Bobby.
20. Go Down Moses (Arlo Guthrie)
I adore Arlo Guthrie, and this is my favorite song by him. It’s so pretty.
21. Tiny Dancer (Elton John)
I first heard “Tiny Dancer” when I was about ten. It was in the movie My Girl 2, and I instantly fell in love with it. My dad was so amused that I adored this song, and he scoured his record collection to find the song for me. It’s still one of the prettiest songs I’ve ever heard.
22. Don’t Leave Me This Way (Thelma Houston)
Ohhhhhhhh yes. I’m not really a disco kind of girl…but come on, this song is so full of energy. That chorus is killer.
23. Dracula’s Wedding (Outkast)
Just a really great song.
24. Row (Jon Brion)
Short, but one of my favorites by Jon Brion. It’s so sweet and sad. Most of my favorite Jon Brion music is from Eternal Sunshine, and this one always stands out.
25. Hanky Panky (Tommy James & the Shondelles)
So silly, sexy, and cute. The song…not the video.
26. Look What They’ve Done to My Song, Ma (Melanie)
Melanie is one of my all-time favorite artists. She’s also one of the most underrated. She’s an acquired taste because her voice is…strong…but I really love her because her melodies are always so charming and her lyrics are usually truthful, interesting, and crazy all at the same time. I only put one of her songs in this list because it was impossible trying to think of more than one. I wanted to put all of them…so I limited myself.
27. I’m Good, I’m Gone (Lykke Li)
So…I kind of lost my mind with this song when I first discovered it years ago. I played it non-stop and got a little obsessed. It’s just so amazing. I also adore the video that goes with it…not the crazy mainstream video, but the acoustic version where they are just performing.
28. Listen to the Band (The Monkees)
I kept trying to remove this song from the list, but then I’d add it back. I guess I really do love it.
29. Two Wrongs Don’t Make a Right (Barrett Strong)
Oh man…Barrett’s voice. I love this.
30. Miss Butter’s Lament (Harry Nilsson)
Only the prettiest song ever recorded! Seriously…when I hear this song, my heart swells. It’s dangerous. I could listen to it all day long. Harry’s completely underrated, and this is my favorite by him.
31. I’ve Seen It All (Bjork & Thom Yorke)
Soooooooo many Bjork songs. Only one list. I chose this one not only because it really is one of my favorites—it’s really lovely—but also because she sings it with Thom Yorke. Awesome.
32. Wild Thing (The Troggs)
Without question, I will always love this song.
33. Work Me, Lord (Janis Joplin)
I go back and forth on my favorite Janis songs, but this one is always up there. This song is, to me, dizzingly beautiful. These lyrics always move me. They are fragile and sad, just like she was.
34. Play With Fire (The Rolling Stones)
I wanted to put like five Rolling Stones songs in, but I’m trying to limit. This song is beautiful…it has the most amazing atmosphere.
35. This Year’s Love (David Gray)
Probably the most romantic song ever written. Could it be any more gorgeous?! I love David Gray’s songs because it really, really feels like he is actually in love with whoever he’s written the song for. He’s so incredible.
36. Hoist that Rag (Tom Waits)
My all-time favorite Tom Waits song.
37. Crying (Roy Orbison)
Have you heard this song?! It’s so good! They just don’t write songs like this anymore. I played this song for Jordan a few months ago and he’s been obsessed with Roy Orbison ever since.
38. Symphony No. 9 (Beethoven)
Timeless, y’all. I listen to it while pretending to conduct in the darkness.
39. This Little Bird (Marianne Faithfull)
Haunting and so pretty. Love the lyrics, love the melody, love Marianne’s angel voice.
40. Surprise (Gnarls Barkley)
A rather deep song camouflaged by a bouncy melody.
41. Black Tambourine (Beck)
This was hard. I have loved Beck’s music since before I was a fetus. “Black Tambourine” is full of great energy and Beck’s vocals on it are fantastic.
42. Sixteen (The Heavy)
I am obsessed with the Heavy. They’re just so good. I chose “Sixteen” because I love the meaning behind the song.
43. Que Sera, Sera (Doris Day)
Hmmm. Did I just turn into an old woman? This song is the best. And it preaches the troof.
44. Long, Long, Long (The Beatles)
In my opinion, the most beautiful love song the Beatles ever wrote.
45. Bye Bye Blackbird (Joe Cocker)
I love so many Joe Cocker songs, but I think I’ve loved this one the longest. He sings it just perfectly.
46. I Believe I’m Gonna Make It (Joe Tex)
Joe Tex is the best! This song is one of my favorites.
47. Ode to Billy Joe (Bobbie Gentry)
The most mysterious song ever written. What’s up with Billy Joe and the girl? What were they throwing off of the bridge? What’s the big secret?! Don’t read the book or watch the movie…just wonder blissfully for the rest of your life.
48. F**king in the Bushes (Oasis)
The greatest rock instrumental of all time. I’m obsessed with the drums and guitar in it. I wish I could live inside of this song.
49. Comtine D’un Autre Ete: L’apres Midi (Yann Tiersen)
Jordan and I loved this song so much that we chose it for me to walk down the aisle to at our wedding. It’s so pretty. Yann Tiersen is such a talented composer.
50. Penty Harmonium (Aphex Twin)
51. Rock On (David Essex)
I don’t care what anyone says, I…love…this…song. And I stand by the fact that I say it’s sexy. (Again…the song, not the video.)
52. I’ve Told Every Little Star (Linda Scott)
I’ve never heard a voice fit a song so perfectly. I love how she sings the word “maybe”. This song is terrific.
53. Cripple Creek (Buffy Saint Marie)
“Cripple Creek” is a song that’s been performed by many of my favorite artists. My favorite version is Buffy’s…I really love her voice.
54. Remember (The Shangri-Las)
Man, do I love this one. The Shangri-Las are so underrated. This song is fantastic. It’s epic and it has such a memorable atmosphere.
55. Hey Joe (Wilson Pickett)
I like Wilson Pickett’s version of this song better than anyone else’s. Sorry, Jimi.
56. Tennessee Stud (Johnny Cash)
My favorite Johnny Cash song. I love the story, love the melody, love the guitar, love his voice.
57. Maps (The Yeah Yeah Yeahs)
Gorgeous, this song is just gorgeous. I love Karen O’s vocals on it, how it begins, everything. I don’t know what the “maps” reference means, but I guess that’s for her to know. The video is also beautiful.
58. Clara Clairvoyant (Donovan)
Just listen to this. It rocks so much. Donovan’s voice makes this song worthwhile. One of the greatest songs of the 60s. Plus, the lyrics are so wonderfully weird.
59. Helter Skelter (The Beatles)
I keep sneaking Beatles songs in. No matter how many times I’ve heard this song or will hear it, it will always impress me. So ahead of its time, with brilliant energy, lyrics, backup vocals, and guitar.
60. Son of a Preacher Man (Dusty Springfield)
This is an old favorite. I loved it even before I fell for the son of a preacher man in real life.