Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Personal Top Ten in Music

Here's a post I did for Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews.

What are your ten favorite songs?


Music is special to me because it evokes strong emotions, and it often triggers cinematic mental sequences. These are derived from memories, or they spring from pure imagination. For example, my favorite song is
Serenity, composed by Kevin Riepl. This is an electronic tune included in the PC game, Unreal Tournament 2004. Whenever I hear this song, The chapter one subway scene from my novel, Coinage of Commitment, plays out in my head, and the sequence usually continues through the restaurant scene and into the subsequent chapter where Wayne walks Nancy home to her apartment in the wee hours. For me, this is Wayne and Nancy’s song, and it plays out in my head like a music video. This song is so special, I insist you try it. Here’s a link:

Serenity on YouTube

When I was in college, I met my future wife at an outdoor bus stop during a February snowstorm. We had seen each other on the bus, but had not met. When I saw her in the distance through a curtain of snowflakes, my natural shyness fell away, and I knew I must introduce myself to this, one of the most beautiful girls I had ever seen. Fortunately, she was just as determined to meet me, so the bus ride home that day was one of the high points of my life to that point. We each got home okay, and after I arrived, I heard The Mamas and The Papas’ California Dreamin for the first time. This song, plus two of their others, Look Through My Window, and Twist and Shout, are tunes that always remind me of the time I spent, madly in love with my wife, before we married, while I was in college.

Let’s go back a bit further in time. As a high schooler, I had romantic dreams that I knew were unusual for a boy in my peer group. Roy Orbison had that one special voice whose drama could cause the hormones raging in my veins to harmonize perfectly with his breathtaking lyrics. To this day, his songs, Only the Lonely, Crying, Goodnight, The Crowd, and especially, In Dreams, still evoke the catharsis of teenaged longing brought on by this singular voice.

I’ll list the rest in approximate order of personal sentiment, and without further comment. These are taken from my iPod list of favorites, which numbers over 200 songs.

Un-Break My Heart by Toni Braxton

Show me the Meaning of Being Lonely by The Back Street Boys

Wanted Dead or Alive by Bon Jovi

Wake Me Up When September Ends by Green Day

Only Hope by Mandy Moore

Wait for Me by Vangelis (from the Bladerunner soundtrack)

Live to Tell by Madonna (the 45 rpm vinyl version)

Diana by Paul Anka

Something about You by Level 42

We Two by Little River Band

Hysteria by Def Leppard

Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin

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