Paulelmo's Blog

Five Random, but Excellent, Songs

Occasionally I’m asked for musical suggestions. Sometimes I’m asked to suggest an album worth listening to, but more often people are looking to be turned onto a band or artist they’re not familiar with. Other times, while not quite as much, people will ask me to just tell them one or two great songs to listen to. That’s where this post was born.

I’m almost exclusively using iTunes for my listening these days, and I have a number of different playlists. These allow me to listen to a wide variety of the music that has mattered in my life, and almost daily a song comes up when I say, “That one would make the list of my favorite songs.”

So, here are a few of those. As stated, they’re random, and each is a favorite song for different reasons; still, out of all the thousands of songs I’ve listened to in my life, they’re all among my absolute favorites.

“Just Feel Better” by Santana and Stephen Tyler

As a writer and lyricist, it only stands to reason that I’m drawn to many songs because of great lyrics. That’s the case here; the song has great lyrics. It also has one of our greatest singers and one of our greatest guitarists. They couldn’t have gone wrong if they tried.

“Like a Stone” by Audioslave

I love a song about somebody trying to find faith, and Chris Cornell was also one of our greatest singers. This is such a big serious song to have been played in such minimalist fashion. Even Morello’s shredding is somehow somber. Few songs mean more to me than this one does.

“Baker Street” by Gerry Rafferty

If few songs mean more to me than “Like a Song,” then there are few songs that are better friends to me than Gerry Rafferty’s “Baker Street.” There’s such longing in this song, such sadness between the life lived and the life hoped for. It’s one of those songs that I felt like I could have written during my drinking days, and it’s one that I’ve always got in my pocket when I need a good reminder that my rolling stone life finally did end. I lived so many days like the one written about here, and, while I left it all behind, I still have this song to remind me where I’ve been and what I lived through.

“Wish I Knew You” by the Revivalists

I love things that funk and vibe; this one funks; this one vibes. This is one of those songs that just makes me feel good, and, man, what better thing can music do than that?

“Damaged” by Queensrhyche

Sometimes I think I’m going to do a March Madness type of tournament to see just what might rise to the top as my favorite song ever, if only for a moment in time. When I hear this song, I wonder what song would I feel worthy enough to beat it. I so love this song; I love everything about it. I love the rock and roll (Chris DeGarmo is one of my favorite guitarists). I love the introspection. I love the aural and spectral elements. This song gives an excellent example of Geoff Tate’s vocal range. It’s just got so many of the things that made Queensrhyche an excellent band, and it’s one of the very few songs that I never skip. I really hope you take the time to get to know this one; if you have, or have had, any damage in your life, this song can help you deal with it.

So, there you are, friends, just a sampling of some of the great things that make me happy when I pull them out of the ether. Hope you find some worth here. I’ll share some more somewhere along the line, I’m sure. Until then, listen well and intently to whatever good music comes your way.

Love and hugs.

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