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Ben Smith
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03.08.13 100 Favorite Songs08.12.10 Photography

100 Favorite Songs

I did alphabetical order because ranking them all would be far too rrmuch rwork (And it was already plenty of work). I decided against rlimiting rit to rone song per artist as well, because then it wouldn't rbe an honest rlist. I rhope you guys enjoy the list and maybe rdiscover something new rfrom rreading. Thanks for helping me rdiscover most of these Sputnik!
190 Day Men
Last Night a DJ Saved My Life

My favorite song from one of my top 5 favorite bands, this is one I play anytime someone asks me to introduce them to some of the music I listen to.
2A National Car Crash

As perfect as any closer could be.
3Against Me!
Pints of Guinness Make You Strong

When I'm driving I don't often sing-along, hum, or give any kind of indication whatsoever that I enjoy what I'm listening to, but I'll be damned if I'm not drumming my fingers and shouting out "I'm not coming home tonight!" every time this comes on.
4Armchairpolitician
Lightfuse Hurricanes

I can take or leave the vocals, but there are some gorgeous guitar parts on here.
5Battle of Mice
At the Base of the Giant's Throat

Haunting. Listening to this while driving at night is a transcendent experience.
6Bear Vs. Shark
Buses/No Buses

You can tell these guys have a blast playing these songs. I can't help but get swept up in the energy.
7Bj?rk
Hyperballad

Probably my absolute favorite. Every time I hear it I feel like there may still be some hope.
8Unravel

About a week after I had turned 21 this came on while I was examining my face in the mirror. I remember looking at my stubble, and being deeply saddened by the thought of aging. I can barely listen to this now without getting a little misty-eyed.
9The Blood Brothers
Laser Life

That chorus is almost too catchy.
10Botch
C. Thomas Howell as the Soul Man

The more music I listen to, the more I learn to appreciate what Botch did back in the day. Seriously, it's amazing how many bands have tried to rip them off.
11Bruce Springsteen
Thunder Road

Such a perfect album opener.
12Burial
Loner

TOO SOON.
13In McDonalds

This is in my top 5 somewhere. As beautiful as music gets.
14Burzum
Det Som En Gang Var

I listened to this while driving through rural Indiana once. Nothing but cornfields and old abandoned barns.
15Cannibal Ox
Raspberry Fields

Vast Aire fucking kills it on this.
16Circle Takes the Square
A Crater to Cough in

I made a top 100 song list about 4 years ago that had 4 or 5 Circle Takes the Square on it, including Non-Objective Portrait of Karma at number one. Obviously these guys have grown off me quite a bit (Portrait of Karma is still great though), but this one has stuck with me ever since I first heard it.
17City of Caterpillar
And You're Wondering How a Top Floor Could Replace Heaven

A perfectly crafted song. Everything is just as it should be.
18The Clash
London Calling

What needs to be said really?
19Clipse
Keys Open Doors

"I don't mind spending, all it is is paper." True poetry, fuck the haters.
20Coheed and Cambria
Neverender

I love that guitar line during the "Point your gun in another direction?" part.
21Cryptopsy
Phobophile

Death metal at it's finest.
22Daitro
Part IV

Summertime jam right here. Everything they've done is great, but this is my personal favorite.
23Daughters
The Hit

What a perfect single. It doesn't get much better than that riff kicking in during the first verse.
24Deftones
Digital Bath

"FEEEELLL LIKKKKEEEE MORRRRREEEE!!!" Also, notice how smooth the drumming is on this. Very difficult to emulate.
25Knife Party

Some highlights - The guitar tone at the beginning of the song, the way the bass floods the song once the distortion kicks in, the smooth, never in your face but still noticeable drumming, the female vocals during the bridge? Classic.
26Diamond Eyes

One of those songs that I can still recall vividly the first time I heard it. That chorus is something else.
27Dillinger Escape Plan
Sugar Coated Sour

Another perfect song. This blew my mind when I first heard it.
28Discordance Axis
Castration Rite

A perfect example of the power "extreme" music can wield. The section that starts at :33 is one of my favorite moments in all of music. http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=xEEGWCNTm6g
29EL-P
Dear Sirs

My favorite hip-hop song.
30Elton John
Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding

Funeral For a Friend is awesome, Love Lies Bleeding is good (Though it does have some great guitar parts).
31Fear Before
My (Fucking) Dear Hunter

This creates such a fantastic atmosphere, I love it.
32The Gaslight Anthem
Great Expectations

Honestly, I don't want to have anything to do with you if you don't like this song.
33Giraffes? Giraffes!
When The Catholic Girls Go Camping, The Nicotine Vampires Rule Supreme.

That last half works so well.
34Glassjaw
Tip Your Bartender

Bounces back and forth with Hyperballad in my number one spot. Everything about the chorus is perfect, I try to sing along every time this comes on, and I always run out of breath before the end of the last "anymooooorrrrrreeeeeeee". My most played song ever, I'll never get tired of it.
35Cosmopolitan Blood Loss

"We are the most impassioned ugly people"
36Black Nurse

That riff is godly.
37Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Sleep

I've fallen asleep to this more times than I can count. Beautiful.
38Blaise Bailey Finnegan III

Lol how does one even begin to choose their favorite Godspeed songs? I've also fallen asleep to this more times than I count.
39Gospel
And Redemption Fills the Emptiest of Hearts

Best song on the album, fuck y'all "A Golden Dawn" lovin' niggas.
40As Far as you can Throw me

I feel like I could write an essay just on the drum part to this song. " Yeah one day I'll go back to school. And one day I will pay you your money back".
41GZA
Gold

Can't decide whether I like this or 4th Chamber more. Liquid Swords is my favorite Hip-hop album either way.
424th Chamber

I'd quote Killah Priest's entire verse here, but that would take up too much space.
43Have a Nice Life
Bloodhail

Perfect. Hearing this on vinyl for the first time was a life changing experience.
44Hunter

The climax to this is gorgeous.
45Earthmover

These guys are absolutely amazing when they're at the top of their game.
46HORSE the Band
Birdo

Honestly, how can you not love this.
47Hot Cross
Pretty Picture of a Broken Face

"Don't forget that when you cease to see things the way you want to, it's the least important people that come back to haunt you." I swear it's impossible to read those lyrics without hearing that guitar part in your head.
48Better a Corpse Than a Nun

Lol the guitar parts in this are ridiculous.
49Idlewild
Rusty

Can't really explain this one, a personal favorite for some reason or another.
50Incubus
The Warmth

This one is special because it's been in my top 25 or so for something like 7 years. I have no reason to believe it won't stay with me for the rest of my life.
51Interpol
Untitled

I don't dance, but this song makes me want to slow dance with a girl even time I hear it. I want this played at my wedding.
525

Lol another one I can't really explain. I find this incredibly catchy.
53Iron Lung
Sexless//No Sex

I was raised in a Christian home, which stunted my intellectual growth considerable. When I was 19, I began to have serious doubts about my faith, and when I was 20, I finally did some research and I finally realized what I should have known much earlier; The plausibility of any of this was laughable. Anyway, this album got me through some times, I struggled mightily coming to terms with my mortality once I realized that once I die, that's it. The title track has always been my favorite, even if songs like Cancer (Which almost made this list) applied more directly to what I was feeling and thinking at the time.
54Jaga Jazzist
Oslo Skyline

Beautiful. I've never come across someone who's heard it and doesn't love it.
55Jawbreaker
Sluttering (May 4th)

Catchy, and that bridge just comes out of nowhere.
56Joyce Manor
Constant Headache

Maybe human isn't such a bad thing to be.
57Kayo Dot
Marathon

I played this once while making the 30 minute drive home from Cincinnati stoned at like 5 in the morning (Incredibly irresponsible I know, I was a teenager at this time.) It was a profound experience, and I still reflect on it nearly every time I hear this. This also makes for great music to fall asleep to.
58Kendrick Lamar
Swimming Pools (Drank) (Extended Version)

One day I hope to release everything that corrodes inside of me.
59King Crimson
21st Century Schizoid Man

Classic jam, I don't care to know anyone that can't dig this.
60The Mars Volta
Inertiatic Esp

I rarely get the urge to revisit this one, but every time I do it blows me away.
61maudlin of the Well
Gleam in Ranks

Another song that's almost awe-inspiring in it's near perfect construction.
62mewithoutYou
Nice and Blue (Pt. Two)

It's difficult to talk about mewithoutYou songs without just posting huge walls of lyrics.
63The Microphones
The Glow Pt. 2

Obvious choice.
64Million Dead
Smiling at Strangers on Trains

Frank Turner is the man.
65Minus the Bear
Pachucca Sunrise

Another favorite from my high school days, the last minute of this still hits me hard.
66Moby
My Weakness

The choir in the background is cheesy as hell, and almost ruins it. I'm a sucker for this kind of stuff though, it still gets me a little choked up if it comes on shuffle at the right time.
67Modest Mouse
Dramamine

This works so well as an opener, half of the mix cds I made back in the day (before I starting using my iPod in my car) open with this.
68Nas
N.Y. State of Mind

"The smooth criminal on beat breaks, never put me in your box if your shit eats tapes."
69The National
Mistaken for Strangers

I can't seem to get into The National as much as everyone else seems to, but at least I get this one.
70Neutral Milk Hotel
Two-Headed Boy

God, the "Placing fingers thorough the notches in your spine" line conjures up such vivid romantic imagery. The way Mangum just attacks his guitar is amazing as well. I mean, this is some violent strumming. Ah, and the parts where he raises his voice and it sounds like it's going to crack are sublime as well. The "dee dee deeee" part at the end is actually kind of annoying, but it's brief, and everything else is perfect so I'll live with it.
71Two-Headed Boy, Pt. 2

I prefer the former by a hair I think, but it's not like this isn't a perfect song or anything.
72Nirvana
Lounge Act

I find Nirvana to be pretty "meh" overall, but I've always found this song strangely compelling. Cobain's vocal delivery in the second half is my favorite part.
73The Number Twelve Looks Like You
Grandfather

Such an epic song, the ending feels larger than life almost.
74Off Minor
This is a Hostage Situation

"People who need people are the wretchedest in the world".
75Orchid
Impersonating Martin Rev

I can't decide if I want this played at my wedding or my funeral. Sometimes I find this peaceful and relaxing, and sometimes it's so sad and beautiful it wounds me.
76P.O.S.
Purexed

"Let em' try to find the beauty in your face"
77Pixies
Crackity Jones

The guitar part that comes in at :37 is one of my favorite moments in music.
78Primus
Jerry Was a Race Car Driver

This one tickles a weird part of the brain. Also, is there anyone that played Tony Hawk's Pro Skater as a child that doesn't have that guitar solo burned into their memory?
79Radiohead
Motion Picture Soundtrack

I'm not always in the right mood for this, but when I am it hits like a freight train. This is another one I vividly remember the first time I heard it.
80All I Need

So underrated. The climax to this is as good as anything they've ever done.
81Raekwon
Penitentiary

I went to college for a year before my inability to write an essay stressed me out to the point that I quit. I used to jam this album in my car between classes, staring hopelessly at my laptop screen as I searched desperately for 5 more pages of words about something I had no interest in. I'll probably go back to school sometime in the near future (I feel like I'll always be disappointed in myself until I do), and when I do, you can be sure that I'll be playing this to keep me going.
82The Red Paintings
Walls

Brilliant song, another one of those "How could anyone not love this?" type of tracks.
83Rush
Tom Sawyer

This is what can happen when an extremely talented prog band takes the time to write an actual song, and not just a loosely tied together collection of solos and general showing off.
84Sigur R?s
Untitled 3

Pretty much obligatory, There's no need to talk about this one.
85Slint
Good Morning, Captain

The opening chime of that guitar is such a welcoming thing to hear. Oh yeah, and "I MISS YOUUUUUUUUAAAAHHHHH!"
86Sonic Youth
(I Got A) Catholic Block

Ugh, why was this not released as a single? It's all perfect - That opening riff, the slightly off-kilter drumming, the memorable nonsense lyrics, and that pretty ending that puts a nice little bow on everything. This is in my top ten of all time.
87Pipeline/Kill Time

The second part probably does meander around a little too long, but the first minute and a half is my favorite thing Sonic Youth ever did. (And that is high praise indeed.) This song also contains one of my favorite drum fills of all time. (Starting 59 seconds in)
88Providence

Yeah, my favorite song from Daydream Nation is the interlude. When you make your list you can put Teenage Riot on it. (Teenage Riot would be in my top 200 for what it's worth.)
89The Strokes
Reptilia

Such a bizarre little outlier, nothing else they've done comes anywhere near this.
90Sunny Day Real Estate
Seven

Another boring entry. The drumming in this song doesn't get talked about enough though, it really propels the song.
91Tool
Schism

Cold silence has a tendency to atrophy any sense of compassion." Also, who doesn't love that bassline.
92Ulver
Troldskog Faren Vild

Another entry in the "perfectly constructed song" category.
93Unwound
Radio Gra

I was sitting at a stop sign while I was listening to this for the first time, and when the part where everything drops out except the strings and the keys came up I just kind of froze up, and like three other cars went before I realized what was happening.
94The Vevlet Underground
Heroin

I have nothing new to say about this.
95Warning
Footprints

Fucking heartbreaking.
96A Wilhelm Scream
The Horse

Brian Robinson might be my favorite bass player.
97The Weeknd
High For This

ncredible production, and unlike a lot of other Weeknd songs, the lyrics aren't completely terrible. (In fact, they're actually decent here)
98Wolves in the Throne Room
Vastness and Sorrow

This was the first black metal song I heard, and it's stuck with me ever since.
99X Japan
Art of Life

That piano solo is as good as it gets. I can't imagine how incredible it must be live.
100Xiu XIu
Support Our Troops (Black Angels OH)

This is in my top ten of all time, it puts into music so many thoughts that I wish I could articulate myself.
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