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06.21.14 My 50 Favorite Songs Of All Time, With 06.16.14 My Top 10 Death Grips Songs
06.14.14 Reading Music

My 50 Favorite Songs Of All Time, With Explanations
1Radiohead
How To Disappear Completely

Where do I even start with this? Kid A is absolutely, hands down, no questions
asked the greatest album I have ever heard in my life. It tells a story through
music, something that sounds easy but is not. Everything about this song is just
amazing. The atmosphere of sadness, loneliness, desolation, weakness, fear, and
the feeling of wanting to disappear from this apocalyptic wasteland, be it the
world
after Y2K or the wasteland of your own life. Kid A was the album that completely
changed everything for me. I?ve made mentions of bands and songs doing the
same, but this album made me realize something. Music is a form of emotional
storytelling. Kid A is a beautiful, magnificent work of art, and I feel lucky to
ever
have found it.
2Godspeed You! Black Emperor
The Dead Flag Blues

Imagine this. You close your eyes and see black. You put this album on and see a
film. The opening narration leads you to pictures of a world destroyed. The
violins
and cellos setting the scene of the fiery Earth we call home now black and
desolate, a land of hopelessness and despair. This song is beyond music it, like
number one, is a beautiful telling of a desolate story. There?s just a majestic
nature
to this, a sense of real awe you only get a few times when listening to music.
This
track is beyond words, as is the entirety of F Sharp A Sharp infinity.
3Mastodon
Crack The Skye

The entirety of Crack The Skye, the album, is a tribute to Brann Dailor?s
sister,
Skye, who committed suicide. From first listen, this song became one of my all
time
favorite songs as it just sprawls and peaks, it?s more an experience than a
song.
Mastodon, as I said, are easily one of my favorite bands of all time, and if
someone
were to question me and ask which song was my favorite, the answer would be
this.
4Pink Floyd
Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Pt. 1)

An ode to Syd Barrett, this is the pinnacle Pink Floyd song. I could have chosen
almost anything off of Dark Side of the Moon or Wish You Were Here, but this 13
minute epic is a treat to listen to, and so hauntingly beautiful. Pink Floyd
are
among the most respected and acclaimed musical groups of all time. No matter how
many times I listen to them, there?s a sense of newness, and this track was the
track that fully got me into them.
5Megadeth
Tornado Of Souls

The last truly metal song on this list, this track far exceeds anything I had
ever
heard before. The solo is usually named as the greatest heavy metal solo of all
time, and the song as a whole is just a clinic in how to do what they do. It?s
fast,
technical, but there?s a sense of emotion and honesty to it that does get lost
in
the speed of metal sometimes. Rust In Peace is the greatest metal album of all
time, and this is the reason why.
6Metallica
Creeping Death

This song really did change my life. I was 16, and just getting into my own
music. I
found Ride The Lightning on Youtube, and this song, this one track, just set it
off
for me. I may not listen to as much metal as I used to, but this song is
forever
with me because of the effect it had on me and my life.
7Pantera
Suicide Note Pt. 1

This Pantera song really is not anything like anything else they ever released.
It?s
acoustic and it?s detailing someone?s, or Phil Anselmo?s, struggles with drug
addiction and suicidal actions, and the desire to end ones life. In a southern
drawl,
Phil recounts some real life experiences, like dying and being revived and an
evergrowing addiction to drugs and pills. Emotionally heavy, this leads into
Suicide
Note Pt. 2, which is an explosive fit of rage. The two tracks combined make for
one
hell of an emotional roller coaster, no matter how many times I listen to it.
8Venom
Rip Ride

Venom were never fantastic musicians, and that fact never did anything to harm
their reputation as completely over the top heavy metal champions. This song is
just pure insanity, with a ridiculous riff and pounding double bass drumming. If
you
hate metal, you will hate this song. Why? Because this is as ?metal? as it gets.
9Saves The Day
Three Miles Down

Saves The Day were the face of emo for a while, and this track and similar ones
may have spawned a whole generation of dipshits at Hot Topic, but it doesn?t
discredit what they did and how great the music itself was.
10Pixies
Wave Of Mutilation

For a lot of people, this track or Where Is My Mind are the entry points for the
Pixies catalogue. I bought Doolittle not really knowing of it, and listened it
start to
end and it immediately changed my outlook on music. The soft vocals, persistent
riff, and slamming drums really give you the feeling you just drove your car
into the
ocean.
11Arcade Fire
Black Mirror

Neon Bible is such a great record. It?s dark and moody, and this track starts it
off
the best way. Talking about the relationship between the self and the self, I
think,
this track is the musical interpretation of the black neon bible on the front
cover.
Illuminating some sort of darkness, while still being consumed in it.
12Mission Of Burma
That's When I Reach For My Revolver

I still have no clue what this song is supposed to mean. Is it suicide? Is it
murder?
Is it something I?m not thinking of. I don?t know.
13Minor Threat
Straight Edge

What it spawned was never intended, and even though I follow the lifestyle, the
song has much more meaning than two X?s on your hand and no Budweiser. Ian
MacKaye is the perfect hardcore vocalist in many ways, with his witty lyrics and
straight to the point attitude. Straight Edge is probably one of the biggest
hardcore
songs of all time, but rightfully so. Not many start their own movement.
14Billy Joel
Prelude/Angry Young Man

Sounding something like Steely Dan with an attitude, this track perfectly sums
up
the feeling of any young guy who thinks more of himself than he really is. The
storytelling aspect of his music makes Billy Joel one of the most talented
songwriters ever, and this is a good reason why.
15Baroness
March To The Sea

2012?s ?Yellow And Green? was a hit or miss. I personally loved it, and thought
it
perfectly blended indie rock, sludge metal, and a sense of melody that metal
often
times disregards. March To The Sea is a stomping riff track, with a huge chorus
and
a huge amount of melody to it. My personal favorite Baroness song, it?s
infectious
yet heavy and is cryptically lyrical, giving it a sense of mystery and even some
intrigue.
16Elton John
Crocodile Rock

Elton John is often seen as the fun gay musician who makes fun music for gay
listeners. I don?t believe that at all. Pigeonholing him in as one thing despite
him
being an immensely talented pianist and musician is ridiculous. Crocodile Rock
is a
perfect song to do the crocodile rock to. What is the crocodile rock? Whatever
you
want it to be.
17Silencer
Death, Pierce Me

Urban legends of pig hoof hands included, Silencer are one of the craziest
suicidal
black metal bands to ever exist. Having released one album in their career,
they?ve
left some legacy for a few guys from Sweden. The shrieking vocals are downright
disturbing, and the music encompasses the black in black metal better than
anyone
ever did. The fact that Nattramm was institutionalized after the release makes
it
even more believable that this wasn?t an act, but there?s a serious
psychological
nature to this.
18Bone Thugs N' Harmony
Thuggish Ruggish Bone

Taken under the wing of the Eazy-E, Bone Thugs N? Harmony took G-funk mentality
and laid back melodicism, mixed it together, and created some of the most
classic
hip hop tracks ever heard. This 1994 hit is their biggest track ever, and it?s
not a
surprise why. There?s great rhymes, a great beat, and the voice of the late Mo
Thugs member Shatasha belting out the famous chorus. It?s just a great song.
19Ozzy Osbourne
Diary Of A Madman

Randy Rhoads was an incredible guitarist, and the fact he died so early on in
what
could have been an even more legendary career is quite possibly one of the
biggest
tragedies in music ever. This track takes the riff from Leo Brouwer's
"Prelude"
Simple Etude #6, a classical guitar piece, and creates a soaringly dramatic riff
fest
unparalleled by many. The ending is almost cinematic, with choirs and classical
music screaming over staccato accentuations . All together it?s the embodiment
of
pure excess and, of course, pure talent.
20Tears For Fears
Shout

Having been raised by parents who are still pretty much stuck in the 80?s, I was
introduced to a whole world of music from the decade throughout my life. Most of
it
was pretty awful, yet like anything else, there?s always a few exceptions.
Tears
For Fears are a great synth pop group out of a decade of millions. This track is
catchy, it?s big, and it?s referencing the controversial therapy style of Arthur
Janov,
as does their name.
21Soundgarden
Black Hole Sun

Soundgarden were lumped into the grunge label, begrudgingly or not, and
constantly tried to deny that label by making super heavy rock with a heavy
psychedelic tinge to it. Black Hole Sun is my personal favorite Soundgarden
song,
namely for its depressive themes and casting down of humanity as pretty awful.
Musically dark, there?s glimmers of hope in this, especially with Chris Cornell?
s divine
vocals.
22UFO
Rock Bottom

British bands have consistently named UFO as major influences, leaving them to
be
one of the bands that influenced just about everybody and their brother and
never
get any real recognition for themselves. Rock Bottom is a pretty morose tale of
a
21 year old girl, who may be some sort of prostitute, who may or may not be
dead.
It was a toss-up between this and Doctor Doctor, both of which are absolutely
incredible songs. I choose this because it?s a little more expansive and more
musically satisfying than the latter.
23Ashra
Ocean Of Tenderness

The musical equivalent of a hot blanket on a freezing cold night. That?s how I
can
put it.
24The Strokes
Last Nite

The Strokes band members really are not ashamed of their roots. All came from
well
to do families, and they were young, had a lot of money, and had a lot of fun.
Is
This It is a tale of urban exploration, aka the magical land of Manhattan, and
the
fun one can have with girls, drugs, and rock and roll. Last Nite is basically
the
summation of all that. You won?t ever understand.
25Beastie Boys
Pass The Mic

Where do I even start with this. It sounds like they recorded this live in a VFW
Hall
with a boombox, a mic, and a little too much time. Musically speaking, this song
takes the best of two genres, hip hop and rock, and creates a fusion often
imitated
but never, ever beaten. For three white kids they absolute kill any stereotype
of
white people being poor MC?s all while respecting their roots and hip hop?s.
26Dntel
Pilesex Sielking

IDM may be a derogatory term to many, but this really is forward thinking and
highly progressive electronic music that lies way outside the confines of more
than
a few musical standards. Soothing yet chaotic, it?s an enigma wrapped in an
enigma
wrapped in?you get it.
27Big Pun
Twinz (Deep Cover '98)

Aping off Snoop Dogg?s classic, Fat Joe, who at this time was still a really
good MC
not just an associate of DJ Khaled and his phony crew, and Big Pun brought some
serious rhyming skills to this track. The internal rhymes, the back and forth of
Pun
and Fat Joe just going at it really leaves this one head and shoulders above the
rest of their respective catalogues, and a classic to this day.
28Queen
Seven Seas Of Rhye

The flamboyant homosexual legend of Freddy Mercury makes this song more
?peppy? than it should be. Sounding like somewhere between The Who on crack
and Elton John with an upper respiratory infection, this song introduced me to
Queen and I?m glad it did.
29Megadeth
A Tout Le Monde

Yes, this song has become quite clich?d. But for Megadeth to pull off a ballad
is a
feat in itself. Although Dave Mustaine claims it?s not a thinly veiled suicide
reference, this song is actually quite beautiful , even if it?s a bunch of dudes
with
no shirts playing it.
30Mastodon
Hearts Alive

Widdling down my favorite Mastodon songs is like asking a Mormon to pick their
favorite child. There?s too many, and I love them all too much to do so.
Mastodon
are my favorite band, and have been for quite some time, and this 13 minute epic
is
perfectly suited for the tale of Moby Dick. With a balance of heavy and
progressive,
it?s honestly stunning how great this song and album is.
31The Strokes
What Ever Happened?

After the international explosion of 2001?s ?Is This It?, The Strokes were
somehow
elevated to indie rock superstars, with the music world now watching them
closely
as ever. Most of this song relates to this new found stardom, obscurely citing
Tennessee Williams and the similar experience he had of being a nobody and
becoming hugely famous over a short period of time.
32Buzzcocks
What Do I Get?

This song recounts the story I and many others have lived many times. Unrequited
love, or rather no love at all. Buzzcocks were known for their humorous (Orgasm
Addict) and snarky lyricism that worked well within the confines of mixing a
punk
ethos with an almost Beatles like aura. My personal favorite of theirs, and just
a
really fun song.
33Radiohead
Packt Like Sardines In A Crushed Tin Box

I?m a reasonable man, get off my case.
34Black Flag
Police Story

In a little over a minute, Black Flag take a topic that is often left to hip
hop, (
which if I may add wasn?t really even a thing at this point) , and discuss it
because, well. I don?t know if they personally had experience or they were
trying to
make a point, but either way the best of their ?protest? songs.
35Death
Living Monstrosity

?Spiritual Healing? is a monolithic death metal album, one that I can wholly
refer to
as in my top three of all time. There are hints of the later progressive nature
Death
would take here, but not enough to say they made the change fully. Yet.
Particularly catchy for a death metal song, it doesn?t insist on being ?hooky?
but is
that way anyway. Chuck Shuldiner was an absolute hero on guitar, and his
lyricism
and vision are unmatched to today.
36Liquid Tension Experiment
Paradigm Shift

An almost 9 minute jam session between some of the greatest progressive
musicians to ever walk the Earth, this track is heavy, strange, progressive as
anything, and almost musically freeing in that there is no set direction, almost
a la
Ornette Coleman, but it goes somewhere anyway.
37Michael Jackson
Smooth Criminal

I am not a very big fan of Michael Jackson. I was born way past his heyday, and
wasn?t alive when he was arguably the biggest pop star in the galaxy. 1988?s Bad
has some amazing songs on it, one of which will be featured further down this
list.
But Smooth Criminal, with its pounding bass and bravado is an instant ?Get up
and
dance? track for me. It?s also a clinic in storytelling, with characters and
plot, which
is often done wildly wrong.
38Pink Floyd
One Of These Days

Psychedelic rock, and psychedelic music in general, is very hit or miss. If you
don?t
use drugs, it can feel vapid and just strange. If you do, it?s a totally
different
experience. I have never used psychedelics before, and the first time I heard
this,
it didn?t sound vapid or strange. It was spacey, it was loopy, it was weird, it
was
rocking. But in a fantastic way. The galloping bass, the ambient sounds leading
to
the explosive rock section. It all goes together so, so well. Fantastic intro to
a
magnificent album.
39Diamond Head
Am I Evil?

If it weren?t for Metallica, a lot of people would not know who Diamond Head
are,
other than one of the progenitors of the NWOBHM style. The band members
themselves have thanked Metallica for covering this track, because of the
immense
popularity boost it gave them and gives them to this day. On its own, I like
Metallica?s version a little more, but being respectful historically, it?d be
cruel of me
to put the cover on this list. They made it first. The main riff is iconic, and
the
midtempo groove and Robert Plant-esque vocals make this an instant classic.
40Blink-182
Carousel

Often regarded as pop punk pissers, this is the only Blink-182 I like, and that?
s
okay. The thing about this song is that it speaks to the majority of its
demographic.
?I never felt this alone again?. ?I think of you every once in a while?. All
that
heartbreak stuff. We?ve all been there, we know how it feels. The carousel is
arguably the ride you?re on with the one you love, and it goes up and down, and
up
and down. You get the point.
41Black Flag
Depression

Early punk was almost always about drinking, drugs, politics, or sex. Almost.
Black
Flag came out and was talking about psychosis and depression, police brutality
(later in the list), and other social topics no one really touched. This song is
a
perfect explanation of the thoughts of someone with mental health problems. ?
They
tell me things are gonna get better, all I know is they fucking better?.
42Bloc Party
Hunting For Witches

After 2005?s ?Silent Alarm?, Bloc Party took a more electronic route and came
out
with ?Weekend In The City?. Of the two songs I thoroughly enjoy on this album,
this is the most rock based, with a pretty great riff being played over
electronic
tinged drums and samples. Lyrically, it?s almost definitely about immigration in
the
UK, and the issue is tackled fairly well by Kele Okerkeke.
43Radiohead
Fitter Happier

This is the first of a few Radiohead songs on my top 50, and it?s probably the
oddest of them all. It?s discordant sounds backing a robotic voice explaining
what
benefits would come from being, well, fitter and happier. Not drinking too much.
No
more microwaveable dinners. Getting along with your colleagues more. Who doesn?
t
want that? Alright well at least give it a shot, eh.
44Deicide
Crucifixation

Purely and immensely evil, in a way really no one did it before.
45Wu-Tang Clan
Protect Ya Neck

This album is the definition of the word classic, with each track being its own
legacy in itself. This isn?t the only track from 36 Chambers that will be on
this list,
either. Protect Ya Neck is a rhymefest, just unceasing in how much they want to
cram into under 5 minutes. The line ?Watch your step, kid? seems almost
threatening, and the sheer force the Wu rap with is unlike anything we?ve seen
since. Yeah, I said it.
46Elvis Costello and the Attractions
No Action

The original snarky and ironic hipster, Elvis Costello perfectly enveloped in
this song
what everyone feels after the dissolution of a relationship. ?I don?t miss that
much?
yet sitting by the phone wanting to talk to them. Of all the pre hipster
hipsters out
there, Costello embodied them all the best. This track is a perfect opener to a
fantastic album, and a really fun listen.
47Phil Collins
In The Air Tonight

A lot of people would say, ?Wow really? Phil Collins?? To that I say yeah, Phil
Collins. This song may be played to death, but I?ll be damned if it?s not
enjoyable.
From a musical standpoint, it?s eerie and almost ambient in how it?s arranged,
and
the buildup to the infamous drum come in is done so incredibly well. There?s a
reason this song is as loved as it is.
48Daft Punk
The Brainwasher

Incessant, minimalist, and hypnotic. Those are the three terms I?d use to
describe
not only this track but ?Human After All? as a whole. It was panned for being so
plain and minimalist, and then Daft Punk played these songs live and it all made
sense. The Brainwasher is robotic and stiff sounding, and there?s this riff that
plays
over and over that just gets pounded in your brain. Out of the album, this was
my
favorite track. It?s catchy, it?s simple, and it?s good.
49Bad Religion
Generator

Bad Religion are not my favorite punk band by any stretch, but there?s something
about this song that?s so undeniably energetic and wild it?s hard not to like
it. I feel
like most people just like the song for its catchy sing a long chorus, but
there?s a
deeper meaning to the lyrics that I?ve still yet to figure out, making this more
artistic than it seems.
50Pantera
Hollow

Pantera were never known for having a dynamic side, especially after the arrival
of
Phil Anselmo. Their music was always riff lead bravado, and for what they did it
worked it for them. However, this is one of two Pantera songs I feel are really
exceptional, in the way it balances the heaviness of the ending and the
emotional
feeling of the beginning and middle, and creates something I always felt was
very
well done. The other Pantera song is on this list too, a little further down.
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