11. Overkill – Motorhead
The other fight song on my list.
“Filthy Animal” Taylor does a more bestial version of a Alex van Halen drumline. The underrated “Fast Eddie” Clarke does some devastating guitarwork, and Lemmy provides his usual vocals. The sort of song that rock doesn’t produce anymore, and hasn’t in decades.
12. My Mind is Playing Tricks on Me – The Geto Boys
It’s a true classic, but I’m not going to make the statement that it’s the greatest hip-hop song ever. There are better lyricists, and smoother flows. It’s just the song I want to listen to.
There’s something melancholy about the Isaac Hayes sample used for the beat, and Scarface’s verse is so brutal you can understand why the man is a legend. The apparitions, the paranoia, all of the things described in the song, don’t have an explantion which is why they’re so potent, but plenty of rap songs are dark. The Geto Boys made a song that felt deeper somehow.
13. Moorea – The Gipsy Kings
Moorea is a beautiful instrumental piece, done in a flamenco style. It’s a constantly moving, slithery composition with absurd work from guitarist Tonino Baliardo. It’s almost impossible to have a piece so vibrant occasionally veer into introspection, but Moorea somehow does it. I have a general prejudice towards vocal music, but honestly it wasn’t until I was writing the description that I realized that it was an instrumental.
This is one of those songs I think it would be impossible to dislike.
14. Backdoor Man – T-Model Ford
Every Saturday night, T-Model Ford got drunk and did his best Howling Wolf imitation. That’s not a slam, either, you can make some pretty good music with Howling Wolf as your inspiration. Backdoor Man is a stripped down cover, with Ford and his drummer Spam producing magic on his best album in my opinion. By the time, this album had come out I had stopped playing blues, because I was bored with it, but the stripped down, raw sounds from Fat Possum Records brought me.
I can’t explain why I find this so charming. Its short, to the point, and it is juke joint blues in its purest form from the 50 Cent of the blues.
15. Deeper Understanding – Kate Bush
People are often floored to find out that I am a huge Kate Bush fan. The woman had decades of phenomenal music, which, unlike many modern female artists, she wrote and produced herself. She had this ability to find the most incongruous elements and make them into fantastic music. On Deeper Understanding, she tells the story of a woman with an unnatural intimacy towards her computer. Being Kate Bush, there is a swirling chorus, backup vocals by a Bulgarian folk trio (seriously they were magically inserted through the entire album) and her impeccable sense of melody.
It is worth noting that a couple years ago, she went back to her studio and fooled with some of her classic tracks, including this one, in what was titled ‘The Director’s Cut.’ Avoid that version like the plague, but pretty much anything else in her catalogue is money.