As we all know, my favourite band of all time are The Smiths (and Morrissey), followed by other miserable / self-important artists like Suede, Gene, Bruce Springsteen, Depeche Mode, Jimmy Eat World and several ridiculous / self-important artists like Bjork, Fischerspooner, Tiga, Felix Da Housecat, Daft Punk, etc.
Very often though, I will also like the ridiculous / ridiculous ones, with no sign of self-importance whatsoever. In fact, some of my favourite songs of all time have no credibility, but who cares, they’re still fucking ace.
So here’s a list of 10 of these songs that I well and truly love and I don’t care what anyone finks (in random order).
1. Lisa Loeb – Stay (I missed you)
I prefer an acoustic version of this that exists, but I suppose the original one is OK too. In this song Lisa Loeb asks her lover to stay (cause she missed him), presumably after throwing some huge tantrum and causing a big fight, which led him to start packing his bags and threatening to move out. Now Lisa is having second thoughts and she wants him back, so she’s stood there singing this song to him, whilst he’s throwing socks in a suitcase. I don’t know what happens in the end.
My favourite point in this song is when Lisa turns the road on, she turns the radio off and hears a song about lovers fighting and one of them threatening to leave – therefore the song on the radio perfectly mirroring her real life experience! This is an amazing example of life imitating art imitating life imitating art, which is a concept so complex even Lisa who wrote it doesn’t quite comprehend it.
2. Roxette – It must have been love / Listen to your heart
These interchangeable twin ballads can only occupy one place, because let’ face it, who can tell these songs apart. They are pretty amazing though. It must have been heart (or Listen to your love) is sang by a painfully Scandinavian blonde woman with a platinum a la garcon haircut, a woman I mistakenly had a crush on in 1991.
In a pretty radical twist of common songwriting themes, these songs concern lost love – a subject matter that is hugely under-represented in popular music. I don’t know what my favourite point in these songs is, but it certainly isn’t the annoying guitar solo that occupies the middle section of both.
3. Samantha Fox – Touch me
This is a song that was created to capitalize on Samantha Fox’s immense popularity as a topless model in the late 1980s, but by a complete fluke it is a timeless example of flawless electro pop.
The urgent, almost out of breath delivery adds to the overall effect, and the lyrics describe Sam as a hungry predator on a night out in town (with or without a top – this is not made clear). Twenty years later, no one has come up with a better line in popular music than “like a tramp in the night, I was begging for you to treat my body like you wanted to”.
4. Foreigner – I want to know what love is
In this song, the singer from Foreigner wants to know what love is and he wants you to show him.
When I’m listening to this song, it’s 1987 and I’m a 16-year-old American high school student out on prom night, dancing with the girl I’ve been seeing since I was 13 (we grew up next to each other – our parents have known each other forever) and we both know it’s one of our last nights together: my family is moving, I’m going to a different school, thousands of miles away. I’m playing in the football team and she’s a cheerleader, we’re not supposed to like this song, we’re too cool for it, but right now it doesn’t matter. When she gets home later with tears in her eyes, her Mother asks her if she had a good night. She says yes and shuts herself in her room. Her Father looks up from the newspaper and jokes about her being upset like this is true love. Her Mother stares back at him and says: It is true love. It’s always true love at sixteen.
5. Bryan Adam - Heaven (the unplugged version only, NOT the original song)
In this song, Bryan Adams is lying on the sofa with some girl, they’ve just finished watching Rumour Has It with Jennifer Aniston on TV and he’s thinking about all their younger years. There was only her and him, they were wild and young and free. In fact, I’m quite convinced that this song is written as a sequel to “I want to know what love is” (above). Bryan and his lover (the girl from high school) are now in their early 30s and have finally come together again after all these years. They’re both married though (to different people), so all they can do is steal some moments of happiness here and there, escaping their mundane working class lives in the arms of each other.
Tragically, seconds after Bryan sings the “now nothing can take you away from me” line, the girl’s husband bursts after breaking the front door down and shoots Bryan in the head.
I’ve written too much today, I’ll continue with the songs tomorrow.
Oh yeah, have a look at this – a reader left a comment pointing me to the direction of this blog site, which only lasted for a few days, but was written as an “homage” (piss-take) of mine. How weird is that? I wonder who wrote this, why, with that motivation, why did they stop, how many people have seen it, all these questions.
Actually, forget this, I’d rather not know any of these answers, it’s just too odd. Not to mention my fear that it's better and funnier than mine.