I love beautiful singing, obviously, because I’m a choral director, but it doesn’t stop there. A song has to say something to me in order to be meaningful, or else it’s just so many wasted measures. I love it when a student or friend tells me that a certain song makes him or her cry or feel empowered or angry or whatever. That’s what music is supposed to do: make us feel love, sadness, joy and peace — four of the most extraordinary emotions in the human experience.
I have to find an ethereal combination of lyrics, melody and harmonic structure in order to love a song. [There are exceptions for dance music, however, which I often love simply for the groove.] In other words, music has to talk to me. I cannot have music playing “in the background,” because it’s always in the foreground for me. Strange to say because I’m a musician, but I rarely have music playing in my house when I’m trying to accomplish things (which is often, unfortunately). The music always takes precedence and I can’t get my work done as efficiently.
So what songs “speak” to me? The list is so long and varied that it’s hard to even start it, but I will gi’ it a go.
For this particular little exercise, I will focus on individual singers only, not bands in general.
A Few of Fink’s Faves, in No Particular Order
- James Taylor – “Only One”
- Annie Lennox – “Walking on Broken Glass”
- Stephen Bishop – “Same Old Tears on a New Background”
- John Lennon – “Girl”
- Frank Sinatra – “Only the Lonely”
- Diana Krall – “Charmed Life”
- Stevie Ray Vaughan – “Pride and Joy”
- Bonnie Raitt – “Nobody’s Girl”
- Bobby Darin – “Beyond the Sea”
- Ella Fitzgerald – “Miss Otis Regrets”
- Jimmy Witherspoon – “Time’s Gettin’ Tougher Than Tough”
- Sting – “Roxanne” (although every time I hear it, I can’t help but think of Eddie Murphy in 48 Hours)
- Luciano Pavarotti – “Nessun dorma” from Turandot – quite possibly the most perfect aria in the history of opera. Click the link and watch it.
- Anita Baker – “Giving You the Best That I Got”
- B. B. King – “Payin’ the Cost to Be the Boss”
- Paul McCartney – “Maybe I’m Amazed”
- Dean Martin – “Ain’t That a Kick in the Head”
- Bryan Adams – “Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman”
- Billy Joel – “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant”
- Tony Bennett – “Isn’t it Romantic”
- Sade – “Smooth Operator”
- Don Henley – “Desperado”
- Michael Jackson – “Remember the Time”
- Glenn Frey – “Heartache Tonight”
- Timothy B. Schmit – “Love Will Keep Us Alive”
- Harry Connick, Jr. – “Come By Me”
- Tom Petty – “Won’t Back Down”
- George Harrison – “Something”
- Paul Simon – “Still Crazy After All These Years”
- Elvis Presley – “Such a Night”
- Jamie Cullum – “These Are the Days”
- Alanis Morissette – “Uninvited”
- Etta James – “A Sunday Kind of Love”
- Michael McDonald – “Minute By Minute”
- Mel Tormé – “My Foolish Heart”
- Johnny Depp – “Epiphany” from Sweeney Todd
Yikes. This was a bad idea. I’m out of time and only about a third of the way done. What does this say about me? I’d rather not know. I might be mental, after all.
If you have a chance, list some of your fave songs and the people who sing them.
Now go and recognize you some beauty today.