Five Favorite Songs
I hate top 10 lists. Don’t ask me to name my top 10 favorite songs, or even Top 5 songs — because I can’t whittle the list down to 5 or 10. It depends. However, I thought I’d share 5 of my favorites, and hopefully introduce some of you to new music. Yes, all of these songs are available, most of them with their respective albums, on Spotify and other music sharing platforms. Definitely check them out.
Keep Me In The Dark — Arcadia/So Red The Rose
Since starting to collect music in 1981, this 1985 side project by Duran Duran’s Nick Rhodes, Simon Le Bon, and Roger Taylor has remained my favorite album of all time. While the overall production is kind of quiet, I feel that it perfectly encapsulates DD at the height of their 80’s sound, heavily leaning into Nick’s synth-god abilities and raw talent. I have a hard time coming up with a “top 10 favorite” list of music, because tastes and moods change…but for the album count, So Red The Rose tops my list. And while I love all of the singles, the second track remains my favorite from the album.
The Unconventional — Japan/Adolescent Sex
If you’re unfamiliar with Japan and lead singer David Sylvian, you definitely need to explore these glam rock and new wave pioneers. This is one of my favorite singles, with its disco-infused groove and roto-tom drum fills. Yes, the crappy video may be a lip-sync, but it’s a great representation of the band in their glam phase before finding their distinctive, albeit more artsy and mellowed sound that made them famous thanks largely to Mick Karn’s unique bass, and Sylvian’s amazing vocals (check them out 2 years later).
O.K. This Is The Pops — Tones on Tail/Night Music
A great song for when your boyfriend/girlfriend dumps you and you find yourself driving over the speed limit at 2am on a desolate highway…. 🙂 If you’re not familiar with the band, after Bauhaus folded, guitarist Daniel Ash put his full attention into his side project, Tones of Tail, along with drummer Kevin Haskins and former roadie Glenn Campling on bass. While still dark and gloomy, the project was much more danceable than Bauhaus, and was a great project for Ash to stretch himself as a singer and guitarist. After a failed attempt to reform Bauhaus (lead singer Peter Murphy was engaged in a side project of his own with Japan bassist Mick Karn, before going solo), Ash was joined by drummer Kevin Haskins and bassist David J (Haskins) to form the very successful Love and Rockets, another one of my all-time favorite bands that shaped my teenage years.
Husam Husam — The Anniversary/Your Majesty
Toward the end of the emo movement of the late 1990’s, The Anniversary popped up in Kansas and released some of my favorite music of the 2000’s, with two albums and one compilation. I just love the vocal mix of this song, paired with the guitar and keyboards. Just a beautiful song. Reminds me of road trips between California and Washington state. By the way, the album Your Majesty is incredible. If you’ve not listened to it, go check it out NOW.
North American Scum — LCD Soundsystem/Sound of Silver
The only song on this list with an official video, LCD Soundsystem is another band discovered in the early 2000’s that really fit my mood at the time, and has stuck with me over the years. Founder and singer James Murphy is my age, shares many of my same new wave influences, and has worked as a DJ, producer, and record label co-founder (DFA). There’s a lot of humor in his music, most of which is very danceable. I’m a fanboy. If I were to ever win the lottery, I’d pay for a couple weeks of studio time with James, for sure.