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Best song by a great artist


jimmyjazz

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OK, if we're talking about great artists, it's pretty much an impossible task to define their "best" song.  I get it.  That said, we might revisit some deep cuts, or realize "oh yeah that one mega-hit was pretty much as good as it gets".  I really don't care to argue about the great artist part -- if you don't think Jethro Tull was "great", then keep it to yourself.  (I happened to think Jethro Tull sucked, so I'm violating my own rule in saying so, but I'm pretty much just saying argue the song, not the artist.)

Here's an example:  Prince had a bazillion hits, and a history of groundbreaking albums before he really broke big, but in terms of pure songwriting and performance, not to mention the amazing recording and production, I say "Kiss" was perfect.  So, tell me otherwise or put up something by someone else.

 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, jimmyjazz said:

More so than, say, "1999"?  Objection, your honor!

1999 peaked at No. 12 on the Billboard Top 100.  Overruled!

And I'll add this -- while 1999 is a great fucking song, it has the same sort of shuffle-beat rhythm throughout.  Let's Go Crazy is so much more dynamic. 

Edited by South Austin
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Another nomination:  "One" by U2.  Probably Bono's best lyrics, and a contender for his best melody.  The song itself is much more intimate than the band's other hits, eschewing their usual bombast.  I hear it as a breakup song, but as should be expected with Bono, he was thinking larger, with inspiration ranging from dysfunctional interpersonal relationships within U2 as well as the reunification of Germany, where the song was written.  I'm not sure where the "reunification" parts comes in, but whatever.  It's a gorgeous piece of pop music.

 

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33 minutes ago, jimmyjazz said:

Another nomination:  "One" by U2.  Probably Bono's best lyrics, and a contender for his best melody.  The song itself is much more intimate than the band's other hits, eschewing their usual bombast.  I hear it as a breakup song, but as should be expected with Bono, he was thinking larger, with inspiration ranging from dysfunctional interpersonal relationships within U2 as well as the reunification of Germany, where the song was written.  I'm not sure where the "reunification" parts comes in, but whatever.  It's a gorgeous piece of pop music.

 

Great one. As a once die-hard U2 fan, this was probably the zenith of their popularity with me. I don't listen to them much anymore -- but did go to the Joshua Tree reunion show in Dallas two years ago -- but I will still listen to "One" any fucking time it comes on. Johnny Cash's cover, though vastly inferior to the original, is a good listen too.

EDIT: Let me amend this to say I still love all of Unforgettable Fire and the only other U2 song I might nominate for your exercise is the live version of "Bad."

Edited by C-Man
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17 minutes ago, C-Man said:

EDIT: Let me amend this to say I still love all of Unforgettable Fire and the only other U2 song I might nominate for your exercise is the live version of "Bad."

Yeah, that's anthemic U2 at pretty much their peak.  The chiming guitar and that 4 on the floor kick drum kill me.  I don't even like the band all THAT much.  I just looked up the live take -- you're right, that's completely on point.  Such a great, slow build.  I saw them in Houston, must have been the Joshua Tree tour, pre-Rattle & Hum.  The whole show was like that.  Extraordinary, really.

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4 hours ago, jimmyjazz said:

Personally, I'd go with "Honky Tonk Women", because (a) cowbell and (b) the greatest sounding kick drum ever recorded.

Gimme Shelter is a fucking masterpiece.  Outside of that track, the Stones’ catalog is a few decent tunes (Honky Tonk Women, Satisfaction, Brown Sugar) and a bunch of crap. 

Edited by BrickHorn
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Castles Made of Sand - Hendrix

Into the Mystic - Van the Man 

 

I don't know how there could be a single stones song -- their catalog is too deep.  My pick would probably be Lets Spend the Night Together.  But Sway, Can't Always Get What You Want, and Paint it Black would also be in contention.  

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16 hours ago, Loco said:

 

Also U2 best song = Sunday Bloody Sunday  Fight me!

Gotta go with Waiting in Vain for Bob although No Woman No Cry is great.

Speaking of the word ‚Äúvain‚ÄĚ, I think the best song by The Clash is Train in Vain. ¬†Perfect pop song with a hint of punk. It‚Äôs upbeat but actually about a miserable relationship.

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