This listing is more about Favorite artists than the songs alone, but these tracks showcase why these acts are on the list. I have at least 5-10 songs from each of these artists and the previous listed ones that I absolutely love. But if you haven’t heard some of these people, or your only knowledge of them is what commercial media has played in one or two track increments over and over again, start fresh with these suggestions. I can guarantee you won’t regret it. Our list continues below.
7. Bruce Springsteen- Long Walk Home
It was really hard for me to pick out one song for The Boss to represent my faves on the list. Especially when the album this track is on contains so many great songs, like You’ll Be Coming Down, Radio Nowhere, Terry’s Song (Hidden Track), Magic, Your Own Worst Enemy and more. Plus there’s his other stellar albums The Rising, Devils and Dust, Tunnel Of Love, Back In The U.S.A., Luckytown, Greetings From Ashbury Park, NJ, The Wild The Innocent and the E Street Shuffle, just to name a few. If you’re a fan of Springsteen then you don’t need any convincing from me of this man’s place in music history or the rock & roll Hall Of Fame. But if your only exposure to Springsteen are his 80’s hits like Born To Run, I’m On Fire, Glory Days or Dancing In The Dark, then check out this track and let it open a new door for you. The Boss can do both rock anthem and driving ballad, as well as deep storytelling and character driven pieces that authors could write novels about. The elements are both there, showcasing his talent and done so with that thick, traveled voice.
8. U2- Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own
Again, how do you pick one track when you’re in love with the whole album? How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb is one of my all-time favorite collections of music because track after track is perfection in audio form. I can’t find a song I don’t love and so, the listed song here just represents a wonderful album. But then, even singling out this album from their other work is really difficult too. My good friend (and the webmaster of www.dgrantsmith.com and www.mchagerty.com) Mike Hagerty is a huge U2 fan. I really should ask him to write something about how their music inspires and transforms. All I really was needed to experience their magic was watching their Superbowl performance after 9/11. When Bono ripped open his jacket at the end of that, it sent chill bumps through me. Awesome. These are passionate lyrics with dynamic instrumentation that is recognized all over the world. U2 created an iconic sound that when other bands come forth with a similar feel or presentation, instantly they’re branded as having a U2 sound. These are the songs that should be sung in church instead of the same repetitive and bland stuff that tragically gets sung in most American churches, or at least my experience prior to 2008 was this way, but that’s a different story. Want to know what I’m talking about? Listen to Yahweh from How To Dismantle…. and you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. Or check out 40 from War and hear a psalm sung the way it was written.
9. Iron & Wine- 16, Maybe Less
The moniker is I&W but his name is Sam Beam. Sam’s career as a musician is growing, from his sell-out concerts (which he doesn’t play often enough for fans) to his music featured in hit movies like Twilight. When not recording and performing by himself, he plays with a band called Calexico, whom he recorded this song with on their In The Reins-EP. It’s a folk-rock tune that tells a some-what sad story of a memorial love lost and the settling for something less. It’s not a song that gets much credit or even airplay, but fans of The Appetizer know that we honored Sam with the first ever Golden Fork Award trophy (thanks to Elliott Park) in January of this year as a sold-out concert he played in Abilene (pictured). Other great tracks from Sam and Calexico include Belated Promise Ring, Flightless Bird, American Mouth, He Lays In the Reins (please check this song out), Love Vigilantes, My Lady’s House, and anything else you can find. You won’t regret it.