I hate to admit it, but one of my favorite songs right now is Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” which I first heard on American Idol.
What… a… song! The lyrics are freakin’ STUNNING. Amazing piece of work. The relationship between sex and God explored artistically and respectfully.
Other music that stands out among the madding crowd, in no special order other than how it occurred to me:
- “It’s a Miracle,” from Roger Waters’ “Amused to Death.”
- “Wish You Were Here,” Pink Floyd, from “Wish You Were Here.”
- “Closer to the Heart,” Rush; best version IMO was on “Exit… Stage Left.” “La Villa Strangiato” is another excellent piece of work on this live album, which has many excellent tracks on it. Rush also has “Natural Science,” one of my all-time favorite songs… but “Closer to the Heart” is the song that grabs me emotionally.
- “For Those About to Rock,” AC/DC, “For Those About To Rock.” “Back in Black” is a better album but if I had to name a real rabble-rousing song of theirs, this would be it.
- “Misunderstood,” Dream Theater, “Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence.”
- “Schism,” “Reflection,” and “Parabola,” Tool, from “Lateralus.” Amazing album.
- “Darlene,” by Led Zeppelin, off of “Coda” — basically a castoff song on an album of castoffs. But I can’t get it out of my head once I hear it. “Wearing and Tearing” is another song like that, same album. Let’s be real, though: most Led Zeppelin tracks are probably candidates for a list like this.
- “Siberian Khatru,” Yes, “Closer to the Edge.” Same album, “And You and I” is another fine candidate… but “Siberian Khatru” always … I don’t know how to describe it other than to say it makes my skin crawl in a good way like most songs on this list.
- “Whipping Post,” Allman Brothers.
- “All Along the Watchtower,” Jimi Hendrix. “Machine Gun” is another song like this of his, but… Watchtower is the one.
My requirement for a song being on this list is the inability to listen without having that feeling in your gut that forces you to listen, to pay attention… skin crawling, emotional attachment, the works.
It’s a personal list, of course; I’m sure people can hear lines like “The blacksmith and the artist, reflected in their art, they forge their creativity closer to the heart” without getting tears in their eyes. But I can’t.
What are your “killer songs?”
Author’s Note: Another repost, but I’m interested in how people respond…