10. The Grateful Dead - Here Comes Sunshine
Like most Grateful Dead songs, "Here Comes Sunshine" is better live, however the 1973 studio version from the Dead’s fifth album, Wake of the Flood, stands alongside the many well written and structured songs written by Garcia and longtime lyricist Robert Hunter. Weir and Garcia are masterful as they share notes on the guitar as well as lyrics. ‘Sunshine’ is one of the better Dead songs that the casual Dead fan wouldn’t know but should definitely add to their collection.
9. George Baker Selection – Little Green Bag
Quentin Tarantino fans will recognize this song from the opening credits of Reservoir Dogs, which is where I was first exposed to this catchy tune. Originally released as the Dutch bands first single in 1969, Little Green Bag reached #21 on the Billboard Top 100 and earned the George Baker Selection gold record status for their debut album.
8. State Radio – Sybil
Featured as the last song on their debut album, “Us Against The Crown” this song has recently become famous for being featured in Kayhem hot dog commercials. However, the song has a much deeper meaning than selling frankfurters. It was written by frontman Chad Urmston for his girlfriend, Sybil and is a very passionate love song with the feel of a lullaby.
7. The Who - Blue, Red, and Grey
The Who became famous in the late 60’s and early 70’s as R&B pioneers and for their rock opera’s, Tommy, and Quadrophenia. However, in 1975, off the heels of their second critically acclaimed rock opera, Townshend went to work on a much different album than fans were used to. They ditched the synthesizers and layers of overdubs and let Townshend’s songwriting stand alone on the sparse and dark, The Who By Numbers. However, amid the dark, ominious tone of the album, there is hope and optimism with Townshend playing alone on the Ukulele on the song, “Blue, Red, and Grey.” Townshend escaped the theme of his own battles with alcoholism, lust, and self-loathing, to liking every minute of the day with Blue, Red, and Grey.
6. Rubyhorse – Fell On Bad Days
I first heard this song during a Season one finale of the show, Rescue Me on FX and immediately fell in love. Although I don’t know much about the band, except for the fact that they were originally from Ireland and moved to Boston in the mid-90’s, this song stands out in my collection.
5. Dr. Dog – My Friend
I first heard this song during the trailer of the upcoming film, Funny People, and immediately searched for it on my computer and have since fallen in love with Dr. Dog. Check it out, I highly recommend it.
4. Warren Haynes – Patchwork Quilt
Originally recorded with Phil Lesh & Friends and then with Gov’t Mule, Haynes put his blues guitar aside and penned this fantastic tribute to the late Jerry Garcia. “Patchwork” is a soft, acoustic ballad which focuses on the late Garcia and his impact on Haynes and his fellow musicians. The key part of the song to me comes a minute and a half into the song as Haynes sings, “We were at Jones Beach/When we got the word/Saddest sound that I ever heard/The bluest note that nobody could play/Ravens sang with us that night on the stage/Tears of sadness, tears of rage.” Check of Hayne’s version on his Live at Bonnaroo album.
3. Bob Dylan – Most of the Time
If only Dylan released this song twenty years earlier, imagine how great it would sound? “Most of the Time” was released on Dylan’s 1989 album, Oh Mercy, which is one of my least favorite of Dylan many era’s throughout his career, but that’s probably because I can’t get past the mid-60’s version of Dylan. However, this song, which was featured in the film, High Fidelity, is a soft, deep, sad and passionate song about recollecting an old love and trying to move on from the past. It ranks as one of my all time favorite Dylan songs, up there with “She Belongs to Me” and the At Budokan version of “Just Like a Woman.”
2. Cat Stevens – The Wind
As one of the greatest singer songwriter’s of all-time, Cat Stevens penned one of the greatest ballads of all time with “The Wind” in my opinion. With the soft strumming of his acoustic guitar leading into the powerful lyrics, “I listen to the wind to the wind of my soul/Where I'll end up well I think, only God really knows.” This is why Almost Famous is a great movie because it features great music like this.
1. U2 – Grace
Overshadowed by the radio hits, “Beautiful Day,” “Stuck In a Moment,” and “Elevation,” “Grace” to me is what makes U2’s 2000 album, All That You Can’t Leave Behind so amazing. Despite being famous for their rock songs such as “Sunday Bloody Sunday” “Pride” and “Beautiful Day” I think songs like “Grace” truly bring out Bono’s genius when it comes to songwriting. U2 is one of the most well rounded and complete bands in the history of rock ‘n’ roll and that is a result of Bono’s ability to write such heartfelt and emotional songs such as “Grace.” One of my favorite songs of all time, “Grace” is a must in everyone’s music collection.