Everybody has that one song that is totally unique to them, and when one is able to share that music with another, the feeling of pride that comes with sharing such a private and personal experience is a singular one. I’ve been in need of such this feeling for a while now, so I went through my library and found music that everybody should know yet somehow doesn’t. So without further ado;
1. Movin’ Out- Aerosmith
Long before the days of “Dude Looks Like a Lady,” the Boston rock group came out with a gritty, rough-around-the-edges blues that hits home like it’s straight from the south.
2. Jealous of the Moon- Nickel Creek
Nickel Creek, who branded themselves as progressive acoustic, came out with this song on their final album working together. Especially impressive are the raw lyrics that seem to be wrenched out of singer Chris Thile.
3. Mack the Knife- Ella Fitzgerald
Only Ella, as heard in a live recording in Berlin, could be the first woman to cover a song, forget all the lyrics midway through, make up her own to cover for the gaffe, and still get a rousing ovation from what is known as the toughest audience in jazz.
4. Danger Zone- Chiddy Bang
You may have heard this rap group out of Philly’s take on MGMT’s “Kids” in their single “Opposite of Adults,” and Chiddy and Xaphoon continue to wield their impressive freestyling and DJ’ing skills, respectively, in this rap about rising above the haters in life.
5. Grace- Bobby McFerrin and Yo-Yo Ma
Although most people know McFerrin as “The ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy’ Guy,” he is actually a classically trained singer with an extensive background in jazz. In this piece, his versatile voice combines with Ma’s cello to create a beautiful and rich sound.
6. Movie Loves a Screen- April Smith and the Great Picture Show
April Smith’s playful voice, paired with equally amusing lyrics, puts a uniquely optimistic spin on an unrequited love.
7. Rose Parade- Elliott Smith
Most of Elliott Smith’s work is vastly depressing, and while “Rose Parade” does maintain this tone somewhat, his rough voice inserts anger, melancholy, and even a little hope at the same time.
8. Broadway- Foxboro Hottubs
Basically Green Day in disguise with a couple of bonus members thrown in, the Hottubs’ one album, “Stop Drop and Roll!!!” us a collection of throwback rock songs that hearken back to a grungier time. “Broadway” is their best example of that, with Billie Joe Armstrong singing his heart out to heavy guitar feedback and sexual innuendos.
9. Blue, Red and Grey- The Who
After being told by lead singer Roger Daltry that this song was too personal for Daltry to sing himself, Pete Townsend recorded this vulnerable yet peaceful song with the help of a ukelele and an assortment of brass instruments.
10. Real Love- Regina Spektor
Covering John Lennon’s original tune for an album to benefit aid in the crisis in Sudan, Spektor’s luxuriant voice captures the emotion that Lennon’s own weaker voice could not in a captivating song about finding one’s true love.