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January 28th, 2013

Top 100 Songs

Shortly after we first met, one of the ways TeenLitGirl and I started bonding was by opening up our respective computers, sharing our iTunes accounts, and swapping music back and forth. This led to discussions over what each of our "Top 100" song lists would/might contain. The discussions become far less frequent once our music collections effectively merged, but as we each added new artists, songs and albums to our iPods, we occasionally resumed the long-running conversation when we thought a new addition might have a chance at making one of our lists. It wasn't as intense as Rob Gordon discussing his lists in High Fidelity, but it was equally entertaining.

Yet, during all this time neither one of us put any effort into actually determining what those lists might be. Don't get me wrong; at various times each of us have unequivocally stated that certain songs were more than just Top 100 material. We pointed out songs that were Top 40, Top 20, or even Top 10, but we never attempted to define where the limits of the Top 100 might lie. That changed last night.

For roughly 45 minutes, the two of us reenacted our old bonding ritual, but instead of swapping music, we were populating playlists with songs that we each thought might be "Top 100" worthy and talking about our preliminary candidates. For me, it's an awful lot like a ballot for the MLB HOF -- I am literally throwing any song into the playlist that I feel deserves consideration, even though I know most of the songs I place on the preliminary don't stand much of chance. To me, seeing which songs make this list is part of the fun.

I feel the need to mention that this little project isn't an effort to pick what I think are the 100 best songs of all time. No; these are the 100 songs that I enjoy listening to the most. It's sort of like saying that MST3K is my favorite television show of all-time -- I'm not saying that it's the best show ever to appear on a television; I'm just saying that it was the one I enjoyed watching the most. Along those lines, my list of 100 songs will represent a hodgepodge of different things -- extreme sentimental attachment, silly/cheesy fun, anger management, truly awesome tunes, guilty pleasures, etc. Undoubtedly, my final list will include songs that I would never suggest deserve mention as one of the finest recorded during the past 50-odd years, but that doesn't stop me from listening to them in their entirety almost every single time they pop up on my iPod.

When the list is done, I will very likely share it here on LJ. It may take a while before that happens, however. I have over 10,000 songs in my iTunes library, and when I stopped last night, I had just made it to Bruce Springsteen. When I resume a little later this evening, I will start by scanning through the 398 Springsteen songs in my library before moving on to the next artist, Bruce Willis. (No, I am not making that up, and I'm not apologizing for it.) When this list is finished, I don't expect it will be something that I can just put on shuffle and enjoy -- I am certain that some of the songs will clash in a manner that would make Igor Stravinsky proud. However, I don't think I would have it any other way.

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