February 1st, 2013

Moose Music

Top 100 Songs: Redubbed and Explained

I essentially completed the "Top 100" Project. However, it's no longer a Top 100 list -- I'm calling it my Hall of Songs, and it has 120 songs in it. I made the change for two reasons: one, ranking the songs will just take too much time; and two, once I got the list down to 120, I realized that trying to make the final 20 cuts may represent a pointless task. I say "pointless" because I am acknowledging that a repeat of this exercise six months from now may very well result in a significant number of the songs in the bottom of the top 100 falling out and being replaced by songs that just missed the cut. In fact, this level of uncertainty affects just about any numerical ranking of the songs. So, I came up with a new way to tackle the project based on baseball fanboy discussions of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

For those of you who are not familiar with those discussions, the Hall of Fame is sometimes divided into three circles: the inner circle, made up the the players who were arguably the best ever to play their positions; the no-doubters, players who clearly were Hall of Famers, but were not good enough to be considered for inner circle; and the outer circle, made up of players that hardcore fans will still sometimes debate over whether he really deserved induction. In an effort to acknowledge the nebulous nature of the bottom part of any Top 100 list I compile, I decided to place the songs in a personal Hall of Songs that is structured along those lines.

Sometime over the weekend, I'll begin posting about my selections and start with the outer fringe and work my way into the inner circle. Before doing so, I want to mention I few things I observed as I culled my favorite 120 songs out of the 10,000 in my iTunes library. First, I found (as did TeenLitGirl, who was also taking part in this project) that favorite artists did not always produce favorite songs. For example, even though I own every one of her albums, Suzanne Vega does not appear in my Hall of Songs. Yet, after the first pass through of my music library, I listed eight of her songs in the 550 songs I initially compiled for consideration. In addition, favorite albums did not always contain songs that made the cut; despite placing it amongst my favorite albums of all-time (a posting project for another day), nothing from Sting's Nothing Like the Sun appears on the final list.

I actually had a lot of fun with this -- even if I did wimp in an effort to save time and avoid making some hard choices. I'm looking forward to writing about these songs, and reading the derisive comments that some of my picks are sure to inspire.