Thursday, December 27, 2007

WONDER-ful music!

I just got a bunch of dvds in the mail of various concerts, including several Stevie Wonder shows. One of the shows was a tribute that BET did for Stevie in 2002. I popped it in and started watching. A lot of great artists paid tribute to the Detroit native, but the one that caught me off guard was the late Gerald Levert, performing an inspired version of 'All I Do'. Gerald's father Eddie, lead singer of the O'Jays, sung background with Michael Jackson on the original recording, on Stevie's classic 'Hotter Than July' album from 1980.

'All I Do' has always been one of my favorite songs, and it made me think about other favorite songs, so here's an all time (for the time being) top 20 list. I always catch hell from my friends for being all over the place musically. Here's an opportunity to see what they're talking about. No particular order, by the way, I just jotted them down as they popped in my head.

1. All I Do- Stevie Wonder
2. Try A Little Tenderness- Otis Redding
3. Sara Smile- Daryl Hall & John Oates
4. Call Me- Al Green
5. Side By Side- Earth Wind & Fire
6. Girl You Need A Change of Mind- Eddie Kendricks
7. As- Stevie Wonder
8. Say A Little Prayer- Aretha Franklin
9. Love Me- Elvis Presley
10. For You to Love- Luther Vandross
11. Jesus Is Waiting- Al Green
12. Memory Lane- Minnie Riperton
13. Blue Skies- Ella Fitzgerald
14. So What- Miles Davis
15. Song- Lewis Taylor
16. There Was A Time- James Brown
17. I Want Your Love- Chic
18. My Funny Valentine- Johnny Mathis
19. The Best Is Yet To Come- Frank Sinatra
20. Where or When- Frank Sinatra

I know there'll be songs you can't believe I included or left off, but this was a top of mind experiment. Looking over the list, I'm surprised there aren't more women listed, but that's what came to mind. Also, fight the reflex and don't hate on Elvis!

1 comment:

Prof. Daley said...

What a great list-I will not repeat any of those selections-however perfect they may be—and I won’t limit myself to 20—I can’t. Music is so subjective-and frankly tied to so many variables-mood, time of day, etc—that even this list isn’t enough—but it is an important dialog to start. It also ignores concept albums , or albums that ned to be consumed as a whole--like Sinatra’s Only The Lonely; Bill Evans You Must Believe in Spring; Miles Kind of Blue, Coltrane’s Ballads. I will pick up on your Elvis comment too-there really is no distinction in genres of music-there is just authentic (good) and inauthentic (bad)—Charlie Parker LOVED County music—when someone asked him why, he said—“Listen to the Stories, Man!” And isn’t that what it is all about—as long as it has soul—it IS soul music. These are in no particular order…..

S. Dan: Kid Charlamagne
EWF :Reasons
Harold Melvin: Wake Up Evrybody
5 Stairsteps: Ooh Child
Spinners How Could I Let You Get Away
Donny Hathaway: To Be Young Gifted and Black; Your Song; Love, Love, Love
Billy Paul: Me and Mrs. Jones
Bill Whithers: Ain’t No Sunshine
Bobby Womack :That’s the Way I Feel about Cha
Brooke Benton: Rainy Night in Georgia
Sly Stone: Stand
Roberta Flack: The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
Isleys/Todd Rundgren: Hello It’s Me
Sam and Dave: When Something is Wrong With My Baby
Sinatra: Only the Lonely; Wee Small Hours of the Morning;The Way you Look Tonight; You’re Getting to Be a Habit With Me
Prince: I Wanna Be Your Lover
Jimmy Cliff: The Harder They Come
Lou Rawls: Love Is a Hurtin’ Thing
Paul Simon: Something So Right
O.V. Wright: God Blessed Our Love
Otis : I’ve Been Lovin’ You Too Long
Patsy Cline: Crazy
Nancy Wilson: Sleepin’ Bee; Glad to Be Unhappy
Nat King Cole: Pick Yourself Up
O’Jays: Love Train
Marvin Gaye: Distant Lover; After the Dance; Mercy Mercy Me
Miles Davis: Blue in Green; In Your Own Sweet Way
Minnie Riperton: Baby This Love I have
Impressions: Choice of Colors; People Get Ready
Sam Cooke: A Change is Gonna Come
Ray Charles: Mess Around
James Carr: Dark End of the Street; To Love Somebody
Bob Marley: Redemption Song (solo)
Louis Jordan: Five Guys Named Moe
Luther Vandross : So Amazing
Leon Ware: I Wanna Be Where You Are
Leroy Hutson: So In Love With You
Bill Evans : I Loves You Porgy (1961 Village Vanguard version); We Will Meet Again;Time Remembered; Turn Out The Stars
Junior Wells: Messin’ With The Kid
Art Blakey: Moanin’
Horace Silver: Song For My Father
Pat Metheny: Bright Size Life
James Taylor: Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight
Chick Corea: Spain
Bill Charlap: Some Other Time; Curtains;The Best Thing For You Would Be Me;America; Cool
David Hazeltine/Isleys: For the Love of You
Al Green: Simply Beautiful
Winans: Millions
Bebe Winans: Love Thang
Staples: Respect Yourself
Aretha Franklin: Spirit in The Dark; Me oh My (Fool For You)
Bill Charlap/Dirty Rotten Scoundrels Bway ST: Nothing is To Beautiful to Be True
Benny Carter: My One and Only Love
Tony Bennett/Bill Evans: Some Other Time; You Must Believe in Spring
Johnny Hartman: Waltz for Debby: It Never Entered My Mind
Cannonball Adderly: Dis Hyah; Dat Dere; Work Song; Elsa; Autumn Leaves
Mingus: Goodbye Pork Pie Hat
Chaka: Through the Fire
Charlie Parker : Laura (w/strings)
Chet Baker: Let’s Get Lost
David Ruffin: Walk Away From Love
Gladys Knight: If I Was Your Woman
Hank Mobley: If I Should Lose You
James Brown: Papa Don’t Take No Mess
John Coltrane: Lush Life (w/Hartman); Naima
Johnny Cash : I Walk The Line
Les McCann: Compared to What
Merle Haggard: If I Could Only Fly
Sarah Vaughn: I Didn’t Know What Time it Was
Tom Jobim and Elis Regina: Waters of March
Elis Regina: Atras de Porta
Stevie Wonder: As
Joy Division: Love Will Tear Us Apart
Hoagy Carmichael: Two Sleepy People
George Jones: She Thinks I Still Care; He Stopped Loving Her Today; The Grand Tour
Dusty Springfield: Son of a Preacher Man
Eliane Elias: Minha
Charlie Haden 4tet West: Every Time We Say Goodbye
Al Jarreau : We Got By