Hello everybody! Today, I’ve decided to do a list of my top ten favourite songs that are a bit older (in the interests of fairness, I’ve tried to go for songs/artists I don’t think I’ve talked about at length in other music posts, because otherwise there would have been a lot of 2000s Taylor Swift, Coldplay and Panic! at the Disco on here…). Onto the post!
Running Up That Hill– this is one i have slightly mixed feelings on, which is why I’ve decided to put it in first. First of all, it took me an embarrassingly long time to work out what this song is actually about, but I’m pretty sure it’s Kate Bush saying that women aren’t as valued and successful as men, and and it’s even more beautifully and cleverly written than I had realised before I knew that. I also really love Kate Bush’s voice in the chorus, and the guitar is so unusually played in this and I am obsessed with it, and those quiet, underlying drum beats. I’m less keen on the backing vocals,
Feel the Need– this is another one that I don’t LOVE the way I do some later additions. It’s a song from the 70s by the Detroit Emeralds, and while I adore the smoothness of the lead singer’s voice, it does sort of make me want to never the words feel the need again after a few listens (but I always return, of course). It’s just really pleasant to listen to, overall.
Try a Little Tenderness/Sittin on the Dock of the Bay- as my beloved Duckie puts it “I love Otis”. I specifically love these two songs. The former of them of course features in my favourite film Pretty in Pink in an AMAZING scene with Duckie (arguably the best of the film imo!) So I obviously love it for that reason, but I also really like the smooth quality to Otis Redding’s voice and it definitely pulls off the sultry vibe it goes for. In terms of the latter, my favourite thing about that is how simple and understated a song it is, and how it manages to take my breath away all the more for that very reason. It’s just perfection.
Come Up and See Me (Make Me Smile)- this is actually the song that sparked the idea for this post in my mind because after not hearing it for ages, I heard it two days running and it just set me thinking. It’s not necessarily the most the most exciting song in the world in terms of vocal or music, but I love listening to it so much. Aptly, it makes me smile so much and I can’t help but sing along to it. It’s just a sunny, happy joy of a song and I love it.
American Pie– the amount of this song I can sing off by heart is fairly tragic, I won’t lie (I’m shaky after verse 4 but up till there I know just about all of it.). I love this song so much- the music references are so cool and even though I don’t know the full details of all of them it was fascinating to read interpretations about what people think they all mean and try and work out who they’re about (I think I only got the Beatles on my own, but I tried 😂). It’s just so relaxing to listen to as well. Another of my fave Don McLean songs is Prime Time, which is much less well known but is so much fun and another very rambly one about society and how it had changed at the time.
Breakfast in America- I absolutely LOVE this song, and hearing it on the radio is always an absolute treat. It’s not especially kind to the girlfriend so I do feel a bit bad if that part is true, but it’s mostly about wanting to see America. I mostly love it for how it actually sounds though, rather than its lyrics. The piano combined with other instruments is fairly unusual, and I absolutely love the sound that it creates. I also think the brass section are just wonderful. Another of the main reasons I love it is how catchy it is, and the way I’m singing it for days (or even weeks, sometimes) after I hear it.
Mr Brightside- before I talk about this (and the next on the list, actually ) please know that I’m well aware these aren’t THAT old, and I’m only including them on this list because I couldn’t think of another post to fit them in and I REALLY wanted to talk about how much I love them! So, with that out of the way, this is an absolute stunner of a song and I love it so much. If you haven’t heard of this (or the next on the list again, actually), have you been living on the Moon? It’s such an anthem and I love it so much. If you’ve never heard it, it’s about a guy seeing his girlfriend cheat on him and despite the melancholy feel it still makes you want to scream the lyrics alongside Brandon Flowers. Another, less surface level reason that I love this song is that the writing is masterful. Understandably, the narrator is pretty upset and I think the repetition of the first verse rather than a different second one and the lack of a bridge highlights that how much it’s messing with him and the way that he can’t think of anything else. Just MASTERFUL.
Seven Nation Army– this is another super iconic one from the early 2000s and it’s (in my opinion) one of the most iconic songs ever, and deservedly so at that. It is the perfect song to snarl along to when you are angry, and I have done this more times than I count! The withering lyrics are delightfully done and it’s just brilliant. My main reason for loving this though, is a much geekier one, and I’m almost reluctant to say it in case you all run for the hills. I think the pseudo-bass line guitar riff in this is one of the most genius pieces of music I’ve ever heard, and the way they’ve used a guitar to take the place of a bass just blows my mind a bit.
What are some of your favourite older songs? I’d love to hear in the comments, especially if our lists have any in common!