Here it is, the final ten from my list of 50 songs from some of my favourite discs of the decade. Enjoy.
10. Things Have Changed–Bob Dylan (Wonder Boys OST)
An ok movie but a great soundtrack, with four Dylan cuts including this brand new one to lead off his fifth decade in the biz. Even today, Dylan shows no signs of slowing down and this song is one of my favourites of his from any decade.
9. Best Of You–Foo Fighters (In Your Honor)
A double-disc affair: Disc one rocks hard like nobody’s business and disc two takes a more mellow, and acoustic, tone. But it works. And there’s not a single dud among the twenty tracks. Best of You is Dave Grohl at his screaming…best.
8. Beautiful Day–U2 (All That You Can’t Leave Behind)
A slightly better album than ….Atomic Bomb, and both are immensely better than the one that followed, No Line On The Horizon. Love how the chorus just explodes on this one.
7. Please Read The Letter–Robert Plant & Alison Krauss (Raising Sand)
Robert Plant’s going to do a country/folk album with Alison Krauss? Yeah, right. Well, colour me converted. The combination is brilliant. And the Grammy people finally got one right. (BTW, the album version is actually two minutes longer than the video below. That’s two more minutes of brilliance.)
6. Comin’ Home–City and Colour (Sometimes)
About as far-removed from Dallas Green’s other day job, Alexisonfire, as you can get. This song is just beautiful. And I love the lyric about Nova Scotia.
5. The Wrestler–Bruce Springsteen (Working On A Dream)
Springsteen won a Golden Globe for this one last year, but was snubbed by Oscar. However, because of the timing of nomination eligibility, it’s now up for a Grammy for “Best Song Written For Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media”. If you’ve seen The Wrestler, you know that this song has to win. One of the best songs ever written specifically for a movie. Hopefully the Grammy people will correct Oscar’s mistake.
4. Amerika V. 6.0 (The Best We Can Do)–Steve Earle (Jerusalem)
Right from that powerhouse drum-intro, you know you’re in for some good ol’ seething rock and roll from a guy who’s not afraid to speak his mind. The lyrics in this one speak volumes. “Fourscore and 150 years ago, our forefathers made us equal as long as we can pay.” Great stuff.
3. Sequestered In Memphis–The Hold Steady (Stay Positive)
Ok, I admit it, I had never heard of these guys until I caught a review of their album Stay Positive on CBS’ Sunday Morning, of all places. But let me ask you this: you know how sometimes a song takes a few listens for it grow on you, and then other times it just hits you in the gut the first time you hear it and doesn’t let go? That’s what happened to me with Sequestered. Loved it the first time, loved it a dozen times later, and still love it. A knockout tune.
2. Clocks–Coldplay (A Rush Of Blood To The Head)
I wasn’t that keen on Coldplay when their first album, Parachutes, was released. I mean, the single “Yellow” was just ok in my book. In ’02, when their follow-up was released, the first song I heard was “In My Place”, and I liked it better than “Yellow”, but still just kinda ok. Then I heard “God Put A Smile Upon Your Face”, and I liked that one even more so I bought the album. And then I heard…”Clocks”. Right from the opening note…that was it, I was hooked. Bought the next couple of albums but I think this is still their best track.
AND NUMBER ONE…
1. The Rising–Bruce Springsteen (The Rising)
As I understand it, the story goes something like this: not too long after 9/11 when the wounds were still fresh, Springsteen, who hadn’t released a studio album in seven years, was driving his car in New Jersey when a passerby saw him and yelled out something to the effect of “We need you!”. That was Springsteen’s call to arms, and with 9/11 as a backdrop, he got the band back together and went into the studio and came out with an album in the summer of ’02 that both made you want to cry, and made you want to get up and shout your ass off. That’s what “The Rising” is. A rousing fist-pumper that let everyone know that while America was still hurting, all was not lost. My pick for song of the decade.