1. The Smashing Pumpkins | Bullet With Butterfly Wings
I heard this song for the first time in Atlanta whilst waiting for my father to come out of the bank. It was a nice summer day and I was in his Jeep basking in the weather. I must have been about 12 years old at the time and I can still recall that feeling of Curiosity meets Fear when Corgan's voice came in followed by the dark distorted riff. The hook of the track really grabbed me and I almost felt like I was doing something I wasn't supposed to be doing; but it felt great.
2. Dios | Starting Five
I consider this track to be my happy song. I heard it for the first time on a compilation back in the early 2000's and loved it immediately. That was a particularly great summer. My band at the time (P.L.M.B.) had just been signed and we were going to be embarking on our first European tour. Life seemed great and the song's carefree melody/attitude seemed to encompass the exact way I felt inside. I ended up losing the compilation CD and searched for the song on the Internet for 5 years until eventually reconnecting with it. It brings me back to that place every time I hear it.
3. Pink Floyd | Comfortably Numb
I clearly remember hearing this song for the first time in a friend's room when I was around 15. It completely changed my perception of Music and Life. It was absolutely eye opening and I listened to that entire album (disc 1 and 2) for 6 months straight every day/night. I would listen in the dark going to bed and scare myself, but I loved it.
4. Iggy Pop | The Passenger
This was a tough choice because there are more than a handful of Iggy And The Stooges songs that could be on this list (I Wanna Be Your Dog, Search And Destroy, Raw Power, etc.). That band in general really opened new doors for me, but I remember being picked up in my friend Pirate Pete's car one night; we were on LSD and when that song came on, (first time I heard it) Iggy's voice went right to my core. Game changer.
5. The Doors | Hello, I Love You
This track is just so damn sexy. I know they got sued for ripping this riff off, but they did it in such a different way. My pants get tighter every time that intro comes in. Technically, I would say Love Street is my favorite Doors song of all time, but I had to put this on the list.
6. El-P | The Full Retard
This track won't necessarily be a classic, but I've been absolutely rinsing it on my playlist. The beat is absolutely killer and El-P rips the record with an overly confident flow; yet a hint of sarcasm can be heard. This song gives me a swagger that I enjoy.
7. Milky Chance | Flashed Junk Mind
I think I overdid it with this beautiful tune. I listened to this song on repeat when I moved from Paris to London (I took the bus, so it was over 8 hours). There is a Melancholy Optimism in the sound and delivery that just resonates through my bones. Takes me back to that bus ride each and every time.
8. The Velvet Underground | Sweet Jane
I recall trying to learn this song on guitar back in the day. Its weight is not deflated by its simplicity. As always, Lou Reed's lyrics and vocal delivery are just perfect. It gives me a feeling of Utter Cool and Composure. The Cowboy Junkies' cover got critical acclaim, but I don't feel that it even scrapes the surface of the original.
9. Nirvana | In Bloom
Again, like Iggy And The Stooges, it's hard to pick one track. I could easily say Serve The Servants or Very Ape or even Dive are my favorite songs (Nirvana is easily in my top 3 bands of all time), but I decided to put this monster down.
10. The Beatles | A Day In The Life
This song is absolutely brilliant; beautiful melodies and lyrics. Just when you think it's finished, it goes into this tripped out worm hole and punches out the other side into an entirely new track. Music sure seemed less confined back in those days. This song is an amazing journey of emotions that starts very pensive and Melancholy before getting nerve racking, dreamy and then uplifting. It takes you back to its thoughtful nature and, of course, ends on that epic piano note (which is actually like 100 pianos playing one note). Leaves me feeling relieved by the time the voyage is over.
+11. Modest Mouse | Float On
+12. TV On The Radio | Wolf Like Me
+13. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club | Beat The Devil's Tattoo
+14. Black Sabbath | Sweet Leaf
+15. King Tuff | Sun Medallion
+16. Jay Reatard | It Ain't Gonna Save Me
+17. Roy Orbison | You Got It
+18. George Thorogood & The Destroyers | Bad To The Bone
This was the first song I ever performed live when I was 8 years old. Covered it at a wedding in France with my father on keyboard.