1. Peter Gabriel | Family Snapshot
The first time in my life where I heard some lyrics and thought they were talking directly to me and I was just in amazement when I heard him sing the words Come back, Mum and Dad... You're growing apart. You know that I'm growing up sad. I fell in love with Peter Gabriel when I heard that song and it was so formative, it kind of made me a loyal fan for life, a personal relationship where he could do no wrong and, strangely, it was a later totally different piece of Music by him (which was the album Passion - Music For The Last Temptation Of Christ for the Martin Scorsese film) that totally changed my life musically and opened up a whole new pallette of Sound instead of just guitars and pianos playing verse chorus versus chorus. Suddenly I was hearing pipes from The Desert and vocals from far away places that totally made me change the way I made Music and was the birth of 1 Giant Leap.

2. Peter Gabriel | Mercy Street
I could never get bored of this track no matter how many times you play it. Everything about it is perfect to me, the sounds that he used, the haunting melancholy pipe from far away, the soft bass, the sharp little percussion pieces that balance the bass and the treble, the way he’s recorded the vocal tracks and the absolute longing and yearning of the lyrics, it’s one of those pieces of Music that has always gone straight to my heart and it’s like an environment musically that I would love to live inside.

3. Labbi Siffre | (Something Inside) So Strong
This is a song that just makes my heart explode with Solidarity and Pride. It was written during Apartheid and... Give me a Gospel choir on nearly any song and I will be happy. Gospel choirs make all Music brilliant and I can never get enough of them. The true meaning and everything everybody went through in the story of this song moves me so deeply and once, when I was making a documentary in South Africa for a totally different subject (it was a documentary about how the government had abandoned all the children in the country with AIDS)... Luckily the Durban Gospel Choir agreed to come and sing that song with the children and the lyrics The further you take my rights away... The faster I will run! was just as relevant to the children and what they were going through as it was to the whole country of South Africa a couple of decades earlier. I’ve always loved this song. 

4. Solomon Burke | None Of Us Are Free (Ray Charles Cover)
This song for me is the song with the most perfect lyrics in The World. What an amazing chorus, just so simple from an activist point of view. None of us are free... None of us are free! None of us are free, one of us are chained... None of us are free... I was once asked to do something for a woman who ran the Gospel choir in the highest high security female prison in America, in Fresno, so I invited the band Arrested Development to come with me and we sang this song and recorded it actually inside the prison as a message of Solidarity from prison to the Angola Three who were unfairly locked up in Alabama. It was such a powerful day and it was so hard to leave prison that day knowing that all the people we’d been singing with had to stay inside. It really messed me up.

5. James Morrison | Undiscovered 
I don’t really have anything deep to say about this song. It’s just one of those pieces of Music where the singer, the lyrics, the arrangement and the band all came together just perfectly and the way it builds, with every chorus being more backed up by the backing vocals and he sings it more and more passionately each time, until he just lets the Gospel backing vocals take it away and he sings soaring over the top. I know it’s a bit of a Pop song, but I just love listening to it. It gives me goosebumps at the end of the bridge

6. Sting | They Dance Alone (Cueca Solo)
When I was told the story of this song there was something about the way the melody and the performance and the production touched the deeper meaning of the disappeared and all the mothers and daughters dancing with their vanished brothers and fathers who’d been murdered or kidnapped, the concept was just so unbelievable. I totally understand why Sting decided to make a piece about this song and let everybody in The World know the beauty of that piece of gentle and potent Activism of all of the women of the country dancing with the disappeared - and whenever I tell someone about this song I can’t stop crying and finish the story of what it’s all about

7. Samuel E. Wright | Under The Sea (The Little Mermaid Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
This will always be one of my favourite Disney songs (outside of The Jungle Book, of course). This is just a song that I’ve enjoyed with my daughters and being silly and it has nothing deep and meaningful about it. It’s just perfectly put together, funny, soulful, melodically sound - I’ve been enjoying this song for years. 

8. Elton John | Rocket Man (I Think It's Going To Be A Long, Long Time)
Sorry to put such a cliché on the list, but this is perfect Songwriting. The verse - the chorus - the melody - the way they run into each other - the Music lifts - you’re heart lifts and you just can’t help sing along with the chorus of this song, it’s just perfect

9. Ray Charles | Shake Your Tail Feather (The Five Du-Tones Cover) (The Blues Brothers Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
I love this song for one million reasons, but especially because, if I’m ever DJing, this song is absolutely guaranteed to fill up the dance floor the moment you put it on and everyone loves dancing in community to this song - it really joins people together. It’s so fun and light and joyful and it’s also one of my favourite scenes from the movie The Blues Brothers when Ray sings it and the whole street starts dancing, this is one of my happiest musical memories, watching it on The Blues Brothers and enjoying it on the dance floor

10. Stereo MC's | Connected
This is another example of Perfection. The drumbeat and the bassline are the most addictive and simple and perfect pattern that they could possibly be. The message of this song is also completely beautiful. Get yourself connected, let’s all be connected, but above all it’s really the way the bassline arrives on the one of the bar over and over again. It’s so satisfying - you could run this track for 25 minutes and I wouldn’t be bored of it - just the way that bassline keeps arriving on the one so perfectly to keep your hips moving. It really is an amazing piece of Music, and one of my favourites for filling up the dance floor if I’m DJing.

WARMER MIXTAPES #1672 | by Danny Owen (Miki Dollarude) of Baudelaire
Photo by Carl Battams
1. The Associates | Party Fears Two
I love absolutely everything about this song. Billy Mackenzie’s vocal delivery, his lyrics, The Music, it somehow both warms and breaks my heart
2. The Doors | When The Music’s Over
If I check the time and I have ten minutes spare I stick this song on. When The Music’s over, at least I know that’s ten minutes of my day I haven’t wasted.

3. Joy Division | Twenty Four Hours

Sheer Despair. The pain in this one really hits me. I feel like I’m in a bubble never to be burst. Even the instrumentals sound like a man backed into a corner and he’s screaming at the top of his lungs for anything, any other feeling, something new, something pure, something else. Something. Help.

4. The Smiths | Back To The Old House

I remember listening to The Smiths for the first time. It’s a memory that I’ll treasure forever, and I like to remind myself of it sometimes. It’s impossible for me to choose a favourite Smiths song, but the lyrics in this are probably some of my favourites: When you cycled by, here began all my dreams. Genius.

5. Nine Inch Nails | Ringfinger
Blame Alex and Carl for this one. Big up Carl Battams by the way, for the photo of me above, and all our photography. Their love for all things Trent Reznor has finally rubbed off on me and I can’t wait to see this tune played live in June. 6. Fontaines D.C. | I Don’t Belong 
Danny likes a modern song… Really? Surely not. It’s true, I do. I love this track. Fontaines are incredibly exciting, and I can’t wait to see them live again. Great band.

7. Manic Street Preachers | Yes
I could have picked any song from this album to be quite honest. The lyrics are brutal - and a bit explicit.  
8. Morrissey | Sunny
This song is oddly beautiful, given its dark subject matter. Morrissey has been and continues to be a huge influence on the way I approach singing and writing lyrics. Sunny for me is a perfect blend of Sadness, Poppy Melody, and that outro… Wow.
9. Depeche Mode | World In My Eyes
I’m a sucker for dirty intros and this is the king in my eyes. When the drums kick in; beautiful.

10. Black Sabbath | War Pigs

Probably my favourite guitar solo of all time. Sabbath are local legends in the West Midlands, so I thought I’d honour them in my list. 

WARMER MIXTAPES #1671 | by Jeff Cancade [Devours/The Golden Age Of Wrestling]
1. Don Henley | The Boys Of Summer
I really identify with this song; The Longing, The Nostalgia, The Unrequited Love, and feeling unnoticed while my crush chases after shinier things. 

2. Alanis Morissette | You Oughta Know
I used to have a crush on Uncle Joey from Full House, and when I discovered that this song was written about him, it changed my life forever. 

3. Rage Against The Machine | Bulls On Parade
Perfect song structure, memorable riffs, insane guitar solo. An incredible first single from an incredible album. 
4. Seal | Kiss From A Rose
Such an interesting melody. The song is a perfect showcase for Seal's gorgeous voice. 

5. Nirvana | Milk It
Such a deceptively brilliant guitar solo.
  6. Yeah Yeah Yeahs | Maps
On its own, Maps is still a stunning single, but when you hear it in the right context, buried near the end of their amazing debut album, it feels even more revealing and vulnerable

7. SIANspheric | Nothing Stands
One of the most haunting and beautiful Canadian singles from the 90's. 

8. A Tribe Called Quest | 1nce Again (feat. Tammy Lucas)
Not necessarily Tribe's most iconic single, but it was one of the first songs that I ever downloaded on Napster and I played the shit out of it. It was the soundtrack to my University dorm room life. 

9. The Organ | Memorize The City 
This song plays in my head sometimes when I bike around new neighbourhoods in Vancouver. Definitely one of my favourite singles to come out of this city. 

10. The Tragically Hip | Bobcaygeon
Another Canadian gem. Gord Downie's voice and melody almost bring me to tears every time I hear this one.

WARMER MIXTAPES #1670 | by Nicole Hebert [Nikki Nevver] of Automatic Fancy, Terror Bird and Subterranean Lovers

1. Soft Cell | Loving You, Hating Me
It's quite hard for me to pick a favourite Soft Cell song, as I'm in love with the voice, performance style and aesthetic of Marc Almond and a huge fan of this band in general. But I'll choose this one because it's the one I became obsessed with for years and sang at karaoke. I also especially love The Art Of Falling Apart and Loving You, Hating Me!!!

2. David Bowie | Heroes 
Moonage Daydream (Arnold Corns Version), Candidate (Demo Version), Sweet Thing, Absolute Beginners... I could go on and on... I love David Bowie so much, I started out with Labyrinth as a child, and I eventually became hooked after listening to the soundtrack so many times. Honestly, I could mention about 20-30 more favourite Bowie songs. He's been such a huge part of my life and I have more of his records than I do of any other artist. My boyfriend ordered me an actual mold of his face, and I have no idea how or where he found this. It chipped on the way here and he ordered special paint and repainted it. It drove me crazy that I couldn't figure out why he had sandpaper, but it was to sand his face, I suppose!! The mold is finally hanging from my ceiling. I definitely wrote a song about Bowie called David Bowie, Come Live With Me and cried when he died.

3. The Smiths | Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me
Breaks my heart because I heard this song and this album when I was feeling intense Love Anticipation and Rejection feelings toward/from my first big love, friend and roommate in a dark bedroom. Of course, she broke my heart more than once and made me sickly love this song forever. It has the best, most tragic sound. I love how it starts, it's so beautiful, sad and romantic.

4. Grace | Not Over Yet 
This song reminds me of my now boyfriend, because he introduced it to me when we'd first met and were travelling together. We got drunk off wine or beer a lot during this time and sometimes danced like crazy in cheap Airbnbs to songs like this one. I imagined he was trying to give me a message with this song as I was about to go back to Canada and was scared to commit to a long distance relationship as I had just gotten out of one and I found being from different countries unnecessarily complicated. He was right though, if he was trying to tell me something. It wasn't over yet!!

5. Dexys Midnight Runners | Geno
I loved the song Come On Eileen when I was sixteen (still do!), but didn't know that this band had so many more amazing songs. I bought the record with their biggest hit on it, and discovered the beautiful song All In All (This One Last Wild Waltz) which was my top Dexys Midnight Runners song for years. I love their use of strings and the singer's voice so much! But then I discovered Geno, and I had a new favourite.

6. Coldplay | Shiver
I know it's not very cool to like Coldplay, but their first album, especially this song has always done something special to my stomach which no other song can do! I can't tell if it's good or bad, but I think it's a beautiful, Melancholy gut-wrenching feeling. I think it made me imagine as a teenager what Real Love and Heartache would feel like. I remember riding in the back of a car, while my friend's dad drove down a winding, scary road on Texada Island and this played. I think early Coldplay is super romantic and I love the guitar instrumental bit and the part where he sings and it's you I see, but you don't see me. I also like their second album very much. Oops, the secret's out!

7. Twin Crystals | Punk Heart
This is the song and band of my friend Jordan, who recorded my most recent album, Subterranean Lovers, Jesse who I DJ all the time with at The Dark Eighties and who plays in Italians Do It Better band In Mirrors plus my ex husband, Jer! It's a great song, it reminds me of touring with Twin Crystals with my band Modern Creatures and the vibrancy of the Vancouver Punk/Noise scene around 10 years ago. I love everything about it, the lyrics, the immediacy, the guitar, the vocals. I like to pretend it's about me because once Jesse called me The Star Of The Night, which are lyrics from the song, although I'm sure it's not and he says that to everyone!

8. Tim Buckley | Love From Room 109 At The Islander (On Pacific Coast Highway)
This song is really original and takes you on a journey with its many changes. The lyrics are beautiful. I first got into it around age 20. It gives me that Melancholy stomach feeling I know... That means it's an amazing song worth loving forever.

9. Devours | Late Bloomer
This whole album is so great. Devours is perfect, Modern, original Dance Music with a heart. He's going to blow up huge any minute, I know it. He played at a NYE party I put on and I went crazy. 

10. unhappybirthday | Molly
I've always loved this song and this band, who I met and fell in love with on tour in Germany around 7 or 8 years ago. I love the Melancholy Wistfulness of the keys and guitar. I want to cover it so bad, but my German accent is so bad! I know Daniel puts a lot of effort into writing beautiful sounding German lyrics, so I am sure they are wonderful!

+11. Specimen | The Beauty Of Poisin
+12. Lana Del Rey | Summertime Sadness
+13. Robyn | Dancing On My Own
+14. Love | Alone Again Or
+15. The Damned | Neat Neat Neat 
+16. Molly Nilsson | I'm Still Wearing His Jacket
+17. Angel Olsen | Unfucktheworld
+18. Mazzy Star | Fade Into You
+19. Roy Orbison | It's Over
+20. Medusa | The Sweetest Elixir 
+21. Kurt Vile | Pretty Pimpin
+22. Corona | The Rhythm Of The Night

WARMER MIXTAPES #1669 | by Peter Cunnah [Astrolab] of Baby June, P.C.P., Tie The Boy and D:Ream

1. Johnny Cash | Ring Of Fire (Anita Carter Cover)
I was 9 years old in 1975 when my dad took me to see the great man play live in Belfast at The Grand Opera House. He had his whole band with him, including brass section. June Carter Cash joined him onstage singing Jackson. When he came on stage the whole place stood up, clappin' and hollerin’... It was the first time I had a spiritual experience. Just priceless.

2. Queen | Bohemian Rhapsody
I spent every weekend with my head pressed up-against my dad's gramophone speaker on the chart rundown at a time before tape recorders and before I could even conceive of asking dad to buy me that record. I'd never heard Opera before - never knew what Rock Opera was.

3. The Police | Walking On The Moon
The first band that was mine, not my dad's or friends' taste. Just loved The Police, their sound, the songs, their energy and musicianship. It was the first time I taught myself (Pre-Internet and Mentor) to play a complicated riff (Message In A Bottle) on my battered old Framus Acoustic. The thing I heard about The Police was that they were so good at their instruments that they tried to beat each other by playing as little as possible to achieve maximum impact. Evidence - Bring On The Night! There’s a single note lead break from Andy Summers that is SOOOOO GOOOD!

4. The Blue Nile | A Walk Across The Rooftops
Their debut album. One of the most criminal moments in Common Musical History is that this band weren’t massive. Buchanan's vocals soar above Electronic instruments and the divine live guitars supply a mix that is to my ears unsurpassed.

5. Simple Minds | Someone Somewhere (In Summertime)
Fell in Love to it, danced to it, still play it today. Every delicious riff and groove. Sublime. Jim Kerr’s brooding vocals, Charlie Burchill's soaring guitar licks that are humanly impossible and Mel Gaynor's crisp groove... Ah, man!

6. The Smiths | What Difference Does It Make?
Slap you in the face with the guitar riff from Heaven. Combination of Morrissey's Wildean flamboyant style and Johnny Marr‘s Baroque detailed guitar picking a la Chet Atkins/Gibson is, to this date, IMHO, unsurpassed. Later while digging into the backline sound, found out their producers were using samplers for the kick and snare on the Akai S950, not to take anything from Joyce. He was still written and played the hell out of these drums, they just replaced the kick/snare with the big trendy sound of the time. They were all at it, from Duran Duran to ABC and Echo & The Bunnymen.

7. Ellis Begs & Howard | Big Bubbles, No Troubles
Again, as above, a seminal record for me and strangely with a twist in its tail. Later on, when I formed D:Ream, Simon Ellis, one third of the trio, turned up on my doorstep to audition. I didn’t even need to hear him play. I told him instantly he’d got the job, we then proceeded to my favourite bar. Simon has since gone on to do great things and some not so great things.

8. Zoë | Sunshine On A Rainy Day
I was bartending in Woody's night club (an old S7M joint, Portobello, London) when Charlie Hall (he of Shoom fame) finished the evening for every nite for for 4 weekends running. I'd never taken an E by this stage, but even as a sober 20-year-old it made the hairs stand on the back of my neck.

9. The Grid | Floatation (Subsonic Grid Mix)
Once I got House Music, this was one of those tracks played out in the summer of 1990. It's more the chilled out side of things - but I wore out my vinyl copy of the Andy Weatherall remix. The vibe was at that time... New Man, flotation tanks, guarana, bottled water, etc....

10. Leftfield | Not Forgotten
I couldn’t get my head 'round what these boys had done. D:Ream never used samples this way. We were never that clever.

+11. Gat Decor | Passion (Naked Mix)
This set the bar for our remix style which influenced us when we remixed EMF's They're Here and Duran Duran’s Drowning Man.

+12. Massive Attack | Unfinished Sympathy 
Listen to the strings opening on U R The Best Thing and you’ll know how much I loved this record. It's a shame, 'cause having bought this on 12”... I was bitterly disappointed to find when I bought the album that this was the only Up-Tempo song on there... But loved it nonetheless.

+13. Rozalla | Everybody's Free (To Feel Good) (Original Mix)
We were at the back of the bus from a rave in Brighton, singing this the whole way home. Later I wondered where to have a line in U R The Best Thing that soared above the beat. “Love could be so true"...

+14. Doves | The Fear
When I heard this band at first they absolutely beguiled me. Later I found out they had previous as Sub Sub. The combination of House Music sensibility and guitars is to my mind and to this day unsurpassed. I absolutely love this band.

WARMER MIXTAPES #1668 | by David Robert Thomas Jr. [Dave Thomas Junior]

1. Radiohead | Exit Music (For A Film)
The most perfect song. The sampled choir, the bass synth that comes in at the end and the Romeo And Juliet tragedy of it all. It took me quite a while to understand the melody, but once I did I was all in. I listen to this song at least once a week and I think I always will.

2. Frank Ocean | Pyramids
The Two Part nature of this one blows my mind. It’s so cool when that 808 drops in for the second half and we come into The Present. This song reminds me of being in many different places - driving up the Thruway in NY, Vegas, Rome, and I guess Egypt, even though I’ve never been, LOL.

3. Richard Wagner | Tristan Und Isolde: Prelude ("Credits (Tristan And Isolde)" & other Tristan And Isolde excerpts from Melancholia Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (Performed by The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, Conductor: Richard Hein)
I got into this one from the Melancholia soundtrack - I’ve never been to the Opera although I would love to go. I’m into Mindfulness and Zen and the idea that we are not our minds, and that Consciousness is maybe The Basis Of Everything (check this out, it’s so intense). Somehow the idea of the Absolute End of the World like this offers another perspective on that. I think it’s healthy to pay Death some mind, to allow it in and notice what that makes us feel. I’m not very good at that, but I’m working on it! I can get there sometimes, and get present to the idea that we are an expression of The Universe and are inextricably connected through that.

4. David Bowie | Let’s Dance
The snare sound. How tight the track is. That little bit of Silence after the snare before the next line starts. The Sound of this one. Dang. I love dancing to this one.

5. Kelly Clarkson | Since U Been Gone
I love Max Martin and I think this one is his absolute best. All his trademark moves are there, like the way it builds and the way the tag happens in a different place at the end. The chords in the middle eight keep going somewhere different and it’s actually insanely complicated, but sounds so natural.

6. Goldie Lookin Chain | My DJ
This one is extremely Parental Advisory so be advised! I absolutely love Goldie Lookin Chain. It’s true genius. Some of the lines unpack in like 3 different directions and I just don’t know how they do it. Especially not while smoking so much weed.

7. The Beatles | Yesterday (Anthology 2 Version)
This version shows the fact that the final single version was 99% recorded live. So, so amazing. Also the absence of George Martin’s string arrangement somehow demonstrates how great it is too. The bit of talking at the beginning brings the whole thing down to earth, and is a reminder that this song didn’t always exist, but it was written, and then played to the band what key’s it in?! on that day.

8. Whitney Houston | I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)
Quite simply the best song in the World. Put it on and try to skip it... You cannot.

9. Father John Misty | Pure Comedy
This song is like the song version of the book Sapiens and I love it. This whole album was a big part of my 2017 and I still listen to the whole thing now. The lyrics!

10. Sinéad O’Connor | Nothing Compares 2 U (The Family Cover)
I love, love, love a heartbreak song and this one is up there with the finest. Something else I love about this song is the drums. It sounds to me like they were trying to emulate a loop but didn’t have a sampler, they just had one of those pesky full actual drum kits so they made do. Seems like a very backwards way for things to be and a real moment in Time, and I love that.

WARMER MIXTAPES #1667 | by Robert Neale Lind [Bob Lind]

Photo by Henry Diltz

1. The Sons Of The Pioneers | Cool Water
This is totally subjective, of course. I first heard it when I was six years old when I used to raid my parents' collection of 78s. All the songs they liked were mushy Love songs by tight-ass pretty boys and over-made-up women (Jo Stafford, Vaughn Monroe, Bing Crosby...). I liked the feel of Music even at that age. But smarmy romance lyrics held no appeal for a 6-year-old kid. It was all Come back I miss you. or You're my honey pie. Yuck! Then one day I put on this song about two guys dying of thirst in the desert. Holy shit! This was something I could get my baby teeth into. That bridge: Keep a-movin', Dan! Don't you listen to him, Dan! He's a devil, not a man! And he spreads the burning sand with water. Whoa! And that irresistible echo-y refrain Cool... (Water!)... Clear (Water!)... Water, water, water. Later on, after getting my heart and balls broken a few times, I came to appreciate the power of Love songs. But hearing this song, at that age gave me my first awareness of how song lyrics could fascinate, touch and excite the soul.

2. Gato Barbieri | Europa (Earth's Cry Heaven's Smile) (Carlos Santana Cover)
There are very few songs about which I can say I never get tired of this. Even my favorite records eventually reach the point of diminishing returns. After continued play, I get to the point where I anticipate what's coming and no longer hear it. For some reason, this record ALWAYS thrills me. No lyrics at all. Just that expressive, passionate tenor sax pouring out of a totally alive soul. Even that thumpy repetitive do-nothing bridge SHOULD be boring, but somehow it's not. What an experience.

3. Patti LaBelle and Michael McDonald | On My Own
There's no adequate words in my vocabulary to express what this record does to me. The slick Music biz execs are fond of saying the perfect ingredients for a hit are Song, Producer and Artist. I guess that's right. But this record has an indefinable something that lifts it past the sum of its magnificent parts. The Bacharach/Sager song provides LaBelle with something worthy of those astonishing pipes. McDonald's gruff-but-warm counterpoint and the powerful build of the track make me care about what those sad words are saying. And when they sail out into the stratosphere on that release about three and a half minutes in, it triggers an explosion that detonates all resistance to the naked truth of the lyrics.

4. Danny O'Keefe | You Look Just Like A Girl Again
There's something about Danny's music that always makes me feel I'm being offered entry to an intimate, secret place where not everyone can go. On the surface, some of his songs are too cryptic, some are too on-the-nose and clever. But somehow none of their blemishes keep me from feeling what he's inviting me to feel. He casts a spell with his writing and none of the seeming imperfections keep me out of his heart. This song, to me, is his best: A man reassuring his woman that she's still young and beautiful to him despite the years [she] cannot hide. It's easy to write about Hot New Love. But to evoke the emotions of a couple who has walked a long road of Life together, that's hard to do. And that bridge: Oh these tender moments... That we hang our dreams upon... Were we ever really children?... And are we now so far beyond? How many marriages would still be together if more husbands had said these simple words to their wives?

5. Jr. Walker & The Allstars | What Does It Take (To Win Your Love) 
Such an exciting record. I love those fall-on-your-knees-and-profess-your-love tunes. And Walker really pours it out. The words are simple and compact. No Shakespearean eloquence here, just a simple declaration of Desperate Desire. And I like the way he takes it as far as he can go with his voice, then gives up and lets his sax do the talking. (Gonna blow for you. And Gonna blow again for you...)

6. Bob Dylan | Mr. Tambourine Man 
I don't get most Poetry. It's either too fluffy and flowery for me or, worse, it's phony and pretentious. From what I understand, poets are supposed to communicate something that prosaic language can't say. A few do it (Bukowski, Ted Kooser, Sharon Bryan at her best....). But most of it is, to me, just tiresome gibberish. I call it The Emperor's New Art Form. But when I first heard this, I got it. Back then, I was fond of staying up for days at a time on amphetamines. I knew that feeling of moving, dreamlike, through a world that exists somewhere between Sleep and Wakefulness. And when I heard this song, I knew Dylan knew it too.I remember thinking, Ah! So THIS is what Poetry is supposed to do. Without nailing it down with direct description, every image, every line is pointing to something I know. One word that comes to mind is generous. Dylan was talking to me personally with his finger touched to his lips as if to say, Shhh! I know you know about this, but let's not tell a lot of people about it. It still gives me the shivers when I hear it.

7. Judie Tzuke | For You
Oxford defines the word ethereal as extremely delicate and light in a way that seems too perfect for this world. That's the precise description I'd give to this finely wrought piece. I've never heard a more unique record -- Judie and her co-writer Mike Paxman and their producer Lem Lubin weaving and twisting those fragile melody lines into a fully fleshed out harmonic unit. It's all A Cappella for the first minute. Then the subtle string lines start sliding in unobtrusively and build to a tender, Classical-sounding Instrumental bridge. This is a Baroque piece that rivals Bach.

8. Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel | For Good (Live) (Wicked Original Soundtrack)
This touching song happens at the end of the play. It's an expression of the hard-won friendship of two strong but very different women who have been joined in a common cause. They've both had to bend and change, but they've grown and become closer because of what they've been through together. Of course all this is clear from the lyrics and it's most powerful when it's heard in the context of the play. But even hearing it alone, without knowing the entire backstory, the strength of it comes through. Is there a better, more succinct way to say it than this: "I don't know if I've been changed for the better. But because I knew you, I have been changed for good."

9. Kool And The Gang | Joanna
Guilty pleasure #1. In just about every interview I do, the reporters ask me What's your advice to new songwriters?. I always say I have no right to advise anyone about songwriting. But I suggest you take care with your lyrics. Don't just throw in words that fit. Make them mean the most they can. So how can I justify loving this absolutely horrible song? I can't. It's one of those unexplainables. Can you find a more crass and basic hook than Joanna, I love you. You're the one for me!? Some indefinable quality in it moves me and makes me feel and remember those stirrings of New Love. I know it's dumb, but when I hear it, I can't help but jiggle and wiggle.

10. Bob Lind | The Outsider's Dream
Guilty pleasure #2. This is probably against the rules -- at least it should be. At best it's shamelessly immodest for an artist to list one of his own tunes as a favorite. So okay, arrest me. I justify it by asking myself, If I heard this and didn't know it was me, would it still move me? The answer is yes. I believe it's poignant and well-written and my singing is adequate to carry the impact. But Jamie Hoover's production is at least half of what I love about it. He found the secret of the song and, without adding anything ostentatious, brought the meaning home. All the players are wonderful and Dave Hubbard playing the signature line is just devastating. When I sent Jamie the demo, I had a wimpy synth flute playing that line. I didn't realize how pussy it sounded until Jamie suggested it ought to be voiced by a tenor sax. That made a huge difference. And Dave's solos -- in and out -- intensify The Loneliness I've built into the lyrics. I'm proud of this one.