I’ve also included a few (5) Honourable Mentions down at the bottom, because I can never fully make a decision!
1. Beastie Boys – Sabotage
Sabotage represents everything that is wonderful about the Beastie Boys. It’s innovation, rebellion, and skill all rolled into one, and can be considered the jumping off point for modern, sampled, Hip Hop. So many bands in different genres pay homage to the influences of the Beastie Boys, and this song shows exactly why. It’ll be 20 years old next year, and remains a track that has the ability to transcend generation. Everyone knows it, but no one is stupid enough (thankfully) to try and recreate it.
2. Jay-Z – 99 Problems
This song automatically makes anyone listening to it feel like a badass, even if, like me, you are not a badass (although I am all 99 of Jay-Z’s problems…). Plus, keeping it on your iPod affords you the hilarious, and tragically under-utilized, opportunity to underscore irony with music. If you’re ever driving around with a friend or relative who insists on complaining about every minute detail of their lives, put this song on, turn up the volume, roll down the windows, and look them deadpan in the face while nodding your head in time to the beat. If they do not burst out laughing, you should probably not talk to them anymore.
3. New Order – Age of Consent
This song sounds like its going places. It is perhaps the perfect travelling song. It’s a little gem from an 80’s band made up of what was left of Joy Division. While band might have rarely had its shit together, but every time you listen to it, this song, will make you want to go someplace new.
4. Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here
Because. Just because. It’s a simple song with great lyrics, and a wicked guitar solo that everyone insists on singing. It is also one of those rare songs that has spawned really great re-makes, Sparkle Horse and Radiohead have both done covers that’ll knock your socks off.
5. Sam Roberts – Don’t Walk Away, Eileen
Different songs just resonate with people for different reasons. This is one of mine, it came along at the perfect time, and I can’t even really explain why I love it. Seeing it done live at the Jubilee last year was the high point of any musical experiences I’ve had, and listening to 2000 people sing along to it on Halloween last year confirms I am not the only one who feels this way.
6. Bran Van 3000 – Drinking in L.A
The epitome of a 90’s song. Plus everyone should try Drinking in L.A, preferably with Bran Van 3000…
7. Neil Young – Harvest Moon
It’s impossible not to love this song.
8. The Tragically Hip – Fireworks
This song just sounds like Canada.
Coldplay – (You Gotta) Fight for Your Right to Party (Adam Yauch Tribute cover)
A beautiful and unexpected cover of a great song.
10. Lou Reed – Take a Walk on the Wildside