The Songs No iPod Should Be Without


Ya know, love is a funny thing. It can make you crazy. Logic becomes yesterday’s news. Perfectly rational people become stalkers. Hard as nails men become blithering idiots. Strong independent women fall for the “bad boys” who treat them badly. On the other hand love can make you feel invincible, happy…  like you’re home. So, you can imagine, some love songs are about pure love and that feeling; others are about “I know where you are, what you’re doing and who you’re doing it with;” some are about how an indiscretion ruined a relationship; still others are about lost love and where it all went wrong. The following are four such songs…

92. Every Breath You Take – The Police
This ain’t a beautiful love song. It’s a Sting stalking a lost love song. Simple straight-forward, to the point–chilling. The Police were such a great band. Not only will he be watching you, but he’ll know every damn thing you do. It’s still a great song.

Recommended versions can be found on: Synchronicity (A&M, 1983), Every Breath You Take; The Singles (A&M, 1986) , Message In A Box; The Complete Recordings (A&M, 1993) and The Police Live (A&M, 1995)

93. Who’s Loving You? – The Jackson 5
At Michael Jackson’s televised funeral/tribute/memorial service on July 7, 2009, Smokey Robinson said, “I wrote that song. I thought I sang it. I wrote that song back in…  and um 2 years later here comes this little kid and he’s 10-years-old. Berry had this gathering at his house. He said, ‘Come I want you to see someone very special,’ so I go over there and these five young guys are there. And they sang and danced up a storm. A couple weeks later they recorded my song. And I heard it. I thought to myself…  now they have pulled a fast one on us because this boy cannot possibly be 10 years old. This song is about somebody who has somebody who loved him but they treated him bad.  They treated him so bad until they lost them. And now they are paying the price of wanting somebody back that they treated bad and lost. How could he possibly know these things? I quickly went over to him because I wanted to see his birth certificate.  I did not believe that someone that young could have that much feeling and soul and knowing. Knowing, he had a lot of knowing. He had to know something to sing that song like that…”

If it’s good enough for Smokey, it’s good enough for me.

Recommended versions can be found on: the following Jackson 5 albums–the debut album Diana Ross Presents The Jackson 5 (Motown, 1969), The Greatest Hits (Motown, 1971) and Anthology (Motown, 2000) as well as Michael Jackson: The Definitive Collection (Motown, 2009).

94. Rave on – Buddy Holly
Why? ‘Cause if Chuck Berry didn’t invent Rock ‘n’ Roll, then Buddy probably did. It’s a standard and it was a major influence on The Beatles—especially John Lennon. Listen to it today and it sounds as fresh as it did 50 years ago.

The way you dance and hold me tight
The way you kiss and say goodnight
Rave on, this crazy feelin’
And I know it’s got me reelin’
When you say I love you, rave on

Recommended versions can be found on: Buddy Holly (Brunswick, 1959–most recently re-released on CD with bonus tracks by Geffen in 2004) and on numerous greatest hits packages including: double-disc The Buddy Holly Collection (MCA, 1993) and Buddy Holly & The Crickets: 20 Golden Greats – Buddy Holly Lives! (MCA, 1978).

95. Your Cheatin’ Heart – Hank Williams
Because without Hank Williams there is nothing. Recorded during Hank, Sr.’s last session in 1952, it is said that the song came to him when he was driving his car with his second wife while thinking about his first. Supposedly, Billie Jean Williams wrote the lyrics down for him while sitting in the passenger seat. Hank felt it was his best work and so do many “authorities.” Who am I to argue?

Recommended versions can be found on: the three-disc set Turn Back the Years: The Essential Hank Williams Collection (Mercury Nashville, 2005), The Complete Hank Williams (Mercury, 1998), The Ultimate Collection (Mercury, 2002) and 40 Greatest Hits (Mercury, 1978).

I really do want to hear from you. Your input is valued. Those of you who have written to me know that I will respond to your e-mails. What songs are your all-time favorites? What songs would you take to a desert island? What are your must-have songs? What are the songs you can’t imagine your iPod not having loaded on it? Send me an e-mail telling me what music you like and why. I’ll feature your song selection in a future column. If you have an idea for an entire column based on a theme, send your ideas along. I want to and need to hear your thoughts. E-mail me at: [email protected] Type Can’t Live Without in the Topic. Til Next time!

To Top