Gene asked me to publish my Top 25 songs of all time as part of his annual effort to have IP professionals provide their own top 25 each 4th of July holiday (see 2015 and 2016). We all agree that IP is critically important to the health of the economy and our nation, but this holiday week, as we celebrate our nation’s freedom, we can set aside serious patent and trademark issues for a moment to enjoy the music protected by copyrights.
I took Gene’s request to heart and really tried to capture my top 25 songs. To be honest, however, I had a very difficult time narrowing the list to “all time” top songs. There are no true 25 best songs as proven by the various music Halls of Fame. I even had a hard time listing my top bands/artists. I enjoy many different genres and the list changes as I discover, or re-discover, music.
In a pinch, however, I tend to gravitate to classic rock stations playing songs from the 70’s and 80’s. These are the songs that I grew up with. With that as a preface, here is my list for this July 4th!
1. Samba Pa Ti — Santana
Translated as “Samba for You”. Carlos Santana said that when he recorded this song he was thinking of nothing, it was pure feeling. I like to listen to this song with my eyes closed and just immerse myself in the feelings.
2. Back In Black — AC/DC
It is hard to choose the top song from this album. This CD is always in my car.
3. Red Barchetta — Rush
I could list a number of Rush songs that I love, like The Trees, Working man, The Spirit of the Radio, Lakeside Park or Closer to the Heart, but this song is a great story about prohibiting the thrill of driving (closer than we think with autonomous cars).
4. Dance the Night Away — Van Halen
One of the first albums that I played so much I wore it out. I also turn up the volume for Van Halen‘s “Runnin With the Devil” and “Eruption.”
5. Walk On The Wild Side — Lou Reed
The subjects of the song are still controversial but how can you not sing along with it?
6. Rock You Like A Hurricane — Scorpions
What can I say; I Wore this cassette out in the 80’s.
7. American Pie (The Day the Music Died) — Don McLean
What other 8 ½ minute song can you sing all the lyrics to?
8. Billie Jean — Michael Jackson
So much great music from the King of Pop but this song stands out for me.
9. Jack & Diane — John Cougar
Just another little ditty that brings back the 80’s for me.
10. Reelin in the Years — Steely Dan
Steely Dan is a favorite band for me and I could spend an evening just listening to them; perhaps with a nice bottle of wine.
I’m not going to explain the remaining songs. Some bring back good memories while others just have great lyrics.
- Turn The Page Bob Seger
- Hotel California Eagles
- Last Dance Donna Summer
- Piano Man Billy Joel
- Too Much Heaven Bee Gees
- In The Air Tonight Phil Collins
- Under Pressure Queen (with David Bowie)
- You’re in My Heart Rod Stewert
- Imagine John Lennon
- Cats In The Cradle Harry Chapin
- Juke Box Hero Foreigner
- Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl) Looking Glass
- Play That Funky Music Wild Cherry
- Rocket Man Elton John
- Dancing Queen Abba
I did not include songs from many great bands (Beatles, Rolling Stones, The Doors, Prince) or too many genres (Country, grunge, rap), but the list is representative of what I consider my top picks. I hope you enjoyed my list and take a few minutes to listen to your top songs this 4th of July.