My Top 25 Songs of All Time

By Kent Richardson
July 4, 2018

It’s that time year again. That’s right, Canada Day (July 1), and Gene asked me to provide my top 25 songs (see 2015, 2016, 2017) for a playlist.

Frankly, this was a really tough project. My musical tastes range from rock to hip-hop to blues, from Pink to Ottmar Liebert to Kendrik Lamar. My background music playlist is jazz. When my wife travels and it’s just the kids, I play Canadian bands, Springsteen, and music from the 80’s-2000’s, mostly so they can hear something different (my daughter loves Plastic Bertrand). In the car, we listen to hip-hop and rap. I like to remind my kids that they have an obligation to bring new and interesting music into the house. If I’m listening to “lame music,” I blame them.

The list includes songs from almost five decades, with a significant Canadian component. I run into a disproportionate number of Canadians in the IP business. (At the start of a significant patent licensing engagement, we learned that one of the licensing executives had been a newspaper delivery boy to my grandparents in Edmonton, Alberta.) Disclaimer: Nickelback and Justin Bieber are not my fault.

I like Victor Hugo’s view on the topic, “Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.” I hope you have a wonderful fourth of July.


Type Artist Album Song Why?
Rock The Tragically Hip Up to Here New Orleans Is Sinking The Tragically Hip somehow captured what it is to be Canadian.
Soul Amy Winehouse Back to Black Back to Black The entire album is worth listening to.
Punk The Clash London Calling London Calling A shout out to my brother who lives in London. He and I went to their concert.
Cuban Beuna Vista Social Club Candela Buena Vista Social Club opened a whole new world of music for me. It’s what we play on a Sunday afternoon.
Flamenco Ottmar Liebert Nouveau Flamenco Barcelona Nights Ottmar Liebert changed my view on what you can do with a guitar.
Indie Pop The xx xx Intro The entire album is worth listening to.
Jazz Sade Smooth Operator I saw her at Wembley Arena in 1985 at Live Aid. She is one of the few performers still working from that lineup.
EDM Avicii TRUE Wake Me Up For 10 years, we’ve been lucky enough to be involved with CIP and had a number of excellent student interns from the Intellectual Asset Management programs offered by universities in Sweden. Avicii created his own style of EDM by combining it with Country. His albums were great and his death was a loss to the music world.
Rockabilly Stray Cats Built for Speed Stray Cat Strut This is just fun music.
Rock Bryan Adams Reckless Summer of 69 Quintessentially Canadian and part of my youth. Also, a friend’s sister used to date him so we got good tickets.
Rock The Tragically Hip Phantom Power Bobcaygeon Quintessentially Canadian
Rock The Tragically Hip Wheat Kings – Remastered Fully Completely Quintessentially Canadian
Rock Rush Moving Pictures Tom Sawyer As a high school English project, we analyzed the lyrics from Rush songs. Until then, I had not considered that rock music could simply be read as poetry.
Rock Bruce Springsteen Born to Run Born to Run Much of my family are coal miners, welders, heavy-duty mechanics and do jobs that would win approval from Mike Rowe. Even though we were Canadian, much of Bruce Springsteen’s music resonated.
Rap Drake Nice for What For my wife, for all the hard work and struggles. I’m very proud or her.
Country Blue Rodeo Five Days in July 5 Days in May Quintessentially Canadian
Rock The Cowboy Junkies The Trinity Session Sweet Jane Although originally a Lou Reed/Velvet Underground song, I think the Cowboy Junkies did it better and made it theirs.
Rap Kendrick Lamar DAMN DNA This album crushed it. If you wonder where the modern poets are, look for them in rap.
Rap B.o.B. B.o.B. Presents: The Adventures of Bobby Ray Don’t Let  Me Fall Change a few words and you would have the anthem for Silicon Valley. Also, if you aren’t a fan of rap, this is a great place to start.
Rock The Black Keys Brothers Tighten Up This is my ringtone.
Rap Eminem The Marshall Mathers LP2 The Monster The entire album is worth listening to.
Rock Sam Roberts Band We Were Born in a Flame The Canadian Dream Quintessentially Canadian
Grunge Nirvana Nevermind Come as You Are This album is now 27 years old and it still matters. It also reminds me of visits to the Experience Music Project. If you are in Seattle, it’s a worthwhile visit.
Rock Linkin Park Hybrid Theory In the End For fun, I used to downhill race. This album was on repeat. So was Lady Gaga, but we’re not going to talk about that.
Rock Queen A Night at the Opera Bohemian Rhapsody I saw them live at Live Aid – I have no words.


Image Source: Deposit Photos.

The Author

Kent Richardson

Kent Richardson counsels clients on a variety of patent and business matters including patent buying, selling, licensing, valuation, prosecution and operations. Kent has licensing and marketing patent portfolio experiences resulting in more than $600M of patent license bookings. Kent has served as an expert witness on patent monetization and licensing practices in cases in England and the United States. Prior to founding the ROL Group, Kent was the General Manager of ThinkFire Services USA, Ltd’s Silicon Valley office. Kent has worked in various senior management roles with such growth businesses as Sezmi, Constellation Capital, Rambus, Numerical Technologies. Kent is a member of the California Bar and a United States Patent and Trademark Office registered patent attorney, and holds five US patents.

Contact Kent via e-mail at, or the Internet at Richardson Oliver Law Group.

Warning & Disclaimer: The pages, articles and comments on do not constitute legal advice, nor do they create any attorney-client relationship. The articles published express the personal opinion and views of the author as of the time of publication and should not be attributed to the author’s employer, clients or the sponsors of Read more.

Discuss this

There are currently 8 Comments comments.

  1. Benny July 5, 2018 5:18 am

    Eminem? Since when does that qualify as music? Eminem sounds like a Ritalin-deprived loud-mouth shouting abuse at the customer-complaints counter. It’s little more than aggressive shouting with samples from real musicians in the background. I understand that he grew up in a tough neighbourhood, in a deprived city with a rich history of original and groundbreaking music, but I doubt that Berry Gordy would have given Mr. Mathers the time of day.

  2. Guy Letourneau July 5, 2018 10:00 am

    Canadian music – without Gordon Lightfoot and “The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald?”
    How about Gilles Vigneault or Félix Leclerc from Quebec?
    Maritime music of Newfoundland or Nova Scotia?

  3. Gene Quinn July 5, 2018 11:19 am


    Renee laughs at me, but I love “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.” It really harkens back to a time when stories were passed from generation to generation in music. A lot art form.

  4. step back July 5, 2018 12:15 pm

    How about music most appropriate for patent practice?

    White Rabbit (Go ask Alice) –Jefferson Airplane

  5. Sheri Rice July 5, 2018 12:25 pm

    Eminem was an original for his time and subject matter. What is now commonplace was out of the norm when he started. I grew up near him (in a tougher neighborhood). He found his way to the tougher neighborhood because he didn’t feel like he fit in. Try to be more open minded about the music and what he was able to accomplish. Had he grown up in Berry Gordy’s time, he would have had different music to express. Music is an expression. Eminem did not become the success that he is without the people feeling he expressed what was inside of them. I get him because I grew up in his world. I may not agree with the content all the time, but I admire his ability to be relevant and real.

  6. Steve July 5, 2018 2:01 pm

    IN A GADDA DA VIDA; full, original 17 minute version.

    For that classic, ground-breaking drum solo.

    AM stations wouldn’t play the entire song bcause they didn’t want to “give up” the commercial breaks and DJ blah-blah and mumbo-jumbo all the many 2 – 4 minute songs gave them.

    Had to listen to FM; usually late at night to hear it.

    Or buy the otherwise nothing-special entire album. Which I did. Still have it.

  7. step back July 6, 2018 1:35 am

    Another patent song appropriate for our SCOTeties is Don’t know much about … except replace “love you” with love our amicus curie (“friends” of the court):

    “Don’t know much about history
    Don’t know much biology
    Don’t know much about a science book,
    Don’t know much about the french I took
    But I do know that I love [our amicus curie],
    And I know that [they] love me, too,
    What a wonderful world this [surely] be
    Don’t know much about geography,
    Don’t know much trigonometry
    Don’t know much about algebra,
    Don’t know what a slide rule is for
    But I do know that one and one is [abstract],
    And if this [abstract] one could be with [amicus curie],
    What a wonderfully [abstract] world this would be
    Now, I don’t claim to be an “A” student,
    But I’m tryin’ to be
    For maybe by being an “A” student, [amicus] baby,
    I can win [amicus curie] love for me
    Don’t know much about history,
    Don’t know much biology
    Don’t know…

  8. Kent Richardson July 11, 2018 7:24 pm

    @Guy – well, Gordon Lightfoot, although I like the song, falls into the Anne Murray category for me. I’m missing some of the Stompin’ Tom Connors from back east. There are a few others that I would have liked to include: The Box, The Feed (Joe Moniz at Rambus was played in the band – he’s still great on a guitar), The Pursuit of Happiness, and Doug and the Slugs.