Playing Favorites

music notesWhat is your favorite song?  To a real music lover, it is a nearly impossible question to answer.   Instrumental or vocal?  What genre?  Pop? Rock? Jazz? Should I include symphonies and concertos?   I have many favorites, some because they are part of the soundtrack of my life, reminding me of life’s best moments.    My wife Muri and I have considered Unchained Melody by the Righteous Brothers our song since we met over 50 years ago.  In our senior years we have added Gladys Knight’s You’re the Best Thing that Ever Happened to Me.   Some favorites were written before I was born and were likely etched in my musical memory by listening to my Mom play her music collection on the stereo in the living room.  Glenn Miller’s Moonlight Serenade always put me in a romantic mood, especially as performed by Carly Simon.  Linda Ronstatdt’s  amazing verion of Patsy Cline’s Crazy always tugs at my heart strings.  Sometimes I’m drawn by beautiful lyrics and sometimes it’s a perfect melody.  Acoustic Alchemy’s Lazeez is a favorite because of the virtuosity of the guitar playing.  Sometimes, I find a live performance on YouTube that brings a new arrival to my list of favorites.  An amazing live performance by Lady Antebellum recently catapulted I Need You Now onto my must play list.

Often as I shuffle through the playlists on my mp3 player whatever song is playing at the moment seems like my favorite.   But over the years, one song has made me stop and listen, often often several times.   It came from an album recorded in 1993 by a performer already inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame but past his prime, at least in terms of album sales.   The album, I’m Alive, reached only No. 18 on the Album Rock Tracks chart and No. 28 on the Adult Contemporary chart.   My favorite song, Sky Blue and Black, was released as a single but never made it onto the charts.   But it has traveled with me since I first heard in in 1993.   Beautiful lyrics, great melody and arrangement, and, of course, Browne’s plaintive vocals.  Forced to choose, this is my favorite.  Enjoy.

P.S. – All the songs in this post are linked to YouTube performances, in case you are interested.   Click and enjoy.

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