JamesGunn.com – Official Website for James Gunn

youtube facebook twitter myspace blip.fm
 
 

My Favorite Songs of the Years: 1977-2010

I decided to cater to my OCD and make a list of all of my favorite songs, one for each year (and a runner-up) from 1977 to today. A few years – notably 1979, 1994, and 2006 – were very difficult for me as there were many songs I liked from those years. In some cases, I couldn’t help but having more than one runner-up. Other years – 1985, for instance – I couldn’t even find another song I loved besides the ones on my list. Enjoy.

1977

Bodies – The Sex Pistols

Runner-up: He’s a Whore – Cheap Trick

1978

Surrender – Cheap Trick

Runner-up: Kentucky Avenue – Tom Waits

1979

Leaving Home Ain’t Easy – Queen

Runners-up: Counting the Beat – The Swingers, Hateful – The Clash

1980

Pulling Mussls from the Shell – Squeeze

Runner-up: Crowds – Bauhaus

1981

11th Street Kidzz – Hanoi Rocks

Runner-up: The KKK Took My Baby Away – The Ramones

1982

Town Called Malice – The Jam

Runner-up: Oriental Beat – Hanoi Rocks

1983

Poor Girl – X

Runner-up: Add It Up – The Violent Femmes

1984

I Will Dare – The Replacements

Runner-up: A Spy In the House of Love – The dB’s

1985

Road to Nowhere – The Talking Heads

Runner-up: Swingin’ Party – The Replacements

1986

Erica’s Word – Game Theory

Runner-up: Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want – The Smiths

1987

Livin’ on a Prayer – Bon Jovi

Runner-up: Innocent When You Dream (78) – Tom Waits

1988

Straight Outta Compton – N.W.A.

Runner-up: Carolyn’s Fingers – The Cocteau Twins

1989

Ana Ng – They Might Be Giants

Runner-up: Poison – Alice Cooper

1990

Late – Trip Shakespeare

Runner-up: Golden Blunders – The Posies

1991

Couldn’t Call It Unexpected #4 – Elvis Costello

Runner-up: Green Mind – Dinosaur Jr

1992

Summer Babe (Winter Version) – Pavement

Runner-up: That Summer Feeling – Jonathan Richman

1993

Dumbjaw – Barkmarket

Runner-up: Ghost at Number One – Jellyfish

1994

Couldn’t You Wait – Silkworm

Runner-up: You Tripped at Every Step – Elvis Costello, Goin’ Through Your Purse – Material Issue

1995

Big Brown Eyes – Old 97’s

Runner-up: She Digs Her – You Am I

1996

Why Bother? – Weezer

Runner-up: Can’t Make Your Life – Lilys

1997

Timebomb – Old 97’s

Runner-up: Brick – Ben Folds Five

1998

These Others – The Vandalias

Runner-up: Painted from Memory – Elvis Costello & Burt Bacharach

1999

I Try – Macy Gray

Runner-up: Papa Was a Rodeo – The Magnetic Fields

2000

Calling All Destroyers – Tsar

Runner-up: Rollerskate Skinny – Old 97’s

2001

Down Like Me – Ken Stringfellow

Runner-up: With Tired Eyes, Tired Minds, Tired Souls, We Slept – Explosions in the Sky

2002

The Seed – Cody Chestnutt

Runner-up: Beauty Is the Beast – The Ark

2003

In the House – In a Heartbeat – John Murphy

Runner-up: Alright – The Lost Patrol

2004

Can’t Stand Me Now – The Libertines

Runner-up: Me and Mia – The Pharmacists and Ted Leo

2005

Reconsider Me – Moneybrother

Runner-up: Start Wearing Purple – Gorgol Bordello

2006

Teenagers – My Chemical Romance

Runners-up: Wild Is the Wind – The Second Band, Morning After Pill – Louis Logic & JJ Brown, Backstabber – The Dresden Dolls

2007

Tears Dry on Their Own – Amy Winehouse

Runner-up: Say It’s Possible – Terra Naomi

2008

No Song – The Second Band

Runner-up: The World Should Revolve Around Me – Little Jackie

2009

When We Swam – Thao and the Get Down Stay Down

Runner-up: That Look You Gave That Guy – The Eels

2010

When Universes Collide – Gogol Bordello

Runner-up: Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na) – My Chemical Romance

Be sure to see SUPER in theaters this April, starring Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, Liv Tyler, Kevin Bacon, and Nathan Fillion, written and directed by James Gunn.

Follow James on Twitter.

Join James on Facebook.

REGISTER HERE to be a part of JamesGunn.com.

© 2011, James Gunn. All rights reserved.

Category: LISTS

Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,

  • Hanoi Rocks makes it twice! Love it. I rarely see them get any nods in best of list. Love ’em too. Great list.

  • Great list, James. Out of curiosity, why 1977? Did you just stick a bunch of calendars in a hat and pull one at random or is there some special significance?

    • The Sex Pistols were extremely important to my life, so they seemed like a good place to start. I’m also much more conscious of music post-punk than pre-punk.

      • Makes sense. I could never narrow it down to a song list but I did start work on a blog last year picking one favorite album from every year since my birth. I abandoned it because I didn’t feel it was focused enough. Half the albums were legitimate favorites even today but the rest were simply significant to me at the time and I didn’t feel that Meco’s “Star Wars And Other Galactic Funk” deserved to be on the same list as The Pogues’ “Rum, Sodomy And The Lash”.

  • Man, I love it when James does music lists! Just like old times, eh guys?

    I was so into The Ramones and the Sex Pistols in the 80’s and then toned it down a little when I discovered Duran Duran but I’ve always had somewhat of an eclectic music history.

    Ironically enough, I was too busy with a baby and being a single mom in the 90’s when the whole grunge thing hit so I missed most of the local scene that blew up like crazy around the rest of the country.

    I do think My Chemical Romance is brilliant and far too underrated as an “emo” band. The Black Parade has legs and future generations will dig it.

  • Cool list. I remember I bought the Clay Pigeons soundtrack just to get that Old 97’s tune. And the rest of the music ain’t bad either.

    I remember Alice Cooper’s Poison. It was the first time I’d heard of him since the Jason 6 movie. It was all over MTV at the time. And yes, I watched the shit out of MTV when I was a kid. It was a time when MTV was awesome and VH1 was the pussy channel.

    I never really got into Bauhaus all that much, but I loved the Bela Lugosi and Terror Couple tunes.

    I liked the first couple Weezer ablums, but not so much the others.

    Have you given Wednesday 13 or Murderdolls a chance? Murderdolls do a Dawn of the Dead tribute on the Beyond the Valley of the Murderdolls. And the lead singer Wednesday 13 pulled a Rob Zombie and went on his own, but the music is just as good.

  • Great list! Really amazing. I wouldn’t know where to start if I tried such a list. Though I think “Timebomb” would by my 1997 entry, too. I love your John Murphy entry. I think my most played album of 2004 was the “Intermission” soundtrack, which has some of his score from the film and some great tunes (including Colin Farrell doing a scruffy rendition of “I Fought the Law” that I thought was pretty dang good).

    I think of all the songs on your list I was most surprised by “Living on a Prayer”. Great pick though!

    • Man, who hasn’t done an I Fought the Law cover. I think Dead Kennedys did an amusing one. And there was a pretty good one by Mary’s Danish.

      But I would be the same on not knowing where to begin a list like this. There’s so much music out there. Out of all the music that was in this list, Livin’ on a Prayer stood out to me as well. Not because I loved it. I thought it was an okay song and all, but I think I was more fascinated with Def Leppard, but I think they were really integrated into 1988 as far as popularity was concerned. But then Bon Jovi’s Bad Medicine came out, which I thought was an awesome video. It was shot by fans in the audience. I think they had so much footage that they wound up editing a couple versions.

      But I will say, even today 1994 still rocks ass with Frank Black’s Teenager of the Year and Speedy Marie is still a top fave.

    • I was most surprised by Living on a Prayer as well. But I have to admit, as cheesy as it is, I still love that song and rock out every time it comes up on my iPod.

      • Troy Hart

        I was also surprised by Living on a Prayer because, if memory serves, that song came out about the same time as Master of Puppets, so I hated Bon Jovi. LOL. It’s a great karaoke song though.



Archives