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Perfect pop songs

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Showing 1-25 of 193 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 19, 2012 4:52:55 AM PST
BigBadAzz says:
Which popular songs would consider to be perfect in every way? From an arresting intro or riff, to an instantly memorable melody, to great lyrics, superb vocals and instrumentation, and excellent production.

Three that spring to mind for me:
ABBA - Waterloo
Boston - More Than a Feeling
Lady Gaga - The Edge of Glory

What are your choices?

Posted on Feb 19, 2012 8:14:19 AM PST
Gena Chereck says:
Right off-hand...

Dusty Springfield - "Son of a Preacher Man"
Cyndi Lauper - "Girls Just Want to Have Fun"

I'm sure I'll think of some more later!

Posted on Feb 19, 2012 8:33:41 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 19, 2012 8:36:20 AM PST
Long and Winding Road - The Beatles (every version, from "Let It Be" to Paul's solo version from "Give My Regards to Broad Street" soundtrack)
Crying - Roy Orbison
God Only Knows - The Beach Boys
Downtown - Petula Clark
Never My Love - The Association

Posted on Feb 19, 2012 8:38:56 AM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Apr 27, 2012 3:55:00 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 19, 2012 11:08:21 AM PST
Gena Chereck says:
"God Only Knows - The Beach Boys"

I was just thinking of that one! :)

Claudine Clark - "Party Lights"
The Mamas & the Papas - "California Dreamin'"
Badfinger - "No Matter What" and "Day After Day"
Marshall Crenshaw - "Someday Someway"
The La's - "There She Goes"

Posted on Feb 19, 2012 11:20:07 AM PST
Chazzzbo says:
Agree with most of the above...

In no particular order:
Mmm-Bop - Hanson
Bridge Over Troubled Water - Simon & Garfunkel
Your Mama Don't Dance - Loggins & Messina
Don't Be Cruel - Elvis Presley
All My Loving - The Beatles
Sweet Caroline - Neil Diamond
Pleasant Valley Sunday - The Monkees
Vacation - The GoGos
Bad Bad Leroy Brown - Jim Croce
I Want You To Want Me - Cheap Trick
Listen To The Music - Doobie Brothers
Sunshine - Jonathon Edwards
Cruel To Be Kind - Nick Lowe
Make Your Own Kind Of Music - Cass Elliot

so many more...

Posted on Feb 19, 2012 11:24:58 AM PST
7 & 7 IS says:
Be My Baby - The Ronettes
Don't Worry Baby - The Beach Boys
I Want To Hold Your Hand - The Beatles
Cherry,Cherry - Neil Diamond
I'm A Believer - The Monkees
Sugar,Sugar - The Archies
ABC/I Want You Back - The Jackson 5

Posted on Feb 19, 2012 11:26:49 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 19, 2012 2:50:17 PM PST
Grandpa Tom says:
Just a few, top of mind:

Handle With Care-Traveling Wilburys
Learning to Fly-Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Mystery Girl-Roy Orbison
Man's Job-Bruce Springsteen
Tougher Than The Rest-Bruce Springsteen
Year of the Cat-Al Stewart
Bridge...-Simon and Garfunkel
For Emily...(live)-S & G
American Tune-Paul Simon
Spirit Voices-Paul Simon
Kid-The Pretenders
Girls Talk-Linda Ronstadt
All My Life-Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville

Sooooo many more.


In reply to an earlier post on Feb 19, 2012 11:32:47 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 19, 2012 2:07:16 PM PST
Grandpa Tom says:

What a powerful and excellent list! I totally agree. In fact, just yesterday, I scored a Japanese import of Insight Out, with the single versions of Windy and Never My Love. I never bought the album prior, but it's incredible, and oddly, hard to obtain on cd.

Never My Love is exceptional. I also have it by the Fifth Dimension recorded live. It's a (10) no matter who records it!

All the best,

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 19, 2012 11:36:57 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 19, 2012 3:07:17 PM PST
Grandpa Tom says:

Also excellent posts! You reminded me of my fave Marshall songs, which I will nominate as pop perfection:

Cynical Girl (Live Mountain Stage version)-Marshall Crenshaw
What Do You Dream Of-Marshall Crenshaw (Miracle of Science)
Hey Tomorrow-Jim Croce
I Know A Place-Petula Clark
Tupelo Honey-Van Morrison

Boy, this is fun...


In reply to an earlier post on Feb 19, 2012 11:49:58 AM PST
Gena Chereck says:

More faves:
Todd Rundgren - "I Saw the Light" and "Hello, It's Me"
The Flamin' Groovies - "Shake Some Action"
Blondie - "Dreaming"
The Plimsouls - "A Million Miles Away"
Crowded House - "Don't Dream It's Over"
Erasure - "A Little Respect" and "Chains of Love"

Posted on Feb 19, 2012 11:51:41 AM PST
7 & 7 IS says:
Billie Jean - Michael Jackson
Good Vibrations - The Beach Boys
Mony Mony - Tommy James & The Shondells
River Deep, Mountain High - Ike & Tina Turner
Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow - The Shirelles
Sherry - The Four Seasons
Don't Be Cruel - Elvis Presley

Posted on Feb 19, 2012 12:00:12 PM PST
7 & 7 IS says:
Reach Out - The 4 Tops
We've Gotta Get Out Of This Place - The Animals
Don't Make Me Over - Dionne Warwick
The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore - The Walker Brothers
Stop! In The Name Of Love - The Supremes
Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying - Gerry & The Pacemakers

Posted on Feb 19, 2012 12:16:38 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 19, 2012 12:17:59 PM PST
Absolutely perfect pop songs, for me, include:

Fleetwood Mac, "Dreams"--this one pops up instantly when I think of the perfect pop song. Perfect arrangement, perfect verses, timelessly catchy chorus, deep lyrics, mysterious and haunting atmosphere. It is a song that is incredibly commercial and yet totally true to itself and its artistry at the same time. Perfect in every way.

The Beach Boys, "Good Vibrations"--the picture-perfect art-pop release. Catchy and experimental at once with more imagination in 3.5 minutes than most artists can muster in their entire careers.

T.Rex, "Get It On"--it's got all the ingredients: surreal lyrics, sexual heat, a groove that doesn't give up, cosmic tomfoolery, with a touch of irony but not overly so. Just defines the word "cool" from start to finish.

The Smashing Pumpkins, "1979"--there's no chorus and yet the song still feels perfect.

The Beatles, "Day Tripper"--almost every Beatle song would fit this thread topic but I choose "Day Tripper" for that perfect riff, thrilling instrumental break, and saucy lyrics.
The Beatles never wasted a note, ever!

Posted on Feb 19, 2012 12:20:30 PM PST
Grandpa Tom says:
It's A Beautiful Morning-The Rascals
In The Midnight Hour-The Rascals
Warm Ways-Fleetwood Mac
Say You Love Me-Fleetwood Mac
Spare Me A Little of Your Love-Fleetwood Mac
Harbor Lights-Boz Scaggs


Posted on Feb 19, 2012 12:20:32 PM PST
Along with many of those already mentioned...

Maybe - The Chantels
She Don't Care About Time - The Byrds
Neverland - The dB's
Let's Pretend - Raspberries
September Gurls - Big Star
On the Wings of a Nightingale - Everly Brothers
Ridin' in My Car - NRBQ
Knowing Me, Knowing You - ABBA
The Unguarded Moment - The Church
Let Me Down Easy - Chris Isaak
Whenever You're On My Mind - Marshall Crenshaw
When You Walk in the Room - Jackie DeShannon

Posted on Feb 19, 2012 1:27:06 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 19, 2012 2:10:58 PM PST
Trying not to repeat any of the great ones mentioned here.

Simon & Garfunkel - "59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)"
Roxy Music - "Take a Chance With Me"
10cc - "Things We Do For Love"
Queen - "You're My Best Friend"
David Bowie - "Changes"
Velvet Underground - "Sunday Morning"
The Who - "Substitute"
Elvis Costello - "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love & Understanding" (Nick Lowe's song, but Costello's version is my fave)

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 19, 2012 1:36:23 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 19, 2012 2:26:27 PM PST
BigBadAzz says:
@Michael Topper,
You mentioned some great tracks, esp Good Vibrations & Day Tripper.
re: Smashing Pumpkins - "1979".
I'd consider the part "And we don't even care..." to be the song's chorus. Just saying.... :)

Here's some others:
Can't Get It Out Of My Head - Electric Light Orchestra
Wake Me Up Before You Go Go - Wham
Staying Alive - Bee Gees
Somebody To Love - Queen
You Got It - Roy Orbison
Joy To The World - Three Dog Night
You're The Voice - John Farnham
Space Oddity - David Bowie
Pinball Wizard - The Who
Last Train To Clarksville - The Monkees

Posted on Feb 19, 2012 2:01:58 PM PST
D. Mok says:
"C'est zero", Julie Masse
"No Time", Frente!
"Waking Up", Elastica
"Maybe in Time", Taste of Joy
"Hold On", Wilson Phillips
"Basement Apt.", Sarah Harmer
"Like a Prayer", Madonna
"Too Many Walls", Cathy Dennis
"Gone Gone", Julie Doiron & The Wooden Stars
"Kim Wilde", Charlotte Hatherley
"Number One Camera", Nina Gordon
"All I Want", Toad the Wet Sprocket
"Never Change My Mind", Acosta/Russell
"Downtown Train", Rod Stewart
"The Look", Roxette
"Luka", Suzanne Vega
"The Ballad of El Goodo" Big Star
"All through the Night", Cyndi Lauper (Jules Shear)
"Car Crash" Pineforest Crunch
"Rasputin", Boney M
"Crash", The Primitives

Posted on Feb 19, 2012 2:24:56 PM PST
Gena Chereck says:
Elvis Costello - "Everyday I Write the Book" (with the Attractions) and "Veronica"
ABBA - "The Winner Takes it All" and "When All is Said and Done"
The Rubinoos - "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend"
The Records - "Starry Eyes"
20/20 - "Yellow Pills"
Shoes - "Too Late"
Pulp - "Common People"
Fountains of Wayne - "Red Dragon Tattoo" (I know I bring it up a lot, but I really love it)
Matthew Sweet - "Girlfriend" and "Sick of Myself"
Joe Jackson - "Look Sharp," "It's Different for Girls" and "Steppin' Out"
Pet Shop Boys - "What Have I Done to Deserve This" (with Dusty Springfield), "It's a Sin" and "Suburbia"

Posted on Feb 19, 2012 2:49:16 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 19, 2012 2:51:47 PM PST
BigBadAzz says:
All Right Now - Free
My Sharona - The Knack
Close To You - The Carpenters
Uptown Girl - Billy Joel
To Sir With Love - Lulu

Posted on Feb 19, 2012 2:56:36 PM PST
Grandpa Tom says:
Mr. Tambourine Man-The Byrds
Goin' Back-The Byrds
All Things Must Pass-Concert For George
This Is Love-George Harrison
Absolutely Sweet Marie (live Bob Dylan's 30th Anniversary Concert)-George Harrison in front of an all-star band that included Steve Cropper, Donald Dunn, and others....


Posted on Feb 19, 2012 2:56:45 PM PST
[Deleted by Amazon on Apr 27, 2012 3:55:03 PM PDT]

Posted on Feb 19, 2012 3:03:09 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 19, 2012 4:38:09 PM PST
BigBadAzz says:
(Don't You) Forget About Me - Simple Minds
Head Over Heels - Tears For Fears
Once In A Lifetime - Talking Heads
Drops of Jupiter - Train
Angels - Robbie Williams (RW is an excellent purveyor of great pop tunes)
What is Life - George Harrison
Band on the Run - Paul McCartney & Wings
Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes - Edison Lighthouse
Don't Pull Your Love - Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds
Hooked on a Feeling - Blue Swede ("Ooga chaka ooga ooga....")

Posted on Feb 19, 2012 5:24:20 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 19, 2012 5:25:58 PM PST
mac says:
"Follow Your Bliss" B-52s
"Escapade" Janet Jackson
"A Lover's Concerto" The Toys
"The Streets of Soho" Brand X
"Wild Horses" Prefab Sprout
"I Love Your Smile" Shanice
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Discussion in:  Music forum
Participants:  63
Total posts:  193
Initial post:  Feb 19, 2012
Latest post:  May 27, 2012

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