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Pop songs that they got "just right"


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Showing 1-25 of 93 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 18, 2012 5:10:00 PM PDT
I've been listening to Bill Wither's "Lovely Day" the last few days, and it struck me just how near perfect a pop song it is. Uplifting lyrics, great interplay between the keyboards and guitar, a wonderfully funky bass line, the sparse strings & horns which fit right where they're needed, even Bill's "let's see how long I can hold this note" backing vocals all work together to make something close to a four minute masterpiece. k.d. lang's "Constant Craving" also comes to mind as being a great piece of pop music art.

What other pop tunes out there come close to being near perfect?

Posted on Mar 18, 2012 7:28:36 PM PDT
renfield says:
I think for me the perfect pop song is Let My Love Open the Door by Pete Townsend. No matter how many times I here that song it still makes me happy.

Posted on Mar 19, 2012 2:08:20 PM PDT
Evan says:
"Still the One" (Orleans)
"Echoes of Love" (Doobie Brothers)
"Dust in the Wind" (Kansas)
"Can't Get Enough" (Bad Company)
-----
"More than a Feeling" (Boston)
"Witchy Woman" (Eagles)

Burton Cummings - I'm Scared
Blood Sweat and Tears - Hi De Ho
Paul Davis - I Go Crazy
Charlie Rich - Behind Closed Doors
Gladys Knight - Midnight Train to Georgia
Linda Ronstadt - Heart Like a Wheel
Stevie Wonder - You are the Sunshine of My Life
Paul Carrack - I Need You (for example), The Living Years
Paul Rodgers - Can't Get Enough (with Bad Company), also songs with Queen
Stevie Winwood - While You See the Chance, Take It
Small Faces - Tin Soldier
Fleetwood Mac - Say You Love Me
Gene Cotton - Before My Heart Finds Out
Hall and Oates - I Can't Go For That and She's Gone
Petula Clark - I Couldn't Live Without Your Love
Cilla Black - You're My World
Dusty Springfield - I Close My Eyes and Count to Ten
Bobby Darin - Mack The Knife
Scott Walker / Walker Bros - Joanna / Make it Easy on Yourself

Posted on Mar 19, 2012 6:55:03 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 19, 2012 6:56:28 PM PDT
GE Burrell: What a great list.
The background vocals on Midnight Train to Georgia are probably the best ever.
Heart Like a Wheel is the finest song the McGarrigle sisters ever wrote, and one of Ronstadt's best performances.
Paul Carrack is a top vocalist - I would easily add "Don't Shed A Tear" to my original list.
Gene Cotton - another great song, and a great guy. I met him a few times while I was in college when he'd come play our coffee house. First class all the way.
Scott Walker/Walker Brothers - why were they never bigger in the US? "Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore" should be on my list as well.

Good call on all of your choices. Well done.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 19, 2012 6:57:50 PM PDT
renfield: That's probably my favorite of all of Townsend's solo singles. Very uplifting.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 20, 2012 12:30:40 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 20, 2012 9:05:41 PM PDT
Bill Mobley says:
Danny's Song (Anne Murray)
You know, the one that says "and even though we ain't got money, I'm so in love with you honey."
Not only is it nearly a perfect song, the harmonica, accordion (whatever) solo that comes in a little too late at the end, is icing on the cake.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 20, 2012 1:27:36 PM PDT
Evan says:
Reminds of DUETS that got it right. There are quite a few.

For example "Nobody Loves Me (Like You Do)" - Anne Murray and Dave Loggins has the chill - somehow seeing Ann as well adds something that the sound can not.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_R3sj4v4RtA

Another is this one from Footloose - this song music by Eric Carmen, but performed by Mike Reno and Ann Wilson:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yc40EasXz18

Note that in the thread on favourite female singers, Ann Wilson features very prominently - she may even be the most favoured if you did your sums on the responses.

Finally, what about some songs of Emmylou Harris. "Queen of the Silver Dollar" is to me near perfect, and also "If I Could Only Win Your Love". They are basically duets in the choruses.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 20, 2012 1:31:07 PM PDT
Evan says:
Thank you Mark. Do you know the Doobies track I refer to - Echoes of Love?

I don't understand how this failed on the charts. It shows off every aspect of the Doobies, and the theme of echos is well illustrated. The high singing at the end is off my register too. I love every note of it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4Lj2iZzqRk

Posted on Mar 20, 2012 1:44:29 PM PDT
Snoo says:
Referring to the Doobies.............."South City Midnight Lady" fits the criteria. imo

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 21, 2012 2:19:33 AM PDT
GE: Yep. I love that tune. Lots of people write the Doobs off when it comes to the McDonald years, but not me. Lots of great songs during that period.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 21, 2012 2:22:21 AM PDT
Snoo - South City is one of their finest, I think. I was in a band that covered that song, and it was lots of fun to play as well. Nice pick.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 21, 2012 6:37:58 AM PDT
Snoo says:
Mark,

No doubt. Its one of my favorite "feel good" songs.

Posted on Mar 21, 2012 10:45:12 AM PDT
James Quinn says:
Cruel to be Kind / Nick Lowe

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 21, 2012 12:09:13 PM PDT
Evan says:
Even without Tom Johnston, the Doobies Brothers have always had Patrick Simmons. He was central to "Echoes of Love" and "South City Midnight Lady". (Not to mention "Black Water" of course!)

"South City Midnight Lady" is an Eagles-like country rock number and a very good one - as befits the year, 1973. Here are a couple of performances:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OfFWfP1ZCR4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWAo7Hleb98

By comparison, to my way of thinking, "Echoes of Love" is their most exhilarating contribution and it is SOOOOO... original.

Like you Mark, I felt that the Michael McDonald years were productive and my God they should have been when you look at the all round talent of McDonald. This in no way diminishes the importance of Tom Johnston who was the big player when they started out!

Posted on Mar 21, 2012 12:18:04 PM PDT
Evan says:
Sometimes acts get their songs JUST RIGHT when they step away from what they usually do. "Dust in the Wind" is the Kansas standard of the airwaves, yet it contradicts all else that they were doing. Here are two more that are much the same:

"Sukiyaki" A Taste of Honey - think about all the oriental touches in this performance by an American soul act also known for Boogie Oogie Oogie! ! If you don't want to watch the video, just listen!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcad9bNv670

"Fairytale" Pointer Sisters go country - mixture of conviction and tongue in cheek
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OcpB11BNpDs

Posted on Mar 22, 2012 6:02:32 PM PDT
Ayinger says:
BADFINGER -- "Baby Blue"...........power pop at its finest.

Posted on Mar 22, 2012 6:20:50 PM PDT
Evan says:
"Nobody Does it Better" Carly Simon
"Almost Over You" or "For Your Eyes Only" or "Morning Train" _ Sheena Easton - what a voice

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 23, 2012 6:17:52 AM PDT
Ayinger - excellent pick. I think that's probably my favorite Badfinger track. Any band that could list both George Harrison and Todd Rundgren as producers on a single album is aces in my book. Too bad so much tragedy followed them later on.

Posted on Mar 24, 2012 6:27:31 AM PDT
Gena Chereck says:
Totally agree with the Badfinger and Nick Lowe picks. :)

Some more of my faves:
"September Gurls," Big Star (the Bangles did a pretty good cover, but I prefer the sparkling guitar work on the original)
"Shake Some Action," the Flamin' Groovies
"Going Down to Liverpool," the Bangles (originally by Katrina and the Waves, but Debbi Peterson and company totally made it their own with their jangle and harmonies)
"Someday, Someway," Marshall Crenshaw
"Son of a Preacher Man," Dusty Springfield
"Dancing in the Streets," Martha and the Vandellas
"Party Lights," Claudine Clark
"You Send Me," Sam Cooke
"You Really Got a Hold on Me," Smokey and the Miracles
"Baby I Love You," the Ronettes
"God Only Knows," the Beach Boys
"I'm a Believer," the Monkees

Posted on Mar 24, 2012 6:35:03 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 24, 2012 6:42:23 AM PDT
Blake Estes says:
Beach Boys - "Wouldn't It Be Nice" always puts me in a good mood.

Oh, and of course Hall and Oates - "You Make My Dreams."

Posted on Mar 24, 2012 8:19:54 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 25, 2012 11:55:34 PM PDT
Evan says:
"Every Day" James Taylor (great cover as well)
"Rhythm of the Rain" Dan Fogelberg (great cover as well!)

and here is super special one that few might know:

"I Will Never Pass This Way Again" Glenn Campbell - (how did it miss?)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apX2JIrnJts

Posted on Mar 24, 2012 10:43:54 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Jun 23, 2013 2:17:12 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 24, 2012 11:55:35 PM PDT
Dizzy17 says:
Two near perfect pop songs for me are "How Will I Know" (Whitney Houston) and "Daydream Believer" (Monkees). I also agree that "Nobody Does It Better" by Carly Simon falls into this category.

Posted on Mar 25, 2012 12:18:06 AM PDT
Miami Nights says:
Human League -- "Human"
a-ha -- "Blue Sky"

Posted on Mar 25, 2012 3:34:41 AM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Apr 27, 2012 4:00:02 PM PDT]
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Discussion in:  Pop forum
Participants:  37
Total posts:  93
Initial post:  Mar 18, 2012
Latest post:  May 21, 2012

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