Top 50 Favourite Songs: Jill Blardinelli

Here are a couple of observations upon looking at my completed list.

I noticed that the country songs are very no-holds-barred romantic by both pre-rock, rock, and post-rock (is that what we’re in now?) standards.

I am intrigued by how much country songs (such as Luke Bryan’s) rock the way rock n’ roll used to do. “That’s My Kind of Night” sounded so appropriate next to my hard rock music choices of the seventies that made my list.

Another observation reflecting upon my list: My experience with so-called “guilty pleasure” tunes was much different than it would have been before essays by Ann Powers and by Jody Rosen, which explored the end of the guilty pleasure label in cultural studies.

So, it wasn’t the no-longer-guilty-pleasure (for example) of Bread’s “Sweet Surrender” that gave me pause during my selection process. Instead, it was the current politics or past bad behavior of some of the artists with a song on my list. I stayed true to the records I currently love most but found myself a bit troubled by the difference between, say, my political beliefs and the open political beliefs outside of music held by Jason Aldean.

I have posted my playlist on Spotify, but alas two songs are missing: the ones by Joni Mitchell and by Cymarron.

1. Tori Amos, “Cars and Guitars” (2005)
2. Sugarland, “Baby Girl” (2004)
3. No Doubt, “Simple Kind of Life” (2000)
4. Jimmie Rodgers, “Kisses Sweeter Than Wine” (1957)
5. Faith Hill, “This Kiss” (1998)
6. The Flaming Lips, “Do You Realize” (2002)
7. The Temptations, “Too Busy Thinking About My Baby” (1966) and the same song by Marvin Gaye (1969)
8. Luke Combs, “When It Rains It Pours” (2017) — Belongs to a sub-genre of country music that composes a story (sometimes believable, some not very much so) about experiencing excellent luck. See also Billy Currington’s “People Are Crazy” and Cole Swindell’s “Single Saturday Night.”
9. Jackson Browne, “Rosie” (1977) — I was so embarrassed in college that a guy pal of mine had to explain the punchline here.
10. The Four Tops, “Walk Away Renee” (1967)

11. Scrawl, “Sad” (1987)
12. Joni Mitchell, “Down to You” (1974)

13. Lit, “Miserable” (1999)
14. Grand Funk Railroad, “Bad Time” (1974) — The melody is so strong as compared to the arrangement/instrumentation that it could be sung a cappella.
15. Yusuf/Cat Stevens, “Bitterblue” (1971)
16. Cynthia Rhodes, “Finding Out The Hard Way” (1983 – from the Staying Alive movie soundtrack)
17. The 5th Dimension, “(Last Night) I Didn’t Get To Sleep” (1972) — Marilyn McCoo is one of my favorite vocalists.
18. Akon, “Right Now (Na Na)” (2008)
19. CeeLo Green, “Fuck You” (2010) — A song definitely worth some sociological study.
20. Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds, “Don’t Pull Your Love” (1972)
21. Lynyrd Skynyrd, “I Need You” (1974)
22. Game Theory, “24” (1985)

23. Brandi Carlile, “The Joke” (2018)
24. John Prine, “Dear Abby” (1971)

25. Alabama, “Dixieland Delight” (1980) — The naughty Crimson Tide game day version is good too. Walker Hayes name-checked it last year in his hit “Fancy Like.”
26. Joe Jackson, “Baby Stick Around” (1979)
27. “Time Warp” (1975 – from The Rocky Horror Picture Show)
28. The B-52’s, “Rock Lobster” (1979)
29. The Doors, “Twentieth Century Fox” (1967) — A song containing the male experience of his girlfriend having the birth control pill here in “Twentieth Century Fox” pre-dated Loretta Lynn’s “The Pill” by several years. I’m not surprised!
30. Steppenwolf, “Rock Me” (1969)
31. Johnny Winter, “Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo” (1974) — Rick Derringer did indeed write it. He also made it a hit. However, I prefer this less screechy version that came first.
32. Heart, “Love Alive” (1977)

33. Bachman-Turner Overdrive, “Let It Ride” (1973)
34. Jay-Z, “I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me)” (2000)
35. Juvenile, Lil Wayne and Mannie Fresh, “Back That Azz Up” (1998)
36. Lil Durk, Morgan Wallen, “Broadway Girls” (2021)
37. Luke Bryan, “That’s My Kind of Night” (2013)

38. Rae Lynn, “Rowdy” (2021)
39. Thin Lizzy, “Rosalie” (1975)

40. Daphne Rubin-Vega, “Out Tonight” from RENT (1996)
41. Tiana Major9, “Collide” (2019)

42. Foreigner, “I Wanna Know What Love Is” (1984)
43. Cymarron, “Rings” (1971) – Not the version by Lobo on Spotify—this is the original.

44. Bread, “Sweet Surrender” (1972)
45. Luke Combs, “Forever After All” (2021) — Somehow numbers 44 and 45 go together. In fact, the Luke Combs triggered a craving for the Bread tune. So if a music fan wants to avoid starting to like well-executed mushy love songs, my word of advice is to never open the gate to them!
46. The BoxTops, “She Knows How” (1967)
47. Jason Aldean, “Tonight Looks Good On You” (2014)
48. Ryan Cabrera, “On The Way Down” (2004)
49. James Taylor, “Blossom” (1970)
50. Joe Mullins and The Radio Ramblers, “Bacon in my Beans” (2019) — Bluegrass ditty about the compromises of marriage. “Bacon in my Beans” also makes me hungry for my mother’s delicious green beans with bacon.

Jill Blardinelli wrote record reviews frequently in 2021 for an Austin,Texas regional music magazine, The Austin Deli. She sings, cooks, and is planning to start a music blog to join her other blog about cooking and local events called Living In Style On A Budget (a couple of samples which can be found here, here, and here) (note: via Facebook only). Currently she lives in Champaign-Urbana, IL.


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