Today, is Mix Tape Tuesday. Usually on these days there is a theme and everyone produces their own take on this theme. I’ve always been, “this kid is doing his own thing” and more often than not, proud of it. So today in lieu of the traditionally mix tape, I give you Mix Tape: Storytellers.
I’ve always been a lover and a connoisseur of music. I won’t say good music because good music is relative to the listener. I won’t insult you by even saying that what I consider to be “good music” is even on your listening spectrum or that you should take the time to listen to it. I have my children for that. What I propose is that every so often you indulge me by taking a listen to what I consider to be the best music ever recorded in the randomness that I concoct.
Today’s installment is storytellers. What I mean by a storyteller is not necessarily just a good singer/songwriter but a good song that is EPIC. The song that fits this bill is usually long and tells a story. Think of it in terms of The Ten Commandments or the Lawrence of Arabia of music. Whether it be about romance gone wrong or a murder in a small town, these songs fit the saying, “Go big or go home”.
11. R. Kelly – In The Closet
I’m not a big Rap/Hip Hop or R&B fan. I’m way too square. I can appreciate a song that’s different and that does something no one else does, it even had its own miniseries. That’s an epic song.
10. Reba McIntyre – When the Lights went out in Georgia.
Country music is rife with epic songs. I think country musicians are the best storytellers in music today. It’s because that is their heritage. They cornered the market on it. Now I could have chosen Fancy. A lot of you think I probably should have. While Fancy is the song she is most known for, When the Lights Went Out in Georgia is my favorite and it’s my list so plllttttt (that’s the noise my hubby makes when he sticks his tongue out). The song tells the story of a murder, a wrongful execution and dirty Politian. It’s Scandalset to music.
9. Celine Dion – It’s All Coming Back to Now
What’s an epic song without Meatloaf, he created the genre, add Celine’s powerful voice to his words and you’ve got a match made in storyteller heaven. Every time I hear this song it reminds me of what all love and romance can be and should be.
8. George Jones – He Stopped Loving Her Today
I couldn’t make a list about songs that tell a story without this song. If I did I would want people to riot in the streets, tar and feather me and then put me on the rack. I would deserve it. He Stopped Loving Her Today, there are no words to describe how good this song is. You’ll just have to have a listen. If you like this song, you’ll also like one of my honorable mentions, Whiskey Lullaby, it’s in the same vein and equally good. Alison Krauss’ voice gives the right tone to be hauntingly beautiful.
7.Garth Brooks – Thunder Rolls
You really couldn’t have a list without Thunder Rollseither. A little ditty about what happens when you push your wife around one too many times. The video was great, the song was great and the delivery perfect. Check it out. Sorry I couldn’t find the official video on You Tube.
6. Elton John – Pinball Wizard
I know, I’m reaching here. I just feel like I should give Sir Elton his due. This song made Tommy, You know it and I know it. When you think of Tommy, you think of the song Pinball Wizard. End of Story.
5. Metallica – One
I had to come back and add this one because I forgot it. How could I? What was I thinking? I’m insane. Seriously. As hard rock songs go, this one definitely qualifies for epic status. Take a listen.
4. Martina McBride – Independence Day
I know, here I go with the country again. I’m sorry but they are just good storytellers. It would seem they have cornered the market on songs about domestic violence. This one is epic not only because Martina can belt out a good one but because the lyrics make you want to go torch something and anything that brings out my inner pyromaniac, I have to indorse.
3. Billy Joel –Scenes from an Italian Restaurant
Bottle of Red, Bottle of White. This song is like a mini opera, it’s almost Meatloafian. (Yes, I know I just made up a word). It starts off slow, drawing you in and establishes the theme that you will come back to later. Then the pace picks up, telling you the story of Brenda and Eddie. Chronicling how their marriage fell apart and then finally at the close bringing you back to the Italian Restaurant where it all began. All songs should be this good. I love this video because he dissects the song and show you how he wrote and proves once more, as if her needed to, that he is the Beethoven of our age.
2. Meatloaf – I Would Do Anything for Love
I know. You hate me. You’re ready to throw me out with the bathwater. I suck. How could I pick this one over Paradise by the Dashboard Light? It was an easy choice. One was before my time, the other was not. I Would Do Anything for Love, introduced me to Meatloaf. At 14, I wanted to be the girl on the back of the motorcycle riding off into the sunset. While I do agree that Paradise is the better choice, if it wasn’t for I Would Do Anything, I would have missed out on the wonderfulness of Meatloaf and I wouldn’t want to do that.
There can be no mistake, no argument that the best storyteller by far is Meatloaf but I put forward that the best epic song is not by Meatloaf but by a little band named Queen. Yes, you should know where I’m going before you even read what follows. Two words. Bohemian Rhapsody.
1. Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody
As I’m writing this, I’m singing the words in my head. This song is great on its own. Any greatest hits list, should have this song there, if it’s not on it then it’s not worth a damn. It’s poetry and when you listen to it, you’re listening to genius. Pure unadulterated genius. Crank it up, sing along and pay homage to the master.