Monday, 24 January 2011

Top Ten Countdown Music Blogfest

Today Mr. Cool himself, author Alex J. Cavanaugh, is hosting the Top Ten Countdown Music Blogfest, where we get to choose our favourite top ten songs. Visit his blog for full details and to sign up.

Before I begin my countdown I'd like to say how difficult it was choosing just ten songs out of the thousands I must have listened to over the years. How was I to base my choices? Melody, lyrics, artist or because the song held a particular significance at some point in my life? In the end I opted for a little of each.

But it was also fun; listening to old records and CDs that had not been out of their sleeves or cases in a few years. Thank you, Alex! Here is my list:

10. One - Johnny Cash (words and music by U2). There was something about the pairing of this song with Cash's aging voice that worked for me and though I've never really been a fan of U2's later songs, the lyrics are inspirational.

9. Electricity - OMD (Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark). I've been to many concerts over the years but nothing will compare to the OMD concert I attended in the early 1990s. They are incredible live and if you ever get the chance to see them, go.

8. Could it be Magic - Take That (words and music by Barry Manilow). Even though I don't do boy bands, I'm a huge Manilow fan and this song, covered by Take That in the early 1990s, is my favourite.

7. Smile - Robert Downey Jr. (words by John Turner/Geoffrey Parsons and music by Charlie Chaplin). This is going to sound morbid but I'd like this song to be played at my funeral, because smile is what we should do at times of adversity. If we can't smile or laugh, what is the point of living?

6. Purple Rain - Prince. I just love this song.

5. Solitary Man - Neil Diamond. In truth I could have chosen a dozen Diamond songs, but I loved his earlier songs and this one tops the list.

4. Love is a Battlefield - Pat Benitar (words and music by Holly Knight and Mike Chapman). This choice isn't really about the song itself, it's more the memories it invokes of my sister and I dancing around the bedroom with our hairbrushes and singing the lyrics. Haven't we all done that?

3. Speechless - Lady GaGa. Every time I hear this song I'm inspired to to write. An awe-inspiring song.

2. Sweet Child o' Mine - Guns N Roses. Apart from sheer quality of music and lyrics, this song invokes strong memories of my late teens - friendship, college, young love, and discovering music I'd never even heard of before. I could go on.

Before I announce my number one, I should say it was only ever going to be a David Bowie song. He has been the most influential artist in my life and certainly shaped my musical taste in my teens and early twenties. With songs such as China Girl, Life on Mars, Rock n Roll Suicide, Space Oddity, Young Americans, The Jean Genie, Aladdin Sane, Ziggy Stardust - to name just a few - I could have made my top ten all Bowie. But here it is, my number one of all time:

1. Starman - David Bowie. As a sci-fi geek from an early age, this really was an easy choice for me. Plus Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars is my favourite album. Click on the link and take a listen.

So there you have it - my top ten list. Did you agree or disagree with any of my choices? Did you put your head in your hands and say, why?
I can't wait to read yours, but as there are over 100 bloggers taking part it will take me a while to get around, so please be patient with me.


  1. no, today my hands are not on my head, just in the air... rockin' back and forth... except number three, she is quite the nut job... i can not listen to her music. what a great list, especially "smile" always forget that one is so good.

  2. Great list, Ellie - wasn't it hard? I think I really have a top 30 and Bowie would be in there.

    I'm having Happy Trails by Van Halen at my funeral!

  3. Good list Ellie! David Bowie!!!! I love his music!

  4. At last someone from UK, I live at Bournemouth.

    I knew most of yours and I think you have made a very good choice.

    Thanks for your visit and comment , much appreciated.

  5. I love your choices!!! Pat Benatar!! Ziggy!! Prince!! Lady GaGa!!! All fabulously wonderfully inspiring artists and songs!! yay!!!

    Take care

  6. Great choices! Love is a Battlefield - love it! I agree it was very difficult to narrow down to just 10 songs.

  7. OMGosh...Purple Rain! Love Prince! Great choices.

  8. LOVE Johnny Cash and Prince! He almost made it onto mine, as did Madonna, but time has mutated my tastes! :o) Nice list!

  9. These songs are all incredible. I wish I would have added Bowie to my own list. He's so talented and inspirational. :)

  10. Cool song. I'm going to check out the Lady GaGa song. Perhaps it will motivate me to write as well.

  11. oh, I love OMD, especially their songs MAID OF ORLEANS, SAILING ON THE SEVEN SEAS, PANDORA'S BOX, MILKY WAY ... Amazing band, miss them much ...

  12. Good list. Was going to put some David Bowie on mine, but couldn't decide which one.

    Dan - my list.

  13. I'm a huge David Bowie fan. Hard to leave him off a Top Ten List.

  14. Great list! I'll have to check out the ones I didn't recognize. Prince and Pat Benetar definitely bring me back.

  15. I truly love this list. I love the diversity of it and many of the songs are favorites of mine, too. :)

  16. Also, in my younger days, I went through a major OMD phase. I still love them.

  17. Love that your list is diverse. I'm the same way - my tastes are all over the place.

  18. I like the retro-esque list! Johnny Cash is an acquired taste, but I've got a friend bringing me over slooowly to the Man in Black.

  19. I'd say the entire Purple Rain, Lady Gaga, Bowie and GNR albums, yes? --this is why I can't do this fest~ :D

  20. Knew I forgot some.... I love that Pat Benatar song and Barry Manilow too... but there are so many songs! ha!
    Fun to see everyone's faves!
    Chris Verstraete
    The Killer Valentine Ball - a valentine to remember

  21. Now I'm Mr Cool!
    That Guns 'n' Roses song is popular today.
    Thanks for participating!

  22. Love me some Gaga!! She's on my top 10 too! That is a great GnR song too!

  23. Wow, you span the gammet. Great choices.

  24. I didn't know Robert Downey, Jr. sang--definitely checking out that song!

  25. What a great list! Bowie is great, and LOVE Love is a Battlefield. I remember my sister and I singing to that too ;p

  26. This comment has been removed by the author.

  27. I only know one of those: Purple Rain ( Maybe the Ziggy Stardust one too) I feel very out of touch LOL! :O)

  28. Great list!! Bunch of oldies and goodies mixed in with some good new stuff! I LOVE Pat Benatar! And Prince! And Guns! And Johnny Cash!! Oh...boy. What a great fest!

  29. Nice list! I like the eclectic mix of old and new!

  30. cool list!! i don't know all of them!!
    have you ever seen thirteen going on 30, when they all sing love is a battlefield?
    so cute!!

  31. Oh! Great list! Sweet Child o' Mine would have made my list if I'd thought of it--I don't curretnly HAVE it, so I'd forgotten! And Prince and OMD were part of my college years... and I love Johnny Cash... very fun!

  32. Certainly can't disagree with what your favorites are--there are no right or wrong answers when it comes to personal taste. I like these songs as well. "Smile" for a funeral would be a nice pick.

    Make sure you check my Wednesday post!
    Tossing It Out

  33. Great list! One, and you reminded me, how could I not find a place for November Rain, Guns 'n Roses! This was a cruel blogfest!

  34. Awesome list. I love Robert Downy Jr.'s singing. And I think it's perfectly acceptable to play Smile at a funeral. I'm going for Another One Bites the Dust myself.

  35. Speechless is the track before my favorite Lady Gaga song Dance In The Dark!

    Breakfast Every Hour

  36. I LOVE "love is a battlefield."
    And Ellie, let's be frank: I LOVE A-HA. I am so jealous that you got to see them in concert.

    What I DIDN'T say in my blog post, because I knew it might scare some people away, is that I have all the A-HA albums. LOVE all of them.

    Seriously, there are so many good songs on those albums. I too wish people knew of the other ones. I chose "Take on Me" because it was the one-hit wonder.

    Nice blog!

  37. Sweet Child O Mine!!! How could I forget??? I friggin love that song!!!

    Fantastic list!


    Man did have the hots for her when I was a teenager.....


  39. #2, 4 and 6 are wonderful picks!! And Robert Downey Jr. sings? How did I not know this?? :) I'll have to look that one up - thanks!

  40. Awesome list! You're number 42 (I think) and I cannot believe this is the first I've seen of Prince!!

    Love Is a Battlefield - sweet!

  41. I LOVE your list! I haven't heard Love is a Battlefield - Pat Benitar in AGES! I used to play it to death!

  42. Great list! Not morbid at all - maybe because I just remembered after seeing Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Iz that I want that song played at my funeral! We're not planning one anytime soon, though!

  43. Lady Gaga and Prince's Purple Rain - they go together well; don't you think. :) Love them.

  44. I'm a huge Manilow fan too! I'll have to check out that version of the song!

    You've got a ton of songs I really enjoy :)

  45. I love so many of those! Awesome.

  46. Bowie, Awesome! I went with one song per artist. Picking a scifi song from bowie was hard, he actually had a selection.

  47. "SMILE" - the Nat King Cole version.
    It's the first song my Dad ever used with which to contact me from "the other side".

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  48. OMD, gosh, how could I forget about them? Neil Diamond was an awesome concert. Have you ever seen him live? Great list!

  49. Yay: a Barry Manilow fan. Me too. And Neil Diamond, awesome. I love your list.

    Did David Bowie really look like that? Man . .


  50. Amazing list! I loved this! I love scanning others choices and seeing who has what in common! It's so much fun!

  51. I love so many of these artists! Excellent choices :-)

  52. iZombie - can't listen to the GaGa?! She's awesome!

    Margo Benson - it was hard! On Sunday I still had a list of 34. LOL.

    Melissa - thank you!

    Welcome to my world of poetry - we often come to Bournemouth on holiday. I'd love to live that way! Thanks for stopping by my blog.

    Old Kitty - thank you!

    Liz Pezzuto - thank you!

    Salarsen - thank you!

    Jessica Bell - I think if we were asked again next month our lists would probably be different!

    Melissa Bradley - he is!

    Clarissa Draper - hope it works for you!

    Dan - I know what you mean; my Bowie list was huge!

    Dezmond - another OMD fan. Yay!

    Stephen Tremp - Yeah. I wanted to put an Aha track on my list but there too many other choices!

    Jamie Burch - thank you!

    Lola Sharp - thank you!

  53. Wendy Tyler Ryan - thank you!

    Nicki Elson - I agree with you there; it takes a while to fully appreciate him!

    LTM - I couldn't agree more; I think a top ten album list would be a great idea too!

    Chris V - I know!

    Alex J. Cavanaugh - of course you are! LOL.

    Stephanie - thank you!

    M Pax - LOL. Thanks!

    Meredith - it's a beautiful song and from the film Chaplin.

    Abby Minard - LOL. Did you hairbrushes for microphones as well?

    Madeleine - I was the same with most of the lists I read!

    Colene Murphy - thank you!

    Lydia K - thank you!

    Ella - thank you!

    aspiring x - I've not seen that. I'll have to Youtube it!

    Hart Johnson - thank you!

  54. Arlee Bird - thank you! Ooo...can't wait to read about your news! Very intriguing.

    L'Aussie - thank you! It was a bit like torture, wasn't it?!

    Hannah Kincade - LOL. I like your funeral song choice!

    AlexOngNYC - it's an awesome album!

    Heather Spiva - I'm so with you on Aha. I'd dismissed them years ago as a one-hit wonder and then my other half introduced me to all their albums. Wow. They have so many incredible songs! My favourites would probably be Hunting High and Low, Scoundrel Days, Soft Rains of April, Memorial Beach. . . I could go on and on!

    Pk Hrezo - thank you!

    Gideon 86 - LOL.

    Donea Lee - it's from the film Chaplin!

    Tara - I havn't seen much Prince either!

    Lynda Young - thank you!

    Jennie Bailey - LOL. I hope not!

    Elaine AM Smith - they certainly do!

    Jemi Fraser - thank you!

    Alexia - thank you!

    Budd - he did!

    Stephen T. McCarthy - that is so poignant!

  55. Patricia A. Timms - my sister has seen Neil Diamond live and she said it was of the best concerts she'd been to!

    Donna Hole - thank you! Yes. Bowie did used to look that awesome!

    Jen Daiker - thank you!

    Kelly Dexter - thank you!

  56. Ha! Purple Rain *IS* one of the best songs evah!

  57. What a great list! Love is a Battlefield, what memories!

  58. Sweet Child of Mine is one that I thought and thought about and then ended up cutting.

    Love your list!

  59. Nice list, I know a few of these already but some of the others not so familiar with. :D

  60. Ooh, I adore Barry Manilow too! And "Smile" is such a sad song. My favourite version is the one sung by Nat King Cole.

  61. Christopher S. Ledbetter - I agree!

    penandpaints - thank you!

    Karen Petersen - I know what you mean; there were about 20 songs that nearly made it into my top ten!

    Trisha - thank you!

    J. C. Martin - Ooo...I haven't heard the Nat Kong Cole version. I'll have to look it out!

  62. Hi Ellie.

    Simon and I finally completed out ePocalypse entry. Did you get yours finished?

    I saw your scif fi movie quote blogfest ... I'm not sure if I could remember ten quotes!! If they start coming back to me, I'll enter! lol

    Thanks for entering my blogfest ... just a reminder that it starts this Friday and runs through the weekend. :)

  63. Dominic de Mattos - you beat us to it on the ePocalypse story - we've gone through our emails and decided we need one more from my character, which I'll be writing tomorrow. We should be able to submit after that and fingers-crossed it is accepted.

    A lot of people gave the same response as you about the movie blogfest and my advice is you can always google quotes for your favourite films. I'm sure they'll start coming back to you then!

    Thanks for the reminder about the blogfest. I've still got to choose my excerpt but should be posting it tomorrow. Should be a fun blogfest!

  64. I love Sweet Child Of Mine. I remember someone else singing it in the movie Big Daddy. I want to say Sheryl Crow or something.

  65. Oh my, I can't believe I didn't mention Cash or Bowie on my list! Gasp! Where was my brain?

  66. I'm not sure I agree with any of your picks, but thanks for sharing them!

  67. Powdered Toast Man - I've never seen that film, so I'm not sure either. It's a great song, though.

    Deniz Bevan - LOL. I said the same about so many other artists when reading other lists!

    Chris K. - LOL. It would be a dull world if we did!


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