- ‘Coney Island,’ Good Old War
- ‘Margaritaville,’ Jimmy Buffett
- ‘Come Sail Away,’ Styx
- ‘Too Shy’, Kajagoogoo
- ‘One Night in Bangkok,’ Murray Head
- Falling Asleep to Kate Rusby
- ‘Mr. Harris,’ Aimee Mann
- ‘Praying for Time,’ George Michael
- ‘God Save the Queen’
- ‘Hey, Soul Sister’, Train
- ‘Northern Sky’, Nick Drake
- I Song I Want Played at my Funeral?
- ‘Near You,’ Teenage Fanclub
- ‘Washing of the Water,’ Peter Gabriel
- ‘From the Morning,’ Nick Drake
- ‘We Are the World’ – USA for Africa
- ‘Planet Telex’, Radiohead
- ‘B.O.S.T.O.N.’, Bleu
- ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’ – Band Aid
- ‘St. Elmo’s Fire (Man in Motion)’ – John Parr
- ‘Saturday Night,’ The Bay City Rollers
- Least Favorite Band – The Black Eyed Peas
- ‘I Found Love’, The Free Design
- ‘The King Is Half Undressed,’ Jellyfish
- ‘Keeping Awake,’ The Innocence Mission
- ‘It’s the End of the World as We Know It’, R.E.M.
- ‘Ah Tutti Contenti’ – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
- ‘For No One’, the Beatles
- ‘The Wing and the Wheel’ – Nanci Griffith
- ‘Superkid,’ Candy Butchers
A Song You Hear on the Radio
Train is the most unobjectionable band in the world right now (Sorry, Maroon 5). Even this writer, who hardly ever sits on the fence on a topic, can’t seem to muster enough of an opinion on this spectacularly ordinary band. For example:
- If music were gauged by climate, Train would be room temperature.
- If Train were an actor, they would be Tom Hanks.
- If Train were a restaurant, they would be Chili’s.
- If music had a uniform, Train would wear a white shirt and khakis.
They are the absolute middle of the road, so much, in fact, that you can hear them everywhere – elevators, restaurants, television. “Lite” Adult Contemporary radio stations play Train just to sound edgy. Hot pop stations that cater to Katy Perry play them because it’s music that tweens’ parents don’t find objectionable.
Of course, Adult Alternative stations eat them up because their listeners, ages 35-44, like hearing someone their age still rocking. Last year’s monster smash, “Hey, Soul Sister,” was released in 2009, was the No. 3 song of 2010 and is still on AAA radio station playlists.
I could take them or leave them. I liked their first two hits, “Meet Virginia” and “Drops of Jupiter”; they were catchy and likable, with just enough angst, throat singing and electric guitars to make you feel like you were listening to rock and roll. And I didn’t dislike their albums. They were non-threatening and agreeable. I tolerated them without throwing them away.
“Hey, Soul Sister” is just as disarming. My kids sing it around the house. I hear it on commercials. The song has yet another catchy chorus and makes cool 80s references to Madonna and Mr. Mister. Despite its awkward lyrics (“untrimmed chest”? “You’re so gangsta, I’m so thug?”), “Hey, Soul Sister” is like peanut butter and jelly – something you devour every day, has little nutritional value, but is tasty and safe. If that’s the way you like your music, then great.
I don’t care one way or the other. Really.