So I’ve analyzed my iTunes catalog, crossed off and readded songs and hemmed and hawed for days before coming up with a list of 10 perfect pop songs. These songs are destined to make your foot tap, put a smile on your face and infect you with earworms that hopefully will never go away.
“Just Like Heaven ” – The Cure. This song totally changed the Cure’s image as a dark, shoegazing Goth band. Bright and energetic, the song starts with simple bass and drums, and then slowly adds guitars, synthesizers and Robert Smith’s trademark yelp.
“I Don’t Mind At All” – Bourgeois Tagg. Mentioned previously on this blog, this song is reminiscent of the Beatles’ “Yesterday,” complete with a string quartet. Just beautiful.
“California Girl” – Candy Butchers. Not to be confused with the Beach Boys’ song, this tune addresses only one girl from California. Sunny and cheerful, Mike Viola and Todd Foulsham do wonders with two-part harmony.
“Someday, Someway” – Marshall Crenshaw. It’s a pity this song only made it to #36. Marshall Crenshaw sounds and looks like John Lennon, and the 1950s style production hearkens back to Buddy Holly.
“I Would Never” – The Nines. See previous post. If I were ranking the songs, this would be #1.
“The King is Half-Undressed” – Jellyfish. If pop music were more – er, popular, this group would have been the next Beatles. Instead, lead singer Andy Sturmer is writing theme songs for children’s shows.
“The Things We Do For Love” – 10cc. So many chord changes, you forget what key the song is in. Oh, yeah – tight harmonies, too.
“They Don’t Know” – Tracey Ullman. From the opening chords, chimes and Wall of Sound production, you think this is either a song from one of Phil Spector’s girl groups in the early 1960s or a remake of a 1960s girl group song. An achingly sweet song.
“Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” – Wham! All George Michael jokes aside, it’s another instantly recognizable and catchy song with a timeless, retro sound. It’s more bubblegum than pure pop,
“That Thing You Do!” – The Wonders. Tom Hanks wanted a perfect, catchy pop song for his film of the same name. Adam Schlesinger answered the call and won the audition, meeting Hanks’ requirements perfectly. NOTE: The voice on this song is none other than Mike Viola of the Candy Butchers (See #3 above).