My top 25 rated songs

Inspired by one of jxz’s recent posts, and because I can’t get to sleep, here are my Top 25 Most Played songs, according to iTunes:

1. “Only You” by Yaz
I love everything Vince Clarke, and while Erasure spends more time overall in my various music players, my cel phone rings “Situation” and “Only You” is apparently my most-listened-to song. I’m a little surprised, but not too much. It’s a beautiful song, unhindered by its very-80s synth sountrack.

2. “Space Age Love Song” by A Flock of Seagulls
Another very-80s song by a very-80s band, but a soaring tune that couldn’t be more literally named. It always reminds me of driving to Florida, ending up in Illinois on the east side of St. Louis at about 2am, hearing this song come on the radio.

3. “My My My (Cagedbaby Klubheads Radio Mix)” by Armand Van Helden
I discovered this song when scouring for new tunes for the Robot Dance Party, and my inability to resist a fantastic house-pop song held up. I’m a big fan of the 12″ version, but apparently my short attention span has led to this radio edit getting played more.

4. “Got to Wake Up” by Baxter
These guys were signed to Madonna’s Maverick label for their first album, but ended up getting dropped. Their second album, “About This,” was released on an indie label and a promo was serviced to KRNU. The promo had the album version of this song and a beautiful live acoustic version, which I haven’t been able to find anywhere else. The EP was added largely for the live acoustic version, but as a result of its inclusion in the library, this up-tempo euro-house number ended up getting played a lot more than anyone probably thought it should.

5. “Yawn, Yawn, Yawn” by Les Savy Fav
I heard this song for the first time when Nate Young and I were hosting the 90.3 KRNU Top 100 of 2004. It came in at some lowly 90-something position, but upon hearing it, I wished I would have voted for it about 8,000 times. Somehow a song in 7/4 time manages to be an amazingly catchy pop song without sounding pretentious and gimmicky like those lame A Perfect Circle experiments in time signatures. Like me, many KRNU listeners were late catching onto this song, and it remains one of the top requests a year after the “Inches” album was released.

6. “One Day At A Time” by Client
Client is a duo on Mute Records, and they fittingly owe a lot of their sound to Mute-mates Depeche Mode and Erasure. Martin Gore even provides guest vocals on their album “City” (the song is “Overdrive,” for the record). This song is probably the most overtly poppy, but it has an amazing hook.

7. “Call on Me (Radio Edit)” by Eric Prydz
See #3 when it comes to being unable to resist poppy house music. I should clarify, there’s a lot of it lately that’s just uninspired, but folks like Eric Prydz and Armand Van Helden are putting the magic into something that seems so simple on the surface.

8. “Castles in the Sky” by Ian van Dahl
Sara is entirely to blame for this one. She loves this song. It’s a little fast for me, but still pretty good.

9. “Daydreaming” by Massive Attack
This song won me over the first time I heard it. I just love how this song is like some 4 minute relay, with the vocals getting handed off seamlessly from one member to another (and to Tricky, who I think was still just officially a hanger-on at this point). Dark and lovely and funky, even quoting The Beatles (among many others).

10. “Nite and Day” by Al B. Sure
I’m a little embarrassed that I have this song on my computer – and that I’ve apparently listened to it so much. I came home one night from the bars with my gyro in hand, sitting down to watch Spike TV (the only channel I get). There was some infomercial on pushing some multi-disc soul / R&B / love music compilation, and I became convinced that these were the greatest hits of all time. I began downloading songs off this commercial as quickly as I could, and Al B. Sure was most assuredly one of my favorites. Other acquisitions that night included “Always” by Atlantic Starr and “Baby Come to Me” by James Ingram.

11. “Superstar 2004 (Nikko Superstar Extended House Mix)” by Boot Legg Vs Jamelia
I’m not really sure how this one got so high. Not that I don’t like it, but I just didn’t realize I played it that much. Jamelia’s “Superstar” is one of my favorite songs from the amazing Queer Eye for the Straight Guy soundtrack, and this song does get played a lot on You are So Beautiful, Beautiful Robot. I’m sure that second bit of trivia contributes to its ranking.

12. “You Think You Know Her” by Cause & Effect
I searched in vain for this song for years. Even back to when I first heard it in my youth, I mistakenly believed it was by the Information Society (and if you know this song, you’ve got to see how I could make that mistake). I actually accidentally became an Information Society fan because of this song – I was so convinced it was an InfoSoc song that I gobbled up everything I could find from them. I eventually discovered I was completely wrong, but hanks to the internet and a google search of the lyrics I remember, this song and I were finally reunited.

13. “The SuperStar Of War” by DannyMan
Jamelia actually places twice on this countdown. This is an amazing mashup mix by the DJ known as DannyMan including Jamelia’s “Superstar,” Edwin Starr’s “War” and some George W. Bush quotes. You can download it here. It’s seamless, poignant, catchy and highly recommended.

14. “Shake the Disease” by Depeche Mode
There’s not much to say about this one other than it’s just one of my favorite Depeche Mode songs. My favorites tend to be ones that have prominent vocals by both Dave Gahan and Martin Gore, so this fits the criteria.

15. “Chorus” by Erasure
While it’s hard to pick a favorite Erasure song (Chains of Love, Oh L’Amour, Blue Savannah, Always), this one is more often than not the one I go to first. Sara even has a car dance for it.

16. “Dirty Harry” by Gorillaz
This one kind of baffles me too. It’s okay, but definitely not one of my 25 favorite songs. It probably benefits from being the first new Gorillaz track I could get ahold of, so I listened to it more.

17. “Going Underground” by The Jam
I’m not sure if any song really pumps me up in the same way as this. I don’t mean that in the way that jocks listen to Offspring or Danzig to get pumped up before the big game or whatever, but this song just has so much ferocity and energy it almost makes me sweat just listening to it.

18. “Back To Basics” by Shapeshifters
“Back to Basics” and “Lola’s Theme” by Shapeshifters are absolutely two of my top 5 favorite songs to come out in the past year (along with “Second Story Man” by Heaven is a Hotel, “Yawn, Yawn, Yawn” by Les Savy Fav and “The Weekend” by Michael Gray). They’re thumping pop-house anthems, but they’re musically clever with intertwined melodies and samples that don’t try to cash in on their recognizeability, and the vocals are just belted out in a way that is perfect for driving singalongs.

19. “Losing Their Heads” by Turbotito
I was introduced to this song by the wonderful folks at while I was searching for robot music. It’s catchy, it’s simple, it’s funny, it’s beautiful and I love it. I really can’t express it any better. I play it all the time, and if you go here you can too.

20. “Be There (feat Ian Brown)” by U.N.K.L.E.
It’s the single version of “Unreal” from U.N.K.L.E.’s first album, made exponentially better with vocals by Ian Brown. One kind of weird thing I’ve always really liked about the vocals on this song is how pronounced Brown’s Mancunian accent is.

21. “You” by Axodry
Well, I didn’t realize that I played this song so much, but it’s pretty cool, so I don’t mind. I don’t even remember, though, if it’s actually an 80s song or just another modern artist trying to sound really 80s. If it’s the latter, it’s a dead-on tribute. Kind of a cross between Information Society and the Human League.

22. “New Resolution” by Azure Ray
I think Azure Ray makes pretty songs, but I couldn’t deny my joy when I first heard this song – I was excited that they had created something other than an acoustic sleep-inducer. The orgasmic vocal stylings work really well in this setting, whereas they can become a bit tiresome and gimmicky in the traditional Azure Ray context.

23. “Let Your Love Flow” by The Bellamy Brothers
One of the greatest songs of all time.

24. “Gorillas in Virginia” by Binuhman
I’m a little embarrassed by this one too, because this is one of my own songs. I wasn’t quite aware of my own level of self-devotion, but I guess it says something for the idea of making music to please yourself.

25. “You’re So Vain” by The Black Neon
This is absolutely a novelty, and should not really be viewed as anything but, but I just can’t get enough of a robot voice doing a bouncy electronic cover of this song. I really do like it more than the original, and that’s not just me being an ironic robot show host.

Honorable mentions that were actually tied for 26th place:
“Somebody” by Depeche Mode
“Something for the Weekend” by the Divine Comedy
“Attention” by Commander Tom
“Second Story Man” by Heaven is a Hotel
“Up Above the Sea” by John Vanderslice
“The Weekend” by Michael Gray
“Sing it Back” by Moloko
“Messages” and “Enola Gay” by OMD
“Love Zero” by The Prids
“Lola’s Theme” by Shapeshifters
and “Uncertain Smile” and “This is the Day” by The The

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