Ty James' Greatest 100 Songs Ever

Feb 24, 2014 -- 5:50pm

As a music lover all my life, doing a list of the best 100 songs ever, was not easy.  I'm sure your list would be very different from mine.  I tried to be fair, with songs from all different genres and time periods.  The trick is - I only used each artist once, with the exception of The Beatles, who probably deserve their own category entirely.  Any song on the list you are unfamiliar with, I would invite you to check out on youtube.  Happy reading, and let the debates begin!

100) Strawberry Wine - Deana Carter (1996) -- For many artists, their first hit is their biggest, and that is certainly the case for Deana Carter with "Strawberry Wine".  It's truly a beautiful song, one about losing your innocence, albeit while experiencing a love that is as sweet as 'strawberry wine'.  The song also reflects several years after the fact, on just how special and unforgettable that love really was.  It's a catchy song that will certainly put a smile on your face - and possibly even take you back to a special place, or a special someone - in your past.

99) Save A Prayer - Duran Duran (1982) -- Duran Duran was a huge part - maybe the biggest part - of the British new-wave movement of the early 80's.  While they were becoming stars with fun, upbeat hits like "Hungry Like The Wolf" and "Rio" - their first real attempt at a slow, love song was 'Save A Prayer'.  Its a song about heartbreak, about knowing that you will never have that special relationship, with that special person.  You can feel the pain in Simon Lebon's voice.  He was not just one of the best frontmen of the 80's - he is in the top 5 ever - and he will have you captivated by the end of the first line of "Save A Prayer".

98) Honesty - Billy Joel (1978) -- Billy Joel is maybe the greatest American songwriter of all time, and Rolling Stone Magazine agrees with me, that "Honesty" is absolutely his best work.  As the title would indicate, this song is all about the difficulties of finding someone in this world that you can actually trust - whether that's a lover, friend, family member, co-worker, etc.  Everyone wants their lover to also be their best friend, but Billy Joel reminds us that is not always the case, in fact, it is very rare.  This is an incredible song about what a good relationship should be....filled with love, and honesty.

97) Keep Ya Head Up - 2 Pac (1993) -- There is no question that Tupac Shakur was taken from us way too soon.  He was in his prime at the time of his tragic death, but one of his best, and everlasting works, is "Keep Ya Head Up".  2 Pac's critics would often point out how his lyrics were in large part about; partyin', smoking and drinking, and lots of sex.  He broke away from this with "Keep Ya Head Up" - a song that warns black men about mistreating their black women - a lesson that could certainly be applied to all races and cultures.  It's a song about loving, respecting, and taking care of our women - a lesson every man will hopefully learn in do time.

96) Sara Smile - Hall & Oates (1976) -- Before all of their commercial success in the 80's, Hall & Oates had a modest hit with this love song, "Sara Smile" - a song that Daryl Hall wrote about his long time girlfriend.  When most of America first heard this song on mainstream radio, there was the assumption that Hall & Oates were a black group, because of how soulful the song sounds.  An appearance on Soul Train debunked that myth, and it was there that the great Don Cornelius termed the phrase 'blue eyed soul', as a compliment to Hall's vocals.

Coming up in the next installment, #'s 95-91.

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