Son of a Preacher Man
This classic was incredibly racy for 1968, if you stop and think about it, but it appears in pretty innocuous places. It got a lot of new airplay thanks to "Pulp Fiction," and I'm enamored of both the original and the outstanding bluesy twice-as-long version Joan Osborne recorded.
I loved this song when I first heard it, and was amused that it was an afterthought on 1999's "Astro Lounge." Call me sentimental, but I also loved the Gatorade commercial that showed happy girls playing soccer. I've always tried to be supportive of girls getting involved in team sports, and I thought it was great to see a megalith like Gatorade, normally known for manly sports like football, getting behind girls' sports. Naturally, I was also thrilled to hear this song in "Shrek!"
Just ask kitchenqueen, this song, especially on the live concert album "The Dance," got a lot of MHA "airplay" in the late '90s! It opens the album, and the magical energy at that live show really shines through.
Come Sail Away
This has been a part of my soundtrack for over twenty years. I nearly wore out both cassette tape and player my freshman year in McFaddin Hall listening to the live version of this on "Caught in the Act," which I consider the quintessential recording. The studio cut is fine, and other live recordings are both good and bad, but this one was perfect.
One More Night
From their album "Full Throated Abandon," named for their favourite line in a review of their performances, "One More Night" is by far my favourite of Tanglefoot's outstanding songs. It's a loud, lusty, lamentful ballad... no matter how silly that combination sounds. Performed live, it's even better, and its lead singer is Al Parrish, whom an adoring fan once famously said has "a voice that was halfway between melted chocolate and sex."
Dave Matthews Band
I'm not sure what it is about this song, but something keeps pulling me back. Disc 2 of "Live at Red Rocks," now nearly ten years ago, has the best version, with its compelling drum opener flowing seamlessly out of the closing strains of "#36," the immediately preceding song. This disc never leaves the first slot of my car's CD changer... except to move to a new car. Seriously. it moved from my '99 Accord to my '02 A4 to my '05.5 A4. Wanna listen? I know where it is... right now.
and the bonus tracks...
I'm Gonna Be
This song is just outstanding, and even though others of their songs have gotten more movie exposure (such as "I'm On My Way" in "Shrek"), I think this is the best of them. It's commonly called "500 Miles" for the "I would walk 500 miles" line; the singer would do anything for the woman he's serenading.
I've Loved These Days
This deep, longing song reflects on overindulgence, and it was absolutely perfect for Billy Joel's Millennium Concert, on New Year's Eve at the end of 1999. (Yeah, yeah, I know.) While I also thought the studio cut was perfect, I considered this performance, the first of this song in almost a quarter century, to be the reference cut.