1. Steely Dan - Bodhisattva
I’ve been listening to many of these songs my entire life. I’ve made no secret that my musical leanings come from my dad and this list will be very laden with "dad songs" because of it. Dan-comma-Steely (my favorite way to find them in karaoke books!) is one of those bands that I know all the songs but not the titles or the band performing said songs until I went to go see a friend perform in a Steely Dan tribute band (yes!) and I knew every single song. This was one of my favorites as a kid because it’s so easy to do a floppety muppet dance to. What, you don't know how to do the floppety muppet dance?!
2. Weather Report - Black Market
I love Joe Zawinul and I am still saddened by his passing as he was still touring and creating amazing music all over the world. This is one of Weather Report’s most well-known songs (save Birdland, of course) and that is well deserved, but it's even better in person. It’s a great tune and, as a bonus, I also included a live version with Joe and the WDR Big Band from 2006’s Brown Street.
3. Joni Mitchell - Talk to Me
Joni is here in person this time from my favorite Joni album, Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter. There’s something about the Jaco & Joni combo that works so well for me and I just can’t get enough of their blend of fluid musicality entertwining. It's kind of smooth...
4. Quincy Jones - Takin' It to the Streets
McD, represent! This cover of the well-known Doobies hit takes it to the streets in a way that any band associated with Skunk Baxter never could. I kind of wanted to pick another song from this Q album (Sounds...And Stuff Like That!) but decided to go with this since I know y’all have such a weakness for covers. Anyone heard this one before?
5. Michael Jackson - Burn This Disco Out
I’ve always had a soft spot for this song’s angular, trip-over-the-beat bass line so I decided on this track from the spectacular Off the Wall album.
6. Paul Simon - God Bless the Absentee
I covered my love for this Paul album in my personal iTunes tournament. While I know it’s not his best, it’s one of my most loved albums from my childhood. This song shows Paul in rare band form…and what a band he has here: Tony Levin, Richard Tee, Steve Gadd, to name a few.
7. Peter Gabriel - No Self Control
No one shapes a song quite like Peter Gabriel and this one from his third self-titled (Melt) is one of my favorites. He is a master at perfecting a mood time capsule and this one –- which builds from slightly addled to freaking out –- highlights this talent so well.
8. Kate Bush - Breathing
So dramatic, so Kate…so excellent. Her words are simple yet so effective in creating a snapshot of nuclear fallout's after-effects. I love this album. I love this song.
****edited to add a 9th song****
9. Quincy Jones - Tell Me A Bedtime Story
Yeah, more Q. Can't help myself! This song is mainly a Herbie Hancock solo transcribed by a violin player who then proceeded to overdub himself into oblivion. Fun, fun!