Top Five Songs ... 02.14.2019
DFM Masthead Disenfranchised FM Cuckoo's Eleven Top Five Songs Armchair Producer Music MD Tin Cans Scratch Take Life and Times Input


And we're back! I vowed to bring back Top Five Songs at the top of each month, but given this month's theme (as well as a little breathing room from the 2018 Cuckoo's Eleven post), what better day to write about Top Five Songs for a First Kiss than on Valentine's Day?

Before we get into the song choices, it's important to clarify what the theme is (and isn't): this isn't intended to be your playlist for a romantic night with your significant other, nor is it limited to your first-ever kiss. In other words, this won't be a Marvin Gaye playlist (with apologies), nor will it be a playlist with whatever temporary song was playing on your local pop station at the time (you're welcome). It's quite likely you didn't hear any of these songs anytime near said kiss. Still, hearing them will bring you back to the magical moment. Think of it as you scoring the soundtrack for your life's film. As usual, this list is compiled without any Beatles or Rolling Stones songs.

HONORABLE MENTION - Elliott Smith, "Say Yes"

"I'm in love with the world / through the eyes of a girl / who's still around the morning after."

I'm torn. It one respect, this song doesn't fit because its theme is more mature than this month's theme. Smith describes a buzz about the girl being so much more than a first. It's a recognition that this may be more than a fleeting moment. And yet, it fits perfectly with lyrics that capture that moment of levitation. The world is a bit brighter, its colors are a touch more vibrant once you've found someone to walk alongside.

NUMBER FIVE - Van Morrison, "Crazy Love"

"I can hear her heart beat for a thousand miles / and the heaven's open every time she smiles."

It would be downright foolish to not include Van the Man in a song list about love. Unlike the other songs, this song doesn't speak to the dizzying nature of infatuation; rather, it's a notion of balance through one's counterpart.

NUMBER FOUR - The Crystals, "And Then He Kissed Me"

"When he danced he held me tight / and when he walked me home that night / All the stars were shining bright / and then he kissed me."

The Wall of Sound never sounded finer than when it was accompanied by LaLa Brooks, perfectly capturing the anticipation of a first kiss. Even with the acknowledgement that the narrator has been kissed before, this kiss is assuredly different.

NUMBER THREE - Mono, "Life in Mono" [1996]

"But I can't seem to forget / when you came along."

Trip hop with a haunting harpsichord, recorded as the theme to Great Expectations. But what you may not know is that it was picked for that role by none other than Robert DeNiro. Okay, fun facts aside, the sound perfectly matches the falsetto lyrics of innocence and rapture.

NUMBER TWO - U2, "With or Without You" [1987]

"Through the storm we reach the shore / You give it all but I want more."

A droning bass and a guitar series of guitar riff harmonies which begs to be played on loop pedals. So simple, yet so evocative. Then the bridge hits and Bono's wail sends the song into another world. Angst and elation, terror and joy. As musical moment which captures the moment of a first kiss without having to utter a word.

NUMBER ONE - Weezer, "Only in Dreams" [1994]

"You can't resist her / She's in your bones / She is your marrow and your ride home."

Rivers Cuomo is at his best when writing about unrequited love, but this song is his gold standard. I can't think of another song that better captures the overwhelming surge of emotions for teenage crush. Two guitars dance around each other until a crescendo in the waning moments of the song. If we ever send another satellite to explore the outer universe with record of humanity, I hope they include this song to explain what it feels like to fall for someone. It's utterly perfect.

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