Onder Invloed is celebrating it’s 2,5 years anniversary. One part of the celebrations is this new section in which musicians will give you their Top 5 of best songs. Including a personal story behind the song. There will be a new Top 5 online every day in January. Read the stories, watch the videos and listen to the songs in our Spotify playlist. Episode 11: Damien Jurado.
‘This is very hard to do. how does one choose his top 5 songs of all time? My list can go on and on. so here is how I am narrowing this down… I asked myself, what 5 songs that I love, would I miss the most, if I could never hear them again. Here is what i came up with.
1. Roger Williams – Autumn Leaves
There are many versions of this song in existence. however, none of them are as good as this version by Roger Williams. I could listen to this song everyday. It’s just stunning. It reminds me of October…when i’m 65 years old. At least this is what I want the age of 65 to sound like. When I’m sitting in front of the fire place, in the lobby of my retirement home. I will still be listening to Autumn Leaves when I’m 65. In my comfortable slippers. Not feeling like I have to go outside and do anything. Just sit by the fire, and play checkers and talk to myself…while listening to Autumn Leaves.
2. Charlie Parker – Embraceable You
This song also reminds of the Fall season. The Fall of when I was 20 years old, and living in a basement, near the University of Washington, wanting so badly to be painter. This was before I discovered the acoustic guitar and started writing songs. I was painting on cardboard because I couldn’t afford canvas. The paint I was using was given to me by other painters who felt sorry for me, or I was using tubes of paint that I took from art class, in my last year of high school, before dropping out. Anyways, this song reminds me of that time. Being poor. But happy. Walking in the rain, to the University campus near by, with my headphones on, listening to Charlie Parker’s ‘Embraceable You’ on repeat, as I watched the University students pass me by, and being happy, to not be where they were, consumed with home work.
3. Andy Williams – Born Free
Fuck. Andy Williams can sing. One of the greatest singers to ever live. Ever. I believe it so much that, I feel it in my veins. I feel it more than my blood. I don’t know Andy Williams personally. I wish I did. There isn’t anyone who I wouldn’t punch in the mouth, for saying anything bad about Andy Williams…and again, I don’t even know him. I just know how his songs make me feel.. this one in particular. Like you can do anything you want. And not that you’ll just feel that way… I mean you hear this song, and you just say to yourself. ‘YES! Why in the fuck am i doing this thing that I hate so much’, be it school or a job… or a relationship that you don’t want to be in… or a fear that you’re trying to get over. This song, gives you that ‘I can anything that I want, and I’m going to do it.’ There aren’t many songs that do that to anyone. Let alone me. This is one of those songs. on a side note: you have to listen to this song loud. Turn up the volume and just let go.
BORN. FUCKING. FREE! ‘Life is worth living, but only worth living, cause you’re born free’ … ‘you’re free as a roaring tide, so there’s no need to hide’.
4. Glen Campbell – Where’s The Playground Susie
Glen Campbell is hands down the greatest. Fuck The Beatles, and The Rolling Stones. When I die, I want to be buried with my Glen Campbell record collection. That’s how much I love Glen Campbell. Choosing a favorite song from Glen, is very very tough. They’re all amazing. but, if I had to choose my all time favorite one, it would be ‘Where’s The Playground Susie’. Great song. Great performance. The greatest vocal performance he’s ever given on record. When he sings the chorus, you can tell, he believes it, he knows it. He knows that he is delivering the best vocal take of his career. Just listen to it. Again, turn it up. This song was meant to be listened to at a high volume. Stellar string arrangements, solid drumming. Again, he’s the man.
Side note: Glen is also the best dresser. Go back and look at photos of him in the 1960’s. His hair style alone is beyond cool.
5. Muddy Waters – I Can’t Be Satisfied
This song. Muddy Waters. Are you fucking kidding me? You want to talk about the greatest? ‘Stick a pistol in your face’ music. ‘Get out of my way, or I’ll knock you to the floor’ music. This song embodies that. The guitar riff alone, you can’t get out of your head once you hear it. The closest thing that comes anywhere near Muddy Waters is Bo Diddley. Bo would be next on my list, if I were allowed to include one more song. ‘Can’t Be Satisfied’, I remember hearing for the first time when I was 7 years old. And the song was coming from a Cadillac, parked in a grocery store parking lot. I remember just staring in the cars direction, and the driver, who caught me staring, looked out his window and said, ‘Well? What in the hell you looking at short man?’ I remember not reacting at all to him. Just staring at his car. He then just flicked his cigarette towards me, and rolled up his car window. I never heard the rest of ‘can’t be satisfied’ for another 10 years.
Visit Jurado’s website.
You can also listen to the original versions, and some cover versions, of these songs in the Onder Invloed Spotify playlist.