The Golden Eleven

Posted on December 15th, 2008 by george.
Categories: music, numbers, youtube.

I’ve been agonizing over this list since October. The instructions are simple: choose your eleven favorite musical artists, then your favorite song by each, and provide a link so the world can share in the crème de la crème of your musical tastes. This list is probably different than your eleven favorite songs, which is why you choose the artists first. I found this process singularly difficult. I’m tempted to create a second list of honorable mentions, because there is far too much amazing music out there to be content with such a small sampling. Futhermore, when you consider that what makes an artist your favorite is that they have many songs that you love, the exercise in choosing one among their repertoire is made that much more maddening. Still, since this is a meme of my creation, I will adhere strictly to it. I give you: my golden eleven.

11. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – Mary Jane’s Last Dance

10. Cake – Opera Singer

9. Metric – Dead Disco

8. Pixies – Hey

7. Spoon – Me and the Bean

6. Zero 7 – Destiny

5. Feist – Gatekeeper

4. Elliott Smith – Independence Day

3. Portishead – Humming

2. Radiohead – Subterranean Homesick Alien

1. Beck – Deadweight



Comment on December 15th, 2008.

I seriously love the fact that “hey” is in this list.


Comment on December 16th, 2008.

The hardest part for me is that the best songs often don’t have videos

Long Enough For the Clouds… » Blog Archive » I Made it 12

Pingback on December 16th, 2008.

[…] These are the themes of my life. These are the themes I am drawn to and what surround me. You’ll see them woven throughout these songs. In George’s blog there is a list of 11 videos but I couldn’t bear to remove any one of these. I wish many songs that didn’t have videos had them…. Many of my selections are live performances because of this and other factors.. such as the tingle that climbs my spine and envelops my entire being as I see the entire rose bowl swing their arms to “Never let me down”…. I love music and sharing music makes me feel incredibly alive. […]


Comment on December 16th, 2008.

I’m going to have a hard time doing this… and it’s possible at least one may be the same. I’m having a hard time with Portishead, too. Dangit.


Comment on December 16th, 2008.

Wait–I don’t think this list has to have videos to accompany the songs, does it?


Comment on December 16th, 2008.

Nope! The vids are just gravy. =)


Comment on December 16th, 2008.

I think I like the lists more with the vids, tho’.


Comment on December 20th, 2008.

LOVE this list, G. I actually hurried home and read it right after our conversation the other night, and immediately set about making my own list. It took me a few days, and I’ve finally posted it.

REALLY challenging task.

I definitely foresaw a few of these choices (Cake’s Opera Singer, Spoon, Beck, Radiohead), but others caught me by surprise. It’s a really wonderful way to get a sense of the essence of a person’s musical taste. Great meme, my friend!


Comment on December 31st, 2008.

what up. consider this playlist as good as listened to. After the better part of an afternoon toiling over my own selections, I have updated my music blog with my response ( if you’re curious. Was there a specific “favorite” criteria you held the songs to?


Comment on January 15th, 2009.

Andrew, I’m so glad this sparked your formidable creativity. I can say without hesitation that yours is the most artfully designed of any of the lists I’ve seen. Well played, broski!

Hey Lau, checking out your list now. Obviously, each artist has many incredible songs. Choosing a favorite was sometimes straightforward; for instance, Mary Jane’s Last Dance has always been my favorite Petty song, hands down. It just rocks me. I grew up on Tom Petty, and the guitar riff in that song is the apex of Mike Campbell’s work with the Heartbreakers.

For others, I narrowed it down to my personal favorites, the ones I connected with the most, the ones that most often gave me goosebumps or took me to a higher plane, the songs which excited the strongest visions as I listened to them, and whittled down from there. If there was a song that captured the artist’s essence, or if it was a perfectly executed song, or a song to which I could apply no other term but “art,” that was the one that made the list. For a couple it was the song with which I have the strongest emotional connection, or the one that brings back the most vivid memories.

I’ve really enjoyed reading everyone’s respective lists, seeing how they interpreted the word “favorite,” and discovering new bands and learning more about the person in the process. This has gone further than I’d ever hoped, and that makes me happy.


Comment on June 4th, 2009.

Great post! Just wanted to let you know you have a new subscriber- me!

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