Cassingles

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I can’t bring myself to toss them. And this is quite a random blog post considering I’ve posted nothing for two months.

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Top 379 Catch-Up: #98-#89

I was recovering from my kidney transplant over the summer of 2011. I felt like I was freed up to figure out some new career skill to attempt to acquire. I thought about how I been WordPress blogging for years, and how I enjoyed customizing the blog. But I hadn’t ever looked into the best practices for really working with WordPress at a level that might lend itself to career doing something like this. Si I thought I’d start a new blog and use it as my development platform.

I was also feeling nostalgic for my mixtapes of 20 years earlier, which mostly consisted of sappy love songs and a general quality of music that most would judge as pretty darn awful. I was nostalgic for the lengthy countdown cassette series I had made. Top 100. Top 100 II. Top 100 III. Top 100 IV. And then, in college, the Top 200. Each countdown included voiceovers announcing the countdown, Casey Kasem-style. “Up six notches to #12, it’s Peter Cetera with ‘The Glory of Love'” (…more)

98

Dionne Warwick

I Know I’ll Never Love This Way Again

My Rating 9.22My 2015 Rating8.00Rate This!


97

Drifters

Save The Last Dance For Me

My Rating 9.22My 2015 Rating8.00Rate This!


96

R.E.M.

Losing My Religion

My Rating 9.22My 2015 Rating9.00Rate This!


95

U2

One

My Rating 9.23My 2015 Rating9.00Rate This!


94

Lionel Richie

Truly

My Rating 9.23My 2015 Rating7.00Rate This!


93

Cyndi Lauper

All Through The Night

My Rating 9.23My 2015 Rating10.00Rate This!


92

Mitch & Micky

A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow

My Rating 9.24My 2015 Rating7.00Rate This!


91

Chicago

Look Away

My Rating 9.24My 2015 Rating8.00Rate This!


90

Bee Gees

Too Much Heaven

My Rating 9.25My 2015 Rating8.00Rate This!


89

Duran Duran

Come Undone

My Rating 9.25My 2015 Rating9.00Rate This!

In the oughts, I operated the Shoutcast streaming station “Toastie Radio – Love Songs and More”. I’d be excited when there might be some 40 or so concurrent users around the world and people from far-flung places would sign the guestbook. The guestbook, yes. But I had had the goal of making a fully functional website with lots of PHP and mySQL programming. My vision never materialized. And I realized a lot of the listeners were bots that were ripping the music off the stream. And I was paying $100/month for a dedicated remote server.

Back to 2011. I was curious what a Top 100 15-20 years later might look like. But it had been so long. I could surely come up with 200 or 300. And then top379.com was an available domain. And so I decided my WordPress project would be to countdown my top 379 songs.

One song a day for a little over a year. I’d hit number one on Valentine’s Day 2013. That didn’t quite work out. The bulk of my time was not spent on making an awesome design or on designing some backend database structure that would make for an amazing dynamic data-driven site. It was spent looking up countdown data from obscure websites. And once I started figuring out every country I could find where a song charted, I felt obliged to continue that process. An hour a night was not sustainable.

Not to mention, I constantly lacked the confidence to post these sappy, schlocky ballads. Did I REALLY still like all of these Air Supply songs? I just wouldn’t be in the mood to deal with the question. I’ve listened to a lot of different music in the past 3-4 years, and my taste for sentimentality has dulled significantly. It’s hard to be motivated to post about songs I care nothing about and may be embarrassed to admit liking.

Well, I didn’t intend for this to be a recap of the history of the Top 379. It’s just a recap of the last 10 songs. Now that I’m under a hundred songs to go, I can see an end in sight…somewhere. I feel a need to finish this out, even if there is little interest from anyone including myself to persist. Frankly, I don’t even want to hear half the songs remaining in the countdown, though some of that may be a reflection of my current null-pointer relationship status. (Don’t ask what that means).

So…88 songs to go. Maybe if I can go through two a week, I’ll be done by the end of the year, or next Valentine’s Day.

The big Top 379 catch-up post

112

Air Supply

Every Woman In The World

My Rating 9.16Visitor Rating7.00Rate This!


111

Chicago

Hard Habit To Break

My Rating 9.16Visitor Rating8.00Rate This!


110

Bette Midler

Glory Of Love

My Rating 9.16Visitor Rating6.00Rate This!


109

Dido

White Flag

My Rating 9.17Visitor Rating7.00Rate This!


108

Chicago

Colour My World

My Rating 9.17Visitor Rating9.33Rate This!


107

Coldplay

Fix You

My Rating 9.19Visitor Rating5.67Rate This!


106

Celine Dion

It’s All Coming Back To me

My Rating 9.20Visitor Rating7.75Rate This!


105

Patty Smyth & Don Henley

Sometimes Love Just Ain’t Enough

My Rating 9.20Visitor Rating7.00Rate This!


104

Barry Manilow

Can’t Smile Without You

My Rating 9.20Visitor Rating7.33Rate This!


103

Cyndi Lauper

Time After Time

My Rating 9.20Visitor Rating7.33Rate This!


102

Harry Nilsson

Without You

My Rating 9.20Visitor Rating7.50Rate This!


101

Bon Jovi

It’s My Life

My Rating 9.21Visitor Rating8.00Rate This!


100

Richard Marx

Chains Around My Heart

My Rating 9.21Visitor Rating6.00Rate This!


99

Kermit The Frog

The Rainbow Connection

My Rating 9.21Visitor Rating9.00Rate This!

I just wrote a meandering explanation of what this is all about, and how it’s been 51 weeks since I made a Top 379 post in this blog. Then, my writing devolved into the typical meta-blogging. And I wasn’t happy with what I was going to post. Writing for the sake of writing? Not publicly. Not right now. So, posting now without further comment.

Soundtrack of 2013: Top 25: Part 1

I don’t if this is a precursor to a big year of blogging or not. Last year, I had about 25 posts, but only five in the past six months (I don’t feel like counting). There were another 5 or 6 drafts that I felt too self-conscious to post. I used to have no filter, or, at least, a very thin filter. I don’t know what 2014 holds.

No one cares about the music posts. But, in some way, the soundtrack of 2013 sums up the year FOR ME. I’m not going to get into why a song is part of the Soundtrack of 2013. Perhaps, I’ll get some closure here. I’ll move on past move of these songs.

Now, these are all Spotify songs, meaning almost all of them are songs I first discovered in 2013, though almost none of them are 2013 songs. So almost none of them are part of that Top 379, and represent, generally, a major departure from what’s in that countdown. I have a 50-track playlist on Spotify representing my soundtrack of 2013, but about 20 of those are instrumental tracks from movie scores. Those wouldn’t mean anything to anyone. Of the remaining actual songs, with lyrics, I’ll pick 10 20 22 24 25, and I’ll rank them, because, as you know, I like to rank songs.

Here’s part 1 of 3, because 25 embedded You Tube videos is too much for one post.

25. Gordon McRrae – Oh What a Beautiful Morning

24. Ambrosia Parsley & the Elegant Too – Goodnight Moon

23. Florence + the Machine – All This and Heaven Too

22. Imelda (The Voice of Holland) – Gangsta’s Paradise/Survivor

21. Coldplay – The Scientist

20. Jason Walker ft. Molly Reed – Down

19. Julee Cruise – Into the Night

18. A Fine Frenzy – Hope for the Hopeless

17. Michael Crawford – It Only Take a Moment

_ [9-16] [1-8]

Top 379: My absolute favorite song (#120 – #113)

114
Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds
Love Letter

My Rating: 9.14
Rate This!

I could stop the countdown now. This is my #1 as of October 9, 2013.Truly. This song has been my favorite song for the past year, maybe two years. I’ve often pushed onward with this countdown for the purpose of getting to this song. I have listened to “Love Letter” more than any other song; I am certain. What the hell did I ever know about alt-rock, post-punk singer-songwriter Nick Cave prior to about two years ago? Nothing. Perhaps I had heard of him, but I had never heard him. Then, one day, I was browsing a friend’s Spotify playlist. I had to listen to a song called “Love Letter”. And it filled my heart was aching and yearning and passion and all those squishy things that a song should do, but in a richer, more piercing way than any other song I’d ever heard. Just…perfect.

So why only #114? I didn’t know how to rate a song I had never heard before. Each time I heard it, I’d give it a higher rating. In late December 2011, I went through my song list and gave each song a “final” rating. I wrote at the time:

“From unknown to top 10…if i had more time… Hard to know if it’s just a phase. When I finally post this, how will I feel about this rating?”

It would have actually been #11 had I just gone with the very last rating. Instead, it lands down here. Two years is a long time, and, as I’ve made apparent several times, my affinity and nostalgia for some of the lighter fare in this countdown has faded. I hesitate to say my tastes are more sophisticated now. After all, the album “No More Shall We Part” was reviewed by one critic as being at risk of devolving “into schmaltz” (I learn from Wikipedia). So it makes sense why I love this song. But even those people who rate songs at RateYourMusic.com like it; it cracks the top 5000.

As I did my ratings for this countdown, there were 5 or 6 songs I figured had a chance to be #1, and any of them could have wound up on top. If I were doing a countdown based on what I love today, “Love Letter” would be on top. I am certain.

Officially, I have no blog posts posted for the last 2 1/2 months. (I have three drafts that I’ve posted and then rescinded). A post about blog posting can come later. Perhaps I’ll be starting back up again. At the very least, I’ll play catch-up with my Top 379 recaps. Even though most of the songs no longer inspire me as they once did, as they apparently did as recently as two years ago when I rated them, I still feel an obligation to myself to see this through. Unfortunately, at the pace I’ve been posting, it will take me years to get through, and the songs will be even further removed from my present affinities. Though, I must admit, whenever I cringe over a song I need to post, and perhaps there are weeks I procrastinate before posting it, when I finally get around to it, and I listen to the song several times, that affection returns. There were genuine reasons I’ve rated these songs highly, and, I know I still fear judgement for sharing them.

Anyway, I will present my write-up of #114 in full here. I don’t know who’s reading Toastiest besides my father. (Hi, Dad). I suppose I’ll put this link on Facebook. If you’ve seen this via Facebook, I’ll kindly ask that you actually comment in here if you have a comment, just because I don’t share this blog with all my Facebook friends, for various reasons. I can’t quite tell these days if Facebook is still announcing to all your friends when you comment on someone else’s page. I know, I can’t really control this. Enough of this social sharing ruminating…

As I’ve done before, here’s the recap of the rest. Maybe I’ll get to #112 on this quiet Friday night.

120
Alias
More Than Words Can Say

My Rating: 9.12
Visitor Rating: 4.00
Rate This!

119
The Proclaimers
I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)

My Rating: 9.13
Visitor Rating: 7.30
Rate This!

118
Berlin
Take My Breath Away

My Rating: 9.13
Visitor Rating: 8.00
Rate This!

117
Michael Bolton
Now That I Found You

My Rating: 9.14
Visitor Rating: 7.00
Rate This!

116
Whitney Houston
The Greatest Love Of All

My Rating: 9.14
Visitor Rating: 9.50
Rate This!

115
Police
Every Breath You Take

My Rating: 9.14
Visitor Rating: 6.00
Rate This!

114
Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds
Love Letter

My Rating: 9.14
Visitor Rating: NR
Rate This!

113
Bette Midler
The Rose

My Rating: 9.15
Visitor Rating: NR
Rate This!

Top 379 trudges along (#131 – #121)

Two more months of posts. I just got back into the mode of posting one nearly every day. Why? Isn’t this a lost cause? Am I not reliving the past, a past that by no means warrants conjuring? The romantic in me barely survives, and for as much as I’ve thought that flame deserves to keep burning, I’m sorely tempted to snuff it out. I’m afraid I’ll just continue talking in riddles if I go on with any attempts to write about this. I’ll go on, anyway. I haven’t done a public ramble in awhile.

This list is my life. This list was my life. This list bears no resemblance to my life. All of the above.

Then again, this blog bears no resemblance to my life. Even the darkest, most personal passages that are still out there for public consumption don’t dig as deeply or go as dark as the absolute truth. Ok, that doesn’t equate to “no resemblance”.

This wasn’t supposed to be another one of my meta-blogging posts…but I’m in a no self-censorship mode at the moment, so I shall trudge along…

As the Top 379 trudges along…I want to finish this up. I should’ve hit #1 back in January if I had stuck with the post-a-day plan. I didn’t. And posting these songs, that occasionally mean a great deal to me, is like chopping down a tree in the middle of the forest. For whatever reason, it’s important to me that people rate the songs, even when, and especially when, they hate the song. Because, for as much as I don’t need to defend any music I like, if you think a song is a 2.7/10, I will take that into consideration and my opinion on the matter may evolve in a way that’s beneficial to me.

Enough blathering for now…here are the last 11 songs posted to the Top 379. I think the songs are becoming more and more awesome, as songs of a countdown should. Rate them. It makes me happy when you rate them, so why wouldn’t you?

131
Eric Carmen
All By Myself

My Rating: 9.09
Visitor Rating: 6.00
Rate This!

130
Toto
I’ll Be Over You

My Rating: 9.09
Visitor Rating: 9.00
Rate This!

129
Harold Melvin and The Blue Notes
If You Don’t Know Me

My Rating: 9.09
Visitor Rating: 4.00
Rate This!

128
Chicago
Will You Still Love Me

My Rating: 9.09
Visitor Rating: NR
Rate This!

127
Fisher
You

My Rating: 9.10
Visitor Rating: NR
Rate This!

126
Whitney Houston
One Moment In Time

My Rating: 9.10
Visitor Rating: 9.00
Rate This!

125
Willy DeVille
Storybook Love

My Rating: 9.11
Visitor Rating: NR
Rate This!

124
Nat King Cole
When I Fall In Love

My Rating: 9.11
Visitor Rating: 8.50
Rate This!

123
Barry Manilow
Weekend In New England

My Rating: 9.11
Visitor Rating: 10.00
Rate This!

122
Carly Simon
Let The River Run

My Rating: 9.11
Visitor Rating: 10.00
Rate This!

121
Debbie Gibson
Lost in Your Eyes

My Rating: 9.12
Visitor Rating: NR
Rate This!