The Eagles (particularly Don Henley) didn’t seem like the type of guys you wanted to hang with at a party unless it was the ‘70s and there was a shit ton of cocaine, but they made some amazing music in their day. “Best Of My Love” is near if not at the top of the list of best Eagles songs, and I remember a point in time when I was absolutely obsessed with it. The gently strummed ballad melds country, rock and soul effortlessly, and those harmonies are spine-tingling.
Speaking of spine-tingling harmonies, Chicago’s Emotions were a journeywoman group when Earth, Wind & Fire’s Maurice White-a Chitown homeboy-gave them a boost by writing, producing and QCing a wave of hits for them in the late ‘70s. “Best Of My Love” is another one of the songs I remember being absolutely ubiquitous in my early childhood, and I totally get why. Even aside from the Hutchinson sisters’ ace vocal performance, there’s a ridiculous amount of ear candy in the arrangement and production. I can’t think of a ton of songs that just radiate happiness without coming across as cloying. That bouncy rhythm (even more upbeat that most of EW&F’s generally peppy songs) and those joyful harmonies…”Best Of My Love” is not only a bad mood killer, but it takes the blues and crushes them underneath dancing platform shoes.
NOT QUITE FIVE STARS…
“Bennie And The Jets” by Elton John (1973): I feel compelled to give this song an almost-5 star rating, and I can’t tell you exactly why! I guess it’s just worked its way into my good graces as pop songs are supposed to. I’m not the biggest Elton fan, but “Bennie” is about as fun as he ever got. Or maybe all the Tribe Called Quest I’ve listened to in the past two years finally opened me up. Miguel does a great cover of this, too.
“Bent” by matchbox twenty (2000): More expert power pop. “Bent” represented an absolute mastery of pure top 40 pop/rock by Rob Thomas and company. And although it was a 21st century hit, it felt like it flew in from the glory days of pop radio nearly twenty years before.
“Berry Farms” by Me’shell NdegeOcello (2002): Me’Shell gets her deep voiced murmur on and hits a go-go groove right in the pocket. The story is of a D.C. girl who’s playing both sides of the field sexually. The party stops-I mean, literally, the groove drops out-when Me’Shell (in the voice of her confused suitor) moans “can’t nobody eat my pussy like you do.”