“The Best Of What’s Around” by Dave Matthews Band (1994)

If you’ve ever felt the need to be comforted-and who hasn’t?-the lyrics of “The Best Of What’s Around” will do the trick.

Hey my friend
It seems your eyes are troubled
Care to share your time with me
Would you say you’re feeling low and so
A good idea would be to get it off your mind

See you and me
Have a better time than most can dream
Have it better than the best
So we can pull on through
Whatever tears at us
Whatever holds us down
And if nothing can be done
We’ll make the best of what’s around

“Best” is the opening track on DMB’s breakthrough album, Under The Table And Dreaming, and it endeared them to me forever, even if it now conjures up the vision of two college bros drunkenly hugging it out. What do you want from me? I was 18 when this song came out, and would’ve been in my sophomore year had I not started working full time three months after I graduated high school and then made the decision to move out of the house I grew up in six months after that. With all that in mind, I had to find comfort somewhere. Better Dave Matthews than, like, heroin. Nearly a quarter century later, though, it still radiates a great deal of warmth.

This DMB song in particular reminds me of my friend and (at the time) co-worker Arthur. He was (and I’d imagine, still is) a goofy, warm-hearted guy who was the real-life embodiment of the sentiment Dave Matthews expressed in “The Best Of What’s Around”’s lyrics.

The Best Of What’s Around is also the title of DMB’s first (and so far only) hits package. Not sure if it’s still packaged with a second disc now, or if it’s even in print, but that second disc featured yours truly as one of the many screaming voices during a live version of “Two Step” recorded in 2001 at Giants Stadium. More on that in the “T”s.

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