Saturday, March 24, 2012

100 Best NYC Songs

In Time Out New York's March 8th issue, they assembled their list of the 100 Best Songs about New York. I agreed with some of the choices, but definitely not the order.
Years ago I was working on a play about New York, and when I had to identify my favorite song (I was trying to make the ending work, it was 2 AM, and bourbon had been consumed) it had to be Cole Porter's "I Happen to Like New York." It's not just a song, more like a call to arms. In a more narrative vein, Kristy McColl and the Pogues' "Fairytale of New York is right up there with me. The TONY list has too much Springsteen, Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York" (must you? Really?). It's never been my favorite Kander & Ebb song, and Sinatra got the lyrics wrong. The only bad thing about the Yankees winning the World Series is the incessant playing of that song. Steely Dan in on for "Daddy Don't Live in that New York City No More," but not "Bad Sneakers." There are a couple of original cast albums ("On the Town," but not "West Side Story"), and "Rent," God help us all. The Stones are on for "Shattered," but not "Miss You." Ella Fitzgerald singing "Manhattan" (from the Verve series) and Billie Holiday for "Autumn in New York." Much Simon & Garfunkel, and Lou Reed, including "Walk on the Wild Side." Joni Mitchell, not "Big Yellow Taxi" but "Chelsea Morning." And the great George Benson, "On Broadway."
So I didn't agree with a lot of it, but it did make me think.

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