Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Today is our 7th wedding anniversary, it's been seven great years (and seven years before we got married!). A lot of our first encounters were music oriented: a Matthew Sweet show, a PJ Harvey show, the bar where I used to DJ. So were a lot of our first dates: an R.E.M. concert, a Ben Harper show, Lollapalooza, and even a roadtrip to Cleveland for the opening of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, and the accompanying concert.

So, for our wedding, I wanted to create a cool playlist for a CD to give out to everybody. Of course, it turned into a 2 CD set. I don't mean to brag, nor do I mean to boast, but people still tell me that they listen to it, which is nice!

Billie Holiday: "Come Rain Or Come Shine" (used at a lot of weddings, but with good reason, I didn't feel it was too cliche. Our Rabbi used some of the lyrics in the ceremony)

Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald : "They Can't Take That Away From Me"

Ray Charles: "Ain't That Love" (I was going through a big Ray phase - this was years before the movie - but I wanted to use a lesser known song) .

Buddy Holly: "Everyday" (we both love Buddy Holly, it's such a sweet song)

Paul McCartney: "Every Night" (one of my fave Paul solo tunes, I first heard it on Unplugged, which is what we used on the CD).

The Beatles: "Here, There and Everywhere"

The Beatles: "In My Life" (the string quartet played this before our ceremony)

The Beatles: "Something" (I wanted John, Paul and George represented!)

Smokey Robinson: "I Second That Emotion"

Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell: "You're All I Need To Get By" (I thought the song was getting overshadowed by Meth & Mary's "You're All I Need" which sampled the original. I love Marvin, there's lots of songs we could have gone with).

The Temptations: "The Way You Do The Things You Do" (again, another wedding band standard, and again, with good reason. I wnted a lot of Motown representation!)

Stevie Wonder: "I Believe (When I Fall In Love With You It Wille Be Forever)" (Stevie has so many songs, I wanted to choose less obvious ones. This is one of my favorites.)

Stevie Wonder: "As" (My favorite Stevie song. I asked the wedding band to learn the song -a big ask, as it is over seven minutes with lots of changes. The huckster-ish band leader said "no problem." Then they played the CD and sort of played along with it. Lame. I actually told Stevie Wonder this story and he laughed, but said he felt it is one of his best lyrics. If you don't know this song, you should check it out).

Al Green: "Let's Stay Together" (Al is one of my favorite singers ever).

Otis Redding: "That's How Strong My Love Is" (Otis could really sell a love song!)

Ben Harper: "Gold To Me" (I consider Ben to be a peer of the other people on this collection. One of our first dates was seeing Ben Harper play the Supper Club in NYC, and he played this song).

Bob Marley: "Turn Your Lights Down Low" (Again, wanted to avoid the same songs everyone chooses, and Bob has an embarassment of riches, including this one).

Van Morrison: "Crazy Love" (Other people have done good covers, but the original is great. Maria really wanted this one).

Neil Young: "Harvest Moon" (Neil is my favorite artist, so I wanted him here. I turned Maria on to him, and this has always been one of our favorite songs by "Young Neil").

Chris Whitley: "Spanish Harlem Incident" (at the time, he was still alive. Great artist, I figured maybe I could turn a few people on to him. I interviewed him a few times, and when we talked about this Bob Dylan cover, he was speechless: he said the song was so good it was ridiculous, and just made you want to give up!).

Joan Osborne: "To Make You Feel My Love" (Joan has always been one of our favorite artists, and she does a great version of this Dylan song, first recorded by Billy Joel for his Greatest Hits Vol. 3 album, and then by Bob for Time Out Of Mind, one of my favorite albums).


Aretha Franklin: "Baby I Love You" (I wanted the Queen to be a part of our wedding mix)

Bonnie Raitt: "Thing Called Love" (we're both fans of Bonnie, this is just a great song. We both listened to a lot of WFUV - 90.7 in NYC - at the time, and they always play a lot of Bonnie)

Prince: "Nothing Compares 2 U" (I wanted Prince represented, and I figured lot of people only know Sinead's cover, not Prince's original)

Sade: "By Your Side" (I wrote a bit about this song before, this was a kind of new song at the time, but I was totally blown away by it and thought that it was a shame that more people didn't know it)

Ben Harper: "By My Side"
Ben Harper: "Not Fire, Not Ice" (a great song that isn't on any of his studio albums!)

Cowboy Junkies: "Angel Mine" (most of thier songs are a bit depressing, but they are one of my favorites)

The Indigo Girls: "Least Complicated" (on one of our first dates, Lollapalooza, I took the Indigo Girls' Rites of Passage with us. Apparently, I'm one of the only straight guys who likes them? I don't know, I saw them open for Neil Young in like 1989 and was hooked. Anyway, I wanted to see if Maria liked them, and it turned out she did, which was a good sign!).

Emmylou Harris: "One Big Love" (Emmylou's classic Wrecking Ball came out around the time that we started dating. We both had respect for Emmy, but this album made us a fan. One of the few albums by a "legacy" artist that actually turns a new generation onto an artist - although many falsely make the claim to do so).

Peter Gabriel: "In Your Eyes" (what else needs to be said about this classic?)

Pearl Jam: "Thin Air" (Pearl Jam had to be part of this mix, they were and still are a huge part of our lives. When I met Maria, she had a huge collection of Pearl Jam and NIN bootlegs, I was super impressed. But NIN wasn't going to make this collection. Pearl Jam was tough also, but "Thin Air," written by Stone Gossard, really fit nicely).

Bruce Springsteen: "Prove It All Night" (Bruce also was and is a big part of our lives. We're going to see him twice in October, actually. )

U2: "The Three Sunrises" (They've always been one of my favorites, and Maria is a fan also. I always hear that people use "One" at their wedding, which sounds like Reagan using "Born In The U.S.A. at his rallies. Don't they read the lyrics? But this is a nice song).

The Ramones: "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend" (We wanted to sneak some punk rock in)

Matthew Sweet: "I've Been Waiting" (Matthew says he's actually played this at some weddings).

Elton John: "The One" (I wanted to include a newer song instead one of the '70s songs that gets overused and overplayed)

John Hiatt: "Have A Little Faith In Me" another WFUV song, just a gorgeous song.

Etta James: "At Last" (cliche, but we were dating for 7 years so I thought it made sense)

Bruce Springsteen: "If I Should Fall Behind" (Bruce has said that he doesn't think of it as a wedding song, but I think it is a beautiful, and realistic, view of a long relationship. Maybe Bruce just doesn't think of himself as a "wedding song" type guy!)

So there it is, I think it still holds up seven years later, and so do we!


Kris said...

Best. Post. Ever. Nice work, man.


The Man said...

You are definitely not the only straight man that likes the Indigo Girls. Been listening to them for 20 years.

Julia Cates said...

congratulations its great that u experience years for wedding

Christine@ hawaii wedding said...

This is a nice list and sure likes "in your eyes|. I love the lyrics and the melody.