1. Till There Was You - The Beatles
Paul McCartney loved show tunes and wanted to cover this. His favorite version was Peggy Lee's.
The Beatles played this song, along with "She Loves You" and "Twist And Shout," at the Royal Command Performance of 1963. Paul credited it to their "Favorite American group, Sophie Tucker."
The Beatles performed this on their first Ed Sullivan Show appearance, February 9, 1964. This was a huge event, as Beatlemania had just come to America. This was the only song they played that night that was not one of their hits - they put it in to appeal to the older audience that was tuned in. As they played, the camera zoomed in on each Beatle and superimposed their first name. When it got to Lennon, it read, "Sorry girls, he's married."
This was also performed during the Beatles appearance on the Royal Variety Show on November 4, 1963. It was probably also appealing to the older audience and it provided a break between the up-tempo numbers, "She Loves You" and "Twist and Shout."
2. You Were Meant For Me - Jewel
This was Jewel's second single. "Who Will Save Your Soul" was her first.
This was the most played song on US radio in 1996.
The video was directed by Sean Penn in 1996. It featured Jewel in a couple scenes shedding her clothes. Jewel has said the "shedding" symbolizes "being free with a lover or friend. Being stripped and surrender yourself to them."
3. The Drugs Don't Work - The Verve
This was The Verve's only #1 hit in the UK.
4. The Way - Fastball
5. Champagne Supernova - Oasis
Noel Gallagher has a house in North London that he named "Supernova Heights."
Paul Weller, former frontman of The Jam, played guitar on this.
This was one of the few Oasis songs released as a single in the US. It went to #1 on the Modern Rock chart, and for a while it looked like Oasis was going to break through in The States.
Noel came up with the phrase "Caught beneath the landslide" when he saw a sugar jar in his girlfriend's kitchen. You can see this peculiar jar in the disk booklet where the lyrics are printed.
6. Losing My Religion - R.E.M
This won the Grammy in 1991 for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.
The video was the first to show lead singer Michael Stipe dancing. The director hung out with the band to get ideas, and when he saw Stipe's spastic dance style, he thought it would look great in the video.
The band claims this is not about religion, although the video is full of religious imagery. Some Catholic groups protested the video.
In 2003, Stipe told Entertainment Weekly, "Losing My Religion was a fluke hit. It was a 5 minute song with no chorus and a mandolin as the lead instrument. So for us to hold that as the bar we have to jump over every time we write a song would be ridiculous."
The video is based in part on Gabriel Garcia Marquez' A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings. The novel tells the story about an angel who falls down from heaven and how the people who make money displaying him as a "freak show."
7. Ironic - Alanis Morissette
At the end of the song, Alanis says life has a funny funny way of helping us out - in spite of all of the bad stuff that we have to go through. The bad stuff helps us get to where we are going, and that is ironic.
This was Morissette's third single and first Top-10 hit. Her first single, "You Oughta Know," is probably her best known, but no one had heard of her when it was released and it only hit US #13.
Glen Ballard produced this and wrote it with Alanis. He has also worked with Dave Matthews and has a history of radio-friendly production. Morissette moved from Canada to Los Angeles to write and record with him.
This is one of 5 hits on the album, which has sold over 16 million copies. The others are "You Oughta Know," "Hand In My Pocket," "Head Over Feet" and "You Learn."
This was nominated for Grammys in the categories Record Of The Year and Best Short Form Music Video.
In 1996, this won MTV Video Music Awards for Best Female Video, Best Editing, and Best New Artist In A Video.
This was the first album Morissette released in America, but as a teenager, she released 2 dance albums in Canada. Her stage name at the time was simply "Alanis."
8. The Man Who Sold The World - David Bowie
For years, Bowie struggled with his identity and expressed himself through his songs, often creating characters to perform them. On the album cover, Bowie is wearing a dress.
Some of the lyrics are based on a poem by Hugh Mearns called The Psychoed -
As I was going up the stair, I met a man who was not there, he wasn't there again today, I wish that man would go away.
The actual man who sold the world, at least Bowie's world during this phase of his career, may have been Adolf Hitler. Bowie's fascination with this topic is evident in his '70s move to Berlin and his return to Victoria Station in 1976 in full SS uniform, complete with salute and open top Mercedes.
Some lyrical analysis: "We passed upon the stair" is a figurative representation of a crossroads in Bowie's life, where Ziggy Stardust catches a glimpse of his former self, (being David Bowie) which he thought had died a long time ago. Then he (the old David Bowie) says: "Oh no, not me. I never lost control." This indicates that Bowie never really lost sight of who he was, but he Sold The World (made them believe) that he had become Ziggy, and he thought it was funny (I laughed and shook his hand). He goes on to state, "For years and years I roamed," which could refer to touring. "Gaze a gazely stare at all the millions here" are the fans at concerts.
The album is one of Bowie's least-known, but over the years many fans have come to appreciate it and a lot of bands have covered songs from it.
British singer Lulu ("To Sir With Love") recorded this in 1974. Bowie produced her version and played saxophone on the track. It went to #4 in the UK.
Nirvana recorded this for their 1993 MTV Unplugged performance. Months after that show, Kurt Cobain was found dead. The acoustic set was released as an album in late 1994.
9. Heaven - Los Lonely Boys
Los Lonely Boys are 3 brothers from Texas. They are bilingual - some of the lyrics to this are in Spanish.
This won a Grammy for Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal. Los Lonely Boys perfomed at the 2005 show.
10. Creep - Radiohead
Yorke says this is about being in love with someone, but not feeling good enough. He describes the feeling as, "There's the beautiful people and then there's the rest of us."
Yorke wrote this in 1987 while he was a student at Exeter University in England. He first recorded it acoustic.
This was written before the band formed. Yorke gave his demo version to Colin Greenwood, who joined him and helped put the band together.
This wasn't released in the US until Radiohead's debut album in 1993. The band finished college and signed their record deal in 1991.
Yorke based this on a song called "The Air That I Breathe," which was written by Albert Hammond and Mike Hazlewood in 1972. After "Creep" was released, Radiohead agreed to share the songwriting royalties, so this is credited to Yorke, Hammond and Hazlewood.
This did well in the US, but not in their native England. When they released their third album, O.K. Computer, it was huge in England but not in the US.
When this was first released in England in 1992, it flopped. It did well when it was re-released a year later, after Radiohead grew a fan base.
The first country this charted in was Israel.
The video was recorded at a club in Oxford called The Zodiac.
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