So, I know I’m a little on the late side when it comes to the COVID-19 help, but in my defense, it rather blind-sided all of us – including yours truly. Yes, I admit it: I wasn’t expecting it until BAM it happened. However, even though we are in a lull, I’d rather not be caught in this position again. So, I’m coming up with the most important plan to have in case it comes down to a potential outbreak: a rocking playlist to keep me sane! But this playlist can be used for anything: running errands, mowing the yard, throwing a party, or cleaning the bathrooms (that’s usually when I need a motivational playlist the most). These songs might be old favorites or ones you’ve never heard of before, but I’m going to try to stay away from the obvious choices (such as “Staying Alive” by the BeeGees or choices of the like) but given the affinity for puns I never knew I had, I guarantee nothing.
Thing is the best playlists are made with other people, so I’ve asked my fellow It’s Whatever Dream Team members to come up with their own picks to compile the best playlist the social distancing generation has ever seen! I had each of them pick at least one of their favorite selections, so I can guarantee there’s enough variety for there to be at least one choice every one of you will enjoy! Now, ON WITH THE PLAYLIST!!!
Old Time Rock ‘n’ Roll – Bob Seger
What a way to kick this playlist off! This is for the beginning of the pandemic (or whenever you need an awesome at-home dance party song) and you’re enjoying being at home like the beginning of Risky Business. It’s fun to clean to, fun to make up overly-ridiculous dance moves to, and really, fun for any time you need a sort of spunky song that you can rock out to, but don’t have to head-bang yourself into vertigo to. Just remember, there’s only one way to listen to this tune: with the volume cranked UP!
Crazy Train – Ozzy Osbourne
I know… this is like his radio gaga stuff, but I heard it last night, and it’s definitely my favorite by him (except for maybe Zombie Stomp). The guitar riffs are pretty sweet – and don’t get me started on the drum beat! Plus, the refrain of “I’m going off the rails on a crazy train…” I think that describes the pandemic pretty succinctly, don’t you? When you need a little hard rock in your life, (dare say I, metal?), this is definitely the song I’d pick (once again, or Zombie Stomp… definitely another good one by Ozzy)!
Left, Right, Left – Charlie Puth
This is for the middle of the Pandemic, when you need a little something extra to get you up and out of bed. Catchy, with lyrics that – I don’t want to say they inspire – but they definitely motivate. Whether it’s going the extra three minutes on the treadmill, or just wanting to make yourself actually doing the homework you’ve been putting off the whole week (I’m only assuming I’m not the only one that has done that; if I am, then good job with being a better human than I :D).
Together-Sia (NJ’s Pick)
When NJ picked this one, I hadn’t heard it before. Once I did, I loved it. It’s so upbeat – both in the musical sense and the philosophical sense! Furthermore, I’ve always loved Sia’s voice, so I knew I was going to like the song, but this song really gives a whole new perspective on her voice – one I liked! Plus, her chorus is a WONDERFUL message: “You can’t love me unless you love you too”! I feel like that should be a yearbook quote!
Paradise – Jack & Jack
Now this is my favorite of theirs (except, perhaps, Tides) and it was one of the songs I turned to on a regular basis during the whole thing. With chill, beach-y vibes, I was taken away in a three-minute trip into escapism. I’ll be completely honest, I only know the words to the chorus with this one, but despite this concession, it remains one of my favorite songs. (BTW: the vocals are even chill… no clue how they managed it, but I love it).
Ain’t Nothing ‘Bout You – Brooks ‘N’ Dunn
Where’re my country fans at? These two are my favorite country duo ever, and I’ve only recently discovered this song. Still, I can’t get enough of it! If you’re looking for a cute song to practice line-dancing (yes, I said line-dancing. It’s fun, you should try it :D) or just to send to a sweetheart to tell them you love everything about them, this song would be a good bet! Taylor Swift did a version of this at one point, but I have to say, I prefer Messrs Brooks and Dunn singing this song!
Too Much Time On My Hands – Styx
I wish I could say this was my theme song during the pandemic, but when you’re trying to finish a semester online… yeah there’s not exactly an abundance of time on one’s hands. Still, with its 80s techno beat and the voice of Tommy Shaw, I can pretend that I have too much time on my hands just to listen to this well-loved Styx song! By the way, this song is a bit of an oddity… lead-man Dennis DeYoung is normally the one known for singing Styx songs, but… this time he took on background vocals in favor of Tommy’s voice!
Man, I love this song. This reminds me of driving around with a good friend, blasting this and singing along to the sweet sounds of Steve Perry and Journey. I love the total hair band sound, the sheer vocal power, and don’t even get me started on the music video. Simple as it may be, this song with its guitar riffs (because Neil Schonn is an amazing guitar player in his own right) and synthesizers is definitely one to rock out to!
Peace of Mind – Boston
I love this song! I know I’ve pretty much been saying this same thing for each song on the list, but I do! It has the hair band sounds of guitars and synthesizers to satisfy my love for 80s music. But the lyrics are kind of where my love for this song is fostered. Especially in the chorus, “I understand about indecision, and I don’t care if I get behind, people livin’ in competition… all I want is to have my peace of mind…” Honestly, it’s kind of my theme song… no lie 😀
Victorious – Panic! At the Disco’
Not going to lie, this isn’t my favorite from Panic!, but it’s up there. As I say, I love upbeat songs, but I love the sheer victory-with-an-edge lyrics, and Brendan Urie’s voice is amazing! This is one of my workout songs – you know… when I actually work out XD – it’s really great to set the pace when you’re on the treadmill… or you have three hundred meters left on the rowing machine… or whatever it is you motivated people do when you work out! XD
Gonna Build a Mountain – Sammy Davis Jr.
This song is a recent addition of mine… I’m a huge Rat Pack fan, but it was only after going down a YouTube rabbit hole (yes, they do exist) that I discovered this one! I love me my upbeat songs, and this one is definitely one of them! I want to say that it borderlines the gospel category, but… don’t quote me on that. Quote me on this: It’s worth the listen! This is my “I have a pile of dishes I don’t feel like doing in the sink, but it’s either do them or give up the relaxation time I planned to have this evening” song. Long designation, but it works! 😀
She Wants to Dance With Me – Rick Astley
This is one of my favorite Rick Astley songs. Then again… all of his songs are kind of my favorite… Sort of a huge Rick Astley fan 😀 This one, though, is my favorite to dance to in my room with the door closed (because, I may be able to write… but my dancing would hurt the eyes of a blind man) It’s peppy and fun and honestly and it’s totally my jam! (did I just date myself? Oh probably… just remember, it’s rude to ask a lady her age XD)
Fool in the Rain – Led Zeppelin
I’m going to slow it down a bit, with some Zeppelin… this band was pretty popular in the 70s and I have found myself getting rather attached to the band myself! I can’t help but find myself attached to this song in particular, and how could I not?! It’s a love song and has a boppy beat and it’s long enough for a cute and silly dance with your significant other! Enjoy this song with an open heart!
What a Fool Believes – Doobie Brothers
On the subject of fools, here’s another great song… however, this one’s more of a sad song if you pay attention to the lyrics. It’s about two exes that meet up again, he thinks that he still has a chance, but she has only platonic feelings for him. Still, he makes a thing in his head because it’s better than admitting he loves her and she feels nothing. BUT sad meaning aside, it’s an easy-listening tune that I adore and it’s easy to forget the sad words when you listen to the Doobie Brothers’ easy vocals and harmonies!
Baker Street – Gerry Rafferty
Baker Street… I loved it before I knew its title and was super excited when I heard it on the radio. The sax solo at the beginning (and throughout the whole of the song)… not going to lie here, it’s kind of iconic! I don’t know much about the rest of the song, other than it’s an easy listening and fun kind of song that I guarantee will be floating around your head for the rest of the day! (Fun fact: before he was elected, President Bill Clinton showed off his saxophone skills by playing this very song).
Rumor Has It – Adele
On the subject of iconic elements, I had to mention this one. The beginning drum beat is one that pretty much everyone who has ever heard this song would recognize instantly. “Dun dun dun dundun, dun dun dun dundun” Adele is the Queen as far as I’m concerned. Nobody writes a good breakup song like her (except, maybe Taylor Swift, but they’re two different categories here ;D) and I’m certain no one has a voice like hers! This is one of my favorite songs by her because I’ve used it for a lot: one-person dance parties, exercise, cleaning, studying, you name it! Plus, if you have that ex that stirs up rumors about you, Adele’s got your back!
I Never Really Loved You At All – Benny Mardones
Remember when I said that no one wrote a breakup song like Adele? Yeah, I forgot about this one… This one has to be my favorite because poor Benny’s in denial of his feelings because it’s easier than accepting the truth. Now, in reality… I don’t recommend this, but… it makes for a killer breakup song! Plus, when you follow it up with one of his love songs (such as “Into the Night” for a suggestion) you can almost imagine that he and his young lady are back together! Plus, I love his rock and roll toned voice, raspy (in a good way) and powerful… almost puts David Lee Roth to shame (realize I say almost).
Fight – Tayla Parx (Josh’s Pick)
I hadn’t heard this song before Josh suggested it, but it’s definitely growing to be one of my favorites. Now, I could only find the one with Florida-Georgia Line when I looked it up – mostly because I refuse to listen to the live versions of songs XD – but that really only enhanced the song for me! Between the sweeter vocals of Tayla and the deeper ones of FGL, the harmonies sound complete! It’s pretty sweet of a song. I love the rhythm and the lyrics… such the make-up song – and if you want to ask your S/O to dance to this… I think it would be appropriate 😀
Too Much Heaven – The BeeGees
Once again, slowing it down a bit… who are my fellow BeeGees fans, here? I recently rediscovered this one when I was on a BeeGees playlist. I always love their harmonies, but I love this one especially! It’s smooth, it’s soft, and then you get Barry’s falsetto in there and you’re golden like you were touched by Midas! I think this one takes the cake for my “Best Slow Dance Song” pick because I can just imagine a prom setting with this in the background… who’s with me? Oh… no one? Okay… XD
Hallucinations – DSVN (Nyma’s Pick)
I was glad Nyma picked this one, because my playlist was severely lacking in R&B jams. When I first listened to this, I was surprised to find it to be a break-up song… usually, hallucinations are linked to unrequited love (think Ron in the Deathly Hallows part 2). So when I was listening to the lyrics, plus the smooth tone that is DSVN, I was pretty much blown away. Talk of a bittersweet breakup song! Between the easy listening of the song in general, the techno beat I can’t but love, and the great hook, it’s definitely high on my “to recommend” list!
I Cross My Heart – George Strait
Slowing down once again with a little piece of a country classic masterpiece! George Strait is a love song extraordinaire and this song proves no exception! A sweet tribute to the one you love, this one should be played at all weddings in my humble opinion! With the slow, soft music and the comforting and deep voice of Mr. Strait, this song gives lovers a way to make a promise to each other that they will love, and cherish the other through good times and bad because “In all the world, you’ll never find… a love as true as mine…” So sweet ❤
Longer – Dan Fogelberg
Once again, slowing it down a bit with some Dan Fogelberg… I’d never heard this one before until my mother suggested it… it kind of reminds me of John Denver in the way the music is set up – plus with all the nature scenes it describes. Still, it’s definitely Dan, and it’s sweet, and his voice is calming, soothing, and earnest! This is definitely one of my favorites of the slow songs, I honestly felt myself getting heart-eyed the more I listened… then he topped himself by including a horn solo. It caught me by surprise but in a good way!
Trampoline – Shaed (Katie’s Pick)
I know I’ve said that I love the upbeat songs, but you know what I’m even more of a sucker for? Catchy rhythms with melancholy lyrics – and this song has them in spades! Now I love both versions, but… I’m kind of the tiniest bit in favor of her duet with Zayn Malik on this one… just for the rocking harmonies! Still, whatever version you prefer, it’s a great song when you need a little down time or me-time or… well the list goes on and on 😀
I Need To Know – Marc Anthony
This one is my favorite that is played on the radio. It’s catchy, spunky, and with a little salsa vibe! Marc Anthony always brings it when it comes to his radio singles and this song proves no exception! I don’t know if I can name a favorite part of this song: whether it’s the catchy music or the amazing voice that is Marc Anthony, I know not… BUT what I do know? You should listen to the song! 😀
Closer Than Close – The BeeGees
Aaannd… we’re back to the BeeGees, with my ABSOLUTE favorite song from them! This is Maurice’s major solo song in the few concerts I’ve been fortunate to see on PBS. As Maurice is my favorite BeeGee (no offense to Robin or Barry… or, indirectly, Andy… just a personal preference) this one takes the cake for me! It’s got a mysterious vibe and obviously awesome harmonies. Besides, Maurice’s voice is remarkable and the lyrics flow way smoother than I thought possible!
Dangerously – Charlie Puth
And we’re back with Charles Otto… But with a different aspect… here’s a break-up song that I can’t help but love… I don’t recommend dysfunctional relationships in real life, but it’s fun to listen to the songs about them! Plus, I love Charlie’s vocals in this one… they’re smooth, on point, and – as always for Mr. I-have-perfect-pitch (which I say, fully loving this guy’s music XD) – on key. Besides, I have a weakness for any song with a sweet piano melody in it (remind me why I have no Billy Joel and Elton John in this playlist yet?) so… don’t take my word for it, give it a listen!
Bored-Tessa Violet (NJ’s Pick)
Once again, I hadn’t heard it before it was suggested to me. And once again, I’ve found that I indeed love the song! It’s spunky, fun, and altogether everything but the title! The music bops around to the point where I want to get up and dance and, let’s be real here, it’s kind of the theme song of quarantine! It particularly hit home to me with the line “I’d feel good if only I could finish what I start” because that’s pretty much me when I’m bored… XD Me aside, this song will make you feel good, even if you’re bored, yourself!
Wings – Little Mix
Once we’re no longer bored, we move onto a girl-power anthem! “Wings” is probably one of my favorite LM songs. Upbeat rhythm (have I mentioned that I love the upbeat songs :P) and spectacular harmonies this pick-me-up makes me think that those four ladies were meant to perform together for as long as they can sing! Besides, who doesn’t want to dance to something like this?!
I’m Still Standing – Elton John
Or, to be honest, Taron Egerton… he does a really good job with this song… BOTH times he did it for a movie… I wonder if he hates the song yet lol. I wouldn’t be surprised if he still loved it. What’s not to love? Awesome piano parts, in-your-face-I-am awesome lyrics, and of course the awesome Elton touch that adds a hint of fabulous to everything that he touches… To me, this song is definitely an end of pandemic kind of song where we tell the virus it’s number one… with a not-so-nice finger ;P But, honestly it can be listened to at any time that you need a pick-me-up!
It’s Not Unusual – Tom Jones
Now, I’m not usually one to do this, but the Glee cast does a very good job with this song as well, so I also recommend them if you want a more familiar vocal track! Personally, I prefer Tom with his creamier-than-butter voice. The peppiness in the song will put a skip in your step for the rest of your day, and if you like the big band sound, the music in this one has got your back! I don’t know if I’d classify this as a love song in particular, but it’s definitely one of the songs on this playlist that will make most everyone want to get up and dance… may I recommend the Carlton dance to this? ;P
Oh Sherrie – Steve Perry
Now, if this wasn’t overplayed in the 80s, I don’t know what was. But with good reason! Steve Perry pretty much rocks this song and despite it being my “most likely to turn into an earworm” I can’t help but recommend it! Something about a song where Steve is torn between the love he has for dear Sherrie and the difficulties they’re having as a couple – all in one peppy package! What can I say other than check it out! XD (Fun Fact: the Sherrie he sings of is said to be a young woman he dated from Fayetteville, NY!)
Mr. Mom – Lonestar
Ah yes, the song in which the primary breadwinner loses their job and becomes the stay-at-home parent and finds out that it’s not nearly as easy as they’d originally thought AND that they never gave their spouse the credit they deserved! Can we say a common theme of the pandemic? I see a resurgence of this song’s popularity sometime soon! Plus, I’ve always loved Lonestar. They balance out country and the 90s so well! Plus, the line at the end is everything! “Honey, you’re my hero.” 😀
Señorita – Justin Timberlake
JT’s great… and this song just proves it! Boppy, with smooth vocals and the lyrics that charm, this song is perfect for when you just need that little oomph for your walk/run… The bass beat is enough to take your mind off of the pain of needing to continue your workout (I say pain mostly because it’s painful for me to work out… ;P).
Matter of Trust – Billy Joel
And here we have our other piano man! This song is one of my favorites, it’s from his album “The Bridge” which, is the one directly after my favorite album of his, but… SUCH a good song! Instead of Billy’s typical ballad style song, this one takes on a rock and roll edge that I adore… the music video is the only one he’s ever done in which he is featured on guitar, which is pretty awesome (but seems counterintuitive to my claim of him being another piano man, but life happens XD. Besides, if you look closely in the music video… you’ll see to familiar faces from a popular 60’s British group during BeatleMania behind Billy’s head… to give you a clue (and some incentive to watch the video) I leave you with their initials: R.S. and P.M.
My Way – Frank Sinatra
Ahh, yes the old classic that Rat Pack fans swear uphill and down that was written about Frankie himself! I have no idea how true that is, but I do know that this is pretty much the best way to end anything – even a playlist! It winds the listener down with Sinatra’s famous croon, and then lifts you back up again when he belts out the refrain one last time. So refreshing, so wonderful, so undeniably Frank! (Not up for the original? I don’t normally suggest covers, but… Glee actor, Eddy Martin does a VERY good version of it if you scour YouTube for it!)
And so, we wrap up a playlist that I hope will be as much of a joy to listen to as it was to make it! I listed them in an order that I think works well, but everyone’s their own DJ and will do a better job finding their personally preferred order than I could ever try to. So, have fun, try different orders! And don’t be afraid to listen to other songs by these same artists! I guarantee you won’t go wrong!
Vera Allen ❤