50

Today, I turned 50. Here’s a list of songs from my first half century of listening to great music — one song from each year I’ve been alive plus one to grow on for the future.

1960s

  1. Think — James Brown | Star Time – Mr. Dynamite
  2. Summertime — John Coltrane | My Favorite Things
  3. Suspicion — Elvis Presley | Essential 60’s Masters
  4. The Times They Are A-Changin’ — Bob Dylan | The Bootleg Series
  5. A Change Is Gonna Come — Sam Cooke | Ain’t That Good News
  6. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction — The Rolling Stones | Out Of Our Heads
  7. Light My Fire — The Doors | The Best Of The Doors
  8. A Day In The Life — The Beatles | Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
  9. The Boxer — Simon & Garfunkel | Old Friends
  10. Whole Lotta Love — Led Zeppelin | Led Zeppelin II

1970s

  1. Almost Cut My Hair — Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young | Deja Vu
  2. Illegal Smile — John Prine | John Prine
  3. Doctor My Eyes — Jackson 5 | Lookin’ Through The Window
  4. Higher Ground — Stevie Wonder | At The Close Of A Century
  5. Too Rolling Stoned — Robin Trower | Bridge Of Sighs
  6. Born To Run — Bruce Springsteen | Born To Run
  7. The Pretender — Jackson Browne | The Pretender
  8. So Much Things to Say — Bob Marley | Exodus
  9. Take Me To The River — Talking Heads | More Songs About Buildings and Food
  10. You Can’t Be Too Strong — Graham Parker | Squeezing Out Sparks

1980s

  1. Opportunity — Elvis Costello | Get Happy!!
  2. We’re Desperate — X | Wild Gift
  3. Straight To Hell — Clash | Combat Rock
  4. Synchronicity II — The Police | Synchronicity
  5. Frost And Fire — Everything But The Girl | Eden
  6. Are There Any More Real Cowboys? — Neil Young | Old Ways
  7. Facts About Cats — Timbuk 3 | Greetings From Timbuk 3
  8. Running to Stand Still — U2 | The Joshua Tree
  9. Fuck Tha Police — N.W.A. | Straight Outta Compton
  10. The Road Goes On Forever — Robert Earl Keen, Jr. | West Textures

1990s

  1. Fight The Power — Public Enemy | Fear Of A Black Planet
  2. Summertime — DJ Jazzy & The Fresh Prince | Homebase
  3. The sacrifice of Victor — Prince | Symbol
  4. Dead Flowers — Townes Van Zandt | Soundtrack from The Big Lebowski
  5. Blunted Interlude — Fugees | Blunted On Reality
  6. One of Us — Joan Osborne | Relish
  7. Sunny Came Home — Shawn Colvin | A Few Small Repairs
  8. Just The Two Of Us — Will Smith | Big Willie Style
  9. My Favorite Mistake — Sheryl Crow | The Globe Sessions
  10. Peace Is Just A Word — Eurythmics | Peace

2000s

  1. Doo Wop (That thing) — Lauryn Hill | The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill
  2. Strength, Courage & Wisdom — India.Arie | Acoustic Soul
  3. Sneaky A.M. — Danielle Howle | Skorborealis
  4. Roses — Andre 3000 | The Love Below
  5. Anxiety — Black Eyed Peas | Elephunk
  6. Heard ‘Em Say — Kanye West featuring Adam Levine | Late Registration
  7. Gravity — John Mayer | Continuum
  8. Oxycontin Blues — Steve Earle | Washington Square Serenade
  9. The Lights Are On In Spidertown — Tom Morello:The Nightwatchman | The Fabled City
  10. Low Rising — The Swell Season | Strict Joy

2010s

  1. Dear God 2.0 — The Roots | How I Got Over