Big Love                                          

... all-time favourite songs (of some of our all-time favourite songwriters

oyster magazine #98, April 2012

Stevie Nicks  

Buffalo Spring eld Rock and Roll Woman (1967) From the first time I heard it, that’s who I wanted to be.And that was before I was even in a band. —— Michael Jackson Man in the Mirror (1988) It’s a song about not complaining about how things are, [and instead] making a statement about how things could be. —— Maxwell This Woman’s Work (2001) It is rare for a man to be able to sing a woman’s song with that much sensitivity — it actually compares to the original version by Kate Bush. Also, Maxwell’s version came out when I was going through a trying time with a dear friend who was sick and eventually died. It helped me through that time in my life. —— Katy Perry ET (2011) It’s really just a re-telling of the story of ‘Beauty and the Beast’. Another amazing song of the fairytale done very well; a modern version. —— Coldplay Fix You (2006) As songwriters, we always hope we might be the person that can say something that can  x someone who is sad; that the words we have written can reach down and pick you up. Sometimes nothing but music can do that.

Tom Kazas*  

Pink Floyd Astronomy Domine (1967) This has all the glory of the British ’67 psychedelic sound. The experimental songwriting and inventive production means there is still nothing like it. It manages to combine a childlike naiveté and a spacey rock performance. Brilliance. —— Cocteau Twins Carolyn’s Fingers (1988) The voice is pure liberation to heights that only a female voice can take you, enhanced by the invented words, whose very lack of direct meaning further frees you from restraint. Classic, simple chord structure, with the beauty of the densely textured guitars. Joy. —— Nine Horses Atom and Cell (2005) The majestic poetry of the words reminds me that one can speak with nuance and humanity — it certainly helps when one has a voice like David Sylvian. Yet the unconventional cycling chords, the instrumental arrangement and textures, make this song an art piece. Stunning.  

Jagwar ma  

Ween Buenas Tardes Amigo (1994) I don’t want to spoil the twist for people that haven’t heard it, but it gets me every time. The atom bomb sound at the end is pure genius; nothing else could have ended the story. A true epic. —— Screamin’ Jay Hawkins I Put a Spell on You (1956) This was the  rst gangsta rap song. It takes the‘break-up’thing to a whole new level of darkness. I wonder if he‘wrote’the snorting at the end or if it was just improvised? —— A Guy Called Gerald Voodoo Ray (1988) Probably a total  uke, but somehow this turned out to be the happiest techno song ever written about nothin’. The lyrics go,“Ooooh oooh hoo, ahhh ha haaa, yeah!”I sing it every morning in the shower. —— Aphex Twin Windowlicker (1999) Proof that a  lm clip can be part of the song’s soul. I believe that the four-and-a-half minute skit before the song starts is actually part of the song itself. I have recited that intro scene so many times with both friends and strangers. The dialogue in the clip becomes the song’s lyrics and gives the whole track meaning and context.“You ain’t drivin’Miss mutha fuckin’Daisy!”—— Any Beatles song ever.

1. Stevie Nicks is the legend of song and style who wrote Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Dreams’,‘Rhiannon’and‘Gypsy’.

2. Tom Kazas fronted one of the most loved bands in Australia’s mid-eighties underground scene, The Moffs, and is responsible for the cult classic ‘Another Day in the Sun’.

* Says Tom: “I restricted the definition of ‘songs’ to ‘words and music’ (to me not an immediate distinction from instrumental pieces), and ‘favourites of all time’, well, how does one settle on that list?So, here are three songs that, in one way or another, have kept me alive.”

3. Jagwar Ma is a collaborative project founded by Sydney producer Jono Ma. BBC Radio 1’s Zane Lowe reckons it’s going to be one of the best things about 2012, and so do we.