Friday 1 March 2013

My Top Ten Paradise Songs

Ten songs about paradise. Even though the closest most of us will ever get is a Bounty bar...

10. Green Day - Welcome To Paradise

It's hard to believe Green Day were ever this young.

9. Jenny Lewis & The Watson Twins - Paradise

A lovely solo offering from the Rilo Kiley songstress. What a voice.

8. Stevie Wonder - Pastime Paradise

If you were labouring under the mistaken idea that Coolio wrote Gangster's Paradise, you really ought to give this a listen.

7. Billy Fury - Halfway To Paradise

If Billy really wants to be your lover, but all you'll give him is your friendship... you're leaving him halfway to paradise.

6. Coldplay - Paradise

Fair play to 'em. I did my best to keep this song out of this Top Ten, if only because of its sheer ubiquity. That said, I can't deny it's one of the best tunes Coldplay have written in years, and a genuine earworm. I listened to a lot more paradise songs than just the ten listed here, but the only ones that were honestly better than this (in the humble opinion of my ears) are the ones listed below.

5. Amen Corner - (If Paradise Is) Half As Nice

Andy Fairweather Low and co., a timeless classic from 1969.
Who needs paradise? I'd rather have you...
4. Tony Bennett - Stranger In Paradise

In playlisting terms, this is what we call the calm before the storm. One of my dad's favourites.
Take my hand...
Lovely, rare Saint Etienne cover version here. 

All right, enough of the warm-up acts... let's ROCK!

3. David Lee Roth - Just Like Paradise

A record so monumentally awesome, it's hard to believe it only makes #3. Hell, the video's even got DLR poncing about on vertiginous cliffs, surfing a flying canoe and accompanied by a three-necked, heart-shaped guitar.

God, this reminds me of being 16.

2. Guns 'n' Roses - Paradise City
Where the grass is green and the girls are pretty
Gains extra marks for mentioning Captain America in the lyrics... but still doesn't score high enough to beat this:

1. Meat Loaf - Paradise By The Dashboard Light

Because nothing succeeds like excess.

Jim Steinman's epic tale of teenage fumblings by the light of a dashboard in which Meat and Ellen Foley play the roles of young lovers who might... or might not... go all the way. Depends how well he sweet-talks her... promises her the earth... or flat-out begs. All that and the terrible consequences of promising to love someone forever...

I reckon this'll be one of my more debatable Top Tens - there were loads of great songs left out. Which one takes you to paradise?


  1. Relieved to see Phil Collins' career nadir did not feature. And I was labouring under the Coolio misapprehension... I should add that Weird Al Yankovic's "Amish Paradise" is exactly what you would expect, but has some funny moments (here).

  2. OK, I know everyone in the whole world hates Phil Collins...but the reasons truly elude me...I am sure that at some stage he will be resurrected...especially when people find his work with Brand X. On the other hand, Coldplay's video for Paradise rates as the worst ever by any band at anytime anywhere...although I quite like the tune.

    1. Shameful confession time. I did actually buy the album with Another Day In Paradise on when I was a teenager. But I came to my senses.

      Collins has made some good records - particularly with Genesis - but that smug, patronising, hypocritical ditty is not one of them.

  3. I've Been To Paradise But I've Never Been To Me - Charlene.

    1. Good call, although only the second part is the actual title of the song. Still, I should have given it consideration.

    2. Charlene has been my only 'dreadful' song to offer you this time, been trying all weekend to come up with something worse but I think it's impossible.

    3. Thank you for your efforts, as always.

  4. Good choice for number one, I know the Loaf can polarize peoples opinion, but I think that's a great track.

    Being an Aussie, I can't go past the 80's rock of Choirboys - Run to Paradise, James Reyne's Trouble in Paradise, and Archie Roach's beautiful From Paradise.

    and, I am ashamed to say but list probably would have the Phil Collins track in it.

  5. I'll allow you all the 80s rock, but I have to draw the line at that particular Collins track.

  6. I agree, Run to Paradise by the Choirboys is first in my mind (but I'm Aussie too) :-)

  7. Paradise by John Prine. The story of a Paradise lost due to strip mining of coal in Kentucky...

    "And daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County
    Down by the Green River where Paradise lay
    Well, I'm sorry my son, but you're too late in asking
    Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away..."

    1. John Prine is my number one - Paradise was an actual town in Kentucky that was bulldozed for strip mining

  8. almost paradise ?

  9. The obvious Paradise song was from John Prine. Indeed that song was the first Prine song I ever heard from him.


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