In Respect and Loving Memory: The Top Ten Songs from Amy Winehouse
Sat, 30 Jul 2011 08:57:31
Last weekend, the world lost an amazing talent in Amy Winehouse. It happened so suddenly and tragically, yet did not come as a complete surprise to many. Amy Winehouse's story always read more like a Tennessee Williams play than a Broadway show tune- beautiful, brilliant, yet somehow doomed. With a voice that transcended time and space and held an exquisite character, the sky was the limit. In honor, here are our top cuts from the brilliant and prematurely ended career of Amy Winehouse.
"Valerie" (from Mark Ronson's Version)
"Valerie" was originally a b-side on Back to Black, and producer Mark Ronson reworked it for his own album. Upbeat, stylized, and undeniably catchy- Amy makes you want to snap your fingers on a breezy summer day.
"You Know I'm No Good"
"I told you I was trouble/ you know that I'm no good," Amy admits on one of her biggest singles. The song was sultry and mischievous when it was released, yet it now rings in a different light after her tragic passing.
"Back to Black"
The title track from her multi-platinum album is a heart-wrenching, down-tempo number. "We only said goodbye with words/ I died a hundred times/ You go back to her, and I go back to black," Winehouse laments. As the song nears an end, it eerily acts as a hauntingly beautiful requiem for herself.
"Me & Mr. Jones"
This is Amy's wry response to the standard, "Me and Mrs. Jones." Winehouse sings with soul and gives us a sassy, independent woman's view on a relationship. It's good enough to become a new standard- as well as set the standard for pop singers, which Winehouse often did in her short career.
In life's ultimate irony, "Rehab" was Amy Winehouse's biggest hit; her stubborn refusal to seek treatment for her addictions laid way for a killer hook, yet it ultimately lead to her undoing. This became an instantly classic track- and people will never be able to read the lyrics without thinking of the way Amy passed at a premature 27 years old.
"Love is a Losing Game"
With a sleepy, sullen sixties ballad, Amy opines on the tragic nature of love at its end. The track was on Back to Black. "Self-professed, profound, until the chips were down/ Know you're a gambling man/ love is a losing hand."
"Tears Dry On Their Own"
As if it were the responsorial to "Love Is A Losing Game," this is Amy picking up the pieces of her life after a shattered relationship. In her mercurial and troubled life, Amy found much material to hone her craft- "Tears" is a proud exhibit of the art that can come from tragedy.
"In My Bed"
From her first album, Frank, Amy intones over samples and bouncy percussion about a relationship that doesn't fit. "You recognize my every sound, there's nothing new to learn," Amy openly declares. The desperation is subtle, yet profound.
"Wake Up Alone"
Winehouse waltzes through this dreary, dreamy-eyed grievance that somehow evokes both beauty and despair. Listening to Winehouse's catalog after her passing is a sad and enlightening thing- one can really hear the pain and loneliness she dealt with on a daily basis.
"You Sent Me Flying"
"All of my pride is not easy to disturb," Winehouse emphatically declares on this cut from her first album, Frank. Interestingly, Winehouse's first album has a distinct early ë90's feel, while her second and most famous disc, Back to Black, harkens to a 1960's night club. One can definitely feel Amy's sense of style as an artist that found her place in music.
Amy Winehouse will be a celebrated artist for years to come, and it's truly heartbreaking to see her meet her end at such a young age. We will all remember her for the magnificent talent she was, and the indelible mark she left on music in the 21st century.
Let us know your favorite songs and which mean the most to you, below...