I had my iTunes on random and by chance it played several Ryan Adams songs in a row. This singer songwriter writes amazing lyrics that are smart and heartfelt. It got me thinking of what a great singer songwriter he is and I thought of putting together a list of the songs that I love. I realize he has many more great songs, but I wanted to pick 5 songs that I personally love the most. As a side note, I would have added “Wonderwall” but it’s not his song. He just does a great job covering the Oasis cover.
1. La Cienega Just Smiled – Gold Album
I’ve heard this song is about Ryan Adams standing on the street “La Cienega” in Los Angeles and he is reflecting back on his life. I also heard this song was about a prostitute. I like to think it’s the earlier meaning.
“And I hold you so close in the back of my mind Feels so good but damn it makes he hurt And I’m too scared to know how I feel about you now”
2. Two – Easy Tiger Album
I think this is a song about how he was an independent person and how now it’s hard to do things by himself because he has to have that person in his life.
“And I’m fractured from before and I want to go home Now it takes two and it used to take one It takes two and it used to take only one”
3. Shakedown on 9th Street – Heartbreaker Album
This song is just fun. It’s upbeat and full of life. I love it when the band comes in with the tambourine and the background vocals. Just a fun all around song.
“Head on down to 9th street gal Lets go out kicking with the boys and the gals Wear your dress and bring my ring
Someone’s gonna get it aint gonna be me LUCY Lucy my gal LUCY Lucy my sweet LUCY Lucy my gal”
4. To Be Young (Is To Be Sad, Is To Be High) – Heartbreaker Album
This is my most favorite “titled” song. lol. Just one look at the title and there’s no hiding the meaning behind this song. When you’re young…really….what else is there to do?
“Oh one day when you’re looking back You were young and man you were sad When you’re young you get sad When you’re young you get sad, then you get high You get high”
5. Nobody Girl – Gold Album
This song is not on a lot of people’s list for favorite Ryan Adams songs, but I gotta tell ya I love the composition of this song. He is a great writer and I think that when people put these lists together they talk strictly about his songwriting, but when you look at how this song is produced and put together it really is a great song.
The song runs 9:41 and the last approximate 4 minutes is this great piece of over dubs, solos, a Hammond organ and to top it off when the soul singers come in towards the end. Wow! Got to love it.
“Well, the night makes moves And it shatters like broken glass Better play it cool, better let is pass Have you been screening your name? And whispers in an all night bar Better off as the fool Than the owner of that kind of heart”
Whether you agree with my picks for the best Ryan Adams songs there is no disputing that this a great artist and I’m looking forward to hearing more of his work.