The 'Forgotten 500'

The Associated Press
Bob Dylan performing at the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, Calif. February 1980.

The Associated Press Bob Dylan performing at the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, Calif. February 1980.

Sorry, hater, but your assessment of interest in “The Albany Music Lover 500” (Albany Herald, Dec. 18) feature was way off base. There were, in fact, considerably more than five people who took the time to comment about the list of one music fan’s Top 500 songs of all time.

There were dozens. And their suggestions of songs that should have made the list were in the hundreds.

There were those who had fun with the list — the intent of the project — and suggested personal favorites that they would add; there were people who sent in their own lists (my favorite was “strick432”, who, like me, had trouble finding a stopping place and got up to a Top 76 before running out of time), and there was even the mild rebuke and suggestions of a state representative who, it turns out, is quite the music afficionado himself.

I got comments praising the lists of the three “guest contributors” (Heather Strickland, Eric Calhoun, Mike Gebhart), some noting that they liked one or the other of that trio’s lists more than mine (which was fine; again, this was about sharing music, not competition).

One thing that I heard from numerous people who responded to the piece — and, incidentally, I appreciate each and every comment, even the mean ones — was, “There’s no way I could come up with 500 songs. I don’t even know 500 songs.”

I certainly don’t expect anyone to feel the way I do about music, but the only difficult thing about coming up with a list of 500 songs was deciding which ones to include and then ranking them.

After looking back over all the replies and suggestions — and listening to a lot more music — it dawned on me that the respondents were right. I did leave out a lot of great songs. Soooooo ... in the spirit of inclusion — and to confirm to others just how big an obsession music is with me — I compiled a second list of 500 songs that is, if not an equal to the first, very close.

In fact, I’ve included 42 here that belong with the original 65 that are my very favorites, which would throw that first list way out of whack. (How could I forget “Santa Monica,” “Amy,” “Just Breathe,” “Savage” “Welcome to the Boomtown”?)

This will be the last list (and I did not include comments about each song as I did with the original 500 — even I have my limits), at least for a while. I’m calling it the “Forgotten 500,” a great suggestion offered by Herald Deputy News Editor Casey Dixon, herself quite the music lover.

They’re forgotten no longer. (The Forgotten 500 is listed online at albanyherald.com ... enjoy!)