1. The Tony Rich Project, "Nobody Knows." This is a seriously demented song. Beautiful, sad, lovely ... but demented. He wants the world to know that only he knows that he's lonely. Wrap your brain around that one. Or just listen, it's really pretty.
2. Joan Osborne, "One of Us." They got two seasons of Joan of Arcadia out of this song.
3. Tracy Chapman, "Give Me One Reason." The ultimate folkie makes a comeback with a 12-bar blues. Went higher on the charts than "Fast Car."
4. Bonnie Raitt, "I Can't Make You Love Me." I'm one of those people who thinks Bonnie Raitt has a lot of great tracks. This may not be the best thing she ever recorded, but it's likely the best ballad. The 1995 version is from Road Tested.
5. Smashing Pumpkins, "1979." This one stands in for all the popular songs by bands like Oasis, played so often they perfectly recall their era, but nothing I actually care about in 2008.
6. Bruce Springsteen, "Back in Your Arms." In my life, I've seen Bruce perform around 200 different songs. I've never seen him sing this one, though, and it's always #1 on my "what song do you hope he'll play" list. The version on Tracks is good, but the snippets from the Blood Brothers documentary are the best.
7. Luniz, "I Got 5 on It (Bay Ballas Remix)." This remix featured just about every Bay Area rapper who was living and in the area at the time it was recorded ... a true super-session. And I can play it over and over, because I love the riff, and I love the chorus.
8. Method Man & Mary J. Blige, "I'll Be There for You / You're All I Need to Get By." This one won a Grammy. Method Man's had a long musical career, but he'll always be Cheese from The Wire to me. "They killed my dog!"
9. Garbage, "Queer." I don't know why this surprises me so much, but Shirley Manson is 42 years old.
10. Better Than Ezra, "Good." I always liked this song, but there's something generic about it. I can remember trying to get someone to recall it and not being able to because all I could say was that the chorus had "good" in it a lot.
Bonus track ... once again, nothing on Wolfgang's Vault from 1995, so here's another Bruce cut, covering John Lee Hooker: