(This is a reboot of a post I made back in 2009. Unlike my previous reposts, however, I’ve significantly expanded on each entry on this list, just because it’s lame to post a video with one sentence and an advertisement. The new WordPress platform allows me to break it up into a separate page for each song, which means rather than just linking to the videos, I can embed each one of them without ending up with a horribly overstuffed page of videos, and a more comprehensive commentary doesn’t turn it into a tl;dr piece. Consider it an experiment; I hope you like it. Additional note: After cleaning this up and adjusting for the changes in reality since 2014, there seems to be an MP3 stuck at the top of the article that I can’t get rid of. You can safely ignore it, since the full track appears in the relevant entry now.)
A friend of mine and I were discussing sad songs, music that doesn’t just tug at the heartstrings but grabs them by the fistful and rips them out of your chest, leaving you feeling drained and contemplative and maybe even a bit sad. After some discussion, I ended up with a list of nine of the saddest and most powerful songs I could think of. Here are a few tracks that I really, REALLY love, in no particular order. Fair warning: if you’re prone to depression, you might want to wait to listen to all these if you’re not feeling well.
1. Alice In Chains – Don’t Follow
This is tied with “Down In A Hole” for my favorite AIC track. It’s beautiful, melancholy, and Layne Staley’s vocals here are as raw and powerful as they ever got. This song holds a special place for me because it was the last song I heard on my local rock/metal radio station in 1994 as I was driving south through Indiana to move to North Carolina…made me cry then, and often still does.
After all, you really can’t go home. Ever. I know that, because I went home, and it’s not the same. Many of the free spirits with whom I shared some of the best times of my life are now calcified crazies who think abolishing the EPA will make them free. It’s kinda depressing.
Musically, the guitar sound is rich and full and haunting, with Staley’s harmonica work adding just the right note of blues to carry the emotion home. Highly recommended.
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