[This is one of the very first Weekend Listomanias ever; I originally posted it in early 2007, which as you know is several centuries ago in dog years. As is my wont, I have done some re-writing, substituted some different video clips, and added an extra entry, all mostly to keep you from thinking that I have grown indolent and lazy suckling on the government teat of Medicare and Social Security. -- S.S.]
Okay, kids here's a fun project for you all to contemplate:
Best a cappella Pop/Rock Song (either totally a cappella, or with a cool a cappella section of whatever length!!!)
And I don't just mean doo-wop. Group harmony is group harmony, okay?
That said, here's my totally top of my head top eight:
8 Steeleye Span -- Gaudete
I don't know what's more amazing -- the Spans stunning medeival harmonies on this or the fact that at the time it was recorded, the band were actually pop stars in England with hit records on the charts.
7. Petra Haden -- I Can See For Miles
The Who's power pop classic done solely with mouths turned to eleven. Utterly mind-boggling.
6. Fairport Convention -- Percy's Song
The acapella intro for this is one of my all time favorite things; amazingly enough, the performance gets even better as it goes along.
5. The Beatles -- Because
Of all the reasons to hate the Fabs, the fact that they were -- on top of all their other talents -- absolutely astoundingly good harmony singers may be the most plausible. This may or may not be from the Love mashup album, but I'm too lazy to check. Maybe it was on one of the Anthology sets. Whatever
4. Big Daddy -- Eye of the Tiger
The Survivor song recast as street-corner doo-wop, as it probably always deserved. The traffic noises at the top are a particularly droll touch.
3. Crosby Stills and Nash -- Find the Cost of Freedom
The a cappella at the end is pretty spine-tingling, I think. One of their better songs, although the a-side -- "Ohio" -- sent the same message somewhat more forcefully with loud guitars.
2. The Beach Boys -- Their Hearts Were Full of Spring
A straight cover of the Four Freshmen's original, but if it doesn't bring a tear to your eye, I probably don't want to know you. And this despite the immense dickitude of Mike Love.
And the number one all-time top acapella pop/rock madrigal is ----
1. Imogen Heap -- Hide and Seek
I first heard this in late 2006 when it was used in a montage at the end of an episode of the short-lived Ray Liotta TV crime show Smith, although I'm told it had also figured earlier on The O.C. In any case, I remember practically falling off the couch at the time and thinking it's the most bizarrely haunting thing I'd ever encountered. It's almost a whole new genre -- Android Doo-Wop, anybody?
Alrighty now -- what would your choices be?