There are days when I think DMB is absolutely my favorite band. Even though a lot of people find them “too popular” or high-strung, very few of the criticisms I’ve heard directed toward them are actually about the music, and there’s a good reason for that. They’re really stinking good. Even if Dave’s voice is going, they’re really, really stinking good.
Dave is a proficient guitar player with a knack for lyrical hooks, rhythm, and improvisation. He’s also surrounded by both technically masterful and entertaining musicians. Carter Beauford could play a percussion-only concert and I would pay to see it. Stefan Lessard can do amazing things with a bass guitar. Le’Roi Moore and Boyd Tinsley add jazz and folk elements that no other group can match. They play well together and write music that is accessible and stands up after many, many listens.
One of the tough things about ranking DMB’s songs is that pretty much all of their songs has a better live version than recorded version. My list will reflect that in some areas, especially when you see the placement of a song like “Louisiana Bayou,” which seems otherwise ordinary in the context of the Stand Up album. My top 25 list is below, with album info included:
|1||Ants Marching||Under The Table And Dreaming|
|2||What Would You Say||Under The Table And Dreaming|
|3||Crash Into Me||Crash|
|4||Jimi Thing||Under The Table And Dreaming|
|5||Louisiana Bayou||Stand Up|
|6||Grey Street||Busted Stuff|
|7||Satellite||Under The Table And Dreaming|
|9||So Much To Say||Crash|
|10||Don’t Drink The Water||Before These Crowded Streets|
|11||I Did It||Everyday|
|13||Stay||Before These Crowded Streets|
|15||American Baby||Stand Up|
|16||Crush||Before These Crowded Streets|
|17||The Best of What’s Around||Under The Table And Dreaming|
|18||Stand Up||Stand Up|
|19||Recently||Remember Two Things|
|21||Hello Again||Stand Up|
|22||Everybody Wake Up||Stand Up|
|23||Rhyme and Reason||Under The Table And Dreaming|
|24||Warehouse||Under The Table And Dreaming|
The problem with putting DMB at #3 on my list is that I actually had to come up with two groups better than they are. This is no small task, but perhaps I can justify it when #2 rolls around.