#3 Dave Matthews Band

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:

Rank Song Album
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
8 Too Much Crash
9 So Much To Say Crash
10 Don’t Drink The Water Before These Crowded Streets
11 I Did It Everyday
12 #42 Crash
13 Stay Before These Crowded Streets
14 Dreamgirl Stand Up
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
20 Tripping Billies Crash
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
25 Everyday Everyday

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.

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