Is there a 'perfect' relationship? Maybe, for some people. Is there a 'perfect' car or guitar? Yes, but regardless of how well you maintain them, they age, deteriorate and break. Is there a 'perfect' song? The answer is a resounding YES! Once a song is released, it's final. It remains the same, forever (unless it's remastered in which case it could get even better sonically). The artist who created it will ultimately pass on, but the piece they created remains intact, as pristine as the day it was released.
A 'perfect' song can have a cerebral and emotional effect on a listener. It can tug at your heart strings, jog your memory bank, inspire you or evoke an epiphany. Some people have 'perfect' workout songs. I wish my 'perfect' workout song ("Moth Into Flame" by Metallica) gave me perfect workout results. Unfortunately, it doesn't. I digress. The 'perfect' song often freezes a moment in time; to the extent that the listener never forgets where he/she was or who they were with when they first heard it. Sidenote: There could be a forthcoming blog entry on this very topic, perhaps called "Songs & Places".
A 'perfect' song is segmented, yet flowing. It has several tiers to it which are meshed together with an unforgettable crescendo (or 2). Like a great movie, it has a life to it. A 'perfect' song also has to be produced to the pleasure of the listeners' palate. Some listeners aren't aware of their own taste in how they prefer songs to sound. They just know what sounds good to them (and that's ok!). Sometimes great songs could be 'perfect' if not for the the lack of production quality. An example of this is "My Girl" by The Temptations. The song has a timeless, signature guitar riff, simple, yet uplifting lyrics, excellent vocal performances and harmonies while being catchy and memorable. It's a 'feel good' song. However, because of production limitations in 1965, it simply doesn't allow some people to check all the (subconscious) boxes to be listed as a 'perfect' song.
A 'perfect' song can possess some or all of the following; a unique stylistic composition, a magical 'band' performance, relatable or unforgettable lyrics, a melodic hook, amazing individual (vocal and instrumental) performances, great harmonies and perhaps even catchy counter-melodies.
While it is certainly subjective, we decided to put together a Sonic Fuel Top 20 'Perfect' song list. To clarify, this is not a Top 20 "Favorite" song list. That could take years to agree upon. Cheers!
1. Say Hello 2 Heaven - Temple of The Dog
2. Shoot To Thrill - AC/DC
3. Love Song - Tesla
4. War Pigs - Black Sabbath
5. When The Levee Breaks - Led Zeppelin
6. Give Me Love - George Harrison
7. Refugee - Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
8. Love Hungry Man - AC/DC
9. Right Now - Van Halen
10. Smokin' - Boston
11. One of These Nights - Eagles
12. The Chain - Fleetwood Mac
13. No One Is To Blame - Howard Jones
14. All Right Now - Free
15. Welcome To The Jungle - Guns n' Roses
16. Hold The Line - Toto
17. Peg - Steely Dan
18. Fuel - Metallica
19. Purple Rain - Prince
20. Under Pressure - Queen