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'100 Saddest Songs' list includes tunes by Dylan and Prince

Posted by: Claude Peck under Books, Music, Book news, Minnesota musicians, People Updated: July 26, 2012 - 8:05 AM

 

Someone get this Melancholy Hall of Fame playlist onto Spotify, stat.

 A new book by Brooklyn-based writer Adam Brent Houghtaling lists, disccusses and analyzes the saddest, most miserable songs ever written.

"This Will End in Tears"  is subtitled "The Miserabilist Guide to Music." It concludes with an annotated tally of "The100 Saddest Songs."

Just one tune by a Minnesota native makes the list: Bob Dylan's "Not Dark Yet," from his 1997 record "Time out of Mind."

The song is "a late-career summit" for Dylan, and "is as bleak as the inventive Mr. Zimmerman has ever been," Houghtaling writes.

He also includes "Nothing Comparies 2 U," as recorded by Sinead O'Connor, though written by Prince.

A sampling of others on his Gloomiest 100 includes such obvious choices as "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry," by Hank Williams, "Twilight," by Elliott Smith, "Marie," by Townes Van Zandt, "Strange Fruit," by Billie Holiday and "Crying," by Roy Orbison. There are a few classical selections ("Adagio for Strings," by Samuel Barber), and some more obscure picks ("Song to the Siren," by This Mortal Coil").

These lists are always good for engendering outrage over omissions and inclusions, as well as endless music-head debates. I would have included "Redondo Beach," Patti Smith's saga of "sweet suicide," and the surefire funeral favorite "Keep Me In Your Heart" by Warren Zevon, for two examples.

Anybody?

 

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