It is very hard to come up with a top ten song list of k.d. lang’s work. All of it is so good that one day I might come up with one list and another day I might come up with a different list of k.d. lang’s songs. She is a singer’s singer and a musician’s musician. She also has one of the great bands in the music business. I have been a fan forever, have all her albums and have seen her perform live. I also have a giant crush on k.d. lang.
My crush led me to spend an hour listening to an incomprehensible Buddhist monk at the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center, because he was k.d. lang’s teacher and she was there. Another k.d. lang sighting at the Gay and Lesbian Center happened when we both came to see a play. My friend spotted her and there she was, about five feet away. I have always thought going weak at the knees was just an expression but that night I discovered it isn’t.
But enough about me. Here is a list of the top ten songs by k.d. lang. Some of them she has written herself and some are by other writers. This list comprises only my top ten at this moment in time. They aren’t in any order of preference.
1. Crying from Live By Request. This is so obvious I probably should leave it out but I just can’t resist it. This song is probably k.d. lang’s most requested song and she may be sick of it and some day it may rip out her vocal chords. In live performance she is somewhat over the top on this song but it’s all great fun.
2. Constant Craving from Ingenue. This is also very obvious as it is the only song by k.d. lang to become a hit. She announces it in her performances by saying “now I’ll do a medley of my hit.” But I just love this song. It’s got to be one of the great songs of sexual longing of all time.
3. The Air That I Breath from Hymns of the 48th Parallel. This song is achingly beautiful as done by k.d. It’s a song of love and the peace that results from love, a theme that lang visits more than once.
4. The Joker from Hymns of the 48th Parallel. K.d. lang just nails this song. She sings it right in the gut of the beat.
5. Big Boned Gal from Absolute Torch and Twang. This is a good timey song that celebrates big women.
6. Hallelujah from Hymns of the 48th Parallel. k.d. lang’s interpretation of this Leonard Cohen song is wonderful in its simplicity and the way it builds.
7. Barefoot from Live By Request. Barefoot was written to be part of the soundtrack for one of the worst movies ever made, “Salmonberries,” co-staring k.d.lang. The movie is supposed to be a love story between a very young woman and an older woman but there is minus chemistry between the two women. It’s a good thing “Barefoot” is such a good song because it is repeated over and over in the movie.
8. Wash Me Clean from Ingenue. A beautiful and erotic song about the redemptive power of love. Here again, lang links love and inner peace.
9. Don’t Smoke In Bed from Drag. I’m surprised at myself for not picking more songs from “Drag” because I believe it to be a perfect album. “Don’t Smoke In Bed” is the epitome of the lover leaving type of song.
10. Tears of Love’s Recall from Ingenue. This song is dark in music and lyrics. The lover has been left and “the tears of love recall/Like blood to chocolate fall.” I love that “blood to chocolate” line.
Well, there you have it: my top ten k.d. lang songs for today.