Music brings out the best in me from a creative standpoint. It’s also my other passion outside of sports.

Naturally, I love keeping track of songs I enjoy listening and share it to those who care or want to branch out. I’ve been doing this for several years now and unlike those previous years, it’s a vastly different look due to how many musical acts appear here.

That being said, one thing remains the same. There’s a central theme which if you were to tell me how I’ll define 2022, what would it be?

Trying to move forward and forget the things you’ve desired that’s unrealistic.

Not to say it wasn’t a fun year because there were some high points, but it was a life altering year. It didn’t surprise me that most songs on this list reflect that.

One act in particular was my go-to group and it’s not your typical group. Also, only 11 songs made a return to my annual tradition.

Aside from 2021-22 having a combined total of 20 entries (technically 13 from this year alone), one other particular year swooned my heart and that was 1990 at seven.

TOP 100 SONGS: 2018 | 2019 | 2020 | 2021

Don’t ask why, but those songs hit different. I just have weird taste in music, but here’s how I see it.

“Weird is whatever you think it is.” – Danielle Haim (Licorice Pizza, 2021)

As always, I’ll have a Spotify playlist of the 100 songs that I felt the vibe. On that note, here’s the songs that defined this year.

100) I Feel Free by Belinda Carlisle (1987)

Belinda Carlisle makes her return to my annual playlist with a solid cover of Cream’s powerful hit that I frequently listened in college ages ago. A late entry as I stumbled upon this song while watching License to Drive, starring Corey Haim and Corey Feldman at 3 a.m. Such a fun, kick ass, 80s AF flick by the way.

99) Stan by Eminem feat. Dido (2000)

One of many, many, many songs I listened a ton during my 11 months “living in hell.” If you want to know where my mind was back then, this song capsulated how I felt working there. I don’t like talking about that period, so all I can say is that this song still holds up in a bizarre way. I mean, there are many “stans” out there in this world. Mind you, it’s an official word in the dictionary.

98) Rock of Ages by Def Leppard (1983)

To this day, it remains my favorite Def Leppard track. It sounded so good when I saw them at T-Mobile Park in Seattle, so it certainly belonged on my list in 2022. The opening line resonates heavily as I’d rather be burnt out more than anything, especially in my ongoing journey of making it in my profession.

97) Something in the Way by Nirvana (1991)

The Batman is one of my favorite films of 2022 and this song really set to the dark tone to an absolute tee. It had been awhile I heard the song, but when I first heard it in the trailer and motion picture, it sounded so good. After a wet NASCAR weekend at Portland, I went out of my way to check out Aberdeen for the first time and just get away from the madness. I played this song on repeat when I visited such bridge Kurt Cobain was talking about. Eerie feeling and yes it was cloudy and muddy that day. Such a perfect visual and tone.

96) I Was Made for Lovin’ You by KISS (1979)

One of several songs that the bass come to define an incredible track. Yes, I said what I said. People hate the disco period of KISS. Maybe it’s because I wanted some college nostalgia by hearing this song lately for the first time since 2013-14. I don’t know, but it’s not that bad. “Detroit City” and “Unholy” it’s not, but “I Was Made for Lovin’ You” had its place in their musical arsenal.

95) Send Me Down by HAIM (2012)

The first of 14 entries from the sister trio starts off with a deep track that came out almost a year before their debut album Days Are Gone. What lured me into playing this a ton in the summer was the opening giving me adventurous vibes of yesteryears and New Order’s “Perfect Kiss”. Like I’ve said, I have a weird way of hearing things.

94) Wise Up by Aimee Mann (1999)

In my eye, this is Aimee Mann’s magnum opus! Years after passing by “Voices Carry,” I’ve grown to admire Mann’s way of delivering powerful lyrics over the past few years. More so before and after watching Magnolia. When the ensemble sang it, everything hit different. I’m beyond thankful I finally heard this song in 2022 and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. Especially, when I was going through a severe dark period from May through mid-June. Without it, I don’t know what might’ve happened with my life.

93) Supernova Goes Pop by Powerman 5000 (1999)

Now back to my alley, hard and aggressive music. Without fail, select songs from Powerman 5000 is what I like to define as “inject to my fucking veins!” It’s even better when the song is featured in Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec. To me, it’s a total win-win combination.

92) Don’t You (Forget About Me) by Simple Minds (1985)

On the 11th hour, I couldn’t ignore this song missing out the cut! For whatever reason, I wanted to fall in love with this song once again. I even decided to do a decent mashup of this with HAIM’s “Little of Your Love” (you won’t hear it). Creativity aside, just when this song is out of my routine, the track pulls me back in. Such a genuine evergreen song that’ll likely stay with me forever.

91) Slaves & Bulldozers by Soundgarden (1991)

Addicting bassline. Raw and supreme vocals by the late Chris Cornell. It’s pretty simple why this song owns in 2022!

90) Sports by Beach Bunny (2018)

2021 RANKING: NO. 69
Not going to sugar coat it, when I hear this song on the road, I sing to it. Okay, when I’m alone in the car. Not publicly unless if I find “the one” hopefully sooner than later.

89) Horon by Cimili Ibo (2018)

Here we go again with an obscure song. At least this one is foreign, so cut me some slack. My mom had this song playing in what felt like 20 minutes. The opening is so addicting, like it’s straight out of a GTA game. Okay, which song sounds like it? Calyx’s “Quagmire” of MSX FM fame in GTA 3. I shall seek myself out!

88) Oh Caroline by The 1975 (2022)

If there’s one thing about The 1975, when the songs are really good, it’s really good. Can’t say that about many tracks from them and it doesn’t help that front man Matty Healy hates Metallica (he loses brownie points for that). From their new album Being Funny In A Foreign Language, “Oh Caroline” is by far my favorite track from a rather solid album. Charming, emotional record.

87) Never Let Me Go (Live) by Florence + The Machine (2022)

For the record, when I saw Florence + The Machine (with Wet Leg as the opener) live in Seattle the day my aunt passed away from complications of ovarian cancer. I still decided to go and this track from 2011 was the one that symbolized that while my aunt is gone, the memories shall remain forever. I’m thankful for Florence Welch and this live performance from MSG brought me back to that day of October 6th. A therapeutic night to get away and simply enjoy music. It was my way of overcoming grief.

86) Miss Misery by Nazareth (1975)

I got another raw and powerful voice for you that kicks ass. Dan McCafferty checks both categories with this sleeper track. Superb follow up to the opening track, “Hair of the Dog.” Gotta love 70s hard rock, it’s unlike anything else that came out since.

85) Falling by HAIM (2013)

2021 RANKING: 1
Last year’s top song still holds up in every way imaginable. More so this year with the lyrics literally holding up in what I’ve have been through for almost two years. It’d make a great song for a promo package in both the Daytona 500 and NASCAR Championship Weekend in Phoenix. I still think this opening track to Days Are Gone is the one (I battle with this and “The Steps”) I’d share to someone if they haven’t heard HAIM before. Two live versions from 2013 are my go-to listens on YouTube as well. Hell, they’d kick ass if they perform live at a NASCAR race weekend (Busch Light Clash and Fontana), but that’s just me and only me. Do it, NASCAR!

84) Imaginary Friend by Tove Lo (2016)

Here’s one artist I’ve seen live before. Tove Lo was an opening act for Coldplay in Seattle five years ago. Didn’t really think much of her work as I was working that afternoon at floor level. Fast forward to the period I worked in “hell” and dealing with a severe illness, tracks like “Imaginary Friend” got me through those harrowing nights. This one is quintessential night music to get the full experience of what the song means. Sometimes, I reflect to my college days for that very reason.

83) Master of Puppets by Metallica (1986)

Believe it or not, this song has never made my Top 100! I checked each countdown from 2018 onwards and not once it made it. Yes, you know why it made it now (Eddie Munson Rules)! Disappointed that it didn’t crack the top-10 in the Billboard Hot 100 like one other song this summer. All I gotta say is this: “Most. Metal. Ever!”

82) Lips Like Sugar by Echo & The Bunnymen (1987)

Nice song to play at full volume on the highway. Preferably when it’s not congested with traffic. If the roads are bumpy, never mind that shit. It sets the scene just fine.

81) Cochise by Audioslave (2002)

Supergroup Audioslave just decided to do this track and GO HARD AF! Helluva track to debut at and another classic by Chris Cornell accompanied by 3/4 of Rage Against the Machine. I’m glad I can remember the track title because I just couldn’t for the life of me when I first heard it on a trailer for WWE 2K16.

80) Separate Ways (Worlds Apart) (Bryce Miller & Alloy Tracks Remix) by Journey (2022)

I don’t care what anyone says, this remix is GOATED. The tone and visuals when played in Stranger Things 4 was perfect. Fun fact, the original song from 1983 was used on CBS for their NASCAR coverage throughout the 1980s. The remix would be killer if NBC used it someday.

79) Jerry Was A Race Car Driver by Primus (1991)

Super self-explanatory – this song fucking shreds!

78) That’s My N**** by Meek Mill, YG & Snoop Dogg (2017)

Taking “Still D.R.E.” to a modernized level and it works. INDYCAR Texas weekend played a big role into where and how I heard this track. As the year went by, it sounds better at night.

77) L’arena (Il Mercenario) by Ennino Morricone (1968)

The unofficial swan song to John Madden. When I first heard it in All Madden on FOX, this song just suited the legendary figure. Sadly, Madden died three days after the airing. Morricone songs hits a powerful and emotional nerve that really takes you for a wonderful ride (unlike Russell Wilson in Denver). Hard listening to this song without holding back tears as well. More so when the trumpet kicks in. God speed to both Morricone and Madden!

76) Hallelujah by HAIM (2019)

In what may be the trio’s legacy song, 2022 really made this beautiful song meaningful beyond explanation. Let’s see this song got me through some heavy shit, twice. First, getting through each night during that 11-month period in “hell.” Second, the first song I listened after my aunt passed away on October 6th. Finally, the fact Stevie Nicks used Alana’s verse (the final verse of the song) when she posted a heartfelt post after her best friend and fellow bandmate Christine McVie passed away earlier this month. It almost broke me while at work.

75) Danger Zone by Kenny Loggins (1986)

Both Top Gun films kick all sorts of ass. When this song kicked into high gear in Top Gun: Maverick, you knew business was about to pick and it certainly did! Adrenaline rush AF!

74) Can’t You Hear Me Knocking by The Rolling Stones (1971)

The first 2:40 of the song is great, but once the tempo changes, the song really comes to life. To be blunt, it’s not a bad one to hear when you’re cleaning areas.

73) ANIMOSITY by The Warning (2021)

I can’t comprehend why songs by the Mexican sister trio hasn’t been utilized in anything. Like racing and pro wrestling? This song being a prime example! It’d make a fantastic promo package song for many things. I’m so glad a friend of mine directed me into hearing this awesome group. This song in particular made me an instant fan of the trio.

72) Little of Your Love by HAIM (2017)

How can I explain this one. It’s a fun, danceable song. Arguably my favorite track from Something to Tell You. Put this one in a bar, in a precise region, and I can promise you it’ll fit the environment. Only in my dreams! Maybe someday just to piss people off in my old hometown.

71) Hear About It Later by Van Halen (1981)

While watching Trainwreckords, this song caught my attention. Doesn’t take much for me when it comes to Van Halen in the DLR Era. I don’t know why but while visiting Ventura Blvd/Studio City on a hot 100-degree April afternoon, this song fit the tone. Maybe because it was a hot day and not sure what to do. What I did noticed was the art work featuring The Doors, so maybe that’s why this song fit the tone.

70) They Want It All by Dark Space (2022)

Oh, how the mighty have fallen! That’s how I see Rockstar Games these days. The shit they made fun of is what they are now. Guess that’s what happens when total greed takes a company’s soul. This track sums up the fall of the once amazing company. Call me when GTA 6 comes out!

69) Sadeness by Enigma (1990)

The first of seven songs from 1990 is an oldie but goodie. Like some tracks I’ve already discussed, “Sadeness” allowed me to escape the harsh reality during that 11-month period. At this rate, I’ll say this because it’s going to sound like broken record, “hell” ended in late May. Chilling song with some meanings I won’t say here.

68) Half Asleep by School of Seven Bells (2008)

I want to remember how I heard this song in the first place, but it’s a blur. Maybe it’s because I went back into hearing School of Seven Bells again and it popped in my recommendation feed. Very glad I did and still ponder what this group could’ve come up with had Benjamin Curtis didn’t die in 2013. It’s one group that fits in the “what if” category.

67) The Sleep by Pantera (1990)

2018 RANKING: 48
This year, I got back into hearing Pantera on a frequent basis. To say I’m excited for Seattle 2024 is an understatement, but that’s for another time. People were surprised that I listen to their music. I mean, I’ve been on a indie pop/rock phase, but I’ve never left my metal roots. “The Sleep” shreds so hard, it has it’s own zip code. One of my personal favorites.

66) Institutionalized by Suicidal Tendencies (1983)

2021 RANKING: 53
2020 RANKING: 4
2019 RANKING: 9
An evergreen song on my playlist at this rate! I simply don’t skip this song and WAP (Want A Pepsi)! Also, damn you Pepper!

65) Top Gun Anthem by Harold Faltermeyer & Steve Stevens (1986)

Refer to what I said about “Danger Zone” and you’ll get my exact thoughts on this anthem. Fuck it, I’ll say it – this song rules!

64) As It Was by Harry Styles (2022)

Call it a spade of spade, top hits from 2022 sucked (Todd in the Shadows is right on the money). Not many great songs felt like a true HIT! This one was an exemption and bar none the best number-one single this year. Not up for debate! The 80s charm really made the song and so did Styles’ delivery. I can’t say the same about Don’t Worry, Darling though except for…moving on.

63) Hollywood Nights by Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band (1978)

Bob Seger rules. That’s pretty simple, no? It’s a fun track to hear on the road in SoCal and for sure will make my race weekend playlist. Not sure which one though as my 2023 plans are very TBD. I don’t know if it’s just me, but “Hollywood Nights” would make for a great end credits song.

62) Girls Make Me Wanna Die by The Aces (2022)

The very millisecond Katie Henderson plays the guitar, shit is about to go down! GMMWD is no different and quickly loved this Aces track. Criminally underrated group in my eyes, especially when it comes to LGBTQ storytelling.

61) Stumblin’ In by Chris Norman and Suzi Quatro (1978)

The nitpick in me is going to say it, this song wasn’t out in 1973, but five years after. Now, I love Licorice Pizza, but Dahmer of all things got the track right with the accompanied year. However, the song still worked in Licorice Pizza. It’s so damn catchy and fits the tone of the movie. Low key played it on my laptop while writing articles about the Busch Light Clash. Obviously, I had my headphones on!

60) Spellbound by Siouxsie and the Banshees (1981)

Stranger Things simply don’t miss when it comes to music choices. It makes me wanting the final season so bad, but that won’t be until a couple more years. I sure hope the wait will be worthwhile. Fun song to play while conquering Welch Valley in NASCAR: Dirt to Daytona. You’re welcome!

59) Dad Vibes by Limp Bizkit (2021)

I love the fact Limp Bizkit’s latest album is called as it is. I don’t think they suck though. This song rules in it’s own weird way.

58) Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) by Kate Bush (1985)

Back a few years ago, I said both Placebo and Meg Meyers’ cover are superior than this version. Talk about awful takes and I’ve came to the realization that the OG is really amazing. I just had a connection with the other two much better back then, especially Placebo’s. You can thank WWE for that blunder! The summer throwback anthem of 2022 was indeed this 80s classic and I’m happy it was. Would’ve been nice if it hit number-one though. The legendary scene of Max in Stranger Things 4 will go down in history as one of the greatest scenes in media this decade!

57) The Real Thing by Faith No More (1989)

2021 RANKING: 8
Eight minutes of pure adrenaline rush and pure intensity. It’s got an epic vibe that was unmatched for it’s time. I really mean it! “The Real Thing” is that song for me.

56) Saturdays by Twin Shadow feat. HAIM (2019)

2021 RANKING: 3
Anytime I’m at a track on a Saturday, there’s only one song that it’s a must play. I literally say on social media, “It’s Saturday, you know what that means?” This is why! I still love this song. It’s an addiction unlike anything else.

55) Chaise Lounge by Wet Leg (2021)

If Wet Leg doesn’t win Best New Artist, it’d be the biggest crime since Sam Smith won it in 2015. No question, Wet Leg are my favorite new act of 2022. From start to finish, their self-titled debut album was a weird, yet fun ride! I like that in my music and refreshing to say the least. “Chaise Lounge” being a great example.

54) Z by The Warning (2021)

Another track where the bass sets the tone. This time, add some drums into the equation. Finally, you have Dany Villarreal’s vocal range to make this arguably my favorite song from The Warning thus far. I’m excited to see how they’ll grow as musicians because they’re just getting started.

53) The Steps by HAIM (2020)

2021 RANKING: 74
This raw and unapologetic song that mixes 70s classic rock and how people feel about others is what makes the group and Women In Music, Pt. III standout over the rest of the pack. Usually, I would play this song when I’m on the road because it’s not a bad song to hear in the morning. More so in the shower before going to a race track. That’s just how I roll!

52) Devil’s Advocate by The Neighbourhood (2020)

I’m not a TikTok guy! Never will be but if there’s one amazing contribution the platform provided, is my introduction to the song. Somewhere on Twitter or Instagram, I found a video of The Aces’ Cristal Ramirez added a verse to the song. Instantly fell in love with the song and when I heard the full record, I loved it even more. Very Doors vibes and knew this song had to be on my Busch Light Clash rotation. I still play it when the mood is right.

51) July Tree by Nina Simone (1965)

“Hatteras and what? Hatteras and what?” Talk about a song that etched into my soul right out of the gate. Perfect during the summer period. Nina Simone is one performer you can instantly recognize without hesitation as she is one of a kind.

50) Sugar by System Of A Down (1998)

Remember when WWE promos used proper kick ass songs? Okay, they kind still do but back then it was an event. Unforgiven 1999 is when this song was used, but you won’t get it on Peacock. The ending feels like a whole different song and honestly makes it bad ass. Even if the lyrics are indescribable if you don’t read them.

49) Sweet Hitch-Hiker by Creedence Clearwater Revival (1972)

Avoid Mardi Gras except this one! It’s literally the one track that has the CCR feel. You’re welcome! But no really, I like this song despite being more or less not like CCR in terms of lyrical storytelling. This music video screams SPEED Channel (2004 for me) when they actually aired 60s and 70s racing documentaries.

48) Somebody Get Me A Doctor by Van Halen (1979)

If I had an IROC, I’d play this at full volume. Here’s the problem, IROC Camaros began being sold in 1984, so a Firebird would make more sense here. Enough fantasy car talk, I always blast this one at full volume during my 11-month period. Sounds rich and kick ass.

47) Daffodil by Florence + The Machine (2022)

Something about this song screams how I’d feel if I went to a medieval convention. It would feel like a whole different universe and I love this song for that very feeling. One of the many highlights from Dance Fever. It’d be a killer track for a WrestleMania entrance. Again, only in my dreams!

46) Lost Track by HAIM (2022)

When I found out this song would play before Licorice Pizza was shown in theaters (which I’ve already seen in December ’21 when it was in select theaters) in January, I had to see it once more. Played this a ton once it came out as a single a few months later. So much, that it was my most played Spotify song of 2022. Look, I love my minimalistic vibes in songs. It’s why I love The xx’s debut album from 2009. You’ll see a mix of Taylor Swift and Joni Mitchell influences here. Plus, the music video left me wanting me more as soon as Danielle lit up the ace of spade. Such a mood because we all have our “fuck it” moments.

45) Free Bird by Lynyrd Skynyrd (1973)

I felt like a free bird this summer. I also felt like the extended version made this already legendary song more complete. Far more than just a song folks associate with Dale Earnhardt. This is a ride of a lifetime song. No matter what people go through, you can never go wrong with “Free Bird.”

44) Mama Said Knock You Out by LL Cool J (1990)

In early Fall, I played a slow and reverb version of the song and wouldn’t stop playing it every day. Makes me wanna go into a battle. Not only that, it’s a great one to hear when you want to prove the doubters wrong which LL Cool J was going through in that period. Very underrated these days.

43) fallingforyou by The 1975 (2013)

Go look at the comments! Most of them sums up how I feel about this out of body experience song. I don’t know man, something about hearing it in the fall just felt right. Like it’s meant to be heard around that period. More than I would in the summer, but each is their own.

Here’s how I see song: I can’t un-think of a person that I’ve fallen for years and such feeling is now a pipe dream. Gotta love unrealistic fantasies!

42) P.S.Y.C.H.O.T.I.C. by The Warning (2018)

Queen of the Murder Scene is one big storytelling of an album. This one stood out a ton because we all have our psychotic episodes. Had one in the tail end of spring when I lost many things in my life. More so when I tried to fix a damaged reputation that someone did while at Texas. Let’s say, I hope that hack goes to hell and never cross paths with again. Amazing, catchy chorus BTW.

41) Habits (Stay High) by Tove Lo (2014)

Ah yes, the song I associate heavily during my COVID period. I felt like shit and it would be the one song I played many times. Great song though and kinda wished I heard this back in Idaho, it would’ve been a favorite of mine. Anyways, January fucking sucked! But this song and Euphoria got me through the worst month of my life, health wise. What a combination: Tove Lo, Euphoria and COVID.

40) Sex Type Thing by Stone Temple Pilots (1992)

Definitive grunge intro and arguably one of the best openers in the genre. I love how this song is on Gran Turismo 2 as well! One that should also be played at full volume.

39) Barabajagal (Love Is Hot) by Donovan (1969)

“New car, caviar, four star, daydream. Think I’ll buy me a football team pinball palace!” Okay, if I do, I wouldn’t be such a dick like Gary Valentine was except for that dude who had a pervy technique. At least to me, Donovan songs are a lost gem in society. Good song regardless.

38) Justify My Love by Madonna (1990)

While compiling ratings for every number-one song of the 1990s (still need to finish 1998 and 1999), I’ve come to realize one thing. Nearly all of Madonna’s number-ones after the 1980s suck. Not my cup of tea in terms of not being bored. “Justify My Love” is the one grand exception to the narrative. With Lenny Kravitz (you got that right) on backup vocals, this erotic song is a top-three all-time Madge song. Unapologetic, raw and in your face. Tame by today’s standards, but for it’s time, it was controversial AF. One of the only bright spots from 1990-91 when you look at what topped the charts.

37) Don’t Save Me by HAIM (2013)

Basketball huh? That’s besides the point. A nice gem that deserves proper love and it helps to hear the Stevie Nicks influence. One song that’ll forever be in my consciousness because it was the first song I’ve heard them play live in person. So yeah, can you blame me for ranking this inside the top-40 this year?

36) DISCIPLE by The Warning (2022)

The opening as I’m thinking about it, very Cliff Burton sounding! The entire song just fucking shreds and yes, “the sun” is an enemy. But I’d rather have that than snow. I just function different from others and one trait from my California days that haven’t left me. If you ask me which song I’d have someone listen to as an introductory to The Warning, this would be it.

35) Crunchy Granola Suite (Live) by Neil Diamond (1972)

2020 RANKING: 37
I don’t care what people say, this is my favorite Neil Diamond song. I’m not a “Sweet Caroline” fan at all, I’m sorry. Anyways, this song I associate with Daytona and it helps that CBS used it in 1985. Okay, NBC used it as well for the 1982 Michigan 500, so if I ever cover a race there, it’ll fit the bill. If only INDYCAR goes back there which sounds like a massive pipe dream now than ever before.

34) Apocalypse by Cigarettes After Sex (2017)

CAS is an experience that’s meant to be heard during golden hour and nightly hours. Now add some rain, it’ll have a different meaning. Another lovely, haunting track I picture fantasies and some fresh coffee. Doesn’t matter if it’s in the Pacific Northwest, East Coast or SoCal, they all blend in together pretty seamlessly.

33) Walk Away by James Gang (1971)

Throughout life, I want to believe I heard this many of times and never knew who sang it until late 2021. Maybe it’s because when I got the Licorice Pizza soundtrack, I finally figured out it was James Gang featuring Joe Walsh. Took me long enough to identify the song. One of my personal favorite songs from the 1970s that I’m glad I finally figured out who sang it and the track title.

32) Los Angeles by HAIM (2020)

2021 RANKING: 15
The moment Henry Solomon plays the saxophone in the beginning, I knew what time it was. Play “Los Angeles” at full volume. Something about Este’s groovy bass and especially Danielle’s opening line just feels right. I didn’t hesitate tweeting it with my photos of each driver who had issues in the Busch Light Clash. That’s my motivation to go back there, so I can tweet “Los Angeles, give me a miracle, I just want out from this.” It fits like a glove!

31) House of Balloons/Glass Table Girls by The Weeknd (2011)

I’ve yet to see The Weeknd’s Super Bowl halftime performance. Why? I was at New Smyrna covering the World Series of Asphalt (still owed money) that year and just haven’t sat down to see it. One thing I know happened was The Weeknd performed this song. Yeah, a song from 2011 that uses a Sixousie and the Banshees classic was used. This hidden gem also got me through “hell” much better, especially “Glass Table Girls” that made me want to fuck around with a Windows 95. Dark lyrics at the end of the day.

30) Wet Dream by Wet Leg (2021)

I wonder if sales for Buffalo ’66 increased over the past year? Who really knows if it’s even good, but if I find it, I’ll give it a watch. Catchy song that’s also dirty AF because it does pertain to masturbation. That’s besides the point. Harry Styles did alright in his cover, but the OG is all I need!

29) Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah) by Joan Jett & The Blackhearts (1980)

It’s a shame that I can’t really play this at full volume while driving in Portland because the damn speed limit is too god damn slow for my taste. Didn’t help there was a shit ton of traffic too. Joan Jett really made this Gary Glitter cover her song in my eyes.

28) Pick U Up by Foster the People (2019)

You mean to tell me there’s more than just “Pumped Up Kicks?” Damn right there’s more to Foster the People and this is my favorite track. Dancing in the streets energy personified!

27) What Kind of Man by Florence + The Machine (2015)

Haunting, emotional and out of body experience is how I summarize the opening 55 seconds. Florence Welch is really good at luring listeners into fully gravitating the message behind each song. Then the rest is a whole different emotional ride. It’s a recipe of a fantastic song like this!

26) My Song 5 by HAIM (2013)

Whether it’s the original or the A$AP Ferg remix, “My Song 5” is criminally underrated in terms of a “he said, she said” song. There’s plenty of them out there, but this song combines all traits I love about rock music. Blunt, honesty and very in your face. It’s a huge reason why “My Song 5” is a huge fan favorite and I agree. Also, the breakdown would make a great walkout music.

25) I’m Broken by Pantera (1994)

Beavis and Butt-Head sums it all up when “I’m Broken” plays. SparkNotes version: FULL VOLUME!

24) Forever by Lambrith (2019)

Season 1 of Euphoria was excellent writing. Season 2 was…different and a roller-coaster, comedic and anger induced (writing wise) shit show. This track is amazing for many reasons that can be addicting at times. It allows me to escape from what I’m dealing with, especially when I was recovering from a lengthy illness.

23) Echoes (Live at Pompeii) by Pink Floyd (1972)

I advise you to sit down and really take the time to hear the entire song. You won’t regret it because each part of the song captures an incredible emotion that I can’t quite say about other songs. “Echoes” is truly a masterpiece. It’ll really capsulate your mind and soul! Now play the song from 15:00-19:12 and picture yourself in a 70s Formula One car. God-like lap run preferred!

22) Licorice Pizza by Jonny Greenwood (2021)

Less is more matters and Jonny Greenwood’s song fits the bill. Really captures the coming-of-age tale of Gary and Alana crossing paths when both really need it. Aside from that, I felt this song is a prefect symbol of a race weekend coming to an end. Especially, the opening where it feels like one chapter ends, another one awaits. Whether it’s Long Beach or Phoenix, that’s the vibe I get when I play this song when I’m about to head out.

21) Mystify by INXS (1987)

I wonder if Bruce Campbell finds this INXS gem groovy. I sure hope so because it is, especially the when the piano plays.

20) Same Ol’ Situation (S.O.S.) by Motley Crue (1989)

Fall 2022 was kinda wild for me and this song was one of my anthems in that period. Great to listen in a car too every now and then. So glad I finally saw them live and they sounded rather good. With Mick Mars no longer touring, it’s more special.

19) Dreams by Van Halen (1986)

2021 RANKING: 4
FOX used this in their 2002 Aaron’s 499 intro. By near default, it’s their greatest intro they’ve ever done! Should be used more often and it’s my duty to play this a lot at Indianapolis in 2023.

18) Clean by Depeche Mode (1990)

Violator is an all-time great album of the 1990s. One of the best ever from the decade. “Clean” is a song that’s meant to come at people’s lives. My tale takes places in early June when I was at a severe crossroads where I lost many things. When my mind cleared up, I felt clean in that regard. I needed change that’s still ongoing. I appreciate this song for that very reason.

17) Sweet Emotion by Aerosmith (1975)

I saw a video put together with this song being played with clips from Dazed and Confused. Let’s say I fucking loved it. This song has always been a favorite from Aerosmith’s catalog and in 2022, it came back to my life. Feels just right when you want to hear something different.

16) Now I’m In It by HAIM (2019)

Back when this song came out, it was before I fully fell in love with the group again. Remember in 2019, I was on my full Metallica shit! Fast forward to 2022, “Now I’m In It” was one of my go-to songs I played at the house. Especially, the video version (it’s really extended) of the song. Even played it when a long, grueling night of shooting photos in Kirkland. When I just tried to own it like a boss. Safe to say, I didn’t look like a boss, but nobody were there to witness it.

15) Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man by The Bob Seger System (1969)

I’ve forgotten this one was in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood! I’ve not seen it since I saw it in the movie theaters, so forgive me that this song came back to my life in 2022. There was a throwback baseball game I was working on and heard this resonating, butt-kicking track. Bob Seger owns it here and meant to be played outside or in a car. Kind of my life in a nutshell here.

14) Hot Crush Lover by Blu DeTiger (2022)

Okay, where did I first heard of Blu DeTiger? A live version of Olivia Rodrigo’s “brutal” is my answer. Somehow, I later ended up hearing a killer disco vibe of a song. It really does help that she’s a boss on the bass. Poor bass in the music video.

13) Ur Mum by Wet Leg (2021)

The glorious, very early MTV sounding song that introduced me to Wet Leg. One YouTube algorithm I’m so happy it happened. I just saw the title and mockingly said “your mom” because such dated jokes is what dudes grew up on back in the day. So I clicked on it and left impressed! As the saying goes, the rest is history.

12) Dream Girl Evil by Florence + The Machine (2022)

During one of the two Saturdays I shot photos of Cascade Flag Football in Seattle, I felt like playing Dance Fever on my phone in its entirety. Upon hearing “Dream Girl Evil” the first time, I had to play it again and again. Lyrically, I can imagine girls feeling that way and being up front about it at times. Some of my dreams, I just envision the song coming to life in front of my own eyes at a WrestleMania. The girl is the special referee and comes out to the live version of the song. Moments before I battle her boyfriend. Better to have that vision than dreams where I cry to death.

11) Otro Atardecer by Bad Bunny feat. The Marias (2022)

Sorry mom! She LOATHES Bad Bunny so much. She didn’t even care that Brock Lesnar was throwing him around at the Royal Rumble. I think she still hates Bad Bunny more than Messi. Anyways, I instantly fell in love with the song more or less because of the instrumental and The Marias. Still a great track despite how people feel about Bad Bunny in my household.

10) Let Me Roll It by Paul McCartney & Wings (1973)

An amazing song and indeed my favorite Paul McCartney song as a solo artist. Everything about it is perfect and wouldn’t change a damn thing. Paul Thomas Anderson picked the absolute perfect track to showcase the pairing of Gary and Alana in Licorice Pizza. More so after the latter was bamboozled by those two Hollywood jabronis. The waterbed scene illustrates that the temptation of lust isn’t worth it sometimes. Consent matters and it’s done right without saying a damn word!

9) Walking Away by HAIM (2017)

“Waling Away” gotta have some influences from late 90s and early 2000s R&B. No way you can convince me otherwise. It might’ve played a role as to why such deep cut stood out all this time. A different route on the subject matter of escaping heartbreaking relationships. It’s good to let things go in life and also face the situation up front.

8) My Love by Florence + The Machine (2022)

My favorite song that came out of 2022 personifies a meaning of dance. It’s why Dance Fever is what it is, a dancing experience in various forms. You just gotta “song and dance man.” No matter what version of the song it is, I love it all the way through. An emotional, yet groovy AF is one way to describe it.

7) Heavenly by Cigarettes After Sex (2019)

Take everything I said about “Apocalypse” and put it here. This song however really hit an emotional nerve one night and allowed me to dream for a good while. Great song to fall asleep and wake up to. That’s just how I roll!

6) Again by Lenny Kravitz (2000)

While dealing with one of many pallets in my 11-month period, I overheard this song and had to quickly jot it down to hear it later. I do wish to see the people I had feelings for again. But towards the end of the year, I heard this in the Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec credits and it holds a whole different meaning now. Similar to “Licorice Pizza,” “Again” is another one I’ll associate with closure on a race weekend. More so at Phoenix when I wrapped up my fifth season of this ongoing journey.

5) Night So Long by HAIM (2017)

Similar to “FUBT,” “Night So Long” gave me an ultimate “FUCK! This is so emotionally beautiful!” More so this year as this poetry driven, raw sounding 70s influence record got me good. To me, no matter what I do, there’s always an end point. As one media colleague said, “nothing is forever” in his world. She’s right and “Night So Long” captures that chaotic feeling. My love is racing and when my on-assignments are done, I go through that pitfall. Those nights are indeed long.

4) You Can’t Bring Me Down by Suicidal Tendencies (1990)

Someone said if they were a baseball player, this ST song would be his walkout music. I totally see it and arguably the group’s best song. No, I’m not saying it because Rob Trujillo was in the group in that period. This so screams GET REKT! Reality couldn’t be well spoken like “You Can’t Bring Me Down” and you can’t convince me otherwise.

3) Too Late Now by Wet Leg (2021)

Smooth, mellow, yet aggressive, chaotic and tempo personified. An incredible closure to Wet Leg. You can’t hear this without turning the volume up, especially when the tempo goes real fast. Makes me wanna go all out in a late 90s Reynard in Fontana and go 240! I’m looking forward to their future works because sky’s the limit!

2) Summer Girl by HAIM (2019)

2021 RANKING: 17
What do I look for at a “summer girl?” Not a clue but whenever I have a camera, that’s my “summer girl.” Initially, I had his at No. 5, but swapped it to No. 2 because I’m not gonna lie that I played this so many times this year. From The Velvet Underground interpolation to the catchy lyrics, “Summer Girl” is a total vibe. More so when the sun goes down on a warm summer’s day. In my case, it hit so different on a cold winter, but the skies looked like he music video. Anyways, it’s a top-five HAIM song for me!

1A) Enjoy the Silence by Depeche Mode (1990)

What I love doing annual is providing one ranked song with two versions. One studio and one that’s a really good live version. My favorite song of 2022 deserves such honor! You have no idea why I love this and come to admire Depeche Mode. It’s hard to really explain it here! I’ll say this through, the anthem of all anthems for me!

1B) Enjoy the Silence (Live) by Depeche Mode (2006)

I forget which live version I heard over the St. Bonaventure radio station, but this one sounds close to it. Listen to the crowd! You know you got a GOATED song when the entire audience sings the chorus. Indeed, an amazing song for all the introverts (someone said it, not me) out there! Words can indeed be unnecessary.

Music can be a beautiful and weird experience to behold. Now that my fifth edition is coming to a close, go out and explore more music!

I seriously hope maybe my list influenced you in a way.

Until we meet again, doubt me if you insist, prove me wrong if I give consent.

Published by Luis Torres

University of Idaho graduate that's currently pursuing the dream of becoming a motorsports media personnel.

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