A few words about the methodology for my favorite songs list.

First, I had to own a song for it to appear on the list. Duh.

Second, I limited myself to one song per artist. After some consultation with a few other music geeks, I determined that I could consider both Beatles songs and John Lennon’s solo work separately. Same for Neil Finn’s work with Split Enz, Crowded House, The Finn Brothers, and on his own. Alas, no one made the final list under two different entries.

That did made some of the selection process a series of mini-tournaments to pick my favorite Beatles, Radiohead, Pearl Jam, etc. song.

So how did I put this together? First, I scrolled through my iTunes library and reviewed every song rated as five stars, pulling my favorites into a new playlist. Then, I reviewed all my four star songs to make sure none deserved an addition star. After this review, I started with a list of about 45 songs back in April. I purged and added and purged some more, but I doubt I ever got up to 50 songs for consideration. In fact, I got under 30 pretty quickly. By early June, I was sitting on a list of 22 songs that more-or-less included everything that made the final list. Those final two songs were the biggest struggle for some reason. At one point, both Marshall Crenshaw and John Lennon had songs at the tail end of the list. But, in time, they got bumped.

The rest of the list remained fairly static. I did a rough ranking, then compared each song to those next to it, decided which I liked best, and reranked them based on that. There was a song that at one point was in the top five that fell down into the second ten. One song that ended up in the top five wasn’t on the list until last week (You’ll read about that next week). But other than spending a lot of time thinking about what to write about each song, this was a fairly easy process.

Now that the gauntlet has been thrown, I hope to read some of your top 10 or 20 or whatever songs lists soon.