When I drove down to Indy last week for the neurologist, I spent my car ride listening to cds of "Glee," season 1. While I am a huge "Gleek," I hadn't listened to the season 1 stuff for a while. Remembering all those songs led me to contemplate a Top 10 Songs from Glee Season 1 list. I posted my question on Facebook, got some responses, thought some more, and here's my final cut:
1. "Don't Stop Believin'"
Clearly this has to make this list, as it is THE iconic song (can a song be iconic??) of season 1. I'm actually not sure, though, whether I prefer the original version (from the pilot) or the regionals version. On one hand, the pilot episode version was what made us all love and root for the New Directions in the first place. On the other hand, the regionals version brought back all the great stuff from the first episode, while also letting us hear more of the voices that we had come to know and love. Thoughts on this?
2. "Defying Gravity"
I also have a bit of a personal debate on this one: which is better, Rachel's version or Kurt's? In the end, I'd say that I like the duet version from the volume 1 soundtrack the best. It takes the best of both Rachel and Kurt's versions and blends them into the first of many great duets by this pair.
3. "Gives You Hell"
This one is from the first episode of the second half of the season, "Hell-O." Rachel sings it after Finn says he doesn't want to date her. And I don't really know what it is about this song, but I LOVE it. It makes me smile and car-dance every time. My favorite part is toward the end, where the rest of the group joins in. Also, it helps that this was the first song that really featured the sweet dance moves of Mike Chang.
4. "What It Feels Like for a Girl"
This one was from "The Power of Madonna" episode. I am a total sucker for acapella male voices (thus why if I were to make a Top 10 of Season 2 list, it would heavily feature the Warblers). I just love this stripped-down version and the sentiments that it expressed in the episode.
This one is from the "Theatricality" episode and is sung by Puck, Finn, and the guys. Again, I am sucker for male harmonizing. But I also love the sweet intent behind this one and how Quinn ends up naming her baby Beth as a result.
6. "Somebody to Love"
A great number by the whole group, performed at the invitational at McKinley (in the episode where April Rhodes joins the choir). I saw an interview with the cast about season 1, and in it, many of them said that this was their favorite song to perform that season. It was the first one they did as a group at a competition, and it was also the first one to feature Mercedes wailing on those high notes at the end (another trait of great songs that we viewers have come to know and love).
7. "Bad Romance"
Since I've already got two of the guys' songs listed, it's only fair to pick one by the girls (and Kurt). For one, this song was just so over-the-top that we had to love it. Secondly, it's the first song on the show to feature the voice of Santana, and WOW, can that girl sing!
8. "Safety Dance"
This was in the "Dream On" episode. What's not to love about this song? Artie sings (he gets a lot more solos following this, but it's one of his first) AND dances (which has only happened twice to date). And seriously, if I were to actually see a Glee flash mob in a mall, it would be one of the highlights of my life.
I may be a little biased toward this one, as I totally loved the Van Halen version if this song while growing up. But pairing it with the kids in pajamas, jumping all over mattresses to shoot a commercial? Totally great.
10. "To Sir With Love"
As a teacher, I dream of having students show their appreciation for me in some way (and this was a pretty awesome way). Secondly, oh, the tears that flowed when we thought that glee club was at an end. Thirdly, super-sweet harmonies featuring all of our favorite voices.
* "Bust A Move" or "Ice Ice Baby"
This list really can't be complete without at least a reference to Mr. Shue rapping in front of his students.
* "Sweet Caroline"
The first song performed solo by Puck.... and also, I think, the moment where most female fans stopped seeing him as just a "bad boy," but he instead became "crush-worthy." Bonus points for the frequently-sung adaption around our house, "Sweet Bryn of mine."
* "True Colors"
The first (good) song to feature Tina, who is still rather under-used.
* "Poker Face"
While it was definitely a weird choice for a mother-daughter duet, you just can't argue with how great Rachel and Shelby sound together.
* "It's My Life/Confessions" and "Halo/Walking on Sunshine"
The first of many epic mash-ups performed by the New Directions. Also the first boy/girl competition, which was great.
* "You Can't Always Get What You Want"
A great comeback for their performance at sectionals. Also, a song that I frequently sing to my children when they're whining about not getting their own way. ;)
* "Good Vibrations"
Because Mercedes is awesome, and Finn rapping is hilarious.
What about you? What are your favorites?