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Top Studio Cuts Of All Time

By Jake Vigliotti
April 22, 2013

25. Rapunzel For all intents and purposes, itís Pantala Naga Pampa and Rapunzel, since the two are inseparable. Thereís a special moment at the end of Rapunzel; Butch Taylor. Butchís keys at the end give the end jam a bit of funk, and it works so well. Also of note are Timís fills during the verse. The song is really well laid out on the album.

24. Crash Into Me - The second single from Crash was the bands first big hit, especially with the ladies. The song may be forgotten by fans that donít listen to radio or album cuts, but it is very well laid out. The song builds nicely to the end, with a jam taking the song out. It will always be a fan favorite.

23. #34 - The first instrumental song released by the DMB (yes, I know Dave actually says something on the last verse). The song originated live with lyrics, but now has more plays without lyrics than with.

22. Lover Lay Down - The song has always had a bit of a cult following, and thatís apparent by its top 25 appearance. But really, the album version is beautiful. Daveís lyric come through cleanly and Roiís beautiful saxophone accompaniment accentuates the song perfectly.

21. Tripping Billies - Fans love a version now that was generally frowned upon by older fans when Crash debuted in 1996. The song allegedly was a throw-in on the European release only, and then added to the US version of Crash as well.

20. Big Eyed Fish (LWS) - There may not be a bigger contrast between two songs from The Lillywhite Sessions and Busted Stuff. The latter is generally referred to as a glorified intro, whereas the original LWS version is adored. You could make a pretty strong case itís the best song on that ďalbumĒ, and itís truly a masterpiece and seemingly different from commercially released Busted Stuff version. Not a single voter among the 50 chose the BS version.

19. You Never Know - The song was famously a merger of two different songs tried in session, which is still visible at the time signature change in the song. The song has been beloved since its debut live in 2002, and is always a song fans want to hear, even in its studio form.

18. Drunken Soldier - Away From The World received a warm welcome from fans, but no one was expecting the bold, ambitious studio effort that became Drunken Soldier. The ultimate track from AFTW provides a powerful closer to the album, and fans instantly recognized it as a piece of art.

17. Ants Marching - Thereís a pretty good chance that your first favorite song by DMB was the version you heard on Under The Table And Dreaming. If you never heard the band live prior to its release, the sing-along DMB anthem is at the very least the one you remember the best after the first listen. Steve Lillywhite did a nice job capturing the chaos of a live Ants on the album. It remains a version that fans arenít ashamed to have in their heavy rotation of listening.

16. Bartender (LWS) - If the first entry didnít give it away, the hard-core fans really appreciate The Lillywhite Sessions. Even for the rawness of the album, Bartender comes across as sharp, and yet mellow at the same time. There isnít a large difference between the two tracks, but one factor that plays in is the lack of Big Eyed Fish prior to it; and that enough may have pushed this version to inclusion.

15. Typical Situation - Under The Table And Dreaming gets its 4th entry on the list. This is another track where Steve Lillywhite really meshed the band and Dave together perfectly. The sound comes across bold, yet in a timid way (if such a contrast can be musically noted).

14. Two Step - This is an example of time healing all wounds. Two Step on Crash was not exactly beloved by hard-core fans in 1996. It is vastly different from the live versions of the time (including a lyrical change from ďHelenaĒ to ďMy LoveĒ on the first verse). 30 of the 51 ballots included it, and going forward only one song had as many exclusions as Two Step. But even the older fans have come to appreciate Two Stepís album debut, and the lyrical changes Ė still in effect today Ė did improve the song.

13. Lie In Our Graves - Who would have thought a ping-pong game could capture the sound needed in the jam portion of Lie In Our Graves? Well, Steve Lillywhite could. Boydís solo is masterful, and the extra sounds added in by Lillywhite to give the song depth are stellar.

12. Say Goodbye - The song was beloved by fans that knew it prior to the release of Crash, and was probably the most anticipated song know of on the album. The band did not disappoint. The version is just so tight, so clean, it is what a studio track should be; perfect. Even the lyrics that Dave settled on (and still alters to this day live) are just poetic in their rhythm, the song just flat-out works.

11. Warehouse - To the fans around prior to Under The Table and Dreaming this was the track that scared them. How could the band re-capture the sound of Warehouse in the studio? Well, pretty easily. The beginning is just so haunting, and layered. Dave sounds like heís singing from the top of a mountain, bellowing down through the valleys. Stefanís bass line, something that is seldom pointed out Ė is powerful, building, and creates the explosion that reaches the final verse.

10. Pig - Boyd Tinsley owns Pig. Daveís rewrite of Donít Burn The Pig is driven by the Boyd and his screaming violin. The violin charges through the song, plowing the way for Daveís Carpe Diem lyrics. Everything about Pig screams success in improving an already good version of a song.

9. Best Of Whatís Around - We learned in our Top 50 survey from 2010 that literally everyone loves Best; it received a vote from every single person. It didnít gain as much support for its studio version, but still, 34 votes is nothing to sneeze at. And for a lot of fans, it was the first studio recording they heard from the band, as Carterís quick snaps of the snare welcomed them to the band. Best has a lot going on in the studio, and fans recognize that and rewarded it with a worthy placement.

8. Captain (LWS) - Remember that the hard-core fan likes The Lillywhite Sessions? Nothing illustrates that more than the placement of Captain. The Busted Stuff version garnered 3 votes; LWS 29, including 3 first place votes. Donít snicker at those, the song meshes loving lyrics with sad, depressing tones effectively. If you looked up a definition of ďhauntingly beautifulĒ you might find this track playing. The lyrics are painful and yearning, and the melody fits the mood.

7. Proudest Monkey - The first epic jam to be included on an album; Crash gave fans the first taste of what a DMB show is like without ever seeing the band live. Itís hard to imagine that such a scenario could exist, but yes, there are fans that first discovered the band via albums. Proudest Monkey is a controlled, epic jam contained on an album. Itís a work of art the way itís laid out.

6. The Last Stop - The intro; a controlled madness of beeps, a phone conversation, and then a crescendo of noise that erupts into the opening notes of The Last Stop. Fans always want to hear The Last Stop live, but the studio version is pretty dag-gum special.

5. #41 - The Crash song received 4 first place votes (including my own), and it really a complex song on the album. For as much as it sounds the same live, itís actually pretty different, with Tim playing a different guitar part on the studio version. Boyd and Roiís solos blast through after the lyrics, and for a song that kinda doesnít have a chorus (I know technically it does, but go with it), itís still one of the most popular sing-alongs live. Fans learned the lyrics live by listening to the studio version over and over.

4. Spoon - Before These Crowded Streets is well represented on the list (rightfully so) and Spoon is another song beloved live and studio. The complex lyrics and soothing rhythms make the song so easy to listen to, and it has a beautiful ebb and flow to it. Alanis Morressetteís lyrical addition work perfectly in studio, yet arenít missed live. Thatís the mark of a strong song.

3. Crush - There are little elements that add so much to Crush from Before These Crowded Streets, and one of the most important ones is Butch Taylor. Butchís subtle piano accompaniment gives the song the feel of a Smokey blues club. Roi and Boydís duel solos build to an epic studio jam.

2. The Stone - Roi. LeRoi Moore laying down that haunting baritone saxophone low note tells you exactly where the song is going. The Stone is brooding, heavy, yet breathes into a perfectly paced song. Itís hard to believe that in the infancy of the internet, The Stone was the studio song most hated on by the ďhardcoreĒ fans. Thankfully, most of those either moved on or just stopped the silliness, because The Stone is anything but something to be frowned upon. It was chosen as the #1 song in the 2010 song pool, and pulls a respectable #2 ranking for studio cut.

1. The Dreaming Tree - 47. Thatís the number of tracks laid down on Dreaming Tree. Thatís 47 different sounds of some sort that make up the song. Between Stefanís bass line and Greg Howard and his Chapman Stick, Daveís lyric, the song is quite simply a masterpiece. It is no surprise that itís #1. 50 people included it on their ballots. Its lowest vote was 17th, and had an amazing 13 first place votes.

The views and comments expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of antsmarching.org.


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