July 02, 2006

Our Wedding Favor Music Mix

It was surprisingly hard to select and agree on 80 minutes worth of music that was personal, appropriate, and fit well together. Artists that are our favorites, like Bruce Springsteen, didn't quite fit. On the other hand, bands which are barely on our radar (Haircut 100) made it when the song was just perfect for the moment. Read on for more about our wedding favor mix...
1. “Across The Universe” The Beatles • It was tough picking just one song. This is Emily’s favorite.
2. “I Love Every Little Thing About You” Stevie Wonder • I once bought three Stevie Wonder CDs in one day, and lived to tell the tale.
3. “Radio Sweetheart” Elvis Costello • We both love Elvis, and Emily used this song at the start of her college radio show.
4. “Fearless Love” Bonnie Raitt • This is an old favorite – I heard it as background music in the movie Sideways.
5. “Fair” Ben Folds Five • If our love for music were a Venn diagram, Ben Folds would be at the center of the overlap. We actually attended the same BF concert two months before we met. A very When Harry Met Sally moment, wouldn't you say?
6. "Kiss On My List" Daryl Hall & John Oates • The first cassette I bought from the Record & Tape Club was Hall & Oates Rock 'n' Soul Pt. 1. Of course, I still have the tape.
7. "Come Rain Or Come Shine" Ella Fitzgerald • For Emily, it’s impossible to pick a favorite American songbook standard, but it had to be Ella.
8. “Sunday Morning” Maroon Five • This song sounds like the soundtrack to our own screwball romantic comedy.
9. “Black Coffee In Bed” Squeeze (live 1990) • Yes, this is a breakup song, but it means a lot to us. I wrote in my online personal ad that my "most humbling moment" was when I couldn't hit the high notes in this song anymore! Emily was naturally charmed, and the rest is history.
10. “I’ll Be Your Mirror” Clem Snide • A cover version of Emily’s favorite Velvet Underground song.
11. “Lovely Day” Bill Withers • The soul classic that also reminds Emily of rollerskating up and down the driveway, circa 1982.
12. “What A Fool Believes” The Doobie Brothers • Song of the Year from 1979, this one goes out to Miss Amy Armstrong, our fellow Michael McDonald-o-phile!
13. “The Good Part” Wilco (live) • On our second date, we went to see a documentary about Emily’s favorite band. It's hard to find a Wilco song with a positive outlook on love, but this fits the bill.
14. “The Painter” Neil Young • From the album Prairie Wind, we first heard this in the amazing concert film Neil Young: Heart of Gold.
15. “This Old Heart Of Mine” The Isley Brothers • We had to include some Motown here, and Nat has a soft spot for this 1965 hit as it's prominently featured in his favorite “Moonlighting” episode!
16. "Love Plus One" Haircut 100 • This song sounds like the soundtrack to our own John Hughes 80’s teen drama.
17. “Drive South” John Hiatt • I once got John Hiatt’s autograph, but I was too nervous to engage him in conversation, can you believe it?
18. “Waiting For My Real Life To Begin” Colin Hay is the lead singer from Men At Work, a teenage favorite for both me & Em, all grown up here.
19. “Delirious Love” Neil Diamond • Another classic from our youth reincarnated!
20. “Age of Aquarius/Let The Sun Shine” featuring the Cast of The Forty-Year-Old Virgin • Feel free to sing along, just like the end of the movie...

Wedding Reception Background Music

When planning our wedding reception, my wife and I decided to omit dancing. We were more interested in the "family and friends reunion" reception than the "dance party" reception. We decided to hire a classical guitarist for the "cocktail" hour, followed by background music.

Emily and I had a lot of fun putting this playlist together. It's Nat & Em's Greatest Mellow Hits 1940-2006! There are a lot of covers of popular songs on here- it's a nice way to include a fresh take on an overplayed hit song. With the Amazon MP3 store and iTunes, it's easier than ever to browse for a cool cover song, or seek out that long-lost nugget, without paying for a full CD.

  1. This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody) • Shawn Colvin
  2. She's No Lady (She's My Wife) • Lyle Lovett (live)
  3. I.G.Y. (International Geophysical Year) • Donald Fagen
  4. Tupelo Honey • Cassandra Wilson
  5. Magic In The Air • Badly Drawn Boy
  6. As Time Goes By • Billie Holiday
  7. Your Sweet Voice • Matthew Sweet
  8. God Only Knows • The Beach Boys
  9. A Mi Manera (My Way) • The Gypsy Kings
  10. Words • Ellis Paul
  11. Landslide • Fleetwood Mac
  12. Love and Some Verses • Iron & Wine
  13. Baby Now That I've Found You • Alison Krauss & Union Station
  14. Better Be Home Soon • Crowded House
  15. The One I Love • David Gray
  16. Gee Baby, Ain't I Good To You? • Diana Krall
  17. Rain King (live, acoustic) • Counting Crows
  18. Calico Skies • Paul McCartney
  19. Come and Find Me • Josh Ritter
  20. Ooh La La • The Faces
  21. Pink Moon • Nick Drake
  22. I Will • Alison Krauss & Tony Furtado
  23. Tonight You Belong To Me • What I really wanted was the recording in the movie The Jerk where Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters sing on the beach. I found this very similar version by Eddie Montana instead.
  24. You Belong To Me • Patsy Cline
  25. Stranded • If you insist on including Van Morrison in your wedding, please select one of his dozens of great ballads that are NOT "Have I Told You Lately"!
  26. Razor Love • Neil Young
  27. They Can't Take That Away From Me • Lisa Stansfield
  28. Real Love • John Lennon recorded this as a demo only. It first appeared in the documentary John Lennon Imagine in 1988, and was later transformed into a Beatles reunion track in 1995.
  29. Green Eyes • Coldplay
  30. Honeymoon Suite • Suzanne Vega
  31. More Than This • Charlie Hunger Quartet, featuring Norah Jones
  32. One on One • Hall & Oates
  33. Nightswimming • R.E.M.
  34. When You Wake Up Feeling Old • Wilco
  35. It Had To Be You • Billie Holiday
  36. Sea of Love • The Honeydrippers
  37. She Will Have Her Way • Neil Finn
  38. Last Train to Clarksville • Cassandra Wilson
  39. Runaway Feeling • The Thorns
  40. Conceived • Beth Orton
  41. Color My World • This totally retro Chicago song was my in-law's wedding song.
  42. The Long and Winding Road • This version of the Beatles' classic is from the Let It Be Naked album, which strips away Phil Spector's Wall Of Sound strings and choir tracks, thank goodness!