Tragically alcohol took Amy Winehouse from the world at the very young age of 27. She had already over her short career released an impressive amount of quality songs but music fans are left to wonder how much more she would have accomplished and recorded over the next 20 (?), 30 (?), 40 (?) years.
Amy Winehouse was not an average talent. Her’s was a unique voice and immense talent. The music world is a weaker place without her music. With her death due to accidental alcohol poisoning on July 23, 2011 Amy Winehouse’s musical catalogue was halted. After a long period of mourning I now find myself ready to analyze which of her songs were her strongest. Over the course of her career she released three studio albums and two live albums. From her three albums eleven tracks were released as singles. Here from ten to one are her best songs:
10) In My Bed: Release Date – 2003. Song has a soul-jazz tone to it which makes it sound a lot like Portishead’s song “Sour times”. Amy sings of finally seeing her love for the loser that he is. The roles in the relationship have changed and she realizes that the guy is no good.
9) Amy Amy Amy: Release Date – 2003. Very sultry. A slow tempo and quite graphic song.
8) Love is a Losing Game: Release Date – 2006. A bittersweet song of love with a beautiful arrangement highlighting the string and a piano. It is a farewell from Amy to a lover she knows she won’t be able to forget.
7) F*%k Me Pumps: Release Date – 2003. The song was released before the American music audience was aware of the performer. The song proved that Amy was a solid storyteller. It paints a picture of the type of decadence that goes on in youth and drunken behaviour.
6) Tears Dry on Their Own: Release Date – 2006. Sweet and soulful. It is a song about a hopeless love affair. There is incredible musicality and a great vocal hook here.
5) Back to Black: Release Date – 2006. Amy channels Sarah Vaughn. She creates a mood through a purposeful slow build up ballad. Depicts a beautiful despair.
4) Me and Mr. Jones: Release Date – 2006. A song about Amy dumping the guy. Hip hop performer Nas has made claims that he is the guy in the song.
3) Rehab: It is Amy’s signature song. As soon as people heard that catchy “no no no” chorus they knew they were witnessing the birth a musical superstar. The song changed her from a success in the U.K. to a global star. The song is helped greatly by her backing band, The Dap-Kings. Their horn blasts and rocking backbeat contribute much to the song. It was a song that really showed her individual style and refusal to do what was expected of her.
2) Valerie: Release Date – 2007. It was originally sung by The Zutons but Amy’s Back to Black producer Mark Ronson asked her to rerecord it. It was part of his 2007 solo album. In her hands it became a tune that people could not resist dancing to.
1) You Know I’m No Good: Release Date – 2006: It has all the elements that make a Winehouse song great – pain and sorrow, a tough girl delivery, something going on behind the scenes, imagery that you cannot get out of your head, a timeless melody and that unmistakable voice.