Big news today when it was announced OAR is playing at the NHL All Star Game. Why is that big news? Because anyone who grew up in the Kazaa/Limewire/Napster era of downloading music at one point loved OAR. It’s hard to really explain what that time was like to these young whipper snappers of today. But OAR had this aura about them. You had to see their live show. It was a right of passage. Anyone who grew up in Maryland had their first makeout/blackout at an OAR show at Merriweather. Anyone who has been to college has heard Crazy Game of Poker no less than 1,000 times.
Since 2008 or so, I haven’t listened to much new OAR. They got older, they went after the big bucks (can’t blame them one iota) and their songs changed, as did the crowds at the shows. It became more people who only knew Crazy Game of Poker, Love and Memories, and Shattered, and fewer and fewer people who knew the classics, the songs recorded in Marc’s basement, the songs from Any Time Now and 34th and 8th.
Nonetheless, OAR has a big place in my heart and was young Nate’s favorite band. I, like most Maryland/East Coast kids saw them a bunch of times growing up. Their annual summer concert at Merriweather was nothing short of a yearly high school reunion on the lawn. I also was at Live at MSG, which was pretty dope.
So in light of the All Star Game news I decided to make a list of my top 10 OAR songs of all time. No, I don’t have This Town, Love and Memories, or Shattered. In fact, I have nothing from 2005’s Stories of a Stranger or anything released since. People who grew up on 34th and 8th and Any Time Now and Souls Aflame and the like should appreciate it, and the kids who only know recent OAR might be shocked and hopefully get a little learned.
PS: Live versions of every song, obviously.
PS: Order doesn’t really matter much here, they can move up or down based on what I had for lunch that day. It’s really an impossible task to rank classics.
10) About Mr. Brown – Just an all time classic. Beat out a bunch of other classics for number 10 like Risen, Missing Pieces and Ladanday.
9) So Moved On – If you ever hate a girl because she’s a stone cold bitch, listen to this song 100 times and feel better about yourself.
8) King of the Thing - Song is incredible, such a shame it’s only number 8. Again, ranking these was an impossible task.
7) Untitled – Another song like So Moved On, but kind of reversed onto the girl.
6) Right On Time – Had to put up the album version, probably their song that sounds best recorded and not live. All about life working out for you, a really great song.
5) Night Shift – Probably got downloaded under the wrong title (3am) than any song in Napster history. If this song doesn’t get you going, I don’t know what will.
4) Black Rock – Maryland, that is. I don’t know how this isn’t number 1.
3) Delicate Few – Woahhhhhh, woahhhhhhhhh, woah oh oh oh oh
2) I Feel Home – Every single girl had “Well in the end we can all call a friend well that’s something I know as true. And in a thousand years and a thousand tears I’ll come finding my original crew” as their AIM away message for the entirety of freshman year of college. I don’t know how this song isn’t world-famous. It’s a perfect song.
1) City on Down – Overwhelmingly great version of a great song.