I PM-ed it to you a while ago, but I'll post it here as well.
CD 1: JOOST'S TOP 20
01. The Beach Boys - God Only Knows (1966)
There are a lot of songs that I love, but 'God Only Knows' is the only one that I consider to be absolutely 100% perfect. Every second of this song is pure magic, there's so much beauty here that it almost sounds like it's from another world. There is so much going on, many voices and instruments flowing and floating through the song, and every individual part is brilliant on it's own. Hands down my all-time favorite song. This one is from The Beach Boys' classic 11th studio album, 'Pet Sounds'. 'God Only Knows' was only a B-side in the US (backing 'Wouldn't It Be Nice'), but a high charting A-side pretty much everywhere else.
02. Warm Sounds - Birds and Bees (1967)
This is an obscure song that I heard on the car radio when I was on a holiday in Germany with my parents and brothers at age 11. I thought it was the most beautiful song I'd ever heard and kept it in the back of my mind. It took me eleven years to find the song back, but when I heard it again it was still as beautiful as I remembered it was. And it still is. Warm Sounds were English singer-songwriter duo Denver Gerrard and Barry Husband. They only released three singles in 1967 and 1968, of which only 'Birds and Bees' became a minor UK hit, the other two flopped.
03. France Gall - Poupée de Cire, Poupée de Son (1965)
I'm a sucker for good melodies, and the descending main melody of the song just might be the best melody I've ever heard. I also absolutely love the full arrangement and Gall's utterly charming voice. This song was written by legendary and notorious French artist Serge Gainsbourg and sung by then 17 year old Isabelle "France" Gall at the 1965 Eurovision Song Contest, which she won representing the country of Luxemburg. Ever since she realized what the hidden meaning behind the lyrics was (they appear to be about a doll, but Gainsbourg actually made Gall sing that she was just his puppet), Gall has distanced herself from this song.
04. Ph.D. - I Won't Let You Down (1981)
This is easily the most nostalgic song there is for me. When I grew up, my parents always had the radio on, so the hits from the early eighties are the soundtrack of my earliest childhood memories. And somehow, no other song from that time has nested itself in my brain more than this one did. Listening to it has the same effect as going through my old photo albums. Ph.D. consisted of singer Jim Diamond (later a successful solo artist) and two former members of the Jeff Beck Group. Their claims to fame are the facts that 'I Won't Let You Down' was a UK #3 and that 'Little Suzi's on the Up' was the fifth video ever played on MTV.
05. The Stranglers - Golden Brown (1981)
This is another nostalgic song from my early childhood. The sweet-and-sour mood of this song is just unique, I always thought it sounded like a great soundtrack for a dark fairytale. The Stranglers were labelled as being "punk", but really owed a lot more to The Doors than to punk rock, and the four musicians came from blues, classical, progressive rock and jazz backgrounds, respectively. This song was a UK #2 hit, and was more or less the group's comeback to the higher regions of the charts after a string of minor hits.
06. Elliott Smith - Miss Misery (1997)
I heard this song during the final scene of 'Good Will Hunting'. The mellow yet dark mood of it immediately grabbed me, the next day I went out to find an Elliott Smith CD and one week later I had his whole discography. Elliott (real name: Steve) Smith still recorded his lo-fi, mostly acoustic albums by himself at home when director Gus Van Sant included six of his songs on the 'Good Will Hunting' soundtrack ('Miss Misery' was then nominated for an Oscar for best original song but lost to Celine Dion's 'My Heart Will Go On'). Smith couldn't handle his success very well and committed suicide in 2003.
07. Tim Hardin - (How Can We) Hang On To a Dream (1966)
Yet another song that has been a personal favorite for as long as I can remember. This might be the saddest song I've ever heard, and the most remarkable thing about it is that it makes sadness sound like an absolutely wonderful emotion. Tim Hardin got addicted to heroin while serving in the Navy in Vietnam. Due to his addiction and severe stage fright he was never a very successful performing artist, but several of his compositions were hits for others. Hardin hardly recorded or performed anymore throughout the 70s, sold the rights to all his songs and died of an overdose in 1980.
08. Michel Fugain & Le Big Bazar - Une Belle Histoire (1972)
This is my ultimate Summer vacation song, it always reminds me of the camping trips to France with my family when I was in my teens. This song is instant sunshine packaged with a load of nostalgia, a wonderfully mellow mood and some gorgeous melodies as well. Michel Fugain was born in Grenoble, France in 1942 as the son of a prominent member of the French anti-Nazi resistance. Since he has always sung in his native language, Fugain remained unknown in the English speaking countries, but his 'Je n'Aurai Pas le Temps' became an international hit for John Rowles as 'If I Only Had Time'. He is still active today.
09. Cat Stevens - Wild World (1970)
This might get old by now, but this is yet another one of those songs that I've loved for as long as I can remember. Cat Stevens is one of my favorite songwriters, he wrote many great songs, but 'Wild World' always remained my favorite of his. It's hard to write a song more solid than this one. Stevens (birth name Steve Georgiou) switched from heavily orchestrated pop to acoustic folk around 1970. 'Wild World', from his classic album 'Tea for the Tillerman', was a hit for Stevens but an even bigger hit for reggae singer Jimmy Cliff. In the late 70s, Stevens converted to Islam and abandoned music. He made a comeback in 2003 as Yusuf.
10. The Beach Boys - Surf's Up (1971)
A brilliant composition with an equally brilliant arrangement, a magical mood and outstanding surreal lyrics that give me some amazing mental images every time I hear it. Brian Wilson originally wrote this song for the 'Smile' album and performed a solo version in 1966 on a TV show hosted by acclaimed classical composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein, who was impressed. The studio version version from 1971 was created by Brian's brother Carl, who stitched sections of several half-finished versions of the song together and added the missing vocals and necessary overdubs.
11. Procol Harum - A Whiter Shade of Pale (1967)
Few songs have such an amazing atmosphere. This is yet another song that I always have loved, ever since I was a child, and that I still can listen to regularly without ever getting tired of it. Procol Harum was named after the cat of a friend of their manager. Their first single, 'A Whiter Shade of Pale', sold more than ten million copies and is ranked as the worldwide 28th best selling single of all time. Procol Harum is still (or rather, again) touring, although singer-pianist Gary Brooker is now the only remaining original band member.
12. The Moody Blues - The Night: Nights in White Satin (1967)
Like 'Surf's Up', this is a song that just has a certain kind of magical mood and never fails to give me beautiful mental images whenever I listen to it. Yet another personal favorite since childhood. After starting off as a rhythm & blues/beat group, The Moody Blues was asked by their label in 1967 to record a rock adaptation of Antonín Dvořák's Symphony No. 9, for which they got to use the London Symphony Orchestra. Instead, they recorded a symphonic rock album of original material, a concept album about a normal working day. The "Night" section didn't do too well as a single in 1967, but a 1972 reissue was more successful.
13. Zoli Band - Painful (2000)
I bought a Zoli Band demo at an Ignite concert in 1999, came home late that night, quickly wanted to skip through the tracks but couldn't stop playing the song 'Painful' on repeat. The song still sounds just as great to me now as it did when I first heard it. Zoli Teglas has been the singer of Californian hardcore punk band Ignite since 1994. With members and roadies of that band, he started Zoli Band as an outlet for the pop and rock songs he'd written. Their self-titled album is highly obscure and was almost exclusively available at Ignite concerts. 'Painful' was based on the Dexys Midnight Runners song 'All In All (This One Last Wild Waltz)'.
14. Simon & Garfunkel - America (1968)
A great, mellow, nicely atmospheric roadtrip song. It's surprisingly easy on the ears if you consider that this song really shouldn't work, as the lyrics don't rhyme and the bass parts are all over the place. Their song 'America' appeared on the album 'Bookends' in 1968, but wasn't released as a single until 1972, when it was used to promote the 'Simon & Garfunkel's Greatest Hits' compilation. It didn't get further than #97 in the US. It has been covered by Yes and David Bowie, and Bert Sommer performed it at Woodstock.
15. The Yellow Balloon - Stained Glass Window (1967)
The feeling of Summer and new love, the feeling of ultimate happiness, has rarely been translated better to a song than right here. Songwriter and producer Gary Zekley wrote a song called 'Yellow Balloon' for Jan & Dean in 1967. He paid them a visit while they recorded it, and decided that he didn't like their version. He then quickly hired some session musicians, recorded his own version and released it before Jan & Dean's version came out. After Zekley's version of 'Yellow Balloon' indeed became a much bigger hit than Jan & Dean's version, his fictional studio group became a real band and recorded one surprisingly good LP.
16. America - Ventura Highway (1972)
This is one of the most mellow and relaxing songs I've ever heard, and probably the most perfect song for a roadtrip soundtrack. America was formed, ironically, in England in 1970. The three members each were sons of British mothers and American fathers. Their first single 'Horse with No Name', which was often mistaken for a Neil Young song, became a US #1 hit in 1972, actually replacing a Neil Young song ('Heart of Gold') from the top spot. America then relocated to the US, where they recorded the album 'Homecoming', which yielded the single 'Ventura Highway', their third US top 10 hit in a row.
17. Gerry & The Pacemakers - You'll Never Walk Alone (1963)
Although this song has become a bit of a cheap karaoke tune, the Gerry & The Pacemakers version still give me goosebumps every time I hear it. This is still one of the best songs to listen to when you're feeling down. I wouldn't mind having this played at my funeral. 'You'll Never Walk Alone' first appeared in the musical 'Carousel' in 1945 and has since been covered by anyone from Frank Sinatra to Elvis Presley to Bob Dylan. The Gerry & The Pacemakers version was that band's third single and third UK #1 in a row. The song has been adopted as the "anthem" by several soccer clubs, most famously by Liverpool FC.
18. Elvis Presley - I Want You, I Need You, I Love You (1956)
I was an obsessed Elvis fan as a child and listened to his music all the time. With his voice and style, The King didn't even need specifically good songs to make enjoyable music. 'I Want You...' however is a great song, probably the prettiest and most yearning one he ever put to tape. It was recorded as the follow-up to his first major hit single 'Heartbreak Hotel'. Because Presley and his band were shaken by a troubled flight to the studio in Nashville, all 17 takes they layed down were unsuccessful. Parts of two different takes were then glued together, something that was very rarely (successfully) done in the 1950s.
19. The Alan Parsons Project - The Turn of a Friendly Card (Part 1) (1980)
I heard this song at work several years ago. I hadn't heard it for many years, but I did vagely remember it and thought that it had absolutely gorgeous melodies. I asked a co-worker if she happened to know what the title of the song was, and luckily she did. Alan Parsons worked as an engineer on The Beatles' 'Abbey Road' and 'Let It Be', and Pink Floyd's 'The Dark Side of the Moon'. In 1975 he began writing concept albums with his manager Eric Woolfson, which he then recorded with session musicians and guest singers. 'The Turn of a Friendly Card' was the Project's 5th record, a concept album about gambling.
20. The Polyphonic Spree - Section 12 (Hold Me Now) (2004)
I heard this song at work one day and thought it was probably the best recent song that I'd heard in years. I still think it's the best new song of the last 15 years. I love The Polyphonic Spree's over-the-top, reach for the sky bombastic sound, which very much reminds of symphonic pop from the late 60s, and this is easily their best-written song. I saw this band live in 2005, it was one of the best and certainly the most overwhelming concert I've ever seen. The Polyphonic Spree is known for consisting of about 25 band members who wear identical robes on stage.
CD 2: GROETEN UIT HOLLAND
01. Boeijen Hofstede Vrienten - Aardige Jongens (2008)
02. Boudewijn de Groot - Testament (1967)
03. Doe Maar - De Bom (1982)
04. Frank Boeijen Groep - Linda (1983)
05. Gerard van Maasakkers - Gaode Mee (1978)
06. Het Goede Doel - Vriendschap (1983)
07. Herman Brood & Henny Vrienten - Als Je Wint (1984)
08. Johan - Tumble and Fall (2001)
09. Kayak - Ruthless Queen (1979)
10. The Kik - Springlevend (2012)
11. Klein Orkest - Over de Muur (1984)
12. The Kyteman Orchestra - The Mushroom Cloud (2012)
13. Moss - I Apologise (Dear Simon) (2009)
14. Ramses Shaffy - Laat Me (1978)
15. Richard Neal - Take Me To the Water (1971)
16. Toontje Lager - Stiekem Gedanst (1983)
17. Trockener Kecks - Met Hart en Ziel (1990)
18. Urban Dance Squad - Temporarily Expendable (1996)
19. Valensia - Gaia (1993)
20. Zijlstra - Durgerdam Slaapt (2002)
21. Fall Breaks - Heart vs. Brain (2011)