So this Thursday is the 500th musical performance of glee.
Yeah! No lie!
We have witnessed 500 songs performed on glee over four seasons. It’s quite amazing and a huge accomplishment.
So with half a thousand songs down, I feel this I should do something this week to honor them. After all I do write a glee blog and do a weekly glee-cap for my job. So that’s what I’m going to do!
This week I am going to write a post a day in celebration of the 500th performance of the show!
Monday: Top Ten Songs of Season One
Tuesday: Top Ten Songs of Season Two
Wednesday: Top Ten Songs of Season Three
Thursday: Top Ten Guilty Pleasure Songs
Friday: Top Ten Songs of Season Four
Saturday: Top Ten Solos (subject to change)
Sunday: Top Ten Duets (subject to change)
God help me. I am doing it.
Here’s hoping I don’t hate myself a week from now.
Why? Because clearly I am a crazy person. Now let’s get to it!
These are the Top Ten Songs of Season of Glee! As decided by me because I’m the one with a blog. These songs will be solos, duets and group numbers.
So let’s get to it!
10) “My Life Would Suck Without You” (Season One Episode Thirteen “Sectionals”)
This was the song that closed out the first thirteen episodes of season one and with good reason. It was a scene stealer. More importantly, it was a celebration of what everyone went through those thirteen episodes. It described the club perfectly and it actually continues to describe New Directions perfectly. It’s a group of dysfunctional people who really shouldn’t be in the same room together but…without them it wouldn’t be as much fun. They are “united here somehow” through this weird and wild ride of being members of New Directions. It’s also a homage to all the past musical performances of season one leading up to this one. Plus the cuts from the song to Will and Emma running toward each other and kissing was just…I still get happy listening to it and watching it.
9) “Over the Rainbow” / “To Sir With Love “(Season One Episode Twenty-Two “Journey”)
I couldn’t choose! I simply could not have chosen between these two songs when they bear the same message! They both made me cry!
“To Sir With Love” was sung when we felt like New Directions was over utterly. All of the kids wanted to show their appreciation for Mister Schue and what he had given them by starting up this club all those months ago. it was beautiful and simple and heartfelt as all the kids sing to him. I remember bawling like a baby from it. And then see Sue listening to them and find out she wanted New Directions to win Regionals?! Gah. I was gone. And if you didn’t cry you have no heart.
“Over the Rainbow” was less somber but no less beautiful than “To Sir With Love”. It was a quiet celebration sung after New Directions gets a second year as a glee club. Mister Schue repays the gift his students gave him with a song about finding yourself. Which arguably you could say was what happens with New Directions. It was a soft note to end season one on and a good hand. I love anything with a ukulele in it. This song had a note of quiet dignity of maybe we didn’t win the competition but found something better variety.
8) “Bad Romance” (Season One Episode Twenty “Theatricality”)
This was amazing and I will not hear any shade toward it. It was theatrical. It was glorious in the tribute to Lady Gaga. I got interested in Lady Gaga thanks to this cover of “Bad Romance”.It was over the top and wonderful. Kurt and the girls killing it on vocals, costume and choreography in the best way possible. It was elaborate and worshipful. It was fun. And glee thrives on this level of campy gloriousness. It one of the ultimate embraces of what the show is in Season One. And I love every single minute of it.
Plus props on dancing in those shoes.
7) “Proud Mary” (Season One Episode Nine “Wheels”)
A number like this makes me wonder how we never had another all wheelchair number in glee. This was an amazing fun number to watch and even listen too. It has a lot of energy. Plus the whole episode has been building toward this number as a solidarity move for the glee club to Artie. They even dress like him! It’s sweet on that level because you know the have a better appreciation for their fellow glee club member. However it’s also just a stunning song that showcases Kevin McHale’s and Amber Riley’s voices to their zenith.
6) True Colors (Season One Episode Eleven “Hairography”)
Again this is one of the slower songs from season one. It also a song that let’s Jenna Ushkowitz’s voice shine as well. It is also, if memory serves, the first stool number of the series. A stool number being them sitting on stools. But it works here with simple t-shirts mixed with beautiful lighting and background, a dance number during this song just would not have worked as well at all. You need this mellow, dream like quality that the voices mixing together lends. This is a song that, like a lot in the first thirteen episodes of Glee, warms your heart with its charm.
5) Imagine (Season One Episode Eleven “Hairography”)/Lean On Me (Season One Episode Ten “Ballad”)
Again I couldn’t choose! Why? Both of these songs made me cry. The best songs of glee season one seem to have that effect on me. Anyway “Imagine” is just a moving song no matter what. Yoko Ono herself had to approve of how they were going to use it within the context of the episode. And when she was told she thought that it was a beautiful tribute for John Lennon’s best known solo song. And I agree. Seeing the just clear devotion to music in the faces and signs of the Haverbrook School for the Deaf’s choir clearly helped put some things in perspective with New Directions. This was just…great. And I don’t think the blending of the performers had the cast upstaging the Deaf choir. I think it was a beautiful blend of both, an act of solidarity. (Too bad their director turned out to be a set list stealing dick though.)
“Lean On Me” has that same sort of support shown in “Imagine” just an episode earlier. The whole number feels truly genuine. Actually the reactions of Finn and Quinn are the real thing because Cory Montieth and Dianna Agron had no cool about the number. “Lean On Me” was a total surprise to them so every reaction of the characters felt real. Now unlike the quiet, simple beauty of “Imagine”, this was again celebrating them as a family of sorts. Showing their support for Finn and Quinn through song because hey when in doubt with New Directions you gotta sing it honey. But honestly it’s a very moving tribute to their two friends by offering support when the rest of the school and the world has turned on them.
4) Don’t Rain On My Parade (Season One Episode Thirteen “Sectionals”)
Okay so if you read the Glee Rewatch Project on the regular you know I have my issues with Rachel Berry. And I will go in detail about these issues when I start doing my character retrospectives. However, in season one, I loved Rachel. Really. I thought she was a great character. She was ambitious but naive. She was isolated and had to learn how to make friends. She was a diva but she wasn’t outwardly malicious. Season One Rachel Berry was awesome and I mourn her. Still I will argue that the crowning achievement of Rachel in all four seasons of glee is “Don’t Rain On My Parade”. Oh sure she’s had a lot of solos since then but none has affected me as much as this one does. This was Rachel’s biggest and brightest moment in the whole show to me. She was the one who had to help buy her friends enough time after their set list got leaked to pull something together. That is enormous pressure and she performed amazingly under it. This was when I could see Rachel becoming the biggest star. (Of course since then my hopes have been dashed.)
Still this is just a number that I adore no matter how much my feelings changed toward the character.
3) “Dream On” (Season One Episode Twenty “Dream On”)
This. Was. AMAZING! Any flack that Will got for rapping this season should immediately be stripped away! Because Matthew Morrison’s and Neil Patrick Harris’s “Dream On” was the most exciting duet of season one. I am not lying. This was just out and out vocal war from two pros. Seriously take notes if you want to do this for a living. It is epic. The energy! The vocals! The lighting! The choreography! Hell the whole performance was a production in and of itself! It was dynamic! It was exciting! It felt as if a showdown between two titans was going down on the stage of the Lima Community Theater. Matthew Morrison and Neil Patrick Harris have mind blowing vocal chemistry together and just work off of each other so well. It’s hard not to fangirl over this duet because of how epic they made it!
2) “Like A Prayer” (Season One Episode Fourteen “The Power of Madonna”)
In my opinion, it took glee a long time to top a closing number for an episode after they did this epic version of “Like a Prayer”. In fact if I did a list of Top Ten Closing Numbers for glee this would be number one with a bullet. Again everything in this makes it a production instead of just a performance. The lush instrumentation, the division of the song, the gorgeous vocals, the lighting, the background, the freaking Gospel choir! Everything that went into this cover of “Like A Prayer” only served to enhance it and make it an absolute experience to behold. It shows…I don’t know what it shows except it just being absolutely gorgeous to listen to and to watch. It’s a feast for your senses of sight and sound that glee is only all too happy to provide.
1) “Don’t Stop Believin'” (Season One Episode One “Pilot”)
If “Like A Prayer” is the epitome of glee making songs absolutely epic, then “Don’t Stop Believin'” is glee as a show at its heart and soul. It doesn’t need these huge numbers. It doesn’t need tricky choreography. It doesn’t need lush instrumentation for the show to function. It helps but it’s unnecessary in the long run. “Don’t Stop Believin” is simple, heartfelt and real. The vocals are good but not the best. The choreography is simple. However, that’s not why this song persists the way that it does in the glee fandom or more to the point this version of song. The Regionals version had choreography and complex vocals. And to me it didn’t speak to me as well as the original version did. You can’t perfect something that is perfectly imperfect.
The real meat of the song is not to give up or let life knock you around. You can rise above your situation. You can rise above the bullies who torment you. You can become a better person if you let the music speak to you. The core message of glee is never give up on your dreams or yourself. Which is realized in this number when the performance reminds Mister Schue of this message. Maybe the glee of season four can learn from this. It’s no about the grandness but rather the heart of what you put forth. This moment, more than other musical number on glee, will be the one that is remembered as a great moment of television period. Because this is the number that first touched our hearts way, way back all those years ago. Without “Don’t Stop Believin'” we wouldn’t have a 500th musical number to celebrate.
NEXT ON THE GLEE REWATCH PROJECT: Come back tomorrow for a list of the Top Ten Songs of Season Two!
Follow Me: @GleeRewatch for the latest updates. If you want there is always my personal account if you want to hear my daily dose of random babbling! Also I am a contributor for PopWrapped and write glee-caps for the site!
Notes: What are some of your favorite songs of season one?
Credits: Glee Wiki (glee.wikia.com)