200. Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers — “Walls” — Whether played in the “happy” or “sad” tempo, this is a great Petty tune.
199. Epic Hero — “One Fine Day” — The best track by the best band to come out of the Twin Cities that no one has heard of. (They’re also really nice guys who deserve tons of music success.) This tune was part of an album produced by Dan Wilson soon after he called it quits with Semisonic.
198. Fuel — “Bad Day” — Brett Scallions’ sheer vocal passion pushes this downer rocker from anemic to anthemic.
197. Sophie B. Hawkins — “As I Lay Me Down” — Even though the narrator’s travails probably won’t have a happy ending, the soundscape alone is enough to drag a listener out of a funk.
196. Buffalo Tom — “Anything That Way” — It makes me think of a girl I used to like who loved this song and introduced me to the music of Buffalo Tom. I don’t know if that makes me happy or sad, but I knew the song had to be somewhere in my top 300.
195. Hootie and the Blowfish — “Only Wanna Be With You” — The first great song from a band so uncool that they were actually kinda cool. I always liked ’em, and now that their mega-popularity is long past, the mass disapproval has passed too, and we can just appreciate Hootie’s songs because they sound nice.
194. Hilary and Haylie Duff — cover of the Go-Go’s “Our Lips are Sealed” — The already energetic Go-Go’s classic gets cranked up another notch by the Duff sisters.
193. The Perishers — “Sway” — A song that makes you feel unashamed about being a dreamer.
192. Camera Obscura — “Suspended from Class” — If you do get suspended from class, pop in this transcendent tune and you probably won’t want to go back to school anyway.
191. The Wallflowers — “How Good It Can Get” — Sometimes a song is decent until it gets to a certain lyric and then it achieves greatness. On this one, it’s when Jakob sings “But I wish you’d stay/ And just let me in/ ‘Cause everything can change/ But you gotta be ready ’cause you won’t know when.”