"Oh, Mary," Neil Diamond

This is the best of Diamond's fling with Rick Rubin (who has since moved on to Josh Groban ). This song


Top 5 Songs About Mary

"Oh, Mary," Neil Diamond

This is the best of Diamond's fling with Rick Rubin (who has since moved on to Josh Groban). This song is as big as anything Diamond has ever done while wrapped in sequin, and he does it virtually naked. It's Diamond at his most humble, and his most exposed.

Mary, Supergrass

Supergrass broke up in 2010, and it's a huge loss for folks who like commercially grimy British rock. The last time I caught them they were opening for Foo Fighters at KeyArena. That they never headlined the Key or accomplished total world domination is a real shame. The band always had very keen pop sensibilities, but never sounded like they ever wanted to be anything but themselves. That comes through here in an easy-to-swallow single that is distinctly Supergrass.

"Mary," Kings of Leon

That these guys have managed total world domination is a head-scratcher to me. Not because I haven't been a fan since the Holy Roller Novocaine EP, but because I never saw the massive commercial appeal in this family band from the Bible Belt. This one rubs KOL right up against OK Go's giddy, plastic-rock territory, but with great effect. It's a slow jammer that's built for stadiums full of kids singing along. People like to kick the Kings for shining up their their dust-covered yells for arena-ready hootenanny. But when you make arena-ready hootenannys better than anyone else in your class, you have nothing to be ashamed of.

"Proud Mary," Ike & Tina Turner

-- Love me some CCR, but Ike & Tina's version is the superior performance, hands down. 'Nuf said.

"The Wind Cries Mary," The Jimi Hendrix Experience

-- Waynes World hooked a million kids not just on Queen via Bohemian Rhapsody, but on Jimi Hendrix via Foxy Lady. But I cannot hear The Wind Cries Mary without thinking of the end of Wayne's World II, with Wayne and Garth standing on the trash-filled field that held Waynestock, and telling the naked Indian, "Don't cry. We're gonna clean it up." This is the kind of easy, driving music that Hendrix was a master of. He could play the hell out of that guitar, but his gift was also in knowing when to hold back. Tasty, tasty, tasty.

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