30 Songs in 30 Days - Day 11

Day 11 - A Song From Your Favourite Band

Picking a favourite band is a challenging task. There's a lot of music I really like. There are a number of artists who take up a chunk of space on my shelves. There are bands I've seen in concert and loved, and others who are dream tickets for me. But as I thought this through, there really ended up being no contest.

A song from my favourite band is "Unconditional" by jacksoul.

If you're reading this in Canada, well, you probably know jacksoul already. If you're reading this in the U.S., you've probably never heard of them, and that's a damn shame.

jacksoul was an amazing soul/R&B band from Toronto. They broke out in 1996 with "Unconditional", which benefited from heavy video rotation on MuchMusic. They then disappeared for almost four years, until they released an amazing follow up album. They then came back four years later with a better album than that, and a couple years after that with a really surprising album of cover songs

Haydain Neale, their lead singer, was a once-in-a-generation voice, an absolute dream to listen to. And yes, unfortunately, I said was. A year after their fourth album came out, Neale was seriously injured in a traffic accident. He fought through a long recovery and was able to get back to the point where the band recorded their fifth album. Unfortunately, just a few weeks after the first single was released in November 2009 and before the album could actually hit the shelves, he passed away from lung cancer.

I'm not quite sure what the promotional strategy was supposed to be for what turned out to be the final album. However, nearly three years later, you can hardly go into a bar in Toronto without running into a poster for the album somewhere in the hallways.

A couple of weeks after Neale's death, there was an amazing tribute concert put together here in town to raise funds for his family. Jim Cuddy from Blue Rodeo, Chantal Kreviazuk, k-os, Nelly Furtado, Dan Hill, Ivana Santilli, and a bunch of other artists gathered, either to cover jacksoul songs or to do their own music in his memory. It still remains the most amazing live show that I've been seen.

There are a lot of great jacksoul singles that people will think of first — "Can't Stop", "Somedays", "Think You Should Know", and (probably their best known) "Still Believe in Love". But when I think of jacksoul, I'm always going to think of "Unconditional" and the first time I heard that incredible voice fronting what became my favourite band.

30 Songs in 30 Days

  1. Your Favourite Song - "American Pie" by Don McLean
  2. Your Least Favourite Song - "Hotel Room Service" by Pitbull
  3. A Song That Makes You Happy - "Legend of a Cowgirl" by Imani Coppola
  4. A Song That Makes You Sad - "Hallelujah" by Jeff Buckley
  5. A Song That Reminds You of Someone - "Born This Way" by Lady Gaga
  6. A Song That Reminds You of Somewhere - "Once in a Lifetime" by Talking Heads
  7. A Song That Reminds You of a Certain Event - "Say it Ain't So" by Weezer
  8. A Song That You Know All the Words To - "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" by Meatloaf
  9. A Song That You Can Dance To - "Babe" by Styx
  10. A Song That Makes You Fall Asleep - "One For My Baby" by Frank Sinatra
  11. A Song From Your Favourite Band - "Unconditional" by jacksoul
  12. A Song From a Band You Hate
  13. A Song That is a Guilty Pleasure
  14. A Song That No One Would Expect You to Love
  15. A Song That Describes You
  16. A Song That You Used to Love But Now You Hate
  17. A Song That You Hear Often on the Radio
  18. A Song That You Wish You Heard on the Radio
  19. A Song From Your Favourite Album
  20. A Song You Listen to When You're Angry
  21. A Song You Listen to When You're Happy
  22. A Song You Listen to When You're Sad
  23. A Song You Want to Play at Your Wedding
  24. A Song You Want to Play at Your Funeral
  25. A Song That Makes you Laugh
  26. A Song That You Can Play on an Instrument
  27. A Song That Makes You Feel Guilty
  28. A Song You Wish You Could Play
  29. A Song From Your Childhood
  30. Your Favourite Song This Time Last Year