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THE MORNING CONSTITUTIONAL, YOUR ONLY SOURCE FOR WEDDING MUSIC JOURNALISM

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AN INVESTIGATIVE REPORT

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Roughly 90 percent of what we do at EDSBS can be classified as "hard-hitting, essential journalism." The hours we spend hunting down leads, reviewing documents, and pushing for interviews -- all in the name of getting the story -- are really what set us apart.

Today was no different. We demanded to know what the best five songs from Herb Hand's wedding reception playlist were, and we did not rest until we got the answer.

Let's grade these tracks on a scale of one to ten.

GONNA MAKE YOU SWEAT (EVERYBODY DANCE NOW): 7.6 now, but in 1995 when Hand got married, it was a solid 8.9. It's a little long at 4:06; fortunately, a good DJ knows when to transition out of it into something else. Deduct a point if you played the video on a projection screen, because Martha Wash got hosed by C+C.

SHOUT: 8.1, though as it continues to make its way onto reception playlists, that value will be diluted. A good mix of old school for your middle aged relatives, pump-up jam for your friends from college, and song with no pre-arranged choreography for your cousin who just cannot do the Cupid Shuffle even a little.

ALMA MATER SUNG BY DRUNK HOMETOWN BUDDIES: Technically, no grade should be awarded since I don't know what this song is, but the concept gets a solid 8.3. Makes your wedding feel like some sort of Middle Ages victory feast, which is ironic because all you did was buy stamps for the invitations, help pick out the cake, and found a tux.

IT TAKES TWO: Controversy! Is this the Marvin Gaye/Kim Weston single or the one by Rob Base/DJ E-Z Rock? If it's the former, we'll give it a 7.7; the song's thematic without being too sappy and has a good beat, though it's not terribly advanced lyrically. If it's the latter, that's a 9.3, because you just played a song that says "I like the Whopper, fuck the Big Mac." We'll average these out and give it an 8.5

WONDERFUL TONIGHT: 7.4. Some points lost here because Eric Clapton isn't the greatest point of reference for successful marriage, but the sentiment's still solid wedding material. Also, there's this, from the song's Wikipedia entry:

The song was also featured on Ricky Gervais's radio show, where producer Karl Pilkington argued that the lyrics suggested that it came from the point of view of a disabled man in a wheelchair. Both Gervais and co-host Stephen Merchant dismissed Pilkington's claims as conjecture.

Final tally: An average score of 8.24, which is really solid work as wedding playlists go. (You would be surprised how many people go with something wildly off-message, like "I Will Always Love You.")