#46 – Natalie Merchant – “Wonder” – (1995)

This song is hard to find on YouTube, so if you wanna hear it, I’d click that link pretty fast. Wonder is the top track from Tigerlily – they just don’t get better than this. I’ve always assumed the lyrics were “great” and “wholesome” but I’ve never really understood anything other than “I must be one of the wonders, God’s own creation…” In 1998 she had another hit, this time from Ophelia, with the song “Kind and Generous.”

#185 – 10,000 Maniacs – “Because The Night (Live: Unplugged)” – (1993)

The Patti Smith version was pretty good (co-written by her and Bruce Springsteen back in ’78), but when you take the punk element out of it and add Natalie Merchant and a super-smooth acoustic/orchestral band – you get a killer song and album (the last Maniacs album with Merchant on vocals). I also feel I should mention the song “These Are Days” from their 1992 album Our Time in Eden.

#197 – Natalie Merchant – “Carnival” – (1995)

“Carnival” was the lead single from Tigerlily, the album that also produced two other hits – one more of which is on this list. Hint: it isn’t the imperceptibly more upbeat- but slightly less melodic “Jealousy.”