What’s paradise to you? A day at the beach on a relaxing tropical island on the Gulf of Mexico? A quaint log cabin in the mountains with a roaring fireplace? The bright lights and excitement of a night on the town in Las Vegas? An African safari watching giraffes and lions at sunrise? Paradise is a state of mind, in ancient cultures it was referred to as a higher place of contentment and tranquility. Since everyone’s got their own unique “heaven on earth” wish, it’s not surprising to find dozens of great songs that make use of the word “Paradise” in their song title. If you had to narrow the list down to The Top 10 Paradise Songs, which would make your countdown? Special consideration goes out to songs that have stood the test of time so great songs like this year’s hit, “Paradise” by Benny Benassi and Chris Brown will have to wait a little longer to crack the countdown.
Honorable Mention: “Another Day In Paradise” – Phil Collins, “Rockin’ The Paradise” – Styx, “Living In Paradise” – Elvis Costello, “Paradise” – Nelly, “Paradise (What About Us)” – Within Temptation, and “Pastime Paradise” – Stevie Wonder
11. CHEESEBURGER IN PARADISE – JIMMY BUFFETT Alright, we snuck in an extra entry but it’s such an iconic beach party song that it only felt right to take us to Margaritaville to kick off the countdown.
10. PARADISE – LL COOL J Featuring AMERIE The exotic tropical music video definitely doesn’t hurt bump this one up a couple notches. LL Cool J added this feel-good sexy jam on his “Ten” CD.
9. GANGSTA’S PARADISE – COOLIO Coolio sampled Stevie Wonder’s “Pastime Paradise” for one of the biggest soundtrack hits from the 90’s, remember Michelle Pfeiffer in “Dangerous Minds”? Even Weird Al turned it into his classic “Amish Paradise”.
8. PARADISE – TESLA Maybe a reach on the Top 10 list but one of the best “Hair Band” tracks from one of the most underrated bands of the era. An emotional power ballad from “The Great Radio Controversy” that got lost a little in the shuffle but it’s such an incredible song!
7. JUST LIKE PARADISE – DAVID LEE ROTH On my first vacation to Florida in the late 80’s, David Lee’s song became my personal anthem of the trip. Within a month of getting back to the frozen Tundra in Wisconsin, I moved to the Gulf Coast in Florida and never looked back.
6. PARADISE BY THE DASHBOARD LIGHTS – MEAT LOAF Definitely the best song ever featuring former Yankee Phil Rizzuto. Meat Loaf and Ellen Foley trade verses on the theatrical Classic Rock Radio anthem that remind us of young love and the excitement of making out in the backseat of the car. “Let me sleep on it…….Stop Right There!!”
5. ALMOST PARADISE – MIKE RENO & ANN WILSON Too cheesy? Probably…but a little extra cheese won’t kill you. The love ballad from “Footloose” combined the lead singers of Loverboy and Heart and became the soundtrack for many slow dances and proms since the movie debuted. Gloriana did a great cover of the song on the “Footloose” remake starring Julianne Hough.
4. PARADISE – COLDPLAY If you’ve ever seen Coldplay live, this is the song that takes you to another world. The swirling string arrangement, the twinkling keyboard, and Chris Martin’s earnest vocals create a moment that Billboard Magazine once described as “another slice of warm-hug ecstasy”.
3. TWO TICKETS TO PARADISE – EDDIE MONEY “Got a surprise especially for you, something that both of us have always wanted to do”. Eddie Money knocked it out of the pocket early in his career with this hit from June of 1978. It’s impossible to not join in with Money on the “whoa” parts of the chorus and air guitar enthusiasts can’t resist that guitar lick in this timeless classic.
2. PARADISE CITY – GUNS N’ ROSES If you’re feeling like rocking out today, then bump this one up to #1. People sleep on this one and remember “Welcome To The Jungle” and “Sweet Child O’ Mine” from GNR’s masterpiece, Appetite For Destruction. But “Paradise City” went Top 10, became a MTV staple, and Slash named it HIS all-time favorite GNR song. Rolling Stone has it listed on their Top 500 songs of all-time and the guitar solo is ranked #3 by Total Guitar Magazine’s best riffs of all-time.
1. PARADISE – SADE From Sade’s third album, Stronger Than Pride, “Paradise” became her highest charting single reaching #1 worldwide in 1988. The song instantly set the mood opening with a warm bouncy groove accompanied by exotic African drum beats before Sade’s soft silky voice purrs “I’d wash the sand off the shore, give you the world if it was mine”, as you’re instantly taken to paradise. “Feels like…feels like paradise”.