Since trading the professional surfing circuit for the stage, American singer-songwriter Jack Johnson has made quite a name for himself following the release of his debut album Brushfire Fairytales and five other subsequent albums, all of which feature influences of his favorite artists including Bob Dylan, G. Love and Special Sauce, Sublime and The Beatles. A standout in the acoustic, folk music and soft rock genres, Johnson has continued to grow in popularity with songs like “Better Together,” “You and Your Heart” and “Banana Pancakes.” Here is a breakdown of the top 10 Jack Johnson songs that range from light-hearted, lazy love songs to up-tempo pop hits.
10. “At or with Me”
Johnson released his fifth studio album To The Sea in 2010 along with “At or with Me” as its second single. “Saturday Night Live” actor Andy Samberg stars in the music video that centers around an over-the-top fight between Samberg and Johnson, who Samberg frequently portrayed as a mellow, hippy character on “Saturday Night Live.”
As the first single of Johnson’s Sleep Through the Static album, fans will definitely notice a more electric guitar-heavy sound. While the song tells the story of the dissolution of a long-term relationship, it was Johnson’s son Moe who inspired the lyrics.
“It’s just a real feel good song and kind of silly, but I try not to discard the silly love songs,” states Johnson. “Just make people have a good time and sing and get in a good mood. So I like to put a couple of those sort of just straight love songs on there.” “Banana Pancakes” appears as the third track on Johnson’s 2005 album In Between Dreams.
Listen to this oozy, flowing jam on Johnson’s debut album from 2001 titled Brushfire Fairytales. Songs like “Fortunate Fool” are what helped propel this album to gold in Canada and the United Kingdom as well as Platinum in Australia and the United States.
This bouncy, light-hearted single is undoubtedly one of Johnson’s more popular songs. It was penned for the Sing-A-Longs and Lullabies for the Film Curious George soundtrack, released in 2006, but a little known fact is that the melody of “Upside Down” stems from an unreleased track Johnson wrote called “Walk Alone.”
“This is a great example of one that never got finished, but we ended up recording it because it felt good,” explains Johnson. He tells Rolling Stone this song originally started out as a joke for his wife who he nicknamed Bubble Toes.
This single pairs with an amazing in-ocean music video that Johnson directed himself while singing, surfing and floating among the waves. “I was looking at the camera singing and I can’t figure out when the wave’s going to hit me from behind,” Johnson explains to Billboard magazine. “That was fun to do. It was a physical challenge.” “You and Your Heart” is the first single released off of Johnson’s fifth studio album To The Sea.
“Talk of the Town” is featured on the album Sing-A-Longs and Lullabies for the Film Curious George, a soundtrack written by Johnson and fellow artists like Matt Costa, Ben Harper, G. Love and Kawika Kahiapo who shares guitar and vocals on this track.
Johnson reportedly penned this feel-good song after repeatedly hearing a riff in his head while driving one day. He describes it as “a simple love song with some personal moments I wasn’t afraid to share,” adding “It’s just stuff I thought might make people laugh and feel good.” This song is featured on the 2005 In Between Dreams album, Johnson’s third studio album.
Johnson penned this song for his wife, but the opening track off his 2005 album In Between Dreams has broad appeal as a laid back, sentimental love song making it a favorite among fans.