Help me put together a playlist of upbeat songs for a terminally ill friend

I’m trying to put together a playlist for my friend to listen to as he goes threw chemo. He and I have always bonded on our taste in classic rock,from The Dead and Joni Mitchell to The Who and The Stones.

Three weeks back I was with him when he found out he had pancreatic cancer and a 1% shot at survival (at 47 years old). Since then we’ve spent a lot of his chemo time closing our eyes and listening to great music. The problem is that in the music collection he amassed over the years and then added to iTunes is filled with songs that sour his mood as they are depressing in nature. As he has such a vast collection I figured rather than filter out the sad stuff I’d make a play list of the good stuff.

Here is where your help comes in. I started tonight to do it by artist, and have begun with Joni Mitchell though I’d like to give it some variety.

Here is where my Joni list is.

Chelsea morning
big yellow taxi?
Raised on Robbery
Help Me
Free Man in Paris

Classic rock, huh?

Looking through my collection:

Hold Your Head Up

Bachman Turner Overdrive:
Roll On Down The Highway
Given’ It All Away

Beach Boys:
Surfin’ Safari
Surfin’ U.S.A.
Fun, Fun, Fun
Good Vibrations

Canned Heat:
Going Up The Country

I Feel Free
I’m So Glad
Sunshine Of Your Love

Creedence Clearwater Revival:
Green River
Keep on Chooglin’
Travelin’ Band
Up Around The Bend

Dave Edmunds:
Something About You

Deep Purple:
Space Truckin’

The Doobie Brothers:
Neal’s Fandango
Rockin’ Down The Highway

The Doors:
L.A. Woman

The Guess Who:
Clap for the Wolfman
Dancin’ Fool
Get Your Ribbons On
Just Let Me Sing
Star Baby

Let me know if you want more like that.

X–4th of July
Slowdive–When The Sun Hits
Compared To What–Les McCann
Starfish And Coffee–Prince
The Wanderer–Dion
Dance The Night Away–Van Halen
Plaster Caster–KISS
The Stroke–Billy Squier
The Seeker–The Who
Camarillo Brillo–Frank Zappa
Good Morning Aztlan–Los Lobos
Fat Bottomed Girls–Queen
Burnin’ For You–Blue Oyster Cult

Mr. Blue Sky - ELO

I’m sorry to hear about your friend. That’s a tough diagnosis.

Since he likes Joni, he might like Kate Bush too. A reminder of some of her more upbeat-ish songs:
“Eat The Music”
“Rubberband Girl”
“The Morning Fog”
“Suspended In Gaffa”
“The Big Sky” (that’s the album version, here’s the longer remix)
“Rocket Man”
“Rocket’s Tail”
Constellation of the Heart

Blue Sky by the Allman Brothers. And you can interpret their instrumentals how you like, but I think some of them would fit in. In Memory of Elizabeth Reed has a mournful quality, but Jessica is downright joyful and others like Mountain Jam and Les Brers in A Minor and High Falls are jammy and upbeat.

Great band. I’d add Little Japan, Cumbia Raza, 27 Spanishes, Get to This, La Playa, Peace, and The Valley.

I’m very sorry to hear about your friend, I hope this helps in some tiny way.

I’d like to recommend the second side of Abbey Road:

  • Here Comes the Sun

  • Because

  • Medley (You Never Give Me Your Money, Sun King, Mean Mr. Mustard, Polythene Pam She Came In Through the Bathroom Window, Golden Slumbers, Carry That Weight, The End)

  • Her Majesty

  • The Doobies’ “China Grove”

Not a Classic Rock track, but I could listen to the Talking Heads’ “This Must Be The Place” (Naive Melody) for days straight. Love that song.

Good call on “Jessica”, Marley23.

Ode to Joy - from Mr Beethoven’s 9th

Try to get a copy of In The Digital Mood, a collection Glenn Miller standards
Sure to raise the spirits of anyone

Queen - Bicycle Race
Elton John - Crocodile Rock (Maybe?)
David Bowie - Fame (Maybe?)
The Monkees - Daydream Believer
Simon and Garfunkel - Feelin Groovy
The Moody Blues - Ride My Seesaw
Heart - Barracuda
Led Zeppelin - Immigrant Song
The Pretenders - Back On The Chain Gang (Maybe?)
The Ramones - Blitzkrieg Bop
The Rolling Stones - Start Me Up
AC/DC - Dirty Deeds
Quiet Riot - Cum On Feel The Noize
Van Halen - Jump (Maybe, unless there is something by them he likes better.)
Jeff Beck - His cover of Manic Depression from the album Stone Free: A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix (As well as any others you know he loves.)
Three Dog Night - Joy To The World
Creedence Clearwater Revival - Proud Mary
Iggy Pop and the Stooges - The Passenger
Billy Idol - Dancin With Myself (Maybe?)
Sly and the Family Stone - Dance To The Music
The Police - Who Can It Be Now? (Maybe?)
Santana - Oye Como Va, Black Magic Woman

Hope these help? :slight_smile:

In the Summertime - Mungo Jerry
Devil with a Blue Dress on - Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels
Penny Lane - The Beatles
Going up the Country - Canned Heat
I Feel the Earth Move - Carole King
One Fine Day - The Chiffons
Judy in Disguise - John Fred and His Playboy Band
Mony Mony - Tommy James and the Shondells
Joy to the World - Three Dog Night
Down on the Corner - Creedence Clearwater Revival
I Can See Clearly Now - Johnny Nash
Crocodile Rock - Elton John
Frankenstein - Edgar Winter Group

Lynyrd Skynyrd–Sweet Home Alabama, Down South Juking, Gimme Three Steps, What’s Your Name
Janis Joplin—Mercedes Benz

Led Zeppelin—Whole Lotta Love, Rock and Roll

Jimi Hendric----Purple Haze, Foxy Lady

The Troggs—Wild Thing

Steppenwolf—Born to be Wild, Magic Carpet Ride

Just about anything by The Ventures, if surfer music qualifies.

Sorry these aren’t classic rock, but they are some of the happiest/most comforting songs I have (I have used them on CDs for other people to try to help them through tough spots):

Michael Franti & Spearhead - The Sound of Sunshine
G. Love - Rainbow
Jill Scott -Golden
Great Big Sea - Something Beautiful*
Macy Gray - Beauty in the World
The Strange Familiar - Courage Is…
Bonnie McKee - When it All Comes Down
Josh Kelley - You Are a Part of Everything
The Gabe Dixon Band - All Will be Well
Saving Jane - Better Day
Gary Go - Wonderful
Eric Bibb - Shine On
Carbon Leaf - Let Your Troubles Roll By
Uncle Kracker - Hey Hey Hey

Add Twisted to the Joni Mitchell list

Monty Python
**The Galaxy Song **
Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

This one has help me, sorry that your friend also has cancer.
Celtic Women - Oronicco flow who couldn’t use some sail away music.

(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher - Jackie Wilson

Hmmm…I suspect this pushes your envelope too far past the early 70’s stuff you’ve cited, but just about anything from Triumph will tend to be up-beat (rather Triumphant, if you ask me).

Fight the Good Fight
Hold On
Magic Power
Rock and Roll Machine!
Faster than you ever seen!
. --Gil Moore (Triumph)
. Rock and Roll Machine
. Rock and Roll Machine

You turn me on, I’m a radio.

Car on a hill.


All Joni Mitchell. Put 'em on the list, I say!

Saya’s Victory
Party Party Party—Andrew WK
Smile Smile Smile—Pinkie Pie
Smile—Vitamin C
Chorus of the Janissaries—Mozart
Jupiter, Bringer of Jolity—Holst
Yeager’s Triumph—The Right Stuff (The recording I prefer is a tad bit more manic)
Mach I—The Right Stuff

Try some Japanese bubblegum pop.

I have no idea what they are saying but those chicks are happy. It’s like listening to sugar.
(and I was going to post smile smile smile, I recommend watching the show. It’s like 22mins of happiness applied directly to the eyeballs)