I love Spotify. Sure, it has its drawbacks, like any technology does, but those drawbacks are not Spotify's fault. Record labels, for some reason, don't release their entire catalogs, and some artists (I'm looking at you, Garth Brooks) refuse to allow their recordings to be streamed on the app (Amazon? Really, Garth? Who in the world streams their music on Amazon?)
It's rare that I don't find one of my treasured albums on Spotify. Of course, streaming doesn't compare to spinning the actual LP's, but I don't own a turntable; thus, the blips and pops are missing. Scoff if you will, but those little imperfections in an album are cherished by those who once spun it endlessly.
Nevertheless, with Spotify I can actually hear that music once again. And it's rare that a particular track doesn't pop into my head that I can't locate on Spotify's app. Too, if I want to sample the new music that my favorite blog writes about, it's as simple as typing in a name. Obscure releases that probably only I like? They're there, too.
I am a big proponent of playlists. Whereas I was once at the mercy of radio, with my own curated playlists I can hear only the tracks I want to hear. And since mood dominates our music choices, I can have as many diverse playlists as I need, whether I'm feeling nostalgic or festive, or simply bored. If I 💓 a particular song, it drops to my playlist of "liked" songs, and wow, do I ever get an assortment!
At the end of every year, Spotify supplies each listener with his or her own yearly wrap-up (thus, "Wrapped"). It's fun, but almost unbelievable. If I was to create my own summary, I would have come up with completely different lists. As I scrolled through my Wrapped, I asked myself, what was I thinking? And more importantly, why?
Here is my summary:
Herb Alpert and The Tijuana Brass
Now, to some degree, I understand it. Vince Gill, after all, released what I soon realized was the best country album of 2023. I became hooked on it immediately and streamed it over and over. George Strait is admittedly my favorite artist of all time, with Dwight a close second.
And yes, I found The Tijuana Brass's album, Going Places, on the app and I love, LOVE it. If anyone thinks it's cheesy or a relic of bygone days, too bad for them. The album is awesome.
Emmylou Harris in my top five is puzzling. Sure, I like her, but not enough to stream her music over and over. I think her placement simply means that I spun a lot of artists and she beat out the others by a hair.
Backside of Thirty
Zorba the Greek
Down on the Rio Grande
Down That Road Tonight
3rd Man Theme
Well, Herb Alpert reared his wonderful head again, with two of my top five streamed songs. Those two tracks are simply feel-good music. Like them or deride them; I don't care.
Backside of Thirty surprised me. When John Conlee's single was released in 1978, I gave it little regard. True, I wasn't listening to country at the time, but I still had my finger to the wind of what was going on in that world. I may have rediscovered this track when I was listening to SiriusXM, and thought, hey! That's pretty good! It was almost new to me. In '78 I dismissed it, but aside from Rose Colored Glasses, it's easily Conlee's second-best release.
Down on the Rio Grande is simply a smooth, pretty Johnny Rodriguez track. I loved Rodriguez back in his heyday ~ Pass Me By is probably one of the best country singles ever. It's hard to discern why a certain song catches one's imagination, but apparently Rio Grande did that for me.
As for NGDB (Nitty Gritty Dirt Band), Down That Road Tonight is hands down my favorite of all their releases. It only charted at #6 in 1988, but my love for it was sealed when I endlessly spun the group's album, Workin' Man.
My Top Five Genres:
Classic Country Pop
Rock and Roll
Classic Country Pop? What the hell is that? I hate country pop with a passion. I can only surmise that the country songs I streamed were somehow misclassified. Country pop, to me, screams Kenny Rogers and Tim McGraw.
And as much as I despise country pop, classic rock is the fiery pits of hell. For many years when I was working I listened to a radio morning show that was mildly funny and mildly entertaining (graded on a curve). Unfortunately it was hosted on a classic rock station, so between the banter I was subjected to the likes of Aerosmith and The Who and Van Halen; and not only to the groups themselves, but essentially to the same four tracks over and over. And not even good tracks! The most non-melodic claptrap every laid down in a recording studio. I usually used those musical interludes to visit the rest room or the company cafeteria. So, again Spotify must be free with their music classifications.
Sure, I'll cop to bubblegum pop. Hey, listen to it ~ it's great! What better time in music than the nineteen sixties? (The Beatles, by the way, are probably classified as bubblegum pop, which is rather a misnomer. They definitely did start out that way, though.)
Country and "Rock and Roll"? You betcha. That's my wheelhouse, although I don't know what exactly Spotify terms rock and roll. But I'm not going to quibble.
Minutes Listened: 7,015 (my calculator tells me that's about 117 hours ~ ehh, pretty middling)
Genres Listened To: 36 (What?? There's 36 genres??)
Artists Listened To: 524 (I'm eclectic ~ yay!)
Songs Listened To: 1,296
I'm a top 4% Strait fan, with Baby's Gotten Good at Goodbye my top George track streamed (weird, because though I like it, it's really not one of my top favorites.)
Apparently, August 6 was a big listening day for me. (a Sunday, which makes sense.)
Some really astute discriminating music fan in St. John's Bay, Canada listened just like me.
Spotify labels me a "collector", or an "anti-hero". Oh, absolutely. I both collect and anti-hero-ize. Define that made-up word however you like.
So, while I may quibble at some of these stats, I guess math doesn't lie (it is racist, however ~ but that's a discussion for another day.)
The Wrapped roundup is a fun little diversion.
But I gotta figure out a way to finesse those numbers in the coming year.