Showing posts with label spotify playlists. Show all posts
Showing posts with label spotify playlists. Show all posts

Monday, December 4, 2023

My 2023 Spotify Wrapped

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:

Top Artists:

George Strait

Herb Alpert and The Tijuana Brass

Vince Gill

Dwight Yoakam

Emmylou Harris


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. 


Top Songs:

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


Classic Rock

Bubblegum 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. 


Other Stats:

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.




Saturday, November 27, 2021

Okay, One More Playlist

In creating my (awesome) Spotify playlists, I suddenly realized I'd completely overlooked the seventies. I have a love/hate relationship with seventies music. I can't pinpoint the reason, other than frustration. It's not that there weren't great singles released in the decade, but there were also so many bad ones. One's memory can become clouded. The seventies actually weren't all cheesy disco songs. In perusing the top one hundred charts from each year, I found tons of tracks I'd forgotten. And yes, there was Barry Manilow, who actually wasn't bad, and the Bee Gees, who actually were pretty great. But there were also a lot of one-hit wonders, whose singles were kind of wonderful.

Just as the sixties were a dichotomy, the seventies, too, were delineated for me by my station in life. From 1970 to 1973 I was in high school, a time when music meant everything. By '76 I had more important priorities -- being a mom -- and music fell to the background, though I was still aware of it. The year 1973 resonates with me most keenly, music-wise. Those are the tracks that occupy prime positions in my playlist.

And a word about classic rock radio: I hate HATE it. I don't even know why it still exists. Guys who still listen to classic rock are at least in their mid-fifties. It's time to move on, boys. My local classic rock station's rotation consists of this: Aerosmith, The Rolling Stones, and The Who. Lather, rinse, repeat. I can barely tolerate most of these bands, and my playlist reflects that. I threw in one or two samples of each, just because people searching Spotify for seventies music (old geezers) will expect to find them on a playlist titled A Decade Of Seventies Hits.

As I've done before, I researched the top one hundred singles from each year and made my selections accordingly. After 300 songs I just got tired. I might revisit my list later, but for now three hundred will have to suffice.




I knew I said I was done with playlists, but it's addictive. Too addictive. 

Who knows where I'll travel next?

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

My Latest Spotify Playlists


Who says I'm a time waster? Okay, me, probably. Regardless, I've been busy creating new Spotify playlists, for those days when there's nothing on TV and I need something playing in the background.

I believe the sixties were the best years for rock (or pop - your choice) music, and thus I formulated a playlist for the entire sixties. This posed some problems, because trust me, 1960 was eons different from 1969. Melding the entire decade together was kind of clunky.

And though my memory is still pretty good, even I couldn't even begin to remember every hit song from every year. So I consulted Billboard's top one hundred hits from each of the ten years and then started selecting.

I ended up with a playlist of 373 songs (yes). I'm not in love with all of them, but my criteria was that I had to at least kind of like the song. The ones I hated were not included.

Side note: 1964 and 1965 were the best years of the bunch.

Here it is:

I've also created a playlist for the eighties. This one only has 124 songs, which I admit is much more manageable. And this one was not based upon any record charts.

One downside to Spotify's playlists is that it doesn't allow one to reorder songs, other than by title or artist. I would like the ability to rearrange songs to my liking. But I can live with that.

I may have exhausted my playlist options, but I doubt it. Now I move on to other distractions (for now).

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Where've I Been?

I used to be so fastidious about updating my blog. Now I realize my last post was on October 3. So, where've I been?

I've taken a lot of winding roads. I started a new novel that I realize I don't care about, I started a podcast that no one listens to, and mostly I've been making playlists on Spotify. It started innocently enough -- my podcast was going to feature a particular year, so I began compiling hit songs from each of those years. Then when I realized (finally) that no one cared, I started making playlists for myself.

Here is mine for nineties country:

It's really good, if I say so myself. And quite comprehensive -- 215 songs, 12 hours and 19 minutes of really good.

Of course, I couldn't stop there, so I created a playlist for the eighties:


Then the seventies:


And who could forget the sixties?


What the heck? The fifties weren't my time, but I was familiar with several fifties hits, so dang, why not?



Where does it end? Well, I can't do the 2000's, because it would be a paltry list of maybe twenty five songs. Sorry, I gave up on country the first time I heard "Breathe" on the radio and realized everything had gone to hell.

You may think this was a needless exercise -- the ultimate time-waster -- but believe me, it wasn't easy! I don't have much to be proud of, but at least I can say I created better country playlists than 99.9% of all the Spotify users who created country playlists.

So, you see, I haven't been wasting my time after all. 

P.S. I'm coming back to my blog full force.