Most Played Songs of 2013

Today is the day that I reset the five iPods that synch to my master iTunes account. It’s a little earlier than I usually do it, but Marcia and Katelin are taking a road trip up to Minneapolis this weekend, so I thought I would freshen all of the accounts and playlists to give them some new things to listen to on the way.

As I’ve written before, the most played songs in our household represent the aggregated play counts from five iPods: my car, my gym, Marcia’s car, Marcia’s gym, and the collaborative family iPod that stays in the house’s stereo dock. So the most played songs of the year are often interesting and unexpected, since they represent the points where our family’s musical tastes and listening habits most closely overlap, even though each of us individually may listen to very different things than the other family members.

My love for Napalm Death, for example, will never likely result in any of their songs making this list, since Katelin and Marcia both immediately skip them anytime they come up on any iPod. And we all listen to music a lot, so that’s a lot of skips, offset by a lot of listens to the things that everybody actually does like.

I’ve got about 12,000 songs on my computer right now, and we played about 5,000 of them at least once in 2013. So now is the point where I look at those other 7,000 songs and start making lists of things we haven’t heard in over 365 days, which is always a fun process.

With all of that as preamble, here are the 40 most played songs in our household in 2013, with some links for exploration of some of the less-well-known songs, if you’re inclined to hear what it sounds like in our dining room at night, while Marcia beats our asses down at Scrabble:

1. “Re-Invent Your Second Wheel” by Wire.

2. “Where Are We Now?” by David Bowie.

3. “Ammunition Train” by Swell Maps.

4. “The Blue Hour” by Christian Death.

5. “The Tuning of the World” by Karl Bartos.

6. “Cervix Couch” by Christian Death.

7. “Cop Show” by Che Guevara T-Shirt.

8. “The Binding of Fenris” by Jason Martin.

9. “Androginous Noise Hand Permeates” by Christian Death.

10. “Atomium” by Karl Bartos.

11. “Eels Sang” by Wire.

12. “Patient Zero (For the Sensitive Tail)” by Jason Martin.

13. “Sun” by John Lydon.

14. “Draugar” by Miri.

15. “Invisible Sun” by The Police.

16. “Witchi Tai To” by Topo-D-Bill (“Legs” Larry Smith).

17. “This Glass House” by Christian Death.

18. “The Next Day” by David Bowie.

19. “Fool in the Rain” by Led Zeppelin.

20. “Second Life” by Gang of Four.

21. “The Drowning” by Christian Death.

22. “Earth Rocker” by Clutch.

23. “Electra Descending” by Christian Death.

24. “Ooh La La” by The Faces.

25. “Cybercreep” by Vitamin W.

26. “Adore Your Island” by Wire.

27. “Crucial Velocity” by Clutch.

28. “Evening Falls” by Christian Death.

29. “Boss of Me” by David Bowie.

30. “Lovely Anita” by The Gods.

31. “Never Never” by Korn.

32. “Who Am I?” by The Clay People.

33. “Around the Plynth” by The Faces.

34. “Kill You All in a Hip Hop Rage” by Mindless Self Indulgence.

35. “Organic Anti-Beat Box Band” by Red Hot Chili Peppers.

36. “Love Bends” by Wire.

37. “Awake” by The Clay People.

38. “Heat” by David Bowie.

39. “Cheese and Onions” by The Rutles.

40. “Invasion of the Body” by The Weasels.

Three of these Top 40 Most Played Songs earn another special distinction: they were never, ever skipped, by any member of the family, at any time during the year. So every time these three songs started, they played to completion, which represents some impressive staying power over the course of twelve months. So we close with a special nod of the cap to John Lydon’s “Sun,” Legs Larry Smith’s “Witchi Tai To” and The Weasels’ “Invasion of the Body,” the unskippable family favorites that kept on giving, all year long. God bless them, every one.