Most Played Songs of 2016

Today is the day that I reset the play counts on all of the Smith Family iPods after a year of data gathering and consolidation. I’ve been doing this annually since we got our first iPod in 2007. I used to wait right up until December 31st, but I’ve found that Marcia and I almost always want something fresh through various holiday trips and hectic work season, so early December has become iPod playlist reprogramming time.  And, uh, we now have a lot of iPods in our house at this point, all of them still in regular use:


The most interesting playlist to clear is the collection of “most played songs” for the year. Since we synch all of our gadgets to one computer and one iTunes account, this “most played songs” list in our household represent the aggregated play counts from my train commute, my travel time, Marcia’s car, Marcia’s gym, Marcia’s apartment in Des Moines, and the collaborative family iPod that stays in our Chicago apartment stereo dock and is played by whoever’s home at the time.

So the “most played songs” of the year are often unexpected, since they tend to represent the heart of a musical Venn Diagram where our family’s musical tastes most closely overlap, even though each of us individually may like very different things. We spun about 4,000 songs in 2016 — out of about 10,500 stored on my computer. The list below represents the 40 that earned the most frequent listening love in aggregate; because it’s 2016, it’s probably not a surprise how many of them are by dead people, sigh. I have also provided links for some of the less-well-known artists for your listening enlightenment, should you be curious:

1. “Single Bullets” by Huggy Bear

2. “Flesh And Blood” by Roxy Music

3. “I Can’t Give Everything Away” by David Bowie

4. “Sons Of The Silent Age” by David Bowie

5. “Cervix Couch” by Christian Death

6. “Tensile” by The Clean

7. “The Blue Hour” by Christian Death

8. “Wondering” by Reverend James Cleveland

9. “Open Your Eyes” by School of Seven Bells

10. “Sound and Vision” by David Bowie

11. “C’est La Vie” by Emerson, Lake and Palmer

12. “Move On” by David Bowie

13. “Sunday Candy” by Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment

14. “Ablaze” by School of Seven Bells

15. “Children Laughing” by Wendy and Bonnie

16. “If You Know What I Mean” by Neil Diamond

17. “What Am I Doing Hangin’ ‘Round?” by The Monkees

18. “Oh Yeah” by Roxy Music

19. “Larf and Sing” by Family

20. “You Just May Be The One” by The Monkees

21. “Still . . . You Turn Me On” by Emerson, Lake and Palmer

22. “On My Heart” by School of Seven Bells

23. “Death Is A Star” by The Clash

24. “Lazarus” by David Bowie

25. “Clasp” by Jethro Tull

26. “Fire Of The Mind” by COIL

27. “Look Back In Anger” by David Bowie

28. “Heart Like A Wheel” by Linda Ronstadt

29. “Longfellow Serenade” by Neil Diamond

30. “Bee Stings” by COIL

31. “Children” by Family

32. “Passerby” by Quilt

33. “Lord Do It” by Reverend James Cleveland

34. “Fishes Bones” by Wire

35. “Dollar Days” by David Bowie

36. “Love Is Like Oxygen” by Sweet

37. “Wanna Be Cool” by Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment

38. “Take To The Sky” by Alan Parker and Alan Hankshaw

39. “More Than The World” by FREEMAN

40. “Internal Exile” by Wire

2 thoughts on “Most Played Songs of 2016

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