Last night I reset the play counts on all of our family iPods, as I’ve been doing every twelve months or so since we got our first iPod in 2007. I used to wait until the very end of the year to reset the counts, but now I generally reprogram everything soon after I complete my Best Albums report, and then push the magic button that zeroes out play information for all 15,000+ songs stored on my hard drive. Boom! New music year!
We still have seven iPods in use in various locations (car, living room, bedroom, gym, etc.), and I’ve been scavenging online to build a little trove of models I like (old Shuffles and Nanos, mainly) to keep my current listening paradigm going as long as it can. But, as has been a recurring theme for me over a lifetime of listening, I do recognize that I’m once again fighting a rear guard battle as playback technology makes another of its seismic shifts from a purchased media file model to streaming services, delivered over our phones or other smart devices, and designed so that we never actually own anything musical anymore, but just rent it. That said, Marcia needed to get a Spotify account for her yoga instructor class this fall, and we used that and a BlueTooth speaker exclusively while we were in Spain, and that worked out fine. So I suspect this may be the last year that I base this report solely on iPod usage. Grumble.
Since we synch all of our many fiddly widgets to one computer and one master iTunes account, the “Most Played Songs” list on that account represents the aggregated play counts from all of our iPods. This means that the “Most Played Songs” of the year are often unexpected, since they represent the heart of a musical Venn Diagram where our family’s tastes most closely overlap, even though each of us individually may like and listen to very different things. I spin a lot of Napalm Death every year, for example, but they very, very rarely show up on these lists, since they’re never played when Marcia and Katelin are around. The grind is for me time only.
With those usual preambles aside, here are the Smith Family Top 40 Most Played Songs for the past twelve months. Maybe the list will inspire you to check some of the songs and artists out. They’re all great, guaranteed, and you can even play them in polite company. Mostly.
1. “Time Is The Killer” by Rain Phoenix (Featuring Michael Stipe)
2. “Jeannie Becomes A Mom” by Caroline Rose
3. “Winona Minnesota” by The Weasels
4. “Embryonic Journey” by Jefferson Airplane
5. “Happy With You” by Paul McCartney
6. “Good Shepherd” by Jefferson Airplane
7. “Jack-A-Lynn” by Jethro Tull
8. “The Second Shift” by Virginia Wing
9. “The Creator Has A Master Plan” by Leon Thomas
10. “The Oak” by The Albion Band
11. “I’ll Be All Right” by Jorma Kaukonen
12. “Another Song About The Moon” by Buggy Jive
13. “Marrow” by Jealous of the Birds
14. “Song For The North Star” by Jorma Kaukonen
15. “Names of the Stars” by Weyes Blood
16. “Clementina” by Jealous of the Birds
17. “Long Island Ice Tea, Neat” by The Coup (Featuring Japanther)
18. “After the Gold Rush” by Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris
19. “We Took the Wrong Step Years Ago (Acoustic)” by Hawkwind
20. “No Man’s Land” by Imperial Wax
21. “God Bless the Child” by Ernest Dawkins
22. “Sleep Song” by Hot Tuna
23. “Genesis” by Jorma Kaukonen
24. “Get Me Out Of This Town” by Andy Prieboy (Featuring Tony Kinman)
25. “There’ll Always Be Music” by Dolly Parton
26. “I’ll Let You Know Before I Leave” by Jorma Kaukonen
27. “Colour of Water” by Rose Elinor Dougall
28. “Blues for Mr. Mu” by Acoustic Alchemy
29. “Inkulu Into Ezakwenzeka” by Nontwintwi
30. “Easy to Slip” by Little Feat
31. “Finnegans Wake” by The Weasels
32. “Larf and Sing” by Family
33. “Confidante” by Paul McCartney
34. “Fall on Me” by R.E.M.
35. “Heaven and Hell” by William Onyeabor
36. “Love Theme from Spartacus” by Yusef Lateef
37. “Everybody’s Talkin'” by Harry Nilsson
38. “Water Boy” by Don Shirley
39. “Genesis Hall” by Fairport Convention
40. “I Believe You” by The Monkees
Michael Stipe and Rain Phoenix nab most played kudos for 2019. Click the image to hear their glorious duet.