Chris’s Top 50 Listened to Songs on Spotify in 2018 (PartOne)

by Chris McGinty of

I have a Spotify account, because
the playlist feature makes it easier for me to control the frequency that I
hear songs. I have a method of creating somewhat randomized playlists that are
each 15 songs, play at roughly an hour in length, and allow me to listen to
some songs in heavy rotation. It’s not a perfect method. It’s gotten a little
unruly the more songs I’m rotating in and out of the mix.

I signed
into Spotify in January of 2019, and I found a pretty interesting playlist
created by Spotify. It was called “Your Top Songs 2018.” All I can figure is
that these are the songs I listened to the most times on Spotify during 2018. I
think there may be a few issues with tracks that didn’t get rotated out as
quickly as I might have wanted, and some that got rotated back in sooner than I
might have wanted. I was trying to work out the method, and I had a number of
issues early on. Mostly, I think this is a good representation of what I was
listening to in late 2018.
The major
exception is that Duran Duran was probably the most consistently listened to
band, because I put a Duran Duran song on every playlist. I call it Durandatory
Duran. But since I listened to every Duran Duran song I could find on Spotify,
none of their songs were in the most played tracks because repetition wasn’t
originally started writing for these blog posts in January of 2019, but put the
writing away for a while to get my job situation stabilized. Otherwise, I would
have done this as a start of year feature. I figure I should do them before
2020 in case Spotify does another.
There were
50 songs on the list and I have no idea if there was a reason for the order, so
I’m just going to go from the top to the bottom, probably five songs per blog
post. I can clarify as I go if I feel the song was listened to as much as
Spotify seems to think.
Attack – “Teardrop”
I’m a huge
fan of the TV show “House MD.” It took a while before I discovered that there
was a full length song that the theme was created from. The fact is that I didn’t
often think to play the song, but every so often I would think about it and go
to YouTube. Adding it to my Spotify rotation allowed me to hear the song with a
greater frequency, because of the way I’m doing things. I didn’t rotate it out
for a long time.
interesting that sometimes people read something into a song that isn’t really
there, or that I’m not seeing as being there. I read someone’s take on “Teardrop”
at some point and I thought, “This is personal experience superimposed onto
these lyrics.” That’s fine though. It makes a song more personal when it evokes
personal memories. Here’s what I didn’t know. There may be a reason her thought
process went there. She felt the song was about having an abortion, and the
video is a baby in a womb.

to the lyricist and singer, Elizabeth Fraser of Cocteau Twins, the song was
by the works of French philosopher Gaston Bachelard. She said that the song may
have elements of learning that her longtime friend Jeff Buckley had drowned, as
she received the news while working on the song.

For me it’s just the “House M.D.” theme. That may not
be as lame as it sounds though, as the show has been a great influence on my
view of critical thought, writing, and interpersonal relationships. It really
was a great show.
Lennon – “Watching the Wheels”
I became
aware of John Lennon because of this album, just after he was shot and killed. I
was aware of The Beatles, but I didn’t know that the guy on MTV with all the
home movies was part of The Beatles. I didn’t know he was part of this crazy
cultural revolution. I was only around 9 or 10 years old when I first heard
the Wheels” got back on my radar when it was used in the trailer for the movie “Wonder
Boys.” The movie is another great influence on my writing. “Wonder Boys” caused
me to start considering a flatter style of narration that doesn’t rely on
everything being taken to extremes to try to keep it interesting.
Now “Watching
the Wheels” represents something bigger to me than just a song that I liked as
a kid, and a song used for in a trailer for a movie I liked. I see something in
the lyrics about defaulting to a life of personal fulfillment free from the expectations
of others. I have not removed this song from the regular rotation on my Spotify
playlists since it first was put on there in late 2018. There’s only one other
song that I can say that about, which I’ll get to later in this post.
Shiny Toy
Guns – “Chemistry of a Car Crash”
I have a
dark side to my personality, and the name of this band may be part of the
reason why I eventually got into them. They were playing at a local Dallas
gothic club, and I was going to go see them just based on the club and the name
of the band. I must have gotten the night wrong, or the show was cancelled,
because they weren’t there the night I went. I eventually got hold of the CD,
and was immediately taken in by their sound. The trading of male and female
vocals, along with a semi-new wave instrumentation, made me think of what the
80s band Berlin might sound like if they’d released an album in 2006 with their
80s lineup.
All of
this was during the post-separation/pre-signed-papers era of my second divorce,
so the album “We Are Pilots” has a lot of crazy memories of the time. Three
different songs from the album hold emotional strings for three different
lovers during that couple of years. “Chemistry of a Car Crash” is, not
surprisingly, my point of view of my then soon to be ex-wife, since we couldn’t
seem to just stop this odd ritual that may or may not have been trying to work
things out.
Airiel – “In
Your Room”
This song
was released in 2004, but I didn’t hear it until 2018. It came up as a
suggested track in one of Spotify’s playlists. My Spotify seemed to be a lot of
the shoegaze music I’ve grown fond of over the years (My Bloody Valentine,
Cocteau Twins) and bands I’d wanted to get into (Slowdive, Ride). “In Your Room”
reminds me of a mixture between The Cure and The Blue Nile. It quickly became
one of what I call “my current favourite songs,” meaning that in that moment it’s
the song or songs I’m most enamored with. I wish I had more to say about it,
but it’s only really been part of my life for about a year now.
Steely Dan
– “Do It Again”
This is
the other track that hasn’t left regular rotation from my Spotify playlists
since late 2018. This is just one of those songs that I always liked, but didn’t
hear very much. I had no idea that it was “Steely Dan” until sometime in the last
decade. It sounds like so many songs from the 70s that it never occurred to me
to wonder who it was. It could have been the same guy who sang for Santana for
all I knew. It wasn’t.
Miguel and
I got into a discussion about Steely Dan at some point after I knew “Do It
Again” was their song, and Miguel declared that it was from before Steely Dan
grew into the sound that he liked. But what does Miguel know?
McGinty is a blogger who knows which side Steely Dan’s toast is buttered on.
Um, I might be still thinking of some random word prompts from last night.

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