iTunes Top 200 Artists: #50-60

It’s been 4 years since we last counted down the Top 200 artists in my iTunes library.  Since my iTunes stats are still intact, across multiple PCs, iPods, iPads, and iPhones, I figured it was time to take another look at the artists that have entertained me the most based on number of plays from late 2007 through January 1, 2021.

We wrap up the first three quarters of the list today with the next batch of 10 artists, with ties at 56th, 54th, and 50th.

#60: Frank Sinatra
iTunes stats: 142 plays
Previous ranking: #81

The crooner from New Jersey and the leader of the Rat Pack jumps 19 slots thanks mostly to former White Sox third baseman Todd Frazier, who uses Sinatra tunes as his at bat music.

#59: TLC
iTunes stats: 143 plays
Previous ranking: #64

Adding a seventh song to my collection helps push the hip hop trio up 5 spots after a 104% increase.

#58: Smashing Pumpkins
iTunes stats: 145 plays
Previous ranking: #58

64 new listens over the past 4 years enables the Chicago based alternative band to remain stable in the rankings.

#56: Cheap Trick
iTunes stats: 153 plays
Previous ranking: #55

The boys from Rockford, who I have seen open up for two other bands on this list, add an additional 67 listens, which puts them down 1 spot on the list.

#56: Cracker
iTunes stats: 153 plays
Previous ranking: #51

Only 58 new listens over the past 4 years, a small 61% increase, led to a 5 spot drop for the Georgia rockers.

#54: Sam Kinison
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iTunes Top 200: #51 – 60

itunes_image4 years ago, we last counted down the Top 200 songs in my iTunes library. Since my iTunes stats are still intact, across multiple PCs, iPods, iPads, and iPhones, I figured it was time to take another look at my most listened to songs, based on number of plays as of January 1, 2020.

Today, we wrap up the first three quarters of the chart,  with the 9 songs with 39 and 40 plays, according to my iTunes stats dating back to late 2007.

#60: The Cast of Buffy the Vampire Slayer – I’ve Got A Theory/Bunnies/If We’re Together
iTunes stats: 38 plays, most recently on 11/9/2019
Previous ranking: #35

A small slip in the rankings for this entry from Once More With Feeling, where we learn the truth behind the evil that is bunnies.

#56: Toad The Wet Sprocket – Walk On The Ocean
iTunes stats: 39 plays, most recently on 11/27/2019
Previous ranking: #65

The second hit from Toad the Wet Sprocket, which also appeared on Volume 8 of my mix tapes.

#56: Cheap Trick – That ’70s Song
iTunes stats: 39 plays, most recently on 7/28/2019
Previous ranking: #96

A strong rise in the rankings for the theme song from the FOX comedy about young Eric Foreman and his group of friends in 1970s Wisconsin.

#56: Black Eyed Peas – Let’s Get It Started 
iTunes stats: 39 plays, most recently on 12/11/2019
Previous ranking: Unranked

An impressive debut for the 2005 Grammy Award winner for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group.

#56: AC/DC – Back In Black
iTunes stats: 39 plays, most recently on 9/29/2019
Previous ranking: #96

A big jump for this tribute to former lead singer Bon Scott, who had died during the songwriting for the album.

#51: 10,000 Maniacs – These Are Days
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Another Mix Tape Monday – Volume 3

20 years ago, during my sophomore year of high school, I put together the first of what would become a nearly 20 volume collection of mix tapes, containing my favorite songs that I had gathered either from the radio, a cassette tape, or (eventually) CD. We last looked back at all 20 volumes three years ago to see which of my “favorite” songs still resonated in today’s digital world. Today, we revisit those mix tapes and see how, or if, things have changed in the past 3 years.

Volume 3 picks up in mid-summer 1990 and takes us through late 1990 and into my junior year of high school.  Featuring another steady stream of hair metal, with small selections of pop, rap, R&B, and dance thrown in for good measure, volume 3 also overlaps with the start of my relationship with my first “real” girlfriend.

Side A

2 Live Crew – Banned In The USA

The first song (as I recall) recorded off of B96, this protest anthem from 2 Live Crew, recorded after their previous album was declared obscene by a federal judge, increased its play total by 7 over the past 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
6 plays 8 plays 15 plays, most recently on 8/22/2018 

Poison – Unskinny Bop

The first single from Flesh & Blood , which peaked at #3 on the Billboard charts, managed to earn 3 additional plays since last time we did this check.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
4 plays 8 plays 11 plays, most recently on 12/4/2018 

Poison – Nothin’ But A Good Time

Most likely originally recorded from The Blaze, the debut single from Poison’s previous album and arguably their second biggest hit, picked up an impressive 11 new listens over the past 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
6 plays 6 plays 17 plays, most recently on 10/1/2018 

MC Hammer – Have You Seen Her

The unlikely cover of the 1971 hit by The Chi-Lites doubled up its number of plays over the past 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
2 plays 4 plays 8 plays, most recently on 10/27/2017 

Cheap Trick – Can’t Stop Fallin’ Into Love

Cheap Trick’s last single to hit the top 40, the first release from their 11th studio album, which became “our song” between me and my first girlfriend, had a healthy increase of 6 listens over the last few years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
10 plays 14 plays 20 plays, most recently on 11/8/2018 

Nelson – (Can’t Live Without Your) Love and Affection

Matthew and Gunnar’s big hit, which topped the Billboard charts, nearly tripled its play total since 2015.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
1 plays 4 plays 11 plays, most recently on 11/19/2018 

Warrant – Cherry Pie

Thanks to prodding from The Adam Carolla Show, Warrant’s strip club anthem increased by 14 listens over the past 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
8 plays 17 plays 31 plays, most recently on 12/3/2018 

Johnny Gill – Rub You The Right Way

The solo debut from the New Edition alumnus, ranked as the 23rd biggest hit of 1990, picked up 6 additional plats in the last 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
7 plays 10 plays 16 plays, most recently on 4/12/2018 

Side B

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Top 200 Albums – #101 – 109

itunes_imageNearly 4 years ago, we first counted down the Top 200 albums in my iTunes library. Since that time, I’ve successfully managed to migrate my music collection to a new PC with the stats intact. So, I figured it was time to take another look, based on number of plays from late 2007 through January 1, 2018.

We wrap up the first half with the next batch of 10 albums ranked between #101 and 109, including 6 studio recordings, 2 live performances, and 2 greatest hit packages.

#109: Eminem – The Eminem Show
iTunes stats: 65 plays
Previous Ranking: 74

The fourth studio album from Eminem uses 5 tracks to make up this total.

#109: The Beatles – Abbey Road
iTunes stats: 65 plays
Previous Ranking: 100

7 songs make up this total for the remastered version of the last Beatles album ever recorded.

#108: Bush – Sixteen Stone
iTunes stats: 66 plays
Previous Ranking: 80

5 tracks from Bush’s debut album place it on the list, with only 24 additional plays.

#106: Offspring – Smash
iTunes stats: 67 plays
Previous Ranking: 100

4 tunes, and an increase of 30 listens, from this debut album from the California punk band make up this total.

#106: Cracker – Kerosene Hat
iTunes stats: 67 plays
Previous Ranking: 80

The second album from the Georgia rockers makes the list thanks to 3 songs.

Continue reading →

iTunes Top 200 Artists: #51-59

3 years ago, we first counted down the then Top 100 artists in my iTunes library.  Since that time, I’ve successfully managed to migrate my music collection to a new PC with the stats intact.  So, I figured it was time to take another look, expanding out the field to the top 200 artists, based on number of plays from late 2007 through January 1, 2017.

We finish up the first 2/3 of the list with listens from the high 70s through the mid 90s.

#59: Kermit the Frog
iTunes stats: 78 plays
Previous ranking: N/A

The world’s most favorite Muppet makes the second highest debut on the list, clocking in with 7 tracks.

#59: 10,000 Maniacs
iTunes stats: 78 plays
Previous ranking: #53

Only 3 tracks make up this total, though a scant 29 new listens contributed to a 6 spot drop in the rankings.

#58: Smashing Pumpkins
iTunes stats: 81 plays
Previous ranking: #59

Doubling their play total, plus 1, over the past 3 years enables the Chicago based alternative band to jump up 1 whole spot in the rankings.

#57: Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons
iTunes stats: 83 plays
Previous ranking: #45

A mere 17 new listens over the past 3 years cause the Jersey Boys inspirations to drop 12 spots on the list.

#56: The Rolling Stones
iTunes stats: 84 plays
Previous ranking: #74

Listens from 17 songs, up from 9 three years ago, led to the British bad boys jumping 18 spots in the rankings.

#55: Cheap Trick
iTunes stats: 86 plays
Previous ranking: #56

The boys from Rockford add an additional 40 listens to rise 1 spot on the list.

#54: The Outfield
Continue reading →

iTunes Top 200: #96

itunes_image3 years ago, we first counted down the then Top 100 songs in my iTunes library. Since that time, I’ve successfully managed to migrate my music collection to a new PC with the stats intact. So, I figured it was time to take another look, expanding out the field to the top 200 songs, based on number of plays as of January 1, 2016.

Today, we finish off the first 100 songs of the countdown with the next grouping of songs tied for 96th place with 20 plays apiece since late 2007.

#96: Pearl Jam – Go
iTunes stats: 20 plays, most recently on 8/20/2015
Previous ranking: Unranked

The song got a boost after being used by Paul Konerko as his at bat music during his final season.

#96: The Offspring – Come Out And Play
iTunes stats: 20 plays, most recently on 7/8/2015
Previous ranking: Unranked

The breakthrough single for the punk band also appeared on Volume 14 of my mix tapes.

#96: Mazzy Star – Into Dust
iTunes stats: 20 plays, most recently on 11/7/2015
Previous ranking: Unranked

Despite never being released as a single, the song has charted two different times in the UK.

#96: Kermit – Rainbow Connection
iTunes stats: 20 plays, most recently on 11/19/2015
Previous ranking: Unranked

The signature song for the main muppet from the first Muppet Movie.

#96: Garfunkel & Oates – Google
iTunes stats: 20 plays, most recently on 5/24/2015
Previous ranking: Unranked

The comedy duo’s tune on dating realities in the 21st century.

#96: Garfunkel & Oates – Handjob, Blandjob, I Don’t Understand Job
Continue reading →

Fighting Foo

FooFightersThe Foo Fighters finally invaded Wrigley Field last night, in a show that was nearly a year in the making.  Dave Grohl put together a lineup, consisting of local bands Urge Overkill, Naked Raygun, and Cheap Trick, that influenced him as he was growing up and becoming the rock star that he is today.

Urge Overkill opened the show at 5:30 sharp, playing a quick 25 minute set that included an uneven rendition of Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon, their contribution to the Pulp Fiction soundtrack and their only song that I know.  They were followed by local punk veterans Naked Raygun, whom I was familiar with by name only.

Cheap Trick was up next, and their short set was also short on hits, outside of a few of their 70s standbys.  Having seen them previously, I was hoping to hear them break out their version of the theme to That 70s Show, but that was not to be.

Finally, the Foo Fighters took the stage, with Grohl, having broken his leg in June, sitting in an electric throne that could bring him out in to the crowd thanks to an extended stage.  They wasted no time in getting things started, blowing out Everlong and Monkey Wrench straight out of the gate.  2 and a half hours later, they closed down the joint with a rousing rendition of Best Of You.  In between, they put on a hell of a show, featuring their own hits along with some snippets of hits from Van Halen, Yes, and Alice Cooper.

It had been a while since I went to a full-on rock and roll show, and this one delivered the goods.  It won’t be long before my next, and if it is half as good as this one, it will be a good time.

Mix Tape Monday – Volume 3 Revisited

Between 1989, my sophomore year of high school, and 1995, my fourth year of college, I put together a nearly 20 volume collection of mix tapes, containing my favorite songs that I had gathered either from the radio, a cassette tape, or (eventually) CD.  Three years ago, we looked back at all 20 volumes and which of my “favorite” songs I still listened to.  Today, we revisit those mix tapes and see how things have changed in the last 3 years.

Volume 3 picks up in mid-summer 1990 and takes us through late 1990 and into my junior year of high school.  Featuring another steady stream of hair metal, with small selections of pop, rap, R&B, and dance thrown in for good measure, volume 3 also overlaps with the start of my relationship with my first “real” girlfriend.

Side A

2 Live Crew – Banned In The USA

The protest anthem from 2 Live Crew, one of the few songs that I taped off of B96, increased slightly over the past 3 years.

2012 iTunes stats: 6 plays

2015 iTunes stats: 8 plays, most recently on 10/23/2014

Poison – Unskinny Bop

The first single from Flesh & Blood managed to double it’s plays since last time we did this check.

2012 iTunes stats: 4 plays

2015 iTunes stats: 8 plays, most recently on 6/21/2014

Poison – Nothin’ But A Good Time

Arguably Poison’s second biggest hit, despite my not having listened to it, at least the studio version, in nearly 4 years.

2012 iTunes stats: 6 plays

2015 iTunes stats: 6 plays, most recently on 5/14/2011

MC Hammer – Have You Seen Her

The strange rap ballad doubled up its number of plays over the past 3 years.

2012 iTunes stats: 2 plays

2015 iTunes stats: 4 plays, most recently on 8/13/2014

Cheap Trick – Can’t Stop Fallin’ Into Love

Cheap Trick’s hit, which turned into “our song” with my first girlfriend, had a healthy increase over the last few years.

2012 iTunes stats: 10 plays

2015 iTunes stats: 14 plays, most recently on 4/2/2015

Nelson – Love and Affection

Matthew and Gunnar’s big hit increased exponentially since 2012.

2012 iTunes stats: 1 play

2015 iTunes stats: 4 plays, most recently on 6/21/2014

Warrant – Cherry Pie

Thanks to prodding from The Adam Carolla Show, Warrant’s strip club anthem increased by 9 listens over the past 3 years.

2012 iTunes stats: 8 plays

2015 iTunes stats: 17 plays, most recently on 9/18/2014

Johnny Gill – Rub You The Right Way

A slight increase for the solo debut from the New Edition alumnus.

2012 iTunes stats: 7 plays

2015 iTunes stats: 10 plays, most recently on 4/24/2014

Side B

Continue reading →

Top 200 Albums – #92 – 99

itunes_imageMy latest desktop computer arrived in late 2007, at which point I transitioned all of my music off of my laptop. 2 iPods, 3 iPhones, and an iPad later, that computer is still my main repository of music, with iTunes updating its stats every time I listen to something.

Having already gone through cassette tapes and CDs, and digital music, it’s time to roll everything up with the Top 200 albums whose songs I’ve listened to as of September 2014, according to iTunes. Today we crack the top 90 and look at the 8 albums tied for 92nd with 38 listens.

#92: Pearl Jam – Contra (Live – Bootleg)
iTunes stats: 38 plays
This bootleg album, which contains live performances from the band’s MTV Unplugged appearance and other live performances, makes the list thanks to 8 different tracks.

#92: Cheap Trick – The Greatest Hits
iTunes stats: 38 plays
5 songs from the long career of Cheap Trick put their greatest hits compilation on the list.

#92: Various Artists – Romy And Michele’s High School Reunion
iTunes stats: 38 plays
The first soundtrack to the Lisa Kudrow/Mira Sorvino comedy uses 8 different 80s tracks to make up this total.

#92: The Beatles – Let It Be… Naked
iTunes stats: 38 plays
5 songs from this remastered and remixed version of the Beatles final album, minus Phil Spectre’s patented “Wall of Sound”, makes the list with 5 different tracks.

#92: Bell Biv Devoe – Poison
iTunes stats: 38 plays
The debut album from the former members of New Edition needed only 2 songs to make up this total.

#92: Toad the Wet Sprocket – Fear
iTunes stats: 38 plays
The band’s third studio album, and first to hit big, makes the list thanks to 2 songs.

#92: Various Artists – Forrest Gump
iTunes stats: 38 plays
9 different tracks, from artists like The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, and CCR, make up the total for this double album soundtrack.

#92: No Doubt – Tragic Kingdom
iTunes stats: 38 plays
6 songs from the band’s breakthrough effort make up its total.

Concert Flashback: Stone Temple Pilots

97stpWith about a month to go before graduation, I headed to the Elliott Hall of Music to take in a performance from Stone Temple Pilots with opening act Cheap Trick.  I don’t even remember who I went with, though I have to imagine that either Tracie or Courtney had to have been involved.  Cheap Trick were between their late 80s comeback and their soon to come That 70s Show renaissance.  My memory tells me that they skipped their 80s hits and instead focused on their 70s anthems along with a few tunes from whatever CD they were trying to push at the time.

My main memory of the Stone Temple Pilots portion of the show is them breaking everything down for a short acoustical set in the middle of the show, including a giant wooden rocking chair from which Scott Weiland would sing.  The show must have rocked at least somewhat since the band had to fork over $8500 in damages after inciting the crowd to head towards the stage.  Everything seemed to be repaired by the next time I was in the building, which would have either been for a final or for graduation less than a month after the show.