Top 200 Albums: #177 – 188

itunes_imageWe last counted down the Top 200 albums in my iTunes library four years ago. Since that time, the world has literally changed, and my commute has decreased from 1+ hours each way to 25 steps. So, despite the decrease in potential listening time, I figured it was time to take another look, based on number of plays from late 2007 through the morning of January 1, 2022.

We continue today with the next batch of ten albums that I have listened to the most over the last 15 years, including one comedy album, one compilation, and an even one half of the albums coming from the 90s.

#187: Tegan and Sara – Sainthood
iTunes stats: 68 plays
Previous Ranking: 140

Eleven of the thirteen songs from this sixth studio album from the Canadian twins added only 13 new listens, causing it to drop 60 spots over the last four years.

#187: Pink – Missundaztood
iTunes stats: 68 plays
Previous Ranking: NR

Pink climbs on to the chart thanks to three singles from her 2001 smash release, which increased its listens by more than 74%.

#187: Cracker – Cracker
iTunes stats: 68 plays
Previous Ranking: 176

The 1992 debut from Cracker needed contributions from only two songs, which added a combined 22 new listens, while dropping 18 spots.

#187: The Muffs – The Muffs
iTunes stats: 68 plays
Previous Ranking: 179

The debut album from The Muffs, released in 1993, uses three songs, including one that was featured in a Fruitopia ad, to make up this total.

#186: Various Artists – Pure Disco Volume 2
iTunes stats: 69 plays
Previous Ranking: NR

Five tracks from this compilation album, featuring hits by Barry White, Wild Cherry, and others, powered a nearly 92% increase in plays.

Continue reading →

iTunes Top 200 Artists: #21-30

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 continue today with the next batch of 10 artists, zooming into the 300 listen territory with reckless abandon.

#30: Metallica
iTunes stats: 263 plays
Previous ranking: #35

The one-time masters of metal manage to go up 5 spots in the rankings thanks to 115 new listens, despite dropping off my myriad White Sox victory playlists.

#29: Guns N’ Roses
iTunes stats: 264 plays
Previous ranking: #33

Axl Rose and his sometimes friends add 115 new listens to the now 21 songs in my collection to enable them to move up 4 positions in the rankings.

#28: The Monkees
iTunes stats: 279 plays
Previous ranking: #33

The made-for-TV band, who lost Peter Tork in 2019, had an 87% increase in their listens, moving them up 5 spots in the rankings.

#27: Avril Lavigne
iTunes stats: 297 plays
Previous ranking: #32

The 8 time Grammy nominee, who somehow has 25 tracks that I’ve listened to in my collection, added 145 new plays, which moved her up 5 spots on the charts.

#26: Veruca Salt
iTunes stats: 300 plays
Previous ranking: #26

The girls from Chicago, who I saw live in Champaign back in the day, used 14 songs to increase their plays by 125, allowing them to stay in the exact same slot.

#25: Weezer
Continue reading →

iTunes Top 200: #170

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.

We kick things off today with the first ten songs tied for 170th place with 30 plays apiece since my stats began in late 2007.

#170: 10,000 Maniacs – Because The Night
iTunes stats: 30 plays, most recently on 10/22/2018
Previous ranking: #65

A precipitous drop for this cover of the Patti Smith classic from the band’s MTV Unplugged appearance, which garnered a mere 8 new listens over the past 4 years.  It also appears on Volume 12 of my mix tapes.

#170: Young MC – Bust A Move
iTunes stats: 30 plays, most recently on 10/27/2019
Previous ranking: #96

Another big drop, thanks to a mere 10 listens over the past 4 years, for this Grammy winning hit, which also appeared on Volume 1 of my mix tapes.

#170: Weezer – Buddy Holly
iTunes stats: 30 plays, most recently on 11/12/2019
Previous ranking: Unranked

Released on what would have been Buddy Holly’s 58th birthday, the big breakthrough hit for Weezer, which scored 4 MTV Video Music Awards in 1995, pushes the 25 year old song into the Top 200.

#170: Terror Squad Ft. Fat Joe (Aka Joey Crack) & Remy – Lean Back
iTunes stats: 30 plays, most recently on 8/19/2019
Previous ranking: Unranked

A strong debut for the one hit wonders who spent three weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 charts in August of 2004.

#170: Tegan and Sara – Speak Slow
iTunes stats: 30 plays, most recently on 7/8/2019
Previous ranking: #79

The live version of the song, from the 5 Songs Live from the Phoenix EP, drops nearly 100 slots.

#170: Stone Temple Pilots – Dancing Days
Continue reading →

Another Mix Tape Monday Roundup

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.

Last week, we finished up the last of the 20 volumes.  The 287 songs from 144 different bands or performers have been played an average of nearly 16 times each, according to my iTunes stats, up from just over 8.5 times 3 years ago. Let’s take one final look back at the bands and songs that made up my youth.

Most Played Song

48 – Boyz II Men – It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye

43 – Tag Team – Whoomp! (There It Is)

42 – Veruca Salt – Seether

39 – Snoop Dogg – What’s My Name?

38 – Sir Mix-A-Lot – Baby Got Back

Least Played Song

4 – TLC – Get It Up

4 – Warren G – Do You See

4 – Liz Phair – Whip-Smart

5 – Edwyn Collins – A Girl Like You

5 – Bon Jovi – Lay Your Hands On Me

5 – Shanice – Saving Forever For You

5 – Ace of Base – The Sign

Most Played Song – Largest Total Increase

30 – Tag Team – Whoomp! (There It Is)

24 – Snoop Dogg – What’s My Name?

24 – Sir Mix-A-Lot – Baby Got Back

23 – Color Me Badd – All 4 Love

20 – Stone Temple Pilots – Creep

20 – Boyz II Men – It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye

Least Played Song – Smallest Total Increase

0 – Liz Phair – Whip-Smart

1 – Warren G – Do You See

1 – Gin Blossoms – Mrs. Rita

1 – Bon Jovi – In These Arms

1 – Frente! – Labour of Love

Most Played Song – Largest Percentage Increase

2000% – Stone Temple Pilots – Creep

1200% – Ugly Kid Joe – Busy Bee

700% – Paula Abdul – The Way That You Love Me

700% – The Simpsons – Do The Bartman

500% – Bell Biv Devoe – Something In Your Eyes

500% – Jodeci – Cry For You

500% – The Cranberries – Twenty One

Least Played Song – Smallest Percentage Increase

0% – Liz Phair – Whip-Smart

6.25% – Frente! – Labour of Love

9.09% – Bon Jovi – In These Arms

13.33% – Alanis Morissette – All I Really Want

16% – Mazzy Star – Fade Into You

Most Represented Band

11 – Poison

10 – Aerosmith

10 – Pearl Jam

7 – Def Leppard

7 – Guns N’ Roses

Most Played Tape

Continue reading →

Another Mix Tape Monday – Volume 18

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 18 covers the summer of 1995, my first working at the bank, and the lead up to the first of my two senior years of college.

Side A

Stone Temple Pilots – Dancing Days

A radio hit despite never being officially released as a single, the Led Zeppelin cover more than doubled its impressive total over the past 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
7 plays 13 plays 27 plays, most recently on 8/28/2018 

PJ Harvey – Down By The Water

The surprise mainstream hit for the indie darling, which hit #2 on Billboard’s Modern Rock Tracks chart, added a mere 3 listens in the last 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
7 plays 13 plays 16 plays, most recently on 10/9/2018 

REM – Strange Currencies

Nearly left off the Monster album due to its rhythmic similarities to Everybody Hurts, the song more than tripled its number of plays over the past 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
0 plays 2 plays 7 plays, most recently on 7/18/2018 

Live – All Over You

Hitting #4 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart despite never being released as a single in the US, Live’s latest has doubled its plays in the last 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
5 plays 5 plays 10 plays, most recently on 6/24/2018 

Soul Asylum – Misery

Originally recorded off of Q101, the debut single from Soul Asylum’s follow-up to their breakthrough album nearly tripled its listens over the past 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
3 plays 4 plays 11 plays, most recently on 12/15/2018 

Collective Soul – December

Peaking at #20 on the Billboard charts, the second single from the band’s second album nearly tripled its output over the last 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
2 plays 3 plays 8 plays, most recently on 10/9/2018 

Elastica – Connection

The first US hit from Elastica, peaking at #53 on the Billboard charts, added 6 listens in the last 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
7 plays 11 plays 17 plays, most recently on 12/17/2018 

Juliana Hatfield – Universal Heart-Beat

Hitting #5 on the Modern Rock Tracks charts, the solo release from Juliana Hatfield garnered 5 additional listens in the last 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
3 plays 8 plays 13 plays, most recently on 1/2/2019 

Side B

Continue reading →

Another Mix Tape Monday – Volume 17

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 17 picks up in early 1995 and the second semester of my junior year and takes us into early summer.  At this point, it is nearly all alternative, with just one hip-hop breakthrough.

Side A

Hole – Asking For It

One of three Hole songs to feature a contribution from Kurt Cobain, the latest from Courtney Love and company more than quadrupled its play total after not being heard in 2 1/2 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
2 plays 4 plays 17 plays, most recently on 12/4/2018 

Cranberries – Twenty One

The minor hit from the band’s second album, helped in part by the death of singer Dolores O’Riordan, added a mere 5 plays in the last 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
0 plays 1 play 6 plays, most recently on 12/12/2018 

Veruca Salt – Number One Blind

The follow up single to Seether added 8 listens over the past 5 1/2 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
7 plays 9 plays 17 plays, most recently on 12/18/2018 

Stone Temple Pilots – Unglued

Peaking at #16 on Billboard’s Modern Rock Tracks chart, the track added 10 new plays in the last 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
9 plays 13 plays 23 plays, most recently on 11/30/2018 

Pearl Jam – Better Man

The biggest hit from the grunge superstars’ 3rd album, spending 8 weeks at the top of Mainstream Rock chart, added a paltry 5 listens over the past 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
4 plays 6 plays 11 plays, most recently on 11/9/2018 

Nirvana – Where Did You Sleep Last Night

The traditional American folk song, recorded for MTV Unplugged and released following the death of lead singer Kurt Cobain, picked up a mere 4 new listens.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
2 plays 3 plays 7 plays, most recently on 8/27/2018 

Weezer – No One Else

Never released as a single but with plenty of radio airplay, Weezer’s latest picked up 7 new listens over the past 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
7 plays 10 plays 17 plays, most recently on 10/4/2018 

Offspring – What Happened To You?

The final offering from Offspring’s debut album, also never officially released as a single, added 8 additional plays in the last 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
8 plays 12 plays 20 plays, most recently on 10/14/2018 

Side B

Continue reading →

Another Mix Tape Monday – Volume 15

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 15 takes us into through the summer of 1994 and into the fall and my junior year of college. The song selection is, again, mostly alternative with some west coast gangsta rap.

Side A

Frente! – Labour Of Love

Originally recorded via Chicago’s new rock alternative, Q101, the hit from Marvin! The Album picked up a single additional listen after going unheard for nearly 3 1/2 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
10 plays 16 plays 17 plays, most recently on 10/20/2018 

Mazzy Star – Fade Into You

Ranked at #19 by Pitchfork Media on their Top 200 Tracks of the 90s, the mesmerizing tune from Hope Sandoval and company increased its play total by 4 over the last 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
9 plays 25 plays 29 plays, most recently on 10/9/2018 

Nirvana – Verse Chorus Verse

Released as a hidden track on the AIDS-benefit compilation album No Alternative, the posthumous B-side from the trio from Seattle added 7 new listens since last we checked.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
9 plays 11 plays 18 plays, most recently on 9/23/2018 

Warren G – This D.J.

Peaking at #9 on the Billboard charts, the second single from the rapper’s debut album added 6 new listens over the last 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
0 plays 4 plays 10 plays, most recently on 10/11/2018 

Cracker – Eurotrash Girl

The hidden track, originally recorded off the radio via Q101, picked up 5 additional listens over the past 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
10 plays 13 plays 18 plays, most recently on 7/31/2017 

Stone Temple Pilots – Interstate Love Song

Named the 58th best hard rock song of all time by VH1, the latest hit from STP added 17 new listens over the past 3 years, aided in part by the death of singer Scott Weiland late in 2015.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
1 plays 5 plays 22 plays, most recently on 11/29/2018 

Gin Blossoms – Allison Road

Peaking at #20 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, the Gin Blossoms hit added 6 new listens over the last 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
7 plays 13 plays 19 plays, most recently on 8/28/2018 

Weezer – Undone (The Sweater Song)

The first single from Weezer, which hit #6 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart, added 11 new listens over the past 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
9 plays 13 plays 24 plays, most recently on 6/12/2018 

Side B

Continue reading →

Another Mix Tape Monday – Volume 14

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 14 takes us into the early summer of 1994, following the end of my sophomore year of college.  The song selection continues to be  mostly alternative, with a little G-funk added for flavor.

Side A

Stone Temple Pilots – Big Empty

This entry from The Crow soundtrack picked up an additional 12 listens over the past 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
3 plays 5 plays 17 plays, most recently on 11/30/2018 

Aerosmith – Crazy

A 5 play increase for the final installment of the Alicia Silverstone video trilogy, now with extra Liv Tyler.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
11 plays 18 plays 23 plays, most recently on 11/19/2018 

Soundgarden – Black Hole Sun

Winner of the Best Hard Rock Performance Grammy and nominated for Best Rock Song, the band’s biggest commercial hit picked up 8 plays over the past 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
2 plays 5 plays 13 plays, most recently on 12/11/2018 

Green Day – Longview

The “debut” that pushed Green Day into the mainstream, hitting #1 on the Alternative Songs chart, doubled its number of listens over the last 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
3 plays 7 plays 14 plays, most recently on 8/25/2018 

Hole – Miss World

Hitting #13 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart, the introduction of Courtney Love to a mainstream audience picked up 8 additional listens over the past 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
9 plays 14 plays 22 plays, most recently on 8/20/2018 

Pearl Jam – Dissident

The song, which peaked at #3 on the Album Rock Tracks chart, more than doubled its listens over the previous 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
8 plays 8 plays 17 plays, most recently on 7/10/2018 

Sarah McLachlan – Possession

Inspired by letters written to McLachlan by two deranged fans, the 27th biggest hit of 1994 on the Alternative songs chart added a paltry 3 plays to its total over the past 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
1 plays 4 plays 7 plays, most recently on 12/6/2018 

Side B

Continue reading →

Another Mix Tape Monday – Volume 12

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 12 covers the summer of 1993 and into the fall and my sophomore year of college.  Alternative has mostly taken over, although there’s still a small smattering of pop and hair metal, or whatever we were calling Def Leppard and Guns ‘N Roses back then.

Side A

10,000 Maniacs – Because The Night

The hit from MTV Unplugged, which was Natalie Merchant’s swan song with the group, picked up 9 plays over the past 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
9 plays 21 plays 30 plays, most recently on 10/22/2018 

Cracker – Low

The first single from Kerosene Hat, which reached #3 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart, picked up 17 listens in the last 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
13 plays 14 plays 31 plays, most recently on 12/15/2018 

Def Leppard – Miss You In A Heartbeat

The final US top 40 hit for the band, which peaked at #39, doubled its listens over the past 3 years, with the most recent occurrence coming more than a year ago.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
2 plays 3 plays 6 plays, most recently on 1/12/2018 

Cher w/ Beavis & Butthead – I Got You Babe

Cher’s threesome with the animated duo, from the hit film Beavis & Butthead Do America, earned a healthy 12 play increase over the past 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
17 plays 22 plays 34 plays, most recently on 11/26/2018 

Guns N’ Roses – Estranged

The nearly 9 1/2 minute opus, which hit #16 on the Mainstream Rock chart, tripled its listens over the past 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
2 plays 4 plays 12 plays, most recently on 10/14/2018 

Lemonheads – Into Your Arms

The only Lemonheads track to appear on the Billboard chart, peaking at #67, the tune added 6 additional plays over the last 3 years.

iTunes Stats
2012 2015 2019
4 plays 13 plays 19 plays, most recently on 7/14/2018 

Side B

Continue reading →

Top 200 Albums – #71 – 79

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 continue with the next batch of 10 albums ranked between #71 and 79, including 5 studio recordings, 2 compilations, 2 movie soundtracks, and 1 live performance.

#79: The Lonely Island – Turtleneck & Chain
iTunes stats: 81 plays
Previous Ranking: 77

The second album from the SNL digital short maestros make the list thanks to 4 different tracks.

#79: Stone Temple Pilots – Purple
iTunes stats: 81 plays
Previous Ranking: 120

5 tracks from the sophomore album from STP make up this total.

#77: Various Artists – The First 1000 Years – Rock
iTunes stats: 83 plays
Previous Ranking: 68

7 songs, from artists like The Breeders, Everclear, and Jane’s Addiction, make up the total for this MTV sponsored compilation.

#77: John Morris – Clue (Original Motion Picture Score)
iTunes stats: 83 plays
Previous Ranking: N/A

A strong debut for the score from one of my favorite movies.

#76: Various Artists – Poplife
iTunes stats: 84 plays
Previous Ranking: 127

10 different tracks, from artists like Crash Test Dummies, Meredith Brooks, and Fine Young Cannibals, make up the total for this compilation album.

Continue reading →