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.

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Top 200 Albums: #188 – 196

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 kick things off with the first batch of ten albums that I have listened to the most over the last 15 years, including six released in the 1990s, one comedy albums, and two greatest hits collections.

#196: Ice Cube – The Predator
iTunes stats: 66 plays
Previous Ranking: NR

Ice Cube makes his chart debut thanks to two tracks from his third studio album, released in 1992, which added 37 new listens.

#196: The Presidents of the United States of America – The Presidents of the United States of America
iTunes stats: 66 plays
Previous Ranking: 192

The band’s debut album, released in 1995, drops 4 spots despite a nearly 61% increase in listens over the past 4 years.

#196: Patton Oswalt – Annihilation
iTunes stats: 66 plays
Previous Ranking: NR

The comic’s 2017 special, dealing with the tragic death of his wife, Michelle McNamara, debuts with a strong showing, thanks to the 20 tracks from the album.

#196: Tegan and Sara – If It Was You
iTunes stats: 66 plays
Previous Ranking: 171

The album that introduced me to Tegan and Sara, thanks to radio play for I Hear Noises, drops 25 spots thanks to a small 40% increase in its number of plays in the past four years.

#196: Beastie Boys – Licensed to Ill
iTunes stats: 66 plays
Previous Ranking: NR

The group’s 1986 debut album makes its first appearance on the charts after nearly doubling its listens to four of the album’s thirteen tracks.

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iTunes Top 200 Artists: #7

6 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 and expanded the count down to the Top 200..  It’s been 3 years, so I figured it was time to take yet another look at my Top 200 artists, based on the number of plays from late 2007 through January 1, 2021.

Twin sisters who bonded in high school over a love of music following the discovery of their step-dad’s guitar, we continue today with at #7 with Sara Quin and Tegan Quin, known professionally as the band Tegan & Sara.

#7: Tegan and Sara
iTunes stats: 657 plays
Previous ranking: #7

Tegan and Sara entered my consciousness in the early 2000s, when I Hear Noises started to get some airplay on WXRT.  Since then, I’ve seen them in concert, read their book. and listened to their music, with 84 songs from 10 different albums in my collection.  They’ve stayed even on the charts, thanks to a mere 50% increase in listens over the past four years.  

I saw them in concert in October of 2005, at the end of what was a very busy week.  Prior to the show, I settled in at Rock Bottom in River North to watch the end of Game 3 of the ALDS as the White Sox finished off their sweep of the Red Sox.  After the game, a group of us hopped on the Red Line and headed north to Wrigleyville to check out Tegan and Sara at the Metro.  To be honest, I don’t remember much about the show at all.  The album they were touring in support of, So Jealous, is one of my favorites and I’m sure I enjoyed the performance.  But, my favorite baseball team was headed for the ALCS, I’d just been to two playoff games, and the Weezer and Foo Fighters show was earlier that week.  It’s all sort of jumbled together at this point.

 

Book 1 (of 52) – High School

High School – Tegan & Sara

In High School, their first memoir, twins Sara Quin and Tegan Quin, known professionally as the band Tegan & Sara, look back on their high school years in Calgary.  The sisters switch off chapters, telling the stories of their first loves, parties and drug use, and the discovery of their step-dad’s guitar and the start of their musical journeys.  After playing for their friends, they enter a music competition while still in high school and win, putting them on the path to stardom.

I first became acquainted with Tegan & Sara back in the early 2000s, when one of the tracks from their third album started getting a little radio airplay.  While their more recent work has moved into a style that doesn’t really work for me, those early works, especially 2004’s So Jealous, remain some of my favorites.  I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book, but it is basically like reading the shared diary of two sisters who find themselves on different, but similar, paths heading to the same destination.  They don’t shy away from the sibling rivalries that caused many a fight between the two, but they managed to always find their way back to each other and, eventually, to their music.

While writing this book, they found their old homemade demo cassettes of songs they wrote while they were in high school.  Their latest album is them partially re-writing and then recording those songs.  Reading the book has rekindled my interest in their music and I am tempted to check out this album.  Time will tell if I follow through with that or not.

52 Books in 52 Weeks – 2021 Edition

A new year is once again upon us, and it is time to once again delude myself with the goal of reading a book a week for the entire year, totaling 52 books in 52 weeks.

In years past, I’ve had a low point of 8 books.  I’ve hit a high point of  31 books twice.  Last year, I finished with 24 books finished, less than half of my goal and a somewhat surprising disappointment, since I was basically locked in the house for 9 months due to the corona virus.

Since I have nothing but time again this year, at least until the vaccine starts to make its way to the general population, I’m going to give it another go.  I’ve got plenty of new books stocked up in the Kindle app on my iPad, not to mention one or two birthday and Christmas presents, so I’ve got a good pile to start with.  As a reminder, the rules I am using are:

  • You can count a book as read as long as you have completed the book in 2021 and at least 50% of that reading takes place in 2021
  • Any book counts as long as you’re not embarrassed to count it.
  • Poetry collections do indeed count.
  • Re-reading a book is okay as long as it isn’t done this year. (Reading Twilight twice in 2021 only counts as 1 read)
  • Audiobooks also count.

My first book of the year looks like it will be the high school memoirs of the musical group Tegan & Sara, which I’d hoped to sneak in under the wire in December.  With at least another 6 months of being stuck at home, 2021 should be another good year.

iTunes Top 200 Wrap-Up

itunes_imageLast week, we wrapped up our latest look at the top 200 songs I’ve listened to, according to iTunes, since late 2007.  Now it’s time to take a final look at those 200 songs and the 122 (or so) artists that made them.  The average number of listens was just under 44, with the median number being 34.  There were 52 new entries, and of the returning entries, there was an average increase of just a tad over 15 listens per song.

Most Represented Band

Foo Fighters – 15
The Cast of Buffy The Vampire Slayer – 10
The Beatles – 8
The Lonely Island – 6
Garbage – 6
Tegan and Sara – 6

Largest Increase

78 – AC/DC – Thunderstruck
71 – Harry Caray – Take Me Out To The Ballgame
71 – Steam – Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye
70 – Captain Stubby and the Buccaneers – Let’s Go-Go-Go White Sox
32 – Van Halen – Jump

Smallest Increase

2 – Nancy Faust – Take Me Out To The Ballgame
4 – The Cast of Buffy the Vampire Slayer – Coda
4 – Mazzy Star – Fade Into You
5 – The Lonely Island – Lazy Sunday (ft. Chris Parnell)
5 – 2008 White Sox Central Division Champs Montage

Most Recently Played

12/30/2019 2:42 PM – Aerosmith – Janie’s Got A Gun
12/30/2019 2:34 PM – The Beatles – Eight Days A Week
12/30/2019 2:31 PM – Florence + The Machine – Shake It Out
12/29/2019 11:59 AM – The Beatles – Helter Skelter
12/20/2019 2:57 PM – Hole – Doll Parts

Least Recently Played

10/16/2018 5:05 PM – The Lonely Island – Lazy Sunday (ft. Chris Parnell)
10/22/2018 6:02 PM – 10,000 Maniacs – Because The Night
12/17/2018 6:50 AM – Mark Snow – X-Files Theme
12/19/2018 9:08 PM – Foo Fighters – Everlong
1/17/2019 6:53 AM – Letters To Cleo – Here & Now

iTunes Top 200: #79 – 89

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 final two songs with 36 plays and move on to the first group of songs with 37 plays, according to my iTunes stats dating back to late 2007.

#89: Cracker – Low
iTunes stats: 35 plays, most recently on 10/26/2019
Previous ranking: Unranked

A nice debut for the first single from Kerosene Hat, which reached #3 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart and appears on Volume 12 of my mixtapes.

#89: Cher with Beavis & Butt-head – I Got You Babe
iTunes stats: 35 plays, most recently on 10/9/2019
Previous ranking: #65

This remake featuring the cartoon duo also appeared on Volume 12 of my mix tapes.

#79: The White Stripes – Fell In Love With A Girl
iTunes stats: 36 plays, most recently on 10/22/2019
Previous ranking: Unranked

A nice debut for the tune which peaked at number 21 on Billboard’s Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart.

#79: Tegan and Sara – I Hear Noises
iTunes stats: 36 plays, most recently on 9/25/2019
Previous ranking: #44

This tune was my initial introduction to the Canadian songstresses.

#79: Styx – Come Sail Away
iTunes stats: 36 plays, most recently on 7/15/2019
Previous ranking: #46

A small drop for the Chicago band, which, while never an official part of my victory playlist, would get pulled out on days former White Sox pitcher Chris Sale would pitch and win.

#79: Mott The Hoople – All The Young Dudes
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iTunes Top 200: #89 – 98

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 begin the second half of our countdown, breaking the top 100 with the remaining three songs with 34 plays before moving on to the first group of songs with 35 plays, according to my iTunes stats dating back to late 2007.

#98: The Breeders – Cannonball
iTunes stats: 34 plays, most recently on 8/30/2019
Previous ranking: #96

The first single for the new band fronted by former Pixie Kim Deal and her sister Kelley.

#98: The Beatles – Help!
iTunes stats: 34 plays, most recently on 10/27/2019
Previous ranking: #65

The title song for both the 1965 film and its soundtrack album.

#98: Bad Religion – Infected
iTunes stats: 34 plays, most recently on 7/11/2019
Previous ranking: Unranked

A nice debut for the tune which peaked at number 27 on Billboard’s Modern Rock Tracks chart.

#89: Travis – Baby One More Time
iTunes stats: 35 plays, most recently on 10/25/2019
Previous ranking: #141

A tremendous jump for this cover of the Britney Spears “classic”.

#89: Tegan and Sara – Walking With A Ghost
iTunes stats: 35 plays, most recently on 8/16/2019
Previous ranking: #65

Released in 2005 as the debut single from the So Jealous album.

#89: Nerf Herder – Buffy Theme
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iTunes Top 200: #98

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 half of our countdown, leading up to the top 100 with the next batch of songs tied with 34 plays dating back to late 2007, according to my iTunes stats.

#98: The Wonders – That Thing You Do
iTunes stats: 34 plays, most recently on 8/26/2019
Previous ranking: #65

The theme song from the 1996 movie of the same name, about a band that hits it big in the 60s before disintegrating before they can record a follow up.

#98: TLC – Creep
iTunes stats: 34 plays, most recently on 11/13/2019
Previous ranking: Unranked

A nice debut for the lead single from the band’s second album, the group’s first number one hit on the Billboard Hot 100.

#98: Tegan and Sara – Umbrella (Rihanna Cover)
iTunes stats: 34 plays, most recently on 8/21/2019
Previous ranking: #65

A live, bootleg version of the Rihanna hit covered by the Canadian darlings.

#98: Motley Crue – Kickstart My Heart
iTunes stats: 34 plays, most recently on 11/27/2019
Previous ranking: Unranked

Written by bassist Nikki Six about an overdose where he was declared clinically dead before 2 adrenaline shots to the heart brought him back to life.

#98: Me First And The Gimme Gimmes – Rainbow Connection
iTunes stats: 34 plays, most recently on 11/9/2019
Previous ranking: #79

A punk cover of the quintessential Muppets hit.

#98: John Williams – Prelude And Main Title March
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iTunes Top 200: #112 – 125

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 march forward today with the next batch of songs tied with 32 plays and the first batch with 33, dating back to late 2007 according to my iTunes stats.

#125: Darling Violetta – Angel Main Theme
iTunes stats: 32 plays, most recently on 6/13/2019
Previous ranking: #56

The band performed 2 songs in a third season episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer before being tasked to perform the theme to the spin-off.

#125: Crew Cuts – Sh Boom
iTunes stats: 32 plays, most recently on 10/27/2019
Previous ranking: Unranked

A nice debut for the version of the song that was #1 on the Billboard charts for nine weeks during August and September 1954 and most closely resembles the one used in Clue: The Movie.

#125: The Cranberries – Zombie
iTunes stats: 32 plays, most recently on 10/30/2019
Previous ranking: Unranked

Written about the IRA bombing in Warrington in 1993, the first single from the Cranberries sophomore effort  also appears on Volume 15 of my mix tapes.

#125: The Cast Of Buffy The Vampire Slayer – Coda
iTunes stats: 32 plays, most recently on 11/9/2019
Previous ranking: #36

The final bit of cast singing from the musical episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

#125: The Cast Of Buffy The Vampire Slayer – Under Your Spell
iTunes stats: 32 plays, most recently on 11/9/2019
Previous ranking: #79

Amber Benson performs the song which writer Joss Whedon called “pornography” and “probably the dirtiest lyric I’ve ever written, but also very, very beautiful”.

#125: Blur – Girls & Boys
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