iTunes Top 200 Artists: #1

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.

We wrap things up today with the artist I’ve listened to the most over the last 13-ish years.  So, I present to you, from Madison, Wisconsin, Steve Tasker, Duke Ellington, Butch Vig, and Shirley Manson.  Collectively known as Garbage.

#1: Garbage
iTunes stats: 2073 plays
Previous ranking: #1

With 255 songs in collection, 152 of which have been listened to, from 29 different releases, Garbage has added 954 new plays over the past 4 years, increasing their total by 85%.  In addition to being my most listened to band, they are also the band I have seen in concert the most, with 8 shows at 5 venues across 2 states.

My first show was in 2002, while they were touring in support of their third studio release, Beautiful Garbage.  My most recent was in 2019, which remains my last live music show since the pandemic shut down.

iTunes Top 200 Artists: #2

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.

Today, we have our penultimate entry with the artist I’ve listened to the second most over the last 13-ish years.  Formed in Liverpool, England in 1960, I present to you the Fab Four, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr.  Collectively known as The Beatles.

 

#2: The Beatles
iTunes stats: 1736 plays
Previous ranking: #2

Arriving on US shores in early 1964, The Beatles put together what is today considered a catalog of 13 studio albums and 1 compilation.  Those releases are the core of the 99 tracks that make up their 1736 plays, for an average of 17.5 listens per track.  Their counts would be even higher, but their totals were reset in 2009 when I replaced the original CD releases from the 1980s with a remastered box set.

While the band broke up 4 years before I was born following the release of 1970’s Let It Be, I have managed to see Paul McCartney in concert twice, first at Wrigley Field in 2011 and then again at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheater in 2017.  His touring band puts on quite a show and I’m sure I’d be interested if and when he comes back through town again.

iTunes Top 200 Artists: #3

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.

Today, we have our final entry from a comedian with the artist I first “discovered” in 1989 with his role as Rufus in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure followed by an HBO comedy special the following year, George Carlin.

 

#3: George Carlin
iTunes stats: 1718 plays
Previous ranking: #5

A 239% increase for the 117 tracks from 8 different albums bumps the deceased comedy legend up two slots.  Averaging nearly 15 plays per track, many of these tracks, mostly from 1992’s Jammin’ In New York and 2001’s Complaints and Grievances, are used as background noise as I try to fall asleep away from home.  Like our previous comedian entries, I’ve enjoyed Carlin’s work in other mediums as well, whether it was television, movies, or the written word.  Sadly, I never got the opportunity to see him perform live.

iTunes Top 200 Artists: #4

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.

Widely known for his stand-up performances and his role as Spence Olchin The King Of Queens, Patton Oswalt checks in today at #4.  Oswalt began performing stand up comedy in 1988, eventually moving from Virginia to San Francisco and then Los Angeles, where he became part of the comedy scene.

 

 

#4: Patton Oswalt
iTunes stats: 1278 plays
Previous ranking: #6

A new album or two from funnyman Patton Oswalt adds 38 new tracks to the collection, which helped him to a 174% increase and a 2 spot jump in the rankings, moving into the top 5.  In addition to the 7 comedy albums, I’ve also read his book and, in 2018, saw him do a talk, moderated by author Gillian Flynn, about his wife’s book, about the search for the Golden State Killer.  Little did he, or anyone, know, the next day Sacramento police announced that they had made an arrest in the case.

iTunes Top 200 Artists: #5

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.

Today, we break in to the top five and surpass four digits in the number of plays for the first time.  Born out of the death of Kurt Cobain in 1994, our next entry is the Dave Grohl solo project turned band known as Foo Fighters.

 

#5: Foo Fighters
iTunes stats: 1026 plays
Previous ranking: #3

Adding an additional 2 songs, up to 48 songs, helped the Foo Fighters raise their total by 54%, which caused them to drop 2 spots on the charts.  Their most popular song, a live version of My Hero from a concert in London’s Hyde Park in 2006, clocks in with 60 listens, while 6 different tracks bring up the rear with a single play.

I’ve managed to see the band in concert twice: first in 2005 and again in 2015.  The first show was an indoor affair at the Allstate Arena, where they were touring with Weezer, who got things started by mixing a cover of Big Me into their set.  Once the Foo Fighters came out, they mixed in old hits with selections from their new album for a fun, 16-song set.  They also managed to break down some of their hits with elongated guitar solos that gave the audience an opportunity to thrash themselves as much as humanly possible.

10 years later, I saw them for the second time at Wrigley Field.  Having broken his leg over two months earlier,  Dave Grohl spent the show sitting in an electric throne that could bring him out in to the crowd thanks to an extended stage.  The band wasted no time in getting things started, blowing out Everlong and Monkey Wrench straight out of the gate.  2 and a half hours and 21 songs 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.

iTunes Top 200 Artists: #6

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.

We continue today with the musical comedy duo that takes the sixth spot on our charts.  Comedians Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci combine forces and take the stage as Garfunkel and Oates.

 

 

#6: Garfunkel and Oates
iTunes stats: 933 plays
Previous ranking: #4

Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci, performing as Garfunkel and Oates since 2007, see a slight drop down the charts despite increasing their play total by 78%, an increase of 410 listens.  Those were spread amongst 49 songs from 5 different releases, including one Christmas single.  Similar to last week’s entry, I’ve had plenty of exposure to the duo over the years, including a television show and a concert or two, at Abbey Pub and the House of Blues.

The first show, at Abbey Pub in 2013, had the girls came out and do their thing, mixing banter between themselves with their comedic songs.  In addition to the “hits” from their existing albums, they performed some of their newer songs, including Bernadette’s Song, which they wrote and had debuted on The Big Bang Theory the night before, and God’s Loophole, an exciting ditty about anal sex.  Once the show finished, both Riki Lindhome and Kate Micucci came out to sign autographs and take pictures.  I got their autographs on my tickets and got my picture taken with both of them.

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.

 

iTunes Top 200 Artists: #8

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.

Formed in 1990 after the demise of Mother Love Bone following the death of singer Andrew Wood, Pearl Jam checks in today at #8 as we continue with the top 10.  The new group burst onto the Seattle grunge scene in 1991 and, by the second half of 1992, became a world wide sensation#8: Pearl Jam
iTunes stats: 653 plays
Previous ranking: #9

The grunge godfathers move up on spot thanks to an 88% increase in plays, thanks in part to my attending their 2018 show at Wrigley Field.  Their 653 plays come from 42 tracks and 12 different albums.  Go, tied for their most listened to song, earned additional plays after being used as the walkup song for White Sox star Paul Konerko’s final seasons and its inclusion on my various victory playlists.

I’ve seen them in concert twice: at Soldier Field back in 1995 and the aforementioned Wrigley Field performance in 2018.  The first show took place during the tour they put on without using Ticketmaster, which led to a lottery for tickets. Pearl Jam came out and performed an astounding 29 song set, including 2 encores.  My favorite memory of the night was during the performance of Better Man, when my friend Joe, not understanding the meaning of the song, said that all of the girls sang it about him, that they couldn’t find a better man.  Ironically, this was my last visit to old Soldier Field, which would be “renovated” in 2001 and 2002.

The second show, more than 20 years later, came a long time since I had last considered myself a Pearl Jam fan.  The show, while entertaining, certainly dragged for long periods between songs that I knew as the last album that I owned came out prior to the 1995 show.

iTunes Top 200 Artists: #9

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.

Widely known for his stand-up performances, the sketch comedy series Mr. Show, and his role as Tobias Fünke in Arrested Development, David Cross checks in today, at #9 as we continue with the top 10.  Cross began performing stand up comedy at 17, eventually becoming part of the Boston comedy scene after dropping out of Emerson College.

#9: David Cross
iTunes stats: 567 plays
Previous ranking: #11

Funnyman David Cross saw an 86% increase to his total number of listens, thanks in part to the addition of a new stand-up album, which allowed him to move up two spots on the rankings.  Encompassing 52 tracks from 4 different comedy albums, he is averaging just about 11 listens per track.  The first one, Shut Up, You Fucking Baby!, was released in 2002 and covered the post-9/11 world that we found ourselves in.  The most recent, …America…Great…, came out in 2016, and looked at the world that gave us Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

iTunes Top 200 Artists: #10

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.

Today, we break into the top 10 and slow down the pace a bit, taking one act at a time.  Formed in 1973 by Scottish-born brothers Malcolm and Angus Young, this band released their first album in 1975 and have been rocking the world ever since, selling more than 200 million records worldwide.  At #10, we have the powerhouse group known as AC/DC.#10: AC/DC
iTunes stats: 558 plays
Previous ranking: #10

The Australian hard rockers stay even with their previous ranking to kick off the top ten.  20 songs, from 7 different albums, make up their play total, which increased 63%.  The most popular song, Thunderstruck, has a tremendous amount of plays due to the White Sox use of it when running out on to the field and its inclusion on my various victory playlists.  Another entry, Back In Black, has also made an appearance or two over the years, most recently thanks to former catcher James McCann’s use as his walkup song.

In 2015, I saw the band in concert in Toronto, at Downsview Park.  I’d be lying if I said that seeing AC/DC was at the top of my to-do list musically speaking.  In fact, they were playing Wrigley Field the following week and I had passed on the chance to get tickets.  But, as a wise man once said, you only live once, and, seeing as this is likely their last go-around, I guess you can say that I’m glad to have seen them.  After missing the opening act thanks to traffic, we got in to the show just as AC/DC were starting.  The show itself was both good and bad.  The songs are what you expect, but there was no real flow to the show, probably due to the band’s conditioning, or lack thereof.  After each song, the lights went down and there was a brief break before the next song would begin.  The net result of this was a disjointed experience, where each song stood on its own without there being any coherence in the set.  This ended up being their last tour with Brian Johnson before the unfortunate Axl Rose experiment, so I guess I’m glad I saw them when I did.