Wednesday, December 19, 2007

My Life's Playlist (1975 - 2007)

With 2007 forever sinking into the depths of history, I have created a Life Playlist, which features one song from each year that I, your author, has existed on this Earth. The rules: One song per year. Each song must have been originally released in the year to which it is assigned (although I acknowledge the possibility that the year of the song's initial release and the year that it became ultimately popular, if applicable, may be different).

I could not bring myself to impose a limitation of only one song per artist.

I did restrict the list only to songs which exist in my current iTunes Music Library. Further, I do not, and simply cannot, warrant that I was actually listening to these songs upon their initial release, but for the most part (particularly when we get to the later 1980s and 1990s), I was. But, in the interests of full disclosure, I must confess to some level of retrofitting. I was not listening to Black Flag in 1981 or even The Smiths in 1986. Sorry. I just wasn't that cool then. You get the point. So, without further ado, behold, my list:

1975 - "Thunder Road" by Bruce Springsteen (from Born to Run)
1976 - "Beat on the Brat" by the Ramones (from Ramones)
1977 - "Heroes" by David Bowie (from Heroes)
1978 - "You Can't Put Your Arms Around A Memory" by Johnny Thunders (from So Alone)
1979 - "Message in A Bottle" by The Police (from Regatta de Blanc)
1980 - "You Shook Me All Night Long" by AC/DC (from Back in Black)
1981 - "Rise Above" by Black Flag (from Damaged)
1982 - "Kiss Off" by The Violent Femmes (from Violent Femmes)
1983 - "Blue Monday" by New Order (from Power, Corruption, and Lies)
1984 - "The Killing Moon" by Echo and the Bunnymen (from Ocean Rain)
1985 - "Brothers in Arms" by Dire Straits (from Brothers in Arms)
1986 - "Bigmouth Strikes Again" by The Smiths (from The Queen is Dead)
1987 - "Where The Streets Have No Name" by U2 (from The Joshua Tree)
1988 - "Where is My Mind?" by the Pixies (from Surfer Rosa)
1989 - "Head Like A Hole" by Nine Inch Nails (from Pretty Hate Machine)
1990 - "Been Caught Stealing" by Jane's Addiction (from Ritual de lo Habitual)
1991 - "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana (from Nevermind)
1992 - "Drive" by R.E.M. (from Automatic for the People)
1993 - "Creep" by Radiohead (from Pablo Honey)
1994 - "Hallelujah" by Jeff Buckley (from Grace)
1995 - "Fake Plastic Trees" by Radiohead (from The Bends)
1996 - "Jack-Ass" by Beck (from Odelay)
1997 - "Paranoid Android" by Radiohead (from OK Computer)
1998 - "The Suits Are Picking Up The Bill" by Squirrel Nut Zippers (from Perennial Favorites)
1999 - "Save Me" by Aimee Mann (from the Magnolia Soundtrack)
2000 - "Press Gang" by The Murder City Devils (from In Name and Blood)
2001 - "Moment in the Sun" by Clem Snide (from The Ghost of Fashion)
2002 - "The Golden Age" by Beck (from Sea Change)
2003 - "Maps" by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs (from Fever to Tell)
2004 - "Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)" by Arcade Fire (from Funeral)
2005 - "Let It Die" by Feist (from Let It Die)
2006 - "O Mary Don't You Weep" by Bruce Springsteen (from The Seeger Sessions)
2007 - "Intervention" by Arcade Fire (from Neon Bible)

I didn't listen to the Pixies in the 1980s although I remember hearing one of their b-sides in 1990 on the Pump Up The Volume soundtrack (which introduced me to them). Plus, I left out any hint of my heavy metal phase in the early 1990s (although, truth be told, I did get into Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Mother Love Bone, as that scene achieved national attention). Although I don't necessarily recall Jeff Buckley from 1994, his "Hallelujah" from that year is just so wonderfully ethereal that I had to include it. Radiohead appears three times in the list. I can remember thinking in 1993 that the crunching guitar line in "Creep" was stellar but I never suspected that they would rise beyond their initial first hit. Finally, I like that Springsteen begins and nearly ends the list. His songs are nice bookends.

But for 2007, the only choice for the list was Arcade Fire's "Intervention." Were I formally required to identify runners-up for 2007, they would be Radiohead's "Nude" or "All I Need" from In Rainbows or Girl in a Coma's "Clumsy Sky" from their Both Before I'm Gone album. Radiohead, however, is already well represented on my list, and technically, although "Nude" was only just released commercially this year, it has been played in concert for years and years. In the end, these songs simply could not compete with the power dirge by Arcade Fire.

No comments: