Sunday, October 30, 2011

Acclaimed Music Top 20 Albums of 1966

What do you mean you don't feel like you are a pet?

This is a kind of "history of music" project, based on aggregated charts found on Acclaimed Music. It features Top 20 playlists for decades 1920s, 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, and yearly Top 20 playlists (both songs and albums) for each year from 1960 to 2010. It should be a weekly project (though I'm not very consistent with weekly projects). To keep track of it, I made the Acclaimed History of Music page.

Beach Boys, The Rolling Stones, John Mayall (with Eric Clapton), The Kinks, Cream, The Byrds and Yardbirds. Things were getting deadly serious in rock (and blues rock) in 1966. And this playlist features some great soul and jazz albums, too. There's a little big sense of Waterloo in it, though. Too many albums are missing from Spotify catalogue: not only the usual Beatles or Bob Dylan, but also The Mothers of Inverion, 13th Floor Elevators, Fred Neil, Monks, Tim Hardin. Seven titles. Far too many. Anyway, the playlist remains filled with great music, proving that those were really the days. Enjoy! 

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Source: Acclaimed Music
Missing from Spotify: 7 albums
(legenda: the number preceding the artist name is the ranking in Acclaimed Music Top 3000 chart)

1 (1) The Beach Boys - Pet Sounds
- (2) The Beatles - Revolver
- (7) Bob Dylan - Blonde on Blonde
2 (125) The Rolling Stones - Aftermath
- (236) The Mothers of Invention - Freak Out!
3 (306) John Mayall - Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton
4 (553) The Kinks - Face to Face
5 (752) Simon and Garfunkel - Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme
6 (758) Ike and Tina Turner - River Deep-Mountain High
7 (780) Otis Redding - Complete & Unbelievable: The Otis Redding Dictionary of Soul
8 (789) The Byrds - Fifth Dimension
9 (892) The Mamas and the Papas - If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears
10 (1000) Cream - Fresh Cream
-- (1021) 13th Floor Elevators - The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators
11 (1028) Yardbirds - Yardbirds/Over Under Sideways Down/Roger the Engineer
12 (1078) John Coltrane - Ascension
-- (1097) Fred Neil - Fred Neil/Everybody's Talkin'
13 (1102) Simon and Garfunkel - Sounds of Silence
-- (1264) Monks - Black Monk Time
14 (1310) Cecil Taylor - Unit Structures
15 (1319) Buffalo Springfield - Buffalo Springfield
16 (1496) Donovan - Sunshine Superman
17 (1516) Larry Young - Unity
18 (1521) The Paul Butterfield Blues Band - East-West
-- (1659) Tim Hardin - Tim Hardin 1
19 (1737) John Coltrane - Meditations
20 (1795) Wayne Shorter - Adam's Apple

Listen to it on Spotify:
Mammoth (full albums): HTTP, URI. (SR0745)
Lite (3 tracks each album): HTTP, URI. (SR0746)

The Complete Acclaimed Music Series

Friday, October 28, 2011

All-TIME 100 Songs

Some days ago, Time Techland was so nice and included me in its list of Spotify users you should add now. It's the first (and probably the last) time that someone allows me in the same club with Snoop Dogg, Trent Reznor and Sean Parker. As you know, I'm not only incredibly handsome, friendly, intelligent and gifted with sublime musical tastes (e.g. Heroes del Silencio). I'm a pure british gentleman, too. Even if I'm italian. So I want to show all my respect and gratitude to Time's staff (and Techland's Wagstaff) with this little Spotify version of their recent All-TIME 100 Songs. Some unexpected choices in it (Madonna's Borderline), at least One unforgivable exclusion (U2!), the usual we-are-in-every-list-of-this-planet-but-not-on-Spotify guys (Beatles, Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, Metallica, Arcade Fire...). But, well, 93% of songs are available! Thank you again... and enjoy. :o)

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Source: Time
Songs available on Spotify: 93/100 (93%)

Al Jolson – My Mammy
Paul Robeson – Ol' Man River (from Show Boat)
Bessie Smith – St Louis Blues
The Carter Family – Wildwood Flower

Ethel Merman – I Got Rhythm
Cab Calloway – Minnie The Moocher (The Ho-De-Ho Song)
Duke Ellington – It Don't Mean a Thing
Louis Armstrong – Stardust
Fred Astaire – Cheek To Cheek
Ray Heatherton - Where or When
Judy Garland – Somewhere Over The Rainbow
Billie Holiday – Strange Fruit

Woody Guthrie – This Land is Your Land
Lena Horne – Stormy Weather
The Andrew Sisters – Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy
Spike Jones – Der Fuehrer's Face
Bing Crosby – White Christmas
Betty Hutton – It Had To Be You
Mahalia Jackson – Move On Up A Little Higher
Hank Williams – Cold, Cold Heart
Ella Fitzgerald – Baby, It's Cold Outside
Doris Day – Sentimental Journey

Johny Cash – Folsom Prison Blues
Les Paul – How High The Moon
Kitty Wells – It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels
Elvis Presley – Jailhouse Rock
Odetta – Take This Hammer
Little Richard – Tutti Frutti
Frank Sinatra – I've Got You Under My Skin
Buddy Holly – That'll Be The Day
Chuck Berry – Johnny B. Goode
Ray Charles – What I'd Say

Bob Dylan - Subterranean Homesick Blues
Patsy Cline – Crazy
Roy Orbison – Crying
The Ronettes – Be My Baby
The Beatles - I Wanna Hold Your Hand
Astrud Gilberto (with Stan Getz & João Gilberto)  – The Girl From Ipanema
The Supremes – Where Did Our Love Go
The Beach Boys – God Only Knows
Aretha Franklin – I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You)
Marvin Gaye – I Heard It Through The Grapevine
Band – The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down
Big Mama Thornton – Ball And Chain
Jackson 5 – I Want You Back
The Rolling Stones – Gimme Shelter
Crosby, Stills & Nash – Suite: Judy Blue Eyes
Otis Redding – I've Been Loving You Too Long

The Melodians – Rivers Of Babylon
James Brown – (Get Up I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine, Pt. 1
Led Zeppelin - Immigrant Song
Black Sabbath – Iron Man
Joni Mitchell – A Case Of You
The Who – Baba O'Riley
Stevie Wonder – Superstition
Dolly Parton – Jolene
Big Star – September Gurls
Bonnie Raitt – Angel From Montgomery
Fela Kuti – Zombie
Bruce Springsteen – Thunder Road
Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody
Donna Summer – I Feel Love
Bee Gees – Stayin' Alive
David Bowie – Heroes
Ramones – I Wanna Be Sedated
Fleetwood Mac – Dreams
Peter Tosh – Equal Rights
Funkadelic – One Nation Under A Groove
The Velvet Underground – Rock & Roll
Loretta Lynn – Coal Miner's Daughter

Joy Division – Love Will Tear Us Apart
George Jones – He Stopped Loving Her Today
Michael Jackson – Billie Jean
New Order – Blue Monday
Prince & The Revolution – Kiss
Metallica - Master of Puppets
R.E.M. – It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)
Lucinda Williams – Pineola
Public Enemy – Fight The Power
Madonna – Borderline

Sinéad O'Connor – Nothing Compares 2 U
Pet Shop Boys – Being Boring
Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit
Richard Thompson – 1952 Vincent Black Lightning
Wu-Tang Clan – C.R.E.A.M.
A Tribe Called Quest – Scenario
The Notorious B.I.G. – Juicy
2Pac – California Love
Pulp – Common People (Full Length Version / Album Version)
Radiohead – Paranoid Android

Missy Elliott – Get Ur Freak On
OutKast – Hey Ya! (Radio Mix/Club Mix)
Jay-Z – 99 Problems
Arcade Fire - Wake Up
Kanye West – Gold Digger (feat. Jamie Foxx)
Lil Wayne - Georgia... Bush
LCD Soundsystem – All My Friends
Beyoncé – Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)
Lady Gaga – Bad Romance

Janelle Monae – Tightrope (feat. Big Boi)

Listen to it on Spotify: HTTP, URI. (SR0744)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011 100 Quintessential Jazz Songs

A kind of jazz. Last January, NPR asked listeners to name the 100 greatest jazz songs ever. The results have been published on the website, where you can find the list, along with Grooveshark and YouTube links. Now, courtesy of an unusual rainy tuesday night desire for jazz, here you have the Spotify playlist, too. Enjoy!

But before enjoying, a little extra Top 10 for the lovers of stats:
1. Miles Davis (9 songs featured in the playlist, including the complete Kind of Blue album)
2. Duke Ellington (8 songs, including one with John Coltrane)
3. John Coltrane (8 songs, including one with Duke Ellington and one with Johnny Hartman)
4. Louis Armstrong (6 songs)
4. Thelonious Monk (6 songs)
6. Billie Holiday (4 songs)
6. Charlie Parker (4 songs)
8. Dizzy Gillespie (3 songs)
8. Ella Fitzgerald (3 songs)
8. Herbie Hancock (3 songs)

Somehow underrated: Bill Evans, Charles Mingus, Chet Baker, Django Reinhardt (just one song each)
Completely forgotten: Keith Jarrett (no songs)
... but probably you'll find many other under or overestimations, according to your taste. :o)

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Songs available on Spotify: 100/100 (hyper-strato-bingo!)

1. Dave Brubeck – Take Five
2. Miles Davis – So What
3. Duke Ellington – Take The A Train
4. Thelonious Monk – 'Round Midnight
5. John Coltrane – My Favorite Things
6. John Coltrane Quartet – A Love Supreme Part I: Acknowledgement
7. Miles Davis – All Blues
8. Weather Report – Birdland
9. Stan Getz, João Gilberto & Astrud Gilberto – The Girl From Ipanema
10. Benny Goodman – Sing, Sing, Sing
11. Billie Holiday – Strange Fruit
12. Dizzy Gillespie – A Night In Tunisia
13. John Coltrane – Giant Steps
14. Dave Brubeck – Blue Rondo à la Turk
15. Charles Mingus – Goodbye Pork Pie Hat
16. Oliver Nelson – Stolen Moments
17. Louis Armstrong & His Hot Five – West End Blues
18. Billie Holiday – God Bless The Child
19. Herbie Hancock – Cantaloupe Island
20. Chet Baker – My Funny Valentine
21. Coleman Hawkins & His Orchestra – Body and Soul
22. Horace Silver – Song For My Father
23. Chick Corea – Spain
24. Miles Davis – Blue In Green
25. John Coltrane – Naima
26. Miles Davis – Flamenco Sketches
27. The Bill Evans Trio – Waltz for Debby (take 2)
28. Cannonball Adderley – Autumn Leaves
29. Sonny Rollins – St. Thomas
30. The Cannonball Adderley Quintet – Mercy, Mercy, Mercy (Live)
31. Louis Armstrong – What A Wonderful World
32. John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman – Lush Life
33. John Coltrane – Blue Train
34. Ahmad Jamal – Poinciana
35. John Coltrane & Duke Ellington – In A Sentimental Mood
36. Miles Davis – Freddie Freeloader
37. Ella Fitzgerald – Summertime
38. Herbie Hancock – Watermelon Man
39. Dizzy Gillespie – Salt Peanuts
40. Art Blakey – Moanin'
41. Thelonious Monk – Straight No Chaser
42. Billie Holiday – Good Morning Heartache
43. Ella Fitzgerald – Mack The Knife
44. Glenn Miller – In The Mood
45. Stan Getz & João Gilberto – Desafinado
46. Vince Guaraldi Trio – Cast Your Fate To The Wind
47. George Gershwin – Rhapsody in Blue
48. Thelonious Monk – Blue Monk
49. Duke Ellington – Caravan
50. Lee Morgan – The Sidewinder
51. The Modern Jazz Quartet – Django
52. Les McCann & Eddie Harris – Compared To What (LP Version II)
53. Freddie Hubbard – Red Clay
54. Thelonious Monk – Ruby My Dear
55. Count Basie & His Orchestra – April In Paris
56. Miles Davis – Bitches Brew
57. Lambert, Hendricks & Ross – Twisted
58. Herbie Hancock – Maiden Voyage
59. Duke Ellington – Mood Indigo
60. Louis Armstrong – St. Louis Blues
61. Dizzy Gillespie – Manteca
62. Ella Fitzgerald – How High the Moon
63. Etta James – At Last
64. Peggy Lee – Fever
65. Duke Ellington – Satin Doll
66. Miles Davis – Some Day My Prince Will Come
67. Billie Holiday – Autumn In New York
68. Thelonious Monk – Epistrophy - Live
69. Nina Simone – I Loves You Porgy
70. Duke Ellington – It Don't Mean a Thing
71. Charlie Parker – Koko
72. Miles Davis – Milestones
73. Thelonious Monk – Misterioso
74. Django Reinhardt – Nuages
75. Louis Armstrong – Struttin' With Some Barbecue
76. Ramsey Lewis Trio – The 'In' Crowd
77. Fats Waller – Ain't Misbehavin'
78. John Coltrane – Bye Bye Blackbird
79. Miles Davis – On Green Dolphin Street
80. Vince Guaraldi Trio – Linus And Lucy
81. Ray Charles – Georgia On My Mind
82. Clifford Brown & Max Roach... – Joy Spring
83. Count Basie – One O’ Clock Jump
84. Louis Armstrong & His Hot Seven – Potato Head Blues
85. Wes Montgomery – Bumpin' On Sunset
86. Nina Simone – Feeling Good
87. Erroll Garner – Misty
88. James Moody – Moody's Mood for Love
89. Louis Armstrong – Stardust
90. Charlie Parker – Yardbird Suite
91. Duke Ellington – Diminuendo And Crescendo In Blue
92. Charlie Parker – Donna Lee
93. Don Shirley Trio – Water Boy
94. Charlie Parker – Ornithology (live)
95. Artie Shaw – Begin The Beguine
96. Lee Morgan – Ceora
97. Duke Ellington – Sophisticated Lady
98. Stanley Turrentine – Sugar
99. Wayne Shorter – Footprints
100. Wes Montgomery – Four On Six

Listen to it on Spotify: HTTP, URI. (SR0743)

Previously swingin':
The Rudy Van Gelder Editions (234 Blue Note & Concord Jazz Classic Albums)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Acclaimed Music Top 20 Songs of 1964

They really got the #1 in 1964

In Italy we have the phrase: "A volte anche i migliori sbagliano". It means something like "Sometimes even the best ones make a mistake". More often, though, mistakes happen to the worst ones. Like it was two weeks ago, when I published a post called Acclaimed Music Top 20 Songs of 1964. Well, it was a really great playlist. But, actually, it featured the best songs of... 1965. Like Bryan Adams used to say: please forgive me. Now I changed the name of that post (and of the relative playlist) and today I publish the *real* "Acclaimed Music Top 20 Songs of 1964" tape. Ruled by The Kinks' You Really Got Me and filled with some evergreen tunes like House of the Rising Sun, A Change Is Gonna Come, Pretty Woman, Gloria and the brazilian-flavoured The Girl From Ipanema. Enjoy!

(This is a kind of "history of music" project, based on aggregated charts found on Acclaimed Music. It features Top 20 playlists for decades 1920s, 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, and yearly Top 20 playlists (both songs and albums) for each year from 1960 to 2010. In a perfect world, it should be a weekly project...)

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TOP 20 SONGS OF 1964
Source: Acclaimed Music
(legenda: the number preceding the artist name is the ranking in Acclaimed Music Top 3000 chart)

1 (18) The Kinks - You Really Got Me
2 (24) The Righteous Brothers - You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'
3 (58) Martha and The Vandellas - Dancing in the Street
4 (61) The Animals - House of the Rising Sun
5 (95) Sam Cooke - A Change Is Gonna Come
6 (106) The Temptations - My Girl
7 (109) Dionne Warwick - Walk On By
8 (111) Roy Orbison - Oh, Pretty Woman
9 (115) Them - Gloria
10 (149) The Beach Boys - Don't Worry Baby
11 (219) The Supremes - Where Did Our Love Go
12 (250) The Beach Boys - I Get Around
13 (316) The Shangri-La's - Leader of the Pack
14 (430) Mary Wells - My Guy
-- (434) The Beatles - A Hard Day's Night
-- (462) Bob Dylan - The Times They Are A-Changin'

15 (553) Stan Getz and Astrud Gilberto - The Girl from Ipanema
16 (591) The Searchers - Needles and Pins
17 (626) The Zombies - She's Not There
18 (737) The Supremes - Baby Love
19 (785) The Shangri-La's - Remember (Walking in the Sand)
20 (826) The Kinks - All Day and All of the Night

Listen to it on SpotifyHTTP, URI. (SR0742)

The Complete Acclaimed Music Series

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Incredible Shrinking Tape (a playlist made with shorter-than-2-minutes songs)

From Stereogum: "Time is a valuable thing, and the musicians who can make a quick point in a short amount of time deserve their props. We’ve put together a quick list of ten excellent songs from indie’s past (and from a few associated genres), all of which end in 120 seconds or less. These tracks throw their shit on the table right away, drive their points home as fast as possible, and end quickly enough that they’re still rattling around in your head long after the next track has already started. The best part: You can listen to the whole playlist in less than 20 minutes".

This could have been the tiniest Spotirama playlist ever: less than ten songs (two Stereogum selections, Joanna Newsom's On a Good Day and Primal Scream's Velocity Girl, are not available on Spotify), less than twenty minutes. But I didn't feel fine with it. And that invitation at the end of the post ("in the comments section, name some of your favorites") made me curious. So I looked at the comments. And soon, the tiniest one became a kind of mammoth. In the playlist, you'll find all the shorter-than-two-minutes "indie rock" (with some exceptions) songs Stereogum readers named in the comments section. I only added a personal rule: no more than one song each artist (the first named, the good).

Many big acts are in the game: Wire, The Smiths, Guided By Voices, Neutral Milk Hotel, The White Stripes, Spoon, Animal Collective, Pavement, The Clash, Nirvana, Radiohead, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Bad Religion, Pixies, The Lemonheads, Tom Waits, My Bloody Valentine and many more. 121 songs for about 200 minutes. Do you remember - I'm speaking with you, old reader who came from the analogical age - when you had to stuff the more songs you could on few tapes, before leaving for a holiday trip with your walkman? Well... in that age, to bring with you all these 121 songs, you would have just needed one C90 and a couple of C60. A tape-saving compilation, isn't it? 

Ok, after this useless prehistorical memory... enjoy! 

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(based on Stereogum's The 10 Best Indie Rock Songs Under 2 Minutes)

Wire – Three Girl Rhumba
Minor Threat – I Don't Wanna Hear It
The Smiths – Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want
Bikini Kill – New Radio
Guided by Voices – Game of Pricks
DJ Shadow – Organ Donor
Neutral Milk Hotel – The King Of Carrot Flowers, Pt.1
The Mountain Goats – Dance Music
The White Stripes – Fell In Love With A Girl
The Misfits – Braineaters
Spoon – You Gotta Feel It (demo)
Sleater-kinney – Little Mouth
The Vaselines – Molly's Lips
Madvillain – Accordian
The Morning Benders – Cold War
Animal Collective – Sweet Road
Vivian Girls – No
Orange Juice – Intuition Told Me, Pt. 1
Pavement – I Love Perth
Cloud Nothings – Rock
The Vines – Highly Evolved
The Vaccines – Wreckin' Bar (Ra Ra Ra)
The Clash – 1977
Nirvana – Been A Son
Radiohead – Fitter Happier
The Unicorns – The Clap
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Pin
Telekinesis – Palm Of Your Hand
Neon Indian – Laughing Gas
Jay Reatard – It's So Easy
The Olivia Tremor Control – Jumping Fences
The Brian Jonestown Massacre – This Is Why You Love Me
Super Furry Animals – Do Or Die
The Thermals – Our Trip
Bad Religion – Suffer
Jawbreaker – Boxcar
Minutemen – Political Song For Michael Jackson To Sing
Pixies – Tame
Sense Field – Outlive The Man
They Might Be Giants – Particle Man
The Suicide Machines – No Face
The Magnetic Fields – Reno Dakota
Kind of Like Spitting – Yes, You're Busted
Los Campesinos! – My Year In Lists
The Softies – It's Love
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin – Yr Broom
St. Vincent – We Put A Pearl In The Ground
Neko Case – At Last
Side By Side – You're Only Young Once
Oblivians – Something For Nothing
Royal City – Under A Hollow Tree
The Rural Alberta Advantage – Rush Apart
Why? – The Hoofs
Sebadoh – Good Things
The Lemonheads – Being Around
Death From Above 1979 – Pull Out
Sleigh Bells – Straight A's
Tom Waits – Bend Down the Branches
My Little Airport – Gi Gi Leung Is Dead
Typhoon – Kitchen Tile
Mountain Man – Honeybee
Parenthetical Girls – Abandoning
Emmy The Great – The Easter Parade Part 2
Pastels – Yomigaeru
Of Montreal – Tim I Wish You Were Born A Girl
Ólöf Arnalds – Ævagömul Orkuþula
Ty Segall – Pretty Baby (You're So Ugly)
Exploited – Punk's Not Dead
Dismemberment Plan – Soon To Be Ex-Quaker
King Missile – Martin Scorsese
My Bloody Valentine – Touched
Ramones – Judy Is A Punk
Microphones – I Felt Your Shape
Low – Sea
Archers Of Loaf – Fat
Deerhoof – The Eyebright Bugler
White Denim – El Hard Attack DCWYW
Frog Eyes – The Fence Feels Its Post
Phosphorescent – At Death, A Proclomation
Vashti Bunyan – Diamond Day
Titus Andronicus – Titus Andronicus Forever
iceage – You’re Blessed
Daniel Johnston – True Love Will Find You In The End
The Libertines – Mayday
Belle and Sebastian – Scooby Driver
No Age – Brain Burner
Best Coast – Crazy For You
Iron And Wine – Radio War
Death Cab for Cutie – Steadier Footing
At the Drive-In – Starslight
Elastica – Vaseline
The Fall – Industrial Estate (Peel Session 15/6/78)
Times New Viking – Don't Go To Liverpool
Dinosaur Jr – I Live For That Look
Graham Coxon – Fags And Failure
British Sea Power – Favours In The Beetroot Fields
Blur – Far Out
Flipper – Living For The Depression
Buzzcocks – Oh Shit
The Levellers – Just The One
The Breeders – Limehouse
NEU! – Cassetto
Mclusky – Lightsabre Cocksucking Blues
Mazes – Summer Hits or J+J Don’t Like
Crystal Castles – Xxzxcuzx
The Wipers – Messenger
45 Grave – Surf Bat
Muse – Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah – Clap Your Hands!
J Dilla (aka Jay Dee) – Time: The Donut Of The Heart
The Slits – Shoplifting
The Raincoats – No Side to Fall In
Half Japanese – Calling All Girls
Young Marble Giants – Final Day
Mekons – Never Been In A Riot
The Hold Steady – Crucifixion Cruise
Cat Power – Islands
Bon Iver – Team
Ben Kweller – How It Should Be
Mando Diao – Good Morning,Herr Horst
Okkervil River – Black Sheep Boy

Listen to it on Spotify: HTTP, URI (SR0741)

Previously based on Stereogum

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Golden Age of MTV Unplugged

Last september I saw PJ20, Cameron Crowe's rockumentary celebrating the 20th anniversary of Pearl Jam. As a fan of the Seattle band, I loved it. The movie features many musical moments of the PJ's career: some obscure, some quite famous. One of the latter is Black, performed live at MTV Unplugged in 1992. If you were a teenager or a twentysomething in the Nineties, you probably remember this iconic tv series. It was a kind of mainstream magic, especially in the first years, when many great rock bands and artists played some incredible, emotional, stripped, nude versions of their most famous songs. I think we can say that MTV almost invented the word "unplugged": at least, it brought it from the underground to the masses, to the global rock vocabulary.

Some of those shows became great live albums, too. Eric Clapton's one. Neil Young's. The Nirvana masterpiece. Too many performances (R.E.M., Paul McCartney, Elton John, Black Crowes, Aerosmith, Paul Simon, to name a few) still lay hidden on MTV and record labels shelves, and God bless YouTube for bringing them back to Internet light. Anyway, I spent some time wandering in the Spotify archive and I found a good amount of the shows that got the chance to become an official record. I put them in these playlists. First one is a kind of personal greatest hits. Since I got the idea after watching PJ20, I gave it a 20-song shape. One each artist, about 90 minutes, including Tears in Heaven and Because the NightBlack and Harvest MoonThe Man Who Sold the World and No Excuses, the Boss playing unfair (unplugged) and Robert Plant and Jimmy Page reuniting, Alanis and Bjork, even a radioheadesque incarnation of Korn. And Mariah and Brian Adams, too, who were part of that era and of that televised sound.

Second and third playlists are more comprehensive and feature all the MTV Unplugged stuff I found on Spotify, from 1990 to yesterday: mammoth version (with full albums) and lite (three songs each album, to get a taste of...). With a bit of nostalgia, enjoy!

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Source: Wikipedia


1. Eric Clapton – Tears In Heaven
2. Neil Young – Harvest Moon
3. Nirvana – The Man Who Sold The World
4. Pearl Jam – Black
5. Alice In Chains – No Excuses
6. Queensrÿche – Silent Lucidity
7. Poison – Every Rose Has It's Thorn
8. Mariah Carey – I'll Be There
9. Alicia Keys – Fallin'
10. Jimmy Page & Robert Plant – Gallows Pole
11. Rod Stewart – Maggie May
12. Bryan Adams – Summer Of '69
13. Korn – Creep
14. Björk – Venus As A Boy
15. Alanis Morissette – You Learn
16. Julieta Venegas – Me Voy
17. Herbert Grönemeyer – Männer
18. Lauryn Hill – Mr. Intentional
19. Bruce Springsteen – I Wish I Were Blind
20. 10,000 Maniacs – Because The Night

Listen to it on Spotify: HTTP, URI. (SR0738)


1990: Poison (just four songs)
1992: Eric Clapton, Mariah Carey, Pearl Jam (just Black), Queensrÿche (just three songs), Bruce Springsteen, Arrested Development
1993: Neil Young, Rod Stewart, 10,000 Maniacs, Midnight Oil (just three songs), Nirvana
1994: Tony Bennett, Björk, Jimmy Page & Robert Plant
1995: Charly García, Herbert Grönemeyer, Café Tacvba, Kiss
1996: Illya Kuryaki And The Valderramas, Alice In Chains, Soda Stereo
1997: Maxwell, Babyface, Bryan Adams
1999: Maná, Alanis Morissette, Shakira
2000: Die Fantastischen Vier
2001: Jay-Z, La Ley, Alejandro Sanz
2002: Lauryn Hill
2005: Alicia Keys
2006: Ricky Martin, Korn
2007: Alex Britti
2008: Julieta Venegas
2009: All Time Low
2010: Trey Songz, Panda
2011: Zoe

Listen to it on Spotify:
Mammoth (full albums): HTTP, URI. (SR0739)
Lite (3 songs each album): HTTP, URI (SR0740)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Acclaimed Music Top 20 Albums of 1965

Otis Blue

This is a kind of "history of music" project, based on aggregated charts found on Acclaimed Music. It features Top 20 playlists for decades 1920s, 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, and yearly Top 20 playlists (both songs and albums) for each year from 1960 to 2010. It should be a weekly project (though I'm not very consistent with weekly projects). To keep track of it, I made the Acclaimed History of Music page.

This time, our kind DeLorean drives us back to 1965, and to a formidable mixture of soul (Otis Redding), jazz (John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter), rock (The Byrds, The Who, The Rolling Stones), blues (B.B. King), pop (Beach Boys) plus... some Frank Sinatra! Six albums are not available: by The Beatles and Bob Dylan, as usual, and by Them and Sonics. Enjoy!

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Source: Acclaimed Music
Missing from Spotify: 4 albums
(legenda: the number preceding the artist name is the ranking in Acclaimed Music Top 3000 chart)

- (11) Bob Dylan - Highway 61 Revisited
- (29) The Beatles - Rubber Soul
1 (61) Otis Redding - Otis Blue/Otis Redding Sings Soul
2 (67) John Coltrane - A Love Supreme
- (73) Bob Dylan - Bringing It All Back Home
3 (239) The Byrds - Mr. Tambourine Man
4 (251) The Who - My Generation/The Who Sings My Generation
5 (307) B.B. King - Live at the Regal
6 (517) Herbie Hancock - Maiden Voyage
- (620) The Beatles - Help!
7 (641) Wayne Shorter - Speak No Evil
8 (672) The Rolling Stones - No. 2/The Rolling Stones Now! (I chose No.2, published in the UK)
9 (679) The Rolling Stones - Out of Our Heads
10 (774) The Beach Boys - The Beach Boys Today!
-- (785) Them - The Angry Young Them/Them (featuring Here Comes the Night)
11 (844) Smokey Robinson and The Miracles - Going to a Go-Go
12 (873) Horace Silver - Song for My Father
-- (915) The Sonics - Here Are the Sonics!!!
13 (971) Junior Wells' Chicago Blues Band - Hoodoo Man Blues
14 (1031) Andrew Hill - Point of Departure
15 (1261) Frank Sinatra - September of My Years
16 (1291) The Beach Boys - Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!)
17 (1338) Archie Shepp - Fire Music
18 (1367) The Temptations - The Temptations Sing Smokey
19 (1453) The Paul Butterfield Blues Band - The Paul Butterfield Blues Band
20 (1520) The Byrds - Turn! Turn! Turn!

Listen to it on Spotify:
Mammoth (full albums): HTTP, URI. (SR0732)
Lite (3 tracks each album): HTTP, URI. (SR0733)

The Complete Acclaimed Music Series

Friday, October 14, 2011

Spin's 20 Essential Songs from the Dearly Departed Arista, Jive and J Records

Pop around the world

From "This week, RCA announced that it would shutting the doors to its Arista, Jive, and J Records imprints, ending 37 years of service on the frontlines of punk, new wave, hip-hop, dance, and teen pop. At first this seemed like a great opportunity for another trend piece about the decaying state of the music industry — hmmm, it has been a suspiciously long time since a record label treated us to a champagne brunch. But instead, we decided to pick the 20 best tracks from these three fallen totems, displaying how they often turned fringe genres into the sound of now".


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Source: Spin.
Songs available on Spotify: 16 out of 20 (80%)

Patti Smith Group – Gloria
Bay City Rollers – Saturday Night
Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson – Johannesburg
Lou Reed – Street Hassle
Anthony Braxton - Composition 82
A Flock Of Seagulls – I Ran (So Far Away)
The Kinks – Come Dancing
Whodini – Freaks Come Out At Night
Whitney Houston – I Wanna Dance With Somebody
Too $hort – Freaky Tales
Boogie Down Productions – My Philosophy
DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince – Parents Just Don't Understand
Lisa Stansfield – All Around The World
Three Times Dope - Greatest Man Alive
The KLF - 3 a.m. Eternal

A Tribe Called Quest – Scenario
'N Sync - Pop
Britney Spears – Toxic
Kelis – Milkshake
R. Kelly – Trapped In The Closet (Chapters 1-5)

Listen to it on Spotify: HTTP, URI.

... while if you prefer indie labels, don't forget The Indie Labels Party.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Acclaimed Music Top 20 Songs of 1965

(They're going to get a lot of) Satisfaction

According to the Acclaimed Music algorythm, the two best songs of all time have been both published in 1964: Bob Dylan's Like a Rolling Stone and Rolling Stones' (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction. As you know, unfortunately Bob Dylan is not on Spotify. So his songs, along with those by Beatles, are the only missing tunes from a really great playlist, that tells us how incredible must have been to listen to new music in 1964... Enjoy!

(This is a kind of "history of music" project, based on aggregated charts found on Acclaimed Music. It features Top 20 playlists for decades 1920s, 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, and yearly Top 20 playlists (both songs and albums) for each year from 1960 to 2010. In a perfect world, it should be a weekly project...)

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TOP 20 SONGS OF 1965
Source: Acclaimed Music
(legenda: the number preceding the artist name is the ranking in Acclaimed Music Top 3000 chart)

- (1) Bob Dylan - Like a Rolling Stone
1 (2) The Rolling Stones - (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction
2 (12) The Who - My Generation
3 (31) The Byrds - Mr. Tambourine Man
4 (40) Smokey Robinson and The Miracles - The Tracks of My Tears
5 (82) James Brown - Papa's Got a Brand New Bag
6 (89) Wilson Pickett - In the Midnight Hour
7 (96) The Mamas and the Papas - California Dreamin'
- (120) The Beatles - Yesterday
- (135) Bob Dylan - Subterranean Homesick Blues
8 (139) The Impressions - People Get Ready
9 (142) The Supremes - Stop! In the Name of Love
- (164) The Beatles - Help!
- (171) The Beatles - In My Life
10 (214) The Who - I Can't Explain
11 (224) Simon and Garfunkel - The Sound of Silence
12 (243) James Brown - I Got You (I Feel Good)
(286) The Beatles - Ticket to Ride
-- (432) Bob Dylan - Positively 4th Street
13 (438) Stevie Wonder - Uptight (Everything's Alright)
14 (444) John Coltrane - A Love Supreme, Part 1: Acknowledgement
15 (446) Sam the Sham and The Pharaohs - Wooly Bully
16 (459) Otis Redding - I've Been Loving You Too Long
17 (567) Sam Cooke - Shake
-- (578) The Beatles - Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)
18 (638) The Lovin' Spoonful - Do You Believe in Magic
19 (639) Roger Miller - King of the Road
20 (682) The Rolling Stones - The Last Time

Listen to it on SpotifyHTTP, URI. (SR0734)

The Complete Acclaimed Music Series

Friday, October 7, 2011

Music Is My Hot Hot iPod (a playlist with songs used in iPod commercials)

Exactly 69 months ago, in january 2006, I came for my first time to America. It was a four-day business trip to New York. Maybe I did something wrong during the flight from Paris to JFK. Probably it was not a good idea to eat that foie gras with Bordeaux over the Icelandic volcano. Likely the evil French people poisoned the poor, young and innocent Italian boy I was. I don't know. What I know is that about one hour after the plane landed, when I already was on the train to Manhattan, I started feeling something wrong on my stomach. I got at the Penn Station. I said a staring hello to the Empire State Building. I ran to my hotel. I entered my room. And I threw up.

It was a nightmare on Broadway street. My stomach and bowels danced a samba for all my stay in New York. Fortunately, business was not so hard. Unfortunately, I had to re-schedule my conquest of America, and my tourist plans, too. But there is one thing I didn't re-schedule. At that time, for my guilty MP3 pleasures, I used a Creative Muvo, a good pal for sonic voyages, but before leaving to America I decided that my first time in the US would have also brought a technological upgrade: my first iPod. So, the last day in New York, I walked like a zombie to Soho. I made my proud and tottering entrance into that white garden of eden called Apple Store. And I bought it: a black lovely one. Then I took the subway to Central Park, I sat on a bench close to Strawberry Fields (yep, I do love symbolism), and I opened the box. iPod, therefore - at last - I was. 

I don't think this is a honourable and respectable story. I guess you can share far more better anecdotes about your life with Apple gadgets. But that freezing, sick and terribly fulfilling afternoon in Manhattan was the first thought I had yesterday, after I read the news. So my little Spotirama tribute to Steve Jobs has to be strongly iPod oriented. And here it is. Not a new playlist, but the updated version of something I posted last year: a playlist based on all the music used in iPod commercials. I think it doesn't lack a historical value: Apple changed the way of using music in commercials, too. But this time, take it just as a personal gratitude.  i-Enjoy!

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(Music used in iPod commercials)
Songs available on Spotify: 36 out of 39 (92,30%)

Propellerheads – Take California
N.E.R.D. – Rock Star
Black Eyed Peas – Hey Mama
Daft Punk – Technologic
U2 – Original Of The Species
Jet – Are You Gonna Be My Girl
The Vines – Ride
Feature Cast - Channel Surfing
Steriogram – Walkie Talkie Man
Ozomatli – Saturday Night
U2 – Vertigo
Caesars – Jerk It Out
Gorillaz – Feel Good Inc.
The Resource (feat. Jimmy Napes) - Gimme That
Eminem – Lose Yourself
Wynton Marsalis - Sparks
Wolfmother – Love Train
Rinôçérôse – Cubicle
Bob Dylan – Someday Baby (probably, actually, not available)
Cut Chemist – The Audience Is Listening Theme Song
Prototypes – Who's Gonna Sing
The Fratellis – Flathead
Quantic – Mi Swing Es Tropical
Paul McCartney – Dance Tonight
Feist – 1234
the bird and the bee – La La La
CSS – Music Is My Hot, Hot Sex
Mary J. Blige – Work That
Brendan Benson – What I'm Looking For
The Ting Tings – Shut Up And Let Me Go
Coldplay – Viva La Vida
Chairlift – Bruises
The Asteroids Galaxy Tour – Around The Bend
Franz Ferdinand – No You Girls
Miss Li – Bourgeois Shangri-La
Tommy Sparks – She's Got Me Dancing
Cake – Comfort Eagle
Cake – Short Skirt/Long Jacket
Chappo – Come Home

Listen to it on Spotify: HTTP, URI (SR0089)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Pitchfork Best New Music of 2011 (october update)

St. Vincent is in this playlist, The Grenadines are not...
(... but actually they are available on Spotify)

Five new albums, in the last 30 days, entered the Pitchfork Best New Albums page. Two are not available on Spotify: The Field's Looping State of Mind and Wolves in the Throne Room's Celestial Lineage. The other three (by Girls, St.Vincent and Youth Lagoon), instead, are already alive and streaming. You can find them in both the updated playlists, below. Enjoy! 

Source: Pitchfork Best New Music
Albums available on Spotify: 33 out of 38 (86,84%)

(links lead to Pitchfork reviews,  Pitchfork-like votes are Pitchfork votes, new entries/additions are in bold)

Dye It Blonde (Smith Westerns, 8.4)
Kaputt (Destroyer, 8.8)
Zonoscope (Cut Copy, 8.6)
James Blake (James Blake, 9.0)
Let England Shake (PJ Harvey, 8.8)
Space Is Only Noise (Nicolas Jaar, 8.4)
Ravedeath, 1972 (Tim Hecker, 8.6)
The Magic Place (Julianna Barwick, 8.5)
Underneath the Pine (Toro Y Moi, 8.4)
Wounded Rhymes (Lykke Li, 8.3)
Smoke Ring For My Halo (Kurt Vile, 8.4)
House of Balloons (The Weeknd, 8.5)
Belong (The Pains of Being Pure At Heart, 8.2)
Tomboy (Panda Bear, 8.5)
w h o k i l l (tUnE-yArDs, 8.8)
Return of 4Eva (Big K.R.I.T., 8.2)
Wit's End (Cass McCombs, 8.4)
The Book of David (Dj Quik, 8.4)
Helplessness Blues (Fleet Foxes, 8.8)
Eye Contact (Gang Gang Dance, 8.5)
Past Life Martyred Saints (EMA, 8.5)
Burst Apart (The Antlers, 8.2)
Cults (Cults, 8.5)
David Comes To Life (Fucked Up, 8.6)
Bon Iver (Bon Iver, 9.5)
Go Tell Fire To The Mountain (WU LYF, 8.4)
Black Up (Shabazz Palaces, 8.8)
New Brigade (Iceage, 8.4)
Electronic Dream (AraabMuzik, 8.2)
We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves (John Maus, 8.4)
Within and Without (Washed Out, 8.3)
Watch the Throne (Jay-Z / Kanye West, 8.5)
Slave Ambient (The War on Drugs, 8.3)
Looping State of Mind (The Field, 8.5)
Father, Son, Holy Ghost (Girls, 9.3)
Strange Mercy (St. Vincent, 9.0)
Celestial Lineage (Wolves in the Throne Room, 8.6)
The Year of Hibernation (Youth Lagoon, 8.4)

Listen to it on Spotify:
lite (3 tracks each album): HTTP, URI. (SR0576)
mammoth (full albums): HTTP, URI. (SR0577)

Previously about Pitchfork:
Top 100 Tracks of 2010
Top 50 Albums of 2010
Top 200 Tracks of the 1990s
Top 100 Albums of the 1980s
The Pitchfork 500
(and more)