Last month, I asked about 60 bands and music folk I admire to send me a list of their Top 10 favourite songs, with a few words to say why that song was especially important to them. I said it was for a feature I had planned for my Spotify-injected music blog. Twenty-four of those musical maestros sent in their lists with commentary that was at turns enlightening, amusing, heart-warming, and above all inspiring.
It really has been a pleasure and honour to feature these guys: I want to thank you all for taking the time to respond and for coming up with such excellent and varied lists. You’ve opened my eyes (and hopefully a few reader’s eyes too) to the range and depth of musical inspiration and admiration behind some of my favourite artists around today. Respect!
I didn’t hear back from about half the bands I asked to participate. A couple took the time to reply to say they were currently too busy (Ladytron, Human League). These two being too busy was great news regardless 😉 A few bands agreed but unfortunately didn’t get their Top 10s done in time: Client, Katsen, Back To The Phuture, Mommy Hurt My Head. Maybe next time!
So thanks again to all the participants: Chi, Mirrors, Andres, Solvent, Oblique, Empire State Human, Adrian Longarms, Julian Brandt, Hyperbubble, Rupesh Cartel, Northern Kind, Jake, Electro Arc, I Monster, Electric Dream, Johan Billing, Slave Republic, Flux, Vision Talk, Orac, Tenek, Parralox, Andy Spotibot and Freezepop.
From the 24 Top 10’s, that should make 240 tracks give or take the Parralox effect. The range of selections was both surprising and all I’d hoped for. From classical to folk, jazz, and blues; from rock & roll to metal and alt-rock; from prog-rock to krautrock, disco and funk; from industrial and EBM to electro and synthpop. Yes, there were a lot of synthpop acts who participated in the feature and this is naturally reflected back to the Top 10s. But their diversity of choices was delightful and educational, and with Spotify providing 87% of the music (see below) it was a joy to listen along to such an eclectic selection.
Of course some bands were picked by more than one participant. The Top 10 of Top 10 Picks are:
- Kraftwerk (picked 7 times)
- Human League (picked 6 times)
- Depeche Mode (picked 5 times)
- David Bowie
- Soft Cell
- Elvis Presley
As for individual songs, three were picked more than once:
- Soft Cell’s Say Hello, Wave Goodbye
- David Bowie’s Ashes To Ashes
- P.Machinery by Propaganda
The Spotify Factor
Every list in the Top 10 Tracks feature had an accompanying “My Top 10” Spotify playlist. Mostly this was so that you could listen along to the chosen tracks, but it also served to show just how deep Spotify’s musical archive is now. Across all the Top 10’s, the average was 8.7 out of 10 tracks available on Spotify. Many easily had all ten, while Electro Arc’s penchant for obscure tape-only EBM resulted in the lowest count of only 1 track available on Spotify. But at a success rate of almost 9/10 for a mostly random selection of songs, Spotify is clearly well on its way to the stated goal of hosting “all the world’s music.”
The Social Effect
Although there’s no kind of competition here, I thought it might be interesting to see which Top 10 lists have the biggest impact so far on Facebook, Twitter, and Spotify:
Most “Liked” on Facebook:
- Northern Kind
- The Chanteuse & The Crippled Claw
- The Chanteuse & The Crippled Claw
- Rupesh Cartel
- I Monster
Most Subscriptions on Spotify:
- Andres Sehr from Spotify
- Planet Earth Rock And Roll
- Electric Fantastic Sound, Oblique, The Chanteuse & The Crippled Claw, Bedsitland
Obviously the more recent Top 10s are at a disadvantage here, as are US-based bands for Spotify subscriptions (since most of their fans are unable to use Spotify).
My Top 10 Tracks
I hope you’ve enjoyed the Pansentient League’s Top 10 Tracks feature as much as I have. I lost my job recently so managing this gave me something to look forward to and a reason to get up in the morning! Normal service will resume shortly… before that though there’s one final Top 10 list to come: my own Top 10 Tracks by The Pansentient League. See you on the other side!