The Music I Listen to Most

Just because I can. Using Doug Adams’ mySpins, which aggregates play counts from your iTunes library:


The first column is the number of plays by artist – you’ll note that I set the artist for classical music to the composer’s name, as it’s easier to navigate on iPods with the tag set this way. The Grateful Dead is in the lead, followed by Franz Schubert, notably because I listen to his lieder a lot; these are songs that are, on average, 3-5 minutes each. There’s much less Beethoven, because those are longer works: piano sonatas, string quartets, etc. Bill Evans beats out Brad Mehldau by a bit, in part because I’ve been listening to him longer. And Bob Dylan is very high up, as I have all of his albums, and listen to them regularly.

The second column is the songs I’ve played most, across albums (that’s what “pooled” means). In other words, I’ve listened to Playing in the Band, by the Grateful Dead, 152 times, over 57 different albums (lots of different live versions). All of the top ten pooled spins are by the Grateful Dead.

Note that these play counts are not absolute for all artists or songs, as removing then re-adding music deletes their play counts. I’ve done that several times with certain composers, and with many Grateful Dead concerts.

Share this article:Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Facebook0Share on Google+0Share on LinkedIn0

6 replies
  1. Chucky says:

    Well, I could’ve predicted Playing in the Band would end up as your #1, just since it was the live staple.

    (It’s odd. As someone who prefers studio recordings with pretty much all bands, including the Dead, the songs that show up in your list are pretty much my least favorite of their songs, since I’ve over-heard them and developed resistance.)

    IMHO, you ought to listen to Cumberland Blues more. (I have a soft spot for that one for a corollary to my previously mentioned rationale. It’s the best song on their best studio album.)

    Also, the band ought to play Fire on the Mountain more often in their sets…

    • kirk says:

      Yes, the play counts do reflect what they played most, as I generally listen to complete shows, rather than just listening on shuffle.

      I love Cumberland Blues; I love both Workingman’s Dead and American Beauty, and those are the studio albums I listen to most. (I also listen to Wake of the Flood a lot.) But they rarely played Cumberland live, so it’s not high up in my list of play counts.

      • Chucky says:

        “I also listen to Wake of the Flood a lot.”

        A good album, IMHO, but not up to the best of their studio work. However, I do think Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo is among their very best singles.

        (The song actually made me seek out a bottle of rock and rye. Nasty stuff.)

        I’ve always thought Aoxomoxoa was an underrated studio album. Good singles, and a nice ebb and flow for the duration. Not quite as good as Workingman’s Dead, but nothing is.

  2. Sam B says:

    Kirk, you should read “Beethoven’s Shadow”. I think you would love it! I thought of you as soon as I started reading it. =) It was a couple of bucks on the kindle.


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply