Confession time: my iTunes top 10

30 Mar

I have spent (some say wasted) numerous hours of my life contemplating my favorite all-time songs. I don’t know why. I’ve leafed through old CD albums, scoured my iTunes, racked my brain thinking of faves from yesteryear, consulted friends and agonized for hours on end to rank and refine. There is no reason for this. No one cares.

Here is the real problem with ranking songs: there is no way to empirically know what song I enjoy the most. Is it the one I never get sick of no matter how many times I hear it? The one that most affects my emotions, the one that makes me happiest? I suspect this answer is is somewhere in between, and different for everyone.

More than anything, most of us likely choose our favorite songs because they represent us in some way. (And by “us,” I mean the eight or so other people who  care about silly things like this.) I love Motown, therefore a Motown song must be featured in my top 5. That kind of thing.

Somewhere along the line, I decided the only way we would ever truly know what song is our favorite is when, in the future, doctors invent a device to implant in our brains that tracks seratonin release. This is one of my favorite not-yet-created inventions: it will scientifically measure what makes you the happiest. You claim that “Positively 4th Street” is your favorite? Your happiness meter disagrees. The song you enjoy more than any other is “Safety Dance.” Sorry, those are the facts.

While I wait patiently for this device to come to fruition, the next best objective analysis device is probably the iTunes “play count.” I had never thought about that, but a recent article in Esquire lays out the argument quite nicely:

iTunes has led to the death of many things, but mostly it’s made it impossible for us to lie about our love anymore. The truth is compiled and quantified in rows of rigid white boxes: No matter what T-shirts we wear or what concerts we go to, our play counts will betray even our most secret affections. Our top-five songs are no longer up for boozy debate shouted over jukeboxes. They’re digital fact. Heart has nothing to do with it anymore.

Tough to argue with that. I immediately opened up the application to check the results and…well, it’s safe to say I was shocked. A little dismayed. Only two of my current top 50 songs cracks the top 10 of most-played jams.

Which of course doesn’t mean everything — I can still love a song even if I don’t listen to it often — but it surely must mean something, right?

Either way, it’s a fun exercise. In the interest of full disclosure, I have listed my top 10 Play Count tracks below. I encourage you to list yours in the comments. Don’t worry; this is a judgment-free zone.

Let’s do this, people. It’s confession time.


1. “Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down” – Fall Out Boy
2. “L.E.S. Artistes” – Santogold
3. “Furr” – Blitzen Trapper
4. “Slow Night So Long” – Kings of Leon
5. “Paper Planes” – M.I.A.
6. “Skinny Love” – Bon Iver
7. “Kids” – MGMT
8.  “That’s Not My Name” – The Ting Tings
9. “Read My Mind” – The Killers
10. “We Don’t Care” – Kanye West


8 Responses to “Confession time: my iTunes top 10”

  1. Cool Rut March 30, 2010 at 4:09 pm #

    1. The current stream-89.3
    2. Love Hurts-Nazereth. Played 69 times.
    3. California Stars-Bragg/Wilco-66
    4. The Crane Wife0Decemberists-66
    5. Feel Like Makin Love-Bad Company-64
    6. Cannonball-Daminan Rice-61
    6. Shiver-ColdPlay-52
    8. Fools On Parade-Jayhawks-50
    9. Another Man’s Done Gone-Bragg/Wilco-47
    10.Don’t Panic-Coldplay-47

  2. Cool Rut March 30, 2010 at 4:10 pm #

    Where did 7 go? Sorry typo.

  3. Gates March 30, 2010 at 10:24 pm #

    1. Bird Dream of the Olympus Mons-Pixies (80)
    2. Halfway Home-TV on the Radio (71)
    3. Ain’t it Strange-Dr. Dog (69)
    3. Motorway to Roswell-Pixies (69)
    5. Wolf like me-TV on the Radio (64)
    6. Flashing Lights-Kanye West (61)
    6. Hot Fun in the Summertime-Sly & The Family Stone (61)
    8. The Modern Age-Strokes (59)
    9. Chemical World-Blur (53)
    10. King of the Rodeo-Kings of Leon (51)

  4. mj March 31, 2010 at 6:37 am #

    1.) Mama Told Me Not To Come – Three Dog Night
    2.) Paint it Black – The Rolling Stones
    3.) I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’ – Scissor Sisters
    4.) Galvanize – Chemical Brothers
    5.) Northern Sky – Nick Drake
    6.) Powerman – The Kinks
    7.) Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It) – Beyonce
    8.) Paper Planes – M.I.A.
    9.) Blister in the Sun – Violent Femmes
    10.) Keep It Loose, Keep It Tight – Amos Lee

    I’d like to point out the fact that paper planes is probably on a lot of people’s most played lists, especially if those people hang out with stinger.

  5. RandBall's Stu March 31, 2010 at 7:43 am #

    Whoever this Cool Rut guy is, he has great taste in Jayhawks b-sides.

  6. RandBall's Stu March 31, 2010 at 5:56 pm #

    Please note that my wife and daughter both utilize the iTunes, so that’s who I’m pinning Gwen Stefani on:

    1. Hip Hop Thighs #17, Ike Reilly
    2. Castanets, Alejandro Escovedo
    3. In These Shoes?, Kirsty MacColl
    4. Polyester Bride, Liz Phair
    5. Supermassive Black Hole, Muse
    6. Shakedown on 9th Street, Ryan Adams
    7. Take Me Out, Franz Ferdinand
    8. Murray, Pete Yorn
    9. Hollaback Girl, Gwen Stefani
    10. Anything, Anything (I’ll Give You), Dramarama

    That’s a shit-ton of Dad Rock, I’ll grant you.

  7. Stinger April 1, 2010 at 8:38 pm #

    1. M.I.A Paper Planes
    2. M.I.A Paper Planes
    3. M.I.A Paper Planes
    4. M.I.A Paper Planes
    5. M.I.A Paper Planes
    6. M.I.A Paper Planes
    7. M.I.A Paper Planes
    8. M.I.A Paper Planes
    9. M.I.A Paper Planes
    10. M.I.A Paper Planes

    Best song ’07-’10 M.I.A Paper Planes

  8. Dave MN April 2, 2010 at 10:41 am #

    1. Vacuum Bag – Stroke 9
    2. Dear Valentine – Guster
    3. This Week the Trend – Relient K
    4. Take Cover – Acceptance
    5. Another Mistake – Evan and Jaron
    6. Sailing Seas – Abandoned Pools
    7. Strange Apparition – Beck
    8. The Heart of Life – John Mayer
    9. Sentimental Guy – Ben Folds
    10. The Best Thing – Relient K

    Apparently, I enjoy songs of the sappy variety. Also, does being the least “alternative” of the commenters somehow make me the *most* alternative of the commenters?

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