Everyone cares about my music tastes, right? I hope so, because I'm too busy revising my novel to come up with a blog topic out of thin air. According to Spotify Wrapped, this year I listened to 13,846 artists for 91 days, and these were my top five.
1. The Beatles
I would have discovered the Beatles on my own, but my fondness for them has a lot to do with my parents frequently playing their album "Magical Mystery Tour" when I was young. Granted, when I was really young, it terrified me to hear them sing that the Magical Mystery Tour was coming to take me away, and the creepy animal costumes they wear on the album cover didn't help. But the Beatles deserve the almost universal praise they've received. This year, they topped my list because I listened to all 71 songs of "Live at the BBC," which I hadn't heard before. Also, this year they released what's meant to be their final song, "Now and Then," using new technology to clean up one of John Lennon's demo tapes that they found unusable when they first worked on it in the nineties, then adding parts from the other three Beatles. The song itself isn't mind-blowing, but the fact that I lived to see this day is. I can only imagine how Paul and Ringo, born in the 1940s, must feel about it.
2. Xeen Music
Xeen Music is actually a guy who works with composers to release their soundtracks to early nineties computer games from Sierra Online and other companies, and he gets listed alongside them as an artist. When I found him, I was so overjoyed that I could have kissed him. I didn't play these games in the early nineties, or even know that most of them existed until adulthood, but they fill me with nostalgia for the era of pixels and 8-bit sound. Check him out so these composers can get a few cents for their underrated work.
Roxette were a duo from Sweden that sang about the glories and pitfalls of love, lust, and like. Their female vocalist, Marie Fredriksson, died from cancer four years ago, but Per Gessel has continued an iteration of the band with other singers. My parents played their albums "Look Sharp!" and "Joyride" countless times on car trips to my grandparents' house and back. Because of that, I'm a fan of pretty much all of their songs. Without that exposure, I would probably only be familiar with their songs that have the most streams on Spotify, because I simply don't have the time to check out every song by every artist, even though there must be countless songs with lower stream counts that I would love if I heard them. My life is an unbearable tragedy.
I was introduced to Rammstein in my first semester of college, when I walked into Honors US Institutions a couple of minutes late while the professor was playing the music video for "Amerika." I saw guys with an American flag on the moon and heard an Eastern European language, and my first thought was "Soviet propaganda." I enjoy many of their songs, though I stopped listening to some of them after I learned enough German to realize what they were about. "Amerika" is a harmless satirization of the United States' disproportionate influence on the world's cultures, but in some of their other songs they sing about oral sex, bestiality, incest, child abuse, murder, mass shootings, erotic cannibalism, and/or normal cannibalism. I don't mean to group oral sex in the same moral category as those other things; I just personally find it gross. Anyway, Rammstein are still great because they have loud guitars that sound epic.
5. John Williams
You already know that he did some of the greatest scores of all time for some of the greatest movies of all time. Need I say more?
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About the Author
C. Randall Nicholson is a white cisgender Christian male, so you can hate him without guilt, but he's also autistic and asexual, so you can't, unless you're an anti-vaxxer, in which case the feeling is mutual. This blog is where he periodically rants about life, the universe, and/or everything.