I think everyone’s gone through a period where you listen constantly to a piece of music; I feel like I must’ve listened to Brian Eno’s Another Green World and David Bowie’s “Heroes” a hundred times when I was a teenager. Because that’s what teenagers do – they obsess about the music they love.
But Katie Arnold-Ratliff’s recent article in Salon about her continuing obsession with one song got me to wondering if maybe we don’t outgrow that kind of obsession. The advent of iTunes has made it easy to track: you just click on the Plays column and it sorts your music library according to how many times you’ve played a certain song. We’ve all been doing it as we prepared for today’s show (producer Gretta Cohn’s Play History is on the web page – she really, really likes that Lykke Li album). I sorted mine, wondering if I’d be embarrassed to find that I’d listened to the same song 100 times or more. If so, I would’ve expected it to be “Power Out” from the first Arcade Fire record, simply because it feels like I’ve listened to it a lot. (It’s a great driving song, and I listen a lot in the car.) But when I hit the Plays button, this is what I got (right click to view image in full):
This was pretty deflating to the whole crew, as we were hoping to use whatever the object of my obsession was on the show. It’s not that I’m surprised to see these songs here. I do feel like I’ve listened to them all a LOT over the years. But apparently, a lot means barely over a dozen times. So now I’m wondering, how often did I really listen to those teenage faves?
What tops your iTunes play history? Leave a comment.