Expanding your playlists, revisited.

I want to circle back to a previous article I wrote here, “Shift your playlist, Keeping music fresh”. I enjoy setting new templates for compiling a set of songs for the day’s listening. Like anyone I find myself in a rut playing the same old “safe” songs I know and like.

So here are some new starting points I will use to try and discover new favorites in the next few days.

1. Yearly playlist. Pick a year, then compile a group of songs (or albums) recorded that year. It’s totally ok to “cheat” here. Google “best albums of 1978”, or whatever year you wish. Go down that list and note the ones of interest. Using 1978 I find some obvious examples like Bruce Springsteen’s Darkness on the edge of town, and Van Halen’s self titled debut. I also find some that didn’t occur to me on my own, like Talking Heads’ More songs about Buildings and Food.

2. Back in the area of “Follow the artist” let’s look at a jazz classic, Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew. Several musicians took part in these sessions. So if we take this record and look at the players we can then scour Spotify or your app of choice and download music by:

Miles Davis

Chick Corea

John McLaughlin

Dave Holland

Wayne Shorter

Billy Cobham

and more…

3. Pick an artist you love, then dig and find out who they loved! What musicians inspired your heroes to become artists? Take the legendary guitarist Jeff Beck, he was a fan of Django Rheinhardt, Les Paul, Link Wray, Ike Turner, Cliff Gallup and others. When is the last time you listened to Hank B. Marvin and the Shadows?

What are some ideas you have about ways to go about compiling a song playlist?

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