Your (Almost) Daily Playlist: 9-22-23

“I love rock ‘n roll, so put another dime in the jukebox, baby”

Would the youth of today understand those lyrics from Joan Jett & the Blackhearts’ cover of The Arrows’ “I Love Rock ‘n Roll?” “What’s a jukebox? What’s a dime?” I hear them asking. If that song were written today, how would it go?

“I love rock ‘n roll, so stream your favorite song on your smartwatch, baby”

“I love rock ‘n roll, so send payment via Venmo so you can unlock the playlist you want to hear, baby”

“I love rock ‘n roll, so tap your phone to connect to the speaker’s Bluetooth and hit play on your selection, baby”

“I love rock ‘n roll, so say ‘Hey Siri, play some rock ‘n roll and feel free to include women and Black artists because you’re not Jann Wenner, baby’”

“I love rock ‘n roll, so use your smartphone’s camera to scan the square-shaped QR code to be redirected to a website or an app where you can choose from a variety of songs and see the ratings, reviews, and popularity of each and select the song you want and it will be added to the queue and play when it’s your turn, baby / I love rock ‘n roll, so come and take some time and dance with me”

That last one just rolls off the tongue. So singalongable!

I love rock ‘n roll and I love Joan Jett, who turns 65 today. A handful of tracks by Joan Jett & the Blackhearts are on today’s playlist.

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Throwback Thursday: 1994

Nineteen ninety-four was not one of rock and pop music’s pivotal years. I didn’t realize how lackluster it was until compiling this week’s Throwback Thursday playlist. I always begin such lists with a look at the pop charts of the year being spotlighted. What a sad state of affairs they were in 1994! I found around 15 good songs that peaked in the top 40 that year, and included all of them in this list (except for Ƭ̵̬̊’s “The Most Beautiful Girl in the World,” which is not on Spotify). A few great songs came close to making the Top 40, such as Nine Inch Nails’ “Closer” (peaked at #41) and The Breeders’ “Cannonball (peaked at #44). More great (mostly “alternative”) tracks would have made the Billboard Hot 100’s top 40 if not for Billboard‘s archaic rule that in order for a song to be eligible for the Hot 100, it needs to be commercially released as a single. Record companies stopped releasing many singles in the late 80s so as to force consumers into buying more profitable full-length albums. What that means is the Hot 100, which was supposed to represent the 100 most popular songs in the US, did not represent the 100 most popular songs in the US. And what mad the top 40 in 1994 was a lot of wussy drek. And Kurt Cobain died in 1994. Not a good year for music. Here are its gems:

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