Nineteen ninety-five’s music had something for everyone. Check out 30 highlights below.
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Inspired by the September 19 birthdays of Chic’s Nile Rodgers, Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker, Tegan and Sara, Mama Cass Elliot, The Righteous Brothers’ Bill Medley, Teddybears’ Patrik Arve, Skepta, Rex Smith, The Springfields’ Mike Hurst, Brook Benton, Lol Crème, Austin Roberts, Eamon, Marshall Jefferson, Adam West and Frances Farmer.
Inspired by the March 2 birthdays of Lou Reed, Wu-Tang Clan’s Method Man, Karen Carpenter, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, Jay Osmond, Boogie Down Productions’ Scott La Rock, Missing Persons’ Dale Bozzio, Musical Youth’s Dennis Seaton, UTFO’s Doctor Ice, the Kooks’ Luke Pritchard, and composer Kurt Weill (“Mack the Knife”).
My favorite song of 2019 came out in 2016. Like most people, I slept on Lizzo’s “Good as Hell” upon its initial release three years ago. I also slept on her “Truth Hurts,” my #4 song of 2019, when it was released in 2017. Lizzo’s first track to make Glenn’s Ten was “Boys,” which hit #1 in July 2018, just two months before my favorite 2019 artist after Lizzo, Billie Eilish, made her Glenn’s Ten debut with “You Should See Me in a Crown.” Eilish’s “Bad Guy” is my #3 song of this year, breaking up Lizzo’s hold on the top four. L-to-the-izzo’s “Juice,” my #2 song of 2019, debuted on Glenn’s Ten on January 12, kicking off 49 consecutive weeks with at least one Lizzo track in my top ten, 22 of those weeks at #1. I’m sure both of those are records, something I would confirm if I weren’t too lazy to look it up.
At #5 for the year sits the only artist in my year end top ten who made their Glenn’s Ten debut in 2019, Megan Thee Stallion. (Megan’s her real first name; Thee is not her actual middle name and Stallion is not on her birth certificate. I’m a Megan Thee Stallion truther.) On that hit, “Hot Girl Summer,” Megan T. Stallion is assisted by Nicki Minaj, who is also at #55 with a solo number, and Ty Dolla $ign (Ty is short for Tyrone, his real first name; Dolla is not his actual middle name and $ign is not on his birth certificate. I’m a Ty Dolla $ign truther.), who is also at #100 assisting Kehlani. If you need assistance, call Ty D. $ign.
The remainder of the top ten boasts career bests for 21 Savage, Ariana Grande, Teyana Taylor, and Vince Staples, plus the first Glenn’s Ten entry for Vampire Weekend since 2013. Other Glenn’s Ten veterans making appearances this year include Bruce Springsteen, Liz Phair, Beck, Missy Elliott, Morrissey, Beyoncé, Rufus Wainwright, Smokey Robinson (yes, Smokey Robinson!), and Belle & Sebastian. Recent favorites such as Courtney Barnett, Cardi B, Grimes, Christine and the Queens, Robyn, Miranda Lambert, 21 Savage, BROCKHAMPTON, First Aid Kit, Chance the Rapper, Angel Olsen, The National and Kacey Musgraves are represented as well.
Enough blather. Here is my top 105 songs (5 by Lizzo, 100 by others, though one of those others with an assist from Lizzo) of 2019:
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You should know D’Angelo’s music. His debut album, Brown Sugar, turns twenty this summer. It’s a landmark in neo soul that sounds as fresh today as it did in 1995.
D’Angelo’s second album, Voodoo, celebrated its fifteenth anniversary a couple of weeks ago. It builds on and surpasses his debut, with D’Angelo’s singing, writing and production stretching beyond what his contemporaries were doing.
He surprise released his third album, Black Messiah, this past December. The Village Voice annual music critics poll placed it at #1 for 2014 album releases.
Today D’Angelo turns 41. Here is an introductory playlist. You should know D’Angelo’s music.
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Today is the birthday of two music icons – Jam-Master Jay of rap pioneers Run-D.M.C. and disc jockey Wolfman Jack. Besides their place in their history of rock and roll, both men have another thing in common – they were the subjects of songs. That inspired me to put together today’s playlist – songs named after real people.
I found fifty songs whose titles are actual people. Actually I found more than fifty, but I didn’t want to subject you to Chiddy Bang or Mac Miller. I made a few rules for myself:
1) The title can’t have words besides the person’s name, hence no Kim Carnes’ “Bette Davis Eyes” or Sleater-Kinney’s “I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone.”
2) The title has to be the full name the person is known by, so no “Springsteen” by Eric Church or “Jessica” (about Jessica Simpson) by Adam Green. Allowed are “Galileo,” “Joan of Arc” and “King Tut,” as that is how most people identify Galileo Galilei, Joan d’Arc and Tutankhamun.
3) The song doesn’t have to be about the person after whom it is titled, so “Jack the Ripper” and “Rosa Parks” are in.
4) The track has to be on Spotify. This means I left out Bob Dylan’s “George Jackson” and Hoodie Allen’s “James Franco.”
Amazingly for a playlist based on such a goofy concept, it holds together quite well, if I say so myself.
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