Your (Almost) Daily Playlist: 1-16-24

“I only make records when I feel I have something to say. I’m not interested in releasing music just for the sake of selling something.“       – Sade Adu 

Sade’s last album came out in 2010. The album preceding that one came out in 2000. 

Sade Adu, lead singer and namesake of the band Sade, was born on this date in 1959. A handful of Sade’s best tunes are included on today’s playlist.

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Tunes Du Jour Presents 1991

The year 1991 was a remarkable one for music, as it saw the emergence of genres, styles, and stars that would shape the musical landscape for years to come. Today’s playlist consists of thirty of the songs that defined 1991.

We’ve got slick pop hooks and hip-hop beats, soulful ballads and dancefloor anthems, synth pop and alt rock, industrial angst and Prince.

In late September of 1991, a trio from Seattle released an album that soon became a phenomenon that transcended music and defined a generation. Its first hit single inaugurated a new wave of alternative rock that would dominate the 90s. That song peaked on the pop charts the following year, so look for it when Tunes Du Jour Presents 1992.

For now, take a trip down memory lane and enjoy the musical smorgasbord that was 1991. Thank you for reading, and stay tuned for more posts about music. 

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Your (Almost) Daily Playlist: 12-2-22

Today’s playlist celebrates the December 2 birthdays of Britney Spears, Nelly Furtado, Naughty By Nature’s Treach, Whale’s Cia Berg, and Joe Henry; the December 3 birthdays of Ozzy Osbourne, Montell Jordan, Andy Williams, Starship’s Mickey Thomas, Jam & Spoon’s Rolf Ellmer, .38 Special’s Don Barnes, Lil Baby, and City Girls’ JT; and the December 4 birthdays of Carl Wilson, Jay-Z, The Byrds’ Chris Hillman, Anna McGarrigle, Adamski, Freddy Cannon, BTS’s Jin, Southside Johnny, Miss Toni Fisher, Dionne Farris, and Pansy Division’s Jon Ginoli.

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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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Records of the Year

The Grammy Awards are being presented tonight. Woo. It’s billed as “music’s biggest night,” just as May 7 through May 16 is billed as “the biggest week in American birding,” if only because ten days is a lot for one week. Birders. Am I right, people? Performers at this year’s Grammys include Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak doing their new song, because what better way to celebrate the music of 2020 than with a single that was released last week? Performers I’m looking forward to include Miranda Lambert, Cardi B, HAIM, Megan Thee Stallion, Brittany Howard, Doja Cat, Dua Lipa, and Billie Eilish, whose “Everything I Wanted” is up for Record of the Year. That’s my favorite of the nominees, though I think the award will go to Beyoncé for “Black Parade,” and I have no problem with that. However, if the award goes to that record I never heard of until I started typing this sentence, sneakers will be thrown at my television (though that record may be good for all I know). For Album of the Year my vote goes to Fiona Apple’s Fetch the Bolt Cutters, as it was handily the best album of 2020. It probably won’t win, seeing as it wasn’t nominated. What was nominated over Apple’s album? That Coldplay album you forgot about and the Jacob Collier album you never heard of until you started reading this sentence (though that album may be good for all you know). Of the albums nominated, I’d pick HAIM’s. It’s very good. Not Fetch The Bolt Cutters good, but very good nonetheless. If HAIM win I hope they hand their award to Fiona Apple live on the telecast, which would be super impressive, seeing as they won’t be in the same room. I’m sure tonight’s show will include a tribute to dead people done by living people who are no match for said dead people. I’d rather want a montage of clips of the dead people performing when they were living people. <Fill in the blank> screaming is not representative of what made Aretha Franklin amazing. No disrespect to <fill in the blank>, but there’s more to being the Queen of Soul than having a mic and ovaries.

It’s easy to shit on the Grammys, as they are so shittable, but to be fair, not every Record of the Year is as terrible as 1988’s recipient, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” Here are thirty of the better winners:

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